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ORC 3-29-12



2012 Archives

High end watches running out the door; 3 Florida suspects escape with $215,000 worth of Rolex and Breitling time pieces.
Sales people are trained to control the number of pieces taken out of a showcase. This sales person broke the rule. (source

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

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

Merging Regional Networks Helping Retail and Law Enforcement Partners Share ORC Information and Build Potential Cases

Continued from yesterday:

All of the law enforcement stakeholders we interviewed recognized the regional networks as an important tool to consolidate ORC stakeholder contacts and share information among members in a timely manner. According to three law enforcement officials we spoke with, these types of regional networks can be particularly helpful because—through the theft incident alerts—investigators may identify suspects who are wanted for other potential crimes. As a result, these networks may help ensure that multiple cases involving the same individuals are linked together to better leverage resources and avoid duplication. In Albuquerque, for example, a law enforcement official stated that hundreds of cases have been linked through the information-sharing network in that region since its inception in 2008, including one involving a retail-theft ring connected to over $400,000 in stolen merchandise.

To date, individual law enforcement agencies have taken the lead to develop these regional networks but retailers have played a major support role and, in some cases, have served as the primary funding sources for site development and maintenance. While some regional networks have taken advantage of free technology platforms such as Google Groups, more developed networks have entailed dedicated funding and contractor support. For example, the Los Angeles Police Department fully funded the initial development of the LAAORCA system, which was among the regional networks that we reviewed with more advanced capabilities. However, this project included participation from major retailers, as well as the National Retail Federation. Although the Los Angeles Police Department provides the majority of funding for ongoing operation of the network, a non-profit entity was established to receive financial support from members to help fund ongoing meetings and conferences. More importantly, it appears that other law enforcement agencies may be able to build upon the success and investment of the regional networks already established. For example, a law enforcement official responsible for establishing the BAORCA system in Northern California noted that he worked with the same contractor that developed the networks in Albuquerque and Los Angeles, and was able to utilize the same technology platform for minimal development cost. According to this official, the BAORCA network was developed and implemented for less than $2,000 plus additional annual operating and maintenance costs of approximately $1,500. Initial and ongoing costs have been fully supported by four member retailers. The Cook County State Attorney’s office was similarly able to utilize existing technology platforms to develop its Web site, for which initial funding was provided by Target. These examples illustrate the potential to leverage resource investments and an opportunity to develop partnerships between law enforcement agencies and retail stakeholders to help sustain these regional networks in the longer term.


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