Organized Retail Crime Group Expected to Strike on Holiday Weekends

April 14, 2006
'Yaks' trip alarm, wait for disarm and police, then return, usually entering via roof

[Editor's Note: SIW Retail/Loss Prevention columnist Liz Martinez recently attended a training session sponsored by the New Jersey Attorney General's office, and she reports that this organized theft warning for retailers was one of the many valuable things announced.]

This Easter holiday weekend, organized retail crime groups known as "Yaks" are expected to hit retailers nationwide. The group has tended to target stores on holiday weekends, but that is not reported to be the only time they strike.

These groups hit a store in order to set off the alarm and summon the police. They for the police to arrive, find nothing amiss, and leave. They then go to the roof, chop a hole through it and drop down into the store. They use a sledgehammer to break open the safe, take the valuables inside, and leave undetected.

According to the New Jersey District Attorney's Office, these ORC groups are expected to attack stores this weekend. Stores should alert local police that if officers respond to a store alarm, they should be sure to check the roof before they leave, and to return within a few minutes to catch the burglars in action. Stores should also take steps to secure and/or alarm the roof.