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Prosecutors and Retailers Partner to Combat Retail Crime

The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have announced a first-of-its-kind national partnership to combat retail crime. The launch of the national partnership follows a successful summit held on June 30, 2022 bringing together leading retailers and prosecutors’ offices from around the country to establish open lines of communication between prosecutors and retailers, identify common challenges, share information on repeat offenders, and work together to identify criminal networks targeting local retailers.

John J. Flynn

“Retail theft is not a victimless crime. As prosecutors, we must protect the safety of retail employees and customers by holding the individuals who commit thefts, violence, and other retail-related offenses accountable for their crimes. I look forward to continued discussions with the Retail Industry Leaders Association on how to uncover the criminals who profit from stolen merchandise, prevent thefts, and enhance public safety for all who shop and work at our nation’s retailers,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, president of the National District Attorneys Association.

Bringing together prosecutors and retailers is essential to combatting organized retail crime and keeping our communities safe. Law enforcement agencies at multiple levels, including the federal government, have established the nexus between organized retail crime and violence, as well as broader criminal activity that includes human trafficking, cybercrimes, drug trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault. By sharing information and working together to identify the organized criminal networks operating in our communities, we can focus our resources on cases that are vital to public safety.

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Lisa LaBruno

On the launch of the partnership, Lisa LaBruno, Senior Executive Vice President for Retail Operations at RILA, said, “Retailers are extremely grateful to begin this partnership and develop stronger ties with local prosecutors who are on the front lines of keeping our communities safe. Organized retail crime is not petty theft. Our goal is to assist law enforcement with big cases, where organized criminal rings are stealing and reselling thousands—sometimes millions—of dollars in stolen product. These networks have become more violent and brazen in recent years, and this partnership is a tremendous opportunity to target career criminals and put them out of business.”

Through this partnership, NDAA and RILA will develop training, best practice guides, thought pieces, policy papers, webinars, and other educational resources for retailers, prosecutors, law enforcement, and communities. To kick off the partnership, the two organizations will be hosting a webinar on October 8, 2022 on the new retail theft task force recently launched by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, AZ. Check back soon for more information on this webinar.

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