FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/17/2007
BILL INCREASING PENALTIES FOR BURGLARY OF A MOTOR VEHICLE PASSES SENATE
~ NOW HEADED TO GOVERNOR FOR SIGNATURE ~
~ Anchia Joint Author of House Bill 1887 ~
House Bill 1887, reinstating a felony penalty for Burglary of a Motor Vehicle (BMV) defendants who have previously been convicted of Burglary of a Motor Vehicle two or more times, today passed the Senate and is headed to the Governor's office for a signature. Under the new law, the third conviction for BMV would be a state-jail felony, calling for 180 days to two years in a state jail and an optional fine of up to $10,000.
H. B. 1887, authored by Representative Vicki Truitt (Keller) and Joint-Authored by Representative Rafael Anchia (Dallas), also increases the penalty for second-time offenders. A second offense would be a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum of six months in county jail and a minimum of one year of community supervision. Under current law, due to plea bargaining, offenders usually receive only a 90-day sentence.
"This legislation is a huge victory for citizens, who have suffered from an enormous increase in car burglaries since the penalty for repeat offenses of BMV was decreased from a felony to a misdemeanor thirteen years ago." said Representative Anchia. "It's common knowledge that many of the criminals arrested for vehicle burglary are repeat offenders, and it's clear that the current punishment is not an effective deterrent."
Statewide crime statistics bear this out: Between 1992 and 1994, before the penalty was decreased, the number of car burglaries in Texas decreased 13% (from 260,000 to 211,000 per year) In 2003, nine years after the penalty was lowered, there were 273,000 BMV's, an increase of 30% from the 1994 numbers, with an estimated $204 million in dollar losses.
H. B. 1887 also provides additional financial support to the renamed Automobile Burglary and Theft Prevention Authority, sponsoring programs to safeguard against auto theft or burglary, mandating a plan of action to address those problems, and establishing educational programs to educate automobile owners on preventing auto burglary or theft.
The new law takes effect September 1, 2007.
Representative Rafael Anchia is a former DISD school board trustee serving his second term in the Texas House and represents District 103 of Dallas County. Representative Anchia serves on the Elections, Financial Institutions and Local and Consent Calendars committees.
Contact: Tim Dickey
(512) 463 - 0746/(214) 649-2828 (cell)