California sheriff rips ‘out-of-touch’ retail executives for not doing more to thwart shoplifting

California sheriff rips ‘out-of-touch’ retail executives for not doing more to thwart shoplifting

The California sheriff who ripped Target for preventing shoplifters from being handcuffed in the store blamed “out-of-touch” big-box executives for not pushing to change the state law in order to curtail rampant retail theft.

Jim Cooper, the longtime sheriff of Sacramento County, said the deep-pocketed execs “don’t have the guts” to attempt to reform Prop 47, the ballot measure passed by California voters in 2014 that reduced theft of items valued under $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

“They don’t want anybody going to jail or to prison,” Cooper said in an exclusive interview with The Post on Thursday. “That’s just a belief they have.”

Retailers including Target, Walgreens, CVS and Home Depot have blamed organized retail theft for a hit to their bottom lines this year.

Yet the retailers refuse to fund a campaign to get a measure in front of voters in the November 2024 general election that would tackle Prop 47, Cooper insisted.

“They have a track record of not engaging,” he said.

Sheriff Jim Cooper of California’s Sacramento Country blamed “out-of-touch” executives at big box retailers for not using their funds to campaign for change.
Sheriff Jim Cooper / Facebook

“Shoplifting is rampant,” Cooper lamented.

It’s prompted a “cultural shift where the new normal is I go in, everything’s behind glass and I push the button and wait for someone to come over,” he said.

Cooper laid into Target earlier this week in a lengthy X post that read: “We could not handcuff suspects in the store; and if we arrested someone, they wanted us to process them outside… behind the store… in the rain.”

“We were told they didn’t want to create a scene inside the store and have people film it and put it on social media,” Cooper added. “They didn’t want negative press. Unbelievable.”

“We don’t tell big retail how to do their jobs, they shouldn’t tell us how to do ours,” he concluded.

Democratic lawmakers have stood firmly in their belief that Prop 47 must remain as-is. In September, California Senate Democrats rejected a crucial measure that proposed to reform Prop 47 that would have punished repeat offenders.

The suggested change would’ve made the fourth theft-related conviction a felony offense.

“The new normal is I go in, everything’s behind glass and I push the button and wait for someone to come over,” Cooper said of shopping at big box retailers like Target, Walgreens, CVS and Home Depot.
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If the amendments were passed, the change would’ve appeared on the November 2024 ballot for voters’ approval, which Cooper said he was confident would pass.

“Legislature has also proven that they will not pass any new bills or will hold anyone accountable,” he told The Post.

Cooper’s ideal situation would be to reform Prop 47, a ballot measure passed by California voters in 2014 that reduced theft of items valued under $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Sheriff Jim Cooper / Facebook
Cooper tweeted out against Target earlier this week, where he shared an “unbelievable” situation in which Target seemed more afraid of bad press than rampant theft.
@SheriffJCooper / X

Crime-battered Target said earlier this year that it expected to suffer as much as a $1.3 billion hit to its bottom line because of “theft and organized crime.”

The “cheap-chic” discount chain said its profit will be squeezed by “$500 million more than what we saw last year” – when the company lost as much as $800 million from “inventory shrink.” 

“While there are many potential sources of inventory shrink, theft and organized retail crime are increasingly important drivers of the issue,” the company said. “We are making significant investments in strategies to prevent this from happening in our stores.”

“That’s not the answer,” Cooper said of anti-theft cases, which lock up everything from underwear to hygiene products these days.
Getty Images

Inventory shrink is an industry term that refers to fewer products being on its shelves than what’s reported in its inventory catalog.

There’s no nationwide policy on how to deal with shoplifting, though many employers have encouraged staffers to do nothing at all in an effort to keep them out of harm’s way.

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