How To Prove Organized Retail Theft Crimes

Organized retail theft has been rampant over the years and is increasingly becoming a threat to the global retailers. Security agencies have developed several tools to tackle the problems that arise due to a weak tracking system in a retail outlet. By making optimal use of security devices, retailers can keep a tab on shrinkage caused due to ineffective monitoring. Here are some of the measures that an organization can take up to tackle organized retail theft .

Organized retail theft costs American stores and retailers approximately $30 billion a year, according to Florida Today . Organized criminal enterprises have realized that they can still reap billions of dollars without taking the risks of facing mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking.

Organized retail theft is essentially an organized theft ring. A person can be charged with this offense if they intentionally conduct, promote or facilitate an activity in which a person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells or disposes of stolen retail merchandise or merchandise that is represented as stolen, under Tex. Penal Code § 31.16.

Organized retail theft has been around for years, especially in some high-profile products such as infant formula. But it’s always been a difficult concept for retailers to accurately measure, because when a product disappears, it’s hard to know exactly where it went: Did an employee steal it? A delivery driver? A shoplifter? As a result, retailers have largely treated all shoplifters much the same, with the occasional prosecution leading to little or no penalty. Organized Retail Theft (ORT) is mass shoplifting and is a type of Food Fraud that results in a public health vulnerability that costs businesses billions and erodes consumer confidence. Since it involves authentic packaging and genuine product…we can’t test our way to safety. This is an immense fraud opportunity that requires a holistic, all-encompassing preventative approach.

Shoplifting less than $50 worth of merchandise is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine under state law, although higher charges can be pursued if a suspect has prior theft convictions. In 2011, Class C shoplifting offenses are expected to account for about 2,800 offenses out of an estimated 70,000 crimes.

While shoplifting or retail theft may seem like a minor offense to some people, when you’ve been charged with retail theft , the arrest and prosecution can have dramatic and long-lasting effects on your life. Even for a first offense, depending on the value of the items taken, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony in Illinois. The possible penalties for shoplifting include jail or prison time, high fines and fees, classes and other penalties and punishments. Most people think that the criminal case is the end of the nightmare of being arrested for retail theft or shoplifting but it is not.

Another higher-stakes shoplifting case was reported recently in Fort Lauderdale at a box chain electronics store, where officials say a pair of individuals broke in by cutting a hole in a side wall of a neighboring business. Surveillance cameras show the two ransacking the display cases, making off with some $90,000 worth of equipment. Officials believe that is linked to an earlier report of a similar theft at the same store, though at a different location, back in April. Officials are also exploring whether there could be a link between this and a similar rash of retail burglaries in Largo.

When it comes time to prosecute shoplifting and theft, lack of video resolution can aid the defense’s call to dismiss the evidence entirely. This especially applies when other evidence and witness testimony is weak to non-existent. Cameras installed as little as five years ago have sometimes ten times less resolution than today’s surveillance technology.

When the holiday shopping season is in full swing, shoplifting and retail thefts are at the highest levels of the year. Shoplifting in Illinois and Cook County is at such a high level that people, who usually consider themselves upstanding citizens, commit the offense of retail theft at one time or other. Some people simply switch the price tag with another from a less-expensive item but, in the eyes of the law, this is stealing as well. To others, some minor actions may not even seem unethical but, shoplifting is serious, and can carry harsh penalties.

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If you or a loved on has been arrested for theft, retail theft, shoplifting, fraud or organized retail crime it is important to protect yourself and your future. Purav Bhatt is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties .

Companies are spending millions of dollars on security systems to tackle the shoplifting rings, from software that tracks patterns of theft regionally, to complicated fixtures that prevent the removal of multiple packages at one time. Retailers are increasingly using racks that lock for a period of time after one unit is taken, cabinets that beep if they’re open too long, and hangers that lock to a jacket or suit. Some of the nation’s biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Lowe’s Cos. and Limited Brands Inc., have formed organized crime divisions to focus on the issue.

Taking into account the three major groups responsible for retail crime, traditional video is very effective for the 30% that shoplifting represents. Used in tandem with technologies such as covert video and video analytics, traditional video is vital to hamper the other types of retail theft from employees and organized retail crime.

Drop mounts that bring the camera closer to the ground make cameras easier to see by customers and have the side benefit of producing better facial identification should shoplifting occur. Signs disclosing that security cameras are in use are an awareness aid and may also serve to comply with local laws governing surveillance.

Organized Retail Thet This surveillance system allows retail stores to install up to 8 cameras (4 wired and 4 wireless cameras) to digitally record all activity. Just the system needed to investigate Organized Retail Theft crimes! This DVR has full networking capability and uses an embedded DVR which allows you to view live video on the Internet or play back recorded video. It’s the best system for capturing video that can be used in a police investigation and even carries a 2-year warrenty.

This complete system includes the following, plus a mouse and remote:

(1) Stand Alone 8 channel DVR. (SA-DVR-8)

(4) Day/Night Color Wired Cameras (BC-30WC-DN)

(4) Day/Night Color Wireless Cameras (BC-30GC-DN)

(4) 100 foot Video Cables (CA-100)

(4) 2.4 GHz Video Receivers (TR-2.4)

(1) 19″ Widescreen LCD Monitor (LCD-19)

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