Making headway on Organized Retail Crime


Last month, the legislature took steps to crack down on Organized Retail Crime (ORC). The Michigan Senate unanimously passed bills sponsored by Sen. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) and Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing) that would require online marketplaces verify and disclose the identity of high-volume third-party sellers. SB 1023-1024 would also require marketplaces include a method for customers to report suspicious listings or activity. The bills are now before the House Judiciary Committee for consideration and we urge quick approval.

Also in May, the Senate and House Judiciary Committee approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake), to add stricter penalties for those caught committing ORC. SB 691 would give prosecutors the ability to more easily charge the top of the organized criminal enterprise under Michigan’s racketeering law, which carries much stricter penalties. The racketeering statute is currently used for other property and fraud crimes. It allows prosecutors to seek forfeiture which could fund other ORC investigations.

ORC has been linked to other criminal activity including drug addiction, illegal drug sales, and human trafficking. Retailers and law enforcement agree the goal is to go after those organizing the theft and resale of items while getting help for the “boosters.”

Please join us in thanking Michigan senators for their work on this important issue and encourage the House to act quickly.