Organized retail theft not a victimless crime
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It could be called shoplifting on steroids.
Known as “Organized Retail Crime,” it’s growing at a fast rate nationwide. Locally too, law enforcement is handling these cases.
A great example of organized retail crime happened at the KOHL’S in Carson City on May 7, 2022. The Carson City Sheriff’s Office says four suspects entered the store, piled merchandise into carts, and walked out the front door.
One of the suspects, Manuel Coleman from Reno was later arrested in Lyon County for retail theft along with three other different suspects.
Carson City’s Sheriff’s Office says they are still looking for the three involved in the Carson City heist.
“A lot of times we liked to say, ‘it’s them,’” says Sheriff Ken Furlong of Carson City. “They have invaded our zone. That’s not always the case. In the cases of our most current ones, they are locals,” he says.
Sheriff Furlong says organized retail crime is on the rise here and nationwide.
It costs the industry $7,000,000 dollars for every #1 billion sold.
The merchandise is often turned over to the internet where it can be sold at a fraction of the cost.
The crime is anything but victimless says the industry. Besides the economic loss, there are also safety concerns as well as the psychological impact such a crime can have on a customer or worker should the incident take a turn for the worse.
That’s why Sheriff Furlong says in “retail crime” no one should take matters into their own hands as the incident is underway.
“Every case is a potential for turning into disaster right there on the spot,” says Sheriff Furlong.
He says, instead, to take mental or physical notes, a description of the suspects, cars, and note which way they were headed.
If you happen to see merchandise that’s too good to be true for the price on the internet, it could be stolen. Sheriff Furlong says let law enforcement know.
The sooner officers are made aware of the crime, Sheriff Furlong says the better chance they have of solving it.
If you have any information on this retail theft that occurred at KOHL’S on May 7th, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office would like to hear from you.
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