California State Legislature

Bill Title Theft: aggregation: organized retail theft.
Hispanic Sponsors CA Assemb. Philip "Phil" Ting (D-CA-019); CA Assemb. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-CA-059); CA Assemb. Rob Bonta (D-CA-018); CA Assemb. Sabrina Cervantes (D-CA-060); CA Assemb. Shirley Weber (D-CA-079)
Date Introduced 02/16/2017
NHCSL Task Force
Law and Criminal Justice
Primary Issue Area Law
Issue Areas
Civil law
Criminal justice
Session 2017-2018 Regular Session


(1) existing law, the safe neighborhoods and schools act, enacted as an initiative statute by proposition 47, as approved by the electors at the november 4, 2014, statewide general election, makes the theft of money, labor, or property petty theft, punishable as a misdemeanor, whenever the value of the property taken does not exceed $950. Proposition 47 requires shoplifting, defined as entering a commercial establishment with the intent to commit larceny where the property taken does not exceed $950, to be punished as a misdemeanor. Proposition 47 requires that the act of shoplifting be charged as shoplifting and prohibits a person who is charged with shoplifting to be charged with burglary or theft of the same property. The california constitution authorizes the legislature to amend an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors. This bill would make it a misdemeanor or a felony to commit organized retail theft, defined as conspiring with 2 or more persons to commit theft of merchandise with the intent to sell the stolen property or to place the stolen property in the control of a retail property fence. The bill would make this provision effective only upon approval by the voters, and would require the submission of this measure to the voters for approval at the statewide general election. (2) existing law generally requires that a person arrested for a misdemeanor be released upon his or her signed promise to appear in court at a later specified date, unless one of specified reasons exists for nonrelease, including, among others, when the person arrested is so intoxicated that he or she could be a danger to himself or herself or others, the person arrested requires medical care, or the person arrested has outstanding arrest warrants. This bill would add an arrest for shoplifting within 180 days of having previously been convicted of shoplifting as a reason for nonrelease.