Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul convened a meeting with representatives of law enforcement agencies and the retail industry to discuss organized retail crime.
Raoul visited Carbondale on Aug. 25 to host the latest in a series of statewide meetings. Raoul established the task force to enhance cooperation among retailers, online marketplaces, law enforcement agencies and state's attorneys.
Participants in the local meeting included Carbondale Police Chief Stan Reno, Marion Police Chief David Fitts, Metropolis Police Chief Harry Masse and representatives of the Illinois State Police, Jackson County State's Attorney's office, Williamson County State's Attorney's office and the retail industry. The meeting was not open to the public.
"The effects of organized retail crime are not limited to any one region of Illinois, particularly when the sales of stolen merchandise often fund additional criminal activity, including the drug trade and human trafficking," Raoul said. "I appreciate having the opportunity to meet with Chiefs Reno, Fitts and Masse, representatives of law enforcement and the retail industry to discuss collaborations aimed at addressing these crimes.
"Organized retail crime is a complex issue that will require a multifaceted solution, such as providing law enforcement with tools that will improve investigations and increase successful prosecutions. I look forward to working with law enforcement agencies in this region and around the state to enhance public safety."
The Attorney General's Organized Retail Crime Task Force is the first statewide, public-private collaboration of its kind in Illinois and is designed to foster cooperation among retailers, online marketplaces, law enforcement agencies and state's attorneys.
The task force allows Raoul's office to utilize data and tips provided by retailers and partner across jurisdictions with law enforcement agencies to investigate organized retail crimes and trace thefts to the source.