DETROIT (WWJ) – They shop with a list and get in and out of a store quickly. But we’re not talking about your Grandma at the grocery store. We’re talking about crooks.
Shoplifting has always been a problem. But now there’s something new: organized retail crime. Gangs and individuals target retailers, scooping up thousands of dollars of merchandise in just a few minutes.
They travel in a group – there’s a driver, look out person and two or three people who hit up the stores, dumping merchandise into strollers or specially made bags. Then, they just walk out of the store, shove their bounty in a waiting van and drive off to another shopping area.
Most startling is the National Retail Federation reports 95 percent of retailers have had this happen to them.
The final scene in this crime drama? The bad guys turn around and sell or trade the stolen goods. It often ends up on a small retailer’s shelf, who buys the items not knowing their history. Consumers can also end up buying the illegally obtained goods on websites.
Listen to Murray Feldman’s report: