We've all seen videos of mobs of people ransacking high-end stores and stealing armfuls of merchandise, but the problem of theft goes beyond the high-end shops.

The National Retail Federation reports that organized retail crime is costing businesses $100 billion, one unnamed retailer reported that this retail crime problem will cost them $500 million over the last year alone.

Organized Retail Crime vs. Shoplifting

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is what is really of concern here, ORC is shoplifting but it's what they do after the act of theft that distinguishes the two. Shoplifters who take deodorant or baby formula for personal use aren't what is causing the alarm, it's the highly organized groups of people shoplifting popular products and illegally reselling them, some of these groups are making hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Wal-Mart Opens New Store Just Outside Chicago
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Thefts Becoming More Violent

The National Retail Foundation says that these organized crime groups have become dramatically more aggressive in these crimes post-pandemic. Retailers are becoming concerned about the safety of their employees and customers. The NRF says, "No merchandise is more valuable than the safety of retail employees and their customers. Every time someone enters a store to steal, they are putting retail employees and shoppers directly in harm’s way."

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What is Being Stolen The Most?

If you've ever been to a store and found some merchandise locked up, chances are those are the most targeted items by these organized retail crime groups. Business Insider recently compiled a list of the most stolen items at Walmart, and you might be surprised at some of the items.

What is Minnesota Doing to Fight ORC?

The Minnesota Organized Retail Crime Association is an organization that "allows retailers, financial sector, prosecutors and law enforcement to communicate about criminal activity impacting businesses on a real-time basis while preventing other partners from being victimized."

In May 2023 Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a new law targeting ORC, this new bill defines what is considered ORC in the state and allows for tougher sentencing for individuals participating in these organized crimes.

The 11 Most Stolen Items From Walmart Stores

These are the items Walmart identifies as the most frequently stolen in their stores.

Gallery Credit: Emily

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