Monday, March 29, 2010

RILA Reports Increasing Organized Retail Crime

Despite the press releases from the FBI reporting that crime rates are falling, there are many that are experiencing much higher crime levels, indeed organized crime is rising for the retail sector after surveying RILA retail members. Specific rising crime trends observed include the following:
According to the survey, the largest retailers report that retail crime is continuing to rise as the
economy turns toward recovery.
· 78% of retailers report seeing an increase in amateur and opportunistic shoplifting
· 65% of retailers report seeing an increase in organized retail crime
· 74% of retailers report seeing an increase of stolen items being found in online market
places compared to 47% in traditional fencing operations, 47% in flea markets and 16%
in pawn shops
Retailers are also seeing an increase in burglary and fraud while reporting that other types of
crimes, such as robbery and ID theft, are unchanged and continue to remain problems for
retailers. These trends remain consistent with historical crime trends associated with economic
distress and job instability and therefore continue to persist alongside the current economic

RILA reports that "Estimates report that ORC costs retailers tens of billions of dollars annually. These crimes are attributable to groups of well-organized thieves who steal goods and resell them into the stream of commerce – a characteristic that distinguishes ORC from petty thievery or shoplifting. Furthermore, ORC gangs often rely on the money received from fencing stolen merchandise to fund other criminal activity."

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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is the trade association of the world’s most
innovative and successful retail companies, whose executives participate in RILA for its unique
educational forums, its effective public policy advocacy, and its advancement of the retail
RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers,
which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and
more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and
RILA Contacts:
Survey Information
Casey Chroust
Executive Vice President, Retail Operations

7000+ protest crime wave in Mexico

One of the signs of the peak of a crime wave is the rallying cries by public that a crime wave exists, and something should be done about it. The press mention below is an increasingly more typical outcry over crime that will undoubtedly lead to increased public pressure to resolve the problem.

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From the Associated Press.

MONTERREY, Mexico — More than 7,000 people have gathered in the northern Mexico city of Monterrey to protest a wave of violence that has affected the country's third largest city in recent weeks.

Most of the protesters wore white at a rally in Monterrey's main park and some released white balloons and a white dove as signs of peace.

Nuevo Leon state Gov. Rodrigo Medina led the protesters on a brief walk through Fundidora Park. His border state has seen a surge in violence that authorities blame on a turf war between the Gulf drug cartel and the Zetas, the cartel's former hit men.

Hours before the rally Sunday, two soldiers and a civilian were wounded in a shootout between troops and gunmen in Monterrey.

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This protest is the outcry over the recent beheading of the Police Chief in Northern Mexico; see below:

Again, from the Associated Press,

Monterrey(Mexico), Mar 27 (AFP) - The headless bodies of a police chief and another man presumed to be a police officer turned up in the trunk of a police car in north Mexico, local justice officials have said.

The bodies of the police chief of Agualeguas town, in Nuevo Leon state, and the apparent officer were found in the abandoned car yesterday, prosecutor Alejandro Garza told journalists.

"We assume that the crime is linked to organised crime, due to the savagery of the killing," Garza said.

Mexico's powerful drug gangs often carry out beheadings and torture to send messages to their enemies, and deadly attacks occur almost daily amid a military clampdown on organised crime.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Face of Crime in Dayton -- Organized Crime Rings Taken Down

One of the key crime control strategies of the Great Depression era was targeting the money, and targeting those serious habitual offenders, and taking them down. Here is a real-world example of one such operation -- "Operation BoltCutter," and the result.

The face of crime often illudes citizens as they think to images on television. Here, in one article, is a great depicition of what is going on out there in some of our nations communities -- it is the face of somewhat organized crime, impacting communities in the heartland. Read below.

4 major crime rings dismantled, authorities say

By Jeremy P. Kelley, Staff Writer, Dayton Daily NewsUpdated 7:41 PM Tuesday, January 5, 2010

CENTERVILLE — Twenty Dayton-area residents responsible for major drug trafficking, violent robberies and home invasions, and theft on a grand scale were arrested through undercover investigations into four crime rings in the past two years, law enforcement officials said Tuesday, Jan. 5. The arrests, 12 of which have already led to convictions, were the result of local, state and federal cooperation through the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission’s “Operation BoltCutter.”

