Local residents in San Francisco and other cities across California cite the state’s recent Proposition 47 legislation for a spike in shoplifting among the region’s increasing homeless population.
“These brazen acts of petty theft and shoplifting are a dangerous and all-too-common consequence of Proposition 47, a referendum passed five years ago that critics say effectively gives shoplifters and addicts the green light to commit crimes as long as the merchandise they steal or the drugs they take are less than $950 in value. The decision to downgrade theft of property valued below the arbitrary figure from felony to misdemeanor, together with selective enforcement that focuses on more ‘serious’ crimes, has resulted in thieves knowing they can brazenly shoplift and merchants knowing the police will not respond to their complaints,” reports Fox News.
“If my babies need diapers or formula, who is going to get that for me? No one. I have to do it,” said a local woman. “They ain’t out here arresting people for (shoplifting) and everyone knows it.”
“Proposition 47 is seen by critics as one of California’s biggest blunders. Supported by the state Democratic Party and championed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the referendum was passed by a wide margin in 2014. The idea behind it was to reduce certain non-violent felonies to misdemeanors in order to free up resources for cops and prosecutors to focus on violent offenders,” adds Fox.
Read the full report here.