IL AG Talks Organized Retail Crime, Highlights Solutions

State ORC Task Forces Effective, Federal INFORM Law Needed

The problem of organized retail crime has entered the public consciousness. The scope and breath of this challenge means that federal, state, and local government leaders are developing new strategies in partnership with the private sector to stop the criminal rings operating in our communities. One leader in this space is Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, whose Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Task Force has already resulted in the bust of millions of dollars’ worth of stolen goods.

In April, AG Raoul took the stage at RILA’s Retail Asset Protection Conference, an annual gathering of the retail industry’s top AP leaders, to share his perspective on organized retail crime and discuss how retailers can leverage government partners to complement their own ORC strategies.
In 2021, AG Raoul launched a statewide ORC Task Force, a large-scale public-private collaboration designed to foster cooperation among retailers, law enforcement agencies, and state’s attorneys to identify and prosecute the criminal networks targeting local stores.

Organized retail crime is a multibillion dollar per year industry, but more important than the financial cost is the danger organized retail crime poses to our communities. These brazen, violent crimes are committed by sophisticated criminal organizations that are involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking and other serious crimes. Even during the looting we law last year, we came to understand that some of these criminal acts were not merely opportunistic, but organized in advance.

Kwame Raoul
  • Illinois Attorney General
The task force has already been successful in identifying coordinated criminal activity, recovering millions in stolen products and building strong cases to shut down sophisticated criminal enterprises – all by increasing communication and information sharing between law enforcement and retailers. It’s a model for other states ready to tackle this complex problem, which puts store employees and customers in harm’s way and undercuts legitimate community retailers who sell from storefronts and online.

However, while state commitments to combatting ORC are incredibly valuable, criminals don’t operate neatly within state boundaries.  To truly tackle the problem nationally, we need more states to launch dedicated (and funded) ORC task forces; and we need more transparency online, so that law enforcement at all levels can more easily work with retailers to identify, track, and disrupt criminals using online marketplaces to fence billions in stolen product.  

The INFORM Consumers Act, currently under consideration on Capitol Hill, will require online marketplaces to collect and verify the identities of high-volume sellers, establishing much-needed transparency and accountability on these platforms and making it more difficult for ORC rings to fence their stolen goods while hiding behind bogus screennames and fake business information. The bill has broad and bipartisan support in Congress and from a wide range of industry groups, including leading retailers, online marketplaces, law enforcement, and more.

Retailers appreciate AG Raoul’s commitment to helping retailers combat organized retail crime and look forward to working with all state Attorneys General on a coordinated campaign to crack down on the criminal rings using the proceeds from stolen goods to fund criminal activity in our communities. Dedicated funding for ORC task forces in every state, transparency online, and collaboration between retailers and law enforcement is the key to stemming the tide of criminal attacks on our stores and employees.  Illinois and Attorney General Raoul are leading the charge—we need commitments from others to follow their lead to protect employees, consumers and communities.  
  • Keeping Communities Safe
  • Organized Retail Crime
  • Public Policy
  • Asset Protection
  • Retail Asset Protection Conference

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