Loss Prevention Media

Breaking News in the Industry: January 19, 2018

Two sought in $2M jewelry theft from Texas store [Viral Video]

Police are looking for two men who stole jewelry valued at $2 million from a Sugar Land, Texas, store after smashing display cases with a hammer. The men are seen on surveillance video Sugar Land police released on Thursday from the Jan. 10 heist at Hutton’s Jewelry & Gifts. The men entered the store at 2735 Town Center Blvd., just after 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 10. One man approached an employee and asked about an engagement ring. The second man soon joined them, then removed a hammer from inside his jacket and smashed two display cases, one in the rear of the store and another at the exit. The first man also removed jewelry from the cases and both ran out of the store. [Source: Chron]

New Jersey mother accused of using 11-year-old in shoplifting scheme

The state Division of Child Protection and Permanency has been contacted to visit a Perth Amboy woman’s home after she allegedly used her 11-year-old daughter to shoplift merchandise from a Woodbridge Center store. Around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Woodbridge police were dispatched to the JC Penney store for a report of a mother and young daughter shoplifting. Police were informed by a store loss prevention associate that Cruz Maria Garcia De Rodriguez, 45, and her 11-year-old daughter had been caught shoplifting $1,234.15 worth of merchandise, including sneakers, shirts and blankets. According to police, the mother and daughter used a system to shoplift items from the men’s, bedding and children’s departments. In each department, Garcia De Rodriguez would have her daughter hide under a table or bench while she handed the child merchandise from the store racks. The mother would then have the child place the items into JC Penney’s plastic shopping bags before the daughter emerged from under the displays and handed the bags to her mother.

The mother and daughter were spotted on surveillance video cameras repeating these actions in several store sections, police said. The mother and daughter headed for the store exit after their arms were filled with JC Penney shopping bags of unpaid merchandise, police said. They were stopped by store loss prevention personnel just before they exited the store and brought to the loss prevention office, where police were contacted. In the loss prevention office, police found the girl crying and upset from the incident. Police asked Garcia De Rodriguez to contact another relative to take custody of the girl, who went back home in a cab with the relative. Garcia De Rodriguez was arrested and received summonses for shoplifting, endangering the welfare of a child and using a juvenile to commit a criminal offense before being released, police said.  [Source: MyCentralJersey]

Shoplifting turns into foot pursuit

Police charged a local man with receiving stolen property and resisting arrest Monday afternoon after he allegedly stole a nail gun from Home Depot and led police on a short foot chase. Sean P. McInnis, 40, allegedly bypassed Home Depot’s registers and walked out of the store with a Dewalt nail gun he didn’t pay for, according to Rochester Police Capt. Jason Thomas. Police logs indicate the reporting party watched McInnis run out of Home Depot after the nail gun triggered the North Main Street store’s theft alarms. Thomas said an officer subsequently saw McInnis walking with the nail gun along North Main Street. After he saw the officer, McInnis allegedly dropped the nail gun and started running. “He was apprehended just moments later,” said Thomas. The charge of receiving stolen property is a Class B felony because McInnis has a prior conviction on his record. The resisting arrest charge is a Class A misdemeanor, police said. In addition to those charges, Thomas said McInnis was taken into custody on an outstanding Strafford County warrant as well as a Rochester theft-by-unauthorized-taking warrant related to a Nov. 27 theft at the Hannaford supermarket on North Main Street. McInnis refused bail and was arraigned on the charges in Strafford County Superior Court on Tuesday.  [Source: Fosters]

Florida woman sentenced for credit card fraud

A woman from Florida who police believe was part of a ring that defrauded Walmart stores around the country by using stolen credit cards has been sentenced to a year in jail for guilty pleas in two local counties. Yenisleidi Pino-Quintana, 25, of Miami, pleaded guilty in Warren County Court in November to second-degree forgery for her use of stolen cards to buy gift cards at the store on Route 9 in Queensbury last January. She also pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument in Saratoga County Court for use of a stolen credit card at the Walmart store in Wilton and was sentenced to time served in jail. Police said she was also tagged with charges for a similar crime in Schenectady County. Pino-Quintana was arrested by State Police in Queensbury in April. Warren County Judge John Hall warned her during her guilty plea that she likely faced deportation to her native Cuba for the conviction after her release from jail. [Source: The Post Star]

Massachusetts man sent to prison for armed robbery of robot vac

A Massachusetts man is heading to state prison for at least two years, after weaponizing a robotic vacuum cleaner he was trying to steal last January.  David Nardella, 43, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and multiple counts of felony larceny during a hearing Wednesday in Salem Superior Court.  Judge Thomas Drechsler sentenced Nardella, who has a nearly-continuous criminal record stretching back 25 years, to two to 2 1/2 years in state prison. That’s half the time sought by a prosecutor, who had asked for four to five years in prison for Nardella.  “It’s time to protect the community,” prosecutor Karen Hopwood told Drechsler.  But Nardella’s attorney, Cristina Ayo, argued for less time, saying her client was suffering from a serious heroin problem and had relapsed in the days before he went on a theft spree in three counties. Hopwood said Nardella’s spree began at a TJ Maxx in Salem, where he walked out with two North Face jackets and four other coats on Jan. 10, 2017.  A week later, on Jan. 17, he was at the Target in Salem, where he walked out with two Samsung robotic vacuums. A store loss prevention associate noticed the thefts on surveillance video and remembered the suspect.  Two days later, Nardella was back at the same store, said Hopwood.  This time, he cut the security cords attaching two Neato robotic vacuums to a shelf, and walked out. The loss prevention associate saw what was happening and caught up with Nardella in the parking lot.

Nardella might have faced only a shoplifting or larceny charge but for what happened next: he swung one of the vacuum cleaners by the security cord at the associate. That turned the incident into an armed robbery. While the officer managed to grab that vacuum, Nardella got away with the other one.  He left in a black SUV with a veterans license plate that, it turns out, had been stolen off an actual veteran’s car in Lynn, said the prosecutor.  Over the next several days, the spree continued with similar crimes at stores in Woburn and Revere, where he was arrested.  Nardella has already pleaded guilty and served his jail terms in the Middlesex and Suffolk county cases.  Ayo asked the judge to give Nardella credit for the time spent serving those jail terms, arguing that his conduct was part of a single, ongoing scheme. But for the fact that the crimes occurred in three different counties, she suggested, he would likely have been sentenced to concurrent terms on all of the incidents.  Hopwood opposed the request, accusing Nardella of “triple dipping” by seeking the additional credit toward the sentence.  Drechsler opted to allow Nardella to receive credit toward his sentence for the time he’s been in custody since his arraignment in June in the Salem case.  Some, but not all, of that time overlaps with the sentences he served in the Middlesex and Suffolk cases. After his release, Drechsler ordered that Nardella must spend three years on supervised probation, and must immediately enter a residential drug treatment program.  He’s also been ordered not to use any drugs, including marijuana and alcohol, while on probation.  [Source: The Salem News]

Aetna agrees to pay $17M to settle HIV data breach incident

Aetna reached a $17 million settlement Wednesday to resolve a federal class-action lawsuit filed in August after the insurer revealed thousands of customers’ HIV statuses in mailings, according to court documents.The Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna exposed members’ HIV statuses through a window on envelopes containing information about filling prescriptions for HIV medications and pre-exposure prophylaxis, a pill that helps prevent a person from contracting HIV. The letters were mailed July 28 to about 12,000 customers in multiple states. As part of the settlement agreement, which is now subject to court approval, Aetna agreed to pay $17,161,200 to rectify the privacy breach claims. The payer will use the money to send a base payment of at least $500 to those whose information was breached. Another automatic base payment of $75 will be issued to about 1,600 additional Aetna members whose health information was allegedly disclosed to the company’s legal counsel and mail vendor.  [Source: Becker’s Hospital Review]

The post Breaking News in the Industry: January 19, 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Distribution Center Security: How Some of the Biggest Retail Companies Deter Theft and Crime

One of the modern miracles of retail is the ability to get the right merchandise, in high volume, and across vast distances, either into point-of-sale locations or the customer’s doorstep within a matter of days, if not hours. Enter the distribution center: often an enormous building with hundreds of employees, conveyer belts, thousands of shelves of merchandise and special handling equipment. These centers are the nodes in a web that span continents or the globe for many brands we all know. Several large brands are using security entrances combined with access control systems and cameras at their distribution centers in a certain way to mitigate the risks endemic to distribution center security. Let’s take a closer look.

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Distribution centers on any given day contain millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise and typically have a very large footprint or hundreds of thousands of square feet. They also operate 24/7. Ideally, they are near an airport or highway system, and in a location with access to a ready supply of economical labor. All of these needs imply an urban location with relatively lower real estate costs. Distribution centers can also experience relatively high turnover in labor and seasonal/temporary workers to handle increases in demand of goods during holidays. Given all of these factors, there are three risks that a physical security plan should seek to address proactively using distribution center security entrances.

Theft. The first and most obvious risk, of course, is theft. Relatively low wages and high-value merchandise present the constant pressure of temptation, with targets being small valuables, electronics or even food that can be hidden into clothing.

Violence. The second risk is violence, often originating from the employee population. There can be domestic violence in the workplace (a jilted boyfriend or husband seeking out a partner inside the facility) or ex-employees seeking retribution after being terminated. A violent event can disrupt continuity; you will have distraught employees and managers in the aftermath needing support. If the facility becomes a crime scene under investigation, you could have a shutdown of operations costing millions of dollars a day and negatively impacting loyal customers.

Bad PR. The last major risk worth mentioning is the bad PR that can result from violence. All too often, we see companies from all types of verticals getting an unwanted spotlight from shootings, smart mobs, protests and domestic violence entering the workplace.

Companies with distribution centers are not immune: just a few years ago, a well-known package delivery company experienced a shooting where several employees and guards were injured and killed. This made the news for weeks during the investigation, with pressure on the company to answer questions from the media. Top management wants answers and a management plan. It’s better to learn from the news now than be in the news tomorrow.

