Retailers Seek Action Against Organized Crime

Washington, The Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime brought the issue of organized retail theft before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on Thursday.

At the hearing, titled “Organized Retail Theft Prevention: Fostering a Comprehensive Public-Private Response,” Brad Brekke, VP of assets protection for Target, along with Karl Langhorst, director of loss prevention for Randalls/Tom Thumb Food and Pharmacy, spoke on the devastating impact of organized retail crime, which is responsible for an estimated $30 billion in retail losses annually.

“In the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ world, it was difficult to operate with anonymity,” Brekke said. “Today that has all changed. The Internet has created a worldwide market for stolen goods in which the sellers are anonymous and there is an enormous universe of buyers who are generally unaware of the nature of the goods sold.”

The Coalition representatives urged the Subcommittee members to consider introducing legislation that would make organized retail crime a federal felony.

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