Stolen goods estimated at $ 68 billion sold online to unsuspecting consumers

ORLANDO, Florida – Organized crime syndicates have launched a high-stakes attack on retailers across the country in an attempt to sell stolen goods online, according to law enforcement and retail crime investigators detail.

Mike Combs, director of organized crime investigations for The Home Depot, told News 6 that the industry has seen a sharp increase in shoplifting over the past three years.

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“If they can get rid of it somewhere in the market, they’ll steal it,” Combs said. “I think the big change is that they go everywhere. They go after all the retailers.

Retail crime has become a lucrative business for thieves from Florida to California.

State Attorney General Ashley Moody said 39 counties in Florida have been targeted by criminal retail networks.

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Moody’s started a joint effort with law enforcement called FORCE: The Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange.

Moody said the data collected will enable his office “to identify larger scale criminal organizations that enter our stores and steal large amounts of merchandise.”

A recent report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Buy Safe America Coalition found that up to $ 68.9 billion in products were stolen from retailers in 2019.

Investigators traced the goods to online publications offering deep discounts on new items, many of which are still in the original box.

Officer Chuck McPhilamy, Marietta Police Department in Georgia, said, “It is a widespread problem and it affects all markets.”

He said potential buyers should beware.

“Well, ask yourself if it’s brand new in the box and worth $ 1,000, why don’t they take it back to the store and get their (money) back?” McPhilamy said. “Why the hell would they sell him for less than that?” “

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Combs said investigators confiscated items ranging from stolen wood and detergent to high-end electrical equipment.

Law enforcement is asking people to report unusual sightings or posts to the new See Something Send Something app, a free tool that allows anyone to send videos or photos of suspicious scenes, which is directed to them. appropriate law enforcement.

If you spot an online publication offering new merchandise at discounted prices, use the app or contact [email protected]

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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