Missouri Organized Retail Crimes Association (MORCA)
"Steal it and deal it." That's the motto of organized retail crime. According to the FBI, industry experts say organized retail crimes cost the U.S. about $30 billion a year.
Retailers have fewer items in their inventory to sell and their profits suffer.
National Retail Federation -- January 2011:
"Organized retail crime affects virtually every single retailer in America, impacting everything from the bottom line to the safety of people in the stores," said NRF senior asset protection advisor Joe LaRocca. "As criminals become more brazen, retailers are working fervently to cut down on organized retail crime activity in order to ensure the safety of their associates and shoppers."
Consumers pay higher prices because loss prevention efforts cost retailers money. Consumers are also at risk when retail crime organizations steal consumable products, especially the over-the-counter drug items and infant formulas, two popular items for organized retail theft rings. In many cases, after the merchandise has been stolen the products are not stored properly, which can render the products ineffective or even dangerous.
State and local governments, already under extreme financial pressure, lose tax revenue. The Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime estimates that States with sales tax annually suffer over $1.5 billion in lost tax revenue due to organized retail theft.
Organized retail crime also poses some difficult challenges to law enforcement. For example, theft rings often operate in multiple jurisdictions, making it impossible for any one State or local law enforcement agency to investigate and prosecute them effectively. These types of cases can also be very resource-intensive.
The Internet has also made it much easier for some such sellers to access a national or even international market of buyers of stolen goods. In addition, the proceeds of these crimes are often laundered with tremendous sophistication. Much of the proceeds are often used to fund even more devastating crimes.
The FBI has indicated how serious the problem of organized retail crime is. When speaking about organized theft and reselling of infant formula Director Mueller, of the FBI, said that "in a number of our cases the subject of these investigations are suspected of providing financial support to terrorist organizations."
There are many challenges on the road to combating organized retail crimes. Lack of available resources to State and local police departments who have the primary responsibility for investigating most retail crimes is a huge hurdle. Sharing information between public and private enterprise is another. The Missouri Organized Retail Crime Association is a partnership between retailers and law enforcement, coming together to help combat the costly effects of "Steal it and deal it."
The goal of the Internet site is to:
- To centralize information regarding retail crime incidents.
- To disseminate information regarding stolen and recovered property associated with retail crime.
Who Should Participate?
Law Enforcement, Crime Analysts and Retailers.