Virginia’s Attorney General is taking firm action against organized retail crime in Virginia, a problem he says is harming businesses across the Commonwealth.
Miyares’s office has convened a working group pursuant to a legislative request to address organized retail crime in the Commonwealth. Membership of the working group includes representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, Governor’s Office, law enforcement, legislators, prosecutors, brick and mortar retailers, and online marketplaces. The group will discuss the broad issue of organized retail crime and the growth of stolen and counterfeit goods being sold via online marketplaces, and begin reviewing potential strategies to tackle the issue.
“We saw in Fairfax last month, over 20,000 eyeglasses frames were stolen just in Fairfax,” he says. “Arlington detectives recovered over 89,000 stolen goods from just T.J. Maxx alone.”
Documenting the scope of the problem will be one of the tasks before the new work group, which is expected to take a look at tracking and recording organized retail crime as part of its efforts. According to WVTF, Statistics on organized retail crime are hard to come by. Industry groups say it’s a problem, but criminal justice advocates say there’s no independent data to back that up. They say discussion of the issue tends to blur together simple shoplifting, organized theft and violent smash-and-grab operations, which are all different crimes.
It’s good to see Miyares taking a look at some less talked about crimes that are plaguing Virginians. While the big, national issues will always need attention, the ones that every day Virginians are just as important.