House Bill 1656, introduced by Rep. Dan Griffey, would have changed the definition of theft to include concealment. Currently, a person has to walk out the door with an item they hadn’t purchased for the act to be considered shoplifting. Also, loss prevention officers and law enforcement officers can’t apprehend a person suspected of shoplifting until the person has exited the establishment with the merchandise.
The proposed bill would have made it a crime the moment a suspect placed a product into their coat pocket or purse rather than after they exited the store.
Unfortunately, the bill was killed in the 11th hour. According to Rep. Griffey, “The bill received high praise from the committee chair just moments before we were to cast our votes. However, he received a phone call from Democratic leadership in that very moment, ordering him to kill the bill.” Rep. Griffey added, “It’s unfortunate that partisan politics will again prevent this sensible legislation from passing.”