May 29, 2012
DENVER—Today, the governor signed state Rep. Mark Barker’s House Bill 1304 into law. The measure helps fight against a new form of criminal activity that costs Colorado retailers hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen goods every year by strengthening state criminal laws.
“This law protects Colorado families and business owners,” said Barker, R-Colorado Springs. “We’re giving law enforcement the tools they need to fight these new and growing crimes and protecting Colorado’s business owners and families from the increased costs these crimes create.”
Organized retail crime is more than shoplifting. It involves sophisticated, well-organized crime circles whose members move from store-to-store, and city-to-city, stealing everything from high priced to everyday commodities families depend on, like diapers and baby formula.
The costs and burdens these crimes create for retailers get passed on to the consumer: Colorado’s working families.
Specifically, Barker’s measure punishes criminals for triggering fire alarms by adding such actions to the “disorderly conduct statute.” The bill also expands the definition of “tools of theft” to include the techniques and methods organized retail criminals employ.
“House Bill 1304 will help stores save money and save jobs in Colorado. This is a good bill for every family and shop owner,” added, Barker.
Barker’s measure comes after months of working with Colorado retailers, loss prevention specialists, law enforcement and prosecutors across the state. A National Retail Federation and FBI study released in 2007 showed Colorado retailers lose $500 million every year to organized thefts. That translates into a nearly $15 million loss in state sales tax revenue.
With the governor’s signature, Barker’s measure can now work to put an end to this drain on Colorado’s working families and struggling business owners.
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