Not all businesses on board with new shoplifting proposal - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Not all businesses on board with new shoplifting proposal

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Officials noted shoplifting affects more than just the person committing the crime. Officials noted shoplifting affects more than just the person committing the crime.
Warner noted that a lessening on the punishment would encourage others to commit the crime. Warner noted that a lessening on the punishment would encourage others to commit the crime.
Assistant General Manager Scott Warner noted on Monday that shoplifting prevention wouldn't be helped with the new proposal. Assistant General Manager Scott Warner noted on Monday that shoplifting prevention wouldn't be helped with the new proposal.
Warner added that the price of goods can be affected by shoplifting. Warner added that the price of goods can be affected by shoplifting.
The Quincy Chamber of Commerce has emerged as an opponent of the proposal. The Quincy Chamber of Commerce has emerged as an opponent of the proposal.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A new proposal by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform has been met with multiple opponents.

Right now, any theft valuing over $300 will land you a felony charge in Illinois. An Illinois criminal justice reform group has asked lawmakers to raise that thievery threshold to $2,000, in an attempt to combat prison overcrowding.

Executive Director Amy Looten of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce said on Monday that there are many reasons to oppose it.

"For every product that walks out the door, they're not paying sales tax on that." Looten said. "So our local government, our state government is not getting that income from the sales tax."

The John Howard Association, monitors correctional facilities, policies and practices, and advances reforms, supports the proposal by the Illinois Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission. The commission was tasked by Governor Bruce Rauner with lowering the state's prison population by 25 percent over the next decade.

 The association states the best return on investment for public safety is not to put low level nonviolent offenders in prison. 

"There is simply no evidence to support the idea that a harsher punishment will curb criminal behavior." the association stated.

Quincy Menards Assistant General Manager Scott Warner added on Monday that shoplifting affects many more people than just the person stealing.

"In order to make up the money that's lost from that type of thing, eventually prices get raised to make up for that margin that we're missing." Warner said.

Looten also said that such a proposal would make shoplifters worry less about the consequences of their actions.

"This sends a message to potential shoplifters that well you know it's not that big of a deal." Looten said. "The punishment's not going to be that big, and we just think that's the wrong message to send."

Warner agreed saying that raising the minimum value for prosecution does nothing to help stores like his prevent shoplifters.

"If you take away the punishment side of it, and you're just going to slap them on the hand, they're more likely to come back, and there's more people that are going to try it for the first time." Warner said.

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