Senate bill to raise value thresholds for theft

One senator is trying to update the values included in Alaska’s property crimes statute for the first time since 1979.

SB43, by Sen. John Coghill, would change the minimum prices for a handful of theft and property offenses.

In his sponsor statement, Coghill said that the values in Alaska’s statute need to be adjusted for inflation. He noted that an adult who steals a bicycle worth over $500 could be charged with a felony.

The ACLU of Alaska classified the bill as an effort to keep Alaska’s justice system credible and rational.

But Fred Meyer Stores said that the bill would adversely affect them because the prices of some goods have gone down, especially consumer electronics.

The bill was heard but held by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday.