Shoplifter beats serious charges in SF robbery trial

A 35-year-old man who was caught and tackled by three security guards after shoplifting from a Target in San Francisco beat the felony charges against him Monday and was only convicted with the less serious charge of shoplifting.

Despite pulling out a knife and cutting two security guards, Jake Fitch-Barclay was only found guilty in Superior Court of one misdemeanor shoplifting charge and sentenced to time served, according to the Public Defender’s office.

He had been in jail for five months for stealing several items, including a pair of shoes he left the store with.

The April 16 incident left Fitch-Barclay roughed up, a security guard with a cut and another guard with a laceration that needed stitches.

Security footage shows Fitch-Barclay walking out of the store and then being taken down by three guards who drag him inside the store as shoppers watch. As the three guards, who were eventually joined by a fourth guard, tried to detain Fitch-Barclay, one of the guards started bleeding. Finally, the knife was taken from Fitch-Barclay and the men take him away.

But Deputy Public Defender Emily Dahm characterized the incident as three overzealous security guards who went above the call of duty when they tackled her client. Much of the incident at the Target on Geary Boulevard and Masonic Avenue was caught on tape.

“The video was clear. Mr. Fitch-Barclay never waves the knife or tries to stab anyone. He simply held it for protection. The guards were still manhandling him after he dropped all the merchandise, and he feared they would drag him to a back room and hurt him,” Dahm said. “This case was about three loss prevention officers that went rogue.”

The District Attorney’s Office spokesman Alex Bastian said the felony charges were brought because any time during the progress of a theft if force of fear is used the charge can be robbery.

Fitch-Barclay had been charged with two counts of felony attempted robbery and enhancements for use of  a deadly weapon and causing bodily harm.


Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkCrime

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read