Crackdown underway for organized crime

September 20, 2010 11:22:34 AM PDT
A crackdown on organized retail crime is underway. Officials say electronics and other items are stolen from big ticket stores and then resold at flea markets and swap meets. The FBI says organized retail crime is a multi-billion dollar racket and it has moved into the Houston area. According to statistics, 89 percent of retailers in our community are victims to this sort of crime. People buy stuff at some of these bigger stores and then resell it for a fraction of the cost.

Some of the products most commonly stolen are designer clothes, electronics, over-the-counter medicine and baby formula.

One example of how these organized criminals work is that sometimes they'll go into stores and, for example, buy a big plastic container, fill it with items, and then just pay for the container. So they get away with the smaller items and then resell them.

Retailers are cracking down and they're working with the Harris County Sheriff's Office and Crime Stoppers to catch people who do this.

"We're talking about folks who are actually putting millions of dollars of a dent into our local economy and are challenging these particular retailers who employ hundreds of people across the Harris County community," explained Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

You'll start seeing billboards and signs on cabs with the phrase 'Stop Organized Retail Crime,' because officials say the public is the key to catching these crooks. If you find a brand-new item at a great price on eBay or Amazon or Craigslist, officials suggest not buying it. They say half the time those new items being resold are actually stolen.


Load Comments