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Organized Retail Crime Is Rising — How Lawmakers Are Fighting Back

It’s a ‘multi-billion dollar problem’ affecting retailers of every size.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Retailers are reporting an increase in organized theft rings, and lawmakers in at least one state are working to bring them down, AZFamily.com reports.

Organized retail crime is loosely defined as the online selling of merchandise that’s stolen from businesses. Sometimes, theft rings will recruit individuals to do the stealing. A theft ring in North Carolina was recently busted when authorities charged its participants with pilfering goods from local retailers and flipping them via Facebook and Snapchat.

The Home Depot is one such retailer that is being impacted by this kind of criminal activity. The article quotes Mike Combs, the company’s director of investigations, who has observed the most brazen kind of theft.

“What we focus on is the people that come in and take shopping carts full, thousands of dollars worth of product, and many times they’re aggressive,” he said.

For their part, lawmakers in Arizona are working on a bill that would create a specialized task force that is dedicated to organize retail theft.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar problem,” a spokesperson for the Retail Industry Leaders Association told the news outlet. “With the anonymity of the internet, it’s hard to track who these people are. They hide behind bogus business information and fake screen names, and so it’s just a growing threat that’s impacting retailers of all sizes.”

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Read more at AZFamily.com.

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