Gov. DeSantis uses toothpaste to illustrate retail theft crisis, endorse tougher penalties
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'So people just go in, they take what they want, they leave.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis is condemning a “culture of lawlessness” elsewhere in the country and reaffirming Florida as a “law and order” state.

And his illustrative example: a dental cleaning product that many of us use daily.

“One of the things that I’ve noticed is that if you go into, like, a pharmacy and the toothpaste is behind lock and key. Like, it’s almost like Fort Knox, some of these places, just for normal items,” DeSantis said.

“You’ve got some problems and what you’ve seen in different cities, whether it’s San Francisco, L.A., New York. All these places, they’ve effectively enacted policies that legalize shoplifting. So people just go in, they take what they want, they leave,” he added in Cape Coral on Tuesday.

DeSantis talked of “illegal aliens” stealing items in New York and coming to Florida, saying that the bulk of the $126 billion problem nationally is because of the collapse of “rule of law.”

The Governor supports Rep. Bob Rommel’s legislation to “deter retail theft,” which would impose third-degree felony penalties for theft rings “who go and blitz a store” with five or more people, a second-degree felony if “you use social media to solicit others,” and a first-degree felony for “aggravated retail theft” committed with a gun or by repeat offenders.

Additionally, the bill is increasing penalties for people stealing packages off porches, DeSantis noted.

Attorney General Ashley Moody spoke more to those themes. She said the bill would help “keep Florida Florida,” giving law enforcement “tools” that will help continue to “bust up criminal rings” and thwart “porch piracy,” which she said violated the “rule of law” that Floridians expect. She also suggested that parents who use children to steal packages will be subject to charges.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Degeneracy of Florida

    February 13, 2024 at 12:20 pm

    It’s hard to understand real folks when you’ve never earned your own money; a government-salaried sailor and legislator that flies in a Gulfstream like a rapper.

    Bless his limited intellect.

  • Peninsula Of Shame

    February 13, 2024 at 12:22 pm

    continue to “bust up criminal rings” and thwart “porch piracy,”

    You are aware that cocaine flows like air through Miami and up the peninsula into our United States?

    Porch piracy isn’t a thing. Fentanyl in Florida? Maybe a thing to address.

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 13, 2024 at 3:09 pm

      Not to forget the firearms trade from South Florida to Haiti.

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 13, 2024 at 2:44 pm

    At least he’s using toothpaste for something. He’s on the right track.
    Mrs Rhonda can now work him toward opening up and letting the airplane in.

  • Impeach Kalifornia

    February 13, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    He’s right you know. But the howler monkeys on here throw poop at everything DeSantis says. Friend of mine just returned from the once beautiful city of San Francisco that is now a filthy , dirty dump. You have to ring a clerk so she can get the key to fetch you toothpaste and many other health products that Kalifornia Democrats think are free. Remind me how long that Nancy Pelosi has been representing that district?

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 13, 2024 at 3:12 pm

      You and Dee have done little or no research. Crime rate is down in many big blue cities. Not that facts should get in the way of a false narrative.

      • Impeach Biden

        February 13, 2024 at 3:29 pm

        I guess you don’t read the papers or watch the news. Where do you get your info? Facebook, Tik-Tok? Have you ever been to San Francisco? Is it a false narrative that retailers are closing their stores due to Democrats demanding free shopping sprees?

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 14, 2024 at 11:22 am

          It is a false narrative. Any business section of any periodical would have told you — after the initial false narrative — that stores are covering for the normal losses, much of which is inside theft. (Much like prison contraband, most of which comes in with the guards.)

          Have smash and grabs occurred, of course, but that it nothing new.

          Sometimes it appears you fell off the turnip wagon just yesterday.

  • Michael K

    February 13, 2024 at 10:08 pm

    Poor Rhonda. Maybe he should get some more poop maps.

Comments are closed.


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