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Birth-Control Heist at San Mateo Target Lands Would-Be Thieves in Jail, Cops Say

Written by The Standard StaffPublished Sep. 27, 2023 • 9:24pm
San Francisco police and firefighters responded Thursday to a fatal collision involving a pedestrian and a Muni bus near Van Ness Avenue and O'Farrell Street.
Peninsula police say they caught the four suspects with pilfered pills, a stolen car and a bunch of street drugs. | Source: Adobe Stock

Police say they foiled a birth-control heist from a San Mateo Target after catching a group with $1,400 in over-the-counter pills, a stolen car and street drugs.

Upon finding out that San Mateo treats organized retail theft more seriously than San Francisco, where suspects might get off with a citation, all four arrested at the Peninsula Target “expressed disappointment” about going to jail, police said.

One even slammed his head on the side of a cop cruiser, which police say was memorialized on video. 

The incident happened around 8:45 a.m. Monday, when officers say they responded to a reported theft from the big-box store at 2220 Bridgepointe Parkway in San Mateo.

When cops arrived, they say they found three of the suspects sitting in a would-be getaway car—a red Honda CR-V—behind the Target. 

A fourth, who had walked into the store’s front entrance wearing a ski mask and backpack, was about to meet up with his accomplices outside the back delivery door when he spotted the cops and tried to make a run for it, police said. 

The alleged bandit flung the back door shut and tried to make a run for it by racing to the other side of the store with nearly $2,000 in stolen merchandise, police said. But officers circled around, met him out front and detained him, too. 

The masked man—later identified as 45-year-old San Francisco resident Gerald Bennett Robinson Jr.—allegedly told police he swallowed fentanyl. 

The other three found in the car were identified as Richard Mark Morales Jr., Jandre Pierre Blakely and Jacey Lynn Cummans. Police said all four had outstanding warrants for various drug and theft offenses. 

Garrett Leahy and Joel Umanzor contributed to this report. 

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