California Supreme Court expands shoplifting under crime law

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court has expanded the list of crimes that could qualify as shoplifting under a voter-approved initiative that cut penalties for certain drug and property offenses.

In a 5-2 ruling, the court said Thursday that shoplifting under Proposition 47 does not just refer to taking merchandise from a store. A majority of the court said it also includes other theft of property worth $950 or less.

The decision came in the case of a man convicted of felony burglary after authorities say he cashed stolen checks at a bank.

The high court said his crime qualified as shoplifting under Proposition 47. Proposition 47 made shoplifting a misdemeanor.

The state attorney general's office had argued for a narrower shoplifting definition.

The office said in an email that it is reviewing the ruling.

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