california local news

Alleged SF bipper caught, released, arrested again in days

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Augustine was first arrested in July and was charged with a felony for second-degree burglary of a 2017 Kia Niro and misdemeanor possession of a “window punch” burglar tool.

According to police spokesperson Robert Rueca, on July 14, officers in plainclothes were conducting surveillance around the Palace of Fine Arts before they spotted Augustine.

The DA’s July complaint against Augustine lists three aggravating circumstances: attempted taking of great monetary value, violent conduct indicating a danger to society and prior convictions as an adult. Court documents on his criminal history were unavailable.

After his Oct. 9 release by Giorgi, Augustine became the unwitting subject of a bait-car sting video operation on Oct. 12 by former NASA engineer and YouTuber Mark Rober in partnership with ABC7’s I-Team. The footage, which shows the suspect being hit by a fart-spray cannon via a camera inside the stolen bag, made it to broadcast and was published online on Jan. 7. Augustine displayed no visible or audible reaction to the fart-spray deterrent. 

Rober caught Augustine breaking into cars and taking backpacks, first near the Embarcadero and then near the Palace of Fine Arts.

Later that day, according to court documents, police arrested Augustine on suspicion of breaking into rental cars at the corner of Bay and Franklin streets, where officers searched Augustine’s silver Infiniti. 

Augustine allegedly used a Swiss-Tech BodyGard punch tool to burglarize a 2023 Nissan Altima rented by Hertz and take $2,000 worth of clothes from a Nissan Rogue rented by Enterprise. He is alleged to have stolen a $2,000 LG laptop, a $1,500 Samsung laptop, a $1,500 iPad Pro, a $1,000 Samsung tablet, $300 Sony headphones and gifts from a suitcase.

Victims of Augustine’s offenses, as well as Hertz and Enterprise representatives, could not be reached for comment.

Augustine faces a total of six felony and three misdemeanor charges for both cases. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He is currently released under GPS monitoring and home detention supervised by the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office while he awaits trial, according to court documents.

“We are living in a time of extreme income inequality, and studies show that auto burglaries are crimes of desperation and poverty,” Bao Doan, Augustine’s deputy public defender, said. “Incarceration does not solve poverty or deter auto burglaries; investments in community health and job opportunities do.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.