Relates to the prevention of organized retail crime.
Ayes (9): Zeldin, Ball, Fuschillo, Little, Marcellino, O'Mara, Adams, Hassell-Thompson, Huntley
Ayes W/R (1): Squadron
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law and the penal law, in relation to the prevention of organized retail crime
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill defines organized retail crime, adds to the general business law the crime of theft of retail merchandise with an aggregated value of $1,000, and makes corresponding changes to the penal law to define such crime as grand larceny in the fourth degree.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section One adds a new article 29-BB to the General Business Law which contains legislative findings and determinations as they relate to the prevention of organized retail crime, defines relevant terms for purposes of this article, and provides for prohibitions against organized retail crime.
Section Two amends section 155.30 of the penal law by adding new subdivisions 12 and 13. Pursuant to section 12, grand larceny in the fourth degree shall include the stealing of property from a retail mercantile establishment when the aggregated value of price tags, sticker tags, or otherwise advertised retail prices of such property exceeds one thousand dollars. Subdivision 13 provides that the aggregate amount for grand larceny in the fourth degree with regard to theft of retail merchandise can be calculated by including property that is stolen over a thirty day period by one or more persons working in association.
Section Three is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, organized retail theft is an industry that costs United States retailers about $30 billion per year. Organized retail crime comprises a wide spectrum of high-volume and highly organized theft rings that cost New York retailers hundreds of millions of dollars annually and, more importantly, compromise the health, safety, and welfare of unsuspecting New York consumers. For every item stolen, New York state and our local governments lose out on sales tax revenue- again, adding up to millions annually. Organized retail theft is the most serious security issue facing many retail merchants, including apparel and accessory retailers, mass merchandisers, do-it-yourself stores, drug stores, and supermarkets. It's a crime that has grown substantially over the past decade and has continued to grow at unprecedented levels. Retailers are forced to offset these significant costs through higher prices meaning that honest and consumers are forced to endure the impact of organized retail theft and professional shoplifters. The
highly intelligent criminals engaged in organized retail crime are aware of the monetary limitations under our penal system and intentionally steal merchandise under these limits in each store. This legislation would give law enforcement an additional tool in curbing this form of organized crime.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6956 IN SENATE April 16, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law and the penal law, in relation to the prevention of organized retail crime THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new article 29-BB to read as follows: ARTICLE 29-BB PREVENTION OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME SECTION 527. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DETERMINATIONS. 527-A. ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME. 527-B. ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT WITH AGGREGATE VALUE OF ONE THOU- SAND DOLLARS OR MORE. S 527. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DETERMINATIONS. (A) THE LEGISLATURE FINDS AND DETERMINES THAT ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IS A DISTURBING CRIMI- NAL ENTERPRISE THAT INVOLVES THE LARGE SCALE THEFT OF CONSUMER ITEMS FROM RETAIL COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS. SUCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITY HAS BROAD AND DETRIMENTAL IMPLICATIONS FOR NEW YORK, ITS BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS, AND ADVERSELY AFFECTS THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE OF ALL CITIZENS. ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME IS UNDERTAKEN BY PROFESSIONAL SHOPLIFTERS WHO STEAL OR FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN MERCHANDISE WITH THE INTENT TO RESELL SUCH ITEMS TO INDIVIDUALS OR COMMERCIAL MARKETPLACES. (B) THE LEGISLATURE FURTHER FINDS AND DECLARES THAT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME EXTENDS FAR BEYOND THE MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL INDUSTRY, AND INCLUDES COSTS AND INCONVENIENCES INCURRED BY CONSUMERS, A REDUCTION IN POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL EMPLOYMENT AND JOB GROWTH, AND A LOSS OF SALES TAX REVENUE FOR THE STATE AND ITS LOCALI- TIES. THE SCOPE, SIZE AND SOPHISTICATION OF LOSS PREVENTION MEASURES DEPLOYED BY RETAILERS TO PREVENT SUCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITY ARE ULTIMATELY BORNE BY CONSUMERS IN THE FORM OF HIGHER PRICES OF RETAIL GOODS, AND THEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15354-01-2 S. 6956 2
THEFT AND UNREGULATED RESALE OF STOLEN RETAIL ITEMS, SUCH AS CONSUMABLE AND HEALTH AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS, CAN PRESENT SUBSTANTIAL HEALTH, SAFETY AND QUALITY CONCERNS FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSUMERS WHO PURCHASE THESE GOODS UNAWARE THAT THEY ARE BEING OFFERED FOR SALE AS A RESULT OF AN ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME TRANSACTION. (C) THE LEGISLATURE FURTHER FINDS AND DECLARES THAT THE STATE MUST TAKE SERIOUS ACTION TO COMBAT THE ISSUE OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME, AND TO PREVENT ITS OCCURRENCE. THAT MEASURES MUST BE ENACTED IN BOTH THIS ARTICLE AND THE PENAL LAW, TO DETER AND PUNISH SUCH BEHAVIOR, AND TO PROMOTE A RETAIL ATMOSPHERE IN NEW YORK WHERE THIS TYPE OF CONDUCT WILL NOT OCCUR. THROUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH MEASURES, IT IS THE INTEN- TION OF THIS LEGISLATURE TO DETER AND PUNISH ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME, AND TO PROMOTE AND PROTECT THE HEALTH, SAFETY AND ECONOMIC AFFORDABILITY OF NEW YORK'S CONSUMERS. S 527-A. ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME. (A) DEFINITIONS. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEANINGS: 1. "ACCESS DEVICE" SHALL MEAN ANY CARD, INCLUDING GIFT CARD, PLATE, CODE, INCLUDING UNIVERSAL PRICE CODE LABEL, ACCOUNT NUMBER, ELECTRONIC SERIAL NUMBER, MOBILE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, OR OTHER TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE, EQUIPMENT, OR INSTRUMENT IDENTIFIER, INCLUDING A RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TRANSPONDER, OR OTHER MEANS OF ACCOUNT ACCESS THAT CAN BE USED, ALONE OR IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANOTHER ACCESS DEVICE, TO OBTAIN MONEY, GOODS, SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER THING OF VALUE, OR THAT CAN BE USED TO INITIATE A TRANSFER OF FUNDS (OTHER THAN A TRANSFER ORIGINATED SOLELY BY PAPER INSTRUMENT); 2. "ANTI-SHOPLIFTING OR INVENTORY CONTROL DEVICE COUNTERMEASURE" SHALL MEAN ANY ITEM OR DEVICE WHICH IS DESIGNED, MANUFACTURED, MODIFIED, OR ALTERED TO DEFEAT ANY ANTI-SHOPLIFTING OR INVENTORY CONTROL DEVICE; 3. "CONCEAL" SHALL MEAN TO HIDE, COVER, OR OTHERWISE DISGUISE MERCHAN- DISE SO THAT, ALTHOUGH THERE MAY BE SOME NOTICE OF ITS PRESENCE, IT IS NOT VISIBLE THROUGH ORDINARY OBSERVATION; 4. "CREDIT CARD SYSTEM NUMBER" SHALL MEAN A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION OR OTHER ENTITY THAT IS A MEMBER OF A CREDIT CARD SYSTEM, INCLUDING AN ENTITY, WHETHER AFFILIATED WITH OR IDENTICAL TO THE CREDIT CARD ISSUER, THAT IS THE SOLE MEMBER OF A CREDIT CARD SYSTEM; 5. "COUNTERFEIT ACCESS DEVICE" SHALL MEAN ANY ACCESS DEVICE THAT IS COUNTERFEIT, FICTITIOUS, ALTERED, OR FORGED, OR AN IDENTIFIABLE COMPO- NENT OF AN ACCESS DEVICE OR