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State makes retail theft a felony as organized crime proliferates

State makes retail theft a felony as organized crime proliferates
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

State makes retail theft a felony as organized crime proliferates  Fox News

State makes retail theft a felony as organized crime proliferates

The Kansas Legislature Passes Bill to Classify Organized Retail Crime as a Felony Offense

The Kansas legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would classify organized retail crime (ORC) a felony offense, joining nine other states that have passed similar laws in the last year. 

Introduction

ORC refers to orchestrated groups of shoplifters who commit smash-and-grab robberies of stores or target cargo carriers.

Details of the Bill

  1. The state’s upper chamber passed the Substitute House Bill 2144, which would split the felony charges into two tiers.
  2. A theft of merchandise valued at more than $3,000 would be classified a felony and those convicted would face between 31 and 136 months behind bars.
  3. If the amount stolen exceeds $15,000, the sentence range is between 38 and 172 months. 

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Approval Process

The bill still has to be signed by Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, before it goes into effect. 

Support for the Bill

  • In support of the bill, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach wrote that ORC isn’t “mere shoplifting.”
  • “These crimes typically involve stealing for personal use. It is large-scale theft of retail merchandise that represents a concerted effort to victimize a business, often with the intention of reselling the items for financial gain and often using those financial proceeds to fund additional criminal activity,” he said.

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Impact of Organized Retail Crime

  • A 2023 report from the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail association, found that organized retail crime was a primary driver of the massive amount of “shrink” retailers saw in 2022, with non-employee stealing making up 36%.
  • The term “shrink” typically means theft and other forms of inventory losses, and retailers nationwide experienced $112 billion in losses in 2022. 
foxnews.com

 

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