California Retailers Association Announces New Partnership with California Organized Retail Crimes Association Collaborative Formed to Address a Growing Crisis for Businesses Statewide
Sacramento, CA – March 15, 2021 – The California Retailers Association (CRA) and the California Organized Retail Crimes Association (Cal-ORCA) announced today a new joint partnership to combat Organized Retail Crime (ORC) throughout California.
“ORC is a growing problem not only for businesses, but our communities,” said Rachel Michelin, CRA President and CEO. “ORC fosters a host of illegal activity, including the recruitment of youth, homeless and others into theft crimes. These networks frequently use their proceeds to finance other illegal activity including drug smuggling and human trafficking.”
ORC involves theft or fraudulent activity conducted with the intent to convert illegally obtained goods into financial gain, often through subsequent online or offline sales. Typically, ORC networks organize multiple theft rings at retail stores and employ a “fencing” operation to sell the illegally obtained goods for financial gain. The digital revolution and subsequent growth in online shopping and social networking, along with increasingly lax enforcement of property crimes, have exacerbated large scale criminal theft, contributed to significant business losses and greatly impacted retailers’ ability to provide jobs and keep their doors open to serve their communities.
“ORC is on the rise nationwide and California is a ‘hot spot’ for these activities,” said George Torres, CFI, LPQ, Executive Member of CAL-ORCA. “Now more than ever, we need laws and enforcement tools to fight back against these increasingly sophisticated, complex and often far-flung criminal networks and our partnership with CRA will help us significantly expand and advance these efforts.”
CRA, in collaboration with Cal-ORCA, is working to combat ORC in California through legislative and regulatory measures that will continue to empower law enforcement and the business community to stop current crime rings and prevent future large-scale thefts. In addition to the new collaborative, CRA and Cal-ORCA have partnered with Auror, an online Retail Crime Intelligence platform designed to address ORC both in California and nationwide. The platform enables CRA and CAL-ORCA to build a data network across states and businesses that empowers members to collaborate, share intelligence and resolve more ORC cases.
“Joining with CRA and leveraging new technology to get ahead of ORC is a no brainer,” said Detective Joe Hopkins, Member of the CAL-ORCA Board of Directors and Los Angeles Police Department. “CRA’s work with the retail industry and larger business community along with Auror’s cutting edge technology will allow Cal-ORCA to do the hard work around connecting repeat offenders,
sharing intel and enabling us to work together. Through this collaborative and new online platform, we will see a coordinated response to this vast issue.”
About the California Retailers Association
The California Retailers Association (CRA) is the only statewide trade association representing all segments of the retail industry including general merchandise, department stores, on-line marketplaces, mass merchandisers, restaurants, convenience stores, supermarkets and grocery stores, chain drug, and specialty retail such as auto, vision, jewelry, hardware and home stores. CRA works on behalf of California’s retail industry, which prior to the pandemic, operated over 418,840 retail establishments with a gross domestic product of $330 billion annually and employed 3,211,805 people—one fourth of California’s total employment. The state of California collected $48.5 billion in revenue from retail sales and use taxes, representing more than 25% of the state revenue. For more information, go to www.calretailers.com.
Founded in 2012, The California Organized Retail Crimes Association (CAL-ORCA) is an organization dedicated to fostering partnerships between law enforcement professionals and loss prevention professionals to provide training, combat Organized Retail Crime (ORC) and other crimes impacting the business community. The partnership will aid in the sharing of cross jurisdictional information to help identify, disrupt and apprehend ORC suspects in California and other states. Learn more at www.calretailers.com.