Breaking News in the Industry: June 13, 2018

Teens try to steal $92K in jewelry

Police say two 17-year-old-boys in Clifton, New Jersey, were caught after they tried to steal $92,000 worth of jewelry from Costco. Officers arrived at the store at about 8:45 p.m. to find the Costco loss prevention team had the teens detained. 

Costco employees, police said, observed the boys acting suspiciously and ultimately trying to make off with a large quantity of jewelry.

When approached by store staff, the suspects fled and attempted to leave the store by way of an emergency exit. 

They were caught when they could not get the door open. Both were taken into custody and juvenile charges were filed on shoplifting charges. Police said that even with the large dollar value of goods involved, it is still a shoplifting charge.   [Source: NorthJersey.com]

Brothers accused of stealing $650 worth of energy drinks

Two Riverside, California, brothers were arrested for stealing $650 worth of 5-Hour Energy drinks from a Grand Terrace Walgreens store over the weekend, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said Tuesday. Jonathan Ortiz, 30, and Michael Ortiz, 29, were both booked into the Central Detention Center on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime and theft of retail property, according to sheriff’s officials. Both have since been cite-released, booking records indicate.

Deputy Brian Gapik was called to the Walgreens Drug Store on Barton Road and Mount Vernon Avenue Sunday, June 10, around 2:30 p.m. after two men loaded dozens of bottles of the energy drink into a car and ran out without paying, according to authorities. The men, later identified as the Ortiz brothers, left in a 1996 Chevrolet truck parked in the parking lot, according to a news release. After obtaining the truck’s license place number, Gapik and Riverside police officers went to the registered owner’s address, sheriff’s officials said. As they arrived, Riverside police officers noticed the truck driving in the area and pulled it over near Arlington Avenue and Copperlantern Drive. Authorities detained the brothers but the stolen items were not found, officials said.

Through an investigation, authorities determined the brothers were still wearing the same clothes they wore during the theft, a Sheriff’s Department statement said. The crime is still under investigation and authorities ask anyone with information to call the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 909-386-0969. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463), or can leave information on the WeTip Hotline by clicking here.   [Source: The Press-Enterprise]

Couple arrested for shoplifting scheme

Kaleb John Holden, 28, and Christine Faye Jaquez, 29, both of Kingman, were arrested in connection with two separate cases of shoplifting at Walmart on Stockton Hill Road. The first shoplifting occurred May 15 when Holden and Jaquez allegedly stole a laptop. The second shoplifting took place June 8 when store security saw Holden and Jaquez trying to return allegedly stolen merchandise for a refund. Holden and Jaquez were found sleeping inside of a car and arrested at about 6:50 a.m. Saturday. The laptop was recovered from a local pawn shop at which the two reportedly sold the item for cash. Police say they found heroin, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia upon contacting Holden and Jaquez. Police reported both admitted involvement in the offenses and were booked into the Mohave County Adult Detention Facility on felony charges of trafficking in stolen property, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of organized retail theft.   [Source: DailyMiner]

ORC: 2 accused of stealing $1,300 worth of baby formula

Two Port Angeles, Washington, residents allegedly stole more than $1,300 worth of infant formula from Safeway stores in Port Angeles and Sequim last week to sell at $8 a tub, Sequim police said. Kirsten M. Ivliyev, 25, and Jordan J. Pinheiro, 21, had their first court appearance Monday on charges of second-degree organized retail theft, a Class B felony in which a person, with an accomplice, has stolen at least $750 worth of goods from a store.
Ivliyev and Pinheiro allegedly stole $1,500 in merchandise, including the powdered formula, on Thursday. Ivliyev also was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, heroin, and with misdemeanor resisting arrest. She also was charged with gross misdemeanor-making a false statement to a public servant after she allegedly gave a false name to an arresting officer. Ivliyev and Pinheiro will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Clallam County Superior Court. Ivliyev said she took to formula from the Sequim Safeway on West Washington Street to pay for her rent.

