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District Attorney

Posted on: October 10, 2023

District Attorney Hoovler Announces National Store Walk Month to Address Retail Crime

District Attorney Hoovler Announces National Store Walk Month to Address Retail Crime

 

Initiative is Collaboration with Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the National District Attorneys Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association

 

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced, together with the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and in conjunction with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the National Store Walk Month initiative. This initiative intends to address the urgent issue of retail crime and habitual theft and its rippling effects on our communities, signifying a pioneering step in facilitating crucial dialogue and cooperation between local law enforcement and community retailers. 

District Attorney Hoovler has designated Chief Investigator Rudolph Simmons, Investigator Darrin Fulton and Assistant District Attorney Daniel Steyskal to lead Orange County's participation, working hand-in-hand with community retailers, exchanging valuable insights, fostering a mutual understanding, and collaboratively developing retail crime mitigation strategies. This unprecedented partnership is anticipated to provide a robust understanding of the challenges at hand, enabling a unified and potent response.

Retail theft collectively costs communities billions annually, undermining local economies and threatening the viability of storefronts in neighborhoods across the country.  Equally concerning, in recent years organized and habitual theft has become more brazen and violent, raising safety concerns for employees and customers alike—disrupting lives, jeopardizing livelihoods, and undermining the vitality of communities and neighborhood shopping districts. National Store Walk Month aims to address these concerns, promoting safer, prosperous, and more vibrant communities. 

National Store Walk Month welcomes all local retailers and prosecutors to participate, encouraging a united front against retail crime, and fostering a safer, more secure future. As part of this initiative, District Attorney Hoovler reaffirms a commitment to protecting the local community, combating crime, and creating a more prosperous Orange County. 

“New data from the U.S. Chamber reveals that a majority of small retailers have encountered theft-related issues, with over 50% indicating an exacerbation of retail theft in the past year,” said Heather Bell-Meyer, President and CEO of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. “This surge in retail theft has broader consequences, as it necessitates increased prices for consumers to compensate for the losses. Almost half, or 46%, of small retailers have found it necessary to raise their prices due to incidents of shoplifting. In total, nearly 37% of small businesses report experiencing shoplifting or theft in the previous year, with 14% enduring such incidents on a monthly or more frequent basis. Additionally, around one-third of these businesses note a spike in shoplifting or theft during the holiday season, at 34%. I commend our District Attorney for proactively collaborating with law enforcement and the business community to address this growing issue of crime within our county.”

“Retail crime has pernicious effects not only on big box stores, but also on mom-and-pop establishments,” said District Attorney Hoovler.  “I am proud to team up with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the National District Attorneys Association and the Retail Industry Leaders Association to proactively address these issues that affect all of us.  Proactive cooperation amongst the stakeholders is necessary to address this growing concern.”

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