Rivas expects retail theft committee to ‘act with focus and urgency’

Nov 1, 2023

Last week Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas announced the formation of a new Select Committee on Retail Theft, chaired by Asm. Rick Zbur.

Addressing retail theft was one of the League of California Cities’ top legislative priorities in 2023. Cal Cities co-sponsored a bill that would have increased accountability for serial theft and created a diversion program for repeat offenders. The Assembly Public Safety Committee ultimately held the bill, along with other key public safety bills. The select committee is a step in the right direction. 

“Californians have had enough of these smash-and-grab crimes and shameless shoplifting incidents,” Rivas said in a statement. “They’re appalling and affect everyone. The Assembly understands we must do more to address root causes, protect businesses owners, and fight criminal activity. It’s my expectation that the retail theft select committee will act with focus and urgency.”

A National Retail Foundation survey found that stores in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento were the top targets in the nation for organized retail theft. An analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California found similar trends, with commercial burglaries in particular rising above their pre-pandemic levels.

The select committee hopes to hold hearings this fall and into next year, which will bring all stakeholders to the table. Members of the select committee include:  

  • Chair, Asm. Rick Zbur (Los Angeles)
  • Asm. Juan Alanis (Modesto)
  • Asm. David Alvarez (San Diego)
  • Asm. Mia Bonta (Oakland)
  • Asm. Vince Fong (Bakersfield)
  • Asm. Haney (San Francisco)
  • Asm. Kevin McCarty (Sacramento)
  • Asm. Liz Ortega (San Leandro)
  • Asm. Blanca Pacheco (Downey)
  • Asm. Cottie Petrie-Norris (Irvine)
  • Asm. Pilar Schiavo (San Fernando Valley)

The move came as lawmakers began announcing new legislation for 2024, including a measure by Sen. Scott Wiener that would make it easier to prosecute car break-ins.