CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new task force to curb shoplifting is being formed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

CMPD said these types of crimes are up by more than 13 percent, and it's not just someone putting a few items in a purse or under a jacket, but groups of crooks with a target and a plan. 

You've seen the videos, from hardware to electronics, and of course, clothing stores, shoplifters are striking more often.

Just last year, CMPD said detectives investigated nearly 6,000 cases. Some locations even reported being hit more than 200 times over the last three years.

“We're not talking about kids stealing candy bars. These are organized groups they are going in, targeting specific items,” said CMPD Lt. Rob Sprague.

The Organized Retail Crime Task Force is an initiative to help retailers, employees, and shoppers crack down on shoplifting.

“We need the public’s assistance in doing this,” Lt. Sprague said.

Detectives will be out talking to store owners, telling them what signs to look for and ways to handle bandits who target their businesses. They will also work on building strong cases to keep these criminals behind bars.

“Like I said, we have some great detectives, we have some great tools at our disposal to investigate these cases, and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Lt. Sprague.