NEW YORK CITY, NY: Today, ICSC announced its support of S.5046, the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act of 2022, introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), that is a pivotal step toward addressing the growing problem of organized retail theft (ORC); a crime that not only harms communities and retail centers but also threatens the safety of consumers and retail workers alike. ORC involves a criminal enterprise employing a group of individuals (two or more) who steal substantial quantities of merchandise from a retailer(s). According to the Buy Safe America Coalition, as much as $68.9 billion worth of merchandise was stolen from retailers in 2019. The proposed legislation would adapt existing federal statutes to address some of the specific elements related to ORC.
The legislation recognizes the severity of this problem with the creation of the National Organized Retail Crime Center within the Department of Homeland Security. The crime center would provide needed coordination with federal law enforcement activities related to ORC, establish relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies, assist with investigations and replicate information sharing with private retail companies.
“Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen and more violent attacks in retail stores and centers throughout the country, putting employees and consumers at risk,” stated Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “We’re pleased that this legislation will allocate additional resources to help DHS, DOJ and other enforcement agencies fight back against ORC and work to keep our communities safe.”
In a recent survey of retail asset protection managers conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, over 86 percent of respondents said retail associates had been verbally threatened with bodily harm, nearly 76 percent reported associates were physically assaulted or threatened with a weapon, and more than 40 percent of associates were harmed by a weapon used by an ORC criminal.
“In light of statistics like these, the Marketplaces Industry supports tougher legislation and is pleased that S. 5046 will broaden statutes dealing with the transport of stolen goods and receipt of stolen goods. Such measures will better target ORC activities and reflect the seriousness of these criminal acts,” McGee said.
ICSC applauds this important development and supports enactment of the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act of 2022 by Congress this year.
The member organization for industry advancement, ICSC promotes and elevates the marketplaces and spaces where people shop, dine, work, play and gather as foundational and vital ingredients of communities and economies. ICSC produces experiences that create connections and catalyze deals; aggressively advocates to shape public policy; develops high-impact marketing and public relations that influence opinion; provides an enduring platform for professional success; and creates forward-thinking content with actionable insights – all of which drive industry innovation and growth. For more information, please visit www.ICSC.com.
By Stephanie Cegielski
Vice President, Public Relations