As retailers prepare stores for renewed foot traffic in the return to business on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to consider that an increase in organized retail crime activity may result in an epidemic of retail crime as well.
According to National Association for Shoplifting Prevention data, there was a significant increase in theft and ORC activity in the aftermath of September 11th and the economic crash of 2008. It remains to be seen whether the unprecedented event of the current pandemic will rival or even exceed past events. But history tells us we should at the very least be prepared. As is said, desperate times bring desperate measures. With much of the product pipeline cut off to many ORC operators these last weeks and months and with the increased desperation of the massive state of unemployment, all signs point to a significant surge in retail theft and ORC activity.
Our panel of industry experts will share best practices, lessons learned, and planning recommendations that will benefit every retailer, adding to your loss prevention strategy as you position your stores and associates for this possible new wave of criminal activity. Topics will include:
- The value of networking and partnerships; leveraging the power of CLEAR
- Thoughts on combating ORC with limited resources and masks covering faces
- Basics of combating ORC in the past and thoughts on the future
- Working with online powerhouse eBay when a crime occurs
Paul Jones, LPC, is vice-chairman of the Loss Prevention Foundation and has more than 35 years senior loss prevention experience with companies such as The Vitamin Shoppe, CKE Restaurants, eBay, Limited Brands, Sunglass Hut, Luxottica, Mervyns, and Jordan Marsh. He was also VP of LP for the Retail Industry Leaders Association and is a member of the editorial board for LP Magazine.
Ben Dugan, CFI, is the current president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail (CLEAR) and senior manager of ORC and corporate investigations at CVS Health. He has over 30 years retail loss prevention experience ranging from big box, catalog, pharmacy, and specialty retailers. Dugan is certified as an expert in ORC and diversion by the US Department of Justice.
John Matas, CFE, CFCI, is the corporate principal of fraud and profit protection for Macy’s and FDS National Bank. Prior to his current postion he was vice president of investigations, fraud, and ORC for Macy’s. Matas has 30 years of industry experience and currently is co-chair of the ORC Industry Group for the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators.
Christian Hardman, LPQ, is the supervisor for eBay’s Global Asset Protection (GAP) North America PROACT and criminal investigations team where he partners with retailers to investigate cases of organized retail crime and the sale of stolen goods. Hardman also serves on the board of the Utah Organized Retail Crime Association (UTORCA) and CLEAR.
Caroline Kochman is the executive director at National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP). She has spent 27 years in various roles with NASP, which gives her exceptional insight into US shoplifting prevention efforts, comprehensive shoplifter research, and ongoing crime prevention collaboration with retailers, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system.