Legislation brought forward concerning organized retail crime in Minnesota

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A growing concern about organized retail crime was addressed in a news conference on Monday afternoon held by the Minnesota Retailers Association.

Various partners and legislators, including Senator Ron Latz, Representative Zack Stephenson, and Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, talked about the proposed legislation at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Nustad commented on the nature of the bills proposed by Sen. Latz and Rep. Stephenson.

“They are bills to define organized retail crime in statute. 34 other states actually define organized retail crime, and quite frankly, the benefit of that is to tell those career criminals that their business is not welcome here.”

Authorities say organized retail crime is separate from ordinary shoplifting and involves people working together in crime rings and stealing large amounts of merchandise from retail stores in Minnesota and across the country.

Officials add many of these stolen items then get converted into cash through a fencing operation.

The suggested legislation would differentiate this operation from petty theft and help loss prevention professionals, law enforcement, and prosecutors address this issue.