There's a new push to stop organized retail theft.
ORC is costing retailers anywhere from
$30-40 billion a year. "If there's something on the
shelf that can command a price on the black market, then
that retailer is vulnerable to organized retail theft,"
said Ted Potrikus of the Retail Council of New York
State. In New York, a series of hearings are being held
that make the case for a package of six bills. One of
these bills would give prosecutors more power to
prosecute thieves who stay below the "felony threshold"
by crossing county lines to hit more stores. (Source
Organized Retail Crimes Targeted - Long Island Press
Releases— By New York State Senate Committee on
(Albany, NY) State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I-
Shirley), Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection
Committee, held a hearing today on Organized Retail
Crimes (ORC). Last week, the Consumer Protection
Committee, passed a package of six bills (S.6954-A,
S.6955-A, S.6956, S.6957-A, S.6958-B and S6959-A)
designed to crack down on ORC. The legislation now
awaits final senate approval.
"We must protect consumers and businesses impacted
as victims of this expanding crime network. This
legislative package finally puts teeth into the
crackdown on organized retail crime," said Senator
Invited to give testimony at today’s hearing
•Retail Council of New York State
•Price Chopper Grocery Stores
•Town of Colonie Police Department (Albany County)
•Food Industry Alliance of New York State
"There has been quite a proliferation of organized
retail crime over the past few years. Not only is
organized retail crime expensive to our
organization, but it causes our customers to incur
additional costs. Astoundingly, organized retail
crime accounts for 66% of our known external theft,
but makes up only 20% of the incidence.
Individuals or groups that commit organized retail
crime have learned to beat the current system. They
travel from county to county and steal under the
dollar threshold currently contained in the penal
law so that they can avoid felony prosecution.
"We applaud the Senator for taking the lead on this
important issue and addressing this growing
problem," said David Golub, Senior Vice President
Administration of Price Chopper.
The legislative package consists of six bills:
Defines "Organized Retail Crime", adds to the
General Business Law the crime of “theft of retail
merchandise with an aggregated value of $1,000”, and
makes corresponding changes to the Penal Law to
define such crime as “grand larceny in the fourth
Relates to jurisdiction and venue for a pattern of
criminal offenses, granting jurisdiction to any
county when at least one of the crimes constituting
a pattern occurs within the county.
Relates to prohibitions and penalties against
persons who lead an organized retail theft
enterprise by organizing, supervising, financing or
managing such criminal activity.
Prohibits criminal practices with an access device
and classifies such crime as a class B misdemeanor.
This crime would subject individuals to criminal
liability for certain actions taken with a
fraudulent or counterfeit credit card or other
devices that grant the holder access to money,
goods, or services.
Prohibits retail sales receipt fraud and Universal
Product Code fraud and provides for criminal
penalties for such crimes.
Adds a new section to the General Business Law and a
subdivision to Penal Law to provide that use of an
emergency exit to facilitate a theft from a
mercantile establishment is classified as "grand
larceny in the fourth degree".
"Organized retail crime rings operate and threaten
consumers in every part of this state,” said Retail
Council of New York State President and CEO James R.
Sherin. “Senator Zeldin recognized the danger
immediately and responded with a package of bold and
important bills that the retail industry
"This is not garden-variety, personal use theft,"
Mr. Sherin said. "It’s highly organized,
sophisticated, and dangerous criminal activity that
demands a sophisticated and coordinated response.
Coupled with the retail industry’s partnership with
law enforcement throughout the state, these bills
will provide the tools necessary to protect
consumers, preserve tens of millions in sales tax
revenue now lost to ORC, and get the criminals off
The legislative package is being carried in the
Assembly by Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D- Staten
"Senator Zeldin and I have introduced this
legislative package of bills to tackle the growing
epidemic of organized retail theft by crime rings of
professional shoplifters who target retail stores in
a variety of ways. These thieves are costing the
industry approximately $15-$30 billion annually,
which in turn means higher prices for consumers.
This legislative package is a step forward to thwart
these groups and individuals who are blatantly
engaged in illegally obtaining retail merchandise,"
said Assemblyman Cusick. (Source
Possible ORC gift card gang busted in El Cerrito, CA
Four people were arrested
Sunday evening after an attempted shoplifting ended in a
scuffle with store security. Thomecia Thompson and
Cortni Keyes, both of Oakland, filled a basket with
prepaid credit cards inside a store in the 11400 block
of San Pablo Avenue about 6:30 p.m., then tried to leave
without paying. Store security officers followed the
pair into the parking lot and tried to detain them, but
the two suspects jumped into a vehicle where two other
people were waiting. A police officer on patrol nearby
arrested the four suspects. Thompson and Keyes were
arrested and booked. The other two suspects were cited
and released. (Source
Looks like another ORC group hitting a Wal-Mart store
in Wood River, IL and taking "Liquid Gold" - baby
formula Police say three
men filled a large blue container with hundreds of
dollars worth of formula Sunday and they made off with a
display full of the medication Prilosec. Anyone with
information on the crimes is asked to call Wood River
Police at 618-251-3114. (Source
Caught on tape, 2 suspects arrested breaking into Lowe’s
in Kentucky, $70,000 in merchandise recovered.
The overnight thieves hot-wired a forklift to open a
rear receiving door after they believed they had
silenced the alarm system. Staging very expensive tools
and equipment at the back door, the thieves never had a
chance to get out of the store. (source
Home Depot nabs two serial shoplifters in Louisiana.
Thefts are being tied to these two suspects that may be
part of a larger group hitting Home Depot store in
Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. The suspects (one man
cross dressing as a woman) load up a shopping cart with
thousands of dollars in high end tools and power
equipment and run out the millworks door near the rear
of the store. (source
arrested for the theft of 40 iPhones.
A family of self proclaimed 'gypsies' entered the AT&T
in Ballwin, MO, a suburb outside of St. Louis. Two of
the customers distracting store employees while the
third entered the business's back area, filled a garbage
bag with the iPhones then ran out of the store. Police
tracked down the mini van and five suspects, recovering
40 iPhones. Police believe that the group may have hit
additional stores the same evening.
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