BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1848
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   March 23, 2010
          Chief Counsel       Gregory Pagan


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                   AB 1848 (Garrick) - As Amended:  March 17, 2010


           SUMMARY  :  Makes it a misdemeanor to possess any device designed  
          to bypass the factory installed ignition of a motorcycle or to  
          possess specified tools with the intent to unlawfully take or  
          drive or to facilitate the unlawful taking of a motorcycle.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Provides that every person who possesses, gives, or lends any  
            device designed to bypass the factory-installed ignition of a  
            motorcycle in order to start the engine of a motorcycle  
            without a manufacturer's key, or who possesses gives or lends  
            any motorcycle ignition or part thereof, with the intent to  
            unlawfully take or drive, or to facilitate the taking or  
            driving of a motorcycle without the consent of the owner is  
            guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the  
            county, by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both.

          2)Provides that every person who possesses, gives, or lends  
            items of hardware, including, but not limited to, bolt  
            cutters, electrical tape, wire strippers, or allen wrenches,  
            with the intent to unlawfully take or drive, or to facilitate  
            the taking or driving of a motorcycle without the consent of  
            the owner is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six  
            months in the county, by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or both.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Makes the possession of a picklock, crow, keybit, crowbar,  
            screwdriver, vise-grip plier, water-pump plier, slidehammer,  
            slim jim, tension bar, lock pick gun, tubular lock pick,  
            floor-safe door puller, master keys, or other instrument or  
            tool with the intent to break into any building, railroad car,  
            vessel, or vehicle a misdemeanor punishable by up to six  
            months in county jail, or a fine not to exceed $1,000, or  
            both.  (Penal Code Section 466.)









                                                                  AB 1848
                                                                  Page  2

          2)Makes the possession of a key, tool, instrument, explosive, or  
            device, or a drawing, print, or mold of a key, tool,  
            instrument, explosive, or device designed to open, break into,  
            or damage a coin-operated machine with the intent to commit  
            theft from such machine punishable by up to one year in county  
            jail, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both.   
            (Penal Code Section 466.3.)

          3)Provides that every person who, with the intent to use it in  
            the commission of an unlawful act, possesses a motor vehicle  
            master key, or a motor vehicle wheel lock master key is guilty  
            of a misdemeanor.  [Penal Code Section 466.5(a).]

          4)Provides that every person who, with the intent to use it in  
            the commission of an unlawful act, uses a motor vehicle master  
            key, or a motor vehicle wheel lock master key to open a lock  
            or operate the ignition switch of any motor or uses a motor  
            vehicle wheel lock master key to open a wheel lock is guilty  
            of a misdemeanor.  [Penal Code Section 466.5(b).]

          5)States that every person who knowingly manufactures for sale,  
            advertises for sale, offers for sale, or sells a motor vehicle  
            master key or a motor vehicle wheel lock master key, except to  
            persons that use such keys in their lawful occupation or  
            business is guilty of a misdemeanor.  [Penal Code Section  
            466.5(c).]

          6)Provides that every person who, with the intent to use it in  
            the commission of an unlawful act, possesses a motor vehicle  
            key with knowledge that the key was made without the consent  
            of either the registered or legal owner is guilty of a  
            misdemeanor.  (Penal Code Section 466.7.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  

           1)Authors Statement  :  According to the author, "Motorcycle theft  
            is easily committed using simple devices.  Since stolen sport  
            motorcycles are frequently sold outside of this country  
            (especially when stolen in San Diego County), often before the  
            owner even knows the motorcycle is gone, motorcycle thieves  
            steal with impunity.  In 2007, more than 1,400 sport  
            motorcycles were stolen in San Diego.  In 2008, the number of  
            stolen motorcycle decreased to 1,100, partly due to a regional  








                                                                  AB 1848
                                                                  Page  3

            law enforcement undercover operation.  This operation  
            identified three large, separate 'cells' of thieves operating  
            in San Diego County.  Authorities were able to identify 160  
            individuals actively participating in one motorcycle theft  
            ring.  According to the insurance industry, the cost of  
            motorcycle claims run between $8,000 - $10,000 per claim per  
            bike.  These costs are in turned passed onto consumers in the  
            form of higher rates.  Motorcycle thieves are able to use the  
            'pigtail' device quickly by simply cutting a few wires and  
            inserting the device into the ignition.  AB1848 will outlaw  
            the 'pigtail', motorcycle ignition bypass devices that are  
            currently possessed only by motorcycle thieves.  There is no  
            legitimate reason to be in possession of an ignition bypass  
            device and, in fact, even authorized motorcycle mechanics  
            cannot purchase this device because it is installed at the  
            factory facility."

           2)Comments  :  Penal Code Section 466 makes the possession of a  
            picklock, crow, keybit, crowbar, screwdriver, vise-grip plier,  
            water-pump plier, slidehammer, slim jim, tension bar, lock  
            pick gun, tubular lock pick, floor-safe door puller, master  
            keys, or other instrument or tool with the intent to break or  
            enter into any building, railroad car, vessel, or vehicle a  
            misdemeanor.  This section requires the specific intent to  
            "feloniously break or enter" which are the elements of  
            burglary.  However, when a motorcycle is stolen, the  
            perpetrator does not "break or enter".  Thus, a person can  
            possess the tools needed to steal a motorcycle with the intent  
            to steal and not be subject to prosecution.  This bill merely  
            creates a parallel offense that makes it a misdemeanor to  
            possess specified tools with the intent to unlawfully take or  
            drive a motorcycle.

           3)Prior Legislation  :  AB 2015 (Corbett), Chapter 335, Statutes  
            of 2002, made the possession of porcelain or ceramic spark  
            plug pieces or chips with the intent to break or enter  a  
            building or vehicle a misdemeanor punishable by up to six  
            months in the county jail, by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or  
            both a fine and imprisonment.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          San Diego County District Attorney (Sponsor)








                                                                  AB 1848
                                                                  Page  4

          American Motorcyclist Association District 37
            Dual Sport
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Motorcycle Dealers Association
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association

           Opposition 
           
          None
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744