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Law Enforcement Reports Rise in Organized Retail Theft in Connecticut

Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

stamford criminal defense lawyerThere have recently been multiple reports about an increase in retail theft across the country. According to the results of surveys conducted by the National Retail Federation, retail stores are getting hit more often, especially by organized retail theft gangs. There has also been an alarming increase in the number of incidents where the alleged thieves are more violent and aggressive towards store employees who try to stop them.

Rise in Connecticut Incidents

Stores throughout Connecticut have also experienced a marked increase in retail theft incidents. Grocery stores, in particular, are reporting more and more retail theft incidents to law enforcement. Many of these incidents involve multiple people working together to steal products, as organized retail crime has become more of an issue over the past several years. There has also been a spike in the number of incidents where violence and threats of violence were made against store employees when confronted.

In one recent incident, a store manager confronted two males and a female as they were leaving a store with a shopping cart filled with items they had not paid for, and one of the men pushed the manager to the floor.

In another incident, when a woman leaving a store with more than $700 worth of groceries was confronted by an employee, she threatened to stick the employee with a hypodermic needle.

Why the Increase?

The National Retail Federation also reports that there are certain products that are more popular, especially when it comes to organized retail theft gangs. The organization reports the top products include:

  • Laundry detergent

  • Designer clothes

  • Designer handbags

  • High-end liquor

  • Infant formula

  • Allergy medicine

  • Pain relievers

  • Teeth whitening strips

One of the main reasons for the increase in retail theft is how easy it is to sell the stolen items online. According to national data, approximately $500 billion in stolen and counterfeit products are sold online each year via third-party marketplaces.

Penalties for Organized Retail Theft in Connecticut

Organized retail theft in Connecticut is legally defined as a person conspiring with at least one other individual to steal property valued at more than $2,000 over a six-month period. If the person has stolen $10,000 or more worth of property, they are charged as a class C felony. Less than $10,000 is charged at a class D felony.

While any type of retail theft charge is serious, the law imposes much more serious charges for those who work together to shoplift, compared to a person who slips an item in their bag without paying. A class C conviction carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years. A class D conviction results in up to five years in prison.

Contact a Fairfield County Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with organized retail theft, you could be facing a significant prison sentence, depending on the circumstances of your case. An aggressive Stamford, CT defense lawyer can help defend you against these charges. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free consultation.

 

 Sources:

https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-ct-brazen-grocery-grab-20211113-z2il6bcvjndstnp6dmyfz2w7fi-story.html

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/rpt/2016-R-0039.htm