Joyce, Buck, Titus, Lee Introduce Legislation to Combat Retail Crime

Feb 14, 2023
Press
Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joyce joined Representatives Ken Buck (CO-04), Dina Titus (NV-01), and Susie Lee (NV-03) to introduce the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation targets the rise in organized retail crime which hurts retailers and threatens public safety. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced companion legislation in the United States Senate. 

“I am proud to join my colleagues, Reps. Buck, Titus, and Lee, to introduce this bipartisan legislation, the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act, to help curb the dangerous trend of large-scale theft,” said Congressman Joyce. “Organized retail crime creates nearly $100 billion in losses for businesses in Ohio and around the country. Congress must do more to address this issue, we can no longer allow these criminal operators to run rampant.”

“The disturbing explosion of organized retail crime across the country these past couple of years has seriously harmed businesses – large and small – putting communities at risk,” said Congressman Buck. “I’m confident that the bipartisan Combating Organized Retail Crime Act will help our law enforcement officials stop future crimes, recover stolen goods and property, and punish those responsible. There is still much we don’t know about the depths of these criminal organizations, this bill would help us get to the bottom of it.” 

“By establishing a coordinated federal response to tackle organized retail crime head-on, this legislation would target the criminals who endanger local businesses and consumers along with the transnational groups that fund their operations,” said Rep. Titus. “Measures like this one will help law enforcement pursue these predators and better protect our local businesses.”

“Organized retail crime puts all of us in danger, while hurting consumers and retailers,” said Congresswoman Susie Lee. “These criminal groups are driving up prices for hardworking Americans, and using their stolen goods to fund human trafficking, weapons smuggling, and terrorism. That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation that will support law enforcement with the tools they need to crack down on these criminal operations.”

“Organized retail crime is tormenting communities large and small across the country. Key to curtailing the proliferation of ORC is increasing collaboration, information sharing, and transparency among stakeholders. The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act would do just that. By establishing a federal center to help track and prosecute criminals, we can help curb what has become a $69 billion problem for American businesses, a major safety concern for communities, and in many cases, a marker of larger criminal activity at play such as human trafficking, gun smuggling, narcotics and terrorism. Leading retailers are thrilled there is bipartisan momentum for this legislation, and we thank Representatives Buck, Lee, Titus, and Joyce for their sponsorship of this critical bill,”  said Michael Hanson, senior executive vice president, Retail Industry Leaders Association

“We applaud Representative Buck and the original sponsors for introducing the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023. ORC is a multibillion-dollar problem impacting the entire retail ecosystem. NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that retailers reported a 26.5% increase in ORC. Even more concerning is the rising level of violent and aggressive tactics exhibited by these criminals. This act will align federal agencies to fight these multijurisdictional crimes. It will also strengthen partnerships among state and local law enforcement and retailers to combat these criminal activities,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.

The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act would establish an Organized Retail Crime Coordination Center under the authority of Homeland Security Investigations. This Coordination Center will include expertise from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies along with retail crime associations to create a cohesive strategy to combat organized retail crime. 

The cost of organized retail crime has increased 50 percent since 2015 and now costs retailers $720,000 for every $1 billion in sales. This legislation would provide law enforcement with the necessary legal tools to combat organized retail crime, just like the tools law enforcement has to combat theft and diversion from other portions of the supply chain.

The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act is supported by the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the PASS (Protect America’s Small Sellers) Coalition.

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