Florida retailers embrace AI to combat rise in retail theft
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Retail theft
Artificial intelligence can provide innovative solutions, such as real time surveillance that notifies management of suspicious activity.

Organized crime rings have increased the threat of theft among retailers across the United States. Artificial intelligence (AI) offers new and efficient solutions to combat theft for industry leaders looking to enhance anti-theft protections, while keeping their customers and team members safe. 

A 2022 report from the National Retail Federation reported that nearly 70% of retailers had seen an increase in organized retail theft over the past five years. Retail theft compromises the safety of Florida’s hardworking retailers and takes hard-earned money from their pockets. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has cracked down on organized retail crime in Florida with the launch of the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange taskforce (FORCE) in late 2021. The task force facilitates the exchange of information between retail stores and law enforcement to identify trends, connect cases and advance investigations. 

This past October, law enforcement arrested more than a dozen suspects linked to a retail theft ring deemed responsible for more than $20 million in losses throughout 2023. “Operation On the Fence brought racketeering and organized retail theft charges on the 14 criminals connected to the South Florida ring. Moody previously called such rings well-organized and profitable, adding that these criminal enterprises are akin to “the modern-day mafia.” 

Alongside these efforts to combat crime, retailers are turning to tech to prevent retail theft across Florida business. Artificial Intelligence has grown in popularity in recent years, with companies across industries utilizing innovative technology to narrow gaps that had been previously untouched. 

“Retail theft is an unfortunate reality for many of our members. AI is a truly next-level technology designed to fill the void that humans themselves can not,” said Florida Retail Federation President and CEO Scott Shalley. “Our membership has seen great success in their AI-powered anti-theft technology, and look forward to seeing its outcome as it is more widely adopted across the industry.” 

Examples of AI in retail include automated recognition devices that detect repeat offenders, surveillance cameras that alert security when large crowds of people cast their gaze in one area or software designed to signal management to suspicious hand or body movement in real-time. 

“Tech has the power to revitalize the safety of our consumer ecosystem. Retail theft is an unfortunate reality that today’s retailers are facing. As lawmakers consider whether to regulate AI, we must advance practical solutions without hindering innovation,” said NetChoice Director of Public Affairs and Florida resident Robert Winterton. “By implementing AI-powered solutions to this crime, we are making the safety of American business owners a priority.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 2, 2024 at 7:23 am

    Let’s hope the store owners have already tested and proven their new AI system wasn’t trained to be racist.

    While today’s non-Tesla AI doesn’t kill people, bullets flying from guns in the hands of badged bullies using AI as their latest excuse kill people

    • The Dude

      February 2, 2024 at 8:28 am

      Someone sure is triggered. You afraid of getting caught?

Comments are closed.


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