PA takes on ORC, while discussion continues at federal level
HARRISBURG, Pa.—The Pennsylvania Senate on May 26 passed legislation that would make it a felony to participate, in any capacity, in organized retail crime, a move that represents ongoing effort at the state level to battle ORC, a crime that often crosses state lines.
The bill, which unanimously passed the Pennsylvania House in 2009, is on its way to Gov. Ed Rendell for consideration.
Under current law, individuals who participate in ORC activities are not subject to prosecution for that crime specifically, only the retail theft itself, said Rep. Tom Caltagirone, the author of the bill in a statement released by the state http://www.pahouse.com/pr/127052610.asp. “They may target the same store more than once, knowing they can risk the arrest of one or some of the group members and still carry out the job,” said Caltagirone.
This bill will bring nothing but good things for retailers in their battle against ORC, according to Joe LaRocca, senior asset protection advisor with the National Retail Federation. “We’ve been watching it along with other state pending legislation and all crimes start at the local level,” said LaRocca. “Any time a state legislature takes up ORC on their agenda, we think that’s a positive move.”
In terms of federal legislation dealing with ORC, LaRocca reported increased conversation in Congress since NRF announced a partnership with online retailer eBay.
Currently, House members are working on the language of the three ORC bills up for consideration in an effort to merge them together. “In general the House is very pleased about the partnership formed and they are looking forward to an assessment of how it’s going. And so far so good,” he said.
NRF and eBay continue to build their collaboration efforts. At NRF’s upcoming Loss Prevention Conference and Expo, which will take place in Atlanta on June 14-16, eBay will be presenting examples of its work with traditional retailers to combat ORC. “They will be highlighting some of the successful cases and show how eBay has worked to go after offenders and has successfully charged individuals for major crimes,” said LaRocca.