Breaking News in the Industry: April 16, 2018

Police seize $700,000 in feces-infected counterfeit cosmetics

Kim Kardashian West said it best: “SO GROSS!” That’s what the reality TV star Tweeted Friday after Los Angeles police announced they had seized $700,000 in counterfeit cosmetics in a raid, including makeup that tested positive for high levels of bacteria and human feces. The department’s piracy unit raided 21 targets in the city’s downtown Fashion District on Thursday, police said. The raid led to six arrests on trademark violation charges. Police also issued cease and desist orders to more than a dozen businesses. The raid was conducted with help from the FBI following complaints about makeup triggering skin problems, NBC Los Angeles reports. “Busted!” Los Angeles Police Captain Mark Reina said on Twitter, sharing pictures of the cosmetics police were after in the seizure. “The best price is not always the best deal!” Cosmetics seized included fake version of brands like Mac, Naked, Anastasia, Too Faced, Naked and Kylie —explaining West’s horrified Tweet. West wrote on Twitter that lip kits from her sister Kylie Jenner’s cosmetic imprint were among the trove of counterfeits. Detective Rick Ishitani told KTLA that, in addition to taking fake cosmetics off the street, the goal of the raid was to “educate the public of the health and safety concerns of purchasing counterfeit cosmetics.” West may have most succinctly captured the moral of the story, though. “Never buy counterfeit products!” she wrote on Twitter.  [Source: The Sacramento Bee]

Man in brawl at mall says he was wrongly accused of shoplifting [Viral Video]

A man at the center of a brawl inside the Apple Store at Baybrook Mall in Houston, Texas,  said that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

 Julio Gonzalez told ABC13 the fight broke out over an Apple headset on Tuesday night.

”It’s just a misunderstanding,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just messed up that it happened.” Gonzalez said he placed a headset on top of his baby’s stroller as he pushed it inside the store.

He told us that he gave the stroller to his girlfriend when Apple called him up for his appointment and that she walked out, not realizing the headphones were on the stroller’s canopy.

That’s when the confrontation broke out.

”I’m like, ‘Hey, hey, hold up, this is a misunderstanding, I haven’t left the store, I’m inside,'” Gonzalez said.

 He claims a loss prevention associate in a red shirt grabbed the headphones with unnecessary force, slamming the box down through the canopy of the stroller, striking his son. Apple wouldn’t answer specific questions about what happened, but say the man in the red shirt who is seen in the video fighting with Gonzalez is not one of their loss prevention associates. Mall officials referred ABC13 to police. 

Neither Gonzalez nor his girlfriend were arrested for theft. However, his girlfriend was arrested for alleged possession of cocaine, which she says the alleged loss prevention associate found in her purse.

The couple is now asking if that search was legal or if her civil rights were violated.  [Source: ABC13 Eyewitness News]

Woman charged with endangering child, assaulting officer following theft

A woman is facing multiple charges, including assaulting an officer and endangering a child, after trying to steal from a Kohl’s in Overland Park, Kansas. According to the police, Danielle Wilson was trying to steal $830 worth of clothes from Kohl’s when loss prevention spotted her and called the police. An officer arrived as the 25-year-old was getting into her car with the stolen items and he tried to block her from behind, but she reversed anyway and smashed into him and a minivan. She had a 2-year-old child with her, and there was also another woman with her… No one was hurt. Wilson was taken into custody has already been charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, endangering a child, two counts of criminal damage, and theft. One of the counts of criminal damage is related to the police vehicle, but the other is related to damage that was done to the 2014 Toyota minivan.“We do see this a lot in Overland Park,” said John Lacy with the Overland Park Police Department. “Sometimes they’ll bring a child with them to distract the loss prevention associate but, in this case, the loss prevention associate was watching these two ladies and they were stealing items and things of that sort, and when he started chasing after them, they just picked up the child and then started running.”  Wilson was being held in the Johnson County jail on a $25,000 bond but has since bonded out.A woman is facing multiple charges, including assaulting an officer and endangering a child, after trying to steal from a Kohl’s in Overland Park. [Source: KCTV5 News]

