SB 982 – Organized Retail Theft (Wahab and Niello)


Summary: SB 982 eliminates the sunset for the crime of organized retail theft as defined in Penal Code 490.4. Organized retail theft continues to hurt California communities and businesses. District attorneys testified in front of the Little Hoover Commission in December of 2023 that this penal code has been particularly helpful in their limited tool box in prosecuting the matter. The governor also called for the elimination of this sunset in his January 9, 2024 press release about property crime where he called on the Legislature to enact his framework. In his list of six proposals he specifically called for:  “ELIMINATING ORC SUNSET PROVISION: Eliminates the sunset date for the organized retail crime statute. The law, which has been effectively used by CHP and others in the Organized Retail Crime Task Force, is set to expire on January 1, 2026.”

Existing law provides that if organized retail theft is committed on two or more separate occasions within a 12-month period, and if the aggregated value of the merchandise stolen, received, purchased, or possessed within that 12-month period exceeds $950, or involving recruiting, organizing, supervising, etc. another to undertake organized retail theft, the offense is an alternate felony/misdemeanor.

Click here to read the bill language.