"Investigations Centers are a critical part of our strategy to resolve organized
retail crime activity and help support safe and secure environments," said
Target team member Nate Hartle.
The chain works with law enforcement to gather and analyze evidence to stop
thieves in their tracks. A chart maps out a crime ring's network.
The National Retail Federation's 2011 Organized Retail Crime Survey reveals
organized retail criminals are becoming more violent. They use fake price tags
or grab anything they want - from designer jeans to medicine to baby formula.
Sometimes, they steal the items from the stores. Other times, they steal the
items straight off the trucks.
Retail theft not only costs stores money, it drives up prices for everyone else.
Metro Police Property Crimes Detective Mona Connell says Metro is now part of
the Southern Nevada Organized Retail Crime Association or SNORCA. The agency
enables law enforcement and retailers to share information about troubling
"It's to communicate with other retailers, to explain to them that this is
what's going on at our store or stores, and there's a possibility you can be a
victim as well," Det. Connell said. "We're in the top ten in the country
currently. We just became part of the top ten, and nationally, it's a $30
billion loss every year."
A $30 billion-a-year problem is huge, so federal authorities are also working to
fight this theft.
The FBI says it uses many of the same investigative techniques against organized
retail theft groups as it does any criminal enterprise or terror network.
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