- Richard Garcia
(Sacramento – July 21, 2021) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law legislation on organized retail crimes authored by California State Assemblymember and Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-south Los Angeles).
Assembly Bill (AB) 331, sponsored by the California Retailers Association (CRA), re-authorizes funding to the California Highway Patrol property crimes task force through January 1, 2026, providing needed resources the taskforce needs to investigate organized retail thefts and the crime organizations responsible for the crimes and retrieve stolen property taken from retailers.
“As we continue to see a rising problem of sophisticated theft operations throughout California, the signing of AB 331 to reenact the crime of organized retail theft and the operation of the CHP property crimes task force could not come soon enough," said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “As the Chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, I brought this bill forward in collaboration with the California Retailer’s Association so that I may continue to honor my commitment to enact effective legislation that balances tackling pressing public safety issues with preserving the progress we have made in criminal justice reform efforts.”
In December 2020, the National Retail Federation (NRF) released their most recent Organized Retail Crime study and found that organized retail theft continues to be a problem with losses averaging $719,548 per every $1 billion in sales over the past year. This is the fifth year in a row since 2015 that losses resulted in over $700,000. Furthermore, among the top 10 cities affected by organized retail crime, three are in California with Los Angeles ranked first followed by San Francisco and Sacramento at fifth and tenth, respectively.
“Especially when we have seen businesses being forced to close in recent weeks, it is imperative we ensure CHP and local law enforcement groups have the adequate resources they need to put a stop to organized retail theft rings,” added Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “Thank you Governor Newsom for protecting our communities with the continued operation of these effective tools with your signing of AB 331.”
Upon the Governor’s signature, AB 331 goes into effect immediately.
Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer represents the communities of South Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, Huntington Park, and Exposition Park. For more information about Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, please visit https://a59.asmdc.org/