Regulation & Legislation

36 Lyn Owner Lonnie McQuirter Among Retailers Signing Letter Supporting Anti-Crime Legislation

National Retail Federation joins congressional leaders, retailers in D.C. to curb organized retail crime
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay
Photograph courtesy of National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation on Oct. 26 joined congressional leaders and more than 30 retail brands in Washington, D.C., in support of legislation to address organized retail crime (ORC).

Lonnie McQuirter, owner of the 36 Lyn convenience store in Minneapolis, was among the more than 70 retailers, and the only convenience store, signing a letter to lawmakers supporting the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023, which was introduced in January.

McQuirter, among CSP's 2023 Power 20 and 2018 Indie Influencers, was recently named a vice chairman at large by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Alexandria, Virginia.

Lonnie McQuirter

The bipartisan legislation would establish a national coordination center and combine expertise and resources from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and retail industry representatives to curb ORC, said the federation, which named Oct. 26 Fight Retail Crime Day.

The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-New York) said the legislation “will help counter rising organized retail crime, which costs retailers billions in stolen merchandise and threatens the safety of retail workers and customers.”

ORC activity has continued to increase across the United States, particularly over the past couple of years, the letter continued: “In NRF’s 2023 National Retail Security Survey, more than two-thirds (67%) of respondents said they were seeing even more violence and aggression from ORC perpetrators compared with a year ago. Overall retail shrink, which ORC is a component of, totaled over $110 billion in 2022. This not only has an economic impact on retailers, but also a broader effect in terms of the safety of store employees and customers. We continue to see daily media reports of violent retail offenders.”

After the press conference, the federation and retailers met with more than 60 hill offices that have yet to cosponsor the legislation, the NRF said.

“Today is a day of action on Capitol Hill,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay (pictured). “And it’s not only about the dollars involved here. It is about, in some cases, the tragic loss of life, the violence, the aggression that’s playing out in these retail locations. Retailers have done everything they can to make their stores and their places of business safe. And in spite of all that, we still need additional help and additional support. And that's what the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act will provide us.”

The bill targets the rise in flash mob robberies and intricate retail theft schemes sweeping the nation, according to the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada). The bill sets up a coordinated multi-agency response and creates tools to fight organized retail theft (ORC) trends.

Grassley said that for his state, ORC is a $1 billion problem. “But,” he added, “you also have to recognize not just the theft, but the danger to the employees, the cost to the consumers, and then the impact upon the individual retailers.”

Masto said, “It’s happening in every community. I cannot walk out into my community, into a retail establishment without hearing from somebody that has experienced this. It is a crime and people are taking advantage of retail establishments, and that’s why it is important we pass this legislation.”

Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) added, “Back in my prior life, I was a prosecutor, and I got to see it firsthand. In 20 years, this has only gotten worse. It’s gotten more violent. They’re stealing it right off the shelf and have active lists as though they were out shopping for the day.”

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a CSP member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Opportunities Abound With Limited-Time Offers

For success, complement existing menu offerings, consider product availability and trends, and more, experts say

Snacks & Candy

How Convenience Stores Can Improve Meat Snack, Jerky Sales

Innovation, creative retailers help spark growth in the snack segment


C-Stores Headed in the Right Direction With Rewards Programs

Convenience operators are working to catch up to the success of loyalty programs in other industries


More from our partners