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After National Retail Federation retraction on organized retail crime’s scope, Attorney General Raoul promises continuing enforcement

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We talked about this story earlier this week

The National Retail Federation just confirmed what many have suspected — reliable stats about organized retail crime are hard to come by.

In a remarkable reversal, the industry group has retracted a key statistic about the impact of organized retail crime (ORC) in 2021 after it could not support the figure with firm data.

A report published in April erroneously said that ORC represented “nearly half” of the industry’s $94.5 billion inventory shrink in 2021. Last week, the NRF updated the report to remove that figure, Reuters reported. […]

“We stand behind the widely understood fact that organized retail crime is a serious problem impacting retailers of all sizes and communities across our nation,” the [NRF] spokesperson said. “At the same time, we recognize the challenges the retail industry and law enforcement have with gathering and analyzing an accurate and agreed-upon set of data to measure the number of incidents in communities across the country.”

* I asked Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office for comment…

Notwithstanding inaccuracies in the National Retail Federation’s data, it remains unquestionable that organized retail crime is a serious problem in the State of Illinois and throughout the country that mandated a law enforcement and legislative response.

Organized retail crime leads to more than just the inconvenience of shopping at pharmacies where everyday items are locked in cases. We know from our investigations and experience that there is no shortage of coordinated brazen acts that put retail employees and shoppers at risk.

The priority is not on low-level shoplifting for personal use, but on organized crime. Proceeds of these thefts end up being monetized on online platforms, which is why we have focused from the beginning on going after the ringleaders of organized criminal enterprises who are often involved in other criminal activity. These efforts have involved coordination between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, which all have recognized the seriousness of this problem. These collaborations have led to arrests and the recovery of millions of dollars of stolen items. Our office is and will continue to follow tips and evidence to disrupt the organizations facilitating these brazen acts.

       

5 Comments
  1. - H-W - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    I do not disagree that organized retail crime is a problem, as is employee theft and other forms of white collar crime, and shoplifting, etc.

    However, it needs to be repeated that stories like the original here falsely suggesting a form of crime is mushrooming at the moment (and more generally suggest that crime overall is growing dramatically without direct evidence of the latter) need to be strictly scrutinized.

    There are many, many forms of crime beyond the 7 or 8 index crimes. Taken together the various forms of crime go up and down annually and independently. When news reports are issued without proper analysis and proper reference points, without longer spans of time for comparison, and isolated from other forms of crime, such reports evoke increases in fear of crime uncritically, and are thereby very problematic.

    That said, I truly appreciate the retraction.


  2. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:08 pm:

    Hysteria is a problem…one that historically leads to violence.


  3. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    Ditto to H-W on everything he said.

    “The priority is not on low-level shoplifting for personal use, but on organized crime. Proceeds of these thefts end up being monetized on online platforms, which is why we have focused from the beginning on going after the ringleaders of organized criminal enterprises who are often involved in other criminal activity. These efforts have involved coordination between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, which all have recognized the seriousness of this problem. These collaborations have led to arrests and the recovery of millions of dollars of stolen items. Our office is and will continue to follow tips and evidence to disrupt the organizations facilitating these brazen acts. ”

    It really strikes me that we need to reorganize law enforcement to deal with crime across jurisdictional boundaries. It will take a lot, but the challenges across jurisdictions just keep growing.


  4. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 4:17 pm:

    - reliable stats about organized retail crime are hard to come by. -

    That really hit me in the funny bone…it’s almost 4:20?


  5. - Stormsw7706 - Thursday, Dec 7, 23 @ 5:12 pm:

    Employee theft and self checkout issues are things I have witnessed in the past year. Skeloton staffing decisions were apparent in both settings. NRF statistics reminds me of lies, **** lies, and statistics quote.


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