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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation establishing the Organized Retail Crime Act  To protect consumers by cracking down on the increasing prevalence of retail fraud. The governor called for the legislation in his special message on public safety. House Bills 5843 and 5902, sponsored by state Rep. Joe Graves, would make it a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment if a person is found guilty of knowingly committing organized retail crime. This includes the theft of retail merchandise with the intent or purpose of reselling, distributing, or transferring the stolen retail merchandise to another retail merchant or to any other person personally, through the mail, or through any electronic medium, including the internet, in exchange for anything of value. The measures are now Public Acts 455 and 456 of 2012. (Source

Chicago's "Operation Whoville" busts 108 suspects in covert undercover sting operations over the holiday season The investigation, dubbed "Operation Whoville," involved a series of separate covert undercover sting operations at six Chicago-area malls, including North Riverside, Old Orchard, Orland Square, Woodfield, Gurnee Mills and the Aurora Outlet Malls, a release from Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said. Arrests were also made at shops on Michigan Avenue and State Street in Chicago. A total of 108 individuals were arrested over the last month and charged with theft of a wide variety of products including clothing, electronics and jewelry, the release said. The accused also allegedly stole over-the-counter medicines and baby formula from big box retail outlets. The investigation targeted those who authorities believe steal products from retailers and then pass along the stolen goods to major "fencing" operations who resell them for significant untaxed profits. (Source

Redding, Pa., trio arrested for string of retail robberies  On December 28, 2012 the Redding Police Department arrested three suspects involved in several cases that occurred over the past few weeks. Hitting Kohl's, J.C. Penney, Sportsman's Warehouse, and Wal-Mart. The suspects had also been identified stealing over $2,000 of baby merchandise from Walmart in Redding during the month of November. (Source

ORC ring hitting Walmart for thousands in baby formula in Houston, Tx.  A man is accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of baby formula from an area Walmart store as part of what police say is an organized theft ring. Hawkins is suspected in an organized theft ring involving baby formula, court documents say. Police say the ring targets an area Walmart two or three times, then moves onto another store. (Source

Shoplifting ring busted at Walmart with two employees involved in Buffalo, N.Y.  Authorities say they've charged two Walmart employees and two other people with being part of a shoplifting ring that stole more than $7,000 in merchandise from a suburban Buffalo store. State police say managers at the Walmart Supercenter in the town of Clarence contacted troopers on Christmas Eve to report that they had spent the past month gathering evidence of several employees involved in an ongoing shoplifting scheme. (Source

Booster bag and security tools used by female duo in Macy's at Eastview Mall in Victor, Ca.  Ontario County Sheriff's Deputies tell News10NBC that two women were arrested Tuesday after attempting to steal almost $300 in merchandise from a store in Eastview Mall in Victor. Deputies say that Smith had a bag that was modified to aid shoplifting and a tool commonly used to remove security sensors from clothing. (Source

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