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  • Organized retail theft article

    http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/p...0364/1006/NEWS

    Hopefully awareness will continue to increase.

    Washington State recently passed laws defining "organized retail theft" as a seperate crime.

  • #2
    How big a problem is ORC? Here is another article, but from a different point of view.

    http://www.mylpspaceonline.com/articles/ORCExpress.PDF

    In the article that LP Guy posted, it said there were estimates on ORC from $15 to 37 Billion. That is a huge range. How could it possibly be that high when all of retail shrink combined is estimated at $37.4 billion? Shoplifing is estimated to be 33% of all shrink, which is about $12.3 billion in total losses. ORC is estimated at 32% of all shoplifting, which is about $4.3 billion. (These numbers according to the 2005 NRSS)

    So where do these numbers of $15 to 37 billion come from? And why do they keep getting reported when it is clearly inaccurate? While the $4.3 billion is still quite large, that is only accurate if you believe that ORC accounts for as much as 32% of all shoplifting losses, which I personally do not agree with. I think it is much lower, as this 32% does not account for many retail segments that are not represented in the NRSS that are not vulnerable to ORC. Even at 32% of all shoplifting losses, that only accounts for about 0.20% shrink rate compared to retail sales.

    Why all the fuss over 0.20% shrink?
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    • #3
      I'm not all that knowledgeable about all these figures and dollar amounts, nor do I really care (I don't work LP anymore). But I can tell you from a officer's perspective that most of the apprehensions we made on a daily or weekly basis involved petty theft (<$250 in WA State). Usually just a couple of items per person. Felony arrests were rare.

      Our biggest losses did indeed come from ORT. All the department store security teams, the mall security team, and the local police knew who these people were. The police would even distribute "wanted" posters with surveillance pictures of these people to all the mall stores. They drove the same vehicles and usually just swapped out members. They would hit the mall as a team, and if you weren't quick enough to catch them, they'd be out the door with as much as $2,500 of our merchandise. When we clamped down on these people and started catching some of them, our shrink dropped dramatically. Other local stores that didn't have as much luck stopping them had much higher shrink that we did. In addition, these people were dangerous, usually fighting when an apprehension was attempted.

      I had an ORT member brag to me about how much he made per week doing what he did. ORT is only going to grow as lifters realize there's a profit to be made in it. To think otherwise is to remain in a state of ignorance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LPGuy
        I'm not all that knowledgeable about all these figures and dollar amounts, nor do I really care (I don't work LP anymore). But I can tell you from a officer's perspective that most of the apprehensions we made on a daily or weekly basis involved petty theft (<$250 in WA State). Usually just a couple of items per person. Felony arrests were rare.

        Our biggest losses did indeed come from ORT. All the department store security teams, the mall security team, and the local police knew who these people were. The police would even distribute "wanted" posters with surveillance pictures of these people to all the mall stores. They drove the same vehicles and usually just swapped out members. They would hit the mall as a team, and if you weren't quick enough to catch them, they'd be out the door with as much as $2,500 of our merchandise. When we clamped down on these people and started catching some of them, our shrink dropped dramatically. Other local stores that didn't have as much luck stopping them had much higher shrink that we did. In addition, these people were dangerous, usually fighting when an apprehension was attempted.

        I had an ORT member brag to me about how much he made per week doing what he did. ORT is only going to grow as lifters realize there's a profit to be made in it. To think otherwise is to remain in a state of ignorance.
        Exactly. Felony arrests are rare. I would bet you did not lose $2500 more than once or twice a year. If you look at the losses of a $25 million store, $2500 is .010% of shrink. If you had 10 of those hits a year, that is still only .10% of shrink. 20 of those hits a year are .20% of shrink. The reality is that each incident seems very large, and it is, but it is rare. It does not happen monthly, and has a neglible effect on shrink.

        I do take umbrage with your last statement.

        "ORT is only going to grow as lifters realize there's a profit to be made in it. To think otherwise is to remain in a state of ignorance."

        Do you think that the idea of stealing things and selling is a new concept? This is as old as time. What is different now? Flea markets in the 60's and 70's were built on stolen merchandise. Now, it is Ebay. However, every single source you could look at for crime statistics shows that crime is DOWN dramatically. Larceny is down by nearly 40% from 15 years ago. Shoplifting has remained about 14% of the total larceny losses during that time, meaning shoplifting is down by 40%.

        Ignorance is not in thinking that ORC will not grow. Ignorance is thinking it is booming when there is no statistical evidence to show that it is.
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