Relates to jurisdiction and venue for organized retail theft crimes.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing jurisdiction and venue for a pattern of criminal offenses
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill relates to jurisdiction and venue for a pattern of criminal offenses, granting jurisdiction to any county when at least one of the crimes constituting a pattern occurs within that county.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One amends the penal law by adding a new section 70.16 which provides that a person may be prosecuted for criminal actions with respect to each of the alleged criminal offenses included within a pattern of criminal offenses that are part of the same plan, scheme ox adventure, in any county where at least one of the alleged criminal offenses has occurred when such offense is part of the alleged pattern of criminal activity.
Section Two is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill is part of a package of legislation that seeks to cut down on patterns of criminal activity that rise to the level of "organized retail theft". According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, organized retail theft costs United States retailers about $30 billion per year. Organized retail crime comprises a wide spectrum of high volume and highly organized theft rings that cost New York retailers specifically hundreds of millions of dollars annually and, more importantly, compromise the health, safety, and welfare of unsuspecting New York consumers. For every item stolen, New York State and local governments lose out on sales tax revenue-again, adding up to millions annually. Organized retail theft is the most serious security issue facing many retail merchants, including apparel and accessory retailers, mass merchandisers, do-it-yourself stores, drug stores, and supermarkets. It's a crime that has grown substantially over the past decade, and has continued to grow at an unprecedented level. Retailers are forced to offset these significant costs through higher prices meaning that honest consumers are forced to endure the impact of organized retail theft and professional shoplifters.
This legislation amends the penal law to allow crimes falling under the definition of organized retail theft to be prosecuted in any county where at least one alleged offense that is part of the pattern of activity has occurred. Under this legislation, one district court would be granted jurisdiction over all criminal offenses, persons, and property that form the pattern of criminal offenses.
These intelligent criminals are well aware of the jurisdictional limitations under our current penal system and avoid committing multiple offenses in the same county to avoid harsher penalties. This bill would
give law enforcement officials another tool in curbing organized retail crime.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.6958C of 2012 passed in the Senate/ A.10507A Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2926 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 25, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. ZELDIN, MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing jurisdiction and venue for a pattern of criminal offenses THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 70.16 to read as follows: S 70.16 JURISDICTION AND VENUE FOR A PATTERN OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME OFFENSES. 1. A PERSON MAY BE PROSECUTED FOR CRIMINAL ACTIONS WITH RESPECT TO EACH OF THE ALLEGED CRIMINAL OFFENSES INCLUDED WITHIN A PATTERN OF CRIM- INAL OFFENSES THAT ARE PART OF THE SAME PLAN, SCHEME, OR ADVENTURE OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME, IN ANY COUNTY WHERE AT LEAST ONE ALLEGED CRIMI- NAL OFFENSE HAS OCCURRED AND SUCH OFFENSE IS PART OF THE ALLEGED PATTERN OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. ONE DISTRICT COURT OR COUNTY COURT MAY POSSESS JURISDICTION OVER ALL CRIMINAL OFFENSES, PERSONS AND PROPERTY THAT ARE PART OF, OR ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO, EACH OR ALL OF THE ALLEGED CRIMINAL OFFENSES FORMING THE ALLEGED PATTERN OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES. 2. THIS SECTION SHALL BE ENFORCED IN ANY COUNTY WHERE AT LEAST ONE ALLEGED CRIMINAL OFFENSE HAS OCCURRED AND SUCH OFFENSE IS PART OF THE ALLEGED PATTERN OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. 3. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME SHALL MEAN THE STEALING, EMBEZZLEMENT, OR OBTAINING BY FRAUD, FALSE PRETENSES, OR OTHER ILLEGAL MEANS, RETAIL MERCHANDISE IN QUANTITIES THAT WOULD NOT NORMALLY BE PURCHASED FOR PERSONAL USE OR CONSUMPTION, FOR THE PURPOSES OF RESELLING, TRADING, OR OTHERWISE REENTERING SUCH RETAIL MERCHANDISE IN COMMERCE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01061-01-3