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California savors the unintended consequences of reducing penalties for theft

California savors the unintended consequences of reducing penalties for theft

Grab & Dash thefts increase after penalties substantially reduced by “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act”

Astute Legal Insurrection readers may recall that in 2014, nearly 60% of California voters approved Proposition 47—ironically known as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” The measure reduced the classification of most nonviolent property and drug crimes—including theft and fraud for amounts up to $950—from a felony to a misdemeanor.

It was a feel-good solution to address the over-crowding in the prisons related to California’s 3-strikes law. A couple years after its passage, police in San Jose were dealing with a surge in violent crime; however, Proposition 47 supporters were unmoved.

Tom Hoffman, one of the architects of Proposition 47, which downgraded felony classifications for a series of drug possession and petty theft crimes, sympathizes with police agencies. But the former West Sacramento deputy police chief who oversaw state parole in the late 2000s asserts that incarceration can no longer be a reflexive penalty.

“I thought like they did until I was head of state parole,” Hoffman said. “We have to begin to respond differently to nonviolent crimes, especially those that have to do with a separate core cause like homelessness, drug addiction or unemployment. We have to be thoughtfully realistic about the world we find ourselves in. We can’t lock up everybody.”

It appears nonviolent crime is also escalating. CBS13 Sacramento has a chilling report about nearby Vacaville, where “Grab and Dash” thefts are on the rise.

You’ve likely seen the videos on social media or the local news: groups of people rushing into a store, grabbing armfuls of merchandise. The brazen crimes are on the rise and CBS13 has learned, in most cases, the crooks get away from authorities.

After searching police reports and arrest records, CBS13 found that while the rate of these grab and dash crimes is on the rise, the rate of arrest is down. We turned to law enforcement and the retail industry for answers. Both blame a California law intended to make “neighborhoods safe.”

“It’s a boldness like we’re seeing never before and just a disregard for fellow human beings,” said Lieutenant Mark Donaldson, Vacaville PD.

He explained these crimes have evolved into more than just shoplifting. It’s organized retail theft and he says it’s happening across the state. Cities like Vacaville, with outlets and shopping centers located near major freeways, tend to be a target for these organized retail crime rings.

Theft is now considered a misdemeanor if it is for less than $950. The thieves or so bold, that when caught, they simply ask for their ticket before they are released.

The Police Chiefs Association are hoping to get a new ballot measure approved: “Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020.” It would restore the penalties for serial thieves and theft gangs.

These developments may help explain the shocking report recently published by the Los Angeles Times: Conservatives want to flee the state.

…[C]onservatives, also frequently suggested they wanted to leave — and for a very different reason: They feel alienated from the state’s political culture.

Republicans and conservative voters were nearly three times as likely to have seriously considered moving as their Democratic or liberal counterparts — 40% compared with 14%, the poll found. The conservative voters mentioned taxes and California’s political climate as a reason for leaving more frequently than they cited housing.

“If the people who are giving serious consideration for leaving are indeed going to follow through, the state will continue to get bluer and bluer,” said Mark DiCamillo, the director of the Berkeley IGS poll. “That has huge political implications.”

Rumor has it that the state will soon change its motto from “Eureka” to “Unintended Consequences.”


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Come on. Who could have possibly seen that coming? ;p

$950 steals a really nice big screen or smart phone in exchange for a paltry court summons. Idiotfornia.

I’m guessing shopping lists with prices are all the rage for flash mobs with larceny in their black hearts.

Why doesn’t California just do away with their 3 strike law instead of trying to work around it with asinine solutions like this? The constantly talk about how they think the 3 strike law is unfair, but they keep it on the books? WHY!?

Who says the consequences were unintended?

Theft and extortion from the hardworking taxpayers to their supporters has always been in their playbook. This just cuts out the middleman.

If you are going to declare war on capitalism, as the Democrats have, might as well go all the way.

    This is in fact a real war on capitalism. It’s effectively Communism. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” i.e. as much as they can steal. The end result will be the same. The producers will shut down their stores and the thieves will moan and groan and complain about “white (or Korean, or Chinese, or Vietnamese) privilege” .

What’s next in the land of fruits and nuts? 1st time rape is a misdemeanor … pay the $25 fine. Cheaper than a ho …

Unintended consequences…

So much bulls**t. The consequences are foreseeable. The virtue signaling Occasional-Cortez likes to pretend they’re not. And that pretending makes her morally pure.

She is pure evil.

I like my dog. But then, so did Hitler. Blondie.

When push comes to shove I’m not for letting the b*** get away with, “Oh well, I may have frozen a few ten thousand people to death last winter with my Green Nude Eel but I insist my heart was in the right place. And you are only concerned with being factually correct not morally correct like me. your superior being.”


Why would anyone want to OWN a retail outlet in CA?

