State's Organized Retail Crime Takedown Results in 525% Increase in Recovering Stolen Goods

Government and Politics

June 18, 2024

From: California Governor Gavin Newsom

So far this year, officers have made 636 arrests, recovered 216,754 stolen goods

What you need to know: Continuing to increase efforts to crackdown on organized retail crime in California, state law enforcement officials have made 636 arrests and recovered 216,754 stolen goods, valued at nearly $5.7 million, in the last five months. Compared to the same period last year, arrests are up 167%, recovered stolen goods rose 525%, with their estimated value up 140%.

SACRAMENTO – As state law enforcement officials continue to step up efforts to stop organized retail crime in California, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has made 636 arrests and recovered 216,754 stolen goods valued at nearly $5.7 million since January.

Through the state’s Organized Retail Crime Taskforce, when compared to the same time period from last year, increased efforts resulted in a 167% increase in arrests, 525% rise in stolen goods recovered, with their estimated value up 140%.

Month after month, California is seeing the results of taking down organized retail crime in communities statewide. Our collaboration with local partners allows us to continue taking back stolen items and holding those accountable for this unacceptable crime. - Governor Gavin Newsom

Compared to last year, these increased efforts equal to more than half of all the stolen goods the taskforce recovered in 2023.

Since the inception of this task force in 2019, the CHP has been involved in more than 2,600 investigations, leading to the arrest of over 2,700 suspects and the recovery of over 827,000 stolen goods valued at $43.8 million.

“Through increased enforcement efforts and strategic partnerships, our dedicated investigators continue to achieve remarkable success in combating organized retail crime in California,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. “The significant increase in arrests and recovery of stolen merchandise underscores our unwavering commitment to protecting our communities and supporting businesses.”

How we got here

California has committed $1.1 billion since 2019 to fight crime, help local governments hire more police, and improve public safety. In 2023, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan, the Governor announced the largest-ever investment to combat organized retail crime in state history, an annual 310% increase in proactive operations targeting organized retail crime, and special operations across the state to fight crime and improve public safety.

In addition, the CHP works with partners in San FranciscoOakland, and Bakersfield to bring down crime and ensure public safety. Recent data released by the Oakland Police Department that reports a 33% drop in crime compared to the same time last year. Nearly all types of crime are down in Oakland, including burglary, robbery, car theft, larceny, arson, homicide, and assault. In San Francisco, violent crime and property crime are significantly down year-over-year.