The state of California has launched an organized retail crime crackdown as the holiday season begins.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will increase efforts to combat organized retail crime.

As part of the Governor’s Real Public Safety Plan, the CHP will increase its presence in key retail districts across California and its Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF) will increase enforcement through proactive and confidential law enforcement operations with other agencies through the holidays.

The additional law enforcement presence across the state will aid in catching retail criminals in the act.

The ORCTF regional teams in Southern California, the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento will work with retailers, loss prevention and local law enforcement agencies. Several confidential law enforcement operations are planned with other agencies throughout the state as investigators take down known boosters and fencing operations linked to organized retail crime.

Since the inception of the ORCTF in 2019, the CHP has been involved in nearly 2,200 investigations that have led to the arrests of more than 1,500 suspects and the recovery of nearly 420,000 items of stolen retail merchandise valued at more than $33 million.

The state awarded the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime in California history — sending over $267 million to 55 cities and counties to increase arrests and prosecutions for organized retail crime.

California’s 2023-24 budget includes more than $800 million in funding to support multiple programs to improve public safety and crack down on retail crime.