Sacramento, CA – The California Assembly unanimously passed a bill that stiffens the penalties for those caught stealing livestock. Assemblyman Frank Bigelow authored Assembly Bill 924.
Bigelow says, “With the passage of AB 924, California is one step closer to ensuring that people convicted of a crime are properly punished. AB 924 is a small but important step to help protect farmers and livestock owners from theft and would help ensure that when theft does occur; those cases are closed in a reasonable timeframe.”
If passed, AB 924 would provide penalty enhancements for those convicted of livestock grand theft based on the total value of the livestock stolen. For example, theft of livestock exceeding a value of $15,000 will enable a District Attorney to add an additional term to a criminal sentence. The bill will also limit probation for repeat offenders and, in a response to prison overcrowding, provides flexibility for a prosecutor to limit jail time for repeat offenders to 30 days. The bill would establish a fine to be paid to the Bureau of Livestock Identification (CDFA) to provide additional funding for future investigations involving livestock theft.
Bigelow’s bill has the support of the Members of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). It now moves to the Senate for a vote.