States crack down on organized retail theft

At least six states this year approved measures to increase penalties, and more are likely to do so next year.
A security guard stands outside the Nordstrom store at The Grove retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)

State legislators across the country are introducing measures to increase penalties for organized retail thefts, spurred by shocking videos of flash mobs that invade stores, overwhelm employees and security guards, and make off with pricey goods.

At least six states — Oregon, New Mexico, Indiana, Minnesota, Virginia and Alabama — have approved measures this year to increase penalties for organized retail theft. Lawmakers in Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and Washington, D.C., are considering similar measures.

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