Governor Pritzker’s office bill would crack down on retail organized crime in multiple ways, amid spike in such crimes on Mag Mile and elsewhere

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CHICAGO (CBS) — We have seen retail thefts occur throughout the Chicago area, both in the city and in the suburbs.

Now, a new law awaiting Governor JB Pritzker’s signature will make it easier for police to catch these criminals.

Full Text of Bill, HB1091

As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported on Friday, it comes as the continuing trend of retail theft has begun to affect city and state bottom lines — in terms of lost tax revenue, lost retailers, and lost retailers. other means.

The Magnificent Mile in particular has been pummeled by these thefts for the past two years. Thefts can involve tens of thousands of dollars in stolen goods within minutes.

We have followed the growing crime trend.

Now, if the bill targeting organized retail crime is signed by the governor, we’re told the public could start to see the impact as early as this summer.

“At least now we have a foundation in place to take care of these issues,” said Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

Karr worked directly with lawmakers and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on the legislation.

“It creates a statewide intelligence gathering and sharing platform for asset protection individuals and law enforcement partners at the federal, state and local levels” , did he declare.

Such an intelligence-gathering platform is already in place in almost every other state in the country.

In addition, the bill would put in place a crackdown on third-party marketplaces for stolen goods, requiring them to verify the seller and the goods offered for sale, and obtain contact details for each seller.

The bill’s goal is also to work to close prosecution loopholes that Karr says crime groups take advantage of — by giving jurisdiction to a state’s attorney when crimes occur in more than one county.

“So let’s say something is stolen from Cook, and it’s stored in Will County, it’s stored and fenced in Lake County,” Karr said. “Any of these jurisdictions that finds out can try for the whole thing.”

We asked Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office about it — because we could see crimes being prosecuted in other counties. The state’s attorney’s office said it could not comment on the pending legislation.

But the state’s attorney’s office has shared with us some data on criminal reviews and prosecutions of crimes in the 60611 zip code – which includes the Mag Mile and other prime shopping districts:

Here is the data requested for YTD fees in postcode 60611 only. As a reminder, we have included the previous background information sent to you regarding retail theft cases. Please note that cases that reached a decision during the specific time period may have been initiated before the selected time period.

Adult Pistol

Between 01/01/2022 and 04/13/2022 (103 days), CCSAO reviewed and issued a charging decision for 24 cases of firearms in ZIP Code 60611. 19 cases were approved to an approval rate of 79%. . 20 cases were prosecuted and 17 convicted at an 85% conviction rate.

Retail theft in an adult

Between 01/01/2022 and 04/13/2022 (103 days), the CCSAO reviewed and issued a charging decision for 29 cases of retail theft in the 60611 zip code. 20 cases were approved out of 69 %. rate. 7 cases were prosecuted and 4 convicted with a conviction rate of 57%.

Juvenile gun

Between 01/01/2022 and 04/13/2022 (103 days), the CCSAO reviewed and made a closure decision for 0 firearm file(s) in this area. 0 file(s) have been submitted. 2 cases were settled and 2 adjudicated at a decision rate of 100%.

Juvenile retail theft

Between 01/01/2022 and 04/13/2022 (103 days), the CCSAO examined and made a decision to close 0 case(s) in this area. 0 file(s) have been submitted. 0 cases were settled and 0 judged.

The state’s attorney’s office also provided these charts of major adult felony cases investigated and prosecuted in the 60611 ZIP code so far this year — through Wednesday of this week.

The state’s attorney’s office noted that in December 2016, State’s Attorney Foxx raised the retail theft threshold to $1,000, to allow prosecutors “to focus on the drivers of the violence rather than low-level, non-violent offences”. it’s firearms.” Some of these cases may be considered misdemeanors and are not included in the data.

But the number of crimes is increasing. We ran the last one and focused on the two main official community areas of the city for retail flying. These are the Near North Side – up 145.7% this year with 339 cases, and the Loop – up 66.1% with 294 cases. Thefts also increased by 101.1% in the Near West Side, 129% in Lakeview and 125.9% in West Town.

Despite this, there has been quite a bit of back-and-forth over the Retail Organized Crime Bill. Some lawmakers said it wasn’t strong enough, while victims’ advocacy groups called it overkill – noting that victims of domestic violence and human trafficking are convicted of shoplifting , although it is a survival tactic.

Molina is informed that the concerns have been addressed in the final version of the bill and will continue to be addressed.

The American Civil Liberties Union released the following statement: “The final Organized Retail Theft Bill was a vast improvement over the original proposal which would have allowed people to be arrested simply for thinking of engaging in shoplifting. We never thought that a new offense was needed to address this issue. We will look at how this law is used if it is enacted to ensure that it does not become a tool to lead to mass incarceration and the continuation of the order.”

Attorney General Raoul, who leads a task force focused on these issues, said in a statement that the legislation gives his office the tools it needs to disrupt and combat these growing crimes.

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