Georgia Lawmakers are Stepping in to Combat Organized Retail Crimes
The numbers in organized retail crimes (ORC) are continuing to rise, and they are becoming more dangerous. They aren’t just targeting big businesses – local shops and retailers throughout Georgia are also being affected. Although this is not a rising concern just in Georgia, it’s happening all throughout the country.
[RELATED: Understanding Organized Retail Crimes]
Businesses and local, state, and federal governments are working together to combat the rise of organized retail crime. In Georgia specifically, efforts are being made to combat the threat of ORC to not only protect our businesses but also online and in-store consumers.
Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Puts Businesses and Consumers in Danger
These crimes are not always as subtle as a regular shoplifting spree. Organized crime can be threatening and even violent. According to Loss Prevention Media, there was a jewelry store in California invaded by about 10 people with sledgehammers and innocent customers were injured.
These incidents are real and prevail throughout the country. With brick and mortar shops finally returning back to normal after the pandemic, these sorts of crimes can easily deter customers from wanting to step foot into another shop. And shopping online isn’t safe from these crimes either.
Stolen Goods Are Most Often Sold Online
Majority of the consumers purchasing these goods online are not aware the goods they’re purchasing online are stolen goods. Online marketplaces such as Facebook, Amazon, and eBay are hub spots for stolen retail items that consumers may not even realize were illegally acquired. For consumers, if the price is too good to be true, it is either not real or was illegally obtained.
These are not good people. Many ORC criminals are linked to human trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. Be careful who you buy from online.
Georgia is Working to Combat Organized Retail Crime
The threat of organized retail crime continues, and lawmakers in Georgia are working to bring the criminals to justice. With businesses losing hundreds of thousands – and even millions – in revenue, many shops are struggling to stay open or maintain their employees.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is working with local and federal partners to combat these retail criminals. “Our Gang Prosecution Unit will provide us with the authority to prosecute these crimes and to help protect Georgia’s workers, consumers and small businesses,” he said.
And these aren’t just empty words from our politicians. Georgia law enforcement, lawmakers, and business owners alike are working together to combat the continuous threat of organized retail crime.
The Inform Consumers Act Has Been Signed to Combat Organized Retail Crime
Senate Bill 332 (the Informed Consumers Act) will require online marketplaces to suspend their sellers to provide viable information, such as their name, address, and tax ID. These credentials will be required for high-volume sellers whose revenue exceeds $20,000 per year. Consumers can also report suspicious activity if they suspect the seller has stolen these goods and are reselling online.
Those who do not comply will not be able to sell goods online. Attorney General Carr is leading the efforts to enforce the Inform Consumers Act. The goal is to not only protect businesses’ inventory but also protect the store employees and the in-store and online consumers. As we mentioned earlier, ORC hits can be dangerous to bystanders.
Businesses Are Also Amping up Their Vendor Verification Efforts
Not all ORC’s occur through in-store theft. Some of the merchandise is stolen before it even hits the shelves. Because retailers have so many moving pieces in its operation, a business can help minimize risk through vendor auditing and verifications. By verifying a vendor’s credibility and reliability, you can minimize risk of an ORC threat of theft by conversion.
[RELATED: Theft By Conversion Explained]
CGA Solutions Is Dedicated to Also Combat ORC’s
Our Georgia licensed investigators have investigated theft – including ORC crimes – and are ready to help you. Whether it’s to conduct risk mitigation or investigate an ORC hit, our team is committed to working with you to combat these organized crime sprees. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact our investigation firm today.