The agency recovered 187,515 items stolen from retailers, surpassing last year’s figure by 38,600 items

CALIFORNIA — Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is concluding 2023 by successfully expanding its efforts to combat organized retail crime. The CHP, through its Organized Retail Crime Task Force (ORCTF), has exhibited results, aligning with Newsom’s Real Public Safety Plan.

As part of the plan, implemented to address the rising challenge of organized retail crime nationwide, the CHP, in the first 11 months of 2023, increased proactive operations by over 310 percent, leading to more than 1,000 arrests, marking a 109 percent year-over-year increase. Furthermore, the agency recovered 187,515 items stolen from retailers, surpassing last year’s figure by 38,600 items.

Newsom expressed his gratitude for the efforts of the CHP and its collaborative partners, stating, “As reports of organized retail crime increase nationally, California is meeting the moment by leading more takedowns and making more arrests than ever before. I’m grateful for the CHP — along with our critical police, sheriff, and district attorney partners — for their continued efforts to leverage the state’s tools and unprecedented resources to crack down on this unacceptable crime.”


CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee emphasized the collaborative nature of the efforts, saying, “Working with our local law enforcement partners, and utilizing the CHP’s extensive statewide resources, we are cracking down and stopping organized retail crime. These early results, which are a team effort, show California is headed in the right direction.”

Key highlights from the data for the first 11 months of 2023 include:

  • Proactive Operations: 215 (313 percent increase compared to 2022)
  • Investigations: 528 (47 percent increase compared to 2022)
  • Arrests: 1,005 (109 percent increase compared to 2022)
  • Stolen Items Recovered: 187,515 (25 percent increase compared to 2022)

In addition to its regular operations, Newsom previously announced a “holiday blitz,” increasing law enforcement presence in key retail districts across California through proactive and confidential operations during the holidays.

Since 2019, the CHP has led over 1,225 investigations resulting in the arrests of more than 1,800 suspects and the recovery of nearly 500,000 stolen retail merchandise items valued at over $21 million. In a significant move to support local efforts, Newsom allocated over $267 million to 55 cities and counties, marking the largest-ever single investment to combat organized retail crime in California history.

Newsom’s Real Public Safety Plan, backed by California’s 2023-24 budget, allocates over $800 million to support various programs aimed at improving public safety and cracking down on retail crime.