Organized Retail Crime is considered a gateway crime to other criminal activities. Within ORC there are a wide variety of fraud schemes that exist. These schemes can often range from simple theft of merchandise to complex schemes which involve refunds, gift cards, and or counterfeit currency. In an effort to highlight these types of schemes this section will focus on the various types of organized retail crime schemes. We will discuss an overview of the crime, how to identify it, how you investigate it, and lastly how you prosecute it.

This guide is limited to addressing the particular harms stolen goods markets create, with a focus on ordinary consumer goods. Some specialty stolen goods markets, such as those dealing in firearms, cultural artifacts, art, or endangered species,

Stolen Goods Markets have unique features calling for separate analyses and different responses. Related problems not directly addressed in this guide, each of which requires a separate analysis, include the following:

Property theft problems:

  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • General theft

Market-related problems:

  • Illicit drugs markets
  • Prostitution markets
  • Human trafficking markets
  • Child pornography markets
  • Pirated software, music, and film media markets
  • Fake goods markets
  • Illicit diamond markets
  • Endangered species markets
  • Illicit antiques, art, and cultural artifacts markets
  • Illicit firearms markets


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