Breaking News in the Industry: January 12, 2018

Police arrest man accused of pointing gun at LP associates

A man accused of pointing a gun at loss prevention officers in a Kohl’s store on Monday was arrested Wednesday. Tulsa Police detectives said Christopher Casto, 32, was taken into custody and booked into the Tulsa Jail. Police said Casto was detained Monday by company officers at the store near 71st Street and Garnett Road on allegations that he was trying to steal a speaker. When they took him to an office, he pulled a gun, pointed it at the employees and fled, police said. A search of Casto’s vehicle revealed a small-caliber silver semi-automatic pistol that matched the description of the gun pointed at the employees, police reported. Casto was booked into the Tulsa Jail about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday. His bail was set at $44,000. [Source: Tulsa World]

Suspended 4-star offensive lineman withdrawing from Florida

Offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, one of nine Florida players suspended last summer for their involvement in credit card fraud, is withdrawing from the university, his mother confirmed. Telfort, a 4-star offensive tackle in the 2017 recruiting class, was an early enrollee last year and went through spring practice for the Gators before being suspended in August. “At this time, Kadeem is withdrawing from the University of Florida,” his mother Gerta Telfort said in a text message. “Kadeem and I will not be making any further comments until we deem it appropriate. Thank you for understanding.” Telfort’s mother did not say where he might be looking to transfer to continue his college football career. Seven of the nine Gators players facing recommended third-degree felony charges from the University of Florida Police Department for using stolen credit card information to make unauthorized purchases were offered pre-trial interventions that essentially amount to probation. If those players meet the requirements laid out by the State Attorney’s Office, the recommended felony charges would be dismissed. Telfort and defensive lineman Jordan Smith were not among that group as they faced too many recommended charges  — up to 30 in Telfort’s case for 13 counts of use of another person’s credit card without consent, 12 counts of fraud-illegal use of credit card, four counts of possession of a forged instrument and one count for fraud/obtaining property for under $20,000.  [Source: Statesman]

Deputies recover $10K in stolen items while investigating fraud

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee said deputies recovered a slew of items totally $10,000 while investigating credit card fraud. Detectives found the suspects were using a reshipping scam to move the stolen goods. The MCSO said the criminals would purchase the items with a stolen credit card and ship them to a third party, who would then reship them to a foreign address. Many times, the third part is unaware they are involved in a scheme, according to the MSCO. The MCSO said two common reshipping scams are work-at-home and sweetheart scams. In a sweetheart scam, criminals lurk on dating websites or social media to chat with people. Once they do, the criminal will ask them to help their business or family by shipping packages to foreign country or claim to be with a charity or mission and need help in delivering “donated” items to another part of the world. In a work-at-home scam criminals post job openings online offering work-at-home positions such as “merchandising manager” or “package processing assistant.” Responsibilities include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client, using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email. Officers said prosecuting these kinds of crimes if difficult. “Prosecution in reshipping scams is problematic because the location of the criminal is difficult to find and in many cases they are outside the country,” said Sandra Brandon, MCSO public information officer.  [Source: Fox 17 News]

Texas man admits he stole credit cards from children to fuel spending spree

A Houston man is facing prison time after admitting he stole children’s credit card numbers to bolster a wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a Justice Department news release. Amir Ali Bey, 35, pleaded guilty on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt to two counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the release from U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The identity fraud ran from July 27, 2016 to May 19, 2017 with the goal of acquiring obtain money, cars and other luxury items. Bey made fake credit profiles under several aliases, including the name Daniel Isaiah Murray, which he used to apply for new lines of credit, according to court documents. Bey intentionally took credit card numbers of minors because they were less likely to monitor their credit histories. He also used fake drivers’ licenses and pay stubs to and used rental mailboxes based on these fraudulent identifications, investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service said. Police found multiple fake IDs, credit cards and bank documents in a search of Bey’s apartment in May 2017 which they linked to the wire fraud scheme. [Source: Chron]

Maryland man is charged after Washington County deputy fires shot during shoplifting call

