Fighting Canadian Organized Retail
Tight Job Market & Lack of
Resources Makes the Fight Even Harder
During our research and coverage on Organized Retail Crime Groups here in
the U.S., we've established nearly 50 groups with thousands of Loss
Prevention, Banking, and Law Enforcement Professionals involved in combating
ORC. Our next question was, what's Canada doing?
The Glaring Differences
The first thing we needed to keep in mind was that $5,000 is the
felony threshold for shoplifting in Canada, nationwide.
shoplifting below $5,000 is treated as a misdemeanor. There's no
three-strike law, no difference if it's your first offense or 30th.
Convicted offenders can be fined and can be sentenced to up to two years in
Canada's Privacy Laws Impact Collaborative
Understanding the difference between ORC
in the U.S. and Canada begins with the sharing of information. The building
block of ORC here in the U.S. is the ability to share information.
In Canada, the protection of Personal Information Privacy had long been a
restriction on Retailers until June of 2015 when
Bill S-4 was passed. Without getting into the pages of information on
Bill S-4 and
PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act),
the restriction pertaining to Retail Loss Prevention prevented the
sharing of any information on a suspect without Law Enforcement being
directly involved in an investigation.
Even though Canada
has passed Bill S-4, many of the retailers are still reluctant to share
information because the fines for violating a citizen's rights range from
$10,000 to $250,000, and the potential lawsuits and bad press have most
retailers holding back.
problem is just as big as U.S. - Comparatively Speaking
This year The DAILY reported on
Calgary's largest recovery of stolen merchandise; $1.5 Million of stolen
items were seized.
In April of 2016, we covered an elderly couple in
Vancouver that paid shoplifters in drugs to steal; $200,000 of merchandise
Back in 2015, York Regional Police, along with a
number of Retail Loss Prevention professionals, were involved in
a $1 Million case called 'Project Resale'; 4 people were arrested.
Also in 2015, York Regional Police, working with Police from British
Columbia and Quebec, arrested
16 people involved in a theft ring, recovering $88,000 in merchandise in
Just a few examples that show how Law
Enforcement and Retailers are working together even with their emphasis on
ORC Associations in Canada - A Work in Progress
During this research, it was sad to note that most have few options on
where Retailers and Law Enforcement can get together to share information.
In the past, many ORC groups have started but fizzled out, either because of
the privacy laws or budgets.
Calgary Police and a number of
Retailers have created
'RetailCOP', the only online Retail Crime Prevention community
administered by Law Enforcement in Canada.
On Sept 7, 2016 the
Regional Police, in Alberta implemented a similar program.
Toronto has TAPPS (Toronto
Association of Police and Private Security), Toronto Crime Stoppers and
Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers, which have supported ORC initiatives,
but their overall mission is a much wider scope than just ORC.
Currently in Toronto, a small group of retail Loss Prevention professionals
meet, with no real schedule and not even a name for the organization. But
they are meeting and making a difference.
RCC Loss Prevention
conference (September 29th) is a great opportunity for Retail Loss
Prevention executives and Law Enforcement agencies to come together and
re-energize the ORC efforts across Canada.
With privacy laws having
played such an impactful role throughout Canada's history and with retailers
being as risk adverse as they are, given the social media consequences and
the consumer lawsuit mentality, establishing a strong ORC Association model
based on information sharing may be quite the difficult task.
this respect, Canada is much different than the U.S., because in Canada the
rights of the individual supersede the rights of corporations - a fact that,
quite frankly, the Canadians are very proud of.
Given that Canada is
one tenth the size of the United States and couple that with the current
economic retail environment, and what you have is a very tight Loss
Prevention job market that, quite frankly, doesn't have the resources to
dedicate positions to fight ORC and therefore build the ORC Associations we
see here in the states.
TN: Two Arrested with Fake IDs and Passports in a Rental Car; skimming
equipment and thousands in high end merchandise recovered
Agents described what they found during the stop as eye opening and said it
shows just how easy it is to get into America and set up a criminal
enterprise. Ortega, who authorities later determined is actually Jorge
Quinons, said he and Ruidud flew in from Guatemala to Charlotte, North
Carolina. As the agents question the men about the multitude of gift cards,
Quinons said, "These gift cards [are] to buy the things he is going to take
back to his country." Jimmy Mann, Assistant Director of the 23rd Judicial
Task Force, told News 2 receipts indicated some of the items found in the
car, including purses valued at $2,800 each and MacBook Pro computers valued
a nearly $2,000 each, were purchased at Opry Mills and the Mall at Green
Hills. Authorities said Quinons has been deported twice before after
entering the country illegally.
