DA Pamela Price’s Vertical Prosecution Unit, Ready to Combat Organized Retail Crime in Alameda County

February 2, 2024

OAKLAND, CA – Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price activated her office’s Organized Retail Crime Alameda (ORCA) Vertical Prosecution Unit in January to combat organized retail theft. Local police agencies are now referring retail theft cases for investigation and prosecution.

The ORCA Unit advances a focused approach to dismantle the infrastructure behind these crimes through partnerships with law enforcement agencies, retailers, and small businesses throughout the county. The work involves Bay Area prosecutors from neighboring counties sharing data, crime analytics, and pooling investigative tools to successfully prosecute defendants accused of participating in organized retail theft schemes.

“Thanks to a total combined $4 million investment from a state-funded grant and funding from our DA’s office, the ORCA Unit is now up and running,” said Tara Regan Anderson, Assistant Chief of Administration and Operations, who is part of the team overseeing the unit. “The funding ensures that the ORCA Unit has the dedicated staffing needed to maintain important communication and coordination with our law enforcement partners. Together, we can leverage data, connect incidents, and ultimately resolve cases, providing a sense of justice for retailers hard hit by retail theft.”

Back in September 2023, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was awarded a $2 million grant to establish a vertical prosecution unit to combat organized retail theft. ACDAO is one of 13 district attorney offices from across the state to receive this competitive grant. The funding was administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections as a result of the State Budget Act of 2022 (Assembly Bill 178, Chapter 45, Statutes of 2022). To ensure those prosecutions are effective in Alameda County, District Attorney Price committed another $2 million from her office’s budget for the program.

Vertical prosecution requires a prosecutor to be assigned to an organized retail theft case from the beginning to the end. “These kinds of cases are very complex and challenging, and I am making sure our team is robust enough to meet the goal of holding perpetrators accountable and choking off the demand that is driving this kind of theft,” said District Attorney Pamela Price.

Starting in January, the ORCA team members have gone out into the community to listen to the concerns of shop owners. “We have talked to many retailers who are worried and fearful about their businesses and who are happy to know that the DA’s Office is working on holding those responsible for organized retail theft accountable,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Otis Bruce Jr.

The ORCA Unit is comprised of two deputy district attorneys, two inspectors, a senior program specialist, and two data analysts, under the direct supervision of Chief Assistant District Attorney Otis Bruce, Jr.


Contact: damedia@acgov.org



The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is one of California’s largest prosecutors’ offices and is led by Alameda County’s first Black woman District Attorney, Pamela Price. Price brings her vision to this office to fairly administer justice in the pursuit of thriving, healthy, and safe communities for every person who steps foot in Alameda County, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, or zip code. Price has been recognized as one of the most progressive prosecutors through her forward-thinking, innovative strategies to interrupt cycles of violence and crime and bring change to a criminal justice system rooted in systemic racism. Follow Madam DA on Twitter and Facebook @AlamedaCountyda.