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Large Retailers Tired of Smash and Grab Thefts Seek Congressional Action

A spate of smash and grabs thefts have resulted in their products being sold online.

The CEOs of large retailers such as Target, AutoZone and CVS Health are seeking Congressional action on a spate of smash and grabs thefts that have resulted in their products being sold online.

Home Depot, Kroger, Autozone, Neiman Marcus, Levi Strauss, Rite Aid, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Best Buy are also seeking action from Congress to deal with their stolen and counterfeit items that are being resold online. 

They want Congress to pass a law that makes it "easier for consumers to identify exactly who they are buying from, and make it harder for criminal elements to and hide behind fake screen names and false business information."

Retailers say such crime has increased, especially among organized crime rings, and sales of these products are appearing in anonymous online sales.

These major retailers sent a letter to Congress expressing their frustration.

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"Retail establishments of all kinds have seen a significant uptick in organized crime in communities across the nation," the letter said.

"Criminals are capitalizing on the anonymity of the Internet and the failure of certain marketplaces to verify their sellers. This trend has made retail businesses a target for increasing theft."

The mobs of "smash and grab" robberies have targeted retailers in major U.S. cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. Many of the thefts appear to be coordinated and have target luxury retailers.

The White House said it has discussed the issue with federal law enforcement officials.

A 2020 bill would seek verification of third-party sellers from online retail marketplaces.