Retail Theft Roundtable with Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez


 Last Friday, April 12th, 2024 the Chino Valley Chamber in partnership with Chino Police Department hosted a roundtable with Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez to discuss the prevalent issue of retail theft in the business community. In attendance were retail theft investigators representing Chino Police Department and Chino Hills Police Department, various large retailers and small business owners representative of San Bernardino County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County.

Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez began the conversation by listing a few of the bills he has co-authored: 

  • AB 1779 (Irwin), which would help District Attorneys consolidate retail theft criminal cases into a single case to better prosecute cases.
  • AB 1802 (Jones-Sawyer), which would make permanent a CHP taskforce that is helping local jurisdictions prevent and prosecute retail theft crimes.
  • AB 1972 (Alanis), which would expand the CHP taskforce to help with cargo theft.
  • AB 2406 (Davies), which would increase the penalty for using minors in theft-related crimes.
  • AB 2438 (Petrie-Norris), which would create a sentence enhancement for any person stealing or damaging property in the commission of a felony.
  • AB 1990 (Wendy Carrillo), which would allow police officers to make a warrantless arrest for retail theft.
  • AB 1772 (Ramos), revise the definition of shoplifting to require an intent to steal retail property or merchandise.

Furthermore, a prominent concern voiced was the absence of repercussions for retail theft crimes. Numerous accounts were shared wherein individuals encountered repeat offenders, a consequence of the current legal framework's failure to hold such individuals accountable. Notably, one retailer highlighted instances where their establishments witnessed a surge in theft incidents, signaling potential gang involvement. This escalation underscores the urgent need for legislation that renders retail theft less appealing and effectively deters repeat offenses. 

“Letters of support, phone calls, emails”, urged Assemblymember Rodriguez as he explained the importance of involvement of those affected by legislation. “The more they (legislators)  hear from folks like yourselves the better”, stated Assemblymember Rodriguez ending the roundtable conversation. 

The moderator of the roundtable was CEO/President of the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, Zeb Welborn, who thanked everyone for attending. He reaffirmed to attendees and community partners that the chamber will continue to work towards addressing retail theft by gathering letters to send to legislators with anecdotes from business owners on their experience with retail theft. 

If you are a business owner or know someone who has experienced retail theft feel free to reach out to the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce at

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