Bills supported by the California Chamber of Commerce aim to address issues of crime in the retail sector.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently spoke at a press conference on April 9 alongside Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera, and Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur. The conference, titled “Californians Together Against Retail Crime,” unveiled a bipartisan package of legislation aimed at addressing retail theft.

During the conference, Barrera praised the bipartisan effort and emphasized the importance of giving law enforcement the necessary tools to combat retail crime effectively and efficiently. She noted that retail theft and organized retail crime have a significant impact on communities, small businesses, and brick-and-mortar stores, leading to increased security measures and a negative customer experience. Barrera also highlighted the safety concerns that customers may have when witnessing these crimes in person or through media coverage.

The package of legislation, which was supported by the CalChamber, includes the following bills that were passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 9:

– AB 1779 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks): Clarifies that retail theft occurring across multiple jurisdictions can be charged in a single jurisdiction.

– AB 1802 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles): Removes the sunset date from the organized retail crime statute, keeping it in place indefinitely.

– AB 1960 (Soria; D-Fresno): Reinstates sentencing enhancements for property damage during the commission of a felony.

– AB 2943 (R. Rivas, D-Salinas; Zbur, D-Hollywood): Creates new crimes for professional retail thieves and provides law enforcement with more tools to combat career thieves.

– AB 3209 (Berman; D-Palo Alto): Establishes a new retail theft restraining order that allows a court to prohibit a convicted retail thief from entering a retail location or parking lot.

While some of the bills are still being refined, the CalChamber is committed to working with the authors to develop effective solutions and advance all possible solutions.

Staff Contact: Brenda Bass 

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