By Lindsey Holden
California Democrats are taking on statewide retail theft, creating a dilemma for a party constantly facing “soft on crime” criticisms: how to tackle an issue of public concern without undoing criminal justice reforms.
The Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft met for the first time on Tuesday in Sacramento, just weeks before the full Legislature returns Jan. 3. The committee’s goal is to identify legislation to deal with shoplifting, commercial burglary and robberies.
Organized retail theft and “smash-and-grab” incidents have garnered significant public attention amid a barrage of viral security videos showing brazen crimes play out at big-box retailers and small businesses alike.
But the 11-member panel — nine of whom are Democrats — face a trapeze routine between cracking down on crime and satisfying the party’s progressive flank, which is committed to preventing a return to the punitive sentencing laws of decades past.
Source: Sacramento Bee