San Rafael Suspects of Organized Retail Theft and Illegal Firearm Possession Arrested in Petaluma

San Rafael Suspects of Organized Retail Theft and Illegal Firearm Possession Arrested in PetalumaSource: Petaluma Police Department
Tony Ng
Published on September 15, 2023

Yesterday, police officers were dispatched to Factory Brand Shoes at the Petaluma Factory Outlets after receiving reports of a theft. With the culprits fleeing in a red Buick sedan, officers tracked down the suspects at the Gateway Shopping Center in Petaluma. The vehicle's occupants included Taylor Jones, a 31-year-old resident of San Rafael, and Jaewon Hwang, a 43-year-old San Rafael resident. The pair were subsequently arrested, and charged with petty theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle, according to the Petaluma Police Department.

Police discovered 23.1 grams of suspected methamphetamine on Jones and located an unregistered firearm in a bag on the floorboard, where Hwang had been seated. The illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and stolen merchandise from Factory Brand Shoes were also found.

Police report a significant increase in organized retail theft and illegal firearm possession in the city, pointing the finger at legislation and voter-approved initiatives that have lowered the consequences for offenders who repeatedly partake in nonviolent criminal activity.

One officer from the Community Impact Response Team (CIRT) stated, “The Petaluma Police Department is committed to working to reduce crime and improve the quality of life throughout the City of Petaluma and encourages residents to partner with us by contacting the Police Department when a police response is appropriate.”