HomeLatest NewsDeSantis Unleashes Bold Anti-Theft Initiative, Takes Aim at California and New York

DeSantis Unleashes Bold Anti-Theft Initiative, Takes Aim at California and New York

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Florida has taken a stand against “porch piracy” and retail theft. Ron DeSantis signed into law on Tuesday a bill to crack down on criminals involved in shoplifting rings or other property crimes. He also took a few shots at California, New York, and other states for being too lenient on criminals who commit these crimes.

State and local governments across the country are struggling to put a stop to these thefts, while others simply shrug. DeSantis, in a tweet on X, announced that he had signed the bill that would “increase the penalties for retail piracy, porch piracy, and using social media as a tool to incite looting.” He also pointed out that many leftist jurisdictions have policies that ignore or encourage retail theft.

These policies will die in Florida. We prosecute criminals.

DeSantis attacked California’s and New York’s policies during a press event held the same day.

Look at California. They passed Proposition 47, which allows retail thefts to be charged as misdemeanors, even though it was traditionally a felony. This means that they are charged with multiple retail theft offenses. They were held accountable. They get a slap. New York has eliminated cash bail for many crimes, including retail theft. Now, you only get a felony charge for thefts of more than $1,000. Anything less gets you a desk appearance ticket that has caused people to loot shops and loot $999. They leave, knowing they won’t be held responsible.

Theft of retail goods is on the rise in America. Big box stores have even been forced to close in some areas due to crime.

According to DeSantis, retail theft is a major problem across the country, exacerbated by social media-organized incidents of looting. Retailers will suffer losses totaling $112 billion alone in 2022.

A news release by the Governor’s Office stated that jurisdictions such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and others have seen a sharp increase in theft.

DeSantis has confirmed that since his appointment, Florida has seen a significant 30 percent drop in incidents of shoplifting.

The new legislation increases the punishments for anyone caught committing such crimes.

You can read about HB 549’s key provisions that address these issues here.

Retail theft by five or more people is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Social media use to encourage others to commit retail thefts involving five people or more is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Retail theft with multiple convictions or involving firearms is classified as a first-degree felony. The maximum sentence is 30 years.

The time limit for charging multiple retail thefts with a felony has been extended from 30 to 120 days.

The bill also increases the penalties for porch pirates:

Theft under $40 in value is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The third-degree felony is charged for subsequent violations.

Theft is a crime of the third degree if it involves property worth $40 or more.

Florida has made the right decision. The government should take a proactive role to prevent shoplifting, porch piracy, and looting.

Some misguided people on the left believe that leniency towards those who commit crimes of this nature is an effective way to reform the justice system. There are reforms to be made. But allowing others to violate their rights is not one.

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