Bill to Prevent Serial Theft to be Heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee

Senate Bill 316, introduced by Senator Roger Niello (R-Fair Oaks), will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. This bill would reinstate a provision of the law and charge a serial thief with a felony if they have three or more prior theft-related convictions and are convicted again of petty theft.

In 2014, voters approved Proposition 47 to ensure that the criminal justice system focused on violent and serious offenses. Instead, it led to dangerous unintended consequences, opening up businesses and individuals to increased economic and psychological damage. Currently, theft of property that does not exceed $950 in value is considered petty theft, and the crime is punishable as a misdemeanor. SB 316 would increase those penalties to a felony if the person has three prior theft-related convictions.

Niello stated, “Even though Proposition 47 was labeled as “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” property crime has increased since its passage, and our communities and businesses are the ones facing the consequences. It is crucial that we hold criminals accountable and make our communities safer.”

The Senate Public Safety hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 28.