Cortez Masto, Grassley, sponsor bill looking to reduce organized retail crime

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 4:45 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act is a new bill that looks to crack down on organized retail crime across the country, and one of Nevada’s Senators is at the forefront of it.

“This isn’t a partisan issue, this is all of our communities coming together to deal with this crime and making sure that law enforcement has the tools to combat it,” explained Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

It’s been an issue across the country. Organized criminals stealing merchandise from retailers, and then turning around and selling it for a profit. Perhaps it’s not a surprise given her background as Nevada Attorney General that Cortez Masto is looking to do something about it. She is co-sponsoring the bill with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley hoping to crack down on retail theft.

Part of the plan involves aggregating stolen items.

“When you aggregate all of those items they are no longer a misdemeanor they become a felony,” she stressed. “And with a felony comes more accountability. Comes jail time. And more oversight from our judicial system which is what we need to stop these criminals from working together.”

Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley says the value of stolen goods that results in a felony has been raised recently here in Nevada, and he wants to see it go back to the way it was with so many criminals seemingly aware of where the line is drawn.

“It’s just easier (for stores) to take the loss and pass it on to the consumer,” he said. “And have no doubt that is what is happening. You and I are paying more because someone else is stealing.”