Schiavo co-authors retail theft legislation

Politics and government

News release 

Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, alongside Attorney General Rob Bonta, State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, and a bipartisan coalition of Assembly members, has introduced a legislative package aimed at curtailing the surge in retail crimes.  

This bill package comes as a result of the months-long effort to tackle this growing crisis, including the formation of the Select Committee on Retail Theft, of which Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, is a member, according to a news release from the assemblywoman’s office. 

The package includes Assembly Bill 2943, of which Schiavo is a principal co-author. This bill specifically targets the organized crime rings behind a growing wave of “smash-and-grab” retail theft, the release said.  

AB 2943 would create stringent penalties for “professional” retail thieves, introduce measures to combat the online sale of stolen goods, and include provisions for aggregating theft values to meet grand theft criteria, enhancing the ability of law enforcement to respond effectively to these crimes, the release said. 

“As a member of the Select Committee on Retail Theft and principal co-author of AB 2843, we have prioritized addressing growing organized retail crime in our community,” Schiavo said in the release. “We have worked to connect with our community about its unique challenges — including launching a survey to gather community data on the impact of retail theft in (the 40th Assembly District).” 

“This legislation will protect our local businesses and economy, ensure the public is safe, and meaningfully collaborate with law enforcement,” Schiavo added. “AB 2943, the bill in which I am proud to serve as a principal co-author, will play a crucial role in our broader strategy to combat retail theft, providing law enforcement and businesses with the tools they need to protect Californians. This legislation not only aims to disrupt the operations of crime rings but also ensures that our justice system is equipped to deal with modern challenges in retail theft.” 

At last week’s press conference announcing the legislative bill package, Rivas said, “The goal of the select committee was to act with focus and urgency, and also work to deliver comprehensive, holistic solutions to this problem. I can say that this morning, the Assembly is moving forward a comprehensive, balanced, and bipartisan legislative package that seeks to strengthen public safety, protect shoppers and business owners across California, and ensure that we deliver real, visible, quality of life improvements to Californians.” 

The California Chamber of Commerce also joined the press conference in support of the legislative bill package. “The listening and collaboration that has gone on has been really key to making sure that this is a comprehensive and effective package that will give law enforcement the tools they need to address this issue in a swift and effective manner,” said a statement from the chamber in the release from Schiavo’s office. 

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