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California's 40th District

Apr 19, 2022 | In The News

In an effort to help prevent the billions of dollars stolen from retailers each year, U.S. Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) has introduced legislation to combat organized crime that threatens both public safety and the U.S. economy.

“I am proud to lead the charge to ensure the federal government is prioritizing and working with state and local law enforcement and entities to address organized retail crime and hold these criminal networks accountable, and I am grateful this can be a bipartisan effort,” said Rep. Kim, the ranking member of the U.S. House Small Business Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Workforce Development Subcommittee.

Rep. Kim introduced the Improving Federal Investigations of Organized Retail Crime Ace, H.R. 7499, with original cosponsors including U.S. Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA).

The bill unveiled on April 14 would direct the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service, and other agencies to develop a comprehensive strategy on how the government can improve the coordination of federal investigations of retail crime. The bill would strengthen collaboration with retailers, organized retail crime associations, and state-run retail crime taskforces and help state and local authorities compile evidence for the prosecution of organized retail crime, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Kim’s office.

“Businesses need a safe environment to grow their enterprises and create jobs. Unfortunately, organized retail crime makes it harder for businesses to operate, hurts local economies, and worsens public safety across U.S. communities,” the congresswoman said.

An estimated $68.9 billion worth of products were stolen from retailers in 2019, with retail crimes resulting in $125.7 billion in lost economic activity, according to a November 2019 report by the Retail Industry Leaders Association and Buy Safe America Coalition.

“The rapid rise in organized retail crime in California is hurting employees, consumers, and store owners, and international crime rings are contributing to this problem,” said Steve McCarthy, vice president of Government Affairs and Policy at the California Retailers Association. “The federal government has an important role to play in stopping ORC. We appreciate the leadership of Congresswoman Kim and the cosponsors of H.R. 7499 in bringing this legislation forward.”

The Ripon Advance

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