Thursday, December 15, 2011

Organized Shoplifting Requires An Organized Response

Shoplifting is a problem for retailers all year long but the problem becomes particularly acute during the busy holiday shopping season. Oregonlive.com has this story about the problems the Pacific Northwest region is having with organized shoplifting rings.
"The bad guys don't have jurisdictional boundaries," said Tacoma Police Officer Scott Stanley, who created the nation's first multi-state alliance against organized retail theft. The alliance has a list of more than 600 retail members -- car shops, mall stores and supermarkets -- in states ranging from Washington and Oregon to California and Alaska. 

"The Pacific Northwest is unique: Nowhere else that I've studied sees so much mobility of thieves," Stanley said. "These guys can start in Seattle in the morning, hit I-5 and wind up in California by the end of it, stopping at every store along the way."
Better communications between retailers likely to be victimized and law enforcement is critical to shutting down these organized criminals. Even if your jurisdiction doesn't have a significant problem with organized retail theft rings, a partnership between retailers and police can pay dividends in combatting retail theft.

The Center For Problem Oriented Policing has a POP Guide covering shoplifting with great information on various responses to retail thefts.

What is your agency doing to partner with retailers in response to retail thefts?

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