Local Business Owner Calls for Proposition 47 Reform in San Diego’s Fight Against Theft and Crime

District Attorney and Business Owner Advocate for Reform of Proposition 47

Arkan Somo, a local business owner with convenience stores in the downtown and College areas, has faced a long-standing problem of thefts at his stores. He estimates that there have been dozens of thefts, if not more, near the College area. The issue has been compounded by the passing of Proposition 47 in 2014, which changed certain low-level theft and drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors.

The San Diego Police Department’s yearly crime stats show a nearly three percent drop in crime overall. District Attorney Summer Stephan of San Diego County attributes this to the hard work of police officers and the community in ensuring safety. However, she and other local leaders advocate for the reform of Proposition 47 as it has not led to a decrease in theft and drug-related crimes.

Stephan emphasizes that theft and drug offenses have increased by over five percent and almost ten percent, respectively. Many retail crimes fall under the category of larceny, but many of them are not reported to the police due to the result being just a citation. Store owners like Somo have stopped reporting theft incidents due to this outcome.

Both Stephan and Somo are pushing for reform to be included on the November ballot to address issues caused by Proposition 47. They believe that ensuring community safety is essential not only in terms of violent crime but also in addressing crimes that impact people’s daily lives. Somo stresses the importance of making communities safer for everyone.

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