Raleigh Criminal Attorneys Say Organized Shoplifting Rings Are Going Mainstream
Shoplifting has plagued
retail businesses for decades, but this year, it has loomed larger than ever.
Authorities say shoplifters have increasingly become the engines of organized
theft rings, which systematically ferry stolen goods from thieves to the “fencers” who knowingly resell them. Organized theft has also found
a new niche in profiting off gift cards obtained for “returning” stolen goods.
The problem has sent Raleigh criminal attorneys,
law enforcers, and storeowners looking to a new Organized Retail Theft Act. This law should make it easier to
prosecute suspected ring members and deal harsher penalties on those convicted.
But solving the problem might not be as easy as it appears.
online black market
Gone are the days when
shoplifters or fencers resell items on the shadier corners of town. Nowadays,
seemingly legitimate vendors on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace could
be trading stolen goods to unlimited audiences. The ubiquity, and relative
anonymity, of online platforms make them harder to catch, though federal
officials have made a number of key arrests in recent years.
Online fencers can literally
turn millions in profit, while costing legitimate retailers upwards of $30
million a year. Ultimately, these costs come to bite back
retailers try to make up for losses with higher prices.
The shoplifting wave is
also linked to another widespread problem: opioids. North Carolina is home to four of the country’s
and many shoplifters are said to steal goods just to get money for drugs. The
scenario is not so different from addicts pilfering from over-the-counter
drugstores to fuel their habits – except, in stealing highly in-demand goods,
they could be operating in a wider variety of shops.
With the problem affecting
public health and safety as well as business and consumer protection, crackdowns
from police and prosecutors are bound to intensify.
you might need the help from a Raleigh criminal attorney
As law enforcement zeroes
in on this issue, you might find yourself embroiled in a case of shoplifting
and organized retail theft.
How would you know if you
were purchasing stolen goods? What if you are a vendor and were reselling them
without your knowledge? Criminal attorneys in Raleigh can help protect yourself
by keeping you informed on your rights and responsibilities.
On the other hand, as law
enforcement ramps up their efforts to curb organized theft, they might end up
prosecuting someone as part of shoplifting ring, even if facts do not support
it. Should you find yourself in this situation – or any other case of retail
theft – Kurtz & Blum can help you protect your rights and assist you with a
viable defense against malicious prosecution.
Those Levis you bought on
eBay may have been stolen by a drug-addicted shoplifter, NewsObserver.com
Quiet health crisis
plagues North Carolina, CharlotteObserver.com
What does shoplifting do to store prices?