To effectively mitigate the above risks, a physical security plan should seek to proactively:

1) deter/prevent casual infiltration onto the premises from unauthorized individuals

2) deter/prevent theft of merchandise

3) deter/prevent carriage or knives/guns/weapons inside the premises

4) In general, create a safe environment and a culture of safety and security among the employee population.

Distribution centers are in many ways similar to the sterile concourses of today’s airports. (Some of these similarities will be addressed later in the post.) But one of the most important reasons that security entrances are being deployed today is to accurately control and monitor who is in the building, when are they in the building, and what they have on their person at all times. Only security entrances can control the passage of people through mitigating tailgating or piggybacking. Look at some best practices some of the biggest brands are deploying today: a combination of security entrances with manpower and technology to address the most prevalent risks.

Layers of Physical Security

The Perimeter. The fenceline perimeter should discourage casual infiltration from non-employees. Since higher security practices exist inside the building, the goal at the fenceline is to primarily deter and potentially respond if an incident occurs. Typically, a tall fence is deployed with guarded entrance gates for certain vehicles (security, management, and freight). Cameras are used to record any activities along the fenceline that may occur so they can be reported or investigated after the fact.

If there is parking for employees outside the fenceline, full height turnstiles are placed on the fenceline so that employees can use their credentials to unlock the turnstile and enter one at a time into the secure area.

Initial Entry, Divestment and Screening. As employees enter the building, they can divest their personal belongings, such as bags, purses, metal objects, phones, keys, etc. into lockers. Some facilities allow phones or keys inside the secure area. Then, employees approach a manned booth or window to pass any allowed metal belongings into a bowl to a guard who will give them to the employee on the secure side.

To enter the secure side, employees present their credentials to the access control system, walk through a metal detector doorway and a full-height turnstile. The turnstile unlocks when the credentials are valid; however it will re-lock if the detector senses a metal object. In that case, the user must back up, remove the object (put in their locker or give to the guard) and try again. The passageway and the turnstile display a red or green light to the user, telling them if they can proceed into the facility or clear the passageway and try again.

Employees enter a distribution center by badging credentials, passing through a metal detector, then a one-way full height turnstile. The area is manned in case of non-compliance.

Tracking Breaks and Lunches. When employees take a break or lunch during their shift, they can proceed to a snack/concession area with seating so they can eat and relax. To enter the concession area, they pass through waist-high, tripod turnstiles using their access control credentials. This setup enables data to be collected on who is on the floor or off the floor (in case of an incident) and for how long (in case of slippage).

End-of-Shift Theft Deterrence. The end of the shift is the prime opportunity to squelch theft. Some companies are using a technique used in airports on passengers: random pat-downs or scans with a wand. Employees must approach an array of two waist-high turnstiles: one turnstile leads to an exit and the other to a search/pat down area with a guard. The employee presses a button that initiates a program that randomly turns on a green or red light. If the light is red, the “exit” turnstile remains locked and the “search” turnstile unlocks; the user must proceed through to get a pat down or scan with a wand. If the light is green, the “exit” turnstile unlocks and the employee can pass through the other tripod turnstile and proceed to exit.

All exiting employees, whether patted down or not, proceed through a final, full-height turnstile to exit the floor. The turnstile is configured as a one-way turnstile to prevent “backflow” into the secure area and also enable the access control system to keep track of who has left the secure area for the day in case of any incidents. The employees can then access their initial divestment area, access their lockers, and exit the building.

When leaving work for the day, employees press a button and a random program indicates whether they must undergo a random pat-down search or can exit freely via one-way turnstiles.

The process described in this post uses security entrances that are relatively inexpensive and ideal for deterring theft or other unwanted behaviors. If you have a big rollout at multiple locations and a limited budget, this approach can be a great fit. If you manage a single location or can invest more up front, you can increase the ROI further by deploying a security revolving door instead of a full-height turnstile. The security revolving door uses sensor technology in the ceiling to scan compartments and outright prevent attempts at tailgating or piggybacking (two people sharing a compartment together); this means you can cut down on a guard at that entrance a create a payback in less than a year.

Conclusion

As you can see, security entrances work in conjunction with guards and technology at distribution centers to add an essential layer to a distribution center’s physical security plan. You can leave far less to chance or error compared to using just guards alone or swinging doors and access control. You can effectively deter and control access to the secure facility, track who is in the building 24/7, and minimize theft. In the end, security entrances enable an overall distribution center security plan that ensures maximized safety and risk mitigation.

 

When leaving work for the day, employees press a button and a random program indicates whether they must undergo a random pat-down search or can exit freely via one-way turnstiles.

The post Distribution Center Security: How Some of the Biggest Retail Companies Deter Theft and Crime appeared first on LPM.

Special Event Risk Assessment and Planning

Retailers today are conducting more novel promotional events to lure customers away from their devices and into stores to shop. Making sure those special events go smoothly is a complicated matter, however. For example, the nation’s worst mass shooting, which left 58 dead at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, put security planners on notice just how far a security perimeter may need to extend.

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It’s an area that has been notoriously difficult. With no routine to follow, special event security is chaotic by definition, and may demand protection personnel to pull together a team and a plan with little notice. Security questions that take years to answer from a corporate security standpoint must be addressed in a few weeks or months prior to a special event. A special event risk assessment could include questions such as:

  • What are the risks?
  • What amount of security manpower do we need?
  • What communication systems are appropriate?
  • Should we coordinate with local public safety officials and emergency services representatives?
  • What coordination with suppliers is necessary to ensure safety and security protocols are in place?
  • What is the evacuation plan in case of emergency?

Helpfully, special event security is a more commonplace consideration. Meeting planners have traditionally rejected a strong visible security presence, but many event planners now believe that visible security is beneficial to an event’s success because it allays attendee fears.

Special Event Risk Assessment and Planning Solutions

How can loss prevention pros manage the confusion that is inherent in special event security? A good contingency plan is central to effective change management for special events, according to Richard P. Werth, CPP, a past president of Event & Meeting Security Services.

Special events are fraught with last-minute changes. Contingency plans help ensure that these changes don’t create security holes that expose store associates, customers, and invitees to risks. Preparation also tamps down security costs. By planning for security up front and taking the time to consider what protective services you do—and do not—need, companies can resist wasting precious resources. Companies that fail to take a measured approach to event security needs may throw extra security at an event to compensate for poor planning.

Adequate preparation for a special event has numerous requirements. Three basic steps are (1) Soliciting the right information from event organizers. (2) Conducting sufficient research into your event’s security risk level. (3) Developing an adequate staffing plan.

1. Open the line of communication with event organizers. It’s a good idea to provide a written list of questions to the planners as early as possible in the process. Get clear on the type of event being planned, who will be there, how long the event will last, and how organizers envision the role of security. Have a “security issues” meeting with them as early in the event planning process as possible. The security mission is sure to evolve as planning progresses, but it’s good to know up front the goals of organizers. Finally, the store security team should ask to be copied on all memos that identify changes in the event program, scope, or list of attendees. Otherwise, protection professionals can find themselves overseeing security at a very different event than the one they planned for.

To get planning on the right track, it can help to write a short (two paragraphs or so) description of the security mission early in the event planning process. This will make sure that your expectation of the event and the LP team’s role in it matches the view of event organizers and other stakeholders. Details can be filled in later, such as how many officers will be in attendance and what type of communication devices they’ll use, but experts say it’s important to identify the scope of responsibilities that LP will perform. For example, will they help with crowd control? Monitor parking areas? Check bags?

2. Research potential problems. Once LP is clear what the event is, it can start assessing it for problems that may arise. Answers from event organizers will help, but you can’t rely on them, advise experts. Staff should evaluate current crime statistics for the area and reach out the local law enforcement to identify if or how they will support the security function. Also, for each possible event site, if your event includes high-profile attendees, find out what happened at other events they attended. Did protesters try to disrupt the event? Did boisterous fans show up? Research similar events and interview the LP managers who handled security. Ask them what unexpected problems they ran into relative to the type of event, crowd, or venue.

3. Develop a staffing plan. Once LP understands the event, done their research, and has performed the event risk assessment, and has been briefed on the logistics, managers must decide what it will take to get the job done. Do you have enough LP officers on hand? Do you need to use an outside firm to coordinate and provide all security for the event? Or do you just need a few contract guards to supplement in-house staff? A few security directors tell us they’ve been burned by waiting too long to make this decision, which can result in not having enough time to conduct background checks and scrambling at the last minute to find additional officers. LP also needs to develop a plan for when event security staff will get instructions and on what topics. Even if it’s just for a few hours the day before an event, supervisors need to measure all guards’ competency in the use of any special devices they will use during the event, such as communications equipment or wand metal detectors. Finally, because some officers may not show for assignment during the event, managers should cross-train as many officers as they can.

The post Special Event Risk Assessment and Planning appeared first on LPM.