“Studies have shown that a small percentage of the population commits a large percentage of the crimes,” said Carter Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Ohio. “This operation went after that small percentage and was successful.”

Suburban drug/theft

Sources told local police in 2008 that Colburn “Butch” Kinzer, 63, was operating a pharmaceutical drug ring out of Miamisburg and West Carrollton, according to Williams. An undercover agent infiltrated the group and heard Kinzer brag that he also was sending several thousand pills to Kentucky weekly. Kinzer was arrested and has been sentenced to five years in federal prison on drug convictions.

Williams said authorities found a major theft ring out of the Kinzer investigation. They found more than 40 drug users in Montgomery and Warren counties who shoplifted merchandise — up to $2,000 worth a week, causing huge losses for retailers — and sold them through a series of “fences” to support their drug habits.

Money laundering and theft charges are pending in Warren County against seven people from Miamisburg, Franklin, Springboro and West Carrollton, and Williams said additional charges are expected soon.

Pharmacy robberies

Brian Campbell and Ronald Schroyer of Trotwood are accused of stealing “extremely large quantities” of Oxycontin and Vicodin from six pharmacies across Ohio in 2009, including two in Riverside, one in Sidney and one in New Carlisle, where they were caught on Aug. 8.

Williams said more than 120,000 pills were stolen, and the arrests will make an impact on the amount of pharmaceutical drugs being trafficked in the Dayton area.

Campbell has pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges and is awaiting sentencing. He also faces 11 charges connected to an auto theft ring. Schroyer’s drug case is pending in federal court.

Home invasions

  • Bobby Wells and John McIntire of Dayton led a group that committed drug crimes and armed home invasions in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, often raiding homes while dressed as law enforcement officers, according to Williams. A federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent infiltrated the ring and set up a fake robbery in February 2008, where SWAT teams took the group into custody. Wells, McIntire and four others have been sentenced to a total of more than 70 years in federal prison.
  • Reginald Brooks of Trotwood led a sophisticated gang that committed burglaries, kidnappings for ransom and armed home invasions over a span of several years in Montgomery and Greene counties, according to Williams. Like the other gang, they often simulated police raids when they stole drugs, cash and guns from drug dealers, but this group also used informants and high-tech surveillance.

Authorities have tied the group to about 500 unsolved felonies. Williams said the group injured victims in some cases and demanded ransoms from family members in others. Brooks and three others were arrested by SWAT teams in the summer of 2008 and have been sentenced to a combined 40 years on cocaine charges.

“The only way you’re ever going to reduce the amount of violent crime in our communities is taking the most violent individuals and getting them in prison,” Williams said. “These home invasion gangs are the sharks at the top of the food chain. No one wants to come forward and talk because everyone’s scared to death of them. ... But when you get them off the street, you take some of the fear factor away from the public.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2278 or

Crime wave spurs patrols by Dayton police

It is difficult to stand up against a known trend: crime waves follow economic misery and heightened unemployment; since 1954, there has been a crime wave following each sharp economic contraction, and our time is no different.

Consider the following from the front lines in Dayton Daily News.

Rash of car and 
home burglaries leads to increased presence in southeast neighborhoods

"Officers hit the streets this week as home burglaries in this area continue to hover at 45 percent above last year’s pace that resulted in a five-year high of 732 annually, police said. “It’s a two-fold approach because we are also targeting thefts from vehicles,” Chief Richard Biehl said. “We are taking the crime trends in this area quite seriously and addressing them properly.” Car break-ins have soared 140 percent as thieves continue to target GPS units, other mobile electronics and money left in vehicles, police said. Many of the stolen GPS units that retail for $300 are being sold on the streets for rock bottom prices of $10 to $30, or being traded for drugs, police said."