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CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has a new plan to protect retailers from organized crimes.

This task force is for mass burglaries, those that steal thousands of dollars worth of items — often coercing people into doing it — and then selling those items on the black market and internet. 

Last summers, looters used the protests as cover to commit their crimes — smashing into stores and stealing whatever they could.

But it happens everyday, both high profile and behind the scenes. 

Raoul, along with others in law enforcement and retailers from around the state, are now making sure they can connect these thefts — with the hope it cracks down on organized retail operations. 

The attorney general said that it cost retailers about $45 billion. 

It’s not just impacting businesses, but also ties closely into human trafficking — using vulnerable people to commit the crimes for the benefit of the ring leaders. 

Internet retailers have their own security teams to keep stolen merchandise off their sites, but it’s not fool proof.