Did California legalize thefts of $950 or less? Well no, but...

California law currently defines petty theft as the "theft of any property with a value of $950 or less" according to criminaldefenselawyer.com.

California's Proposition 47 turned robberies of less than $950 dollars into misdemeanor crimes, as long as it doesn't involve weapons or cause serious injuries.

Proposition 47 isn't anything new, California voters actually passed it back in 2014.

California Theft Law
Adam Carolla Via Twitter

Did California Legalize Shoplifting?

No. California's thieves will still be arrested for theft of property valued at $950 or less, however, they will no longer be prosecuted.

The penalty is possible incarceration of up to six months in County jail for thieves who are arrested and fall into the "$950 or less" category, as well as probation, fines, and restitution.

From snopes.com -

The judicial branch of California explains on its page about Prop 47 that the new law 'reclassifies certain theft and drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.' Thanks to Prop 47, shoplifting offenses involving property valued at less than $950 are prosecuted as misdemeanors, not felonies, but they are still prosecuted. Such offenses are punishable by up to six months in county jail.


Obviously, with thieves fully aware that the penalties are pretty light for possibly getting away with a decent score, people seem willing to take the risk.

Theft Laws California Prop 47
TYP CAM Via YouTube


You've probably been noticing this subject popping up a lot on the internet and social media the past few days. The reason why is a video tweeted out by comedian Adam Carolla.

Carolla tweeted out a video of two thieves reportedly at a T.J. Maxx in Granada Hills, California boldly walking out the door will armfuls of clothes and merchandise with the caption -

Thanks to Prop 47 thefts under $950 will not be prosecuted, so cops will not bother showing up. Just a reminder that you get what you voted for, California!



Snopes.com reports that San Francisco Police Chief William claims that "burglaries were down 6% in the first six months of 2021" and the current narrative doesn't support his office's statistics.

What's your opinion? Is the lessening of penalties for theft in California basically tempting people to steal?

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

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