April 21, 2014

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More than three dozen arrested in Polk County

41 people with ages ranging from 12 to 67 were arrested during two days of a theft ring investigation in Polk County, Fla. 32 of the accused have criminal histories, and one of them has actually been arrested 40 times. As usual with organized retail crime, the alleged perpetrators hit popular stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Wal-Mart, and Publix and were also responsible for other crime in the community. It’s clear that most of them don’t consider their actions wrong or take the consequences very seriously. Who knows what might cause at least some of them to change their minds?

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April 21, 2014

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Mesa pawn shop allegedly trafficked stolen property

A Mesa pawn shop allegedly dealt primarily in stolen property and 16 of its employees have been arrested following a police investigation that began last October. Stolen items including TVs, Blu-Ray players, cellphones, game systems, jewelry, laptop computers, iPads, and tools were allegedly being run through the pawn shop on a daily basis. One has to wonder how long crime has been paying in this particular operation. We also certainly hope that the rightful owners can reclaim their property while it’s still useful.

Here’s another article on the same story. In this case, there IS such a thing as bad publicity!

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March 19, 2014

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New laws in South Dakota describe and define ORC

Recently passed consumer protection laws aim to separate the crimes committed by petty thieves and those perpetrated by persons looking for bigger scores. Stealing more than $1000 in merchandise, for example, is now a felony that carries possible prison time. The new legislation is intended to help prevent lost tax revenue as well as increase public safety, since some of the statutes make it illegal for an accomplice to either activate a fire exit alarm or deactivate one to help someone steal merchandise from a store. We certainly hope they help!

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February 26, 2014

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Our neighbors to the north are no strangers to ORC

Last week, Calgary and Vancouver police seized nearly $230,000 worth of merchandise — including high-end clothing, wallets, purses, coats, sunglasses and baby items — from a Vancouver apartment. The majority of the items are believed to have been stolen from retailers in the Calgary area and included a Gucci coat valued at more than $3,700. No matter where it happens, organized retail crime plays out the same way and results in economic impact to stores and honest customers. As Constable Lara Sampson with the Calgary Police Service’s retail industry crime initiative explains

“For organized retail crime rings, it takes several people to go through and collect enough product and then send it through the chain of events, the laundering of it, the disseminating and the selling of those items”

The major problem is that it seems there are always people ready and willing to join these rings, no matter how many are rounded up, and that is the real shame.

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