Yakima Retailer Hoping For Change In Theft Law
The owner of Yakima's Grocery Outlet Vicki Baker is hoping lawmakers in Olympia pass a bill this year that changes the definition of theft to include concealment with the intent to deprive. "What that means is as soon as someone stuffs items in a purse or puts it in something intending to steal the items it will stop the crime right there instead of us having to go outside the building."
Baker testified in Olympia on Monday on behalf of House bill 1159. She says currently there's nothing a retailer can do to stop a theft inside an establishment other than monitor the person until they can be confronted outside. But Baker says that's where the problems start once a suspected thief is outside the building. Baker says she's had employees threatened and assaulted. She says she believes the situation would be much different if the state law was changed to allow the retailer to handle a suspected theft inside the store.
The bill has passed the Senate two times in the past so she's hoping the measure passes through the House this year and becomes law.