Senate passes Padden bill to keep repeat property offenders behind bars longer

A bill from 4th District Sen. Mike Padden that could keep repeat property offenders behind bars longer was approved today by the Senate on a 38-10 vote.

Senate Bill 5056 would allow prosecutors to seek up two additional years on a sentence for first-degree robbery offenders if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is a habitual property offender.

“We have a real crisis in the explosion of property crimes, including auto thefts, catalytic converter thefts and electric-charging equipment,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “What this bill tries to do is keep habitual, repeat offenders behind bars for longer periods of time. That will decrease the property-crime rate substantially. In talking with law-enforcement officers, I’ve learned that relatively few people commit most of the crimes in this area.”

Under the measure, prosecutors can seek the special allegation if the defendant meets certain criteria related to their criminal history and recent, repeat instances of property crime.

During the Senate Law and Justice Committee’s public hearing on SB 5056 in 2023, officials with the Washington Retail Association and Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs testified in favor of the proposal.

SB 5056 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.