    MAJack in reply to herm2416. | September 28, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Or live there?

      snopercod in reply to MAJack. | September 28, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Being a man ahead of my time, I left in ’84

        Native Californian, I left in 1961… before the general insanity could take hold of me. For years I dreamed of going back to see the neighborhood, but that dream has died. It died miserably.

          You left in 1961? When California was still an awesome place to live? And this is a bragging point? A feather in the cap?

          Sanddog in reply to amwick. | September 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm

          My Grandfather, who lived in the bay area, wrote a letter to Herb Caen which ended up published in the San Francisco chronicle in the 60’s. In that letter, he said this to describe California: He said, it was if someone tilted the United States on end and all the refuse ended up in California.

          California’s decline took decades.

      Other than the best agricultural soil in the US? Some of the most productive farms, orchards and vineyards in the world?

      Gosh, I dunno why.

        Tiki in reply to Tiki. | September 28, 2019 at 5:54 pm

        Someone hates Vina Loam.

        “The Vina series consists of very deep, well drained soils on floodplains. Taxonomic class: Coarse-loamy, mixed, superactive, thermic Pachic Haploxerolls.”

        Someone hates figs:

        California ranks first in the nation in fig production.

        Someone hates tomatoes:

        California ranks first in fresh tomato production.

        Someone hates rice.

        Arkansas first, California second.

        Someone hates walnuts:

        California is the country’s top walnut producing state.

        Someone hates almonds:

        California is the country’s largest walnut producer.

        Someone hates olives and olive oil.

        Yes, that’s right. California.

          Voyager in reply to Tiki. | September 28, 2019 at 10:28 pm

          California has incredible natural resources. Unfortunately, they also have a government that seems determined to burn the state to the ground. All the wonderful loam in the world will not help you when the government has diverted the rivers into the sea.

          Interesting fact, Southern Iraq was one of the breadbaskets of the world, however as part of one of Saddam’s plans to get rid of a troublesome population in the area, they diverted all of the rivers away from the region and turned the region into the desert we saw in the news in the first Gulf War. Where water still flows, you can pluck dates off of the palms an eat them as you go. I’ve read they are absolutely heavenly. But, most of the region is now dead.

          iconotastic in reply to Tiki. | September 28, 2019 at 11:02 pm

          You missed garlic. California is the nation’s top produce of garlic.

          Until, of course, the leftists kill that industry too.

      OnPoint in reply to MAJack. | September 30, 2019 at 8:10 am

      I was a fourth-generation Californian. I’m now a proud Texan. California is increasingly a 3rd world shithole.

My rant:

People living in the SF Bay Area simply don’t care what happens to people living outside the region. They don’t care if valley farmers get their water cutoff, or that poor forestry management in the Plumas National Forest leads to catastrophic wildfires in the Sierra (they were concerned during the Santa Rosa and Camp Fires because offshore winds pushed thick, ashy, particle laden smoke into bay area suburbs – and the wine moms had to wear particle masks (le shudder!). Otherwise, they just don’t give a damn.

The same attitude applies to everything else. Homeless aren’t breaking and entering homes in Mill Valley or San Mateo Highlands (I lived there 30 years) neighborhoods – they’re breaking and entering homes in working class neighborhoods in Redding, Willows, Oroville, Shasta City. And again, bay area leftists living in Mountain View simply don’t care what happens to people living in Shasta City. In fact, after the Carr Fire leftist message boards here in California were filled with “f them, they voted for Trump” comments (valley and mountain counties generally vote center right.)

    iconotastic in reply to Tiki. | September 28, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    Thank the Supreme Court for all of that. Reynolds v Simms turned all the states into hellholes controlled by the cities. If the States are the laboratory of democracy then we can see what the national public vote will accomplish.

Eastwood Ravine | September 28, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Wouldn’t be surprised if California’s legislature and governor passed a harsh exit tax to keep its citizens from leaving, even if it would be ruled unconstitutional.

The political consequences of conservatives abandoning California would be their voter registration would go to Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, or Texas. And California loses its productive class whose money they need.

Democracy with “benefits”.

Subotai Bahadur | September 28, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Noting in addition that being misdemeanors, the police really do not put that much effort into catching anybody as they have more than enough serious felonies to deal with. So the odds of getting that ticket are minimal. And, if they do catch a misdemeanant, there is the chance that they will be of a PC protected class, and therefore a risk to the career of the cop. So catching them has a bad risk-reward ratio.

Paralleling your rant. California does not care about this country. It is already more than halfway to the California of Kurt Schlichter’s novel PEOPLES’ REPUBLIC. When it collapses, I do not care what happens there. They made their choices, let the survivors handle it.

Subotai Bahadur

Our local Safeway just brought in “less-lethal” armed security guards. Within 2 days 95% of the homeless in a 6 block radius moved off to other areas as their source of free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and afternoon sodas vanished. They are now experimenting with facial recognition systems to prevent those who have been trespass-banned from the stores even gaining entry, and it is a banned in one, banned in all system. My feelings are that this is fine, but about 5 years too late. We are finally heading back to a system of punishing the criminals and not punishing everyone in the hopes that a few criminals are affected as well.

