Breaking News in the Industry: December 4, 2017

Police make more than 50 arrests in shoplifting blitz

Louisville Metro police, the Kentucky Organized Retail Crime Association and more than 15 retailers put together a joint task force to attack shoplifting at the Mall St. Matthews, Oxmoor Mall and Springhurst Shopping Center around this time each year. The three-day sting led to more than 50 arrests and more could come. Police said they found $12,000 worth of drugs on different suspects and even recovered one stolen car. The blitz targeted shoplifters at retailers including Walmart, Macy’s and Toys R Us. Store loss prevention associates patrolled aisles in plainclothes, looking for shoplifters. They texted police officers waiting outside, who intercepted the suspects as they left. “We saw everything from a $200 nailgun from Lowe’s taken to people under-ringing beer at Kroger, where they would ring in the beer at the self checkout, but they wouldn’t ring in all the items. So, we just saw everything running the gamut. There is not one item, it’s kind of been amazing,” Louisville Metro police Maj. Jamey Schwab said.  [Source: WLKY News]

Good Samaritan injured while apprehending shoplifting suspect

A struggle with a shoplifting suspect Saturday night at a southeast Las Vegas valley shopping center led to the suspect and Good Samaritan suffering injuries. The incident occurred at the Walmart SuperCenter, according to Lt. Brian Cole of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The suspect took some small items and then was chased by loss prevention and citizens. During the struggle, the suspect stabbed a citizen in the leg, causing superficial injuries. The suspect then lost consciousness for a spell. The suspect was transported to St. Rose Dominican Hospital–Siena Campus and is in stable condition. The Good Samaritan who was wounded took himself to a local medical facility.  [Source: News3 Las Vegas]

Russian involved in massive debit card hack sentenced in US to 14 years in prison

Russian cybercriminal who officials say helped hackers get fraudulent access to millions of debit card numbers and steal millions of dollars was sentenced this week in Atlanta to spend 14 years in prison — a sentence that will be served simultaneously with a 27-year term he was already serving. Roman Seleznev, 33, coordinated with hackers to infiltrate an Atlanta-based company that processed credit and debit card transactions for financial institutions, the U.S. attorney’s office said Friday in a news release. They accessed 45.5 million debit card numbers and used some of them to withdraw $9.4 million from 2,100 ATMs in 280 cities around the world in a period of less than 12 hours in November 2008, prosecutors said. Cybercriminals use aliases to operate anonymously on the dark web, parts of the internet reached using special software. Seleznev was known by the screen names Track2, Bulba and Ncux, prosecutors said.

Seleznev pleaded guilty Sept. 7 to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud in Georgia. U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones on Thursday sentenced him to serve 14 years. Jones also sentenced Seleznev to serve 14 years on a separate federal charge of participation in a racketeering enterprise out of Nevada. He is also ordered to pay restitution of more than $50 million in the Nevada case and more than $2 million in the Georgia case. The two 14-year sentences are to be served at the same time as a 27-year sentence that Seleznev received in April in Washington state after a conviction last year. U.S. Secret Service agents arrested Seleznev with the help of local police in the Maldives in 2014 as he and his girlfriend arrived at an airport on their way back to Russia. The agents flew him to Guam, where he made his first court appearance, and then to Seattle, where he was placed in federal custody.  [Source: Los Angeles Times]

Arizona officers hold fundraiser to help theft victim

An act of kindness by an Arizona police department is going viral just in time for the holiday season. The Glendale Police Department reports that last week an officer took a report from a woman who had left money she’d withdrawn to pay bills on a Walgreens counter and it was later stolen. The woman left an envelope with $160 to pay her electric bill in the store. When she realized it was gone, she went back to the store, but the money was nowhere to be found. Surveillance from the store shows a suspect purchase some beer and then leave with the rest of the woman’s cash.

After taking the report, two officers decided they wanted to help the woman. One of the officers put out a call to other officers in the station to try to help the woman recoup her $160. The department stepped up and raised $1,000 for the woman.  As a show of unity, the two officer who organized the fundraiser, Officer Bill Downey and Officer Wes Zygmont, along with a few other people who helped raise money. met the woman at the Walgreens and presented her with an envelope of money. The woman’s reaction to the kind gesture was caught on camera and posted on the department’s Facebook page on Friday.  [Source: KHQ News]

Five charged with robbing store; pepper spraying employee

Five people are being charged with robbery by assault after one of them squirted an employee with pepper spray as they stole nearly $3,000 in clothing from the Victoria’s Secret Pink store in the Domain shopping center in Austin, Texas, according to an arrest affidavit. Police received a call about a robbery at the store, where they spoke with two employees, one of whom could not force her eyes open because of the pepper spray, according to the affidavit. The workers said that four people walked into the store and began putting a large number of items into shopping bags, according to the court document. One store employee told police she recognized one of the women from a previous theft at the store. The other employee told officers she went to the front of the store and stood by a window, near a table where three of the suspects had gathered, the document says.

A man who was with the group at the table then pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the employee in the face, and the robbers all fled from the store, the affidavit says. Less than two hours later, police found a group of people matching the description provided by the store employees at a Chick-fil-A about 10 miles from the scene of the robbery, according to the document. All were arrested without incident. Police identified the robbers as Diavian Curry, 17, Levi Cleophus Shaw III, 22, Tresor Monet Latin, 18, and Dwona Dnae Murphy, 20. Police also arrested Tunsia Ann Young, 22, who drove the getaway car, the affidavit says. Young and Curry are currently at Travis County jail with Young’s bond set at $20,000 and Curry’s bond set at $15,000, as of Saturday. Shaw is also at Travis County jail without a bond set. Jail records indicate Latin and Murphy were no longer in custody Saturday evening.  [Source: Austin Statesman]

Clerk fires gun at armed robber in convenience store theft

An armed robber and two companions escaped gunfire in a convenience store theft early Wednesday in Monroe County, Georgia. Just after 1 a.m., three men entered the BP gas station at 1334 Rumble Road, according to a sheriff’s office news release. As the clerk was stocking a drink cooler, one of the men went behind the counter and took money from the cash drawer. The store employee confronted the robber, who pulled a gun, the release stated. The attendant, who also had a gun, fired a shot but did not hit anyone as the men left in a dark-colored pickup truck headed toward Interstate 75. Anyone with information about the armed robbery and the suspects is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 478-994-7043.  [Source: The Telegraph]

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