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Group effort: retailers join to fight organized theft.

For the first time, retailers and law enforcement agencies in New England are joining forces and resources to fight organized retail theft, which they say is a growing problem in the region.

The newly formed Law Enforcement Retailer Alliance of New England, or LERANE, is an information-sharing network of law enforcement and retailers spearheaded by the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire, Retailers Association of Massachusetts, Connecticut Retail "Merchants Association, Vermont Retailers Association, Rhode Island Retail Federation and the Maine Merchants Association.

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"LERANE is a new era in fighting organized retail theft," said Nancy Kyle, president of the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire. "This is a multi-state, multi-jurisdictional effort between retailers and law enforcement to stop this growing problem--an unprecedented alliance. Criminals are going to learn that New England is serious about stopping organized retail theft."

According to Kyle, highly organized theft rings illegally obtain merchandise through both theft and fraud in substantial quantities as part of a commercial enterprise. The groups target several retailers in one day, and merchandise is then moved and sold through fencing operations, including at flea markets, pawn shops, Internet sites and swap meets. These groups often steal thousands of dollars of merchandise at a time with the intent to resell it for profit, she said. The crimes cost retailers billions of dollars annually, according to Kyle.

For more information about LERANE, contact the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire, 603-225-9748 or rmanh@rmanh.com.

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Article Details
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Author:Feingold, Jeff
Publication:New Hampshire Business Review
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1NH
Date:Oct 10, 2008
Words:243
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