State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) announced today that he will soon introduce legislation to combat rising losses from organized retail crime in Ohio. The Fight Organized Retail Crime & Empower Law Enforcement (FORCE) Act will protect the safety and well-being of Ohio retailers and consumers while simultaneously targeting Organized Retail Crime (ORC) theft rings. Specifically, the bill will update Ohio laws and policies to empower local law enforcement and prosecutors to respond to these incidents accordingly.
“Ohio is not going to tolerate our retailers and communities being preyed upon by organized theft rings,” said Ghanbari. “We are not going to stand idly by. The FORCE Act prioritizes the safety and well-being of Ohio retailers and their customers. This legislation is a comprehensive approach to the complex challenge of organized retail crime. I look forward to advancing the FORCE Act with the support of my fellow members of the General Assembly.”
The introduction of the FORCE Act was welcomed by Gordon Gough, President/CEO of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, who stated, “Far more than this financial impact, the FORCE Act also addresses Ohioans’ growing concern over violence and safety for customers and store associates. This legislation will give Ohio law enforcement officials and our judicial system more tools to apprehend and punish criminals while protecting consumers and retailers. We look forward to working with Ohio leaders to tackle this problem effectively.”
In a collaborative effort, State Senators George Lang (R-West Chester) and Michael Rulli (R-Salem) plan to introduce a companion bill in the Ohio Senate.