From ABC 7, “Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill into law Friday to crack down on smash-and-grab burglaries and other retail theft.
The governor put pen to paper to sign the Inform Act into law, which enforces the new crime of organized retail theft.
It’s the latest step in Illinois’ effort to fight a crime that has been plaguing big and small businesses around the state.
Surveillance videos captured several incidents showing mobs of people rushing into stores to steal goods from luxury goods to convenience stores, even while employees or customers are inside.
Last December alone, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s organized crime task force retrieved one million dollars’ worth of stolen items from storage units.
The new law cracks down on the ring leaders organizing these crimes who are profiting and using it to fund other illegal activities.
“This is not aimed at a low income parent desperate to feed their child,” Governor Pritzker said. “It’s not about a kid making a short-sighted mistake. This is about a multi-billion dollar industry of organized criminals carrying out sophisticated theft operations to turn a profit on the resale market.”
As part of the new law, those who knowingly engage with others in a theft valued at $300 or more would be guilty of a Class Three felony. Those who engage in a retail theft from one or more establishments would be guilty of a Class Two felony, which would carry more jail time.
The also allows prosecutors to bring perpetrators to justice even if the conspiracy, theft and or selling crosses county boundaries. They are now able to prosecute the whole crime. .
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association partnered with several lawmakers to make the law a reality.”