LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 331, introduced by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, which aims to crack down on organized retail theft that is on the rise statewide.
He held a news conference in Long Beach on Wednesday morning to tout state efforts to address crime in California.
Newsom was joined by law enforcement leaders and state and local officials when he announced he’ll extend the work of a retail theft task force through the year 2025.
“We recognize that it’s not just in the crime bucket that we build on things. We focus on afterschool programs, we focus across the spectrum — the educational spectrum in particular,” Newson said.
Several stores have had major changes, including cutting back on store hours, due to a rise in thefts.
Last week, a Rite Aid employee was killed while trying to stop a shoplifting suspect in Glassell Park.
In another incident, two men walked out of a TJ Maxx in Granada Hills with what appeared to be stolen items.
Newsom said it’s his goal to target the crimes that seem to fit a pattern.
“We want to go after those organized teams of folks that are connected,” Newsom said.
California’s Republican Party responded to the governor’s announcement on Wednesday, saying he has been ineffective at combatting crime and only now, with the recall election looming, has he finally acknowledged its impact on the state.