FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. -- It is a scene many feel is becoming more common: targeted and elaborate retail theft impacting retailers large and small.
Often caught on camera, several thieves burst in and walk out with thousands of dollars in goods.
"During this holiday season, merchants and consumers can expect to see an increased presence of high-visibility patrols and law enforcement," California Highway Patrol Commissioner Sean Duryee said.
The commissioner said his agency has expanded its effort to combat retail theft across Central California.
CHP says it has already recovered about a million dollars in goods in the Fresno area and Sacramento.
But as the commissioner says patrols will continue, some worry that law enforcement's hands are tied due to a state law.
"Proposition 47 created this huge loophole that says if you are caught with $950 or less of stolen goods, you're going to get a misdemeanor, not a felony," Republican State Assemblyman Jim Patterson said. "But the act they are doing is still a felony."
Patterson described what he says are the deliberate lengths criminals go to when they target retailers.
He says the thieves "game the system" by each stealing less than $950 worth of products to avoid felony charges if caught.
Those crimes quickly add up, and Fresno Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Scott Miller says it is taking a toll on local retailers.
"If you're a ten-person business, you don't have a loss prevention professional working for you, and you just don't have the ability to devote those resources to it," Miller said.
Duryee says his officers are working to ensure shoppers and retailers will be safe, but Miller and Patterson both say it is time for change to happen in Sacramento.
Now, the assemblyman says he will keep working to close the Proposition 47 loophole when the state legislature returns in January.