Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is one of the most complex and persistent problems that all retailers struggle with, no matter where they are in the world. Targeting retailers is one of the most attractive types of crime for people and groups who are committing profit-motivated crimes. The people responsible for this malicious stock loss, impacting the customer experience, and aggression in stores continue to offend repeatedly, all the while being protected by a veil of anonymity.
While some in the AP/LP industry feel helpless to solve unrelenting loss and harm happening in their stores, with no known perpetrators to blame, there are others who have found the answer to addressing ORC in the power of building a connected network of retailers, law enforcement, and retail associations using a Crime Intelligence platform.
What is Retail Crime Intelligence?
Retail Crime Intelligence leverages a growing community of retailers that are motivated to solve ORC through collaboration. By using a Crime Intelligence Platform that removes the anonymity of perpetrators and builds a bigger and better picture of what is really happening, they are able to prevent more loss and keep their customers and teams safe.
We’ll examine how networks of retailers, law enforcement, and retail associations that exist today in the United States, Canada, and Australia are using Crime Intelligence to turn the tide on ORC.
Collaboration at scale
The status quo for many retail AP/LP teams is to work in silos with little to no collaboration with their store teams, law enforcement and even other retailers. This helps people who offend to maintain their anonymity and keep profiting from their crimes without consequence. Meanwhile, retailers and their store teams are eager to help prevent loss, but remain in the dark about what is happening around them, who is involved, and what they can do to prevent growing loss and harm.
With better collaboration, retailers can work together not just within their own organizations, but also as an industry and with law enforcement to report and share intel on the people causing the most harm.
Several ORCAs and law enforcement agencies in North America have been collaborating on a case involving a national larceny group using magnetic keys to open retail merchandise protection in different stores across multiple states on the west coast. The group had travelled over 3,000 miles across six states from Oklahoma to Washington, impacting two of the largest retailers in the United States in over 26 events.
The collaboration between ORCAs and law enforcement on Auror’s Crime Intelligence Platform meant they were able to arrest two members of the group in November 2021. Work is continuing to apprehend the rest of the group by collaborating on Auror’s Crime Intelligence Platform.
Seeing the bigger picture by connecting the dots
Currently, many retailers record and store information about incidents as isolated events, usually in a case management system or in a spreadsheet, with no way to see any links between the individual cases. Data from over 1 million events entered into the Auror platform, showed 10% of people drive 60% of loss and harm. They also target multiple retailers, multiple stores, and commit their crimes in quick succession. Reporting and storing events individually doesn’t paint a full picture of what’s happening and is ineffective at identifying the people driving the problem.
Aggregating information about incidents and who is perpetuating them in one place, while being able to link this information together, allows users to connect the crucial dots between events and those committing the crimes. Retailers that are able to draw these connections and prevent suspects on-site are seeing the average time lapse between repeat offences by the same people increase on average from 8 days to 20 days.
It is also much easier and quicker for law enforcement to conduct investigations and apprehend people who offend if they have all the relevant evidence collated in one place. Instead of spending hours at the retail premise searching for video footage of a suspect and transferring it onto a USB, they can access all the evidence they need straight from Auror with the click of a button. One isolated shoplifting incident is unlikely to result in a prosecution, but several events worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in loss linked to the same person makes for a far more convincing case.
In 2021, two of Australia’s largest retailers successfully helped South Australia Police to apprehend a person who had been shoplifting for more than 20 years. Despite being responsible for at least A$125,600 (US$90,100) in documented loss - but likely much more - and countless instances of aggression towards staff, this person had continually evaded justice without enough evidence for a successful prosecution. After collecting evidence on Auror’s Crime Intelligence Platform, police were able to arrest this person and charge them with more than 40 offences worth about AU$35,000 (US$25,000).
Embracing a new approach to retail crime solutions
To build a network you need the right tools and most tools available for AP/LP teams are not designed to support network-building. This is because they’re created as case management platforms for reporting events, but not to prevent the people driving them.
A Crime Intelligence Platform is designed to prevent crime by giving users the tools to not just report events, but to report intelligence about who is responsible, to connect the dots, and to foster collaboration between other stores and law enforcement agencies. As a result, organizations are better able to see who is driving the greatest loss and harm, and who they need to focus the most effort on. By prioritizing prevention and being proactive, retailers are better able to stop loss and harm from happening in the first place.
Read how Rexall stopped ORC in just 90 days.
Canadian pharmacy brand Rexall reported a 220% increase in reported events from its 400-plus stores in under 30 days with Auror. The organization’s prior reporting system was described as “frustrating” and “complex” and store teams received no regular feedback about how reporting incidents would help them reduce crime in stores. With a Crime Intelligence Platform at their fingertips, they were able to help identify more than 300 people who offended and report CA$100,000 worth of events directly to law enforcement in just 90 days.
Collaborate and connect the dots with Auror
A growing number of retailers and organizations worldwide are experiencing the benefits of a Crime Intelligence Platform like Auror in preventing loss and harm from ORC. The results speak for themselves and as shown in the wins by our Retail Partners, it's clear that a strong, collaborative network is the industry's best chance against ORC.
Contact Auror if you’re ready to join the network.