Get Our Email Newsletter

PD and LP Investigators Join Together to Uncover Organized Retail Crime in Oregon

Losses from retail theft have presented a major challenge for Portland, Oregon retailers in recent weeks. After receiving a tip from an informant that a North Portland convenience store was serving as a front for criminal operations, the Fred Meyer loss prevention team, in conjunction with the Northwest Organized Retail Crime Alliance (NWORCA), launched an undercover investigation.

The three suspects involved in the investigation—Pitya Lojuan, James Morodai, and Ezekeil Karim Shabazz–were accused of purchasing stolen property from TNT Market, a convenience store on N. Vancouver Ave. in Portland. According to police, two of the suspects had even created lists of specific items they wanted to purchase in the future.

In an August 13 search of TNT Market, investigators recovered a variety of stolen products, including alcohol, cigarettes, cash, clothing, and more. On August 31, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted both Lojuan and Shabazz. Lojuan received three counts of money laundering, eight counts of attempted first-degree theft, and three counts of unlawful use of food stamp benefits, while Shabazz faces only one count of unlawful use of a food stamp benefit. Morodai has yet to be charged with any crimes.

When it comes to organized retail theft, criminals who steal items and resell them on the black market are known as ‘boosters,’ while those individuals who purchase stolen property are called ‘fences.’ According to police, fences will often use a legitimate business, such as a convenience store, as a hub for repackaging and/or reselling stolen goods.

- Digital Partner -

According to retail theft statistics by the National Retail Foundation, organized retail crime may account for nearly $30 billion in losses each year. Nearly all of the retailers (97%) surveyed for the report said they have been affected by ORC within the past year. Four out of five surveyed retailers support the need a federal ORC law.

Loss Prevention Magazine updates delivered to your inbox

Get the free daily newsletter read by thousands of loss prevention professionals, security, and retail management from the store level to the c-suite.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a Digital Partner

Violence in the Workplace

Download this 34-page special report from Loss Prevention Magazine about types and frequency of violent incidents, impacts on employees and customers, effectiveness of tools and training, and much more.


View All | Sponsor a Webinar


View All | Submit a Whitepaper

LP Solutions

View All | Submit Your Content

Loss Prevention Media Logo

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

The trusted newsletter for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management. Get the latest news, best practices, technology updates, management tips, career opportunities and more.

No, thank you.

View our privacy policy.