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Organized Retail Crime vs.


What is Organized Retail Crime?

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is professional shoplifting involving organized crime with the intent to resell merchandise for financial gain. The stolen merchandise is sold at flea markets, online sites, and other retailers. Working in teams, the shoplifters target multiple stores and/or the same store multiple times. Members of the team have been observed to set up distractions while the others steal the store’s merchandise. ORC can use shopping carts to fill high-theft merchandise and push it out of the store’s exit door. In some cases, ORC will fill shopping carts with a single type of high-theft merchandise. For example laundry detergent, meat, and alcohol.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), ORC costs retailers “nearly $49 billion a year, with 97 percent of survey retailers surveyed by NRF saying their companies had been victims in the previous 12 months and 49 percent saying the number of incidents had grown over the year before.” Gatekeeper Systems, a leader in anti-pushout theft, found that in 2023, 27% of pushout thefts were ORC.

What is Opportunistic Theft?   


Opportunistic theft is shoplifting by individuals for personal use. It is a crime committed the shoplifter sees an opportunity to steal from a retailer without any planning. Cases involve one or two shoplifters that have little to no history of shoplifting. This theft uses shopping carts to fill merchandise and push out the store’s exit door. Opportunistic theft cases typically involve a mix of a smaller amount of items stolen compared to organized retail crime. Gatekeeper Systems found that in 2023, 73% of pushout thefts were opportunistic theft.

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