If you have seen any news coverage lately you have been made aware of the massive retail theft happening across the U.S. This type of retail theft targets brand-name stores carrying high-end expensive merchandise. The thieves generally go in smash, snatch, and grab the products and run away. These products are then generally sold through social media sites or auction sites for pennies on the dollar. There have been individuals attacked and wounded on the sidewalk and merchandise stolen. This type of activity provides a sense of “lawlessness” for a community and causes retailers to close stores and community patronages to cease shopping in those areas. It has been reported that individuals were stealing in other states and bringing the merchandise to Florida to sell. When they were asked why not steal in Florida, they reportedly stated “Because we will go to jail.”

You might ask how this can happen. The answer is quite simple. There is no recourse to hold the thieves accountable for their actions. The thieves are generally released with no bail and generally are slapped on the hand with limited prosecution and punishment for their criminal behavior. Also, several of the states that are targeted for retail theft crime do not allow their citizens to exercise their 2nd amendment rights and do not allow their citizens to protect themselves.

Our leaders in Florida have provided a justice system and laws that ensure our safety and our freedom to protect ourselves. The 2nd Amendment right is very well represented and exercised here in Florida and your right to protect yourself is also very well represented and exercised here. Our government leaders have done a fine job making sure to deter the growing retail theft problem and the many social injustices provided by the activity.

Florida’s Law Enforcement arrests criminal thieves and Florida Prosecutors convict those theft criminals. Florida governmental leaders have supported the united effort by passing laws that are enforceable and very stringent for retail theft criminal activity. Florida’s Justice System holds retail theft criminals accountable for their actions. Just recently Governor Ron DeSantis provided additional actions with proposed legislation that re-enforces our justice system and laws. He proposed the following legislation to the Florida Legislature for passage:

  • Third-degree felony if you commit retail theft with five or more individuals.
  • Second-degree felony if criminals use social media to solicit others to participate in retail theft.
  • First-degree felony if an individual commits retail theft with a firearm or has already had two or more prior convictions of retail theft.
  • Reducing the stolen property value necessary to charge criminals with a felony for stealing delivered packages.

Governor Ron Desantis has the following statement: “If you commit a crime in Florida, you are going to be held accountable.”  “We will not tolerate retail crime, porch pirates, and the lawlessness that they allow in California and New York.”

As you think of the blessings of your day. Please stop and be thankful for the freedom we have in this great state and community. I encourage you to vote in August and November 2024 for individuals who are willing to prevent such lawlessness from coming to our great state and community. I will leave you with that thought and that concludes this week’s The Straight Truth With Mary Ann Hutton.