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Massachusetts Retailers Grapple with $2 Billion in Theft Losses Annually August 29, 2023 (0 comments)


Boston, MA--Retail theft soars across Massachusetts, hitting businesses for an estimated $2 billion yearly. Store closures rise nationally due to organized crime.

[Image via Creative Commons]

The Association's President, Jon Hurst, highlighted the grave repercussions on companies' bottom lines. "A number of companies have reported the effect of this organized criminal theft activity on their bottom line," Hurst said, as per an editorial published in the Boston Herald. "We've certainly seen more of this organized stealing and this smash-and-grab.

A recent National Retail Federation survey paints an even grimmer national scenario, estimating retail losses at nearly $100 billion. 

Per the editorial, major retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Walgreens, have reported multi-million dollar losses, resulting in store closures in various cities, from San Francisco to Chicago. Retail theft impacts larger chains and devastates smaller businesses, leading to the theft of precious items like jewelry and designer products.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed the broader implications of the crisis, underscoring the loss of jobs for retail workers. Per the report, advocating for more decisive legal consequences, Adams stated that repeat offenders must not mock the criminal justice system.

Adams supports Gov. Kathy Hochul's proposal to modify the state's 2019 bail reform law, eliminating the "least restrictive" provision, ensuring defendants' court return.

Such cooperative efforts are now in demand in Massachusetts, as Hurst believes. He insists that joint efforts from politicians, police, and prosecutors are vital to mitigate this widespread crisis. In 2018, Massachusetts controversially raised the felony threshold for larceny from $250 to $1,200. Hurst perceives this as a critical blunder, encouraging criminal activities by limiting legal consequences for thefts below the threshold.

The surge in organized retail theft, nationally and within Massachusetts, raises concerns about the future of retail businesses and employment opportunities. Stakeholders urge state leaders to learn from past mistakes and implement robust countermeasures.

Read more in the Boston Herald report.

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