Organized retail crime in the spotlight after two worker deaths

Two Home Depot employees were killed over the past year in separate theft incidents south of the border. One of the associates, Gary Rasor, was 83. He was shoved to the ground in December trying to stop a shoplifter in North Carolina wheeling out three pressure washers worth about $800, and died of his injuries. Blake Mohs was 26 when he died in April. He was shot in the chest in a California Home Depot while attempting to stop the theft of a small electrical SKU.

The recent increase of shoplifting linked to professional organized crime rings, often combined with violence, has people in the industry sounding the alarm. The U.S.-based National Federation of Retailers issued a report on organized retail crime, which it says is growing in scope and complexity. Hardlines will continue to update its readers on this critical problem in future issues.