CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 2, 2011. Yesterday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez joined Governor Pat Quinn as he signed new legislation that will help protect businesses against organized retail theft.
This new law will expand law enforcement’s ability to charge and prosecute offenders who illegally obtain large quantities of retail merchandise and subsequently sell it at a lower price. This new law will also enable prosecutors to request restitution through asset forfeiture of individuals convicted of organized retail crime. According to consumer reports, it is estimated that Illinois loses $77 million in tax revenues each year as a result of this crime.
“This new law will benefit the consumers of Cook County who take a direct hit to their pocketbooks as a result of these crimes,” said Alvarez.
Late last year Alvarez’s office announced the formation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Regional Organized Crime Task Force, which includes representatives from law enforcement and the retail industry from throughout the Cook County region. The task force meets regularly to discuss investigations, issues and areas of concern. They have also, with private sector funding from the retail partners, developed and launched a website that provides them with the ability to share important resources and create a database of crimes and patterns.