RICHMOND – This morning, a bill co-patroned by Senator Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) to raise the grand larceny threshold from $200 to $500 passed through the Senate Courts of Justice Committee unanimously. SB816 now makes its way to the Senate floor.

Said Senator Surovell, “I have carried this legislation for several years now. Virginia has one of the lowest thresholds in the country for grand larceny. This section of the Code hasn’t been updated in nearly 30 years. $200 went a lot further back then than it does now. This change is long overdue. We should focus our scarce prosecutorial resources on serious crimes, not $201 petty thefts."

Said Senator Petersen, “Facing a 20 year jail sentence for stealing a pair of sneakers is outrageous. Theft is wrong – but we also need punishment to be proportional to the crime committed. We are facing serious overincarceration here in Virginia; one way to address that is to stop locking up individuals for stealing under $500 worth of property.”

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