Breaking News in the Industry: May 14, 2018

shoplifting penalties

Police officer caught on camera punching teen in the face [Viral Video]

On Friday afternoon, a Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, police officer was caught on camera punching a young black man in the face in the parking lot of the Mayfair Mall. The police officer arrived on the scene after a report of disorderly teens. And though the video, shot by Tyrone Jackson, only shows 45 seconds of the police’s interaction with the teens, it clearly shows an officer throwing several punches to the young man’s face while he was being held by a mall security guard. In an interview with WAFF, Jackson said he knew what the cops were doing was wrong. “If it was just a tussling, trying to get him down, okay that would be something different. But the punch to the face, twice, to a minor, it was something serious to me,” Jackson said. Jackson also said he noticed that mall security was following the teens and eventually a police officer showed up. “When the officer got out of the car I said ‘stop,’ and got in front of the young man, and next thing you know he’s like, ‘Let me go!’” And that’s when he said he started to film the incident. Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber issued this statement: “I can assure you that we take all situations seriously when they involve a use of force by our officers. We thoroughly review all incidents in which force is used by an officer and will do so in this incident, as well.”  On Saturday a chapter of the Black Panthers urged the firing of the police officer.   [Source: The Root]

Employee stole 4 TVs from South Jersey warehouse

Edward F. Fox, 27, of Beverly, New Jersey, is wanted by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office for failure to appear for a post-indictment arraignment on Dec. 8, 2017 on charges of burglary and theft. He is 5’10,” 140 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. Fox is accused of using his key as a former employee to get into the Great Railing firm warehouse on the Black Horse Pike in Monroe Township on July 10, 2017, police said. He stole four flat-screen TVs and fled, police said. He was arrested the following day.  He was indicted by a Gloucester County grand jury on one count of third-degree burglary and one count of third-degree theft by unlawful taking. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the defendant should not attempt to apprehend him. Instead, contact the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-384-5646 or e-mail the GCPO.    [Source: Moorestown Patch]

Asset protection associate charged with using ‘excessive force’ on alleged shoplifter [Viral Video]

An alleged shoplifter and a Century 21 employee in New York City were charged after an altercation between security and the alleged shoplifter Friday night, authorities said.

 Eyewitness video from the incident shows 24-year-old Acosta Wilson, a security officer at the Century 21 in Lower Manhattan, using “excessive force” while subduing an alleged shoplifter, 19-year-old Victor Roberson, police said. At one point, the video shows security personnel striking Roberson in the face with a closed fist.

”I can’t breathe,” Roberson can be heard repeating in the video.

Brian Fraser, a witness who recorded the encounter, said he watched Roberson get tackled and thrown to the ground.

”They were in fact kind of choking him. At this point, he’s on the ground. He starts to scream, ‘I can’t breathe I can’t breathe,'” he said. “Spitting or not, there’s no justification for you to tackle a man and decide to punch him,” he said.

Before the confrontation, Roberson had reportedly triggered a theft detection device while making his way out of the rear door of the Cortlandt Street location, and police said two pairs of stolen Prada shoes, valued at $850, were stuffed into his backpack.

 When police arrived on the scene around 8:45 p.m., Roberson was being detained by asset protection personnel at the location. While placing Roberson in custody, police said the young man complained of neck and back pain. Bystanders also reported that Century 21 security used excessive force, and upon further review, Wilson was arrested and charged with assault.

Roberson was treated at a local hospital and released. He was charged with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. 

Century 21 Executive Director of Stores Larry Mentzer released a statement Saturday saying,

”We take this situation very seriously. The asset protection team member involved in the apprehension of the alleged shoplifter has been suspended pending an investigation. We will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”   [Source: ABC7, Eyewitness News]

Woman stole fruit; ran over LP associate

A Peterson, Minnesota, woman under the influence of cocaine was arrested Thursday after she allegedly shoplifted from a Winona grocery store and ran over an employee who attempted to confront her in the parking lot. Jenna Rebecca Guenther, 45, is charged with second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, theft and gross misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. According to police, Guenther slipped out the doors of Rochester Wholesale Fruit without paying for her items late Thursday morning. A female LP associate followed Guenther to the parking lot and stood in front of her vehicle. That, officers and witnesses say, is when Guenther attempted to drive off, striking the employee. Officers soon reached the scene and took Guenther into custody. While searching her purse, they found a small case containing a rocky substance. Guenther tested positive for cocaine during a field test. Police did not have a medical update on the employee, 26, but said she appeared to be OK after the incident.  [Source: Winona Daily News]

Man charged in rash of store thefts

A Wisconsin man is suspected in a string of thefts and attempted thefts at stores in St. Peter and Henderson. Cory Jay Rosillo, 47, of Osceola, Wisconsin, is facing felony burglary and theft charges filed in Nicollet County Friday after he allegedly broke into the office at the Family Fresh grocery store in St. Peter on April 22. He stole over $20,000 cash from an open safe, as well as more than $5,000 in checks and over $600 worth of stamps, according to a criminal complaint. Rosillo also is facing a felony attempted theft charge filed Monday in Nicollet County District Court for allegedly stealing money from a tip jar and attempting to get into the registers at La Mexicana Market in St. Peter on May 1. He also was charged with gross misdemeanor attempted theft Monday for allegedly attempting to access a register at the Traverse des Sioux Garden Center in St. Peter on May 1. Rosillo also was cited for misdemeanor theft last week in Sibley County. He allegedly stole cash from the register and a tip jar at Toody’s Sweet Treats and merchandise from First Choice Pharmacy in Henderson on May 1.   [Source: The Free Press]

Hasbro sends cops Play-Doh after product helps catch shoplifter

A follow up to this month’s popular feature, You Can’t Make This Stuff up:  Rhode Island-based toy company Hasbro sent a supply of its iconic Play-Doh to the Leicester Police Department this week after officers said the product helped catch a shoplifting suspect. Hasbro shipped several boxes of Play-Doh to the police department with a note lauding the department for finding a use for Play-Doh that the company had not come up with, The Telegram reported. The police department shared a picture of their Play-Doh haul on their Facebook page Wednesday. The thank you post read, “Today the LPD received a package from Hasbro filled with Play-Doh along with a nice note recognizing the work that LPD officers put into the Play-Doh fingerprint case. The Play-Doh will be used to put smiles on the faces of some children in our community. Very nice gesture by Hasbro!! Greatly appreciated!!”

Hasbro’s Play-Doh account on Facebook responded to the post, “It was our pleasure. Keep up the great work!” Chief James Hurley says the force appreciates the recognition and will send a thank-you note to Hasbro, according to The Telegram.  On December 11 Leicester police responded to Walmart after an employee found several anti-theft devices covered in Play-Doh in an attempt to silence them. Police said the suspect fled but left behind a fingerprint impression in the clay.  The Play-Doh evidence was sent out for analysis and police said it led to the arrest of 55-year-old Dennis Jackson. Jackson was charged with unlawful removal of an anti-theft device. Police say he faces arrest warrants in at least two other states.    [Source: WWLP22 News]

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