California and Washington take aim at retail theft

Apr 25, 2024
Written by WR Communications

California’s commitment to public safety and combating retail theft, particularly through its efforts to crack down on Organized Retail Crime (ORC), is evident in recent statistics. Since January, California’s ORC task force, overseen by the California Highway Patrol, has made 474 arrests and recovered more than160,000 stolen items valued at nearly $4.2 million. Since its inception in 2019, the task force has apprehended over 2,500 suspects and recovered more than 770,000 stolen items, amounting to approximately $42.3 million.

Washington State established its own ORC Task Force, operating under the attorney general’s office. WR supported efforts to fund the task force, which went into effect July 2023. The attorney general’s office has been actively recruiting investigators, prosecuting attorneys, and data analysts to bolster its operations, with additional positions yet to be filled.

To date, two significant ORC cases have already been filed by the task force, with several more in the pipeline.

WR is collaborating closely with the ORC Task Force, helping channel cases and resources to them. Additionally, WR remains engaged with Washington’s non-profit Washington Organized Retail Crime Association (WAORCA), which hosts regional meetings and is contemplating a statewide conference. WR commends the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) for its “Vibrant Communities” initiative, aimed at streamlining the reporting and prosecution of retail theft.

In this election year, WR is encouraged by the attention candidates are giving to public safety, retail theft, and the fight against ORC. WR is committed to working with both potential and current legislative candidates to raise awareness and emphasize the significance of these issues.


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