BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 1848|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1848
          Author:   Garrick (R)
          Amended:  3/17/10 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/15/10
          AYES:  Leno, Cogdill, Cedillo, Hancock, Huff, Steinberg,  
            Wright
           
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-0, 4/22/10 (Consent) - See last page  
            for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Tools for stealing motorcycles

           SOURCE  :     San Diego County District Attorney 


           DIGEST  :    This bill defines a new misdemeanor that would  
          be committed where a person possesses a tool or device with  
          the specific intent of stealing a motorcycle.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law provides that any person who  
          possesses specified burglary tools (picklock, vise grip,  
          slim jim, master key, etc.) with the intent to break into  
          or enter any building, vehicle or vessel, is guilty of a  
          misdemeanor.  Any person who, without authority, makes or  
          alters a key (or specified tool) so as to open the lock of  
          a building, vehicle, etc., is guilty of a misdemeanor.   
          (Section 466 of the Penal Code [PEN])
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          Existing law provides that any person who makes, alters, or  
          repairs any instrument or thing, knowing or having reason  
          to believe that it is intended to be used in committing a  
          misdemeanor or felony, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (PEN  
          Section 466)

          Existing law provides that any person who possesses a tool  
          designed to break into a vending machine, and who intends  
          to commit theft from such a machine, is guilty of a  
          misdemeanor.  (PEN Section 466.3)

          This bill 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.

          This bill 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.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/29/10)

          San Diego County District Attorney (source)
          American Motorcyclist Association District 37
          Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Motorcycle Dealers Association
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association

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          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Los Angeles Police Protective League
          Riverside Sheriffs' Association
          Sheriff of San Bernardino County


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    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 14-hundred sport motorcycles  
            were stolen in San Diego.  In 2008, the number of stolen  
            motorcycles decreased to 11-hundred, partly due to a  
            regional 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 - 10,000.00 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.  AB 1848 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.

            "Penal Code section 466 prohibits possession of 'burglary  
            tools,' which include auto theft tools such as slim jims  
            and shaved keys since it is a 'burglary' to enter a  
            locked motor vehicle.  Also prohibited are 'other  
            instrument[s] or tool[s]' with the intent to commit  
            burglary.  These items are not illegal to possess if the  
            possessor intends to steal a motorcycle since that crime  
            does not involve burglary.  When police catch a criminal  
            in possession of a motorcycle ignition bypass device  
            called a 'pigtail,' that criminal can not be arrested.  

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            "Penal Code section 466 also makes it illegal to 'make,  
            alter, or repair any instrument or thing, knowing or  
            having reason to believe that it is intended to be used  
            in committing a misdemeanor or felony,' but this requires  
            proving that the person made, altered or repaired a  
            motorcycle theft tool (as opposed to merely possess the  
            item.)  Moreover, many items used to steal motorcycles  
            have legitimate uses and are not modified in any way.   
            Thus, when suspected motorcycle thieves are found in the  
            middle of the night, for example, in an area known for  
            motorcycle theft, and they possess many of the tools of  
            the trade, such as motorcycle ignitions, wire cutters,  
            wire strippers, or bolt cutters, they likewise can not be  
            arrested.

            "Finally, in cases which a convicted motorcycle thief is  
            granted probation, it is possible to order the  
            probationer not to possess the items proposed in this  
            legislation.  If the probationer returns to stealing  
            motorcycles, he will likely get away with it, but it is  
            easy to find the tools of his trade by simply conducting  
            a probation search.  The same deterrent effect should  
            apply to non-probationers."


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeVore, Emmerson, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong,  
            Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani, Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick,  
            Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill,  
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal,  
            Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  
            Saldana, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Audra  
            Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran,  
            Villines, Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Blumenfield, Caballero, Huber, Huffman,  
            Norby, Vacancy



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          RJG:mw  6/30/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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