What is Organized Retail Crime?
Organized retail crime (ORC) refers
to groups, gangs and sometimes individuals who are engaged in illegally
obtaining retail merchandise through both theft and fraud in substantial
quantities as part of a criminal enterprise. These crime rings generally consist
of "boosters" - who methodically steal merchandise from retail stores
- and fence operators who convert the product to cash or drugs as part of the
criminal enterprise. Phoenix Remains one of the top cities for ORC
in the National Retail Federation's 2016 retail crime survey.
The National Retail Federation (NRF)
2019 Organized Retail Crime Survey reports, Organized retail crime continues to present a serious challenge to the retail industry. Every year, the vast majority of retailers surveyed report being a victim of ORC, and 2019 is no different. This year, 97% said they've been victimized in the past 12 months. Despite retailers' best efforts, the industry has yet to see a meaningful reduction in the impact of these crimes.
This represents a significant cost for retailers. Respondents report losing $703,320 per $1 billion in annual sales volume due to ORC activity in the past 12 months. While it can vary from year to year, this is the fourth year in a row it has topped $700K.
Partnerships between law enforcement
and retail investigators have formed to combat ORC. These
associations share cross-jurisdictional information to identify, disrupt, and
apprehend Organized Retail Crime crews.
AZORCA is a statewide crime-fighting
partnership. This association allows retailers and law enforcement to
communicate about criminal activity impacting businesses on a real-time basis
while preventing other partners from being victimized. The searchable website
and its mapping capabilities are focused on providing real-time criminal
intelligence. Through this collaborative partnership, law enforcement, legislators,
and the business community will be able to work together to identify offenders
and resolve cases, all while developing new and innovative ways to combat ORC