Assemblymember Rodriguez Advances Legislation to Combat Statewide Smash and Grab Theft Passes Assembly
(Sacramento, CA) Assembly Bill (AB) 2356, authored by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez, today passed the State Assembly with a vote of 62-16. The legislation now moves to the Senate. Earlier this year, Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management, introduced AB 2356 to combat the recent wave of group “smash and grab” robberies. Last November, approximately 18 people broke into a department store in Los Angeles and stole thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. In the Bay Area, about 80 suspects in at least ten different vehicles descended on a department store in one of many occurrences.
Although the net loss to the business owner can be in the thousands for these coordinated crimes, under existing law “smash and grab” participants who organize to steal property and individually take less than $950 worth of goods may only be charged with petty theft. AB 2356 addresses this problem.
“AB 2356 would allow courts to combined theft counts if the theft was pre-planned with others,” stated Rodriguez. “This bill would recognize the nature of the coordinated crime, take into account the financial loss to the business, and act as a deterrence for committing these crimes. The COVID-19 pandemic was hard on every resident of California- but this is no excuse for the wave of criminal thefts hitting our small and large businesses in the State. ”