Combating Organized Retail Crime: California Highway Patrol Increases Operations by Over 310%

As part of Governor Newsom’s Real Public Safety Plan, in the first 11 months of the year alone, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) — through its Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) — increased proactive organized retail crime operations by more than 310%, made more than 1,000 arrests (a 109% year-over-year increase) and recovered 187,515 items stolen from retailers (38,600 more items than last year).

In a press release yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom expressed gratitude to the CHP and police for their work.

“As reports of organized retail crime increase nationally, California is meeting the moment by leading more takedowns and making more arrests than ever before,” Governor Gavin Newsom said.

Source: Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom

In addition to its regular operations, Governor Newsom announced last month that the CHP is increasing its law enforcement presence for a “holiday blitz” in key retail districts across California through proactive and confidential law enforcement operations with allied agencies through the holidays — keeping more shoppers, merchants, and retail districts safe.

Since 2019, the CHP has led more than 1,225 investigations that have ensured the arrests of more than 1,800 suspects and the recovery of nearly 500,000 items of stolen retail merchandise valued at more than $21 million. To further support efforts at the local level, Governor Newsom announced earlier this year that California awarded the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime in California history — sending more than $267 million to 55 cities and counties to increase arrests and prosecutions for organized retail crime.

The Governor’s Real Public Safety Plan — which focuses on strengthening local law enforcement response, ensuring perpetrators are held accountable, and getting guns and drugs off our streets — is supported by California’s 2023-24 budget, which includes more than $800 million in funding to support multiple programs to improve public safety and crack down on retail crime.

To read the Governor’s press release, click here.

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