California communities may be feeling the fallout from a controversial measure that reduced penalties for a range of crimes, as law enforcement report an uptick in everything from robberies to auto theft – and point the finger squarely at what's known as Prop 47.
The measure was approved at the ballot box in 2014 and downgraded many nonviolent offenses like property crimes and simple drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, part of an effort to reduce prison over-crowding in the state.
But as the measure has been implemented, several police departments have reported a spike in shop-lifting and auto theft, among other crimes, and in part blame Prop 47.
"In the past year and a half, we've seen an increase in theft-related crimes, including robbery, burglary, and identity theft," said Sgt. Tasha Descosta, with the Hayward Police Department.
Since the law went into effect, major cities have seen an increase in more serious crimes as well.
Recent press reports show that in San Francisco, robberies are up 23%; in Los Angeles, violent crimes are up 20%; and in Sacramento, homicides are up 23%, Fox News reports.