News Report Claims City of Sacramento Warns Target Store about Shoplifting Complaint Calls

Via: Flickr

By Vanguard Staff

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Sacramento Target location at 2505 Riverside Blvd. reportedly has been warned it could be fined under public nuisance laws by the city of Sacramento because it’s making so many calls to police about alleged shoplifting.

Apparently, a “person with knowledge of the warning, but not authorized to speak publicly due to the fear of retaliation,” told The Sacramento Bee “city officials threatened the Target at 2505 Riverside Blvd. in the past year with an administrative fine.”

The Bee said a Sacramento police representative confirmed the warning.

State lawmakers added an amendment to a retail theft bill that would outlaw such threats by authorities, and the Bee said, pursuing “legal actions against businesses for reporting crime brought heavy criticism from law enforcement.”

The City Attorney’s Office and the Sacramento Police Department told the Bee they did not know of threats of litigation, reported the Bee, noting, “It’s unclear why City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood’s office would allegedly resort to issuing such a warning to any business seeking help from police.”

Clark Kelso, a professor of law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, told the Bee “city attorneys have every right to pursue a public nuisance charge against businesses in which owners know the property is dangerous.”

“Experts said it’s unclear if the law allows a public nuisance charge when people steal from the store. The retailer is a victim, and could be seeking serious help when confronted with shoplifters,” the Bee quoted Kelso as saying.

The Bee reported, “Target also did not respond to requests for comment about the apparent threat and why city officials raised concerns with their practices,” noting that while Targets in the Sacramento area made more theft complaints in 2023 compared to other years, “most calls did not result in police taking a crime report, issuing a citation or making an arrest.”

“Target locations within the city of Sacramento had a total of 375 calls for service related to theft, robbery and shoplifting in 2023, up from about 175 in 2022 and 87 in 2021. The uptick between last year’s data and the same period two years prior was 331 percent,” the Bee reported.

The Bee also reported police “took about 80 crime reports related to theft, robbery and shoplifting in 2023, up from about 35 in 2022, a 128 percent increase. Police took an average of 27 crime reports each year from 2018 through 2022.

“Police made about 55 arrests related to theft, robbery and shoplifting in 2023, more than double the number of arrests in 2022 (26) and a five-fold jump from the eight arrests made in 2021. Officers issued 18 citations in 2023, up from six in 2022 and two in 2021.”

A city attorney could issue a letter with a business about the potential for a public nuisance charge, and the Bee quoted a “source with knowledge of actions said the City Attorney’s Office warned Target it could send a letter about issuing a public nuisance charge,” but a letter was never sent.

A city attorney could also cite Target if shoppers were robbed in the parking lot, Kelso said, because, as the Bee quotes Kelso, the “store has a duty to protect the public on its land, he said, and the city would like to ensure residents’ safety.”

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