Springs, TN: AT&T Burglars smash through an adjoining wall, loss estimated
to be tens of thousands
Officials confirmed the suspects had initially pried open the door at the
nail salon that's adjacent to the AT&T store. They were able to make their
way into the bathroom of the nail salon where tools were used to burst
through the shared wall to enter the AT&T store. Authorities said they
believe the crime was the work of experienced criminals. The suspects stole
dozens of smartphones, tablets, and other items. Losses have initially been
estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars. Reports stated the burglary
possibly happened sometime around 4:30 a.m.
GA: Lottery scheme lands three Rite Aid Pharmacy employees in jail
The Rite Aid had been one of the top lottery sales stores in the state. The
surprisingly high sales of lottery tickets alerted officials to a possible
problem. The Police Chief said he watched in shock as a Rite Aid employee
suspected of stealing cash used money from the register to play the lottery.
Vickie Matthews, 51, allegedly took the money, bought lottery tickets,
scratched them off, cashed them out and repeated the process on numerous
occasions. "On several days of surveillance I watched Vickie unlock the
store, get the systems up and running, and then begin to play the lottery,"
the Chief said. Two more employees were accused of taking money during the
investigation, the two were working separately.
in Hobby Store theft may be tied to 25 Thefts at Target across Wisconsin
A Sun Prairie man identified as a person-of-interest in a Monroe retail
burglary is a suspect in more than dozen rip-offs at Target stores in the
state. Monroe Police officials say 22-year old Robert J. Olson was linked to
the burglary of a high-end, remote controlled toy car from a hobby store
Sept. 7. Warrants for Olson's arrest were issued from both Milwaukee and
Waukesha counties last month. Documents from four Waukesha County theft
cases identify electronics from Target stores in Delafield, New Berlin and
Waukesha as stolen items. A criminal complaint says during an April
interrogation, Olson admitted to a heroin addiction, and stealing and
pawning items from Target. "The defendant further estimated that he had done
this about 25 times in the past three weeks," Target Senior Investigator
April Kieta believes Olson may be working with another Sun Prairie man as
part of a team thieves responsible for more than a dozen theft incidents at
Target stores in Wisconsin.
WA: 3 arrested fleeing Safeway with stolen goods; tried to run Police off
the road in wild chase
The drama began just before 1 a.m. Thursday when officers got a report of a
shoplifting and theft at Safeway in Enumclaw. When police arrived on scene,
the truck with the suspects in it was taking off. As officers took off in
pursuit, the truck began swerving all over the road and stolen merchandise
was flying out of the back of the pickup at police cars. As the officers
tried to dodge the flying loot, the suspects' truck tried to swerve into a
police officer's vehicle to knock it off the road. K-9's were used to make
the apprehension following a short foot chase.
City, KS: Thieves steal two cartloads of merchandise from Wal-Mart
Ark City Police are asking for help in identifying three subjects they say
filled two carts at the town's Wal-Mart and walked out without paying for
about $1,000 worth of merchandise Saturday night. The theft was reported
about 11:30 pm.
Mercer County, PA:
Police investigate $2,000 in thefts from Grove City Outlets
State Police are investigating a series of thefts that took place over the
past few weeks at the Grove City Premium Outlets. Police say, a man and a
woman stole goods from the Nike Store on September 1, September 8, and
September 11. It's estimated that the thieves took an estimated $2,000 worth
of merchandise. Another theft was reported at the Tommy Hilfiger Store on
September 11. Three women concealed goods in their purses and left the store
MS: A real Hair Pulling incident at Beauty Star, ORC thief doesn't get away
A thief is caught red handed stealing hair from a beauty shop. The crime
happened Tuesday at the Beauty Star and More beauty supply shop. Video
captured a woman stuffing bags of hair into her purse. A store clerk sees
what she is doing on camera and goes to confront her. The woman then tries
to run away, but the clerk manages to stop her, holding her by the collar of
her shirt. A customer jumps in and helps and pulls the woman back in the
store and called the police.
Woodbury, MN: Man allegedly stole
$4,400 of iPhones at Woodbury Walmart