Breaking News in the Industry: May 16, 2018

Two suspects arrested for $160,000 fraudulent credit card purchases

The owners of a local Hermosa Beach, California, business discovered that multiple purchases of premium alcoholic beverages were purchased using fraudulent credit cards and identification several times throughout the course of last week. The owners filed a crime report with the Hermosa Beach Police Department (HBPD) in an attempt to locate the suspects and merchandise, estimating their loss to be in excess of $160,000, according to HBPD. HBPD Detectives investigated the incident, eventually finding the suspects’ identity and home addresses – they also found the suspects were previously involved in similar crimes, according to police. They served arrest and search warrants at multiple locations outside the City of Hermosa Beach, eventually recovering evidence of the fraud and arresting the two suspects, police said. The suspects were David Antione Miller of Covina, and Armando Maximilliano Del Real of Huntington Park. The suspects were booked at the HBPD jail without further incident, HBPD said. Additional victims or anyone with further information regarding the fraud is urged to email Detective Guy Dove or call 310.318.0348.   [Source: Hermosa Beach Patch]

Employee accused of embezzling $1,500 from retailer

In Oklahoma, a Collinsville woman has been arrested for embezzling money from an Owasso retail store where she worked. Around 3:45 p.m. Friday, officers were dispatched to Walmart off E. 96th St. in response to a report of an employee who had allegedly been embezzling money, according to the police report. It states loss prevention staff reported that they discovered employee Tabitha Rose Burr, 19, appeared to have taken cash from her register on 11 separate occasions dating back to April 16, 2018, for a total loss of $1,500. The store provided video from surveillance cameras, which showed Burr allegedly committing the thefts, the report shows.  [Source: Owasso Reporter]

Deputies arrest 10 in anti-theft sting at retail store

Ten people, including two juveniles who used a pregnancy test in a bathroom at the DeLand, Florida, Walmart Neighborhood Market, were arrested in an anti-theft sting at the business, sheriff’s officials said. The operation took place at the DeLand store in an effort to stem a wave of thefts plaguing it, authorities said. The Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Team was assisted by deputies from the agency’s District 4 and District 2, along with Walmart loss prevention associates. The operation was conducted at the Walmart Neighborhood Store at 955 South Woodland Blvd., which opened Jan. 17, Volusia Sheriff’s office documents show. People were arrested for stealing food, gift cards, shopping carts, lotions, pregnancy tests and milk, investigators said.

Two juveniles, one from DeLeon Springs and one from DeBary, both 17, took a two-pack pregnancy test from the shelf, went into the bathroom and used one. They walked out of the store with a second test in their purse, deputies said. Both juveniles were charged with petty theft, investigators said. This was the second anti-theft undercover operation in recent weeks, sheriff’s officials said. Back on April 21, a similar operation was conducted at the Walmart on the north end of DeLand, where eight arrests were made and more than $3,700 in stolen merchandise was recovered, investigators said.  [Source: News Journal]

Woman bites officer during shoplifting arrest

Two New Hampshire women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting in Nashua on Sunday, and police say one of the women bit a police officer while being detained. Dawn Russo, 42, of Rochester, and Amber Millette, 36, of Manchester, were arrested after officers responded to a shoplifting call at the Target store at the Pheasant Lane Mall. Officers learned that Russo had allegedly stolen two Dyson vacuum cleaners. When officers detained Russo, she pushed one of them and bit the second officer on the chest, according to police. Investigators also determined that Russo had allegedly stolen DeWalt power tools from Home Depot. Millette was arrested on scene for her alleged involvement in the thefts. Both women were due to be arraigned on May 14.   [Source: NBC10 Boston]

Chicago man, teen, charged in phone theft case

A man and a teenage boy from Chicago have been charged with retail theft and are accused of ripping six smartphones out of displays Thursday night at the AT&T store in Batavia, Illinois. Police said they were called at 6:41 p.m. after the two suspects asked employees of the store at 201 N. Randall Road about the phones, then took them, damaging the displays. They drove off in a maroon sport utility vehicle, police said. Witnesses saw someone throw parts of a display out of a vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 100 block of South Randall Road, police said. Kane County sheriff’s officers located a vehicle matching the description driving eastbound on Interstate 88. They chased it to Naperville Road, with speeds reaching 105 mph, police said. Lisle police later found two people in a wooded area and called Batavia police at 7:47 p.m. It was determined the two were the suspects in the retail theft, and they were arrested. Sharn Green Jr., 28, of the 1100 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, and the teen were charged with felony retail theft and misdemeanor criminal damage to property. Green appeared in court Friday morning and was being held in the Kane County jail. Bail was set at $15,000. The juvenile was being held at the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center.    [Source: Daily Herald]

NYPD tests new tool that detects credit card skimmers

Patrick Traynor, a cybersecurity expert, was in New York in February working with police to help identify a way to detect credit card skimmers on ATMs when he got a financial fraud alert: his own information had been stolen while he was in town. It wasn’t the first time. In five years he’d had his personal information stolen by credit card skimmers — devices illegally installed on ATMs and gas station pumps that “skim” consumer credit card numbers — a half-dozen times. “I’ve got 15 years of experience in the field of information security. If I can’t protect myself reliably, who else possibly can?” Traynor, a computer information science and engineering professor at University of Florida, said. After three years of study, Traynor and two graduate students invented a device they call the “Skim Reaper,” a credit-card thin gadget that slides into card reader slots and can quickly detect if an ATM or gas pump has been compromised. The New York Police Department is testing the Skim Reaper with some early success in its effort to rid the streets of the pervasive devices.

The Secret Service says skimmers steal more than a billion dollars from U.S. consumers annually; money that often funds organized crime. Here’s how it works. Most credit card skimmers work by installing an extra “read head” inside or outside a machine. This extra read head allows criminals to make a copy of the card’s information as a consumer swipes it. Skim Reaper was built to detect when more than one read head is present, Traynor said. The NYPD has four full-time, trained detectives tasked with finding credit card skimmers installed on ATMs at bodegas, but say the problem is too widespread to be stopped with those resources.    [Source: Akron Beacon Journal]

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