Jewelry store manager charged with stealing from employer

An Urbana, Illinois, woman who allegedly stole thousands of dollars from her employer was released from jail Friday after being charged with felony theft. Diamond Smith, 24 was charged Friday with the theft of $4,319 from the Rogers & Hollands Jewelers store at Market Place Mall, where she was a manager. Champaign police arrested her there Thursday. The charge alleges Smith took cash home from the business. She told police she intended to deposit it in the bank the next day. However, store officials could find no record of a deposit for the Feb. 14 business receipts. Assistant State’s Attorney Will Lynch said Smith told Champaign police that she was sure she deposited the money on Feb. 15 and that the bank must not have made a proper record of the transaction. Judge John Kennedy allowed Smith to be released on her own recognizance and set her next court date for April 27 to give her time to hire her own attorney. If convicted of the theft, she faces penalties ranging from probation to two to five years in prison.   [Source: The Daily Gazette]

Shoplifters led police on chase through traffic

Two shoplifters led police on a chase that criss-crossed Connecticut Avenue several times Thursday afternoon before one of them was taken into custody and found with stolen items tucked into a girdle, police said. Diego Salamanca-Garzon, 32, of Queens, N.Y. was charged with interfering with an officer, fifth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fifth-degree larceny, third-degree criminal mischief and illegal use of a highway by a pedestrian. Around 2 p.m. an officer who was monitoring Connecticut Avenue traffic observed two men run across the road without any apparent regard for traffic, instead looking over their shoulders. The officer activated lights and sirens and attempted to stop the men as they ran toward the entrance of Stop & Shop. Upon seeing the officer, police said the men changed direction and ran back across Connecticut Avenue through traffic toward ShopRite. The officer called dispatch to request additional officers and drove back across the road. The officer was stopped by a loss prevention associate at TJ Maxx, who pointed in the direction of the two men. The TJ Maxx LP associate told police the men were observed using a security tag removal tool to take off tags before putting allegedly-stolen items of clothing under their own clothes. Police said the pair also placed the security tags on other items of clothing, thus damaging them. Police said the men dropped the stolen items in the ShopRite parking lot during the chase. The officer caught up to Salamanca-Garzon in the parking lot. Police said he ignored commands to stop before he was tackled and brought to the ground by the officer. Police said the pair was working as a team. They were observed by employees and on video communicating with one another via Bluetooth devices and cell phones and helping one another stash the clothing. The second suspect was not located. Police said they are reviewing clear video images of the man. Salamanca-Garzon’s cell phone was confiscated as evidence. The total amount of items recovered from the parking lot was $591.82. Eleven other articles of clothing were damaged totaling nearly $100. While at headquarters, police said they recovered five additional items totaling $98 tucked inside a woman’s girdle that Salamanca-Garzon was wearing.  [Source: The Hour]

Mattel closes New York office after Toys R Us liquidation

Mattel’s financial health rating (FHR) tanked in 2017, dropping from 65 to 27 year over year, suggesting an over-reliance on Toys R Us (whose woes came to a head in 2017). Regardless, the toy maker’s struggle warns other companies against single sourcing or become too codependent on certain links in the supply chain. According to RapidRatings‘ analysis, Mattel poses a high risk of default in the next few years. Granted, the toy maker is trying to get back on track — hence the $650 million cost savings plan. Mattel CFO Joe Euteneuer said in February the plan will be implemented “primarily through process simplification and the optimization of SG&A, cost of goods sold and advertising, while the larger more structural changes like our manufacturing footprint and investment in IP will drive most of the remaining savings in 2019.” Closing the New York office is likely part of “process simplification,” but such vague statements leave Mattel open to pull all kinds of punches without its customers really knowing what to expect. As RapidRatings report notes, Mattel’s net profitability and operating profitability are very poor and its cash flow was negative in 2017, so maybe shuttering offices and slimming operations is what the toy maker needs to do to stay afloat.  [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

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