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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), part of the Coalition Against Organized Retail Crime, have joined to praise the introduction of the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 (H.R. 6491), which would make organized retail crimes a federal felony for the sophisticated gangs of thieves that commit them. The bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives by Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Indiana) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

The legislation would specifically recognize organized retail crime under the U.S. Criminal Code. It broadly defines the crime to include the theft, transport and resale of goods stolen by these criminals. It would cover criminals, for example, who repackage medicines and infant formula to fraudulently extend their shelf life, exposing consumers to useless or unsafe products.

Six in 10 retailers (59.6 percent) reported that these crimes increased in their stores in 2006, according to FMI’s “Supermarket Security and Loss Prevention 2007” report.
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