Property crime is a major issue in the state of California. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, showed that property crime was up 6.6% in 2015, from the previous year and 41 of the state’s 58 counties had increases in property crime rates during the same time period. Naturally, the uptick in property crimes like theft and burglary can be attributed to a number of variables, but one major reason may be due to the level of punishment that accompanies such crimes.
In California, if a person steals something under the $950 in value and is caught, they are typically cited and released. Of course, such a light punishment isn’t likely to deter recidivism. In an effort to stiffen the penalties for property crime, California Senator Janet Nguyen introduced Senate Bill 284, which would give law enforcement the authority to book and hold violators who commit misdemeanor property crimes like burglary, theft, and shoplifting even if the stolen items are worth less the $950, OC Breeze reports. Senator Nguyen represents the 34th State Senate District, which includes a number of Southern Californian cities, including Santa Ana.
The bill is an important move for those living in Orange County, considering that the county saw a 23% increase in overall property crime in 2015, according to the article. Property crime may seem like an insignificant area to address; however, those who commit property crimes are more likely to advance to more serious offenses. Nipping this behavior in the bud early on may prevent such an occurrence.
“As a result of the minimal consequences for property theft, perpetrators face no accountability for their actions,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “SB 284 would give law enforcement officers the option to remove these offenders from the community as long as we can by law. The intent is to make it more difficult for perpetrators to re-offend and hinder their ability to commit multiple crimes in a short period of time. This is especially important because some violators tend to commit multiple crimes within the same day.”
We will continue to follow the progress of SB 284. With property crime, intent plays a huge roll. Attorney Ronald Brower has a great understanding property crime and how it is interpreted. If you are need of a lawyer for burglary or shoplifting, please contact us today.