Over 20 leading retailers and industry experts from the U.S. and Japan convened at Tyco Retail Solutions’ (www.tycoretailsolutions.com) Boca Raton, Florida campus on October 26 and 27 for an International Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Summit. Recognizing the impact and magnitude of this global problem, Tyco’s hosted event enabled face-to-face collaboration on best practices for effectively combating ORC. Delegates from Japan gathered insights from U.S. subject experts to support their efforts for launching ORC initiatives to tackle this rising threat in Japan. Top industry experts including retailers, academia and law enforcement shared successful strategies and counter methods for deterring, identifying and investigating ORC activity.
Different than traditional forms of shoplifting, ORC encompasses large scale theft and fraudulent activity where goods are converted into cash. Considered “gateway crimes,” ORC incidents are increasingly linked to even more serious issues including identify theft, financing terror groups, money laundering, and cyber-crimes. While the global figure is unknown, industry experts estimate the cost of ORC to the U.S. alone is about $30-$40 billion annually.
ORC theft rings once depended solely on black markets or physical locations like flea markets to sell goods. Now, they are increasingly turning to online marketplaces as an easier, broader reaching and more profitable way to sell stolen goods. Retail crime expert Paul Jones, eBay’s Senior Executive of Asset Protection, offered unique insights on ORC challenges facing both brick-and-mortar and online retailers based on his experience in both formats.
According to Jones, maintaining trust is a key element in the eBay business model. Stolen goods create an unfair and untrustworthy market place for buyers and sellers. He outlined initiatives within his company for identifying and shutting down resale of stolen merchandise. “To confront the challenges related to organized retail theft and the sale of stolen goods, we all must remain vigilant and leverage an ORC ecosystem of strong strategic partnerships. Our dedicated global teams are focused on enforcing policies, ensuring we have the right technology in place, collaborating with rights owners and working closely with law enforcement to combat ORC,” said Jones.
Dr. Read Hayes, Director, Loss Prevention Research Council and Research Scientist, University of Florida, also presented his results on how to identify and prevent ORC by affecting offender decisions through deterrence methods. “All crime starts with offenders making a decision to weigh the risks and benefits. Our research on the science of deterrence reveals offenders recognize and respond to cue mechanisms which are technologies such as video surveillance cameras, enhanced Public View Monitors (PVMs), and electronic tags, that clearly signal a crime is too difficult, too risky, or not worth it.”
As ORC threatens the retail market globally, Tyco is committed to helping combat the problem by offering innovative technology solutions including Acousto-Magnetic (AM) Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems, advanced IP video surveillance, PVMs and video analytics to help monitor and capture ORC activities, while providing law enforcement evidence for potential prosecution.
About Tyco Retail Solutions
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