CHICAGO (WBBM) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that cracks down on those responsible for large-scale theft of retail merchandise.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, the legislation is targeted at thefts of truckloads and other large caches of merchandise.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

In recent months, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has set up a task force in which more than 60 businesses are participating, ranging from Dominick’s and Walgreens to Wal-Mart.

The new law adds asset forfeiture to prosecutors’ arsenal.

Alvarez says the costs can be high in such grand-scale retail theft.

“This includes driving up consumer prices and presenting potential dangers to consumer health and safety,” Alvarez said.

Large-scale retail theft costs Illinois merchandisers an estimated $1.5 billion each year, and costs the state $90 million in sales tax.