Bill cracking down on organized retail crime moves in Arizona



(The Center Square) – A bill to strengthen penalties for those consistently found guilty of organized retail crime has made it out of the Arizona House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

The bill would make someone a “category two repetitive offender” in sentencing after the third or higher organized retail crime offense, according to the text of House Bill 2435.

The six Republicans on the committee voted in favor of advancing the bill, whereas the three Democrats voted against it.

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said it would give the justice system “leeway in sentencing.”

“My office is receiving far too many organized retail theft cases,” she said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The bill is sponsored by Republican House Speaker Ben Toma, who said that the bill will stop issues with retail crime in states like California. In the Golden State, retailers in cities like San Francisco are closing brick-and-mortar stores and locking up products as rampant theft is impacting business performance.

“California may tolerate lawlessness, but HB 2435 tells criminals that Arizona will not tolerate criminals stealing off our shelves in broad daylight,” Toma said, adding that this bill would be “holding these bad actors accountable.”

Toma and Mitchell clarified that intent is the big difference between organized retail theft and shoplifting, as organized crime usually implies reselling the goods stolen.

“In many of these multi-jurisdictional cases, the punishment efforts are limited under the current law,” Mitchell said.

The county attorney told The Center Square that local officials play a crucial role in how laws are enforced on matters of retail crime.

“It’s not who’s in the White House or who’s at the U.S. Capitol. It’s who the city council people are, whether they support and fund the police, and it’s who your district attorney or county attorney is. So my role, and when you have a city council that does not fund and support the police, and you have a DA or a county attorney saying, ‘I’m not gonna enforce the law,’ you get the disaster that has become Los Angeles or Chicago,” Mitchell said at the time.

Like any bill from the Arizona Legislature, it will need to make its way out of both chambers before heading to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ desk, who vetoed 143 Republican bills last session, according to Arizona Capitol Times.

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below



Share post:


More like this

Legislation adds hurdles to mobile home park owners looking to sell property

(The Center Square) – A measure advancing at the...

Feds, scientists take fire for allegedly hiding COVID origins truth

A Republican-led Congressional committee says a scientist and top...