EPD Plans to Crackdown on Shoplifters

Press release from the Eureka Police Department:

Eureka PoliceIn an effort to lessen the adverse impact of repeat theft offenders negatively impacting businesses within the City of Eureka, the Eureka Police Department, with the support of Sheriff Mike Downey and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, has implemented new procedures that became effective this week. Our intent is to increase public safety and reduce crime while presenting some respite to Eureka’s merchants who are continually being victimized by increasingly bold and belligerent repeat theft offenders. The goal is to keep these criminals in- custody until arraignment when possible and to dissuade like-minded lawbreakers from continuing to commit these crimes in Eureka.

When responding to a theft-related call for service, such as a shoplifter-in- custody, the investigating officer will determine whether or not the suspect has prior arrests and/or convictions for any theft-related crime. When reasonable grounds exists to arrest an adult suspect with priors for a theft crime, the officers will make a custodial arrest provided certain conditions are met:

⦁ The suspect has had a previous conviction for a theft crime within the past five years, or
⦁ The suspect has been arrested for a theft crime within the past two years, or
⦁ In the officer’s assessment, other articulable reasons exist to believe the person arrested would be reasonably likely to continue or resume the offense(s), or the safety of persons or property would be imminently endangered by the suspect’s release (Penal Code Section 853.6(i).
⦁ The victim desires prosecution and is willing to make a private person’s arrest if applicable.
⦁ The arrest is lawful and supported by probable cause.

Upon making a physical arrest for a theft crime under the abovementioned circumstances, the arresting officer will complete a “Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Request for Non-Release” form to hold the suspect in jail until arraignment. In the event the suspect is able to post bail, or the Humboldt County Correctional Facility’s inmate population is running overcapacity at the time of booking (>90% of the rated capacity), it is possible the suspect may still be released early on his/her own recognizance. A Request for Non-Release form will nonetheless be completed when applicable. The decision to release a suspect early on “O.R.” ultimately rests at the discretion of the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Mike Downey has conveyed his support in partnering with EPD to help keep these habitual theft offenders in jail when possible.

Certain exceptions to these procedures may be made on a case-by-case basis when public safety and/or the needs of the department require due to insufficient staffing levels or the existence of an in-progress emergency call requiring all available officers. If a business wishes prosecution, these new conditions will be added to the list of criteria that disqualifies someone from participating in the Shoplifter-In-Custody Program. If a business or citizen-victim wishes to handle the shoplifter civilly instead and not seek criminal prosecution, they may still choose to do so. Additionally, under certain circumstances some offenders may be prohibited from returning to a business they have victimized pursuant to Section 602(t)(1) of the California Penal Code (such as those previously convicted of a crime committed on that particular property).



  • Lol, omg, wtf…I’m confused…is this where I smh, shrug in disbelief or just say what the fuck!?!? A little too little a little too late

  • How is this going to reduce crime?? It only keeps repeat criminals in jail a few more days, then releases them; and that is only if the jail is not full, which it usually is. The criminals get a free room and meals for more days, then released to do the exact same things. Hope Downey doesn’t expects a pat on the back for this. Keep them ‘IN’ jail, not just a few extra days. This is an insult to the public !!!

    • Reducing crime in a county that is a sanctuary for criminals! At least the Sherriff and the EPD are up to something!! Hopefully the LEO’s will pay some attention to the drivers who are DUI, speeding and driving crazy, and all the tweakers and junkies in Drunkreka and Drunktuna. Good luck reducing crime overall in crazy-land!

  • Crackdown on shoplifters? Really?…Then why does Safeway not allow censors to be placed in the carry on baskets that have gone/stolen, from 45-0???? Thieves have carried out all of their baskets but one in the last 2 months. A good start o preventing shoplifters from stealing stuff…would be to simply place a censor in the basket, thus an alarm goes off as they steal the good from the store…….OH…BUT…wait. SAFEWAY does not allow their employees to pursue the thieves while they steal them blind. Catch 22.

    • Our politically correct system gives the criminal no real reason to stop being a criminal. Giving the shop owner the right to just whoop the tar outa the criminals would be a step in the right direction. The socially acceptable version of this would need to include a clause stating that you can only hit them when they are free range. No holding allowed.

    • Safeway is not a department of EPD, nor is it even within Eureka city limits.

  • Don’t believe it, not for one second.

  • Hit-and-run kill your daughter and another young girl Faith tsnaras. And get let go right away but shoplift a candy bar you’re staying in jail for a week. Way to go Downey. 💥💥💥

  • Ernie Branscomb

    We’ve gotten proactive in Garberville. Our store has 16 super-high resolution video cameras, and we can make a 4 megapixel still photo. You would have a hard time stealing even a paper clip without it being recorded. When we catch someone we share their photo with all the other local businesses. Plus we get great cooperation from the sheriff Dept. When thieves find themselves banned from every place in town they sometimes leave for easier pickings, like Eureka. Glad to see the folks making noises like they are going to get tough. But….. We don’t want the thieves back.

  • Just like Safeway, my brother-in-law worked for Home Depot for a few months after retiring from San Bernardino Fire Department. After a couple of months he quit. They were told not to stop people from stealing items from the store. If there are no consequences, they will keep doing it. How stupid can we be?

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