Since the Organized Retail Crime Task Force was established in 2019, the California Highway Patrol has handled over 870 investigations, KRON4 reported.
CHP said it has retrieved $19.7 million in stolen merchandise and made a total of 371 arrests out of the 877 investigations.
Assembly Bill 1065 has mandated the CHP to work alongside the Department of Justice to determine locations that record a spike in property crimes.
The operation will now be extended from July 1 this year to Jan. 1, 2026, as stipulated in Assembly Bill 331.
The National Retail Federation said about $30 billion were lost in the economy because of organized retail crime.
While this program is linked with shoplifting, it also counts in organized criminal activity such as vehicle burglary, credit card fraud, organized criminal acts, forgery, identity theft, as well as fencing of frozen property.
Three regional task groups – one each in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties – were created in the Golden Gate Division in the Bay Area.
CHP is accepting organized retail theft incident reports through its website.