Breaking News in the Industry: January 18, 2018

Employee under-rang merchandise for two retail theft suspects

Police have charged a juvenile Walmart employee and a woman with retail theft following an investigation that began in November in Carlisle. Officers were dispatched to the store at 60 Noble Boulevard on Nov. 30 for a report of a retail theft. The investigation determined an employee had been under-ringing merchandise for two women over the course of a two-month period, according to police. Police said one of the women, identified as Candice Panell, also used the self-checkout registers and didn’t scan all of her merchandise on separate occasions. Police have charged Panell with two misdemeanor counts of retail theft, while a felony charge of retail theft was filed against the juvenile employee through Cumberland County Juvenile Probation. Police are trying to identify the other woman involved, and have provided a surveillance photo of her.  [Source: Penn Live]

Shoplifting suspect apprehended after chase in Kentucky

A Paducah, Kentucky, man was taken into custody after a resident helped police nab the suspect. According to the sheriff’s office, Christopher Fontana, 20, was accused of taking a soda and pocketknife from Pocket’s Gas Station in the 5100 block of Cairo Rd. Fontana was approached by an employee as he got into the passenger seat of a car outside. The employee tried to copy down the man’s license plate number when Fontana allegedly lunged at the employee and grabbed her wrist and pushed her. Chris Hardy witnessed the incident and came to the aid to the employee chasing Fontana after he jumped a fence near I-24. Hardy assisted deputies as they took Fontana into custody. Fontana faces shoplifting charges.  [Source: KSVF12 News]

Canadian man sentenced to more than five months for credit card fraud

A Penticton man who went on an unauthorized spending spree with someone else’s credit cards will spend a total of 167 days in prison for his crimes. Richard James Meier entered guilty pleas to fraud of $5,000 and under, possession of stolen property under $5,000, in Penticton court yesterday, Jan. 15. Crown Prosecutor John Swanson told court Penticton RCMP were called by a Penticton resident reporting her purse missing while at The Bay on July 10, 2016. Upon her return home she had telephone messages from Visa that someone was attempting to use her credit card. Her Mastercard was also reported to be in unauthorized use. Police investigating the matter discovered the Mastercard had been used for at least six different transactions at various locations, totaling around $700. The Visa card was used for around $100 in charges.

Swanson asked Judge Gale Sinclair for a sentence of five months for the frauds, in addition to 45 days for two Surrey-based probation breaches. Defence lawyer Michael Patterson said his client’s long criminal history was all drug related. He said Meier had been in and out of drug treatment facilities, but wanted to try once again. Judge Sinclair pronounced a sentence totaling 152 days for the counts of fraud and possession of stolen property, along with an additional 15 days for the Surrey breaches. With credit for enhanced time served, Meier has 21 days left in his jail sentence, after which he will face a two year probationary period where he will not be allowed to consume drugs or alcohol, or have in his possession any credit cards other than his own. He is also expected to make restitution totaling $801.82 to Visa and Mastercard. [Source: INFOnews]

Shoplifter pulls knife on officer, Good Samaritan comes to aid

A concerned citizen came to the aid of police after a shoplifter pulled a knife on an Oak Creek, Wisconsin, police officer during a physical struggle. Oak Creek police responded to the Woodman’s at 8131 S. Howell Ave. just before 5 p.m. on Jan. 6 on a report of a man in the store who had stolen items in the past. According to reports, the man, described as a man in his late 20s with a brown Carhartt jacket entered the store and was recognized by the store’s loss prevention manager from theft incidents from Jan. 2 and Jan. 5. Reports indicate that the loss prevention associate watched the man walk through the store, placing items into a cart while also hiding more items in his coat. He walked out of the store and tried running away… only to be caught by an Oak Creek police officer who was waiting inside the store. Reports state that the man resisted arrest, and the officer took the man to the ground. During the ensuing struggle, police say the man pulled out a pocket knife on the officer, only to drop it during the struggle. A concerned citizen then ran up and kicked the knife away from him. According to reports, the officer pulled out his taser and trained it on the man, at which point he calmed down and allowed himself to be arrested. During the course of the arrest, officers say they found tools on the man that were used for cooking and injecting heroin. The total amount of the theft was $126.47, according to reports. Police say they are going to seek three charges of retail theft, disorderly conduct while armed and resisting an officer. [Source: Oak Creek Patch]

Suspects in shoplifting case face three felony charges after wild car chase

Two shoplifting suspects who fled Sunday from police were charged with three felonies, according to the Belton Police Department. Travon Green, 21, and Erica L. Foster, 28, allegedly stole nearly $2,700 in merchandise from Kohl’s in Belton, Missouri, shortly before 2 p.m. then led police on a wild chase. that ended in the 6000 block of East 86th Street in Kansas City, Mo. According to a probable-cause statement from Belton police, a loss-prevention employee at Kohl’s called police, anticipating an attempted theft as Green and Foster loaded carts with merchandise — including a hoverboard, Nike hats and shoes, baby clothes and assorted other items that were recovered from the car after the chase. Most of the stolen items were abandoned in carts in the Kohl’s parking lot after responding officers attempted to stop Green and Foster, as they entered a tan 2002 Ford Focus in the parking lot after leaving the store without paying for the two filled carts. A Belton police officer ordered Green, who was already in the car, to put up his hands and opened the car door to take him into custody. Instead, Green turned on the ignition and put the car into gear as the officer grabbed him in an attempt to prevent him from fleeing. Green then accelerated, forcing the officer to let go of the suspect before being dragged or pinned between the patrol car and the fleeing vehicle. Green later admitted to having an outstanding warrant for missing a court appearance in a domestic assault that involved Foster, citing that as the reason he fled, according to court records. Attempting to elude Belton police, Green, with Foster also in the car, drove north on Interstate 49 at speeds reaching nearly 90 mph.

The suspects then took Freemont Avenue north to East 86th Street, which dead ends in both directions. The suspects tried to cut through some yards before they stopped and were taken into custody. Police recovered more than $775 worth of merchandise from the suspect’s vehicle. There was an additional $885 in merchandise in Green’s cart and nearly $1,030 in stolen goods in Foster’s cart, both of which were recovered in the Kohl’s parking lot. Belton police announced Monday that Green and Foster, both from Kansas City, Mo., each were charged in Cass County Circuit Court with one count of stealing (more than $750), a class D felony; one count of second-degree assault of a special victim (the Belton police officer), a class B felony; and one count of resisting arrest by fleeing (creating a substantial risk of serious injury or death), a class E felony. Both Green and Foster remained in Cass County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.  [Source: The Kansas City Star]

The post Breaking News in the Industry: January 18, 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Organized Retail Crime News Updates 2018

The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) proposed the term “organized retail crime” in the early 2000s. Since that time, the problem has only become more pervasive. Law enforcement and retailers work hard to stay abreast of emerging issues in ORC, as schemes and techniques tend to change over time.

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Get the facts about shoplifting in our FREE Special Report,Tips on How to Stop Shoplifting:   What You Can Learn from Shoplifting Statistics, Organized Retail Crime Facts & Shoplifting Stories right now!

LPRC experts Stuart Strome, PhD, Read Hayes, PhD, Mike Giblin, and Stephanie Lin consider the latest organized retail crime news updates and issues in an article for the December 2018 issue of LPM Online. The “diversification” of ORC groups into supply chain and cyber crimes are presenting new problems for loss prevention and asset protection professionals. From the article, just one example:

Social Engineering Schemes. These schemes involve getting unsuspecting individuals to provide personal information (social security numbers or credit card information) for fraudulent purposes (Youngblood 2015, 103‐105). Once obtained, organized retail criminals use this fraudulent personal information to take out loans or make large purchases. Some fraudsters may contact retailers pretending to be government or educational institutions, using emails that look official but lack “.gov” or “.edu” extensions. They will make large purchases from retailers, which will be charged to the official institution’s account. They will then contact the institution claiming that the shipment was made in error, providing an address (usually a drop house) for the institution to reship the products.

Read what the experts have to say on other recent ORC schemes, such as cargo theft and online fencing, in “An Update on Emerging Issues in ORC.”

If you’ve missed any of our previous LPM Online editions, go to the Archives page at the end of the edition to see what you’ve missed. Be sure to be an LPM digital subscriber so you are the first to know when new issues are available. If you haven’t already, sign up on the SUBSCRIBE NOW link. (Note: if you’re already subscribed, the previous link will take you to the current issue of the print magazine.)

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Georgia Woman Sentenced for Shoplifting; Dragging Officer with Car

A Marietta, Georgia, woman was sentenced to a year in custody after pleading guilty to shoplifting from a Woodstock department store and then dragging a police officer with her car as he tried to stop her, according to court documents. Amy Ridge was arrested after police received a call about 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 4 in the parking lot of the Kohl’s along Ga. Highway 92 in Woodstock, according to Officer Brittany Page, Woodstock Police spokeswoman. “When the officer attempted to make contact with the woman who was already in her vehicle, the driver took off,” Page previously told the Cherokee Tribune, the MDJ’s sister publication. Ridge dragged the officer about 75 feet through the parking lot. She was arrested after being stopped by Marietta police near Barnes Mill and Merritt roads. The officer suffered minor injuries, but was treated at the scene and released, police said. The incident was captured on the department store’s surveillance footage.

Ridge was arrested without incident and charged with one count each of shoplifting, obstruction of an officer, aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding, driving with an expired tag, reckless driving and drug possession. She accepted a negotiated plea, as a repeat offender, to one count each of theft by shoplifting, obstruction of an officer, aggravated assault on a peace officer, interference with government property, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and possession of methamphetamine. She was sentenced in Cherokee County Superior Court on Friday to one year in custody and nine years on probation so long as she adheres to the conditions of her sentence, according to court documents. Special conditions of her probation include: performing 120 hours of community service; receiving substance abuse treatment; having no contact or entering the premises of Kohl’s; not consuming alcohol or illegal drugs; not associating with anyone who uses or possesses illegal drugs; not occupying a residence or vehicle where alcohol or illegal drugs are present; and refraining from drinking and driving.  [Source: Marietta Daily Journal]

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Experimental Design and Loss Prevention Programs

The purpose of many loss prevention programs is to reduce shrink, reduce returns, and lower other negative sales impacting activities. It is important, when designing an experiment and measuring the results, to take a holistic approach and determine a wide range of positive and negative indicators of success or failure. While we will want to see the corresponding loss-related metrics improve with the implementation of a loss prevention program, we should be equally focused on not impacting core sales. See Figures 1 and 2 for lists of LP initiative and metrics related to shrink.

Figure 1. Common Loss Prevention Solutions

 

Figure 2. Loss Reduction Metrics

Experimental Design

Figure 3 illustrates the normal flow in the scientific method’s process. First, the researcher asks a question. An example question is, “Why do the iPads in the display area of the store continue to get stolen?”

