The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation this week that will create an Organized Retail Crime (ORC) unit within the Department of Justice.
John Emling, senior vice president of government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), said in a statement that the passage of the legislation marks "a critical first step" in battling organized retail crime.
The Organized Retail Theft and Investigation Unit will be responsible for investigating and prosecuting ORC, as well as assisting state and local authorities with their own investigations into organized retail thefts.
It’s estimated that organized retail crime costs retailers across the country tens of billions of dollars annually.
"Retailers thank policymakers for providing law enforcement with further support and resources to apprehend these brazen criminals and we look forward to continuing to work together to pursue additional legislation focused on prevention," said Lisa LaBruno, vice president of loss prevention & legal affairs for RILA.