New legislation from Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) targets the rise in organized retail theft schemes sweeping the nation.
The bipartisan Combating Organized Retail Crime Act creates a unified government and industry collaboration to address this trend. The bill establishes a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime at Homeland Security Investigations that combines expertise from state and local law enforcement agencies and retail industry representatives. It also creates new tools to assist in the federal investigation and prosecution of organized retail crimes (ORC) and helps recover lost goods and proceeds.
The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act is supported by WR, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Innovating Commerce Serving Communities, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
According to the 2022 National Retail Security Survey, retailers reported an average 26.5% increase in ORC. Perhaps more concerning, retailers also noted a rise in violence and aggression associated with ORC over the past year. The Act will establish a new Organized Retail Crime Coordination Center to align counter-ORC activities nationally and internationally by developing a national-level ORC intelligence perspective, facilitating information-sharing and cross-agency investigations, and serving as a center of expertise for training and technical assistance.