Sup. Canepa proposes new retail theft task force

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KRON) – Retail theft has grown into a major problem plaguing the Bay Area, from big box stores to mom-and-pop shops. So a San Mateo County board supervisor is calling on more help to hold criminals accountable.

Retail theft has cost California stores tens of millions of dollars in stolen merchandise in just the last year, according to the Gov. Newsom. That’s why David Canepa proposed a local task force. 

He stood in front of Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo where he says stores like Sephora have been hit up by thieves. Canepa said he wants to form a local task force by inviting the police chief, sheriff, and chamber of commerce to take part so they can together come up with a plan. 

He would like to call on state lawmakers to reconsider some California laws that he says are not working, like potentially lowering the dollar amount that it takes for theft to be considered a felony. Right now, that is $950.

“State laws that are in place are not working,” he said. “Enough is enough. What’s happening in our shopping centers, our malls are absolutely not acceptable.” 

Canepa originally considered creating a retail theft hotline but says Los Angeles already made one. He called that number yesterday to test it out and says he was disappointed the person on the other line told him to instead dial 911. 

So, he’s not so sure that could help. He plans to bring up his current proposal to the board of supervisors in their first meeting back on Sept. 12.

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