Law Targets Mass Thefts From Colorado Stores

DENVER (AP) — A new Colorado law targets criminal organizations that steal from stores in bulk to sell the goods illegally. It’s an enterprise that costs state retailers an estimated $500 million a year.

A bill signed this week stiffens the penalties for triggering false alarms at stores to steal from businesses in mass quantities. The law also identifies tools that thieves use, such as wire cutters to deactivate anti-theft devices and foil-lined clothing to prevent alarms from going off.

Popular items to steal in large numbers include laundry detergent, diapers, clothing and small electronics.

Republican Rep. Mark Barker and Democratic Sen. Linda Newell, the bill sponsors, say they hope the bill brings greater awareness to the issue.

The legislation was modeled after laws in California, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Texas.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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