Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation establishing the Organized Retail Crime Act to protect consumers by cracking down on the increasing prevalence of retail fraud, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Both State Rep. Eileen Kowall and Sen. Mike Kowall, who represent White Lake and Highland, voted in favor of House Bills 5843 and 5902, sponsored by state Dist. 51 State Rep Joe Graves, which makes it a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment if a person is found guilty of knowingly committing organized retail crime, the release states.

That would include the theft of retail merchandise with the intent to resell, distribute or transfer the stolen merchandise to another retail merchant or any other person either personally, through the mail or any electronic media, including the Internet or eBay, for anything of value.

“Organized retail crime is a sophisticated operation conducted by professional criminals and can act as a gateway to finance even more serious crimes,” Snyder says in the press release. “These crimes are costing our businesses and our communities too much and law enforcement will now be better able to combat this growing threat.”