What can be done about organized retail theft?
- To address this, action is needed to close the market for stolen goods, and to enable the arrest and prosecution of offenders.
- At the federal level, Congress must act to require disclosure of high-volume third-party sellers in online marketplaces and establish transparency that will minimize such coordinated exploitation of online marketplaces through the INFORM for Consumers act. It is up to the states to define and establish appropriate thresholds for felony theft, and to criminalize organized retail theft to protect small and big businesses.
- States should take action to aggressively prosecute organized retail theft by passing legislation to enable the aggregation and prosecution of offenses across state lines, and by establishing statewide task forces to take down organized retail theft rings.
Congress and States must act now to stop the proliferation of organized retail theft
- Congress must pass the bipartisan Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act (H.R. 5502) which establishes protections on online marketplaces to prevent the sale of stolen goods.
- States need to define the crime “organized retail theft” clearly to provide prosecutors with the tools needed to target organized theft rings.
- States also need to adjust the thresholds for the value of goods stolen to trigger a felony charge to prevent thefts from avoiding prosecution and a heavier charge. States can further address this by-passing legislation to allow for the aggregation of a pattern of organized thefts across multiple jurisdictions over a period of time.