Ostensibly a lesser evil. However, this is minor compared to other liberalizations, where they practice color judgments, affirmative discrimination, selective exclusion, and even denial of human life for the sake of social justice, progress, and other euphemisms.

Unfortunately, this is also being implemented by “prosecutorial discretion” in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.

    Sonnys Mom in reply to SDN. | September 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    We have that in Boston too, along with a couple adjacent small cities that comprise Suffolk County, MA. The new DA comes from a family of criminals and was once arrested herself while in college (shoplifting; continued without a finding). Her campaign website listed the 57 crimes she already decided that if elected she would not prosecute, but no one was paying attention. Her transition team included a couple of allegedly reformed felons. When challenged she argues that we should not be “wasting scarce resources” prosecuting minor crimes.

I’d imagine conservatives feel like this headline in Power Line blog.

All Alone in the Sane Lane

“If the people who are giving serious consideration for leaving are indeed going to follow through, the state will continue to get bluer and bluer,” said Mark DiCamillo, the director of the Berkeley IGS poll. “That has huge political implications.”

Well, that’s bad news…for California Democrats. It’s giving Trump even more justification to invoke the Insurrection Act after he’s reelected. Invade California, reduce it to territorial status, and set up an occupation/reconstruction government a la Germany & Japan to get the state back on track = WINNING!

It’s going to get worse Californians. MUCH worse.

California Assembly Bill 1810: Get Out of Jail Free Card.
California Proposition 36: Alternative to Jail/Prison.
California Prop 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.
California Assembly Bill 931: Necessary Force Law (Unconstitutional because of Graham v Connor but passed anyway)

California democrats want to make it nearly impossible for California Peace Officers to do their jobs. And they want to disarm civilians with some of the most onerous, restrictive gun laws in the nation.

Why? Do they want high crime and no ability for citizens to protect against it, either personally or by calling the police (remember, they want Peace Officers neutered by AB931)? Do they want anarchy? Do they want genocide? What is the endgame here? I’ll suppose a theory here.


Buckle up Californians, you are in for a rough ride in the foreseeable future because you overwhelmingly voted for democrats/leftist.

Think I’m exaggerating? Ask Kate Steinle.

    Arminius in reply to CKYoung. | September 29, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Sir, I am no longer a Kalifornio. Except for purposes of song.

    “…I’ve got my Colt .45 right by my side.

    I’m the California kid. I hope you’re quite prepared to die…”

    But I digress. When I moved to Texas I didn’t bring any STDs with me. And I wouldn’t invite my brothers and sisters to move here if I believed they would bring the contagion with them.

    My Mom is a different matter. She is unfortunately stuck in a JFK type past that no longer exists. Camelot. I do my best to suppress her vote, and I love her dearly.

The US will soon not be 50 states. (57, if you are that idiot, obama)

Liberal idiots! I hope they are happy with these results.

I used to muck out Charlie O’s stall. I learned a lot from that mule.

You can’t ride a mule off a cliff. They are too smart for that. Even if you get the mule to trust you, like I’ve been able to fool some horses, the mule will be like, “OK, what have you done for me lately?”

The only way I ever got a mule to trust me was to convince the animal I wasn’t going to do something stupid like, dunno, ride off a cliff.

To the left, this is not stealing…it’s simply redistributing privilege. It’s an attempt to gin up more class warfare.

Charlie O wouldn’t kick at you as long as YOU let him know where you are. “Hey, Charlie O, I’m behind you.” I don’t know why mules get a reputation for being ornery. All you have to do is give them some respect.

When you answer, “I bought you a Volkswagen Jetta last weekend” your mule will look at you and laugh.

Or, at least, that’s what my now ex-wife did.

I’ve learned to answer, when my significant other demands to know what I’ve done for her lately, “Oh, nothing, I guess.”

“My Mule Dont Like People Laughing – HD Quality [SKIPPYTV]”

Hmmm … So the toilet bowl swirl is picking up speed … Someone pass the butter and salt please

The near absolute stupidity of this is breathtaking.

On the other hand, the Dems/Progs have felons as a large portion of their constituency, so it makes sense.

The crime rate will plummet when wrongdoing is excused.

I remember an article written by a New York journalist who moved to San Francisco (sorry no link). The author was surprised by the shimmering side walks. They sparkled in the sun. Come to find out that it was from the Smash and Grabs as the homeless and immigrants would smash car windows along the sidewalks and take anything they see on the seats of cars.

welcome to the wild, wild west

in another 20 years of so SF is liable to look just like detroit

At this rate, within a decade or so, there will be an entire Democrat stronghold state resembling the Democrat stronghold cities of Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, et als.

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

H.L. Mencken

It’s all Trump’s fault.

And the fault of climate change.