Effectiveness of CHP Retail Task Force via AB1065 - Pt 1

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AB1065 NOT Proposition 47 created lax parameters for the release of those arrested for organized retail theft. AB1065 expired 1/1/2021 but was expanded via AB331 on 7/21/21.

Related article: Effectiveness of CHP Retail Task Force via AB331 - Pt 2 |  

ABC7 news, in conjunction with coverage of a violent robbery in Chinatown on Thursday, interviewed Assemblyman Reggie-Jones Sawyer who touted the effectiveness of AB1065 a bill he cosponsored in 2018. The bill created a California Highway Patrol Retail Task Force which according to the ABC reporter " was designed to partner the CHP, local law enforcement and the Department of justice to "investigate crimes."   

However, it should be noted AB1065 expired 1/1/21 and was updated & replaced by AB331 which the Assemblyman also co-sponsored on 1/27/21 and was signed by the Governor 7/21/21. AB331 expires in 2026. 

The statistics Assemblyman Sawyer cited, as the effectiveness of the Task Force, and justification for another $200 million for expansion coincided with an announcement earlier this week by the Governor.  California to Make Largest-ever Investment to Combat Organized Retail Crime | California Governor

Those elements of success, based on $200,000,000 spent, using an unspecified time span include:

  • Recovery of >$25 million in stolen goods (at a ratio of cost to recovery  200:25  or 8:1)
  • 645 arrests (at a base/average cost of $816k per arrest)
  • Incarceration 

The bill actually clarifies the parameters of the vilified Proposition 47 which established a threshold of $950 for misdemeanor vs felony.  It never established a go ahead and steal because you-do-not-go-to-jail threshold.

...requires shoplifting, defined as entering a commercial establishment with the intent to commit larceny where the property taken does not exceed $950, to be punished as a misdemeanor. Proposition 47 requires that the act of shoplifting be charged as shoplifting and prohibits a person who is charged with shoplifting from being charged with burglary or theft of the same property.

AB1065 text expired January 2021 and elements included:

  • Establishing jurisdiction as including the county where:
    • an offense occurred (theft or receipt of stolen merchandise)
    • the merchandise was recovered OR
    • any act was done by the dendant in instigating, procuring, promoting, or aiding in the commission of the offense.
  • Requiring the CA Highway Patrol to in coordination with the Dept of Justice
    • Convene a regional property crimes task force...in counties identified by the CHP as having elevated levels of property crime
    • Provide local law enforcement in said identified regions with logistical support and other resources....including personnel and equipment....
  • Authorize a city or county prosecuting attorney or a county probation department to create a diversion or deferred entry of judgment program for persons who commit repeat theft offenses, as specified. 
    • if the person completes program requirements such as community service and 
    • makes adequate restitution or an appropriate substitute for restitution to the establishment or person from which property was stolen.

The three regions identified for the Organized Retail Crime Task Forces (ORCTF) according to the CA Highway Patrol website were:

  • Golden Gate Division (encompassing the greater Bay Area)
  • Southern Division (encompassing the greater Los Angeles region)
  • Border Division (encompassing Orange and San Diego counties).

However, the announcement by the Governor suggests 55 cities and counties beyond these three divisions to distribute, if approved, $267 million:

....on October 1, 2023, to police departments, sheriffs’ departments, and district attorney offices in every region of the state to prevent and investigate cases of organized retail theft and arrest and prosecute more suspects.

Further into the press release the details of the distribution is broken down as "seven counties and 34 cities" Recommended funding levels and project scopes for each agency are available on BSCC’s website.

California to Make Largest-ever Investment to Combat Organized Retail Crime | California Governor

Worker left brutally beaten after violent robbery at Chinatown boutique - ABC7 Los Angeles

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