Next, the loss prevention professional researches the question. For example, an inspection of the display area in the store may reveal that the iPads are only secured to the table with a very weak device that can be easily bypassed.

Next, the loss prevention professional would form a hypothesis: “iPads that are secured to the table with a more secure device will not get stolen as often.” At this point in the scientific method, an experiment should be conducted to determine whether the hypothesis is correct.

Figure 3. The Scientific Method

Many factors can hinder or ensure a complete and accurate experiment. For example, how many records (sample size) you have in the experiment can influence your results and how you can interpret them. For an ideal experiment, it is recommended to have a large number of experimental records, and that the test subjects (can be employees or stores, for example) are representative of the entire population you are trying to investigate. The best way to ensure “representation” is using a random selection of subjects.

For the ideal experiment, it is important to have a control group (those not receiving the test factor – or the thing you are trying to test). It is essential that the test factor is applied as it is planned to be deployed, and that the test factor is the only difference between the test subjects and the control subjects. Again, the assignment of the subjects into “test” versus “control” is best done randomly. Once the subjects are assigned, it is important that the subjects do not know to which group they have been assigned.

Once the subjects have been selected and assigned, it is the time to collect data. Again, the data collection process is also guided by principles that ensure experimental validity. Proper analytical techniques are then required to correctly analyze the data and interpret the results.

Loss Prevention Experiments: Issues to Consider

When conducting an experiment, the primary goal is to answer the research hypothesis without any doubt as to the validity of your experiment. Figure 4 shows some common threats to experimental validity. Each of these items can interfere with an experiment and make the results and conclusions unreliable.

Figure 4. Threats to Validity

When testing loss prevention programs, it is important that only one factor in the store is changed at a time. Additionally, whenever possible, the stores should be assigned to test and control groups randomly so that all other potential confounding variables will be distributed equally in both the test and the control groups.

Suppose that you were attempting to measure the effects of a more secure device to prevent loss of iPads. If, at the same time as your experiment, there were a separate initiative that placed a guard in the area with the iPads. This would be a confounding factor, which would make measuring the effects of the more secure device impossible. Since both prevention factors are present at the same time in the same stores, it will be impossible to separate the effects of the guard from the effects of the more secure devices.

A potential threat to an experiment’s validity and the conclusions from the experiment is improper or incomplete analysis. If the wrong statistical tests are used, if confounding variables that should have been considered are not considered, or if another explanation for the effect was not analyzed, then the results may be invalid. To avoid validity issues with improper analysis, confounding variables, seasonality, open and closing stores, control stores, and proper statistical tests should be used in the analysis.

Even if a proposed hypothesis is true, without an adequate sample size, we may not be able to prove the hypothesis (and reject the null hypothesis in the statistical test). The null hypothesis is the opposite of what you are trying to prove. This becomes increasingly important when the size of the effect is small. For example, suppose we are trying to detect whether shrink has decreased. With only ten stores in a sample and with the natural variation of shrink, we will be unable to detect small changes in shrink due to natural fluctuations in the data. However, if we use 100 stores, this will probably overcome the variation in shrink.

The goal of an experiment and an analysis is to determine whether the loss prevention initiative creates value beyond the cost of the program. To measure return on investment, we first need to analyze the data in a manner that accounts for seasonality and normal data fluctuations. For this reason, we would measure the shrink rate in the test stores and control stores before the test, during the test, and during the same two periods in the previous year. Let’s assume, for this test, that we can obtain shrink within a specific time window using a manual method of measurement.

Once the experiment is completed, an analysis should be conducted to measure the impact of the new loss prevention program on the key metrics. A few key factors should be addressed in the analysis, which are unique to retail:
1) Seasonality – a key reason to use a control sample is seasonality. Most retailers have very different sales and loss patterns depending on the time of the year. There are a few techniques that we can use in the analysis to protect against seasonal fluctuations falsely influencing results.

2) Year-over-year trends – before the test, if stores are trending higher or lower on a key metric year over year just before the test, it may be important to consider these trends in the analysis. A way to deal with both the year-over-year trends and seasonality is to use the following metric for each store. Each store in the test and control sample converted to this measurement captures the net change in the key metric considering trends before and during the test compared with the prior year.

If the results of the experiment are good, and the program is to be rolled out to all stores for a retailer, there are some rollout considerations. The program should be executed similarly to how it was executed for the test. It is also important to establish execution reports to determine whether the program is being executed properly as the program matures. If ongoing measurement is required, it may be useful to maintain a control group of stores that never get the program and can be used as a baseline group for comparison. Alternatively, the program’s removal can be tested at some point. The means that for some period, the program is removed from a random sample of stores and now our test program is the removal of the program. This type of test would be conducted like the original test but in reverse.

In conclusion, the processes for conducting experiments in this article should help the loss prevention professional test and evaluate which programs will have the greatest effect in controlling losses.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been excerpted/adapted from the authors’ text, Essentials of Modeling and Analytics: Retail Risk Management and Asset Protection. Learn more.

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Breaking News in the Industry: January 17, 2018

NY man attacked LP while trying to rob store

A man from Farmingville, New York, was arrested on Sunday after police say he attacked a store employee while trying to steal merchandise. According to police, Daniel Charbonnier, 30, tried to steal goods from Bloomingdale’s, in East Garden City, on Sunday afternoon. When associates from the store’s Loss Prevention stopped him, police say Charbonnier became physical and injured both associates. However, he was still detained. Both of the Loss Prevention associates were treated at the scene. Charbonnier was transported to a hospital for evaluation. During a search of his person, police say they found cocaine. Police say that Charbonnier also robbed the same Bloomingdale’s on Dec. 1. Charbonnier is charged with two counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault, petty larceny and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police say he will be arraigned when medically practical. [Source: Garden City Patch]

Colorado man wanted for allegedly shoplifting; hitting police cruiser

Police say he hit an officer’s cruiser and second vehicle while trying to flee a Walmart after shoplifting. The officer had just pulled into the parking lot as the suspect was jumping into a white car. The suspect peeled out and reportedly struck the cruiser first, then the other car. Both cars were parked and no injuries were reported. The man kept driving and was last seen heading eastbound on Pueblo Boulevard and then northbound on Acero Avenue, in Colorado Springs. The incident happened at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on 2732 S. Prairie Ave. The suspect vehicle is described as a white 90s model Toyota Camry. Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. Kenneth Matic at 719-553-3292.  [Source: KKTV11 News]

New Netflix email scam asks users for credit card information

Stay away from unexpected Netflix emails: They may be tricking you into handing over your credit card information. Netflix is warning customers about what may be the most sophisticated phishing scam yet. First discovered by Australian email security company MailGuard, the zero-day scam uses Netflix branding and webpage style to coax users into giving away credit card details. The email shows “Netflix” as the sender and the subject area alerts recipients that their card information was declined. “Hi, We have attempted to authorize the Amex card you have on file but were unable to do so,” the email reads. “We will automatically attempt to recharge your card again in 24-48 hours. Update the expiry date and CVV (card verification value) of your Amex card as soon as possible so you can continue using it with your account. We’re here to help if you need it. Visit the Help Centre for more info or contact us. – Your Friends at Netflix.”

An image of the phony email was posted to Twitter by the New South Wales Police Force in Australia. The deceptively pleasant message includes an “update payment” button that directs users to a credit card information portal with blanks for email address, card number, expiration date, and CVV number. Once a user submits their information, the scam redirects them to Netflix’s homepage to ease any potential concerns. The longer users are unaware of the theft, the longer scammers can continue taking advantage of any ill-gotten personal information, so keeping people in the dark is just as important as gaining access to their info in the first place. Reports say “thousands” of users have been affected so far. The scam has reached people in Australia and the U.K., but it’s not clear if any U.S. customers have received any of these emails.  [Source: The Daily Dot]

Thieves steal roughly 50 handbags worth over $100K from retailer

An estimated seven to 10 suspects on Monday swiped about 50 high-end handbags believed to be worth over $100,000 from Nordstrom located at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, according to police. The thieves managed to slip into the store just before closing and cut the metal security cables that keep the Gucci handbags secured to display counters, according to police. The suspects then dashed out of the store and hopped into two getaway cars. Specific suspect or vehicle descriptions were not immediately available other than that one of the getaway vehicles was described as a Nissan Sentra and the other was either a Honda or Accord without a license plate, according to police. No arrests have been made in the case, according to police. One of the suspects did try to punch a loss prevention associate during the heist, according to an investigation is ongoing. Surveillance footage has yet to be released due to the investigation. Further information was not available. [Source: Peninsula]

Five charged in retail theft ring

A month-long investigation of an organized retail theft ring by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, just before 9 p. deputies responded to the Tommy Hilfiger store at Silver Sands Premium Outlets on U.S. Highway 98 regarding people seen shoplifting. Deputies located four of the five suspects. Hernando James, 19, was seen carrying a Tommy Hilfiger bag with several items inside. Surveillance video showed James entering the store without a shopping bag and purchasing two items. However, more than two pieces of clothing were found in the bag, the press release said. James was arrested for grand theft along with Stevonda O’Neal, who was an out-of-state fugitive. Also during the investigation, Rameshia Hatcher provided a false name to deputies. Her mother, Ophelia Hatcher, knew Rameshia was giving a false name while they spoke to deputies, according to the press release. A car was located in the parking lot beside a large pile of clothes. Inside of the vehicle were several garbage bags and store alarm tags. The vehicle was seized and a search was conducted at a later date.Investigators found more than $6,000 worth of stolen merchandise in the car from several stores, including Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Justice, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, the Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators later learned the names of all those involved, including the identity of Rameshia Hatcher. Hernando James, 19 was arrested and charged with coordinating in theft of more than $3,000. Stevonda O’Neal was arrested that day on an out-of-state fugitive charge and then released. O’Neal, Shakina Letressa Hall, 32, Rebecca Hatcher, 25, and Ophelia Hatcher, 45, have all been charged with coordinating in theft of more than $3,000. Rameshia and Ophelia Hatcher also have been charged with providing false information to a law enforcement officer. All four have active warrants for their arrests  [Source: NWF Daily News]

Mattress Firm to close 200 stores

Mattress Firm has entered into a credit agreement up to $225 million, to be available for “working capital needs and other general corporate purposes.” The ABL Facility has an initial aggregate principal availability amount of $75 million, but the company intends to upsize that via an incremental availability feature to a total aggregate principal amount of up to $225 million, according to a company press release. Last week, Mattress Firm executives told lenders that the company, as of last year a unit of financially struggling South African conglomerate Steinhoff, would close 200 stores as part of an ongoing restructuring effort, the Houston Business Journal reports. Before being acquired by Steinhoff last year, Mattress Firm in 2014 had itself bought rival The Sleep Train, which operated 310 stores, for $425 million, a move that increased its costs over sales.[Source: RetailDIVE]

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Credit Card Fraud News: 2018 Update

We cover a lot of credit card fraud news in the LPM Insider. It’s a natural topic for a readership heavily concentrated in retail and retail loss prevention. But the statistics keep changing, as do some of the suggestions to help protect yourself. So, an update and review every so often is beneficial.

