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Sarlo/Girgenti Bill To Establish ‘Organized Retail Theft Task Force’ Is Now Law

Senator Paul A. Sarlo (D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic)

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Paul Sarlo and John Girgenti, which creates the “Organized Retail Theft Task Force,” to help develop ways to address the problem of organized retail theft in New Jersey has been signed into law by Governor Corzine.

“When these theft rings collaborate to rob stores of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, consumers suffer because they end up picking up the slack by paying higher prices for the items they buy,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “With the holiday season being in full swing, consumers are looking for bargains. This task force would identify ways to put an end to these theft rings, and allow businesses to keep their prices at lower, more reasonable levels.”

“The effects of organized retail theft are of real concern to retailers – especially small business owners,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “These theft rings not only place undue strain on the pockets of consumers and store owners, but they also pose a threat to the safety and security of all who are in the store. Through this law’s provisions, we can deter this kind of crime, and protect the physical and financial safety of our residents.”

The new law, S-1337, establishes the nine-member task force to help identify ways to stop organized theft rings here in New Jersey. Membership of the task force will include representatives of the New Jersey Retail Merchants’ Association, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, a county prosecutor, and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. The task force will review strategies that other states and countries have followed to deal with organized retail theft rings. The task force will have three years to complete its research and make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature.

This measure was approved by the full Senate on October 23. #