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2012 Archives

Interesting note: A publication in India - Fibre2fashion news desk published the following article that the Daily reported some time ago. "Cabela’s sets up team to tackle organized retail crime" Cabela’s, a direct marketer and specialty retailer of outdoor wear, has constituted investigation teams to tackle organized retail crime (ORC) at its 38 stores across North America. The company decided to form a special team after it found that it is losing a substantial sum to ORC, and thus affecting its profitability. Outlining how ORC is affecting Cabela’s retail business, Mr. Brad Dykes, Director Asset Protection, Cabela's, told fibre2fashion, "The impact of ORC on retail chains is often underestimated. We have observed a demand in the gray/black markets for some of our product offerings. This demand gives rise to sophisticated criminal groups willing to target us to obtain these products by illegal theft and fraud activity. Informing about steps taken by Cabela’s to combat ORC, he says, "While we have targeted ORC for several years with in-store asset protection programs, we have in earnest initiated additional measures through our investigation team to collect information and develop more comprehensive approach to the identification, prevention and resolution of ORC targeting our business." Briefing further about the special investigation team, he avers, "This team is comprised of two primary functional groups. These groups support retail stores and e-commerce. The two groups collaborate with law enforcement and the retail industry to develop investigation resolutions that target the demand source for theft activity, more commonly known as a fence." (Source

Barber shop Quartet store selling stolen and counterfeit merchandise raided with $125,000 recovered in Prince George County, Md. "At Noveau Hair on New Hampshire Avenue, customers could get a bottle of Tide laundry detergent, a tube of toothpaste or even a pair of knock-off Dolce & Gabbana loafers with their haircut, authorities said." Julie Parker, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County police department, said officers seized $125,000 worth of either stolen or counterfeit merchandise when they raided the shop Wednesday and charged four employees who worked there." The raid, Parker said, was the culmination of a two-month investigation by the department’s organized retail crime unit, which works with storeowners in Prince George’s County to investigate and deter crime that affects business. Parker said a tip led detectives to the operation involving stolen goods at Noveau Hair. The investigation is ongoing, and it is possible others could be charged. (Source

High Point, N.C. ORC ring busted hitting all the stores in the area including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods. "We call them boosters–basically professional shoplifters, for lack of a better term," Weisner said. "They will go out every day and steal product, and then they will take that product to the 'fenng involved shoplifting products and selling them on the black market. Arrest warrants are out for at least four more people. One of those was identified as Brittany Marie Allen, 25. Detective Chris Weisner said they know there were many other players involved, and their investigation is ongoing. "About $40,000 worth of stolen merchandise was seized in a shed owned by Garrard, Weisner said." Items seized included large amounts of laundry detergent, razor blades, shampoo and small power tools, police said. "We arrested people earlier who were bringing things in mesh bags. Other people have gone in and will take a pocketbook, line it with tin foil and duct tape it to the inside of their purse so that the metal detectors don’t go off at the door," Weisner said. (Source

Excerpts from GAO-11-675:  Efforts to Combat Organized Retail Crime

The U.S. Government Accountability Office ORC report June 2011

Law Enforcement Agencies Collaborate with Retailers to Investigate ORC, and Federal Agencies Are Taking Steps to Improve ORC Case Tracking

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Efforts: ICE has also become increasingly involved in ORC investigations, most commonly when cases include issues related to money laundering, export of stolen goods, or involve crimes committed by suspects residing in the United States unlawfully. ICE is the principal investigative agency within the Department of Homeland Security and its agents have investigative authorities under Title 8, 18, and 31 of the U.S. Code, which allow them to pursue many different criminal violations that ORC groups routinely commit. According to a senior headquarters official involved in coordinating ORC-related cases, ICE does not dedicate specific resources to investigate ORC cases as they are not an agency mission priority, but it is not uncommon for state and local law enforcement or retailers to contact ICE for assistance in developing cases that involve complex financial or international components. According to ICE, potential ORC cases may be identified through its Cornerstone Outreach Initiative, which is a partnership with the private sector intended to systematically identify and close down vulnerabilities in financial systems through which criminals launder their illicit proceeds. Investigators in one field location also stated that ICE often “backs in” to an ORC case. That is, investigators may be working on an alien-smuggling case and discover that the immigrants are being brought into the country to commit crimes, such as boosting merchandise for an ORC ring. These agents further noted that although a case involves an international component, it may be infeasible for ICE to dedicate investigative resources unless the case is of sufficient scope to merit the attention of a U.S. Attorney’s Office.25 Moreover, given that ICE agents assist in conducting ORC investigations as a collateral duty, their ability to allocate resources may be further affected by other priorities, such as current activities targeting illegal immigration and Mexican drug cartels along the Southwest Border. (Source

ICE Efforts continued Monday

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