A COUNTERFEIT ACCESS DEVICE; 6. "DEVICE-MAKING EQUIPMENT" SHALL MEAN ANY EQUIPMENT, MECHANISM, OR IMPRESSION DESIGNED OR PRIMARILY USED FOR MAKING AN UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS DEVICE OR A COUNTERFEIT ACCESS DEVICE; 7. "FULL RETAIL VALUE" SHALL MEAN THE MERCHANT'S STATED OR ADVERTISED PRICE OF THE MERCHANDISE; 8. "MERCHANDISE" SHALL MEAN ANY GOODS, CHATTELS, FOODSTUFFS OR WARES OF ANY TYPE AND DESCRIPTION, REGARDLESS OF THE VALUE THEREOF; 9. "MERCHANT" SHALL MEAN ANY OWNER OR OPERATOR OF ANY STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT, OR ANY AGENT, EMPLOYEE, LESSEE, CONSIGNEE, OFFICER, DIRECTOR, FRANCHISEE, OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR OF SUCH OWNER OR PROPRIETOR; 10. "ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT" SHALL MEAN (1) THE STEALING, EMBEZZLE- MENT, OR OBTAINING BY FRAUD, FALSE PRETENSES, OR OTHER ILLEGAL MEANS, OF RETAIL MERCHANDISE IN QUANTITIES THAT WOULD NOT NORMALLY BE PURCHASED FOR PERSONAL USE OR CONSUMPTION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESELLING OR OTHER- WISE REENTERING SUCH RETAIL MERCHANDISE IN COMMERCE, OR (2) THE RECRUIT- MENT OF PERSONS TO UNDERTAKE, OR THE COORDINATION, ORGANIZATION, ORS. 6956 3
FACILITATION OF, SUCH STEALING, EMBEZZLEMENT, OR OBTAINING BY FRAUD, FALSE PRETENSES, OR OTHER ILLEGAL MEANS; 11. "ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT ENTERPRISE" SHALL MEAN ANY ASSOCIATION OF TWO OR MORE PERSONS WHO ENGAGE IN THE CONDUCT OF OR ARE ASSOCIATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF EFFECTUATING ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT OR ANY OTHER TRANSFER OR SALE OF SHOPLIFTED MERCHANDISE; 12. "PERSON" SHALL MEAN ANY INDIVIDUAL OR INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING AN AGENT, OR EMPLOYEE OF A MERCHANT WHERE THE FACTS OF THE SITUATION SO REQUIRE; 13. "PREMISES OF A STORE OR RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT" SHALL MEAN AND INCLUDE BUT BE NOT LIMITED TO THE RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISH- MENT, ANY COMMON-USE AREAS IN SHOPPING CENTERS AND ALL PARKING AREAS SET ASIDE BY A MERCHANT OR ON BEHALF OF A MERCHANT FOR THE PARKING OF VEHI- CLES FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE PATRONS OF SUCH RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTAB- LISHMENT; 14. "PRODUCE" SHALL MEAN DESIGN, ALTER, AUTHENTICATE, DUPLICATE, OR ASSEMBLE; 15. "RETAIL SALES RECEIPT" SHALL MEAN ANY HANDWRITTEN OR MACHINE OR COMPUTER PRODUCED DOCUMENT AS PROPERLY ISSUED BY A RETAILER TO ACKNOWL- EDGE PAYMENT RECEIVED BY A CUSTOMER; 16. "SHOPLIFTING" SHALL MEAN TO (1) PURPOSELY TAKE POSSESSION OF, CARRY AWAY, TRANSFER OR CAUSE TO BE TRANSFERRED ANY MERCHANDISE DISPLAYED, HELD, STORED, OR OFFERED FOR SALE BY ANY STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT WITH THE INTENTION OF DEPRIVING THE MERCHANT OF THE POSSESSION, USE OR BENEFIT OF SUCH MERCHANDISE OR CONVERTING THE SAME TO THE USE OF SUCH PERSON WITHOUT PAYING TO THE MERCHANT THE VALUE THEREOF; (2) PURPOSELY CONCEAL UPON HIS OR HER PERSON OR OTHERWISE ANY MERCHANDISE OFFERED FOR SALE BY ANY STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT WITH THE INTENTION OF DEPRIVING THE MERCHANT OF THE PROCESSES, USE OR BENEFIT OF SUCH MERCHANDISE OR CONVERTING THE SAME TO THE USE OF SUCH PERSON WITHOUT PAYING TO THE MERCHANT THE FULL RETAIL VALUE THEREOF; (3) PURPOSELY AND WITH THE INTENT TO DEFRAUD, TO ALTER, TRANSFER OR REMOVE ANY LABEL, PRICE TAG OR MARKING INDICIA OF VALUE OR ANY OTHER MARKINGS WHICH AID IN DETERMINING VALUE AFFIXED TO ANY MERCHANDISE DISPLAYED, HELD, STORED OR OFFERED FOR SALE BY ANY STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT AND TO ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE SUCH MERCHANDISE PERSONALLY OR IN CONSORT WITH ANOTHER AT LESS THAN THE FULL RETAIL VALUE WITH THE INTENTION OF DEPRIV- ING THE MERCHANT OF ALL OR SOME PART OF THE VALUE THEREOF; (4) PURPOSELY TRANSFER ANY MERCHANDISE DISPLAYED, HELD, STORED