LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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even less ORC data capture, even less management concern, and still fewer resources. One data point in the new survey may suggest that this is a real possibility. In the last twelve months, 56 percent of retailers said they had identified stolen merchandise or gift cards being sold online, down significantly from 75 percent in 2016. The NRF report concludes, however, that "this could be due in part to diminishing resources allocated to fight ORC and recover stolen merchandise." If retailers cut their number of ORC investigators, then it's natural they will identify less of their goods online. The data point also runs counter to what law enforcement and ORC investigators focused on the problem are witnessing. "The primary change has been the availability of so many social networks on which you can now pass off the product. It has opened up so many avenues for people to get rid of their product," said Sgt. Rossman, who is in the organized retail crime division in the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office. "In the years past that was hard; you had to go to a fence. Now you can be a booster and your own fence—and get rid of your stolen products through social media." At retailers that are leading the fight against ORC through dedicated ORC units, investigators highlighted the same challenge, including Kroger's Mike Powell. "Social media has brought about a huge change in ORC because it doesn't matter what level of criminal you are, it gives you an outlet." Several experts noted the persistent challenge of fighting back against e-fencing because new online outlets pop up as soon as others disappear. The risk that ORC could slip as a priority is a concern, and so is the number of states that have raised the limits for felony theft, which may threaten the seriousness with which law enforcement perceives the issue. "For example, in California, because of Prop 47, data could show fewer incidents. But that doesn't mean it's happening less," according to Aaron Moreno, senior ORC IS WORRISOME, WORSENING… Those figures are worrying as a consensus of experts suggests that highly trained and dedicated security teams with a sufficient budget, often working with law enforcement to identify and prosecute offenders, have proven to be the most reliable way to impact ORC rings. Retailers Have Reported Steady Growth in ORC Victimization in Last Decade 78% 85% 94% 88% 95% 2005 2008 2011 2014 2017 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% continued on page 40 38 JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM

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