The Organized Retail Crime Association of Idaho (ORCAID) was formed in December of 2014 by several retailers and law enforcement agencies throughout the state with the intent to fight the rapidly growing rate of Organized Retail Crime (ORC) in Idaho.
ORCAID has now evolved into a highly efficient coalition dedicated to serving Idaho businesses and communities impacted by ORC by sharing intelligence, photographs, and surveillance video. With the ability to upload suspect and incident information through the ORCAID website, our members are provided with real time alerts to quickly relay critical information to members. The website also feeds other secure databases that are available for law enforcement analysis.
In addition to communication via the website, ORCAID holds meetings and training seminars to allow face to face networking and development of investigation strategies in an effort to keep up with changing trends and tactics of ORC groups. Membership is free and members of law enforcement and retail establishments are encouraged to join.
ORCAID has truly grown into a competitive advantage for Law Enforcement and retail alike. As a retailer you know who that person is and how they are going to steal from you the second they walk in your door. While Law enforcement builds their own cases based on probable case, they benefit by having current intelligence information about these active criminals.
In 1989 Law Enforcement in Boise Idaho starting seeing an emerging trend of known career criminals turning from the traditional crime of burglaries, car thefts, and robberies to retail theft and fraud schemes. This is believed to be on the perception that retail theft could reap monetary rewards without the substantial risk of the other crimes. This perception was true, given that law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts had not yet understood the scope of this problem. A significant education process was needed to be developed to bring these entities up to speed.
Our first initiative was to bring all of the effected parties together to gain a perspective on the scope of the problem. This included prosecutors, law enforcement, and retail loss prevention personnel. As you can imagine, there was some resistance initially from each discipline to feel free sharing information. These concerns were alleviated when guidelines for information sharing were developed with input from prosecutors and retail loss prevention staff.
We then started to review shoplifting arrest reports to develop trends, patterns, and identify organized theft rings. We were quickly able to determine there were indeed many different rings operating throughout our region, and that retail loss prevention staff had a tremendous amount of intelligence on these groups. We also saw the relationship between narcotic users and retail theft. The problem we found was there was no communication between retail and law enforcement reference these groups.
In order to develop a forum to get all of the parties together to share information, we started holding monthly meetings between law enforcement and loss prevention staff. After getting past the initial hesitancy to share information, these monthly meetings started to gain momentum and became the cornerstone of our information sharing. As we started to develop the link between retail theft and numerous related crimes, other law enforcement agencies and divisions started to understand the value of the intelligence information these loss prevention staff were bringing to the table. These entities now include patrol officers, fraud, property crimes, narcotics and violent crimes investigators. We have all of the major retailers in our region attending these monthly meetings. These meetings and this partnership resulted in thousands of arrests for everything from theft, refund fraud, check and credit card fraud, narcotics activity, assaults, armed robbery, vehicle burglaries and vehicle thefts. We were also able to make arrests of major organized retail crime groups that traveled to Idaho and other cities in the Northwest.