Most readers of the LPM Insider are pretty familiar with shoplifting, its definition, its negative impact on retail operations and profitability and the shoplifting penalties for their state. It would be a lengthy process to learn the laws of every state and their shoplifting penalties because of the vast differences Read More
Shoplifting & Organized Retail Crime
To shoplift is to knowingly obtain goods or merchandise from an establishment in which they are displayed for sale, without paying the purchase price. This act can include carrying, hiding, concealing, or otherwise manipulating merchandise with the intent to steal it.
Organized retail crime (ORC) deals with professional shoplifters, crime networks, cargo theft, Internet crimes, and other organized criminal activities that occur in the retail setting. These highly organized, often mobile, and sometimes complex structures and hierarchies provide a tremendous threat to the retail industry.
ORC involves the association of two or more persons engaged in illegally obtaining retail merchandise through both theft and fraud as part of an unlawful commercial enterprise. The primary objective of these professional crime rings is to target retailers across a geographical area or cyber network, stealing from these organizations for the purpose of turning products into financial gain, rather than for personal use.
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Shoplifting and organized retail crime issues are the most common contributors to external shrink, having developed into a multibillion-dollar problem that ultimately affects each and every one of us. Not only do these losses affect a company’s bottom line in a variety of different ways, but they also impact us as consumers in the form of higher prices, fewer choices, greater inconveniences, and a reduction in services as businesses attempt to find ways to fight external theft incidents and recover damages.
Shoplifters are not bound by age, gender, race, social background, or any other traits that make us unique and distinctive as human beings. This type of theft isn’t always based on need, and many different incentives may influence the motivation to steal. While every situation has its own merits, the motivations for shoplifting can be as different as the individual.
ORC groups are commonly involved in sophisticated, well-planned shoplifting incidents, check and credit card scams, manufacturing fraudulent receipts or price tickets, gift card scams, cargo theft incidents (where goods are stolen or hijacked during transit), and a host of other organized theft events. These criminal activities have become a nationwide problem occurring at an increasing scale, costing retail companies and consumers billions of dollars every year.
In a lawsuit filed in 2015 against Corrective Education Company (CEC), Judge Harold Kahn of the Superior Court of California granted summary judgment against CEC’s restorative justice diversion program, calling it “unlawful because that program violates California’s extortion and false imprisonment laws.”
In his ruling filed August 14, Judge Kahn wrote, Read More
A retailer—if it so chooses—can undertake any number of actions aimed at curbing shoplifting in their communities. A loss prevention pro could give a presentation on the subject to a local school or community youth organization, for example. Read More
According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2016 Organized Retail Crime Survey, all responding retailers said that they believe their companies to have been the victim of organized retail crime (ORC) activity within the past year. Eighty-three percent of those respondents believe that ORC activity has increased in the past Read More
Organized retail crime (ORC) has been in the crosshairs of shrink reduction efforts for a long time now. But for many retailers, battling ORC has seemed less like a victory story and more like an arms race—for every stride made, the opposition adapts. Organized retail crime methods are a part of Read More
As a loss prevention agent in 2017, it’s easy to begin to feel helpless. Many retail environments have shifted to no-touch policies, as jurisdictions push legislation to ease the legal ramifications of shoplifting and theft. If you can’t stop the shoplifter as he’s strolling out your door with your merchandise, Read More
Loss prevention and retail industry professionals have a responsibility to stay informed about the latest retail theft statistics. This post provides a snapshot of what retailers currently face when it comes to loss and theft.
Inventory shrinkage refers to the difference between the merchandise a retailer shows in its records Read More
Booster bags, or so-called “magic bags,” continue to be one of the more popular shoplifting methods used by professional thieves. These foil-lined carriers work because the lining prevents the alarms actually connecting with the tag when passing through scanners. Despite penalties imposed on thieves for going equipped with these bags, Read More
Many of us in retail loss prevention probably think of most shoplifters as plain petty crooks. We rarely give much thought as to why a given individual shoplifts. Yes, we get ORC. That’s a business. And there are probably isolated cases where a person really does shoplift out of true Read More
Shoplifting is often cited as the most frequently committed crime in societies around the world. (Content sponsored by the Crime Accountability Partnership Program.) Read More
Get the facts about shoplifting in our FREE Special Report,Tips on How to Stop Shoplifting: What You Can Learn from Shoplifting Statistics, Organized Retail Crime Facts & Shoplifting Stories right now!