The Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR) has joined with major retailers in the Buy Safe America Coalition, a diverse group of retailers, consumer groups, wholesaler-distributors, and manufacturers who support efforts to combat organized retail crime and protect consumers and communities from the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods online.
As a non-profit, non-partisan national association of law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals, CLEAR works to build and support efforts to improve the safety of communities. CLEAR joins the coalition as organized retail crime, which refers to criminal networks that steal merchandise in mass quantities from storefronts and sell those goods online, continues to increase. CLEAR will take part in the coalition alongside existing members including Walgreens, CVS Health, Home Depot, Rite Aid, Ulta Beauty, DICK’s Sporting Goods, HP Inc., OpSec Security, and Philips.
The opportunity for organized retail crime groups to resell stolen merchandise has experienced some difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of digital platforms to sell stolen merchandise has grown exponentially in recent years, and with traditional shops and markets closed, many criminals have further expanded their online channels to sell stolen products.
Despite the increasing sales of stolen and fraudulent goods online, e-commerce marketplaces have not taken sufficient action to solve the problem. The Buy Safe America Coalition is urging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, which addresses this issue by requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information and having sellers provide that information to consumers.
“The consequences of organized retail crime are severe. Profits from the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods have been closely linked to criminal organizations involved in other serious crimes including terrorism and human and drug trafficking,” said Ben Dugan, CLEAR president. “The INFORM Act is a commonsense measure that will help address the growing problem and consequences of organized retail crime by increasing transparency and accountability on online marketplaces.”
“As law enforcement professionals specializing in retail loss prevention, CLEAR members have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact that organized retail crime has on communities,” said Sgt. Rich Rossman, Broward County Sheriff and CLEAR law enforcement vice president. “CLEAR is proud to join the Buy Safe America Coalition’s in support of the INFORM Consumers Act, a much-needed piece of legislation.”
“Far too many stolen and counterfeit goods are sold on online marketplaces at a detriment to consumers, businesses, and communities, and we must make it our top priority to address this growing problem,” said Kate Adams, Rancho Cordova Chief of Police and CLEAR law enforcement training director. “With this in mind, CLEAR stands alongside BSAC members in support of the INFORM Consumers Act, which is closely aligned with CLEAR’s mission to foster safer communities.”
Visit BuySafeAmerica.org for more information about the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods and solutions to better protect consumers and businesses.