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Assembly Candidate Kristie Bruce-Lane Opposes Bill Seen as Enabling Retail Theft

Bruce-Lane labels SB553 the “death of brick and mortar,” arguing it exacerbates the struggle of California businesses.

Kristie Bruce-Lane, vying for California’s 76th Assembly District, has openly opposed a contentious bill she believes will increase retail theft across the state.

Senate Bill 553, proposed by Democrat State Senator Dave Cortese, seeks to limit the actions retail employees can take to counter theft. Bruce-Lane joins the opposition, siding with the California Retailers Association and others who argue that this bill will merely embolden criminals.

Bruce-Lane asserts that the state’s crime wave is directly linked to decisions made by the state legislature, and SB553 is another step in the wrong direction. Her argument harkens back to legislative moves such as Proposition 47, passed in 2014, which softened penalties for certain nonviolent offenses, and Assembly Bill 109 in 2011, aimed at reducing prison overcrowding through early-release programs.

“This bill sends a loud and clear message and emboldens criminals to steal thousands of dollars of merchandise – and guess what – nothing can or will be done about it,” she wrote on Twitter.

Amid escalating theft rates leading to store closures across California, Bruce-Lane paints a bleak picture of the future if SB553 becomes law. She cautions that the legislation will effectively make it illegal for businesses to halt shoplifters from absconding with stolen goods, further empowering criminals to pilfer without fear of repercussion.

“This is a whisper by the Democrats in the criminals ear saying “go ahead, take what you want, no one will stop you.” Our hard-working business owners are now more than ever a prime target,” Bruce-Lane added.

She noted her primary concern is for brick-and-mortar businesses. In an environment marred by pandemic lockdowns, escalating competition from online retailers, and rampant theft, she believes businesses of all sizes are grappling to stay afloat.

Labeling SB553 as the “death of brick and mortar,” Bruce-Lane stresses that hardworking business owners have become prime targets for criminals now more than ever.

“The lawless far-left policies continue to negatively impact our businesses and destroy our communities. Had enough yet?,” she asked.

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