COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Colorado is using a new tool to crack down on retail theft.
The Colorado Organized Retail Crime Association has been created to address the seriousness of retail crime rings in Colorado.
Chief Deputy District Attorney of the Economic Crime Division Robyn Cafasso said COORCA will open the lines of communication between retailers, law enforcement and prosecutors.
"Retail losses that come about are passed on to consumers through increase in prices," said Cafasso.
Big-box retailers, grocery stores and department stores are the main targets of retail crime rings, said Cafasso.
Shoplifters are using high-tech equipment and creative methods to steal pricey products.
"They can do things like put fake bar codes on merchandise, walk out with a $600 item and only pay $30. Then rip off the bar code, go back into the store and return the item for full price," said Cafasso.
Cafasso said the problem is prosecutors look at one incident as shoplifing, a misdemeanor with a possible fine, but criminals involved in retail theft rings are stealing day after day and store after store.
Cafasso said the goal is aggregate transactions to make the crime a felony.
COORCA will be launching a website on March 7. It will allow law enforcement and retailers to share input data and information about shoplifters, and exchange information allowing prosecutors to build serious cases, said Cafasso.