Legislation supports local business and enhances public safety by targeting retail crime

Santa Fe, NM - A key community safety bill addressing retail crime is now headed to the Governor’s desk, after the House of Representatives voted tonight to concur with amendments made in the Senate. 

House Bill 234 will stiffen penalties for those participating in or enabling organized retail theft, cutting down on the demand for stolen goods and help law enforcement take down organized theft rings. To help protect the safety of retail workers and shoppers, the bill also elevates shoplifting to a third-degree felony if the individual assaults or strikes at another person with a deadly weapon while shoplifting or trying to avoid apprehension. 

“Organized retail crime is becoming an increasingly serious and dangerous threat to our local businesses and the safety of our communities,” said House Speaker Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque). “This bill will protect our businesses, as well as the workers and everyday New Mexicans who might be injured as bystanders of retail crime.” 

“This is a robust bill that will address the retail crime that has been plaguing our state,” said Rep. Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque). “Stopping retail crime will make New Mexico safer for businesses, customers, and employees, and I’m so pleased this bill is headed to the Governor’s desk.” 

HB 234 is sponsored by Speaker Martínez, Rep. Matthews, Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque), Senator Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque). The bill is part of the House Democrats’ comprehensive slate of legislation to improve community and child safety across New Mexico. 

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