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Governor JB Pritzker has signed the Inform Act into law to help crack down on the smash-and-grab crime sprees. He applied his signature to the bill on May 13, 2022. This new law is meant to prevent organized retail theft.
The Inform Act is Illinois’ latest effort to combat burglaries and other retail theft. It is a serious crime that is that has been plaguing big and small businesses around the state.
Several of these incidents have been captured by surveillance cameras. These videos show mobs of people rushing into businesses to rob them of their products. Everything from luxury goods to convenience stores has been hit. Sometimes these crimes take place while employees or customers are still inside.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul organized a crime task force to retrieve $1,000,000 worth of stolen merchandise from a storage unit in December 2021.
The Inform Act allows authorities to crack down on the ring leaders of the smash-and-grab thefts. These people are using their ill-gotten gains for themselves and to fund other illegal activities.
This new law “is not aimed at a low-income parent desperate to feed their child,” Stated Governor Pritzker.
It’s not about a [child] making a short-sighted mistake. This is about a multi-billion dollar industry of organized criminals carrying out sophisticated theft operations to turn a profit on the resale market.
As part of the Inform Act, those who intentionally engage with other individuals in a theft valued at $300 or more would be guilty of a Class Three felony. People who take part in a retail theft from one or more establishments would be guilty of a Class Two felony and would carry more jail time.
The new bill Pritzker signed into law will also allow prosecutors to bring perpetrators to justice even if the conspiracy, theft, and or selling crosses county boundaries. Individuals who are charged with these thefts will now be prosecuted for the whole crime.
Several lawmakers partnered with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association to make the Inform Act a reality.
Written by Sheena Robertson
ABC-7: Governor JB Pritzker signs retail theft crackdown into law; by Jessica D’Onofrio