The continually evolving credit card fraud news:

  • The latest Nilson report estimates that in 2016, worldwide credit card losses topped $24.71 billion.
  • Barclays reports that 47 percent of all credit card fraud occurs in the United States.
  • Fifty-six percent of Mexico residents reported being a victim in 2016.
  • Only 8 percent of Hungarians reported being victims in the past 5 years. In general, European countries have the lowest fraud rates due to the early adoption of EMV (chip) cards.
  • Javelin Strategy reports that there is an identity theft incident every 2 seconds, many involving credit card fraud.
  • ACI Worldwide estimates that 47 percent of Americans have been a victim of credit card fraud in the past 5 years.
  • Florida topped all states with over 300,000 fraud complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2015, while North Dakota had the fewest.
  • Older Americans are more likely to become victims of credit card fraud. According to the FTC, 65 percent of all complaints in 2015 involved victims over 40 years old.
  • Women topped men as victims in 2014, but only by 11 percent.
  • Approximately 65 percent of credit card fraud victims suffer a real or indirect financial loss resulting from an incident.
  • The vast majority of credit card fraud occurs for purchases online or over the phone.
  • Approximately 37 percent of all credit card fraud in the United States is related to counterfeit cards.
Eliminating Signature Requirements?

Given these disquieting credit card fraud news updates, it’s ironic that Mastercard, Discover, American Express and Visa have recently announced that they will no longer require signatures for most credit card transactions. Austen Jensen, the vice president for government affairs for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), pointed out that retailers have long argued that signatures are “a costly yet feeble means of securing transactions.”

Further, industry leaders don’t think no-signature policies will endanger cardholder data. Jaromir Divilek, executive vice president of global network business at American Express, notes that “our fraud capabilities have evolved to the point that we can now eliminate this pain point for our merchants” As we all know, merchants don’t typically check a cardholder’s signature against the signature on the back of the card anyway.

We Still Need to Protect Ourselves

OK, so fraud detection tools have advanced and even signatures are no longer needed. But every consumer needs to be cautious and know how to protect themselves from becoming a victim. Here are some tips:

  • Protect your privacy; shred pre-approved credit card offers. Keep your purse or wallet in a safe place at work, at the gym, or while in your car. Use passwords for all devices and use a password-keeper program or app. Never write them down.
  • Use zero-liability credit cards. It’s becoming more common for credit card issuers to provide fraud protection or zero liability for the cardholder when it comes to unauthorized purchases. Make sure your cards have these features.
  • Monitor your accounts often. Federal liability protection requires that you report any fraudulent charges within sixty days. Check on your accounts at least every few days.
  • Use common sense when shopping online. Be sure your wireless network is secure. When paying online, make sure that website is secure. Look for the “https” at the beginning of the website address indicating that data sent between your browser and that site are encrypted.
  • Choose credit, not debit. Use credit cards whenever possible. Protection against fraud on credit cards is more secure. If fraudsters access your bank account from a debit card, they can clean it out quickly.
  • Protect your mail. Stop service through the post office when you leave town. It’s easy and free, but be sure you do in person or on the official USPS site. Don’t post vacation plans on social media. And mail items using a postal box, not with the flag up on your mailbox.

And, as we’ve always said, a healthy dose of paranoia goes a long way to keep you safe. Be careful out there.

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Customer Privacy at Risk When Companies Become Complacent Regarding Data Security

As new estimates predict cyber crime costs will exceed $2 trillion by 2019, many consumers are wary of letting companies handle their personal data. Lack of diligence in the business world has dominated headlines, leading to serious mistrust on the part of consumers. Currently, 68 percent of consumers don’t trust companies to handle their personal data securely and keep it protected from hackers. (1)

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Don’t become another data breach statistic. Get our FREE Special Report, Data Security:  Data Loss Prevention Best Practices and Proven Policies to Combat Data Breaches right now!

Companies need consumer data for invoicing and other legitimate business purposes. This means that methods must be developed for effectively securing data to prevent personal information from falling into the wrong hands. Cyber criminals quickly devise strategies to overcome older data security measures, and it’s a sure bet that they’ll continue to exploit any possible vulnerabilities in new security patches, etc.

However, there are some basic practices one can implement which can help protect most consumer data. It’s also important to keep customers in the loop regarding how the company handles and protects personal consumer information. Spohn Security Solutions has a few suggestions in this regard:(1)

1) Use multiple authentication layers, and follow this up by letting customers know who will have use of customer data and how it’s secured from unauthorized use.

2) Make sure your company is focused on security, not compliance. This means following a list of best practices to ensure that your customers’ information stays safe. PCI, HIPAA, SOC compliance cover the MINIMUM acceptable level for many aspects of data security, ranging from employee procedures to data encryption. Compliance will come with security. Compliance is great to advertise on your website and in many cases, required by law, but a secure network lets you sleep at night.

3) Make your consumers’ privacy a competitive advantage for your company. Destroy customer data once it’s no longer needed or required to be kept by law. Let customers know that you won’t keep any credit information or personally identifiable information on file longer than legally required. Communicate your assured cloud destruction and data retention agreements; explain this is why they must enter their data repeatedly on your site. Most will appreciate your attention to maintaining their privacy, even if it is inconvenient. (2)

However, even with these and other measures in place, employees sometimes forget to implement them, or new employees who haven’t yet been fully trained on current security practices can commit errors. Spohn Security Solutions has been in the cyber security business for 20 years and has observed that not all companies maintain an appropriate level of vigilance regarding employee security training.

“It’s vital that companies continue to provide security training for their employees. When they train but then forget to regularly update and check on their employees’ practices, it’s as if they were never trained at all,” said Timothy Crosby, senior security consultant for Spohn Security Solutions.

When these gaps occur and new threats hit, serious risks can be propagated throughout the system, leaving vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. One example was the WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017. That attack, termed “next-gen ransomware,” was the largest computer virus /ransomware infection in history. As opposed to regular ransomware, which encrypts only the local machine it lands on, this type spreads throughout the organization’s network from within, without having users open emails or malicious attachments (which is why it’s called a “ransomworm”).(3)

“A big risk is companies becoming complacent with their security watchfulness,” said Crosby. “Windows had released an updated security patch prior to the WannaCry attack, but not everyone updated their system. There’s a risk of companies providing employee training and information but then forgetting to provide continuity.”

Sources:

1. Gerber, Scott. “9 Ways to Protect Your Customers’ Data and Keep Them in the Loop.” The Next Web, 2 June 2017.

2. Sep 30, 2011 | Updated Oct 3, 2017. “Customer Privacy Is An Important Part Of Business Strategy.” ReputationDefender, 3 Oct. 2017.

3. Zeichick, Alan. “Self-Propagating Ransomware: What the WannaCry Ransomworm Means for You.” Network World, Network World, 16 May 2017,

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Don’t Give Up Your Evidence during Employee Investigation Procedures

The truth can be an elusive thing. Determining the truth can often be problematic even when there may be audiovisual evidence of what happened. Four cameras covered the slide of the runner as the third baseman took the throw and swung his mitt to touch the advancing runner. The umpire was carefully positioned and observed the play calling the runner out. The manager protested the call, and the umpires gathered to review the video evidence of the play. While the play was clearly close, after attempting to tag the runner out the third baseman pursued the runner reinitiating the tag when he reached third base. Immediately the announcers raised questions suggesting the third baseman had actually missed the tag. Depending on the camera angle, there was no independent verification that the umpire had blown the call. The end result? The base runner was out as the play was called.

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Sometimes the truth can be altered because of the position of the observer. In this case, the third-base umpire was in the best position to closely examine whether or not the third baseman actually made contact with the runner. Fans who were biased for the runner argued the third baseman’s actions after the attempted tag showed that he believed he had missed touching the runner.

So the truth can change as a result of biases, assumptions, position, or other qualifiers, which might shade even the truthful witness’s testimony. Many times the guilty individual will intentionally shade the truth in an attempt to salvage his self-image or to reduce the seriousness of what he has done.

During employee investigation procedures, it is often difficult to know with absolute certainty what the real truth might be. Instead, the investigator has to use the physical evidence, witness testimony, or other information to piece together what is the most likely series of events.

Don’t Give Up Your Evidence during Employee Investigation Procedures

Since it can be difficult to tell when people are lying, shading the truth, fabricating events, or just omitting details that may incriminate them, the investigator can use what evidence is available to evaluate the stories, sequence of events, or alibis of the main players.

If the individual was aware of all the information available to the investigator, he could begin to alter his story to match the evidence uncovered during the investigation. However, when the investigator withholds the evidence and allows the individual to tell his story, the evidence can help determine the veracity of the individual. One common problem during conversations with those suspected of wrongdoing is that the investigator contaminates a confession by talking about evidence, alluding to evidence, or using leading questions that infer the correct answer.

