I am writing on behalf of the members of the Indiana Retail Council to express our support for the full recovery of IMPD officer Eric Rosenbaum and to sincerely thank him and his fellow officers for their never-ending assistance in fighting the crime of retail theft. Rosenbaum was shot in the line of duty while apprehending a retail theft suspect on May 4.
While the shooting of Rosenbaum should be the concern of everyone in Indianapolis, the incident that lead to his injury is just half the story. Not only does the suspect, William Allen, have a long criminal history, but he is well-known to retail loss prevention representatives in the area.
Since January of this year, Allen has allegedly stolen over $10,000 worth of merchandise from central Indiana retailers. In 2014, Allen was arrested six times at another retail location for retail theft. His alleged criminal activity is a threat to public safety and a source of significant retail loss to area merchants. The incident that led to Rosenbaum’s shooting is just the latest in a long line of alleged retail theft activities by Allen.
Recognizing the seriousness of retail theft in the city, IMPD recently created an Organized Retail Crime detail. The detail will work with retail loss prevention experts with stores in the North District to coordinate retail theft information to aid law enforcement in apprehensions.
The 2019 session of the General Assembly has adjourned, but it is time for legislative leadership to support meaningful retail theft legislation that is aimed at thieves who are stealing for the purpose of reselling merchandise on the Internet or through local means in the community.
Law enforcement and retail loss professionals know that retail theft and sale of stolen merchandise, drug abuse, and increased levels of violence are linked. Retailers, the police, and prosecutors need an additional tool to fight these dangerous criminals and bring them to justice.
Grant M. Monahan