Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-331 Organized theft.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/16/2021 09:00 PM
AB331:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 16, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 331


Introduced by Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer

January 27, 2021


An act to amend Section 490.4 Sections 490.4 and 13899.1 of the Penal Code, relating to theft, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 331, as amended, Jones-Sawyer. Organized theft.
Existing law, until July 1, 2021, makes a person guilty of organized retail theft, punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony, as specified, if the person acts in concert with one or more persons to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplaces with the intent to sell or return the merchandise for value, acts in concert with 2 or more persons to receive, purchase, or possess merchandise knowing or believing it to have been stolen, acts as an agent of another to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplaces as part of an organized plan to commit theft, or recruits, coordinates, organizes, supervises, directs, manages, or finances another to undertake acts of theft.
This bill would extend the operation of the crime of organized retail theft indefinitely. until January 1, 2026. By extending the operation of an existing crime, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
Existing law, until July 1, 2021, requires the Department of the California Highway Patrol to coordinate with the Department of Justice to convene a regional property crimes task force to identify geographic areas experiencing increased levels of property crimes and assist local law enforcement with resources, such as personnel and equipment.
The bill would extend the operation of the regional property crimes task force until January 1, 2026.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 490.4 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

490.4.
 (a) A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of organized retail theft, and shall be punished pursuant to subdivision (b):
(1) Acts in concert with one or more persons to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplace with the intent to sell, exchange, or return the merchandise for value.
(2) Acts in concert with two or more persons to receive, purchase, or possess merchandise described in paragraph (1), knowing or believing it to have been stolen.
(3) Acts as an agent of another individual or group of individuals to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplaces as part of an organized plan to commit theft.
(4) Recruits, coordinates, organizes, supervises, directs, manages, or finances another to undertake any of the acts described in paragraph (1) or (2) or any other statute defining theft of merchandise.
(b) Organized retail theft is punishable as follows:
(1) If violations of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) are committed on two or more separate occasions within a 12-month period, and if the aggregated value of the merchandise stolen, received, purchased, or possessed within that 12-month period exceeds nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
(2) Any other violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a) that is not described in paragraph (1) of this subdivision is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.
(3) A violation of paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
(c) For the purpose of determining whether the defendant acted in concert with another person or persons in any proceeding, the trier of fact may consider any competent evidence, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The defendant has previously acted in concert with another person or persons in committing acts constituting theft, or any related offense, including any conduct that occurred in counties other than the county of the current offense, if relevant to demonstrate a fact other than the defendant’s disposition to commit the act.
(2) That the defendant used or possessed an artifice, instrument, container, device, or other article capable of facilitating the removal of merchandise from a retail establishment without paying the purchase price and use of the artifice, instrument, container, or device or other article is part of an organized plan to commit theft.
(3) The property involved in the offense is of a type or quantity that would not normally be purchased for personal use or consumption and the property is intended for resale.
(d) In a prosecution under this section, the prosecutor shall not be required to charge any other coparticipant of the organized retail theft.
(e) Upon conviction of an offense under this section, the court shall consider ordering, as a condition of probation, that the defendant stay away from retail establishments with a reasonable nexus to the crime committed.
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 13899.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

13899.1.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2021, January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure that existing protections against organized retail theft continue in effect, it is necessary for this act to take effect immediately.