Cortez Masto and Grassley continue their push to protect small businesses from organized retail crime

January 30, 2023

Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) continue their push to protect small businesses by reintroducing legislation to give law enforcement resources to fight organized retail crime like flash mob robberies and cargo theft.

Organized retail crime costs retailers $720,000 per $1 billion in sales — a 50 percent increase since 2015. Cortez Masto and Grassley’s bicameral bipartisan supporter Law to Combat Organized Retail Crime creates new tools to combat evolving trends and establishes a new investigative unit within the Department of Homeland Security to better coordinate an overall government and industry response to these illicit systems.

“I’ve heard directly from retailers across Nevada about the challenges they face with organized retail crime — so I’m advocating bipartisan legislation to help our law enforcement agencies protect these businesses.” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Protecting our communities should not be a partisan issue, and I will continue to work with Senator Grassley to take action against organized crime and advocate for the Nevada small businesses that have been targeted.”

“Stores across America have not been spared a national crime wave,” said Senator Grassley. “These organized theft rings have devised new tactics to steal goods, cause economic harm to American businesses, and put consumers at risk while funding transnational criminal organizations around the world. These criminals are using the internet and online marketplaces to stay ahead of the law and it’s about time the law caught up. This law enhances our federal response to organized retail crime and introduces new tools to recover merchandise and illegal proceeds and deter future attacks on American retailers.”

the Law to Combat Organized Retail Crime Served by the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, US Chamber of Commerce, ICSC, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD and PASS (Protect America’s Small Sellers) supports. Coalition.

“NRF commends Senators Chuck Grassley and Catherine Cortez Masto for their leadership on legislation to contain one of the most pressing issues facing retailers and the communities we serve. Organized Retail Crime is a multi-billion dollar crisis affecting retailers, employees and consumers. NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that retailers have reported a significant increase in violence and aggression related to these brazen crimes over the past year. the Organized Retail Crime Control Act 2023 and the Retail Organized Crime Centers Authorization Act will focus efforts within a new Retail Organized Crime Coordination Center to ensure resources and information sharing are available between state, federal and private sector partners. This legislation is an important step in helping retailers fight back against ORC,” said the National Retail Association.

“Organized retail crime has a devastating impact on businesses and communities. It’s particularly damaging to small businesses that lack the resources to recover and to employees and customers who are traumatized by the interactions. As these crimes escalate, law enforcement sees the perpetrators become more violent and brazen, leaving business workers in the harrowing position of having to choose between making a living or living. Law enforcement must be equipped with the tools to reverse this criminal trend. We applaud Sen. Grassley and Sen. Cortez Masto for introducing this legislation so federal law enforcement can better work with state and local partners and industry to fight organized crime in retail.” said Larry Cosme, the national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers of America.

A former chief law enforcement officer in Nevada, Senator Cortez Masto was a leading public safety advocate in the Senate. In 2022, she led the call for solid funding of the Byrne JAG Scholarship program, the leading source of criminal justice funding for state, local and tribal governments in support of crime prevention, law enforcement, law enforcement, corrections, and mental and behavioral health programs. Her bipartisan bills to address the law enforcement suicide crisis and provide mental health resources to police officers were both signed into law.


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