Don’t Like Local Store Shelves Are Under Lockdown? Blame Organized Crime

By Chris Woodward

Originally posted on

USA-IT and allies discuss ORC, how it threatens our communities, and what we can do to fight back.

Alysa Erichs, USA-IT spokesperson:

“Retail crime and shoplifting are not ‘victimless crimes’,” says Alysa Erichs with United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade (USA-IT), an organization that fights illicit commerce. “Criminals do not care who or what lies in their wake as long as they’re making money, and it affects all of us (because) organized crime groups use their profits to bolster operations, bringing more crime to our neighborhoods.”

Cara Convery, Georgia’s Gang Prosecution Unit:

“Young people are at the foundation of the organized retail piece because, if they can avoid it, older people in the gang are not going to go into the store themselves, and they’re not going to the gas station to break in the car,” Convery said. “They also, unfortunately, learn that the juvenile exposure in our criminal justice system is significantly less, so if they get somebody arrested — especially for something like shoplifting where somebody’s not looking in the bigger scheme — they’re going to be out the next morning, they may not even go to juvenile court, and that’s another worker back on the street for them to make more money the next day.”

Former FBI special agent Jonathan Gilliam:

“If you tell a 5-year-old not to put his hand in the cookie jar and then he does it and he doesn’t get in trouble or he just gets a little bit in trouble, he’s probably going do that again,” says Gilliam. “It’s a learned behavior, where you learn when you get away with it and then when you get away with it you exploit that and so if you don’t have a penalty that is adequate to lock them up or and or deter them, they’re just going to keep doing it.”

Read more here.