Second Hearing will Take Place in West Hollywood on February 9, 2024
SACRAMENTO, CA — The Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft has announced that it will conduct its second hearing, which it will hold jointly with the Assembly Public Safety Committee. The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, February 9, 2024, at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers. The second hearing will focus on exploring solutions for retail crime from a variety of state and local experts. The hearing will also focus on addressing challenges related to the fencing and reselling of stolen goods.
"What is happening is unacceptable," said Democratic Caucus Chair and Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur. "Many of us have seen the footage of stores being emptied – and have experienced the inconvenience of having to call somebody over to unlock everyday items. Businesses fear for their livelihood and employees are concerned for their safety – and members of the public worry it may no longer be safe to frequent their neighborhood stores. We must hold professional criminals accountable and shut down distribution channels and fencing operations for stolen goods. At the same time, we must learn from the mistakes of the past and take steps that will actually deter crime and preserve those reforms that have made our communities safer. I look forward to hearing the recommendations of state and local stakeholders."
"California grapples with a surge in recurring retail thefts, bringing a sense of insecurity among residents, and impacting businesses significantly," said Assembly Public Safety Committee Chair Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). "It's crucial we reassess our public safety laws to ensure repeat offenders are held accountable for their conduct. I am looking forward to Friday's joint hearing with the Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft, and working on common-sense, balanced solutions that will help keep California businesses open and our neighborhoods safe."
California State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas formed the Select Committee on Retail Theft in October 2023, naming Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) as Committee Chair. The Select Committee is comprised of bipartisan members from across the state, including from areas most impacted by retail theft. The Assembly Public Safety Committee also hears public safety bills related to retail crime.
Retail crime – which encompasses shoplifting, commercial burglary, and commercial robbery– has seen an alarming rise across the nation and acute areas of California, most notably, but not exclusively, in the Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Los Angeles County. Currently, Los Angeles County has the highest rate of commercial robbery, which is a violent crime defined as theft involving the threat or use of force. Commercial burglary has increased statewide, becoming the most common type of retail theft in recent years, and is at its highest rate since 2008. In 2022, Kern, San Francisco, and Fresno experienced the highest rates of commercial burglary, and rates in Fresno, Alameda, and Orange Counties were 50 percent higher than before the pandemic.
The Select Committee on Retail Theft will continue its work through the 2024 legislative session.
Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the California State Assembly and represents the 51st Assembly District, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and portions of Los Angeles.
CONTACT: Vienna Montague, (916) 319-2051, Vienna.Montague@asm.ca.gov