Sacramento, CA — A California lawmaker is trying to crackdown on criminals that are finding ways to take advantage of voter approved Proposition 47, which reduced the penalties of several crimes.
For example, a burglary or theft is now considered a misdemeanor, as opposed to a felony, if the stolen items have a combined value of less than $950.
In an interview with Clarke Broadcasting, Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson said several criminals are realizing this, and are strategically keeping the amount of stolen items under that dollar figure.
Patterson says, “Criminals know that there is little to no punishment for committing these crimes, they know exactly what they can get away with, and they steal accordingly. We even have stories of criminals using calculators to figure out when they get to that $950 number. Then they stash the stuff they have stolen, and come back.”
Patterson has introduced AB 2369, which would allow judges to sentence anyone that has been convicted three times of certain crimes, within a span of three years, to a felony instead of a misdemeanor.
Patterson says the recommendation to introduce the bill has come from several law enforcement officials, District Attorneys and victims of crime. He adds, “California is seeing an explosion in violent crime, and small businesses being burglarized regularly. We are seeing a lot people that are simply rushing into a small market, grabbing up as much as they can, and running out the front door. There is a growing fear amongst people that sadly crime is getting out of control.”
In addition, Patterson says AB 2369 would make gun theft an automatic felony, regardless of the dollar amount.