Organized Retail Theft is characterized by organized criminal rings that steal property with the intent to sell and distribute, or return stolen merchandise for value. Organized Retail Theft takes many forms—from coordinated thefts of specific goods to orchestrated, brazen attacks on local retailers. In whatever form it takes, these organized crimes are felonies – not petty theft or shoplifting. Organized Retail Theft incidents are often part of sophisticated criminal networks that plan their attacks weeks or months before they are carried out.
In a matter of minutes, hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise is stolen while employees and customers face threats or violence or in the worst cases, are actually harmed.
Organized Retail Theft places the safety and wellbeing of California consumers, workers, and businesses at risk. It is a serious crime, and those who commit it that can face severe penalties under the law.
Attorney General Bonta and DOJ are committed to holding perpetrators accountable and preventing future retail crimes that endanger the safety of communities in California. The path forward demands action and collaboration. DOJ is collaborating and sharing intelligence with law enforcement partners on the ground, brick-and-mortar retailers, and online marketplaces in order to stop perpetrators from committing further crimes by:
If you would like to report a crime, please click on the button below.