Evidence can also be given up by using an incorrect assumptive question to obtain the first admission. For example, if the subject is suspected of creating fraudulent refunds to steal money, many investigators might ask for the first admission using this question—“What is the most number of fraudulent refunds you created to take money from the company?”

If one was to use an assumptive question relating directly to the refund, you have indirectly told the subject what is most likely known and where his exposure in the investigation lies. This question may also infer that the investigator does not know about any other forms of cash thefts the employee has participated in. This results in the employee making fewer admissions because he doesn’t believe the investigator knows about the other areas of theft.

Had the investigator used an assumptive question that said, “What is the most amount of money that you took from the company in the last year?” This question addresses a broad area of the investigation, which has revealed the dishonest employee stole money but not the method used to do so. The employee may now offer an admission to taking money right out of the register or voiding sales leaving the investigator with his knowledge of the individual using fraudulent refunds to steal cash. The investigator now knows in absolute terms that the employee is lying by omission, and there is additional development of the admission to be done.

In any interview where the individual confirms facts that were not related to him by the investigator, it helps substantiate that the subject is giving a truthful confession.

Read the full article, “Random Lessons from the Room: Part One,” for more tips on identifying problematic interview strategies and indicators of theft activity. The original article was published in 2017; this excerpt was updated January 16, 2018.

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Breaking News in the Industry: January 16, 2018

Watch shoplifter steal jewelry from retailer in New Orleans [Viral Video]

The owner of a Magazine Street boutique is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who she says stole about a thousand dollars worth of jewelry from her store. The unidentified man pocketed rings from Century Girl Vintage, 2023 Magazine St., New Orleans, on Wednesday (Jan. 10), owner Leah Blake said.  An employee said the man entered the store just before closing. In surveillance video, he can be seen casually walking to the rear of the store and grabbing items that he doesn’t put back. “He was just picking up rings like you would pick eggs on a farm,”  A relative who was waiting to give the employee a ride home noticed the man enter the store and thought it was suspicious for him to be visiting a women’s boutique at closing time, according to Blake.

The relative came inside and chatted up the man to make sure the employee was OK, Blake said. “He was really charming and talkative,” she said. When asked where he was from, the man hesitated before saying he was visiting from Dallas. However, Blake’s employee and the relative noted he had a New Orleans accent and was wearing a New Orleans Saints shirt.  “He clearly had a New Orleans, kind of y’at accent,” Blake said. In sharing details about the theft in a Magazine Street business forum, Blake learned that a shoplifter with a similar description had stolen jewelry from Sterling Silvia, 3110 Magazine St. An employee at Sterling Silvia confirmed Sunday that the business had posted a photograph of the shoplifter on the front door. It’s not clear what was stolen from that store. At Century Girl, the shoplifter took a 14-karat gold lion ring with emerald eyes and two vintage silver rings from the 1920s, one with an aquamarine stone and another with a synthetic sapphire, Blake said. “It’s just awful when it happens to small businesses,” she said. [Source: The Times Picyune]

Jason’s Deli: Data Breach Could Affect 2 Million Cards

Hackers have struck the quick-service industry again. Jason’s Deli announced that a “large quantity of payment card information” was being sold on the dark web, and at least a portion of the data was pulled from Jason’s Deli locations. While the investigation is still underway, as many as two million credit card numbers may have been compromised. The company was notified December 22 and said, “management immediately activated our response plan, including engagement of a leading threat response team, involvement of other forensic experts, and cooperation with law enforcement.” Jason’s Deli said RAM-scraping malware targeted a number of its point-of-sales systems at corporate-owned locations beginning June 8. The brand said the security breach has been contained. “While this information varies from card issuer to card issuer, full track data can include the following: cardholder name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, cardholder verification value, and service code.

However, it should be noted that the cardholder verification value that may have been compromised is not the same as the three-digit value printed on the back of certain payment cards (e.g., Discover, MasterCard, and Visa) or the four-digit value printed on the front of other payment cards (e.g., American Express). In addition, the track data does not include personal identification numbers (“PINs”) associated with debit cards,” Jason’ Deli said in a statement. Jason’s Deli is the latest restaurant company to face a breach. This past October, Pizza Hut announced that a “small percentage” of its customers were affected by a “temporary security intrusion.” In September, Sonic Drive-In revealed that it was the target of a security breach. In May, Chipotle announced a security issue hit “most” of its locations. Arby’s said in February that potentially more than 355,000 customers’ credit cards could have been compromised. More than a thousand Wendy’s locations were impacted by a major card breach in July 2016, an issue that proved costly for card-issuing banks and credit unions, KrebsOnSecurity points out. Wendy’s needed months to fix the situation, partly because of the brand’s large corporate-owned structure.[Source: QSR Magazine]

Woman charged with shoplifting allegedly tried running down officers in car

A woman reportedly led Great Falls police on a chase on Tuesday, nearly striking three officers’ cruisers pursuing her for allegedly shoplifting items from Shopko. Samantha Wise was arrested the next day at the home of her friend, Derek Xavier Nisbet, who was also arrested for hiding a person wanted by police.  According to court documents, Shopko alerted police to a shoplifting incident on Jan. 9, claiming a man, later identified as Nisbet, left on foot while a woman, who police identified as Wise, left in a vehicle with stolen items.

Police located Nisbet at West Bank Park allegedly in possession of items shoplifted from Shopko, while an officer later found the SUV, reportedly stolen, Wise was driving near the 700 block of 6th Street Northwest, according to court documents.  When approached by a police cruiser, Wise reportedly smiled and flipped him off before driving directly at the officer, who had to step out of the way to avoid being hit, charging documents state. Later on, another officer on Central Avenue West reported Wise entered his lane and drove directly at the officer who was trying to turn around to initiate a traffic stop. The officer had to veer into a different lane to avoid being struck, charging documents state. [Source: Great Falls Tribune]

Supermarket employee accused of stealing $8,000 over a year

A Giant Food Store employee is accused of stealing approximately $8,000 in cash from the Lower Saucon Township supermarket over a period of about a year. In a news release Thursday, township police said Toska Slotter, 42, of Hellertown, “admitted to committing the thefts,” which police say occurred between Jan. 24, 2017 and Jan. 7, 2018 at the 1880 Leithsville Road store. Police said they were alerted to the alleged thefts by Giant Asset Protection. At the time of her interview with police, authorities say Slotter “was also found to be in possession of three different controlled substances–Adderall, Methadone and Suboxone–without a prescription.” After being arraigned before District Judge Roy Manwaring Wednesday on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance, Slotter was released on $15,000 unsecured bail, police said.  [Source: Socuan Source]

Woman gets jail for 2016 retail fraud

A Wilson, Michigan, woman, who failed to appear for her sentencing nine months ago, was sentenced in Delta County Circuit Court on Friday in connection with the theft of merchandise from two Escanaba stores in 2016.  Melissa Rose Meshigaud-Ritchie, 37, was sentenced to 90 days in jail on one count of conspiracy to first-degree retail fraud, a five-year felony, which she pleaded guilty to in early 2017 but failed to show for sentencing last April. Meshigaud-Ritchie was arrested in December 2016 along with co-defendants Veronica Mae Williams, 28, and Manitoubani Wandahsega, 35, all of Wilson, for stealing nearly $3,000 worth of security systems and miscellaneous merchandise from Menards and Dunham’s Sports earlier that month.

According to Escanaba Public Safety, the three removed items from the stores through doors that were locked from the outside but not the inside. In February 2017, Meshigaud-Ritchie pleaded guilty to conspiracy to first-degree retail fraud but failed to appear for her April 24 circuit court sentencing and was charged with contempt of court. During her sentencing Friday, Meshigaud-Ritchie was given credit for serving 55 days in jail. The balance of her 90-day sentence was suspended due to her having a serious medical condition. She admitted in court she was drunk when the theft occurred and she nearly died in jail due to her health issue. She was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to have no alcohol or illegal drugs and cannot enter bars. She must undergo drug testing. She was also ordered to have no contact and not be within 500 feet of Menards or Dunham’s. In addition to being fined $1,028 in court costs, Meshigaud-Ritchie was ordered to pay joint restitution with Wandahsega and Williams including $2,399 to Menards and $434 to Dunham’s. [Source: Daily Press]

Store employee charged in shoplifting $3,280 in merchandise; cash

An employee at a Florida Dollar Star, a low-priced close-out store located inside the Merritt Square Mall, was taken into custody Wednesday after deputies said he had stolen thousands of dollars worth of items and took cash from the register over a period of seven weeks.  After the manager of Dollar Star confronted Derek Anthony Jeter, 20, with accusations the employee was shoplifting, Jeter provided the manager a written statement outlining items he had stolen, according to reports.  Unlike the $1-only Dollar Store, at Dollar Star, you can buy luggage for $40. But most items in the store are under $10. When deputies made contact with the Cape Canaveral man, he told them he had taken food, drinks and clothes from the store. He also took money from the cash register and carried out fraudulent returns to pocket the money, according to deputies.  This went on for seven weeks, totaling about $3,280 in items, cash and fraudulent transactions, deputies report. Jeter was booked into the Brevard County Jail with bail set at $4,000. [Source: Florida Today]

The post Breaking News in the Industry: January 16, 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Two Michigan Residents Injured in Fatal Indiana Police Chase after Retail Theft

Two Michigan residents were injured, one critically, when their SUV was struck by a teenage driver being pursued by Indiana State Police after an alleged theft from a Meijer store. Miguel Linares Jr., 34, of Bloomfield Hills, suffered potentially life-threatening injuries in Saturday night’s collision in Warsaw, Indiana., police said. His passenger, Nora Linares, 35, also of Bloomfield Hills, suffered serious injuries.  Both were being treated at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne. The incident began about 9:20 p.m. Saturday when an Indiana state trooper responded to a reported theft at a Meijer store in Warsaw. Authorities said the trooper saw a Pontiac Grand Am matching the suspect vehicle’s description and attempted to stop it, but it fled east on U.S. 30. It drove through a red light at the intersection of the highway and Parker Street, crashing into three other vehicles, including the one driven by Miguel Linares. The two occupants in the Grand Am both died. The driver was identified by police as Jacob Slone, 19. The passenger was identified as Paige Jefferson, 16. Both were from Warsaw. [Source: Mlive]

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Why a Retail Theft Database Might Keep Your Staff Safe

Retail loss prevention professionals know that organized retail crime (ORC) is a threat not to be taken lightly. But statistics are showing aggressive offenders are on the rise. How are you keeping your store teams safe?

