Police arrested an 18-year-old former Nordstrom employee in Lynwood, Washington for theft of about $165,000 from the retail chain. The theft took place over a one-month span in Nordstrom stores in Lynwood, Seattle, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Investigators say the suspect created fake returns on Nordstrom cash registers and stashed the funds in active bank accounts.
“This is a large amount of money,” Lynwood detective Hammersmith said in a statement. “One of the highest I have encountered at Lynnwood.” Unfortunately, this isn't the first major theft of Nordstrom this year. In May, two former Nordstrom employees were arrested for a theft at the Minnetonka, Minnesota branch. Police recovered $400,000 worth of stolen goods in that case.
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Nordstrom isn't the only store to be hit hard by theft this year. Target recently announced "retail shrink" or theft has cut the company's gross margin by $400 million so far this year, a number that could grow to $600 million by the time 2022 is over. In September, Rite Aid said retail shrink has had a $5 million impact on the retail chain. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon recently said that an uptick in thefts could lead to higher prices and store closures if the issue isn’t resolved.
Change could be afoot, however. On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act, which makes it harder for criminals to resell stolen goods on the internet. The Act is currently awaiting approval in the Senate.