State announces task force to combat retail crime

Have you ever come across an online ad with a price for something that looks like a steal? Well, that could be because that item was actually stolen. Lawmakers are now cracking down on merchandise being sold second hand.
On Nov. 9, four people were seen loading gallons of laundry detergent that police say were stolen from a store in Oxford, meant for resale to unsuspecting consumers.
Gov. Ned Lamont joined Attorney General William Tong and other members of a new state task force Wednesday in West Hartford to take down retail crime, a $1 billion theft enterprise.
Officials say thefts, like the one in Oxford, involve stealing from stores to resell the items online or to other stores.
They say this type of activity is up over 300% since the pandemic.
The state Department of Consumer Protection advises people to do their homework, be suspicious of getting a deal and research a return policy.
Tong says the state needs to also work with other online retailers like Amazon and Facebook, where many of the stolen items are sold.