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Retailers welcome Senate bill dealing with organized retail crime

The Senate has introduced a bill that would help recover loss goods and proceeds related to organized retail crime.

The Senate has introduced legislation that would create new tools to assist in the federal investigation and prosecution of organized retail crime (ORC) and help recover lost goods and proceeds

The “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023” was introduced by Senators Charles “Chuck” Grassley (R-IA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). It would establish a coordinated multi-agency response and create new tools to tackle evolving trends in organized retail crime. A companion bill is expected to be introduced next week in the House of Representatives.

“Retailers face security-related challenges on many fronts, and ORC continues to be a formidable threat in communities across the country,” said David French, senior VP of government relations, National Retail Federation. This legislation is a critical step to increase collaboration between federal law enforcement agencies, retail investigators and state agencies to more effectively combat these increasingly violent criminal activities.”

In a recent survey of retail asset protection managers conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, more than 86% of respondents said retail associates had been verbally threatened with bodily harm, nearly 76% reported associates were physically assaulted or threatened with a weapon, and more than 40% of associates were harmed by a weapon used by an ORC criminal.

“Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen and more violent attacks in retail stores and centers throughout the country, putting employees and consumers at risk,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “In light of the increased number of attacks and lost revenue, we’re pleased that this legislation will broaden the statutes dealing with the transport of stolen goods and provide additional resources to law enforcement at both the federal and state level.”

The legislation is supported by ICSC, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD and the PASS (Protect America’s Small Sellers) Coalition.

According to NRF’s 2022 Retail Security Survey, ORC contributes to total shrink, costing the industry nearly $100 billion in 2021.

[Read More: NRF: Retail shrink nears $100 billion; ORC a top challenge]

Click here for a summary of the legislation.

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