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What’s Driving Brazen Retail Theft and What Should We Do About It?

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 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In this era of dramatic videos of smash and grab robberies going viral and drug stores locking up many of their shelves, retail theft is getting a lot of attention. Police departments are making fewer arrests and solving fewer property crimes. Are shoplifting and “smash and grabs” really on the rise, or are we just noticing them more? Either way there is a growing movement to crack down on thieves and reform sentencing laws. A proposed ballot initiative would roll back portions Prop. 47, a California law that reduced prison sentences for petty crimes including shoplifting.  We’ll examine the complicated relationship between retail theft, law enforcement and threat of punishment, and what it means for you.


Charis Kubrin, professor, University of California, Irvine Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Jeff Reisig, district attorney, Yolo County

Marisa Lagos, politics correspondent, KQED; co-host of KQED's Political Breakdown show

Rick Chavez Zbur, member, California State Assembly. Zbur represents the 51st Assembly District that includes West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica


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