Breaking News in the Industry: August 14, 2017

Cop who pled guilty to shoplifting gets probation

An 18-year veteran of the Belleville, New Jersey, Police Department, who pled guilty to shoplifting earlier this year, has been sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution to a local liquor store. But the former police officer, Wanda Posada, 50, will not be barred from future employment by the State of New Jersey, something the prosecution had initially sought. “I did not find that this offense touched on her public office,” Superior Court Judge Martin Cronin said during the Wednesday hearing in Newark. “But this court did find that she was a police officer at the time, and she was duty bound to serve.”

The available evidence, which includes security video without accompanying audio, is not reliable enough to justify barring Posada from future public employment, Cronin determined. Without audio to go with the security footage of a brief exchange with a store clerk, and without testimony to support the police report, Cronin said he could not rule the shoplifting pertained to her duties as a police officer. “The finding would have to be based solely on the reliability of the video and the reliability of the report,” Cronin said. Assistant Prosecutor Matthew E. Hanley had argued that New Jersey requires forfeiture of public office in the event of a criminal conviction. “In my wildest dreams, I didn’t dream that forfeiture would not be granted,” Hanley said. Posada’s attorney, Robert J. Brass, asked that the judge sentence Posada only to the minimum. “It was a $50 bottle of liquor,” Brass said. “There was not a threat of violence, obviously.” Posada is not likely to re-offend, he told the judge. “The defendant, since then, has suffered the loss of her job as a police officer,” Brass said. “She has been going through a lot of anguish, grief and embarrassment over what she did.” Posada, who has two children and is caring for a sick mother, has been embarrassed by the public scrutiny resulting from the incident, maintained Brass. “She has obviously learned a lesson here that no sentence a court could hand out [would teach],” he said. Standing and speaking to the judge, Posada expressed remorse. “I am sorry about everything that has happened … It’s been very difficult, and I would like to just get back to my normal life,” Posada said. Posada had pleaded guilty to the December, 31, 2015 shoplifting at the White Oak Liquor Shop.  [Source: The Herald-North Jersey]

Ohio women arrested after bystander intervenes in mall theft

Police arrested two Youngstown, Ohio, women in a shoplifting incident after a witness intervened to help recover the stolen merchandise, according to a police report. According to the report, officers responded to a bus stop at Southern Park Mall about 6:30 PM Tuesday in reference to two women fighting. There, a woman told police she had been shopping in Sears when she saw two women put merchandise into a backpack and then leave the store. The woman told police she informed a store employee about the theft, but the employee said they couldn’t do anything because the suspects already had left the store.  When the witness saw the two women in the store a second time, filling more bags with merchandise, she followed them out of the store to a bus stop, she told police. She said she confronted them when they attempted to get on the bus with the stolen items.

One of the women, later identified as Tiesha Howell, 22, of Ferndale Avenue, threatened the witness and the two got into a scuffle, according to the report. Police arrived and arrested Howell on a robbery charge. They arrested the other suspect, Breiash Floyd, 20, also of Ferndale, on charges of obstructing official business, resisting arrest and theft. All the merchandise, the value of which was estimated at nearly $1,500, was returned to Sears, according to the report. Mahoning County court records indicate that Howell has a previous conviction for disorderly conduct, and Floyd has previous convictions for disorderly conduct/failure to desist and theft. [Source: The Vindicator]

Employee arrested after allegedly giving away goods to victim of car crash to repay debt

Two women got in a fender-bender last year, and neither had insurance. That’s what Springfield, Oregon police say led to more than $36,000 worth of theft from the Big Lots on 58th and Main streets to pay for the damage to one woman’s car. Robin Michelle Lagergren, 50, was arrested Thursday afternoon on one felony count of organized retail theft. Five other people may be arrested in connection with the case, police said. According to Springfield police officer Mike Massey, Lagergren had been involved in a car crash with another woman, who police are not naming until potential charges are filed.

