Sacramento, CA — California is the auto theft capital of the country, with six cities on the most recent top ten list for auto theft hot spots.
California´s auto theft rate has accelerated rapidly over the past six years, and is now at more than 700 thefts per 100,000 population.
Current law states that the unauthorized taking or theft of a motor vehicle is punishable as a misdemeanor or felony.
A bill authored by Senator Chuck Poochigian requires that any person previously convicted of misdemeanor vehicle theft would be subject to a felony on a second violation.
“We must send a message to crime rings, gangs and low-level car thieves that the state is serious about protecting residents and their property. Law enforcement shouldn´t have to pursue and prosecute the same car thieves time and time again because our laws aren´t tough enough,”said Poochigian.
Senator Poochigian´s bill was heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee this week and will be voted on at the committee´s next hearing, on April 25th.
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh