By Horace Douglas, The Chicago Times

January 4, 2022

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Representative Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, has proposed a bill to target the rise of “smash-and-grab” robberies.

Durkin, Minority Leader in the Illinois House of Representatives, proposed House Bill 4275 which will make organized retail theft a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison for the theft of goods valued more than $300.

According to the bill, organized theft is defined as someone conspiring with one or more people to steal merchandise with the intent of selling or returning the goods for profit.  The bill includes penalties for two or more people who receive, purchase or possess merchandise believed to be stolen.   In addition, the bill seeks to punish someone who acts as an agent of another person or group to steal merchandise or recruit, coordinate, organize, supervise, direct, manage or finance someone taking part in theft.

“Smash-and-grab retail theft has become disturbingly commonplace and these criminals are only becoming more brazen.  These crimes have many victims, from the people who own and operate these stores, to their employees and customers. We cannot let this stand. These criminals are sophisticated and organized like the street gangs that terrorize our communities and must be treated the same.” Durkin said in a statement.