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Police, Shop Owners Worry Proposition 47 May Lead To Increase In Shoplifting

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Police and store owners are concerned a measure recently passed by California voters could lead to an increase in shoplifting this holiday season.

Proposition 47 reduced the penalties and sentences for low-level drug and property crimes. This means shoplifting, forgery, fraud, and petty theft can now be treated as misdemeanors instead of felons, allowing some criminals in jail to go free.

Elk Grove Police spokesman Chris Trimm says officers are hoping would-be criminals don't get a jump on shoppers and stores after the passage of Prop. 47.

"We really don't know what that outcome will be," he said.

Some Black Friday shoppers like Lois Tannehill believe the new rules are putting them at risk.

"The ones that went in for that are going to be back out again. Are they going to repeat or what?" she said.

Prop. 47 or not, Arden Fair security personnel are on the lookout for any would-be criminals. They'll have hundreds of high-definition cameras scanning Black Friday shoppers inside the mall and out in the parking lots.

"We have 224 cameras right now, and we're adding 42 more cameras after the first of the year," said mall security spokesman Steve Reed.

Judges say the next six months will be the busiest with Prop. 47 cases, and the ballot measure didn't provide additional funds to hear all the cases.

But the law is expected to save money in the long run as a result of reduced incarceration rates.

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