ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Shoplifting is on the rise, so a legislator wanted an extra layer of protection for business owners.
Republican Rep. Bill Rehm’s bill was introduced to the Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Rehm says he sponsored House Bill 57. This is because the store owners he spoke to say they are hesitant to stop shoplifting for two reasons.
Some of you may remember the video of a Guitar Center employee wrestling a shoplifter after he tries to run away with the guitar.
“This is an example of what a store owner needs protection for,” says Rehm.
HB 57 authorizes employers and employees to use reasonable force to detain shoplifters and provides immunity from any lawsuits arising out of these cases.
Rehm said retail crime has become such a common problem that it’s time for Congress to address it.
“My voters are very angry about the amount of shoplifting. I mean if you look at Next Door you see examples of shoplifting every other day and the outrage from citizens that nothing is going on. ,” says Rehm.
Commission members argued that New Mexico law already protects business owners.
“I think this bill is repetitive and unnecessary,” said Rep. Andrea Romero.
After some discussion, the bill was submitted and no further action was taken.
Track HB 57 during the legislative session.
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