ORCAs in Action, an LP Magazine initiative to support the nation’s organized retail crime associations, held another in an ongoing series of virtual conferences on June 8, 2022 featuring presentations by top leaders and subject-matter experts on topics critical to the fight against organized retail crime (ORC).
In this presentation, hosts Kevin McMenimen and Jac Brittain carry on a discussion with Rob Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. Karr reveals how the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) and Illinois Office of Attorney General (OAG) have collaborated to create a comprehensive legislative package to address organized retail crime. This includes how the proposal creates and specifically defines a violation of ORC, deters smash-and-grab thefts, deters supply chain thefts, reduces a criminal’s ability to avoid prosecution, provides the AG the use of the statewide grand jury to prosecute ORC, provides dedicated enforcement resources, addresses online fencing rings, and enhances public-private coordination.
The legislation was signed into law last month and is currently being implemented throughout the state. The creation of this legislation was driven by multiple factors including the pandemic, a change in Illinois leadership, criminal justice reform, redistricting, and the 2022 elections.
For retailers in other states to be successful with similar legislation, Karr advised they start by reaching out to potential collaborators early, and to not be afraid to engage with those who might not initially support your ideas. By being patient with those who disagree with you, you are able to “work both sides of the aisle.” Along with patience, gathering and applying relevant statistics are also a necessity to fully understanding the situation. “You have to play all the cards you can to educate members about what’s going on,” Karr told participants.
Watch the full webcast below.