ALEXANDRIA, Va. As retailers lose more than $30 billion a year to organized retail crime, two members of the House of Representatives have introduced a bill that will combat the problem.
The Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008, introduced by Indiana Democrat Brad Ellsworth and Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, would amend the federal criminal code to deter and punish people who commit and aid organized retail crime. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores welcomed the bill’s introduction.
Organized retail crime involves the large-scale theft of goods ranging from over-the-counter medications to DVDs and then reselling the goods at flea markets or online. The goods often pose a risk to consumers as thieves mishandle them, alter expiration dates or store them in unsanitary conditions. According to the Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime, which comprises NACDS and numerous other retailers, authorities in Texas confiscated $1 million in stolen baby formula stored in rodent-infested garages without temperature controls.
“Organized retail crime drains businesses, penalizes consumers and sustains illegal activities that jeopardize public safety,” NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson said.