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California Police Chiefs Associations Wants To Amend Prop 47 To Reinstate Felonies For Theft

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - The California Police Chiefs Association says Proposition 47 isn't working and they want it amended so more criminals get caught and prosecuted.

Voters passed Prop 47 in November 2014. It changed a number of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, including changing the dollar threshold for a theft to be considered a felony. The law used to consider theft a felony if the stolen merchandise was valued at 450 dollars or more. Under Prop 47 the threshold is now 950 dollars.

According to the Keep California Safe initiative, which is sponsored by the California Police Chiefs Association, "As a result (of Prop 47), there has been an explosion of serial theft and an inability of law enforcement to prosecute these crimes effectively. Theft has increased by 12% to 25%, with losses of a billion dollars since the law was passed."

READ MORE: Grab And Dash Thefts On The Rise; Police Blame Law Meant To Make 'Neighborhoods Safe'

The Association believes retailers statewide are not reporting a number of crimes that don't meet the felony threshold, which has led to an inaccurate assessment of the effects of Prop 47.

The Keep California Safe initiative would amend Prop 47 to include a felony for "serial theft." A person caught stealing merchandise valued at more than 250 dollars three times would face felony charges.

The initiative also calls for a number of other amendments:

  • Expands the list of violent crimes for which early release isn't an option, including rape of an unconscious person, trafficking a child for sex, assault of a peace officer, felony domestic violence
  • Reinstates DNA collection for certain crimes that were reduced to misdemeanors
  • Requires Board of Parole Hearings to consider an inmate's entire criminal history when deciding parole, not just his/her most recent commitment offense
  • Requires a mandatory hearing to determine if parole should be revoked for any parolee who violates the terms of parole for the third time
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