Organized retail crime is worsening, according to results of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) third annual Organized Retail Crime survey. More than three-quarters (79 percent) of respondents said their company has been a victim of organized retail crime within the past year. And 71 percent — compared with 48 percent last year — of respondents noted an increase in organized retail theft over the past 12 months.
Once organized retail crime rings steal merchandise from stores, they typically sell the goods at flea markets or online auction sites. Sixty-one percent of retailers surveyed — up from 59 percent last year — said they have either identified or recovered stolen merchandise from a fence location. And 71 percent — up from 67 percent last year — said they have either identified or recovered stolen merchandise from a efence location.
The NRF announced today that Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Safeway are among the newest members of the Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Network (LERPnet), a national database launched in April that is designed to bring local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and retailers together through information-sharing technology. Organizers of LERPnet were the NRF, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.