Washington state retailers hopeful recent changes in the law will curb theft

(The Center Square) – Washington retailers are feeling a bit more optimistic about dealing with theft now that lawmakers have passed changes in state and federal law.

This session, the Washington State Legislature passed Initiative 2113 to lessen restrictions on police pursuits. Retailers hope the new measure, which goes into effect in June, will provide some relief for merchants who have spent the last few years watching shopping carts filled with stolen merchandise be walked out of their stores by thieves and driven away.

In 2021, state lawmakers passed legislation that increased the threshold for evidence required for a police pursuit. Last year, lawmakers lowered the threshold for police to pursue a suspect from probable cause to reasonable suspicion for limited crimes.

Nevertheless, the law has been blamed for an increase in crimes, including retail theft.

Renee Sunde, president and CEO of the Washington Retail Association, applauded passage of I-2113, but said it
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