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Milestones – Keep Theft Legal! – Opinion

A simple question: Why do we have laws? The simple answer would be to assure we have an orderly society.

It has been estimated that America has over a million laws that in one way or another enforce the Ten Commandments.

Given that we elect lawmakers on a regular cycle, this number of laws will continue to increase.


Laws are rules. The general purpose is to preserve order, equality and fairness.

Are there such things as unfair laws? Of course. Is it possible that some laws are ignored? Absolutely.

At what point do unenforced laws disrupt society?

It would appear that answer may be dependent upon your tolerance level, which is being tested as you read this.

As voters back in 2014, we were fooled. We voted for AB 47, the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act. Buried in the body of that legislation, we authorized the theft of goods and services up to $950 with little more than a traffic ticket given to the thieves.

While this has raised havoc with merchants statewide, it has eased the paperwork for district attorneys like Jeff Rosen and they love it. Incarceration for petty criminals has evaporated. Conversely, theft, property damage and crime has rocketed.

Do you think it is possible there might be some correlation between “free theft” and the dramatic increase in crime in California?

A well-functioning society is founded on laws that both permit and restrain its members. When those laws are weakened, the fabric of the law is damaged. What keeps our society sane and functioning are guidelines, rules and regulations applied equally. Theft at any level is not okay, not honest and not reflective of our society’s values.

Like being a little bit pregnant, small crimes grow and mature.

What is worse is the damage to our residents, merchants and businesses across our landscape. In addition, the increase in store losses is paid for by higher prices.

Free crime is not free and you get one guess at who pays these costs.

You would think that every elected lawmaker in California would jump at the chance to make this wrong right and return us to the basic law that theft is theft.

Nope. Legislators passed over 1,000 bills last year in California. Not one that we can find anywhere made theft under $950 illegal.

Makes you really wonder where the priorities of our legislature lie.


1 Comment
  1. GoodShipSantaClara 1 year ago

    Something is wrong with Miles. He’s letting Rosen off the hook.

    P.C. 459.5 punishes shoplifting of property of an amount up to $950 as a misdemeanor that can be punished with up to 6 months in county jail and a fine up to $1,000.

    The prosecutor must prove criminal intent.

    How can a prosecutor prove what you were thinking when you entered the store?

    If an accused’s actions within the store make it appear that they are attempting to steal an item, then that evidence can be used to prove an intent to steal.

    So come on Miles, point your pen at Rosen!

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