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Dylan Roberts’ bill to curtail mass retail theft passes Colorado House

A bill aiming to stop mass, organized retail theft has passed the Colorado House of Representatives 60-3 and will have its first committee hearing in the Senate next week.

The bill, sponsored by Democrat Rep. Dylan Roberts, who represents Routt and Eagle counties, would require online marketplaces to verify personal seller and bank account information, and allow buyers to report suspicious activity.

If passed, the bill would also require online marketplaces to verify the bank account information, tax identification number and contact information from high-volume third-party sellers.



Roberts said the bill would also require sellers to disclose personal contact information to buyers, such as their name and address, to assist in the authentication process for purchasing goods online.

The bill is a bipartisan effort sponsored by Roberts and Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs.



Because the bill has widespread bipartisan support, Roberts said he expects Gov. Jared Polis to sign it into law in the coming months.


“This is just a really smart-on-crime bill because we’re going after the reason that the crime is happening in the first place,” Roberts said. “If we can do more to address why the crime is happening in the first place, we’re going to make Colorado a safer place.”

The bill aims to target people stealing expensive goods from stores like Walmart and Home Depot and selling them online, which Roberts said costs Colorado businesses millions of dollars each year.

“One of the main reasons why (retail theft) is a rising crime in our country and in our state is because the people who conduct the theft have a place to go sell those goods on these online marketplaces,” Roberts said.

The bill does not go after petty shoplifters, but instead targets organized thieves who steal thousands of dollars in expensive items, which Roberts said is the larger and more complex problem.

“We certainly understand that shoplifting is a crime, but (mass retail theft) is a very sophisticated and expensive crime,” Roberts added.

 


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