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North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA)
209 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601
Contact: Ann Edmondson (919) 832-0811
Charlotte, NC (September 13, 2016) – Law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals came together in Charlotte on Thursday, September 8 for the first Annual Conference of the Carolinas Organized Retail Crime Alliance (CORCA) at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel.
An estimated 200 participants were welcomed to the event by Steve Walker, CORCA president and Director of Asset Protection Solutions for Walgreens. Retail attendees represented all types of stores from chains to one-store operations and included grocery, apparel, pharmacy, beauty, home improvement and general merchandise. Law enforcement from across both North and South Carolina were active participants as well.
Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is more than just shoplifting. It is a concerted effort by a group of skilled, well-organized professionals who use theft and fraud, to convert illegally obtained merchandise into cash for financial gain. This usually involves the theft of large quantities of similar products from multiple stores, in numerous jurisdictions or states. ORC is often a gateway crime that leads law enforcement to major crime rings that use the illicit proceeds to fund other crimes-such as organized crime activities, health care fraud, money laundering, and potentially even terrorism.
Expert speakers from diverse areas of ORC presented to participants on topics such as cyber-crime, counterfeiting, data analytics and investigative techniques. Featured speakers included Kimberly Overton from the North Carolina Conference on District Attorneys, Gary Weisbecker from Walgreens Organized Retail Crimes Division and Special Agent Brian Cyprian of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Between educational sessions, attendees also had the opportunity to visit vendors who were promoting and demonstrating some of the latest innovative products to assist in preventing organized retail crime and apprehending offenders.
Officially launched in February 2016, CORCA is a partnership between law enforcement and retail loss prevention officers to combat organized retail crime in the Carolinas. It is a division of the Retail Consumer Alliance Foundation, within the North and South Carolina State Retail Associations and is supported by the retail associations along with the Carolinas Food Industry Council. CORCA was created to bridge communication between retailers and law enforcement – helping identify offenders and resolve organized retail crime cases in the Carolinas. For more information, visit http://www.corca.org/.