SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Car thefts have become an epidemic in California and most of those crimes do not result in successful arrest or prosecution. But a state legislator wants to change that.
"We know that people risk their lives to save their personal devices," said representative Kansen Chu.
Recognizing all the valuable information stored on our phones, tablets and laptops, Chu wants it to be a crime to steal electronic devices, even if they don't meet the current $ 950 threshold that separates serious crimes from misdemeanors.
"I just want to provide another tool to the police department so they can prioritize car thefts and property theft," Chu said.
Car thefts and theft of electronic devices have skyrocketed in the cities of the Bay area, but crimes are rarely solved by police departments or prosecuted by district attorney offices, leaving victims of increasingly frustrated crimes.
"They are becoming more and more frequent. And I think something needs to be done to deter that," said Mike Hokanson. Hokanson recently stole his car. He supports stricter laws for the criminals responsible.
“I felt violated with honesty. My wife's new bag with all our credit cards, our house keys, etc. Therefore, it is a big problem, "he said.
In 2014, voters in California approved Proposition 47. It was conceived as a criminal justice reform, designed to reduce the state's prison population and set the $ 950 threshold for crimes that will be charged as a felony.
It is unclear whether Chu's bill could establish an exemption for electronic devices, but those frustrated by the increase in property crimes say something needs to be done.
Chu hopes to present the legislation starting next week,