Because both Lagergren and the woman didn’t have insurance, they made a deal, Massey said, plotting to use Lagergren’s job as a checker at Big Lots to repay the debt of $500. The agreement meant that the victim of the car crash could go into Big Lots and “purchase” more than $500 worth of merchandise, but that Lagergren would void all but one of the items, allowing the crash victim to walk out of the store with $500 worth of items for the price of one item. This occurred a couple of times, Massey said, until the debt was repaid. However, the crash victim did not want to stop and allegedly threatened or convinced Lagergren that if she didn’t continue to honor their agreement, the crash victim would turn Lagergren into police and to the store’s manager. This blackmailing system, Massey said, continued for a year and included the crash victim allowing a couple of acquaintances to get merchandise in the same manner, under the threat of turning Lager­gren in if she didn’t comply. “The only reason (Lagergren) got caught was that she got a little too excited on her scanner and voided more items that she had originally scanned,” Massey said. “That put up a red flag in their computer systems.” The store’s security put together a very good case, Massey said, and just after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the store’s assistant manager called Springfield police. Lagergren was described by the manager as being cooperative. She was pulled into an office with store security until police arrived. She was then arrested. [Source: The Register Guard]

Wyoming man assaults a Police Officer after shoplifting beer

John Brown, a 46-Year-Old Man from Riverton, was arrested for Shoplifting, Possession of Marijuana, Resisting Arrest, and Assault on a Police Officer after stealing some items from Walmart Supercenter in Riverton, Wyoming, and engaging in a physical altercation with Officers in the parking lot At 3:32 PM on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, Riverton Police Department received a call from WalMart Supercenter stating that Brown had walked into the liquor store, grabbed a bottle of beer and a can of beer and then walked out of the liquor store. Brown reportedly began drinking the alcoholic beverages inside the store, prompting employees to tell him that he needed to go back to the liquor store and pay for the items. The man then grabbed a knife off of the shelf, put it in his pants and continued drinking while walking toward the door.

Officers arrived on scene and found Brown walking outside of the store near the garden center exit where they began talking to him. Brown refused to acknowledge the officers and continued walking and drinking the alcoholic beverages. Another officer arrived on the scene and pulled his car in front of Brown when he stopped walking and began yelling obscenities at the officers. One officer managed to get the beer out of his hand while another attempted to restrain Brown so that officers could find the knife that he had allegedly stolen from the store. Brown broke free from the officer’s control and began demanding that the officers shoot him or tase him. Officers obliged and deployed a Taser gun on Brown, which had minimal effect. When officers made contact with Brown he responded by punching an officer in the face. deployed a third taser gun, which was not successful. Officers managed to eventually restrain the man and get him into handcuffs. Brown continued resisting even after officers put him in the patrol vehicle.  [Source: County10 News]

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HBO offered ‘bounty’ to hackers who leaked Game of Thrones

HBO offered a reward of $250,000 in response to a data breach at the television group that produces “Game of Thrones,” according to a report from a leaked memo. The report by Variety on Thursday said HBO offered the payment as a “bug bounty,” which is offered by companies to discover vulnerabilities in their computer networks. The offer apparently failed to satisfy the attackers who have demanded a ransom of millions of dollars and are threatening to release more files from what is claimed to be a massive data breach.

HBO, a unit of the media group Time Warner, did not respond to a query about the Variety report. Earlier this week, a video circulating online authored by someone identified only as “Mr. Smith” said the hackers had videos, scripts, personnel files and other sensitive data from the breach. The hackers demanded “six month salary,” which, according to the video, would be more than $6 million. Last week the hacker group leaked one script of “Games of Thrones” and content from other HBO productions. HBO has said it was working with forensic experts and law enforcement in response to the attack.  [Source: SAMAA TV News]

Thieves drive stolen Jeep into front of jewelry store [Video]

Jewel thieves used a stolen Jeep as a battering ram to break through the front of a jewelry store in Longmont, Colorado, in a brazen heist earlier this week captured on security video. At about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, a person drove a red Jeep Cherokee through the barricaded front doors of The Gold Market. A surveillance video shows the Jeep crashing through the front of the store and coming to rest in the entryway before two other people enter the store through the broken doors. Longmont police said the thieves proceeded to break into the display cases in the store and steal jewelry before leaving the scene in a second car, a silver Jeep Cherokee. Police believe both Jeeps were stolen. The red one was reported stolen from Colorado Springs while the silver Jeep was reported stolen out of Mead and has the license plate 469-MQX. Anyone who has information on this case is asked to call Longmont police Detective Mark Deaton at 303-651-8517. [Source: Times-Call]

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