Michigan makes ORC a felony

Those found guilty of taking part in organized retail crime (ORC) in Michigan could spend up to five years in prison under legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Organized Retail Crime Act, sponsored by State Rep. Joe Graves, is intended to help protect consumers by cracking down on retail fraud.

The new law, which defines ORC as "theft of merchandise with the intent or purpose of reselling, distributing, or transferring the stolen retail merchandise to another retail merchant or to any other person personally, through the mail, or through any electronic medium, including the internet, in exchange for anything of value," also makes the crime a felony.

"Organized retail crime is a sophisticated operation conducted by professional criminals and can act as a gateway to finance even more serious crimes," Snyder said in a statement. "These crimes are costing our businesses and our communities too much and law enforcement will now be better able to combat this growing threat."