California sheriff criticizes ‘out of touch’ retail executives for not doing more to thwart shoplifting

California Sheriff who criticized Target for preventing shoplifters from being handcuffed in the store blamed “out of touch” big business executives for not pushing to change state law to reduce rampant retail theft.

Jim Cooper, Sacramento County’s longtime sheriff, said deep-pocketed executives “don’t have the guts” to try to reform Proposition 47, the ballot measure approved by California voters in 2014 that reduced item theft. valued at less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

“They don’t want anyone to go to jail or prison,” Cooper said in an exclusive interview with The Post on Thursday. “That’s just a belief they have.”

Retailers including Target, Walgreens, CVS and Home Depot have blamed organized retail theft for the hit to their bottom lines this year.

However, retailers are refusing to fund a campaign to put a measure before voters in the November 2024 general election that would address Proposition 47, Cooper insisted.

“They have a history of not getting involved,” he said.

Sheriff Jim Cooper of California’s Sacramento Country blamed “out of touch” executives at big-box retailers for not using their funds to campaign for change.
Sheriff Jim Cooper / Facebook

“Shoplifting is rampant,” Cooper lamented.

It has caused a “cultural shift where the new normal is that I walk in, everything is behind glass, I press the button and wait for someone to come,” he said.

Cooper spoke with Target earlier this week in a X long post which read: “We were unable to handcuff the suspects in the store; and if we arrested someone, they wanted us to process them outside…behind the store…in the rain.”

“They told us they didn’t want to create a scene inside the store and have people film it and post it on social media,” Cooper added.. “They didn’t want negative press. Incredible.”

“We don’t tell big retailers how to do their job, they shouldn’t tell us how to do ours,” he concluded.

Democratic lawmakers have remained steadfast in their belief that Proposition 47 should remain as is. In September, California Senate Democrats rejected a crucial measure proposing to reform Proposition 47 that would have punished repeat offenders.

The suggested change would have made the fourth robbery-related conviction a felony.

“The new normal is that I walk in, everything is behind glass, I press the button and I wait for someone to come,” Cooper said of shopping at big box retailers like Target, Walgreens, CVS and Home Depot.
Inside edition

If the amendments were approved, the change would have appeared on the November 2024 ballot for voter approval, which Cooper said he was confident would pass.

“The legislature has also shown that it will not pass any new bills or hold anyone accountable,” he told The Post.

Cooper’s ideal situation would be to reform Proposition 47, a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2014 that reduced theft of items valued at less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Sheriff Jim Cooper / Facebook
Cooper tweeted against Target earlier this week, where he shared an “unbelievable” situation in which Target seemed more afraid of bad press than rampant theft.
@SheriffJCooper /X

Crime-hit Target said earlier this year it expected to take up to a $1.3 billion hit to its bottom line due to “theft and organized crime.”

The “cheap-chic” discount chain said its profits will be reduced by “$500 million more than what we saw last year,” when the company lost up to $800 million due to “inventory reduction.”

“While there are many potential sources of inventory shrinkage, retail theft and organized crime are increasingly important factors in the problem,” the company said. “We are making significant investments in strategies to prevent this from happening in our stores.”

“That’s not the answer,” Cooper said of anti-theft boxes, which today lock up everything from underwear to hygiene products.
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Stock shrinking is an industry term that refers to there being fewer products on your shelves than reported in your inventory catalog.

There is no national policy on how to deal with shoplifting, although many employers have encouraged their employees to do nothing in an effort to keep them out of harm’s way.

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