Breaking News in the Industry: December 6, 2017

Update: Shoplifting incident ends in the death of politician’s nephew

In our Monday edition of LP Insider, we brought you the story of Jonathan Maldenardo, the nephew of a Yonkers, New York, politician, who had died during a shoplifting stop. Here is an update about the incident. The fatal encounter between Greenburgh police and the 21-year-old Yonkers man accused of shoplifting was caught on police body and dashboard cameras, said an attorney for the man’s family. Attorney Randolph McLaughlin said eyewitness accounts have already provided “a pretty chilling account” of Jonathan Maldonado’s death Wednesday after he was chased and tackled by employees from Best Buy on Central Park Avenue, and then Tased by police. McLaughlin said he now hopes those accounts and police videos will help the New York State Attorney General’s Office, which took over the investigation, piece together Maldonado’s final moments.

“Today we have more questions than we have answers,” McLaughlin said. “But at the end of the day, this family, through the efforts of the Attorney General’s Office and through our efforts, will have answers as to why their son was treated the way he was treated, and why he died on that cold street in the late hours of that day.” Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney said in a statement “we have confidence that the New York State Attorney General’s Office will conduct an independent, comprehensive and fair investigation into the tragic death of Jonathan Maldonado. We are encouraging anyone that witnessed the incident to contact the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.”  [Source: lohud]

Florida man sentenced to over 3 years for credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft

United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Yaisder Herrera Gargallo, 24, of Miami, Florida, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Nancy Torresen to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty on June 19, 2017. Court records show that between about November 2015 and June 2016, the defendant and others used stolen credit and debit card numbers to purchase merchandise. In June 2016, as part of the conspiracy, the defendant and others traveled to Maine. On June 14, 2016, the defendant purchased over $400 worth of merchandise at a Portland Walgreens using a stolen card number belonging to a victim from New Gloucester, Maine.

The next day, after the defendant made another fraudulent purchase using a different card number at another Portland Walgreens, store personnel notified the police and provided a license plate number. On June 18, 2016, a Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped the vehicle in which the defendant and three other men were traveling. The stop led to their arrest and the discovery of merchandise, numerous fraudulent credit cards and a laptop computer. The laptop computer was later found to contain credit card numbers and related data, including the stolen card number the defendant had used to make the fraudulent purchase on June 14, 2016. The defendant’s three co-defendants—Jose Castillo Febles, Juan Carlos Febles and Meylisi Rueda—have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. The case was investigated by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, the Portland Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service.  [Source: Department of Justice]

One of the season’s most popular toys targeted in holiday heist

Almost 12,000 kids will be disappointed this holiday season, because real-life Grinches stole an entire trailer full of one of this year’s hottest toys, the Laser X double set. In a heist pulled off with the master planning and finesse of an Ocean’s Eleven movie, burglars circumvented the security system in a Washington warehouse and hauled off a stolen tractor and an entire trailer filled with almost 6000 sets of Laser X, bound for Immediate Shipment to stores all over the country. “There’s a Grinch out there who just stole one of the most sought after presents from thousands of kids this holiday season,” said Frank Landi, the owner of New York City-based NSI International, Inc., the makers of Laser X. “Police believe the thieves were targeting this one specific shipping container, out of hundreds, hoping to capitalize on the toy’s huge popularity and turn a quick profit. Unfortunately, that’s the dark side of having one of this season’s hottest toys.”  Laser X has become a global phenomenon, he said, with fans from the U.S., Canada and Brazil to Spain, Singapore, Hungary and Turkey making hundreds of YouTube videos featuring the toy, videos that already have more than 22 million views.  [Source: PR Newswire]

“Grinch” thief takes impersonation too far [Viral Video]

Police in Houston, Texas are warning residents to beware “The Grinch” this holiday season. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, in partnership with retailers throughout the Houston area, released surveillance video Monday of a wanted subject dubbed “The Grinch.” The suspect is described only as a green-faced individual wearing a Santa hat, Santa shirt and green tights. He has been described as having furry hands and feet. The Grinch has been spotted at retailers throughout the Houston are committing burglaries from vehicles, thefts at gas stations and other holiday-spirit stealing acts of crime. HPD warns prevention and avoidance is the key to not falling victim to the Grinch. This suspect was first identified by a retailer’s group in Houston called the GHLPA or the Greater Houston Loss Prevention Alliance. During the holiday season, stores have reported an increase in the number of thefts reported by their customers. [Source: NBC2 News]

Forever 21 employee is suing for $2 million over camera placement

A former Forever 21 employee is suing the company for at least $2million claiming that the retailer failed to prevent a hidden camera from being planted inside a restroom at a Rhode Island store. The employee, who is only identified as Jane Doe in the complaint that was filed in a New York federal court on Tuesday, claims that video of her using the private single employee restroom at the Providence store has ended up on “multiple pornographic web site platforms,” Women’s Wear Daily reported. The woman claims the incident happened when she worked for the company in 2011. She claims that the video footage online is how she became aware that there were cameras inside the restroom.  It’s unclear if the company was ever made aware of the cameras, but the woman is alleging that they are fully liable and is accusing Forever 21 of  “negligently, recklessly and wantonly allowing a person(s), whose identity is unknown to the plaintiff, to enter the employee locker room and the employee restroom, located in the store.”

The victim said in her lawsuit that the retail chain “did not equip the employee locker room with any security system/security features to capture or keep a record of non-store employees and/or unauthorized persons entering into the area designated as the employee locker room of the employee restroom.”   In addition, the woman claimed that the appearance of the video online “has caused, and will continue to cause, great emotional distress and embarrassment to plaintiff.” She also alleged that as a result of the video, she suffered “extreme emotional damages” and feels that receiving $2 million is an appropriate payout.  A Forever 21 spokesperson would not comment on the lawsuit, according to WWD. [Source: Daily Mail]

Restaurant accuses former employee of theft

A former Subway employee has agreed to pay nearly $8,000 to the sandwich chain.  Local resident Marquetta Smalls, who formerly worked at Subway in Milledgeville, Georgia, is responsible for the sum after being accused of pocketing cash from the store’s bank deposits. Milledgeville Police Officer Carla Redding was dispatched to the Subway store in reference to a theft. There, Redding met with restaurant manager Helen Douglas, who believed Smalls had been stealing money from the store’s cash deposit bags for several weeks.  Douglas said the restaurant’s staff had discovered money missing from their deposits more than two weeks before, and had reached an agreement with Smalls for repayment of the missing funds at that time.

Earlier in the day of the 29th, Douglas was reviewing the store’s bank records when she found several missing deposits not included in the original agreement.  The records listed four deposits from October and November that had not been delivered to the restaurant’s bank, totaling nearly $2,200. In addition to the deposits, Douglas said Smalls had also made roughly 50 sandwiches on her last day of employment and had not reimbursed the store for the food. She said the store’s franchisee had amended his agreement with Smalls to include the newly discovered sum, and did not wish to press charges on the former employee. Redding advised Douglas to compile paperwork showing the days Smalls had apparently stolen the deposits, as well as confirmation from the store’s bank that no deposits had been made on the relevant days. The store is seeking a total of $7,913.43 for the missing deposits.  [Source: Union-Recorder]

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