Retailers Battle a $45 Billion Crime Spree

WSJ Exposes Amazon Connection to Sale of Stolen Goods

Today the Wall Street Journal published a feature article detailing the organized retail crime problem currently impacting the industry. RILA’s Senior Executive Vice President, Public Affairs Michael Hanson issued the following statement in response. 

“This story makes one thing abundantly clear: retailers are spending millions to combat organized crime and keep customers and employees safe, while Amazon’s focus rests solely on making excuses and evading responsibility while they profit off the sale of stolen goods. We know they are only willing to get involved in these cases after these million dollar rings are busted and much of the harm has been done. It’s time for Congress to hold them accountable for their role in providing a haven for these sophisticated criminal networks to peddle stolen goods.” 

The article notes: 

"Complicating the battle is Amazon itself, which investigators and law-enforcement officials say is one of the biggest outlets for criminal networks, given its huge pool of potential customers and, in investigators’ view, insufficient vetting of sellers or their listings.

"Retail and law-enforcement investigators say they struggle to obtain information about potentially illicit sellers from the online giant, which generally declines to provide information about sellers without a subpoena or other legal action. Other online selling platforms such as eBay Inc. are more willing to cooperate without legal intervention, investigators say.

"Amazon “may be the largest unregulated pawnshop on the face of the planet,” said Sgt. Ian Ranshaw of the Thornton, Colo., police department. “It is super hard to deal with them.”

See the full article here.


RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

  • Organized Retail Crime
  • Public Policy
  • Keeping Communities Safe
  • Asset Protection

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