Prior to these recent charges, the defendant, Nathan Picco, had already been convicted of 15 crimes related to burglary and theft from 2002 to 2019.
“This person has made a career out of terrorizing this way,” Joshua James said, looking at a photo of a shattered window on his property.
James is the owner of the Ocean Beach Café in the Richmond district of San Francisco. CCTV footage captured Picco breaking into his cafe to steal money from the cash register on January 2 last year.
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“How far has he run away?” asked ABC7’s Stephanie Sierra.
“About $1,000,” James said. “When is it going to stop?
What James didn’t realize at the time was that the burglary was near the end of an eight-month string of alleged crimes targeting businesses across San Francisco, according to court documents. A total of seven businesses were robbed – in some cases within days of each other.
“I learned he was a repeat offender at the highest level,” James said. “What happens to him after that?”
The San Francisco District Attorney‘s Office told I-Team they filed seven counts of 2nd degree burglary, seven counts of burglary during a state of emergency and two counts of grand larceny.
But most charges were dismissed.
“As is the case in almost all plea agreements involving multiple counts, the defendant pleaded to some of the charges, but not all. In this case, he pleaded guilty to 2 counts of burglary on the second degree as well as additional improvements,” the DA office wrote in a statement. “The sentence agreed to as part of the plea deal was that Mr. Picco receive credit for the days he spent in jail on this case, participate in a residential treatment program and be placed on probation for two years. .”
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Importantly, Picco’s most recent 16 charges were also in violation of the terms of his release in another ongoing case.
So where is Picco now?
The district attorney’s office says Picco is in custody in another county clearing an existing warrant. He will also receive restraining orders, restitution orders for any burglaries and will be placed under electronic monitoring once he is placed in the program. If he violates any of the conditions of his release, Picco faces up to five years and eight months in prison.
“Mr. Picco’s criminal history is exactly representative of the type of chronic repeat offenders we deal with in San Francisco who are not held accountable,” said Brooke Jenkins, a former San Francisco prosecutor who spent seven years in the office. of the prosecutor. before resigning last year.
Jenkins says she is one of 54 prosecutors who have resigned since San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin took office. She says cases like Picco’s remind her why she left.
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“We see repeat offenders and repeat offenders again and again being given extremely lenient plea deals that put them in a position to re-offend,” Jenkins said.
At a town hall in March, Boudin told supporters that his office had continued to raise billing rates.
“We’ve increased our sexual assault charge rate, we’ve increased our conviction rate for homicide cases, and we’ve filed over 10,000 new criminal cases,” he said.
Boudin faces a recall in nearly a month. He says his office has worked to be transparent about prosecution rates. As of Monday night, the data dashboard shows the prosecutor’s office prosecuted about 44.5% of cases.
But Jenkins argues that number doesn’t tell us the whole story.
“It’s not enough to explain to the public the cases that are charged,” Jenkins said. “The public must understand the full significance of the outcome of these cases.”
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