April 25, 2024

Newsom outlines plan to crack down on retail, property crimes in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) outlined a plan to crack down on retail and property crimes in his state Tuesday.

“Building on California’s existing laws and record public safety investments, I’m calling for new legislation to expand criminal penalties for those profiting on retail theft and auto burglaries,” Newsom said in a press release. “These laws will make California safer and bolster police and prosecutor tools to arrest and hold professional criminals accountable.”

The press release outlined Newsom’s legislative framework to crack down on the aforementioned crimes, including proposals to increase enforcement tools, aggregate theft amounts, eliminating sunset dates for organized retail crime and increasing penalties for large-scale stolen goods resellers.

The announcement builds on Newsom’s Real Public Safety Plan, according to the press release. Newsom launched the initiative, which touted a focus on “strengthening local law enforcement response, ensuring perpetrators are held accountable and getting guns and drugs off our streets.”

State leaders, such as California Attorney General Rob Bonta have praised Newsom’s legislative framework and leadership.

“Organized retail theft is a serious crime that not only costs businesses, retailers and consumers, but puts workers and the public at risk,” Bonta said. “The California Department of Justice is committed to tackling these crimes head-on. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership, and will continue working with his office and our legislative partners to eradicate organized retail crime.”

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins applauded the resources the framework would afford for law enforcement and prosecutors.

“This vitally needed package of reforms will empower law enforcement and prosecutors to be able to hold prolific thieves accountable and ensure that there are consequences for those who brazenly flaunt our laws,” Jenkins said.

The latest initiative, announced Tuesday, comes after Newsom tapped the California Highway Patrol in November to increase operations in an attempt to fight organized retail crime.

“When criminals run out of stores with stolen goods, they need to be arrested and escorted directly into jail cells,” Newsom wrote in a statement.

“Leveraging hundreds of millions of dollars in law enforcement investments, the California Highway Patrol — working with allied agencies — is increasing enforcement efforts and conducting and supporting covert and confidential takedowns to stop these criminals in their tracks during the holiday season, and year-round.”

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