Breaking News in the Industry: July 19, 2016

Calgary sword store loses thousands of dollars in merchandise after weekend burglary

A Calgary store lost close to $20,000 in medieval swords, armor and other custom pieces in an overnight burglary. Jamie Ripley, the owner of Dark Age Creations, said staff became aware of the break-in when they showed up at the store Saturday morning.

“We’re devastated…We lost a lot of stuff and we also take a lot of pride in the product we sell because we don’t sell those cheap replicas. We pride ourselves on our historical accuracy and trying to reproduce history as closely as we can.”Ripley said.

While some of the stolen items are things the store stocks multiple items of, such as helmets and armour, other pieces, including many of the swords, are one of a kind. The swords are designed to be used for stage fighting or sport application, and are made to replicate historical pieces. “These are not pieces that we can just go out and order more of and have them back on the shelf in two weeks,” he said. “A lot of this stuff was custom made and we will never have a piece again that’s identical to what we had.”

The store does a lot of business with the theatre and film communities, as well as various re-enactment groups and martial arts studios. With many people on the lookout for attempts to resell the products, Ripley said he hopes any tips might help police track down the people behind the theft. [Source: Calgary Herald]


Five Charged in Large-Scale Fencing Operation

Five Connecticut men have been arrested on federal charges related to two separate, large-scale fencing operations in the New Haven area, federal authorities announced in a news release.

George J. Connelly Jr., and Paul William Muzkya operated a licensed secondhand store, Ace Amusements, in New Haven. They are alleged to have knowingly purchased stolen property from “boosters,” who typically were shoplifters with opioid addictions, federal authorities said. The boosters stole the goods from retail stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Kohl’s. Connelly and Muzkya then resold the stolen goods at Ace Amusements and online at websites such as eBay and Amazon, officials said. They also sold property to resellers, including William Reidell, who then resold the property online using online websites, according to federal authorities.

Andrew Sacco and Matthew Harwood knowingly purchased stolen property from boosters and then resold the property at online websites, including, eBay and Amazon, usually in the names of family members and associates, according to the indictment. They are alleged to have rented cars for boosters for trips to steal items for them, then meeting with the boosters to purchase the stolen property at various locations. [Source: Durham-Middlefield Patch]


4 arrested in Southwest Florida retail theft ring

Four people have been arrested in connection with a theft ring that spanned from Clearwater to Naples. Loinel Bolden, Quintin Everett, Darren Harrell, and Cedric Sanders allegedly worked in an organized group, having one as a lookout while the others put merchandise in Dillard’s shopping bags before leaving. During other thefts, one of them distracted employees while others placed store merchandise in bags.

Everett and Harrell allegedly committed 10 thefts, totaling more than $35,000 at Champs, Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret stores in west Florida counties, according to the investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Charolette County Sheriff’s Office. Sanders allegedly took part in seven of those thefts, taking more than $29,000 of merchandise and Bolden took part in at least two. In one theft of a Clearwater Macy’s, the defendants stole $8,000 in merchandise, according to the report from the Attorney General’s Communications Office.

Everett, Harrell and Sanders have been charged with grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft. Bolden, Everett and Harrell have been charged with coordinating activities of others to commit retail theft. [Source: The Herald Tribune]


LP Worldwide: Schoolgirls sentenced after kidnapping toddler from store

Two teenagers who kidnapped a toddler from a Primark store have been detained for three years and three months. The Newcastle Crown Court (United Kingdom) concluded that the girls, aged 13 and 14, took the two year old girl from her mother and serious harm to the child was foreseeable, and that the toddler was at risk of physical or sexual violence, and/or exploitation.

Both defendants had tried to claim that they abducted the two-year-old on April 13 from the store following pressure from a third party. The younger of the defendants claimed she had been groomed by an unknown man and swapped sexual messages on the chat site ooVoo, the court heard. But police found no evidence of anyone else being involved in the kidnap which resulted in the little girl coming to no harm.

Sarah Barlow, prosecuting, said the girls found their kidnap victim at 4pm. “They offered her sweets. That’s indicative of the level of planning, they had taken with them things likely to attract a child to them.” CCTV from the lift showed the girls looking anxious, indicating “they knew at that stage what they were doing was wrong”. CCTV also captured the moment the toddler walked out of Primark holding hands with the older girl. A police officer later tracked them down to a park in Gosforth and the girl was reunited with her mother two hours after a major search operation began.

An analysis of the younger girl’s tablet found that of 1,185 internet searches since she got the device for Christmas, 402 were of a pornographic nature. “The internet history shows hundreds of searches in relation to pornographic topics which include children having sex, rape, slavery and abduction,” the court said. Julie Clemitson, defending the younger girl, said her client had been sexually exploited, adding: “She is a damaged, vulnerable young girl.” [Source: Evening Standard]


Subway employees stole more than $6,000 from store

Two former Subway employees are accused of stealing more than $6,000 from their restaurants in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The thefts occurred in April, when a local store manager and a regional manager went to police believing the employees were stealing money. While reviewing the stores’ paperwork, one of the mangers discovered odd transactions. Between the two of them, they found an unusual number of “item correct” entries that had been made into the store register.

The manager reviewed surveillance video that corresponded with the “item correct” transactions that clearly showed the requested food items being placed at the register, the employee entering something into the register, the customer paying and taking the food away, then finally the “item correct” transaction being done that removed the order from the system, with the employee pocketing the cash.

When confronted with the evidence, Susan Laura Bender and Christopher Smith both “openly admitted” to the thefts, according to court documents. The two explained how they stole the money, which was the process the manager had seen in the surveillance video. The total loss in Smith’s case was $1258.55 with thefts dating back to March, according to court documents. The total loss in Bender’s case is $4,838.91 with thefts dating back to Nov. 2015. [Source: USA Today]


Convicted thief ordered to repay $150K

A former Circle K district manager was sentenced to five years of community control sanctions and ordered to make restitution after stealing more than $150,000 from the company over several years.

Donna F. Rexroad was a district manager for Circle K convenience stores. One of her duties was “to purchase stamps for sale at the Circle K stores. It would be her job to go to the post office with a money order, purchase stamps, and deliver those stamps to the store for sale. Although Rexroad purchased stamps from various post offices, an investigation by Circle K, the Findlay (Ohio) Police Department and U.S. Postal Service inspectors found the claimed purchase of stamps and receipts for stamps did not always match. Also, there were times that stamp receipts were not dated, indicating that Rexroad fabricated receipts.

“She would deposit these money orders in her personal checking account and purchase stamps for a significant amount less than the money order was printed for, and return those stamps to the store for sale,” prosecutors said. “She would then retain the difference.”

Assistant Hancock County Prosecutor Alex Treece said the theft exceeded $240,000, but the parties agreed on $150,000 in restitution, the amount that could be proven. Rexroad must pay an estimated $30,000 a year to Circle K. [Source: The Courier]


Ian Dill Named Vice President of Loss Prevention for BCBG Max Azria

Ian DillIan Dill has been named Vice President of Loss Prevention for BCBG Max Azria. Ian formerly served as Vice President of Asset Protection – Northeast and Southeast for The Sports Authority, after being promoted from Director of Asset Protection – Field Operations for the retailer. Ian also formerly served as a Loss Prevention Manager/Regional Investigator for Nike.

Congratulations Ian!

For more, look for the “People On the Move” in Wednesday’s newsletter.


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