The Safe Neighborhoods Act expanded the range of criminal activity to the extent that thefts from small businesses in California increased by $1 billion since its passage in 2014.
Robbery has increased between 12% and 25%, with losses of $1 billion since the law (also called Proposition 47) was passed, according to the keepcalsafe.org initiative, supported by the California Association of Chiefs of Police and many residents, according to The Western Journal of September 28.
The same initiative explains that “Prop. 47 changed the dollar threshold for theft to be considered a felony—from $450 to $950.”
While the goal in passing the law was to help reduce the prison population, giving more room for offenders to maneuver shows that the results have been adverse.
“In states where the felony threshold has increased, over half report an increase in (organized retail theft) case value,” said the National Retail Federation’s annual survey report cited by CBS13 Sacramento.
One of the thieves’ procedures is to run into stores and leave loaded with goods. CBS13 found that while the rate of these crimes is rising, the arrest rate is dropping.
Thus, CBS13 also reported that both police and industry blame California’s law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”
“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson of the Vacaville Police when referring to the attitude of the criminals, according to CBS.
Lieutenant Donaldson explained that the trend has already turned into organized robbery and is found throughout the state of California.
According to the data, there were 746 retail robberies in Vacaville, Solano County last year, and more than half of the suspects escaped. As of 2017, Vacaville had an estimated population of 100,328.
A businesswoman who was forced to close her business in California criticized on Aug. 16 the large number of crimes and homeless people that have proliferated in the state under the policies of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.
She said she had to clean feces, urine, and syringes from her hairdresser business’s door every day before opening.
“You want to make a ‘sanctuary state’, you want to please everyone except those of us who work hard and try to make our way in life,” the woman said.
Legislation in the state of California has often been controversial because of its tendency to be more tolerant of crime and less supportive of law enforcement efforts.
That was the case, for example, with a bill repealing the California Posse Comitatus Act, which made it a crime to refuse to help police when requested to make an arrest, signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 3, according to local media The Sacramento Bee.
On the other hand, state law allows illegal immigrants who commit crimes not to be turned over to immigration authorities and released back into society, immigration attorney Ester Valdes told The BL.