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Retailers Fighting Back Against Organized Thieves

Retailers Fighting Back Against Organized Thieves

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Marc Giauque, KSL Newradio Retailers are getting ready to fight back against organized theft.

It happens as more and more retailers are losing big money to crime. Amy has worked in retail for several years, and she's seen some stores fall victim to so-called organized thieves. She says, "It happens really quickly, like within a few minutes time, but the damage can be like you know two-three-four thousand dollars."

Summit County Sheriff's Captain Sherm Farnsworth says, "You know if they're doing that from store to store without being detected, these individuals can amass quite a large quantity of a dollar loss over a short time." He says law enforcement does what it can. So do retailers. Farnsworth says, "It's a pretty big deal, like big enough that one of the main things you get trained on when you start working is loss prevention, professional shoplifting."

Now the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leader's Association are teaming up with the FBI to help stores share information. It's a password protected database. Local law enforcement thinks it's a good idea. Farnsworth says," The more eyeballs you get out there the better likelihood you're gonna have of finding or identifying the people and possibly apprehending them."

In Summit County, a strike-force has been successful in breaking up a couple of operations, one involving thieves who actually rented a large truck and rented hotel rooms for a week, in hopes of preying on the outlet malls. Farnsworth says," From point "A" to point "B they pick out places they want to hit and just commit crimes and then they go back home and they either peddle off clothing at flea markets for pennies on the dollar or use it in other ways." They might use the money to buy drugs.

The database will allow retailers to remain anonymous, something valued in the highly competitive industry. More than three-dozen large retailers will help debut the database, starting Monday.

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