Establishes a person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he or she steals property and is in possession of an anti-security item; makes criminal possession of an anti-security item a class A misdemeanor.
BILL NUMBER: S33
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the possession of anti-security items
PURPOSE : Enhance penalty for theft of property by a person who possesses an item designed to block or otherwise override security markings, tags, or attachments placed on property offered for sale in a retail mercantile establishment.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1. Adds a new subdivision 12 to Section 155.30 of the Penal Law to define "anti-security device" and render it a crime to use same in theft of property.
Section 2. Amends Section 170.47 of the Penal Law to tender it a class A misdemeanor to possess an anti-security device with intent to use same to steal property at a retail mercantile establishment.
Section 3. Effective date: November 1 next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.
JUSTIFICATION : 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, nearly unabated. Estimates from retail and law enforcement suggest the annual loss to organized retail theft in all retail sectors combines to reach some $25 billion. 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.
Professional shoplifters who steal apparel and accessories usually shoplift for a fence that either sells the goods to a higher-level fence or sells the goods himself in a businesslike setting. Theft rings tend to focus on over-the-counter drugs, pain relievers, health and beauty aids, and clothing of all kinds. These items have considerable value and are easily resold to other retailers or in stores the criminal fences operate. The merchandise is always in demand; most of the items are fairly small and easy to conceal on the person or in so-called "booster bags."
"Booster bags" are crafted to hide stolen merchandise from security devices, theft sensors, and similar units installed by retailers to guard against the theft of merchandise. The bags can be as rudimentary as a simple shopping bag lined with aluminum foil, or fashioned to be more complex and difficult to detect. Whatever the quality, the bags are crafted so that they will block or otherwise override the store's security system, hiding the stolen merchandise and allowing the shoplifter a clean exit from the store.
This legislation would enhance the criminal penalty against a person who uses a "booster bag" or other such item designed to override a retail establishment's security system in order to steal merchandise from that store. It is an important step forward in helping retailers in New York State curtail the growing problem of organized retail theft and professional shoplifting.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007-2008: Passed the Senate (S.5153/A.9094)
EFFECTIVE DATE : On the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 33 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. FUSCHILLO -- 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 the possession of anti-se- curity items THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 155.30 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 12 to read as follows: 12. THE PROPERTY IS TAKEN BY A PERSON WHO IS IN POSSESSION OF AN ANTI-SECURITY ITEM. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION AN "ANTI-SECUR- ITY ITEM" IS DEFINED AS AN ITEM DESIGNED FOR THE PURPOSE OF OVERCOMING DETECTION OF SECURITY MARKINGS OR ATTACHMENTS PLACED ON PROPERTY OFFERED FOR SALE AT SUCH AN ESTABLISHMENT. S 2. Section 170.47 of the penal law, as added by chapter 580 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: S 170.47 Criminal possession of an anti-security item. A person is guilty of criminal possession of an anti-security item, when with intent to steal property at a retail mercantile establishment as defined in article twelve-B of the general business law, he knowingly possesses in such an establishment an item designed for the purpose of overcoming detection of security markings or attachments placed on prop- erty offered for sale at such an establishment. Criminal possession of an anti-security item is a class
[B]A misde- meanor. S 3. 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. LBD01144-01-9