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US, Fla. task force fights organized retail theft

Retail Theft
Posted at 6:36 AM, Jul 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-09 02:45:15-04

MIAMI (AP) — Federal and Florida law enforcement officials are creating the nation's first task force to tackle the growing problem of organized retail theft.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents are being joined Tuesday in Miami by South Florida authorities in making the announcement.

Organized retail theft costs businesses billions of dollars a year. It can range from teams of shoplifters that steal items from multiple stores to use of fraudulent debit and credit cards. Some crime groups also target cargo for theft.

Authorities say they will use federal money laundering laws to disrupt these groups in South Florida. The National Retail Federation is also part of the task force to share intelligence and identify criminal trends.