Proposed legislation to increase penalties on various forms of livestock theft passed the State Senate Tuesday with a unanimous vote and, barring any problems when it returns to the Assembly for consideration of an amendment, will head to the desk of Gov. Brown for signature into law.
Assembly Bill 924, written by Assembly Member Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) would amend California grand-theft law to establish a fine of up to $5,000 for anyone convicted of rustling livestock, including cattle, horses, mules, lambs, hogs, and other species.
Along with the fine increase, AB 924 would also give prosecutors the power to treat any livestock theft — no matter how small in amount — as a grand theft felony.
The choice to do so would be left to prosecutors, though harsher penalties for repeat offenders including minimum 30-day jail sentences would be mandated...