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Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo Champions Legislation to Combat Retail Theft

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO - In a decisive step toward strengthening the fight against retail theft, Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, alongside Attorney General Rob Bonta, State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, and a bipartisan coalition of Assemblymembers, this morning introduced a comprehensive legislative package aimed at curtailing the surge in retail crimes. This bill package comes as a result of the months-long effort to tackle this growing crisis, including the formation of the Select Committee on Retail Theft, of which Assemblywoman Schiavo is a member.

At the forefront of this legislative bill package is AB 2943, a bill in which Assemblywoman Schiavo is a principal co-author. This bill specifically targets the organized crime rings behind a growing wave of “smash and grab” retail theft, marking a significant advancement in legislative efforts to protect local businesses and strengthen public safety. AB 2943 creates stringent penalties for "professional" retail thieves, introduces measures to combat the online sale of stolen goods, and includes provisions for aggregating theft values to meet grand theft criteria, enhancing the ability of law enforcement to respond effectively to these crimes.

"As a member of the Select Committee on Retail Theft and Principal Co-Author of AB 2843, we have prioritized addressing growing organized retail crime in our community. We have worked to connect with our community about its unique challenges - including launching a survey to gather community data on the impact of retail theft in AD40 - which has led us to today’s announcement of our comprehensive bill package to bring forward real and lasting solutions to retail theft. This legislation will protect our local businesses and economy, ensure the public is safe, and meaningfully collaborate with law enforcement,” said Assemblywoman Schiavo. “AB 2943, the bill in which I am proud to serve as a principal co-author, will play a crucial role in our broader strategy to combat retail theft, providing law enforcement and businesses with the tools they need to protect Californians. This legislation not only aims to disrupt the operations of crime rings but also ensures that our justice system is equipped to deal with modern challenges in retail theft.”

At this morning’s press conference announcing the legislative bill package, Speaker Rivas remarked, “The goal of the select committee was to act with focus and urgency, and also work to deliver comprehensive, holistic solutions to this problem. I can say that this morning, the Assembly is moving forward a comprehensive, balanced, and bipartisan legislative package that seeks to strengthen public safety, protect shoppers and business owners across California, and ensure that we deliver real, visible, quality of life improvements to Californians.”

The California Chamber of Commerce also joined the press conference in support of the legislative bill package, adding “The listening and collaboration that has gone on has been really key to making sure that this is a comprehensive and effective package that will give law enforcement the tools they need to address this issue in a swift and effective manner.”

Other bills announced as part of the legislative package include AB 1779 (Irwin), AB 1802 (Jones-Sawyer), AB 1960 (Soria), AB1972 (Alanis), and AB3209 (Berman). These bills, in addition to others, are being heard today in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

To view the press conference in its entirety, click here.


Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 40th Assembly District, representing the Northwest San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. Upon her election, she was appointed as Assistant Majority Whip by the Speaker of the Assembly and now serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. Prior to her election, Assemblywoman Schiavo was a Nurse Advocate and Small Business Owner who worked in the labor movement for more than 20 years. Throughout her career, Assemblywoman Schiavo helped deliver healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, to more than one million people and fought to put critical dollars in the pockets of workers. In the Northwest San Fernando Valley, she co-founded an organization that helped secure housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness, co-founded an organization that delivered more than 50,000 meals to people in need, and increased resources to help keep our communities safe. Assemblywoman Schiavo lives in Chatsworth with her daughter Sofia where they love to hike in the Santa Susana Mountains.