Representative Claman files bill strengthening Alaska’s theft laws

HB98 gives law enforcement, prosecutors additional tools to address property theftHB98 gives law enforcement, prosecutors additional tools to address property theftHB98 gives law enforcement, prosecutors additional tools to address property theft

JUNEAU – Today, House Judiciary Chair Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) filed legislation to strengthen Alaska’s laws related to theft and other offenses against property.

Under House Bill 98, prosecutors would gain an important tool to hold repeat theft offenders accountable. The legislation would allow prosecutors to aggregate crimes under theft in the second degree if they occur within 180 days, the amount is more than $750 and less than $25,000, and the property or services are taken from commercial establishments. The bill also updates statutes related to fraudulent use of an access device to include an identification document, an issue identified by the Alaska Court of Appeals in Kankanton v. State. Finally, the bill establishes the crime of possession of motor vehicle theft tools as a class A misdemeanor.

“After discussions with law enforcement officials about organized theft, retail theft, and motor vehicle theft, I worked to craft legislation that would improve public safety by giving police officers additional tools when arresting and prosecuting criminals,” Representative Claman said.

Representative Claman has worked closely with Representative Chuck Kopp (R-Anchorage) over the last few years on issues related to crime.

“I am pleased to help champion this critical public safety legislation which targets serial theft offenders who need to be taken off our streets,” Representative Kopp said.

For more information, please contact Lizzie Kubitz in Representative Claman’s office at (907) 465-4904.