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In a letter, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has recommended that the U.S. House of Representatives pass organized retail theft (ORT) legislation currently under consideration.
H.R. 5932, the Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010, enables the U.S. Attorney General to establish an Organized Retail Theft and Investigation Unit to look into and prosecute ORT, augmenting state and local law enforcement’s efforts, and work with victims of such crimes.
“The Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2010 represents a step in the right direction towards protecting consumers and communities from the growing problem of organized retail crime,” said RILA SVP of government affairs John Emling.
ORT is part of the wider criminal activity known as organized retail crime (ORC), in which sophisticated criminal networks that steal large amounts of goods such as baby formula, diabetic test strips and OTC medication from retailers and subsequently sell the stolen items, -- by now often mishandled or altered -- at a profit though pawn shops, flea markets and the Internet. According to experts, ORC losses cost retailers tens of billions of dollars annually.
The bill was introduced by House Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and co sponsored by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).
Arlington, Va.-based RILA’s members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers and service suppliers.