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Florida Cracks Down on Shoplifting and Package Theft, Governor Takes Aim at Liberal Policies

DeSantis Signs Bill to Combat Retail Theft, Attacks Policies in ‘Leftist Jurisdictions’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a bill aimed at tackling retail theft and porch piracy, criticizing what he termed as “leftist jurisdictions” like California and New York for their perceived failure to address these crimes effectively. The legislation, set to become effective on July 1, will impose harsher penalties for various offenses such as stealing retail items, porch piracy, and using social media to incite looting, mostly treating these offenses as felonies.

Prior to the bill’s enactment, Florida witnessed a 30 percent decrease in shoplifting since DeSantis took office, while cities like New York and Los Angeles experienced significant increases in shoplifting due to lenient policies. DeSantis highlighted examples such as California’s Proposition 47, which reduced penalties for retail theft, and New York’s elimination of cash bail for certain offenses, leading to what he perceives as a lack of accountability for criminals.

Florida Cracks Down on Shoplifting and Package Theft, Governor Takes Aim at Liberal Policies

Florida Cracks Down on Shoplifting and Package Theft, Governor Takes Aim at Liberal Policies (Credits: FOX News)

Retailers across the nation suffered losses of $112 billion due to retail theft in 2022, with New York alone accounting for $4 billion of that amount. Florida aims to address these losses by implementing stricter measures through the new legislation, emphasizing its commitment to law and order.

The bill, designated as H.B. 549, outlines penalties for various offenses related to organized retail theft and porch piracy. For instance, individuals involved in retail theft with five or more participants may face third-degree felony charges, punishable by up to five years in prison. Moreover, those who commit retail theft with a firearm or have prior convictions may face harsher penalties, including up to 30 years in prison for a first-degree felony.

Regarding porch piracy, the bill introduces penalties such as a first-degree misdemeanor for theft of property valued at less than $40, escalating to a third-degree felony for subsequent violations or theft of higher-value items. These measures are aimed at deterring such crimes and holding perpetrators accountable.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody expressed support for the legislation, portraying it as a testament to the state’s commitment to combating organized retail theft. The bill represents a significant step towards addressing the issue of retail theft and porch piracy, aligning with Florida’s stance as a law-and-order state under Governor DeSantis’ leadership.

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