As previously reported, on October 24 at around 12:15pm, State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, was arrested for allegedly shoplifting almost $2,500 worth of merchandise from the Neiman Marcus in SF’s Union Square.
The 45-year-old pleaded not guilty last Thursday to a felony grand theft charge and is currently free on $15,000 bail. Hayashi spokesman Sam Singer described the event as “a mistake and misunderstanding” due to the fact that Hayashi was texting on one phone and talking on another and accidentally stepped outdoors with the unpaid clothing items.
“This was not an attempt at shoplifting. The assemblywoman apologizes for the misunderstanding. She strongly believes in the justice system and hopes that this matter will be cleared up soon.”
As the Chron’s Matier and Ross report, Hayashi’s attorney actually called Neiman Marcus’ corporate headquarters to see if they were really pursuing the grand theft charges against her, to which they responded that they’d do whatever the SF DA’s office felt was appropriate.
Of course, the DA felt the charges were right, with their spokesperson telling M&R “This is rightfully charged as a felony.”
Store employees say they saw Hayashi acting “suspiciously” that Monday afternoon, then entering a dressing room to try on some clothes, only to return with a Neiman Marcus bag in her hand minus a few items she carried in. Surveillance caught Hayashi attempt to leave the store with the bag, only to be detained by security guards.
Singer now tells M&R that “the assemblywoman had intended to pay for the merchandise on a different floor. She went to the cafe first, got distracted and accidentally walked out without paying.”