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Bill would reduce threshold for felony theft

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state lawmaker has proposed a bill that would lower the threshold for felony retail theft.

Under current state law, anyone who steals merchandise worth more than $1,500 would be guilty of a felony. Rep. Joel Kleefisch’s bill would reduce that cutoff to $500.

The measure also would require anybody selling baby food, cosmetics, drugs, infant formula and batteries at a flea market to provide proof of ownership available for police inspection.

Kleefisch, an Oconomowoc Republican, said the bill will cut down on thieves targeting Wisconsin because of its lax felony standards and help police better track stolen products such as baby food that are often cut with other substances. He said he expects the bill will come up for a vote in front of the full Assembly this fall.

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