SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, April 29, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced that an undercover organized retail theft operation, Operation ABC resulted in the arrest and charging of Allala Mouaizi and an arrest warrant issued for Said Mahtout, who were allegedly purchasing stolen goods from Nordstrom out of a San Francisco Zain Liquors store.
The SF District Attorney’s Office charged Mouaizi with four felony counts of attempted receiving or buying stolen property and charged Mahtout with one count of attempted possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.
“I am proud of the work of the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit for leading this successful organized retail theft operation,” said District Attorney Boudin. “Our partnership with the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has helped identify and hold accountable the people coordinating organized retail theft crimes in San Francisco.”
Operation ABC was the result of a partnership between the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the California Alcohol Beverage Control, the San Francisco Police Department, and Nordstrom’s Loss Prevention. The investigation began in March 2022, when the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) received a tip about the suspects from the San Francisco Police Department and Nordstrom’s loss prevention team.
ABC deployed an undercover agent to sell stolen goods to the suspects on two separate occasions. Once ABC established that the suspects were buying stolen goods from inside their place of work, ABC reached out to the District Attorney’s SIU unit to further investigate and prosecute the case.
“ABC is proud to work closely with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office during this ongoing investigation,” said ABC Director Eric Hirata. “Governor Newsom has a plan to devote $225 million to provide more resources to local law enforcement and $30 million to local prosecutors to combat organized retail crime and hold perpetrators accountable.”
Boudin established the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit in April 2021 to combat complex crimes like organized retail theft. The SIU conducts vertical investigations of organized retail crime operations, burglary rings, and other complex organized crimes, and prosecutes cases resulting from those operations. The mission of the unit is to disrupt organized fencing networks that are driving retail thefts and hold those who commit these crimes accountable.
In addition to Operation ABC, the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit is currently conducting multiple other operations to combat organized retail theft. In 2021, the District Attorney’s Operation Focus Lens and Operation Wrecking Ball resulted in arrests and prosecutions or arrest warrants issued of eight individuals; other confidential operations are still transpiring.
The SFDA’s Office indicated this is an ongoing investigation, and there is no current evidence to suggest the owner of Zain’s Liquors knew his employees were allegedly using his store to purchase stolen goods.