California Official Threatens To Fine Retailer For Reporting Thefts

Thief stealing shirt and running

Photo: Dragos Condrea / iStock / Getty Images

The Sacramento City Attorney's Office is facing criticism after reportedly threatening to fine a Target store for calling the police to report thefts. According to the Sacramento Bee, City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood issued a warning to the store, located at 2505 Riverside Blvd., that it could face a public nuisance charge over the continued calls to the police.

An anonymous source with knowledge of the warning told the outlet that Wood suggested levying an administrative fine if the store didn't stop calling the police. However, Wood never sent out a formal letter about issuing the nuisance charge.

In 2023, Target stores across Sacramento made 375 calls related to theft, robbery, and shoplifting, compared to 175 in 2022.

A report by the California Globe noted that the store has been struggling with high crime for years and that attempts to solve the issues have been thwarted by the neighborhood association, which blocked several attempts dating back over 20 years to remodel the store to make it safer.

In response to the reported threat, politicians crafted an amendment to a crime bill that would prevent officials from fining stores for reporting crimes unless those reports were false.

"The bill would clarify that local law enforcement or a local jurisdiction is prohibited from bringing a nuisance action against a business solely for the act of reporting retail crime, unless the report is knowingly false," the amendment reads.

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