'Mexican Cartels' to Blame for Organized Retail Theft, Homeland Security Says

Chris Menahan
Aug. 29, 2023

Mexican cartels are to blame for the surge in organized retail theft which began during the "pandemic" in the summer of 2020, not retailers and politicians who endorsed lawless criminality in the name of "anti-racism" during the Floyd riots, according to Homeland Security.

From The Washington Examiner, "Boosters, fencers, and cleaners: Inside cartels' newest criminal enterprise of organized retail theft":
Mexican cartels are behind the spike in organized retail crime and are deeply entrenched in every level of the process, according to the federal government's chief investigative agency.

Retailers nationwide sustained nearly $100 billion worth of losses in 2021, the highest year on record, according to the National Retail Federation report published in September 2022. The growing number of cartel-run theft rings around the country drove that figure up from $70 billion in 2019.

"Organized retail crime is leading to more brazen and more violent attacks in retail stores throughout the country. Many of the criminal rings orchestrating these thefts are also involved in other serious criminal activity such as human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, weapon trafficking, and more," said Steve Francis, acting executive associate director for Homeland Security Investigations, in a statement. HSI is part of the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association described the acceleration of organized retail crime in recent years as having "exploded."

In fact, 80% of retailers polled nationwide reported an increase in merchandise stolen in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation.

[...] The type of mass-theft seen around the nation, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic began, is different than shoplifting, according to HSI. As the pandemic set in, people increasingly pivoted to purchasing items online, making it easier to sell stolen goods.

"Organized retail crime exploded over the last few years as criminals exploited the anonymity of third-party online marketplaces to fence billions in stolen products," RILA Senior Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Michael Hanson said in a statement.
Ah yes, the "pandemic" is to blame. The fact this crime wave coincided with the BLM riots -- which basically every major retailer endorsed -- is just supposed to be forgotten.

Just blame a foreign enemy for the problems you created!
"Unlike shoplifting, where an individual steals food due to hunger or related incidents of simple theft, [organized theft groups] illegally profit from systematically targeting retail establishments utilizing professional thieves known as 'boosters,'" according to HSI. "Often, boosters travel in crews throughout the country utilizing aliases, rental vehicles, and tools such as 'booster bags' and illegally acquired security keys to steal high-value merchandise."

Stolen items are then handed over to the second person in the theft ring: the "fencer" or "fence." The fencer buys the merchandise from the booster at a discounted price and will list the item on a number of platforms, including e-commerce websites such as eBay and Amazon, social media, and wholesale or trading companies.

[...] One such incident in April turned tragic when the booster was approached by Blake Mohs, a 26-year-old Home Depot security guard in New Jersey. Mohs took back the stolen merchandise and was shot. The woman arrested after the shooting was identified as 32-year-old private security guard Benicia Knapps. Knapps picked up the stolen item next to Mohs and ran out after shooting him.

[...] This summer, Congress cracked down on items sold on retail sites, including Amazon and eBay. The INFORM Consumers Act, passed in June, has been the biggest step forward for retailers and law enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to online sellers that it would be cracking down as the law called for.

"The industry is hopeful that requiring online marketplaces to collect, verify and disclose information about high-volume third-party sellers, marketplaces will finally evict bad actors from their platforms," RILA Senior Executive Vice President of Retail Operations Lisa LaBruno said in a statement when the bill was passed. "In turn, consumers can shop with more confidence that the products they purchase online are legitimate."
Incidentally, I don't see a lot of Mexicans in the videos which keep going viral every few days of these flash lootings.

I guess I just have to look harder!

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