The Riverside County District Attorney's Office will be awarded a $2.05 million grant from the Board of State and Community Corrections to combat organized retail theft.
According to the District Attorney's Office, the grant will be implemented though a program that will be able to provide prosecutors an experienced team, including a full-time investigator, district attorney, technician and research specialist.
"We recognize this as a serious problem, which impacts every single consumer and retailer in Southern California. Our ORT program will use proven strategies specially designed to identify the core participants behind these operations and then hold them accountable," said District Attorney Mike Hestrin.
The Riverside District Attorney's office has taken 53 cases of organized retail theft ever since California law PC 490.4 was in effect, which states any person having participated in stolen merchandise can be charged as a felony if the value of the merchandise is worth more than $950.
Managing Deputy District Attorney Chris Bouffard -- who has nearly 23 years of experience -- will be in charge of the grant program, which will run from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2026.
In California, 12 prosecutor's offices and 38 law enforcement agencies were funded for the same effort.