CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today announced that his Organized Retail Crime Task Force recovered thousands of stolen goods at several storage units in Chicago. This is the first major bust as a result of the work of the Organized Retail Crime Task Force that is spearheaded by the Attorney General’s office.
“The stolen merchandise recovered by the Organized Retail Crime Task Force includes tens of thousands of products worth millions of dollars, and I appreciate the cooperation of our partners in law enforcement and retail as we continue to investigate this massive theft,” Raoul said. “Organized retail theft is about more than lost revenue and stolen products. Frequently, the criminal enterprises behind these crimes are connected to other crimes, such as the drug trade and human trafficking. I am committed to identifying the perpetrators behind this and other organized retail crimes in Illinois.”
Investigators with Raoul’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force, with support from Chicago law enforcement including the Chicago Police Department, executed search warrants at eight storage units in two locations. The units contained four semitrailers of merchandise, including apparel, beauty products, furniture, food items and electronics from multiple nationwide retailers. While a complete inventory is ongoing, the stolen goods are estimated to be worth millions of dollars.
The Organized Retail Crime Task Force’s investigation will continue over the coming weeks.
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 dedicated to targeting organized retail crime enterprises. The task force allows Raoul’s office to utilize data and tips provided by retailers and partner across jurisdictions with law enforcement agencies, similar to the investigation into today’s retail theft case, to investigate organized retail crimes and trace thefts to the source. Raoul’s goal in establishing the task force is to improve communication among public and private entities and utilize a multifaceted approach to combatting organized retail theft and related criminal activity.