“She apologized and told me that she was approached by someone who said if she got formula she would buy it from her,” officer Kindryn Leiter said in the arrest report.Ivliyev said she was “stealing the formula to sell it for $8 a tub,” according to the report. Ivliyev allegedly stole 18 containers of powdered formula worth $657 — an average of $36.50 each — and Seahawks bags, Seahawks yoga pants, Seahawks juniors and toothbrushes valued at $140, according to the report.

A store employee had said that Ivliyev was selecting the items from the store and putting them into re-usable shopping bags before she tried to leave. An loss prevention associate confronted her and she ran away. She was arrested after Leiter chased her during a brief foot pursuit, according to the report. The Sequim Safeway LP associate who reported the theft said a man had stolen more than $700 of baby formula from the downtown Port Angeles Safeway and, like Ivliyev, put it into reusable shopping bags before fleeing from the store. Pinheiro was later arrested by police in his Dodge Durango, where the formula was in a tote, according to the report. “Alcohol, laundry detergent and baby formula are things that are stolen in bulk in these types of shoplifting things,” Sequim Detective Sgt. Sean Madison said. Madison said advertisements for purchasing baby formula have been on eBay and Craigslist. One website Monday said selling unused baby formula is “the easiest way to get cash for your unused baby formula” and offered a free shipping kit.   [Source: Peninsula Daily News]

Woman sentenced for defrauding disabled Vets

United States District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich has sentenced Nejah Prince, 33, of Tampa, Florida, to four years and nine months in federal prison for credit card fraud and for filing false claims against the United States. As part of Prince’s sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $1,386.39, the proceeds of the fraud. Prince pleaded guilty on Feb, 16, 2017.

According to court documents, in February 2013, officers from the Tampa Police Department executed a search warrant at Prince’s home. During the search, they found copies of confidential patient medical records from the Department of Veterans Affairs, notebooks with the personal identifying information of at least 200 individuals, re-loadable debit cards and several tax returns.

Further investigation revealed that Prince had used the identity of one person whose name was on a VA medical record to open a credit account at Montgomery Ward. She then made $1,300 in purchases using that account. In addition, IRS agents discovered that many of the identities found during the search warrant had been used in the filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.

“Working together with our law enforcement partners, we have come a long way in the effort to eradicate identity theft from our community. Would-be identity thieves should not rest easy because we will not give up the fight,” said Special Agent in Charge Mary Hammond of IRS Criminal Investigation. “These crooks use stolen identities to defraud the government, but it is the untold devastation their actions inflict on the lives of their victims that drives our special agents to employ their unique financial expertise to tirelessly track down these criminals.” The IRS Criminal Investigation and the Tampa Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorneys Sara C. Sweeney and Jay L. Hoffer prosecuted it.   [Source: Tampa Patch]

Retailer accused of racial profiling after customer exposed controversial loss prevention tactic

Lowe’s is suspending its controversial receipt-checking protocol after a Philadelphia man exposed the racial profiling inherent in the process. Philadelphia’s WHYY radio station reported that in “high-theft” stores, employees of the nationwide home improvement chain were instructed to check customer’s receipts for proof of purchase. That tactic was at the center of a complaint publicized by black customer Will Mega, who found it odd that receipt-checkers stationed at exits went through all the items he purchased at a West Philadelphia Lowe’s when he’d paid for them mere feet away.

The protocol led Mega to conduct a social experiment: He went to a Lowe’s in Haverford, a Philly suburb about a mile from his home. Upon exit, he asked his cashier if he’d need to have his receipt checked, and she laughed him off. “We don’t do that here,” the Lowe’s employee reportedly told Mega. “This is the white ‘hood.” After video of the customer being asked for his receipt in West Philly was publicized by WHYY and a complaint was filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Lowe’s announced that it was suspending the process at all of its 1,800 stores until they could review the controversial loss prevention tactic.   [Source: Raw Story]

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