Aggressive Criminal

Texas is serious about combating organized retail crime

On Behalf of | Theft |

Organized retail crime (ORC), or organized retail theft, has become a growing problem throughout the country in recent years. States including Texas have taken steps to crack down on these thefts by enacting or strengthening laws and putting more resources into enforcing them.

The Texas Organized Retail Crime Association (TXORCA) defines the crime as “an organized effort by two or more persons to convert illegally obtained merchandise or cash into financial gain through theft or fraud….[that] usually involves the theft of multiple quantities of similar products or thefts from multiple stores, multiple jurisdictions or multiple states.”

This isn’t impulse stealing or theft stemming from poverty. One reason there’s such concern about it is that, in addition to resulting in significant financial losses to businesses and often in considerable damage and violence, the organizers of these thefts, according to authorities, often use the money they make from the thefts to finance other organized crimes “and potentially even terrorism,” according to one FBI official.

Some specifics about the law

Texas’ organized retail theft law applies to anyone who “intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of stolen retail merchandise, or merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise.” Therefore, anyone involved at any point in the process could find themselves facing serious charges

These charges range from Class C misdemeanors up to first-degree felonies, depending on the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen. The charge against someone increases a level if they alleged “organized, supervised, financed, or managed” the theft or tampered with any kind of alarm or security device.

These are not traditional shoplifting charges. They need to be taken very seriously because law enforcement and prosecutors take them seriously. It can be all too easy to become involved in an organized retail theft without realizing the full ramifications of it. If you’re facing charges, it’s crucial to get your legal guidance to protect your rights and separate yourself from any others involved or charged.