New Desantis Retail Theft Bill Gives Armed Offenders up to 30 Years in Prison

( – Over the past few years, there has been a rise in retail theft, particularly in blue states, where many offenders get off with barely a slap on the wrist. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is adamant that he will not let armed theft go unpunished in his state. He has suggested harsh penalties for those who try.

In a February 13 news release, DeSantis’ office announced that he introduced “proposed legislative action to curb the growing nationwide uptick of retail theft and porch piracy,” two crimes that have cost retailers $112 billion in losses. Rather than engage in “the lawlessness that they allow in California and New York,” he wants to implement harsher penalties that would effectively deter the crimes from happening in the first place. In New York alone, shoplifting incidents skyrocketed by 63% in a single year.

The penalties are broken down into two crime categories: porch piracy and retail theft. Criminals would be charged with first-, second-, or third-degree felonies, depending on the nature of the crime and the value of the stolen goods, and in the case of retail theft, would be required to pay restitution. The legislation also proposes “reducing the stolen property value” amount, which results in felony charges.

In addition to those, it would be considered an automatic first-degree felony if a person commits theft using a firearm or if they’ve been convicted of retail theft two or more times prior. Any parent who uses their child to help commit porch piracy would also face child endangerment and child neglect charges.

The punishments for such crimes in Florida are up to 30 years in prison for a first-degree felony, up to 15 years for a second-degree penalty, and/or fines up to $10,000 for both charges. Third-degree felony convictions would result in up to five years in prison and/or penalties of up to $5,000.

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