AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Organized Retail Theft Task Force, a result of House Bill 1826 that took effect Sept. 1, has received ten appointments Tuesday from Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar.

The initiative was designed to examine the impact of organized retail crime in Texas and provide guidance to those affected by retail crime on how they can combat and manage it, according to a release from the comptroller’s office.

Hegar’s appointments to the Organized Retail Theft Task Force include:

  • Adam Colby, Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center
  • Carly Richter, Comptroller of Public Accounts (Criminal Investigation Division)
  • Tiana Sanford, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office
  • Faith Kohler, Amazon; Christian Hardman, eBay
  • Adam Mendoza, Target
  • Darrell S. Taylor, H-E-B
  • Corey Yates, JCPenney
  • Art Lazio, 7-Eleven
  • Joyce Beebe, Rice University (Baker Institute).

“I am pleased to be leading this critical effort and grateful to all the members of this task force for agreeing to serve,” Hegar said. “We have all seen the shocking images of organized mobs ransacking retail outlets in California, Illinois and other states. These brazen attacks cost retailers and make shoppers feel unsafe.

The task force will meet quarterly and make legislative suggestions to prevent organized retail theft, manage the crime’s long-term economic impact and improve consumer protections.

“The mob attacks on retail outlets are only part of the problem,” Hegar said. “The ease with which these criminals can move from one community to another to steal and fence merchandise or utilize online marketplaces to easily liquidate stolen goods presents new and unique challenges including jurisdictional issues. This task force unites businesses, local officials, law enforcement, and consumers whose wide range of expertise will be crucial as we fight this growing problem.”