At the Frontline: NRF VP of Loss Prevention Richard Mellor

Loss prevention expert discusses impact of new task force, other ORC trends


Mellor: Over the last five years, it’s been a continuing process with one state after another. On the heels of the governor signing a new ORC bill in Florida the week before they make the announcement of the task force formulation, there’s no coincidence in that for sure. But many, many states now have organized retail crime laws on the books. They differ a little bit from one state to another and, in some states, it’s just about the actual theft while other states have different layers or different portions of the law that have to do with trafficking in the stolen products, selling the products, manipulating devices in order to steal products, and changing expiration dates on packaging. All of these different pieces of what these criminals are doing, some states have all of these included in there. So, some of these laws are very comprehensive, others are just kind of straightforward. There are probably about 30 states now that have state laws on ORC.

SIW: How far does the retail industry and law enforcement community still have to go to really put a further dent in this problem?

Mellor: I think the next step for us, as a group, if in fact we could achieve this in short order, it would be a huge step forward if we get federal legislation in place. It’s not that we haven’t been working on that. Retailers, as well as our legislative connections, have met and discussed this at some length. There is willingness and a desire to help the retailers on this on Capitol Hill. It’s all about priorities right now. The federal law enforcement agencies now, such as with the task force, being able to collect and validate information on incidents, arrests and prosecutions will elevate this another step. And that collaboration that we would have with the federal law enforcement agencies, being able to speak to this topic and discuss it with us in group meetings with the legislative folks, I think that’s going to be the next step for us. That’s what we’re impatiently waiting for and that will make an impact on this crime.