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AB-1772 Theft: aggregation.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/22/2019 09:00 PM
AB1772:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1772


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 487 of the Penal Code, relating to theft.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1772, as introduced, Chau. Theft: aggregation.
Existing law, the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, enacted as an initiative statute by Proposition 47, as approved by the electors at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election, requires the theft of money, labor, or property to be considered petty theft, punishable as a misdemeanor, whenever the value of the property taken does not exceed $950.
Existing California Supreme Court case law allows the value of property taken pursuant to distinct acts of theft to be aggregated to a single count of grand theft if motivated by one intention, one general impulse, and one plan. Existing appellate case law allows the value of property from more than one victim to be aggregated if the thefts were accomplished as a result of one scheme or plan to defraud the victims and a single intent to act.
This bill would specify that if the value of the money, labor, real property, or personal property taken exceeds $950 over the course of distinct but related acts, whether committed against one or more victims, the value of the money, labor, real property, or personal property taken may properly be aggregated to charge a count of grand theft, if the acts are motivated by one intention, one general impulse, and one plan. The bill would state that these changes are declaratory of existing law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting Section 2 of this act to affirm the holding in People v. Bailey (1961) 55 Cal.2d 514 that the value of property taken in a series of thefts may appropriately be aggregated to charge a single count of grand theft when an individual is motivated by one intention, one general impulse, and one plan and to affirm the holding in People v. Columbia Research Corp. (1980) 103 Cal.App.3d Supp. 33 that a series of thefts from more than one victim may be cumulated to charge grand theft if the series of thefts was accomplished as a result of one scheme or plan to defraud the victims and a single intent to act.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares that it was not the intent of the voters in enacting the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, enacted as an initiative statute by Proposition 47, at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election to abrogate these holdings to the benefit of persons committing theft of property exceeding $950 in value over the course of successive but related acts.
(c) The Legislature, consistent with the holding in People v. Segura (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1282, finds and declares that crimes, including, but not limited to, petty theft crimes, committed pursuant to a conspiracy, present a greater evil than crimes committed by an individual and are properly charged under Section 182 of the Penal Code.
(d) It is not the intent of the Legislature to alter the scope or effect of Proposition 47, but to codify existing case law clarifying that theft committed pursuant to one general intent and initial design may properly be charged as grand theft if the value of the money, labor, real property, or personal property taken pursuant to that plan exceeds $950.

SEC. 2.

 Section 487 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

487.
 Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases:
(a) When the money, labor, or real or personal real property, or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), except as provided in subdivision (b).
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), grand theft is committed in any of the following cases:
(1) (A) When domestic fowls, avocados, olives, citrus or deciduous fruits, other fruits, vegetables, nuts, artichokes, or other farm crops are taken of a value exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
(B) For the purposes of establishing that the value of domestic fowls, avocados, olives, citrus or deciduous fruits, other fruits, vegetables, nuts, artichokes, or other farm crops under this paragraph exceeds two hundred fifty dollars ($250), that value may be shown by the presentation of credible evidence which establishes that on the day of the theft domestic fowls, avocados, olives, citrus or deciduous fruits, other fruits, vegetables, nuts, artichokes, or other farm crops of the same variety and weight exceeded two hundred fifty dollars ($250) in wholesale value.
(2) When fish, shellfish, mollusks, crustaceans, kelp, algae, or other aquacultural products are taken from a commercial or research operation which is producing that product, of a value exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250).
(3) Where the money, labor, or real or personal real property, or personal property is taken by a servant, agent, or employee from his or her principal or employer and aggregates nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or more in any 12 consecutive month period.
(c) When the property is taken from the person of another.
(d) When the property taken is any of the following:
(1) An automobile.
(2) A firearm.
(e) If the value of the money, labor, real property, or personal property taken exceeds nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) over the course of distinct but related acts, whether committed against one or more victims, the value of the money, labor, real property, or personal property taken may properly be aggregated to charge a count of grand theft, if the acts are motivated by one intention, one general impulse, and one plan.

SEC. 3.

 The amendment of Section 487 of the Penal Code made by this act does not constitute a change in, but is declaratory of, existing law.