Tuesday, August 1, 2017

N.C. merchants tout new laws aimed at combating organized theft privateofficer.com

Raleigh NC Aug 1 2017 The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), along with its 2,500 retail members across the state, applauds the passage of a new law to combat organized retail theft. This new law, recently signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, will be another major step to combat organized retail crime.
The new law, supported by NCRMA, focuses on the growing problem of gift card fraud through illegitimate returns and requires businesses that purchase gift cards to keep records on those purchases. The new law also takes aim at the professional shoplifting rings that prey on North Carolina businesses and using technology and other means to stay one step ahead of retailers and law enforcement.
Specifically, the provisions included in this bill will create a new Class H felony offense for anyone caught exchanging stolen goods for cash, a gift card or store credit.
The bill also creates two new class G felony offenses which include conspiracy with a partner to steal more than $20,000 worth of total product from a retailer over a 90-day period with plans to sell the stolen property as well as leading a retail-theft enterprise through which they conspire transfer or sell the stolen property. The bill further clarifies that offenses that fall within the definition of ORC may be aggregated across county lines for prosecution purposes.
This legislation builds on the ORC laws NCRMA successfully advocated in the 2007 session of the NC General Assembly which defined ORC as a ring stealing more than $1,500 worth of goods within a 90-day period and classified the theft of infant formula in excess of $100, the removal or deactivation of theft deterrent devices from merchandise, and switching and scanning fake UPC codes all as felonies.

Also, in 2016, NCRMA created the Carolinas Organized Retail Crime Alliance (CORCA), an alliance between law enforcement, retailers, and other important partners, focused on at combating the rise of retail theft crime in North and South Carolina. See NC House Bill 384 here.  svlfreenews.com

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