AG Moody announces state-wide task force targeting organized retail crime


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a specialized task force Thursday that aims to combat organized retail crime across the state of Florida.

“We have put together a really talented team of investigators, state attorneys, law enforcement officials as well as business representatives to participate on a state-wide organized retail crime task force,” Moody said.

The task force will focus on sophisticated organizations who “use others in a coordinated way to infiltrate numerous stores within numerous jurisdictions and create a criminal enterprise in which they steal and then sell stolen merchandise.”

Moody added the task force will not handle single incidents of petty theft or shoplifting.

The announcement comes after several retail looting incidents in major cities across the country, like San Francisco, where surveillance video caught nearly 80 thieves ransacking a department store.

“While many other states have gone lenient on property crimes,” Moody said, “Florida has not.” She added, “that will not happen in the state of Florida.”

The task force will essentially enable the exchange of information between retailers and local law enforcement agencies statewide, effectively eliminating city or county lines.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd joked if you want to steal in Florida, “you’ll spend Christmas not with Santa Claus but with Santa Judd at the county jail. That’s a guarantee.”

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