No one was injured Wednesday night when a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy fired a shot at a Landover, Maryland, man after he allegedly tried to strike another deputy with his car during a shoplifting call at the Target store in Halfway, Maryland State Police said. Melson Shamel Perry, 26, was able to get away from authorities for a short time before he was arrested at a home on Bower Avenue near Hagerstown, according to a state police news release. Perry was charged with first-degree assault, theft of less than $1,500 and theft scheme of less than $1,500, according to court records. Troopers said in a news release that Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore requested the help of state police in conducting an investigation into an assault on a deputy during the attempted arrest of Perry. The incident involved a deputy firing a weapon. Investigators from the Maryland State Police homicide unit and criminal-enforcement division responded to the scene. Detectives were contacted late Wednesday afternoon by an employee at Target in the 17000 block of Cole Road in Halfway, according to the charging document filed by the sheriff’s office. An employee said a known theft-scheme suspect was in the store. The suspect, later identified as Perry, was known to enter Target stores, where he would return a previously purchased iPad for a refund or gift card, according to the state police news release. Instead of returning an iPad, he would return the resealed box with materials inside to simulate the weight of the device. In Wednesday’s incident, Perry is accused of purchasing an iPad at Target for $1,059.99 shortly after 4 p.m., the sheriff’s office charging document said.

Perry came back at about 5:30 p.m., returned the iPad box and was given $1,059.99 in cash before leaving the store, the sheriff’s office said. The object used to weight the box was a can of tuna fish, the document said. Two deputies — one in uniform and driving a marked patrol vehicle — arrived at the store shortly before 5:30 p.m. and waited in the parking lot, state police said. They were notified when Perry left after getting the refund. The deputy grabbed the door while ordering Perry to surrender, state police said. Instead of giving up, Perry drove directly at the deputy approaching the front of his car. Troopers said the deputy who had been at the driver’s-side door fired his pistol as the car headed toward the other deputy. The Dodge struck the patrol car and a privately owned vehicle as Perry drove between them and fled the parking lot, state police said. The Dodge was found abandoned with the registration plates removed.  Mullendore said the deputy who fired the shot would be placed on administrative leave, with pay, until an investigation into the incident is concluded. The name of the deputy wasn’t released. Noting that Perry already was on probation for another conviction and now was charged with a crime of violence, District Judge Mark D. Thomas on Thursday ordered that he remain held without bond. Perry has a pending criminal case in Virginia and theft and assault convictions in other states, the judge said during a bond-review hearing. [Source: HeraldMailMedia]

Revised shoplifting bill proposes stricter punishments

For three years, State Representative Randall Patterson has been working with south Mississippi police departments to come up with a bill to deter shoplifters. He introduced a bill last year that made it past the house, but failed in the senate. Patterson says he hopes this year will be different with the support of Senator Mike Seymour. “It’s just costing us a bunch of money in our small business arena, even the bigger retailers too,” said Seymour. That cost, according to Patterson, could be into the billions nationwide. Several retailers at the promenade in D’Iberville say shoplifting costs their stores thousands every year. They say that it’s usually the consumers who pay the price for those crimes. That’s something shopper Rhonda Gage isn’t OK with. “It’s not fair to us who are just average consumers out shopping for our families to have to pay higher prices because of somebody else’s mistake or wrong doing,” Gage said. Seymour believes the bill adds enough punishment to deter most people from stealing. “It has different phases,” he said. “Most of them deal with just the amount between a felony and a misdemeanor.” In the house version of the bill, first and second offenses would be misdemeanors punished by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. A third offense would be considered a felony with a $1,000 fine and possibly three years behind bars. The bill also says any offense with more than $500 in merchandise would be considered an automatic felony offense. James Harris of Gautier, believes it will have some effect, but doesn’t think it will do what law makers are hoping. “I think it’ll knock down the offenses quite a bit but, at the end of the day, the people that are shoplifting will still shoplift,” said Harris. Patterson and Seymour both know it will take some work in committee, but hope to see the bill pass this session. [Source: WLOX News]

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