California lawmakers are thinking about a new bill, named SB 553, that could change how businesses deal with shoplifters. Some people are worried that this might lead to more thefts in the state.
San Francisco is “worse than Afghanistan”: Immigrant store owner begs city for help amid theft epidemichttps://t.co/wX4Qqx7wTY
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The new bill says that workers at businesses should not have to face shoplifters. The state Senate has already said “yes” to this by a vote of 29-8. Now, it’s up to the Assembly to decide.
Sadly, California has seen a big rise in shoplifting and other crimes recently. After the sad event of George Floyd’s death in 2020, the crime rate went through the moon.
Changes in California’s laws have made things worse, say many conservatives. A rule called Proposition 47, passed in 2014, lowered the punishment for stealing stuff worth less than $950. Crimes that used to be considered very serious are now less serious. Many critics think the state isn’t doing enough to stop crime. The official numbers show that shoplifting went down before shooting up again since 2020. One reason for this is that many thefts weren’t looked into.
Fox News says that the rise in shoplifting lets people sell stolen stuff, sometimes even openly.
This increase in theft is causing many businesses to leave the state. This is especially true for the city of San Francisco. About half of the stores in downtown San Francisco have now closed since the pandemic and the 2020 riots began.
Big retailers like Gap, DSW, and Ray-Ban have left the city. Even Whole Foods, a popular store, announced in April that it was closing also.
A Target store in San Francisco had to secure its goods because theft was happening so much. Three of the top ten cities with a lot of organized retail theft are in California. San Francisco and Oakland are ranked number two, only behind Los Angeles.
San Francisco has said it will pay police officers more. This came after we learned that the city didn’t have enough police officers. It was missing about a quarter of the officers it needed.