Colorado hopes US retail compliance law will help crack down on organized theft
June 07, 2012
Colorado recently enacted U.S. retail legislation to target criminal organizations that steal goods in bulk to later sell illegally.
The practice typically involves some members of a group creating a distraction that allows others to misappropriate merchandise, and costs retailers in the state approximately $500 million per year, according to The Associated Press. The stolen goods are then unloaded at flea markets, shops in the area and online.
In an effort to reduce instances of bulk theft, the bill introduced stricter penalties for tampering with stores' alarm systems, triggering them without appropriate reason or using foil-lined bags and clothing to avoid detection.
"We need to keep a step ahead of them, and that's basically what we're trying to do," said Democratic State Senator Linda Newell of the new U.S. retail compliance law, as quoted by the news source
"We're all victims of this," added John Lites, retail co-chair at the Colorado Organized Retail Crime Alliance, which works to combat organized theft. Since the formation of the group a few month ago, membership has risen to 400.
A recent National Retail Federation blog post
highlighted the difference between organized retail crime and shoplifting, defining the latter as "typically a retail theft by a single individual of small number of goods for personal use."