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California Grocers Association Lauds Legislation To Help Stop Serial Theft

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 09:16 am

The California Grocers Association (CGA) is supporting and co-sponsoring a bill that would provide grocers and other retailers with relief from the recent spike in shoplifting.

Assembly Bill 1326 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), and co-authored by assemblymembers Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), will aggregate the dollar value of certain property crimes, such as shoplifting and check fraud, with a felony being charged if a suspect’s total dollar value from such crimes surpasses $950 in a 12-month period.

According to CGA, this legislation will provide grocers and other retailers with relief from increases in theft since 2014 when changes in state law more than doubled the felony threshold for many property crimes from $450 to $950.

“California’s grocers have seen a steady increase of criminals shoplifting higher amounts of goods at higher rates,” said Ron Fong, president and CEO of CGA, adding that shoplifters and organized crime rings now commit multiple thefts, day-after-day, but below the $950 felony threshold.

“This is bad for grocers who suffer high losses, bad for employees who are put in harm’s way due to the increased aggressive nature of these thefts, and bad for shoppers who ultimately pay the consequences at the register,” he added.

Many CGA retail members have seen double-digit, and in some cases triple-digit, percentage increases in losses from shoplifting and organized retail crime rings over the past five years, with a notable spike beginning after 2014.

“We look forward to collaborating with Assemblymember Cooper to pass this sensible piece of legislation,” said Fong. “We urge the California Legislature to help grocers, their employees and consumers turn back this alarming crime growth by passing AB 1326.”

If AB 1326 is passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, it then must be approved by voters at the next general election before its provisions can go into effect.

Additional co-sponsors of AB 1326 include the California Police Chiefs Association and Crime Victims United California.

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The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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