Joe Robach and the New York State Senate passed legislation recently that would crack down on organized retail crime, a growing problem that harms businesses and their customers.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, organized retail theft is an industry that costs United States retailers about $30 billion per year. Supermarket losses account for $15 billion of that annual theft.  Additionally, state and local governments are losing out on tens of millions of dollars annually in lost sales tax and excise fee revenue.

The Senate legislative package, supported by Joe Robach, consists of five bills that would:

  • Define Organized Retail Crime as the theft of retail merchandise with an aggregated value of $1,000, and classifies it as grand larceny in the fourth degree, punishable by up to four years in prison.
  • Grant jurisdiction to any county when at least one of the crimes constituting a pattern occurs within the county. Under this legislation, one district court would be granted jurisdiction over all criminal offenses, persons, and property that form the pattern of criminal offenses.
  • Creates a Class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, for individuals who lead retail theft crime rings.
  • Make it a Class B misdemeanor to use an access device, such as a counterfeit or fraudulently obtained credit card, account number or gift card, with the intent to defraud, as part of an organized retail crime operation.
  • Make it a crime to use an emergency exit to facilitate a theft from a retail establishment.  Thieves have been known to hide in retail stores and wait for all employees to leave before removing large amounts of goods through emergency exits. This bill would make this crime grand larceny in the fourth degree.

For any questions about these Senate bills, contact Joe Robach or his office.