Organized retail crime is on the rise. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2022 National Retail Security Survey, retailers reported an average 26.5 percent increase in ORC. They also noted an increase in violence and aggression associated with ORC.
This rise in crime has caught the attention of policymakers in Washington and they are considering legislation to help. Ahead of Fight Retail Crime Day on Oct. 26, the NRF is asking congress to act—and, in turn, asking retailers to plead with congress as well.
The individuals that drive the increase in retail crime are part of criminal enterprises that steal large quantities of merchandise to later convert the stolen goods into cash. These stolen items are sometimes sold on online auction sites and marketplaces with their origins not properly verified.
To help curb the sale of counterfeit goods and stolen merchandise, bipartisan legislation called the INFORM Consumers Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) would require online marketplaces to verify the identity of high volume third-party sellers.
In addition, the recently introduced Combating Organized Retail Crime Act seeks to increase coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies by establishing a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Catherine Cortes-Masto (D-Nev.) in the Senate, and Representatives Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Susie Lee (D-Nev.), and Tedd Budd (R-N.C.) the proposed Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act will help combine expertise from state and local law enforcement agencies as well as retail industry representatives. It also creates new tools to assist in federal investigations and prosecution of organized retail crime and help recover lost goods and proceeds. This coordination is a critical step for retailers to effectively combat criminal activities.