Colorado committee advances legislation addressing retail theft, online crime

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Published Friday, March 4, 2022
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - A Colorado Senate committee unanimously voted to advance a bill on Thursday that seeks to address the state's increased retail theft and online crime rates. 

House Bill 22-1099 would require online retailers in the state to verify certain information about their business such as their name, contacts, and bank account information within 10 days of qualifying as a "high-volume third-party seller" - or a retailer that makes more than 200 transactions per year, according to the bill's text. 

The bill, which the House passed last month with bipartisan support, was approved by the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee on Thursday.

"Right now, it's far too easy for thieves to resell online goods and take advantage of Colorado consumers making online purchases," bill sponsor Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, said in a statement. 

Property crime in Colorado has risen steadily over the last several years with more than 164,000 cases reported in 2020, according to data from the state Division of Criminal Justice. 

The rising crime rate has also taken a toll taxpayers in the state, according to a study by the Common Sense Institute, a free-enterprise think tank, which found that crime cost Colorado more than $27 billion in 2020, or more than $4,700 per taxpayer. 

"This common sense legislation is an all around win for Coloradans," Zenzinger said. "It will protect consumers and cut down on retail theft, ensuring our online marketplaces remain safe, legitimate places to buy goods and do business."

The bill will next appear on the Senate floor for further consideration. 

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