RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — CBS 17 has reported numerous robberies in recent months — but a new law signed into law could help bring about that change.
In various incidents, thieves broke into stores and at times stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
“Roughly $7 billion worth of merchandise is stolen nationally every year,” said Andy Ellen, president and general counsel of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.
On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 766 into law.
The new law focuses on organized retail theft. Organized retail theft involves two or more people working together to steal from businesses with the intention of reselling them.
The law also regulates high-volume third-party providers on the Internet.
Ellen said this law is a proactive step to slow down these types of crimes.
“It increases the penalties for these professional thieves,” he said. “We’ve never been after the kid who steals a pair of sunglasses or a t-shirt. These are people whose job it is to steal from retailers in North Carolina every morning when they wake up.”
For thieves, this can ultimately mean more jail time, depending on the seriousness of the crime and the amount stolen.
“It’s also very much a consumer protection issue, especially[because]things get stolen, like over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and things like that,” Ellen said.
Ellen also said organized crime in retail leads to things like human and drug trafficking, which he hopes this law can also curb.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/north-carolina-news/new-nc-law-cracks-down-on-organized-retail-crimes/ New NC law tackles organized retail crime