California Retailers Urge Crackdown On Rampant Retail Theft

Nine years ago, California voters thought it was a good idea to reclassify offenses such as shoplifting and grand theft as misdemeanors. After reaping the harvest of their ill-advised decision, retailers in particular are pushing hard to reverse Proposition 47.

That 2014 ballot initiative was aimed at reducing incarceration rates and epitomized the soft-on-crime approach ravaging U.S. cities. The results are clear and dramatic.

California is in the middle of a rampant outbreak of retail crime and drug offenses that are ripping apart the very fabric of society. Now, the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act seeks to reverse the damage and restore felony status to these crimes.

In a letter to the Daily Caller News Foundation, the California Retailers Association stressed the importance of getting the current wave of lawlessness under control.

The group declared “This issue is too important to the safety of our employees, our customers, and the communities in which we operate to not find effective solutions.”

Shoplifting in the Golden State skyrocketed a staggering 28.7% in 2022, with the San Francisco Bay Area being among the hardest hit. Since radical leftist Gov. Gavin Newsom took office in 2019, commercial robberies surged 13.3%.

California led the way in electing so-called progressive prosecutors who sided with defendants over the rights of victims. But the predictable results of this mistake took their toll on its citizens, who now demand a return to traditional justice.

Polls show the number of Californians who identify crime as a significant concern rose by 20 points in the last three years.

A period which, incidentally, coincides with Newsom’s reign.

Now voters in 2024 will have the opportunity to reconsider that 2014 ballot initiative that downgraded felonies to misdemeanors. Retailers are pushing hard for its passage, and Walmart alone bankrolled $500,000 for the effort to clamp down on out-of-control crime.

The California Grocers Association represents such prominent retail companies such as Costco and Safeway. The group’s Daniel Conway said the issue is no longer an abstraction in voter’s minds.

He explained, “This is something people see and experience. People see folks pushing shopping carts out. They see people taking things, or they see security guards in front of their local grocery store.”

It remains to be seen if voters are angry enough to roll back the 2014 initiative. A similar effort to fight rampant theft failed in 2020.

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