Power in Collaboration: ALTO’s Approach to Mitigating Organized Retail Crime
September 21, 2023
Miranda Reyes

In the evolving landscape of retail, the threat of organized retail crime (ORC) looms overhead each day. Far from the sporadic shoplifter who just pockets a candy bar, ORC represents a highly orchestrated effort by networking offenders to systematically target businesses and evade legal consequences, causing financial losses and frustrating in-store teams and customers due to the need for preventive measures like product locks. The crux of ORC’s success? Collaboration among offenders. Yet, collaboration is also the foundation of ALTO’s purpose — creating safer communities together.

In this blog post, we explore the fundamental nature of ORC, its dependence on criminal cooperation, and how ALTO advocates for collaboration and partnerships as a powerful means to overcome this adversary in the retail landscape.

Understanding Organized Retail Crime (ORC)

ORC involves organized criminal networks collaborating to execute planned disruptions within retail establishments. These underground networks exchange information, tactics, and stolen assets, leaving individual retailers at a disadvantage when trying to thwart these incidents. The financial toll exacted by ORC is nothing short of staggering, amounting to billions of dollars each year, triggering significant business disruptions. In essence, ORC presents a looming threat to the retail industry and the well-being of the communities it serves.

At the heart of ORC is collaboration, continually adapting to evolving circumstances and outmaneuvering security to target businesses repeatedly. These networks adeptly pool resources, distribute stolen merchandise, and synchronize their criminal endeavors. This high level of coordination poses a formidable threat to the safety of communities surrounding local businesses and nationwide retailers alike. 

ALTO’s Collaborative Approach to Enhance Safety

ALTO’s core mission revolves around forging safer communities, with collaboration as its guiding principle. Here’s how ALTO harnesses the power of collaboration to address business safety disruptions. 

Local, On-Site Teams 

Our legal and customer success experts are deeply rooted in their local communities, well-acquainted with the issues affecting them, and are regular shoppers at stores impacted by offenders and safety disruptions. ALTO deploys on-site teams that collaborate closely with in-store employees, building trust, providing training, and nurturing relationships. This hands-on involvement cultivates a spirit of cooperation, transforming retailers and ALTO into allies rather than adversaries. ALTO effectively becomes an integrated part of the retailer’s asset protection team, ensuring a united front in the fight against ORC.

Community Engagement

Our local experts arrange community events involving a range of stakeholders, encouraging their active participation in community matters, establishing direct channels of communication, and building connections. Meanwhile, our teams work on building relationships between retailers, local law enforcement, and community leaders to create partnerships, promote open communication, foster mutual respect, and devise strategies to address the societal factors contributing to retail crime.

Strategic partnerships

Addressing retail crime is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor; it demands a multifaceted approach. Urgent collaboration and communication are imperative in addressing this issue. ALTO forges partnerships that extend beyond the retail sector, engaging law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, and government officials. This collective initiative transcends the confines of stores and courtrooms, all aimed at a shared objective: mitigating crime risks, diminishing recidivism rates, and broadening community outreach efforts.

Advocacy and Accountability

ALTO emphasizes the importance of both restorative and punitive actions. Through involving victims, offenders, and community members, ALTO encourages mutual understanding and accountability. Additionally, ALTO’s staff attorneys advocate for victims, ensuring that those responsible for committing crimes face appropriate penalties and legal repercussions.

While ORC involves coordinated groups of people to commit a crime, ALTO stands as a powerful example of collaboration for a noble purpose. By bringing together local legal and customer success experts, building lasting partnerships, and prioritizing community involvement, ALTO provides a complete set of tools for combating retail crime. Together, through the strength of collaboration, we can nurture safer retail spaces, protect businesses and their staff, and uphold justice. ALTO’s approach highlights that even in the presence of organized threats, the combined force of collaboration can guide us toward a brighter future for the retail industry and the communities it supports.