In an article for the December issue of LPM Online, Phil Thomson, CEO of Auror, explores why a lack of intelligence about the most dangerous offenders is one of the biggest obstacles faced by LP teams today.

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Get the facts about shoplifting in our FREE Special Report,Tips on How to Stop Shoplifting:   What You Can Learn from Shoplifting Statistics, Organized Retail Crime Facts & Shoplifting Stories right now!

We have the technology to collect information on existing crimes, so why aren’t we combining it with other useful data points in a retail theft database designed to help LP teams predict and prevent ORC events? From the article:

Chances are your store teams are reporting crime at your stores already. But current crime reporting processes don’t enable this sort of prevention‐first mindset. It’s about reporting a crime to someone else, so they can do something about it.

These reports hold a wealth of intelligence that can be unpacked to help identify the patterns of offending, associated offenders, vehicles used in the commission of crimes, and more. So the value of crime reports isn’t always necessarily in their ability to solve an individual crime, but in their ability to connect the dots to help prevent and solve other related crimes as well. When combined with other data points in real time, these reports can uncover a myriad of actionable intelligence that the right people can use at the right time to prevent further offending.

Read more about what happens when retailers begin to use intel collection to accurately prevent crime in “Intelligence: The Most Important Tool in the Fight Against ORC” (sponsored by Auror). If you’ve missed any of our previous LPM Online editions, go to the Archives page at the end of the edition to see what you’ve missed. Be sure to be an LPM digital subscriber so you are the first to know when new issues are available. If you haven’t already, sign up on the SUBSCRIBE NOW link. (Note: if you’re already subscribed, the previous link will take you to the current issue of the print magazine.)

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People on the Move: January 2018

Professional advancement and building a successful loss prevention career can mean many things to many different people. For some individuals, it may mean reaching a top leadership position at a particular company, perhaps serving as a director or vice president of loss prevention/asset protection. For others, it may involve gaining experience in multiple professional fields in order to establish a unique and versatile role that capitalizes on all of our various skill sets.

Some aspire to be the best at a particular skill or discipline, building a base of knowledge and expertise that sets us apart from the rest. There are those who strive to leave a professional legacy, leaving a lasting mark on the present and future of the loss prevention industry. And there are still others who simply want the recognition that comes with reaching a particular level of performance and the security that it provides.

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There are many different ways to evaluate our career vision and professional aspirations. But what is most important is that we find the path that fits us best. We need to fashion and follow a professional development plan that leads us forward and builds our future. Especially when involved in a profession that is evolving as quickly as retail loss prevention, career growth is essential to professional survival. Whatever our professional goals and aspirations might be; whatever skills and experiences have helped forge our personal loss prevention career path, we have to find and seize the opportunities to learn, grow, and progress.

All of us throughout the loss prevention community are proud of the accomplishments of those that have worked hard and earned a new place along the loss prevention career path. Please join us in congratulating the following individuals on their recent career moves and promotions.

January 2018

 

Jim Mires has been named vice president of loss prevention and safety at Sally Beauty Click here to learn more

Oksana Montvydiene was promoted to analytics manager global corporate security & asset protection at Ralph Lauren

Sharon Nawrocki Paige LPC was promoted to ecommerce fraud manager at Follett Higher Education

Courtland Greer is now a regional loss prevention manager at Amazon

Sheldon Carlson is now a zone asset protection manager at Rent-A-Center

Jennifer Ochs is now an organized retail theft investigator at Weis Markets

Mike Reilly is now an area loss prevention manager at Bed Bath & Beyond

Tony Leon was promoted to regional assets protection manager at CVS Health

David L. Maxim Jr. LPQ, CCFI was promoted to area loss prevention investigator at Sephora

Ed Van Allen was promoted to regional director of asset protection at Ocean State Job Lot

Steve Hewitt was named head of loss prevention at Waitrose (UK)

John O. Nicholson is now a regional loss prevention manager at Nordstrom

Derek McCarthy was named director of loss prevention at MadRag/10Spot

Mike Limauro, LPC named senior director of asset protection at Whole Foods Market  Click here to learn more

Tina Sellers has been named director of asset protection at Retail Business Services

Michael Tortorici is now a regional asset protection manager at Hannaford

Michael LaCroix has been named director of asset protection at Food Lion

Walt Hall, LPC was promoted to Director of Loss Prevention & Safety at Office Depot  Click here to learn more

Lea Tamarack, CFI is now a regional asset protection manager at Weis Markets

Claire (Birchall) Bouzane was promoted to organized external theft investigator at The TJX Companies

Nancy Orozco is now a regional loss prevention representative at adidas

Filiberto Arroyo was promoted to asset protection district manager-IT at RiteAid

Bobby Sydnor was promoted to director of asset protection at HD Supply Facilities Maintenance

Kennarios Kirk is now an area loss prevention manager at Ross Stores

Shelley Grant was promoted to senior manager of assets, analytics and insights at CVS Health

Vince Giacinto, CFI was promoted to regional asset protection manager at Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin

Adrian Rivera is now a regional asset protection manager at Whataburger

Zachery Erb is now a district asset protection manager at Weis Markets

Damien Barne was promoted to head of profit protection at Compass Group (UK & Ireland)

Diana Workman, CPhT is now an asset protection district manager at Walgreens

Joseph Wojcik is now a senior investigator at Pappas Restaurants

Rocco Speziale, LPC was promoted to director of asset protection, home services at Sears Holdings Corporation

Ryan Waldow is now a regional loss prevention manager at Family Dollar

Romeo Acevedo, LPQ is now corporate loss prevention specialist at Guitar Center

Sean Trepiccione was promoted to distribution safety and risk manager for Ollies Bargain Outlet

Brian Csorba, CFI was promoted to director of loss prevention at T-Mobile

David Broom, CFE, CFI, LPC was promoted to director of loss prevention at T-Mobile

Erik Buttlar has been promoted to vice president of asset protection at Best Buy  Click here to learn more

 

To review the December 2017 “People on the Move” click here.

Many of the loss prevention / asset protection career moves and promotions are reported to us by our career advisor partners. We are grateful for their collective efforts and diligence in delivering this information. If you would like to provide information pertaining to a recent promotion or career move that is not listed below, please email submissions to peopleonthemove (at) lpportal (dot) com.

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Jim Mires Named Vice President of Loss Prevention and Safety at Sally Beauty

Jim Mires has been named vice president loss prevention and safety with Dallas area-based Sally Beauty. Mires is the former vice president of store operations for Town Shoes, the Canadian division of DSW. He was also the former vice president of loss prevention with DSW. He has also held loss prevention positions with Pottery Barn, Gap/Old Navy, and Six Flags Theme Parks.

Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. through its affiliates is the world’s largest distributor of professional beauty supplies.

 

Congratulations Jim!

 

Information provided by our partners at Loss Prevention Recruiters

The post Jim Mires Named Vice President of Loss Prevention and Safety at Sally Beauty appeared first on LPM.

Breaking News in the Industry: January 15, 2018

Woman charged with armed robbery after holding up stores with stun gun

A 23-year-old woman was charged Saturday with armed robbery after she was accused of holding up at least three stores with a stun gun, Chicago police said. T’Keyah Herbert was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and retail theft over $300, police said. The charges stem from three incidents that happened between Dec. 26, 2017, and Jan. 10. About 8 p.m. Dec. 26, Herbert entered a department store in the first block of South State Street, grabbed merchandise from the display and fled without paying, police said. She went back to the same location shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, armed with a stun gun. When she was confronted by security, Herbert left the stun gun and fled the store, police said. About 3:15 p.m. the next day, Herbert went to a store in the 1500 block of North Clybourn Avenue and got into an argument with employees before pulling out a stun gun and threatening them. She then grabbed merchandise and fled, police said. She was arrested Thursday shortly before 7 p.m., police said. Herbert was scheduled Saturday to appear at a bail hearing, where she was released on a signature bond. [Source: Chicago Tribune]

Two arrested in what appears to be nationwide ID theft ring

Local police believe they’ve helped crack a national identity theft ring after arresting two Philadelphia men outside the Tilton Lowe’s store, waiting to cart away plenty of stolen merchandise Thursday.

Store officials first reported to Tilton police Thursday morning that a large phone pick-up order of some appliances appeared to be fraudulent. They told police the person with the credit card who had placed the order from outside New Hampshire denied having anything to do with the purchase.

 About noon time, police said the men arrived at the store, located at 49 Lowes Drive, in a rented U-Haul van to pick up the order.

Inside the van, police recovered numerous gift cards with stolen credit card information and a large number of stolen identities.

Police officials said this appeared to be a stolen identity and gift card theft ring that moved from state to state. 

Tilton detectives decided this was sufficient evidence to arrest the two in the van on charges of identify fraud and criminal liability for another.

 Kyseem Tyhee Hawkins, 22, and Charles Roshek Gibbs Jr., 23, both of Philadelphia, were arraigned Friday at Belknap County Superior Court Friday. They each remain held on $50,000 cash bail.

Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said a search uncovered many victims from New Jersey to California and the theft clearly amounted to thousands of dollars in many states.

