Florida passes new organized retail theft legislation

Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a new organized retail theft bill into law that imposes harsher penalties for those convicted of the crime.

According to a statement issued by the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the new legislation increases the sentencing scoring guidelines for an organized retail theft offense that exceeds $50,000. Those persons found guilty of retail theft crimes at $50,000 or more would face a minimum sentence of 21 months in prison.

 “Organized retail theft ultimately results in consumers paying the price for this illegal activity,” Bondi said in the statement. “I applaud Governor Scott for signing this bill, and I thank Senator Kelli Stargel and Representative Ross Spano for their sponsorship of this important legislation that holds criminals accountable for organized retail theft.”

In addition, the law also adds language to the Florida Communications Fraud Act, making it clear that these organized theft schemes have a five-year statute of limitations.

“In Florida, retail crime causes retailers to pass losses onto other consumers through higher priced goods, making it harder for businesses and consumers to do business in Florida. Putting Florida families first is my top priority, and this new law continues to fight to keep the cost of living low for the families of our state,” Scott said in a statement.