Earlier this week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced proposed legislative action to curb the growing nationwide retail theft and porch piracy trend.

In 2022, retailers across the country lost $112 billion to retail theft, according to a report by the National Retail Federation.

Retail theft sharply increased in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

In contrast, shoplifting in Florida has decreased by 30 percent, since Governor DeSantis first took office.

“If you commit a crime in Florida, you are going to be held accountable,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We will not tolerate retail crime, porch pirates and the lawlessness that they allow in California and New York.”

According to a recent national study by Forbes:

  • 41 percent of small business retailers said the value of items stolen in 2023 increased compared to previous years.
  • 75 percent of small business retailers reported monthly losses between $500 and $2,500 due to theft.
  • 85 percent of small business retailers said they experience theft at least once a year, with just 5 percent of small business retailers reporting never experiencing theft.
  • Increasing prices (64 percent) was the top popular measure small business retailers reported implementing to reduce theft.

In high-crime states like New York, retailers lost more than $4 billion, while shoplifting has increased by 63 percent in New York City alone.

Legislative measures being considered in Florida include:

  • Charging a third-degree felony if retail theft is committed by five or more individuals.
  • Charging a second-degree felony if criminals use social media to solicit others to participate in retail theft.
  • Charging a first-degree felony if an individual commits retail theft with a firearm or has already had two or more prior convictions of retail theft.
  • Reducing the stolen property value necessary to charge criminals with a felony for stealing delivered packages.