Quickly Boba Shop on Larkin Busted In DA’s Office Sting, Was Allegedly Helping Front a Car Burglary Ring

As Chesa Boudin’s office scrambles to score some public victories ahead of the June recalls, news arrives of a major bust involving a Boba tea shop used to trade goods stolen in SF auto thefts , some of which were shipped to Hong Kong and Vietnam.

For about a year, the US Attorney’s Office has been running “Operation Auto Pilot,” which aims to crack down on auto thefts in San Francisco by prosecuting the criminals who cordon off masses of stolen goods on behalf of the thieves themselves. A sub-operation dubbed “Operation Bulldog” dealt with the Quickly Boba tea shop at 709 Larkin Street and its owner’s husband, 41-year-old Quoc Le.

Investigators used rental cars in which they placed stolen items with tracking devices and parked them in Japantown as decoy cars. A laptop stolen from one of the bait cars led them to Le, who they say is a “known fence” for stolen property. “Using the tracker, investigators then traced the item back to Mr. Le’s place of business, a boba tea shop. In the days that followed, they traced the stolen goods from Mr Les’ branch to Fed Ex and tracked them through the delivery process,” Boudin’s office explained in a press release.

According to received court records through the chronicle, a theft victim who participated in the investigation, used the “Find my Phone” feature to locate her stolen iPhone in an open space on Larkin Street that shares a wall with the Quickly shop. She later watched as the phone was taken to a FedEx distribution office in Oakland and soon after in Hong Kong. Another victim saw her laptop ping from the Larkin address, and a month later it pinged in Vietnam.

“Auto burglaries have been a longstanding problem in San Francisco for at least a decade; I created Operation Auto Pilot to aggressively target the fence networks responsible for so many property crimes,” Boudin said in a statement. “I commend our special investigations team who worked tirelessly for over a year to set up multiple covert operations to trace the route of stolen goods, leading to today’s arrest and recovery of over 130 file boxes full of stolen electronics. We hope this sends a strong message to deter anyone considering breaking into a car or buying stolen goods: we are watching and you will be held accountable.”

Mr Le was arrested on Monday, and from the storage facility next to the Boba store, investigators reportedly recovered over 1,000 “electronic devices that filled over 130 file folders: laptops, cellphones, tablets and more.” The prosecutor’s office now intends to return these devices to their owners.

Le has been charged with eight felony counts and four counts of possession of stolen property, and it sounds like more charges could be pending. He should be charged today. Le’s wife, the holder of the Quickly site’s records, has not been charged with any crime.

A separate operation by DA Bureau investigators in December yielded a similar result Bust of a camera repair and resale shop on Larkin Street in Little Saigon This turned out to be a front for the resale of stolen clothing.

The Chronicle notes that this investigation is bearing fruit not long after former assistant prosecutor Shirin Oloumi appeared in TV adverts supporting Boudin’s recall. Oloumi, who tracked car break-ins, says in the ads that Boudin “disbanded” her unit and “prevented me from cooperating with the police.” But officials at the DA’s office shared a suicide note Oloumi wrote to colleagues with the Chronicle that appeared touting Operation Auto Pilot and said: “No doubt I’ll read about the success of [the operation] soon in the news.”

Hopefully, Le proves to be a major kingpin in Bay Area fencing, and someone won’t immediately move in to fill the void by buying this stuff from thieves.

Steven Tull, chief investigator for Boudin’s office, points out that one of the victims had a device stolen from a parked car on the far South Bay in Morgan Hill. “The fact that a victim from an area as far away as Morgan Hill tracked her stolen goods to Mr Le’s store, along with other confidential information we have obtained, shows that Mr Le’s illegal fencing operation is not only moves a large amount of stolen goods but is geographically widespread,” Tull said in a statement.

Previously: Tenderloin Camera Shop fronted retail anti-theft fences, according to the DA Bureau

Photo: Yelp

Quickly Boba Shop on Larkin Busted In DA’s Office Sting, Was Allegedly Helping Front a Car Burglary Ring Source link Quickly Boba Shop on Larkin Busted In DA’s Office Sting, Was Allegedly Helping Front a Car Burglary Ring

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