Governor Rick Scott today signed HB 1173, increasing the penalties for those engaged in organized retail theft activities. Organized retail theft includes a group of individuals who coordinate highly sophisticated shoplifting activities on retail stores. The new legislation guarantees a minimum sentencing period of at least 21 months for those convicted of retail theft totaling more than $50,000.
Governor Scott said, "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."
"Thank you to Attorney General Pam Bondi and bill sponsors Senator Stargel and Representative Spano for their leadership and commitment to keeping the cost of living low in Florida. Because of their efforts, our laws will be strengthened to protect Florida's businesses and consumers from retail crime."
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, "Both Florida's businesses and consumers are harmed by organized retail theft. I thank Governor Scott for signing this bill, and I thank Senator Kelli Stargel, Representative Ross Spano, and the entire Florida Legislature for their support of this legislation that provides prosecutors and law enforcement with the tools needed to properly prosecute individuals and hold them accountable for these crimes."
Senator Kelli Stargel said, "This legislation is about protecting Florida businesses and keeping the cost of living low for Florida families. I applaud Governor Scott's leadership for ensuring this bill became law."
Representative Ross Spano said, "I am proud to have sponsored this legislation that increases penalties for organized retail crime, and I thank Governor Scott and the Legislature for protecting businesses and consumers from this illegal activity.
Florida Retail Federation Director of Government Affairs Melissa K. Joiner said, "The Florida Retail Federation supports Governor Scott's commitment to Florida's retail businesses and applauds him on signing this legislation. As our retail businesses continue to grow and create new jobs in Florida, this bill will help prevent retail crime from increasing prices on consumers and pave the way for the retail industry in Florida to succeed.
Navarro Discount Pharmacies CEO Juan M. Ortiz said, "This illegal operation affects businesses and everyday consumers who contribute to the economic growth and quality of life in our state. Navarro Discount Pharmacy applauds Governor Scott for signing this legislation and for his efforts to strengthen our laws on organized retail crime."