OR OFFERED FOR SALE BY ANY STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT FROM THE CONTAINER IN OR ON WHICH THE SAME SHALL BE DISPLAYED TO ANY OTHER CONTAINER WITH INTENT TO DEPRIVE THE MERCHANT OF ALL OR SOME PART OF THE RETAIL VALUE THEREOF; OR (5) PURPOSELY UNDER-RING WITH THE INTENTION OF DEPRIVING THE MERCHANT OF THE FULL RETAIL VALUE THEREOF; 17. "STORE OR OTHER RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT" SHALL MEAN A PLACE WHERE MERCHANDISE IS DISPLAYED, HELD, STORED, OR OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC FOR SALE; 18. "TRAFFIC" SHALL MEAN TRANSFER, OR OTHERWISE DISPOSE OF, TO ANOTHER IN A FRAUDULENT MANNER, OR OBTAIN CONTROL OF WITH INTENT TO FRAUDULENTLY TRANSFER OR DISPOSE OF; 19. "UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS DEVICE" SHALL MEAN ANY ACCESS DEVICE THAT IS LOST, STOLEN, EXPIRED, REVOKED, CANCELED, OR OBTAINED WITH INTENT TO DEFRAUD;S. 6956 4
20. "UNDER-RING" SHALL MEAN TO CAUSE THE CASH REGISTER OR OTHER SALE RECORDING DEVICE TO REFLECT LESS THAN THE FULL RETAIL VALUE OF THE MERCHANDISE; AND 21. "UNIFORM PRODUCT CODE LABEL" SHALL MEAN ANY BAR CODE OR OTHER CODING SYSTEM DESIGNED TO BE READ BY COMPUTER WHICH CONTAINS PRICING INFORMATION AND OTHER RELATED INFORMATION USED BY A RETAILER AND READ BY A COMPUTER AT POINT OF PURCHASE FOR PURPOSES OF ESTABLISHING THE SALE PRICE OF A GOOD. (B) ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME. THE PRACTICE OF ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME, INCLUDING ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT, LEADING AN ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT ENTERPRISE, AND CRIMINAL PRACTICES WITH AN ACCESS DEVICE SHALL BE PROHIBITED AND UNLAWFUL UNDER THIS ARTICLE AND PURSUANT TO ARTICLES ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE AND ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE OF THE PENAL LAW. S 527-B. ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT WITH AGGREGATE VALUE OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE. A PERSON SHALL BE GUILTY OF ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT WHEN: (A) THE PROPERTY IS STOLEN FROM A RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THIS CHAPTER AND THE AGGRE- GATED VALUE OF PRICE TAGS, STICKER TAGS, OR OTHERWISE ADVERTISED RETAIL PRICES OF SUCH PROPERTY EXCEEDS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. (B) THE PROPERTY IS STOLEN BY ONE PERSON, OR BY TWO OR MORE PERSONS WORKING IN ASSOCIATION, FROM ONE OR MORE THAN ONE RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THIS CHAP- TER WITHIN A PERIOD OF THIRTY DAYS OR LESS BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND EPISODE, THE SECOND AND THIRD EPISODE, OR BETWEEN ANY SUCCEEDING EPISODES, AND THE AGGREGATED VALUE OF PRICE TAGS, STICKER PRICES, OR OTHERWISE ADVERTISED RETAIL PRICES OF SUCH PROPERTY EXCEEDS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT WITH AGGREGATE VALUE OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE SHALL BE A CLASS E FELONY. S 2. Section 155.30 of the penal law is amended by adding two new subdivisions 12 and 13 to read as follows: 12. THE PROPERTY IS STOLEN FROM A RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THE GENERAL BUSINESS LAW AND THE AGGREGATED VALUE OF PRICE TAGS, STICKER TAGS, OR OTHERWISE ADVER- TISED RETAIL PRICES OF SUCH PROPERTY EXCEEDS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. 13. THE PROPERTY IS STOLEN BY ONE PERSON, OR BY TWO OR MORE PERSONS WORKING IN ASSOCIATION, FROM ONE OR MORE THAN ONE RETAIL MERCANTILE ESTABLISHMENT AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED SEVENTEEN OF THE GENERAL BUSINESS LAW WITHIN A PERIOD OF THIRTY DAYS OR LESS BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND EPISODE, THE SECOND AND THIRD EPISODE, OR BETWEEN ANY SUCCEEDING EPISODES, AND THE AGGREGATED VALUE OF PRICE TAGS, STICKER PRICES, OR OTHERWISE ADVERTISED RETAIL PRICES OF SUCH PROPERTY EXCEEDS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.