Federal and Florida Law Enforcement Team Up To Stop Organized Retail Theft

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents are being joined and are creating the nation’s first task force to tackle the growing problem of organized retail theft in Miami. South Florida authorities are making the announcement.

In theft cases, the value of the property is normally the reason for the charge. Not every store owner or manufacturing company brings a theft claim against an employee for “shrinkage” or against customers for stealing a pack of gum. However, valuable property theft normally results in criminal charges, and depending on the value, can end in an increase or decrease in punishment. inside-retail-crime.jpg

America’s poor economy is linked to a rise in novice thefts. People who are normally law-abiding citizens are turning to amateur thefts to supplement their incomes. Some of these thefts come from pure self-necessity; Others steal to re-sell or give to their families. No matter the case, if the property stolen is valued at more than $300, one will be charged with a felony, and with that, exposes oneself to a number of penalties, including both jail and expensive fines.

Florida Organized retail theft costs businesses billions of dollars a year, but many of these thefts in Jacksonville from retail stores do not occur from break-ins or burglaries. Some crime groups also target the supply trucks’ cargo hold inventory for theft before they even reach the store. It can range from teams of shoplifters that steal items from multiple stores to use of fraudulent debit and credit cards. These teams of professional shoplifters are on the rise throughout Florida, and as seen in this and other cases like it, some of these shoplifters are in their early teens and are employees of the store themselves. They will work in teams and execute thefts with pre-determined moves, using distractions, sleight of hand, and marking blind spots in security camera viewing range in order to steal items, sometimes very costly.

From the point of one’s arrest, one is grilled with questions from a police officer who automatically believes that one stole, particularly when the evidence of a theft is readily available. Many times, the accused may feel it better to tell the police officer arriving on scene that one stole from the store. Remember however, to remain silent. Many times, regardless of one’s obvious innocence, the officer will attempt to build a story with any evidence one gives the officer to work with, including written and oral statements.

Fortunately, if one is in such a situation and one obtains an experienced attorney, one’s attorney will be able to challenge the evidence against one, including witness testimony, questioning the conduct and manner of the arrest or search, or how evidence was processed by law enforcement.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

Additional Source: Task Force Created to Stop Retail TheftWJNO.com