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Speaker Robert Rivas Announces Plan to Quickly Deliver Bipartisan Retail Theft Solutions To Governor

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, CA— Speaker Robert Rivas announced the Assembly will work with Pro Tem Mike McGuire and Senate lawmakers to quickly deliver a package of Assembly and Senate retail theft and public safety legislation to Governor Gavin Newsom by June.

His announcement comes as Assembly lawmakers voted on Wednesday to approve comprehensive, bipartisan legislative bills addressing retail theft, which will provide California with additional tools to reduce theft at retail stores and hold people who steal accountable.


What Speaker Rivas Says

“Californians have spoken loud and clear: They want to feel safe, whether it’s when they’re shopping, walking down the street or going to the park with their kids. These bills are a turning point for California. We are saying enough is enough on organized retail theft. I thank my Assembly colleagues for protecting shoppers, workers and business owners by passing these bills out of the Assembly. Now that we’ve taken action, I expect the Senate to move quickly and send these bills to the Governor for signature.”


Taking Action, Building a Coalition

Last fall, one of Speaker Rivas’ first acts as leader of the Assembly was to create the Select Committee on Retail Theft, naming Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) as chairperson. He also appointed Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) as chairperson of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

The retail theft select committee, composed of bipartisan members from across the state — including from areas significantly impacted by retail crime — met with and listened to many groups, such as large retailers, independent small businesses, criminal justice reform advocates, law enforcement and public safety officials, representatives of workers and constituents. The committee held informational hearings in Sacramento and West Hollywood. 

This year, Speaker Rivas and Assemblymember Zbur also introduced Assembly Bill 2943, the Retail Theft Reduction Act, and Assembly colleagues also debuted six additional bills to address retail crime and theft.

This package of seven bipartisan retail-theft bills has received support from Attorney General Rob Bonta; California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jennifer Barrera, California Retailers Association President and CEO Rachel Michelin, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, as well as a broad coalition representing public safety, businesses, mayors and elected officials and community advocates.


Protecting Businesses, Holding Thieves Accountable

The Assembly’s bipartisan, comprehensive legislative package will deliver new tools for California to strengthen public safety and protect shoppers and operators. 

Here’s what the bills will do:

  • Create a new felony, with up to three years behind bars, for stealing from a retail establishment with the intent to sell the merchandise
  • Allow law enforcement to aggregate stolen property across different locations and victims to charge felony grand theft, and to arrest a suspect even if theft was not committed in the officer’s presence
  • Establishes the retail crime restraining order for up to two years to address vandalism, assault and theft
  • Imposes penalty enhancements of up to four-plus years for high-value property theft or destruction


A Thoughtful Approach to Public Safety

The retail-theft bills also uphold the successful reforms of the past that institute a more just system, but also deliver real and urgent changes for all Californians.

  • Requires courts to look at underlying causes of theft
  • Incentivizes diversion and rehab for offenders who steal due to substance use or poverty

The solutions proposed in the bills are rooted in feedback from public safety groups, businesses and community leaders. It will provide critical new tools for law enforcement to target ongoing theft and protect our stores and shoppers. 


Overview of Assembly’s Retail Theft Package

The seven bills include:

  • AB 2943 (Zbur, Speaker Rivas): creates a new felony to combat retail theft, gets at root causes of why people steal, makes it easier for law enforcement to arrest those who steal, and facilitates the aggregation of different thefts.
  • AB 1794 (McCarty): allows thefts by the same perpetrator to be aggregated between different places and victims and allows retailers to report crime directly to their district attorneys.
  • AB 3209 (Berman, Speaker Rivas): authorizes courts to impose a Retail Crime Restraining Order.
  • AB 1779 (Irwin): restores cross-jurisdictional prosecutions.
  • AB 1960 (Soria): provides enhanced penalties for individuals who take or destroy property while committing a felony.
  • AB 1972 (Alanis): expands the CHP property crimes task forces to combat increased levels of cargo theft.
  • AB 1802 (Jones-Sawyer): makes permanent the crime of organized retail theft and the operation of the CHP property crimes task force. 


Media contact: Press Secretary Cynthia Moreno,


Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas represents California’s 29th Assembly District, which includes all of San Benito County and portions of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara Counties. For a full biography of Speaker Rivas, click here.