Retailers Sound Alarm Bell Over Huge Spike in Organized Shoplifting
Oregon prepares legislative response to crack down on thieves.
Retailers in Oregon are sounding the alarm bell over huge spikes in organized shoplifting after Walmart was forced to close its final two stores in Portland.
Oregon legislators are introducing a package of bills in an attempt to fight back against the lawlessness, which according to Michael Zacher, a detective with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, is “largely driven by substance abuse.”
However, the bills aren’t related to changing the state’s increasingly permissive view of drug enforcement, but focus more on increasing penalties for criminals engaged in organized theft.
Senate Bill 318 would set aside $5 million dollars to help authorities crack down on theft in cities and counties, while changes to Senate Bill 340 would stiffen penalties for organized retail theft, which under Oregon law involves working with another person to steal $5,000 or more worth of merchandise within a 90 day period.
Other changes would also empower authorities to charge thieves with a felony rather than a misdemeanor if they recklessly endanger other people in the course of a crime.
“In Oregon, Safeway/Albertson’s complains of losing more than $15 million in Multnomah County stores over the last eight years,” reports Oregon Public Broadcasting. “Police agencies talk of coordinated efforts to steal large amounts of merchandise, then sell it on the web or via flea markets. Store employees say they can feel unsafe as thieves carry out brazen thefts.”
Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the Walmart closures on lawlessness in Portland and laid the blame squarely at the feet of Mayor Ted Wheeler.
Governor Abbott, are the dozens of Walmart stores that have closed in Texas in recent years all communities that “refuse to enforce the rule of law?” The retail industry is changing and retail theft is a national issue. https://t.co/pFVf0HwD4W
— Mayor Ted Wheeler (@tedwheeler) March 7, 2023
600 employees face being let go or transferred as a result oft he closures, which Walmart refused to blame on theft despite CEO Doug McMillon previously lamenting a rise in “shrink,” an industry term for in-store theft.
Nike was also forced to close the doors to its neighborhood store in Northeast Portland and has asked the city to provide off-duty police officers to guard the premises, a request unlikely to be met due to an existing shortage of officers, partly a consequence of the BLM-inspired ‘defund the police’ movement.
OBI lobbyist Derek Sangston told lawmakers that the organized thefts were not homeless people trying to get by or kids stealing candy bars but rather the work of “organized retail crime syndicates.”
As we previously reported, Amazon recently announced it will be closing several grocery stores in high crime cities like NYC, Seattle and San Francisco, but claims the measure is related to “cost-cutting”.
As we highlight in the video below, all across America, the streets of Democrat-run cities are being taken over by the mad, the mentally ill and criminal mobs.
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