Grassley-Cortez Masto Bill Strengthens Federal Response to Organized Retail Theft

WASHINGTON- Legislation Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is targeting the rise in flash mob robberies and complicated retail theft schemes affecting the nation capture. the Organized Retail Crime Control Act 2023 establishes a coordinated multi-agency response and develops new tools to counter evolving trends in organized retail theft.

“Stores across America have not been spared a national crime wave. These organized theft rings have devised new tactics to steal goods, harm American businesses economically, and endanger consumers 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 improves our federal response to organized retail crime and introduces new tools to recover merchandise and illegal proceeds and deter future attacks on American retailers,” Grassley said.

“I’ve heard directly from retailers across Nevada about the challenges they face with organized retail crime – so I’m pushing bipartisan legislation to help our law enforcement agencies protect these businesses. Protecting our communities should not be a partisan issue, and I will continue to work with Senator Grassley to crack down on organized crime and speak up on behalf of the small Nevada businesses that have been targeted,” said Cortez Masto.

Organized retail crime costs retailers $720,000 per $1 billion in sales — a 50 percent increase since 2015. As law enforcement focuses on the rise in drug trafficking and other crime, criminal organizations are increasingly turning to retail crime to help The Internet uses tools to organize flash mobs, sell stolen goods and move money to make illegal profits.

The non-partisan, bicameral Law to Combat Organized Retail Crime creates a unified collaboration between government and industry to counteract this trend. The bill establishes a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime in Homeland Security Investigations that brings together the expertise of state and local law enforcement agencies and representatives of the retail industry. It also creates new tools to assist the federal investigation and prosecution of organized retail crime and to recover lost goods and proceeds.

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 will focus efforts within a new Organized Retail 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 Federation.

“The establishment of a federal center that brings together all relevant agencies responsible for organized retail crime is necessary to improve cooperation in the fight against sophisticated crime rings. Many criminal syndicates use the profits from the sale of stolen goods to fund other violent criminal activities in our communities such as human trafficking, arms smuggling, drugs and terrorism – making cooperation between agencies more important than ever. Retailers appreciate Sen. Grassley and Sen. Cortez Masto’s leadership in law enforcement, which will establish a center to help dismantle and prosecute criminal rings targeting retail stores. We are committed to building support for the law,” said Michael Hanson, senior executive vice president, public affairs, Retail Industry Leaders Association.

“Organized retail crime is fueling increasingly brazen and violent attacks in retail stores and centers across the country, putting employees and consumers at risk. With the increasing number of attacks and lost revenue, we are pleased that this legislation will expand laws governing the transportation of stolen goods and provide additional resources to federal and state law enforcement agencies,” said Tom McGee, ICSC President and CEO.

“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 increasingly violent and brazen, putting business workers in the harrowing position of choosing between their livelihoods and their lives. 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 that federal law enforcement can better work with state and local partners and industry to fight organized retail crime,” said Larry Cosme, national president of Federal Law Enforcement Officers of America.

The text of the law is available HERE. You can find a summary HERE.