“I could easily see 50 or 60 victims on the list,” Cormier said.

 The U-Haul van with Arizona plates was impounded as evidence and the case remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about this matter or these men is urged to call the Tilton police detectives at 286-8207, ext. 210, or 286-4442.
 [Source: NH Union Leader]

Woman accused of theft from employer

A Greenfield, New York, woman was arrested on a grand larceny charge for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 from the store where she worked, police said. Tanya M. Blowers, 29, of Middle Grove, was accused of stealing more than $1,000 from the Hannaford store where she worked over a two-month period, ending earlier this month, according to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office. Blowers was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony, and released pending prosecution in Milton Town Court. [Source: The Post News]

Business owner accused in retail theft ring

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office says a Crawfordville, Florida, business owner has been arrested, accused of running an elaborate retail theft operation. Following an investigation, on Thursday, deputies arrested Sylvia Pritchard, the owner of Wakulla Gold Buyers, LLC. and Lighthouse Lady Cleaning Service, Inc. WCSO says the investigation began after the thefts of multiple bicycles from the Walmart in Crawfordville, during which a suspect was captured on surveillance video. Detectives with the Criminal Investigations Division reviewed the video footage, took screenshots of the thief, and posted them to Facebook. With the assistance of Wakulla County citizens, the thief was identified. Detectives also identified three other individuals who assisted with the theft. WCSO says, during an interview, the suspects admitted to participation in these crimes and explained Sylvia Pritchard’s alleged role in the thefts. WCSO says,  “The investigation revealed that this bicycle theft was not a “typical” retail theft; rather, it was one of multiple retail thefts committed by an organized cadre of thieves working in conjunction with one another on behalf of Sylvia Pritchard.

“During an investigation, detectives determined that Pritchard had organized the theft of numerous items from multiple businesses. Investigators say Pritchard would provide a “shopping list” of items to be stolen to one of multiple thieves, who would then steal the items and deliver them to Pritchard. Pritchard would allegedly determine what the retail price was for the stolen item by scanning the bar code with an app on her cellphone, then compensate the thieves in cash with half of what the retail price would have been for the stolen items. During her arrest, investigators also obtained a search warrant for Pritchard’s residence on Bettywood Circle in Crawfordville. During the search, investigators recovered and seized numerous items they say were obtained as part of the theft scheme, including four bicycles, a Disney Cinderella 24-volt kids electric car valued at $398, household supplies, pet food, portable electronic hardware, and personal hygiene products. Pritchard’s daughter, Starla Brooke Pritchard, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation. Richard is charged with one count of organized dealing in stolen property and three counts of dealing in stolen property, all felony charges. Pritchard and her daughter were both booked into the Wakulla County Jail.  [Source: WCTV News]

Retail theft trio allegedly targeted retail stores

A 19-year-old Oakland Gardens NY woman, and two New York males who are considered juveniles by age, were arrested Monday and charged by North Coventry police with identity theft, theft by deception, and access device fraud after they allegedly used fraudulent credit cards to buy merchandise at the Kohl’s department store in Coventry Mall, West Schuylkill Road. A Kohl’s loss prevention team reported the alleged crimes to the police on Dec. 13, when the holiday shopping season was in full swing. It identified an Asian female, Fan Yang, and the juveniles – whose names were not released – as having used the Kohl’s cards to illegally obtain merchandise of significant value.

The police department website stated Yang allegedly purchased goods valued at about $409; one of the juveniles obtained merchandise valued at $1,129; and the second bought goods valued at about $485. The trio wasn’t caught in the township, however, or by township police. The three instead traveled to Warminster Township, Bucks County, and arrived at another Kohl’s. They were nabbed by Warminster police, the North Coventry department reported, and were arrested there on additional charges as well.  [Source: Potts Town Post]

Walmart to close 63 Sam’s Club locations; lay off thousands

Walmart unexpectedly announced it is closing 63 Sam’s Club locations across the U.S., potentially impacting up to 11,000 workers, Business Insider reports. According to Business Insider, many employees were unaware of the store closures until showing up for shifts to closed stores with notices on the doors. Employees at other locations were sent away by police. “After a thorough review, it became clear we had built clubs in some locations that impacted other clubs, and where population had not grown as anticipated,” Sam’s Club CEO John Furner says in an email sent company-wide Jan. 11. “We will be closing some clubs, and we notified them today.” In his email, Furner says some of the closed locations will be turned into e-commerce fulfillment centers. Business Insider reports that employees whose positions were eliminated by store closures will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at the centers. The company didn’t say how many employees would be impacted by the closures.
[Source: Hardware Retailing]

The post Breaking News in the Industry: January 15, 2018 appeared first on LPM.

Armed Robbery Suspects in Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting ID’d

Edward Mitchell, 21, Curtis Watkins 25, and Vincent Harvey, 21, all residents of Palmdale, CA, were arrested on a slew of charges, including armed robbery, kidnapping, and deputy-involved Shooting. The name of the deceased adult black male is being withheld pending identification and notification of next of kin, officials said. It happened at about 8:00 pm, when deputies from the Victorville Police Department were advised of an armed robbery that had just occurred at a Verizon Wireless retail store (A Wireless).

Officials said the suspects entered the cell phone retail store, three of them were armed with handguns and forced the victims to move from one area of the store to another by gunpoint. An estimated $80,000. – $100,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. Deputies located the suspect vehicle, a black Jeep Cherokee in the unincorporated area of Adelanto and attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

“The suspects failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued with the suspects traveling recklessly on various highways at high rates of speed, and at times, on the wrong side of the road,” sheriff officials said in a news release. During the pursuit, the suspects were seen throwing items outside the vehicle onto the roadway.

The pursuit terminated after deputies initiated a pursuit intervention technique. “Shortly after that, a traffic collision occurred between the deputy and suspect vehicles, at which time the pursuit terminated, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred.  A suspect was struck by gunfire and pronounced deceased at the scene,” stated the release.

Mitchell, Watkins, and Harvey fled into the surrounding neighborhood and were subsequently located and arrested without incident.  “Investigators did locate evidence inside the vehicle at the termination of the pursuit confirmed to have been stolen during the robbery,” officials said. Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact Detective James Williams at (909)387-3589.  Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or you may leave information on the We Tip Website [Source: Victor Valley News ]

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Tyco Retail collaborates with Google Cloud to power new store solutions for digital transformation

Tyco Retail Solutions today announced it is collaborating with Google Cloud to strengthen its market leadership in next generation real-time analytics and store execution and performance solutions. Google Cloud Platform provides a future proof infrastructure with global scale, security and high performance for Tyco Retail’s world-class global retail customers.

The adoption of the Google Cloud Platform signals Tyco’s commitment to the evolution of its solution platforms for the development and deployment of its next generation of retail analytics and store solutions. Tyco Retail and Google Cloud will collaborate to deliver use cases marrying real-time edge intelligence and decision-making with core cloud computing.

The initial phase of the partnership integrates Tyco’s real-time data intelligence and application capabilities across store inventory, loss prevention and traffic on the Google Cloud Platform for fast, consistent, scalable performance and measurable retailer value. This integration will provide retailers with a real-time view into accurate inventory availability for unified commerce fulfillment as well as in-store traffic data and insights for improved customer engagement. The new Google Cloud-based service for store shrink management enables retailers to enhance productivity, and increase reliability and performance of EAS systems for a new generation of innovative loss prevention. In addition, retailers will be able to incorporate external market, customer and retail data from Google Analytics and Tyco into the new extensible analytics platform for unmatched retail insights.

The Google Cloud Platform provides a highly flexible infrastructure with state of the art security and data protection. It allows for simple deployment, rapid development and cost effective use. Tyco Retail will tap into Google Cloud’s big data and machine learning solutions to build better products and fuel amazing new solutions.

“We are excited to partner with Google Cloud and offer retailers our highly predictive analytics and innovative solutions through leading edge technology with the Google Cloud Platform,” said Amin Shahidi, vice president of strategy, Tyco Retail Solutions. “With best-in-class people, processes and technologies together we can deliver cutting edge insights for strategic retail outcomes.”

This innovative collaboration is currently being demonstrated at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 107th Annual Convention & EXPO at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Visit booth #3103 from January 14-16 to see firsthand how Tyco Retail Solutions is helping retailers “Experience What’s in Store.”

 

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Tyco Retail Solutions to incorporate new data into ShopperTrak Analytics for holistic view of in-store shoppers

Tyco Retail Solutions today announced a new program for select retailers to incorporate shopper data into its ShopperTrak traffic analytics platform. This includes store visitor insights at the audience level from Facebook and additional empirical data from other sources. Connecting shopper preferences and insights from third party sources with store level traffic data will enable retailers to better understand key characteristics of shopper groups to help drive sales conversion and an improved customer experience.

Brick-and-mortar retailers can now better understand shopper audiences in combination with in-store traffic patterns. Insights from this new data enables retailers to tailor their marketing and merchandising strategies to more effectively deliver on the promise of a seamless unified commerce experience. Additionally, store-level managers and retail leaders can leverage a richer set of data to contextualize store performance and identify sales opportunities.

“Retailing is now a seamless, ever-present activity with shopper engagement happening at many touch points between the customer and the brand,” said Amin Shahidi, vice president of strategy for Tyco Retail Solutions. “By combining our retail traffic data with store visitor demographic insights, we are able to help retailers better understand the complete shopper journey. This holistic understanding of shoppers allows retailers to optimize staffing, merchandising and operations to create tailored, enhanced shopping experiences.”

These innovative insights are currently being demonstrated at the National Retail Federation (NRF) 107th Annual Convention & EXPO at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Visit booth #3103 from Jan. 14-16 to see firsthand how Tyco Retail Solutions is helping retailers “Experience What’s in Store.”

Note: In preparation for this collaboration, Facebook has ensured that user-level data will not be compromised as only aggregated and anonymized data will be shared.

 

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