Survey: Retailers see a rise in ORC, individual shoplifting

Several retailers also report increases in flash mob activity, internal thefts


According to the results of a new survey conducted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), shoplifting by organized retail crime groups and individuals continues to be a major problem for retailers across the nation.

The survey, entitled "2011 Crime Trends and Leading Practices Survey," examined responses from more than 30 of the largest retailers in the country.

More than half of the survey participants (60 percent) reported seeing an increase in shoplifting by ORC groups and 41 percent said they experienced an increase in individual shoplifters.

In addition, internal thefts remain a major problem for many retailers with 44 percent reporting an increase in the crime. The issue of "flash mobs," in which people communicate via social media or text messaging to gather in mass at a store for large-scale thefts, was also a problem with some retailers with 21 percent reporting an increase in this activity.

"In reviewing the results, we were disappointed, though not surprised to see the continued rise in shoplifting by organized groups and individuals acting alone," RILA Vice President of Loss Prevention and Legal Affairs Lisa LaBruno said in a statement. "It’s concerning that retailers continue to fight an uphill battle against the resale of stolen goods online, in flea markets and other venues. As long as there are channels through which thieves can resell stolen goods, it will be difficult to stem the tide of organized retail crime. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to explore state and federal legislative solutions and to enhance partnerships with external stakeholders to find a solution to the growing problem of ORC."

Click here to read the full survey results.