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Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Organized Retail Crime Act

Both White Lake-Highland area legislators supported bills that make theft of retail merchandise with the intent or purpose of reselling the products a felony.

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation establishing the Organized Retail Crime Act to protect consumers by cracking down on the increasing prevalence of retail fraud.

Both State Rep. Eileen Kowall and Sen. Mike Kowall, who represent White Lake and Highland, voted in favor of House Bills 5843 and 5902, sponsored by state Dist. 51 State Rep. Joe Graves (R-Argentine Township), which would make it a felony punishable by up to five years' imprisonment if a person is found guilty of knowingly committing organized retail crime.

This includes the theft of retail merchandise with the intent or purpose of reselling, distributing, or transferring the stolen retail merchandise to another retail merchant or to any other person personally, through the mail, or through any electronic medium, including the Internet, in exchange for anything of value. The measures are now Public Acts 455 and 456 of 2012.

“Organized retail crime is a sophisticated operation conducted by professional criminals and can act as a gateway to finance even more serious crimes,” Snyder said. “These crimes are costing our businesses and our communities too much and law enforcement will now be better able to combat this growing threat.”

Source: Press release from Gov. Rick Snyder's office.

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