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Preventing retail crime in our neighborhoods: Attorney General Nessel highlights FORCE team

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jun 20, 2024
  • Attorney General Dana Nessel held a press conference Thursday about preventing retail crime in businesses across the state.
  • According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Michigan businesses lost 3.2 billion dollars due to retail theft
  • Video shows how a local business affected by retail crime continues on after the nearly 1000 dollar theft.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is putting a focus on organized crime, so I talked to a local business in our neighborhood about the impacts they saw firsthand.

"The community because we are so tight-knit when one person has something bad happen to them, all of us feel it."

3.2 billion. That's the amount the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says Michigan businesses lost due to retail theft in 2022.

Attorney General Dana Nessel says she has had enough.

Thursday, Nessel was joined by major retailer representatives to talk about how her FORCE Team has worked to prevent future crimes.

Standing for focused organized retail crime enforcement, FORCE's mission is investigating, prosecuting, and preventing retail crime in businesses.

"Think there is nothing more depressing to see stores have to shutter their doors because they couldn't sustain operations," Nessel said.

And while retail crime may happen all over the state, down in REO town, it's affecting our small businesses.

"This tray used to hold all of these things and now it's empty like what? We didn't sell that many?"

Amy McMeeken is the Vintage Junkie's owner. In January of 2024, she lost over 900 dollars of merchandise from a group theft that hit her store and other local businesses nearby.

"That was really hard because it has not been the easiest year so far, in a few years and since it was a lot, it was really hard to recoup," McMeeken said.

Six months later, her doors are still open, and still has high hopes for the people of Mid-Michigan.

"They should know that when if you do things like that to a small community or a small business, it doesn't just affect the business, it affects the community," McMeeken said.

The state's top law enforcement official has a message to those who might take advantage of those business practices.

"We're watching you and when we catch you and we'll prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law," Nessel said.

Retailers with evidence of retail fraud or theft should reach out to their local law enforcement and are encouraged to email the FORCE Team.

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