Info Alert

INFO ALERT: New funding & focus to curtail smash-and-grabs

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We want to stop seeing images like these on the news.

The business community’s calls for additional resources to fight retail crime have been heard. We’re pleased to amplify the formation of a new Assembly Select Committee on Retail Theft. The 11-member group will be chaired by Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, who represents Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and other communities that have seen a surge in smash-and-grab crimes.

Assemblymembers Juan AlanisDavid AlvarezMia BontaVince FongMatt HaneyKevin McCartyLiz OrtegaBlanca PachecoCottie Petrie-Norris, and Pilar Schiavo will also serve on this select committee. They’re moving quickly, with plans to convene hearings as early as this fall.


You likely first heard this news on a BizFed call if you attended last week’s Arts, Entertainment, and Sports Committee meeting with Zbur. Now that a formal announcement has been issued by Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, we can share legislative reaction and logistical details.

  • “Widespread retail crime is not only bad for business and a source of shopper inconvenience, it’s also an issue of safety – and the perception of safety – for workers, business owners, and the public,” said Zbur.
  • “The Assembly understands we must do more to address root causes, protect business owners, and fight criminal activity. It’s my expectation that the Select Committee on Retail Theft will act with focus and urgency,” Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas said.
  • BizFed leader Rachel Michelin, President & CEO of the California Retailers Association, called the timely announcement on National Fight Retail Crime Day an “encouraging sign that policymakers are starting to take this growing crisis seriously.”
  • Business leaders united by the Californians for Safe Stores & Neighborhoods Coalition are advocating for a multidimensional “4D” solution that focuses on dismantling, disrupting, deterring, and diverting. 


Smash-and-grabs aren’t just a California problem. Nationwide, retail theft contributed to $112 billion in retail losses in 2022. That’s why national media outlets are picking up the story and amplifying our calls for sensible solutions. I joined Carley Shimkus on Fox & Friends First in December 2021 to discuss Governor Gavin Newsom’s $300 million plan to combat retail theft – and pointed to inconsistent prosecution as a contributing factor that funding alone wouldn’t fix.

BizFed supported AB 1708 (Muratsuchi) this year to allow either a felony or misdemeanor charge for anyone with two or more convictions for theft-related offenses who is subsequently convicted of petty theft or shoplifting. We also supported AB 2390 (Muratsuchi) last year to amend Proposition 47 by allowing $950 retail theft thresholds to apply in cases with multiple offenses.

Neither of these bills passed the public safety committee. We’re urging business leaders to keep putting pressure on legislators to advance these multipronged solutions for California’s multidimensional problem. We’re hopeful the Select Committee on Retail Theft will create new platforms for us to make our voices heard.

Onward together!

Tracy Hernandez
BizFed Founding CEO