WASHINGTON — Executives from Safeway, Walgreen, the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association yesterday urged federal lawmakers to pass legislation making organized retail crime (ORC) a federal crime, and to step up restrictions on online auction sites used to fence stolen retail goods.
The executives addressed three ORC bills currently under consideration in Congress in a conference call hosted by the Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime, in anticipation of today's hearing on those bills before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
"ORC is a federal issue," said Kathleen Smith, vice president of loss prevention for Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif. "We watch stolen goods travel from Washington [state] to Oregon, California, Texas, Florida and New York. Criminal organizations know state law and how to beat the system."
Recognizing ORC at a federal legislative level would "standardize the legal consequences across the country and aid in deterring this activity in all retail establishments," Smith added.
The three pending bills are the E-Fencing Enforcement Act of 2009 (HR 1166), introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Robert "Bobby" Scott, D-Va.; the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2009 (HR 1173), introduced by Reps. Brad Ellsworth, D-Ind., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2009 (S 470), introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin, D- Ill., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
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