Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has proposed a plan intended to curb organized retail theft, according to a report from BocaGrandeTalk.com.
"Organized retail crime is a highly sophisticated operation that involves the large-scale theft of everyday consumer items by professional shoplifters," Bondi said in the article. "The legislation will give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools needed to arrest and prosecute these individuals, so consumers don't have to bear the financial brunt of this illegal activity."
State Rep. Ross Spano is shepherding House Bill 1173 and state Sen. Kelli Stargel posed Senate Bill 1404 to enhance the penalties and stiffen sentencing guidelines for an organized retail theft exceeding $50,000, the article noted. The new theft charges would equal first-degree grand theft with a minimum, baseline sentence of 21 months in prison, according to the report.
"In order to crack down on this illegal industry, our laws against such offences need to be strengthened. I am excited to sponsor legislation that enhances the Florida Communications Fraud Act and to work with Attorney General Bondi in addressing this issue on behalf of Florida's businesses and consumers," Stargel was quoted as saying.
Organized crime schemes will have a five-year statute of limitations, similar to the five-year statute of limitations placed on other theft charges, the report noted.