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An overview of organized retail crime

Organized retail crime (or “ORC”) is a type of crime that involves multiple actors. It appears that some people have realized that certain retail items are extremely valuable when they are sold on the street and have organized their efforts to hit stores in a coordinated fashion to maximize their bang for the criminal buck. These organizations are relatively new and only recently began attracting media attention. This post will go over ORCs and the potential consequences for people who are caught participating in them.

These are not “fly by the night” organizations. Many ORCs and their associated criminal enterprises can make millions of dollars a year reselling stolen goods. The initial thefts, the boosters, and fencers who eventually sell the products all stand to make major profits on sales of stolen goods.

The ORCs target a wide variety of goods from razors to milk. A favorite target is liquid Tide detergent for laundry which goes by the street name “liquid gold.” In fact, it is estimated that $37 billion a year is lost to retailers due to theft. These organizations are also quite large; a recent Tennessee investigation arrested 160 people and $30,000 in stolen merchandise.

This crime, while at first appear petty, carry serious consequences for the individuals who are caught. Any organized crime is subject to higher criminal penalties because it is part of a criminal enterprise. Furthermore, many of these enhancements can result in years of additional sentencing and special treatment in prison, such as more frequent use of isolation. In short, the cost of participating these ORCs is quite high.

If you are facing larceny or theft charge conviction, you may want to speak to a defense attorney. You can always salvage a botched defense and negotiate a plea bargain or some other reprieve. Of course, it is best if you address these charges effectively from day one, rather than wait too long to mount a defense but it is never too late that you should give up. An attorney will represent you in court and lead your defense. You don’t need to do it on your own; a lawyer can help protect you.

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