JOLIET, IL – Will County State’s Attorney James W. Glasgow on Monday joined with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, members of the law enforcement community, retail associations, and national retailers in the announcement of a new Organized Retail Crime Task Force established to address the rampant, multibillion dollar organized retail crime industry. Glasgow will be serving on the new Task Force in his capacity as President of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association.
“Technology has made it increasingly easy to sell stolen merchandise through online marketplaces, and opportunistic criminals have ramped up their efforts exponentially as a result. Lawmakers never imagined the type of theft that is occurring now when Illinois passed its retail theft statute, but there are other laws on the books that can be used to bring felony charges against individuals engaging in this type of organized enterprise, such as money laundering, burglary, and failing to pay sales taxes,” Glasgow said. “Under the continuing financial crimes enterprise statute, for example, if an individual is selling stolen merchandise in five counties including Will, we can prosecute him for that criminal conduct in each of these counties. This Task Force will offer increasing flexibility in the ability of law enforcement to coordinate among jurisdictions to catch these brazen criminals.”
Other members of the Task Force include the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Illinois State Police, the Barrington Police Department, the West Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. Private partners include the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Magnificent Mile Association, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, the Internet Association, and national retailers including CVS, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart.
“These criminal enterprises pose a serious threat to our communities in terms of personal safety and public safety, along with significant economic losses. In addition to the $45 billion annual cost of retail crime, these sophisticated criminal organizations often are involved in other serious crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug distribution, and money laundering,” Glasgow said. “The members of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association stand ready to work cooperatively with the members of the Task Force and appreciate that Attorney General Raoul has included our state’s prosecutors in this important joint effort.”