‘Crime doesn’t pay in Orange County’ – new SoCal billboard campaign aims to keep criminals away from OC

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A new advertising campaign aims to send a clear message to shoplifters and other criminals throughout Southern California: “Crime doesn’t pay in Orange County.”

The OC District Attorney’s office has put up several billboards across the region – outside of Orange County – in an attempt to deter criminals from traveling there to commit crimes. The campaign is also on bumper stickers and bus signs.

“I want thieves to understand this is not Los Angeles County,” said OC DA Todd Spitzer. “We still prosecute in Orange County and just because LA is very lenient on people who steal – if you come to Orange County we’re going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

With the rise in theft, especially smash-and-grab robberies, Spitzer wants to send a very clear message since he says the majority of those arrested and prosecuted in Orange County come from outside the area – largely LA County.

The California Retailers Association supports the move.

“I think that making that point, that there will be accountability is key to hopefully deterring the behavior from happening in the first place,” said the group’s president, Rachel Michelin. “But then making sure people understand if they continue to do this behavior, they are going to be caught and they are going to be prosecuted.”

The $250,000 initiative covers several counties with billboards posted on freeways along all the borders of Orange County and on buses in Norwalk, Long Beach, LA and Glendale.

Spitzer said it is not funded by taxpayer dollars but by illegal proceeds seized from criminals.

But some criminals apparently aren’t impressed. One billboard on the 5 Freeway near Commerce has already been vandalized, changing the word “doesn’t” to “does” and adding a graffiti tag.

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