Cortez Masto, Grassley continue efforts to protect small businesses from organized retail crime

January 30, 2023

Washington –Today, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) continue their efforts to help protect small businesses by reintroducing legislation to provide law enforcement with resources to address organized crime in commerce retail, such as flash mob robberies and cargo theft.

Organized retail crime costs retailers $720,000 for every $1 billion in sales – a 50 percent increase since 2015. Anti-Organized Retail Crime Act creates new tools to address emerging trends and creates a new investigative unit within the Department of Homeland Security to better coordinate a government-wide and industry-wide response to these illegal schemes.

“I heard directly from Nevada retailers about the challenges they face with organized retail crime — that’s why I’m pushing for bipartisan legislation to help our law enforcement keep these businesses safe.” said Sen. Cortez Masto. “Protecting our communities should not be a partisan issue, and I will continue to work with Senator Grassley to address organized crime and protect Nevada’s small businesses that have been targeted.”

“America’s community stores have not been spared from the national crime wave,” Senator Grassley said. “These organized theft rings are developing new tactics to steal goods, causing economic harm to American businesses and putting consumers at risk while funding transnational criminal organizations around the world.” These criminals are exploiting the internet and online marketplaces to stay one step ahead of the law and it’s time the law caught up with them. This bill improves our federal response to organized retail crime and creates new tools to recover goods and illicit proceeds and deter future attacks on American retailers.

The Anti-Organized Retail Crime Act is supported by the National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, US Chamber of Commerce, ICSC, California Peace Officers Research Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association and PASS ( Protecting America’s Small Sellers) Coalition.

“NRF applauds Senators Chuck Grassley and Catherine Cortez Masto for their leadership on legislation to curb one of the most pressing issues facing retailers and the communities we serve. Organized retail crime is a multi-billion dollar crisis affecting retailers, associates and consumers. NRF’s 2022 National Retail Security Survey found that over the past year, retailers have reported a significant increase in violence and aggression related to these brazen crimes. The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act 2023 and the Organized Retail Crime Center Authorization Act will consolidate efforts under a new Organized Retail Crime Coordinating Center to ensure that resources and information sharing are available between state, federal and private partners. This legislation is an important step in helping retailers fight back against ORC.” said the National Retail Federation.

“Organized retail crime has a devastating impact on businesses and communities. This is especially damaging to small businesses that lack the resources to recover, as well as to employees and customers who are traumatized by the interactions. As these crimes increase, law enforcement is seeing perpetrators become more violent and brazen, leaving business workers in the agonizing position of choosing between their livelihood and their lives. Law enforcement must have the tools to reverse this criminal trend. We applaud Senator Grassley and Senator Cortez Masto for introducing this legislation so that federal law enforcement can better work with state and local partners and the industry to combat organized retail crime.” Federal Law Enforcement Officers of America National President Larry Cosme said.

As a former top law enforcement official in Nevada, Senator Cortez Masto has been a leading advocate for public safety in the Senate. In 2022, she led the call for solid funding for the Byrne JAG grant program, the leading source of criminal justice funding for state, local and tribal governments supporting crime prevention, law enforcement, prosecution, corrections, and mental and behavioral health programs. health. Her bipartisan bills to combat the law enforcement suicide crisis and provide mental health resources for police officers were signed into law.


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