(WTVO) — Home Depot’s former CEO said organized retail theft is an “epidemic” that is “spreading faster than COVID” in an interview with FOX News on Thursday.

Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens are among vocal retailers warning their companies are feeling profit squeeze from a rising tide of retail theft sweeping the nation.

Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Chrysler and Home Depot, said, “The degree of severity now, it’s not just theft, it’s ‘smash and grab.’ There’s an entitlement out there that if you have it, you’ve worked hard to earn it. I want it. I’m just going to take it.”

Walmart’s CEO said Tuesday that the company may need to start raising prices — or close stores — to offset a revenue loss due to rising retail theft.

According to CNBC, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the problem was due to prosecutors’ lax attitude toward shoplifting and organized retail theft.

Last year, Walgreens closed several stores in San Francisco due to persistent theft.

In November, Target reported the company lost $400 million in organized retail theft.

The retailer also said that its profits had fallen 50% in the third quarter, and also cited inflation and rising interest rates as contributing factors.

Kroger and Best Buy have also cited concerns with rising theft at their stores.

In Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker signed the INFORM Act in May, which creates stiffer penalties for “smash and grab” thefts.

“Smash and grab” robberies have been an issue at malls and jewelry stores across the country, including Rockford.

The bill defines organized retail theft in Illinois as a felony and eliminates jurisdictional issues for prosecutors when a theft happens in one county and is sold in another.