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The law department of the city of Sacramento, California, threatened a popular retail store with a public nuisance fine after multiple thefts occurred at its Land Park location, according to a report, following numerous calls to police.

The Sacramento Bee reported that a person who knew about the warning but wished to remain anonymous for fear of possible retaliation said Sacramento authorities warned they would fine Target at 2505 Riverside Blvd. in Land Park last year.

A police spokesman confirmed the location to the publication after being asked about the alleged warning.

After learning of the city's warning and similar actions across the state, state lawmakers added an amendment to a shoplifting law that outlaws such threats by authorities against stores.

Governor Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Robert Rivas and Senator Mike McGuire are pushing a package of 14 bills that would increase penalties for shoplifting.

Lawmakers are confident their bill will help curb shoplifting rather than passing changes to Proposition 47.

Sacramento authorities had warned Target at 2505 Riverside Blvd. in Land Park that they would impose an administrative fine last year. Google St View

Last month, California's Secretary of State announced that petitioners had collected more than enough signatures to put a proposal to reform House Bill 47 on the November ballot.

Prop 47, a 2014 voter-approved initiative, eased penalties for drug and theft offenses in the state and is blamed for California's rampant theft problems.

Shortly after the measure to reform Prop 47 passed, lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled Capitol in Sacramento began debating a bill they say would curb crime in the state.

Critics say the move is essentially a “poison pill” designed by Democrats to discourage people from voting to fix House Bill 47 in November, arguing it would undermine crime-fighting legislation.

Last month, California's Secretary of State announced that petitioners had collected more than enough signatures to put a proposal to reform House Bill 47 on the November ballot. Google St View

“Newsom insists theft reports are down – now we know why. Not only are thieves getting away with it, but victims are now being threatened if they report crimes,” California Assembly GOP leader James Gallagher told Fox News Digital.

“Everyone can see that Newsom's pro-crime policies are a failure – no matter how hard his allies try to cover it up.”

Criminal defense attorney Nicole Castronovo also commented on the matter, telling Fox News Digital that politicians in California are leaving citizens in the lurch because “crime begets more crime.”

“Lawmakers have allowed burglary to terrorize our cities. As a result, retailers are leaving big cities in droves – and taking jobs with them,” she said.

Castronovo explained that job losses were directly linked to an increase in crime.

She also said that the government is preying on retailers by not protecting them adequately.

“Now the government is trying to silence these retailers, and in return the manufacturers are reducing the crime rate,” Castronovo said.

“No citizen should ever be punished for lawfully asking their government for protection.”

Alexander Gammelgard, chairman of the California Police Chiefs Association, testified during the state Assembly's first committee meeting on shoplifting in December that he was surprised anyone would try to turn a call from a person wanting to report a real crime into a harassment case.

“I don’t think there is room for that,” Gammelgard said.

Sacramento City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood. City of Sacramento

It's unclear why City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood and her office are issuing warnings to businesses like Target that are asking police for help. Her office did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

Blake Randol, a criminal justice professor at California State University, Stanislaus, told the Sacramento Bee that he finds the situation in Sacramento disturbing.

He told the newspaper that the city has a responsibility to help citizens and that a threat from the city to cause a public nuisance if crimes are reported could deter a business from filing a report.

Randol also said the city government may issue warnings to make it appear as if crime statistics are declining.

“The problem is that Target’s complaint is a legitimate criminal offense,” Randol told the Sacramento Bee.

Shortly after the measure to reform Prop 47 passed, lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled Capitol in Sacramento began debating a bill they say would curb crime in the state. AFP via Getty Images

“The city has a responsibility to be more responsive to the public and to respond to public demands for crime control.”

As a local CBS station reported, the location in question has drawn criticism from the local population.

As the Sacramento Bee found through a public records request, after learning of the reports, Sacramento City Councilman Rick Jennings II, city police and the city attorney's office reportedly developed a plan to meet with the retail store and develop a safety plan to mitigate incidents.

“It would be great to be in the store and show what we actually have [been] “We are working to address the concerns most recently raised in all of this week's news stories,” Alex Garcia, a former director of government affairs at Target, wrote in an email regarding past coverage. The message was sent to Dennis Rodgers, Jennings' chief of staff.

As a result of the collaboration, the Crime Prevention through Environmental Design project was launched to address the concerns raised in the reports.

The plan also included “the placement of security measures such as alarms, cameras and security personnel” as well as the implementation of “lighting fixtures, landscaping, wayfinding and space activation measures,” according to internal communications.

During the meetings, city officials also had the opportunity to discuss their “concerns” with Target. Target also acknowledged its “problems,” according to a statement from Jennings.

However, the concerns expressed are still vague.

Fox News Digital reached out to both Target and the city of Sacramento for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

The publication reported that police department data shows city law enforcement officials have seen an increase in thefts, robberies and shoplifting at the city's three Target locations in 2023.

In 2023, there were reportedly 375 emergency calls for theft, robbery and shoplifting at Target locations in Sacramento, compared to 80 crimes reported by Sacramento Police in 2023 for theft, robbery and shoplifting.

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