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Could your business fall victim to an organized retail crime incident?

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Washington State experienced over $2.7 billion in retail theft in 2021, the second highest in the nation per capita, according to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

Law enforcement agencies in cities throughout the US have been reporting “flash mob” types of thefts at a seemingly increasing rate. Organized retail crime (ORC) rings have targeted jewelers, pharmacies, high-end retailers, convenience stores, hardware stores, cannabis dispensaries, and other retailers. These groups range from a handful in convenience stores to over a hundred when descending on large stores or malls. The flash mob robberies occur day and night, with stores open or closed, but all are in and out in a matter of minutes—long gone before law enforcement can be on the scene.

Flash mobs can’t necessarily be kept from choosing your business as their next target. Still, businesses can make changes to discourage them and set up proper surveillance to help law enforcement to catch the thieves after the fact. More importantly, employers can prepare their workers for such an incident and put best practices in place to help keep their employees safe.

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