The Assembly Judiciary Committee released a bill that would stiffen penalties for cargo theft.
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-14) of Colts Neck, described the bill she sponsored, A3003, as “one step closer” to providing added protection for companies and drivers that are often targets of cargo theft rings.
“It provides a layer of safety and comfort,” Casagrande said. “If something happens on the road there will be justice.”
Under the bill, a person convicted of theft of property from a carrier, leader of a theft of carrier property network, or operating a facility for sale of stolen carrier property shall be subject to a $500 penalty for a first offense, a $1,000 penalty for a second offense, and a $2,000 penalty for a third or subsequent offense. If the offense involved the use or threatened use of a weapon, the person shall be subject to a $1,000 penalty for a first offense, a $2,000 penalty for a second offense, and a $4,000 penalty for a third or subsequent offense.
Casagrande said cargo thefts affect consumers as well, estimating some $6 billon in cargo are stolen each year.
An amendment was also passed naming the bill after a police officer Scott Jenkins, who passed away in 2003, and worked on cargo theft cases.
The state Motor Truck Association supports the bill.