HARRISBURG – A bill increasing penalties on criminals who steal from retail stores was approved by the PA Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 896 would lower the monetary threshold for felony charges for perpetrators of organized retail theft. There must be an intent to resell the stolen goods to be charged under the provisions of the bill. It would also create the Office of Deputy Attorney General for Organized Retail Crime Theft. The office would consist of five prosecuting attorneys placed in different regions across the state to hold retail theft criminals accountable. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organized retail theft resulted in the loss of almost 700,000 jobs nationwide due to over $125 billion in economic losses. The bill now advances to the full Senate for consideration.