Breaking News in the Industry: November 10, 2017

Shoplifter Shoplifting and theft

Shoplifter sues retailer after LP associate stopped him

A Lubbock, Texas, man is suing Target for $10 million claiming a loss prevention associate assaulted him after authorities say he was caught shoplifting. Kelton Arthur claims in his lawsuit that he was tackled by a Target LP associate in July of 2016. The associate says Arthur was trying to steal a vacuum. The lawsuit claims the associate knocked down Arthur from behind, which caused his injuries. The LP associate then “attacked” Arthur as he was lying on the ground, the suit continued. A police report indicates Arthur stole merchandise from the store and tried to run away. The associate “placed his hands” on him to keep him from leaving but Arthur turned around and “bit him on the arm.”
According to the report, the suspect tried to “gouge” out the LP asssociate’s eyes but he was able to control the suspect until officers arrived. Neither needed to go to the hospital. The associate said his skills in Jiu Jitsu very well might have saved his life and prevented others from getting hurt. A grand jury indicted Arthur for robbery but in September of this year, Arthur pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of theft. He was sentenced to one day in jail. Target has not made comment on the suit.  [Source: KXAN News]

US cargo thefts up in volume, down in value in Q3 2017

The average loss value per incident in the third quarter fell 17 percent from the previous quarter to $117,137 amid a 24 percent increase in the number of theft incidents, according to data from Sensitech United Technologies. A total of 160 thefts of cargo occurred in the United States during the third quarter of the year, with 57 of the incidents occurring in July, 56 in August and 47 in September, according to a new analysis by Sensitech United Technologies, the firm formerly known as FreightWatch International.
   The average loss value per incident during the quarter fell 17 percent from second quarter 2017 to $117,137 amid a 24 percent increase volume. Compared to the same quarter in 2016, the figures represent a 4 percent increase in value and an 18 percent decrease in volume, according to Sensitech.  [Source: American Shipper]

Businessman convicted of credit card fraud and ID theft

The owner of American Auto Pros in Corpus Christi, Texas, has admitted he used numerous credit card accounts belonging to others in order to obtain things of value without authorization, announced Acting United States Attorney Abe Martinez. Antonio Arteaga, 38, of Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty to one count of credit card fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Arteaga was arrested Aug. 18, 2017, following an investigation into a series of fraudulent ATM withdrawals in Corpus Christi and surrounding areas. Many of the victims had been customers at Arteaga’s business, American Auto Pros. Authorities executed a search warrant at the business which led to the discovery of a credit card processing pad that was connected to a laptop computer in the office. This allowed Arteaga to illegally capture the account information and PIN numbers of credit and debit cards used there.

During a subsequent search of Arteaga’s home, law enforcement found a magnetic strip encoder that had been used to replace the information on the magnetic strip of gift cards with the compromised credit and debit card numbers. Agents also found numerous altered gift cards with the encoder at Arteaga’s house and additional gift cards illegally re-encoded with victim’s credit card information in Arteaga’s vehicle and wallet.  Agents determined that between Dec. 10, 2016, and Aug. 18, 2017, Arteaga unlawfully used the credit and debit card information of dozens of American Auto Pros customers to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars from his victims’ accounts. US District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos has set sentencing for Jan. 30, 2018. At that time, Arteaga faces up to 10 years in federal prison for the credit card fraud. For the aggravated identity theft, he will also be subject to a mandatory two years which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed. All charges also carry the potential of a $250,000 maximum fine.  [Source: Department of Justice]

Two enter into plea agreements in connection with their involvement in a credit card scheme

Darryl Hall pleaded guilty Monday in US District Court in Hammond to charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after entering into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The maximum penalty on the first charge is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The maximum penalty on the second charge is two years in prison and a $250,000 fine. According to the plea agreement, he is entitled to a reduction in his offense level for accepting responsibility. Hall’s sentencing is scheduled for March 26.

Jakiya Buford also has entered into a plea agreement in which she said she will plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The first charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine and the second charge a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a $250,000 charge. According to the plea agreement, she is also entitled to a reduction in offense level for accepting responsibility.  In Buford’s plea agreement, she acknowledged that between May and August 2015 she worked with Hall to make and use counterfeit credit cards to purchase goods. Hall admitted to purchasing unauthorized personal information, including names and credit card numbers, from a website and using the information to create counterfeit credit cards. The government contended in its indictment that the goods purchased were later sold at discounted prices. [Source: NWI Times]

Shoplifting suspect dragged police officer under car

In Bazetta Township, Ohio, a police officer reported being dragged under a vehicle while a shoplifting suspect was trying to get away from Walmart. The suspect was identified by police as 23-year-old Jay Walters. He’s being held in the Trumbull County Jail on felonious assault, resisting arrest and theft charges. Just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, the officer tried to stop Walters as he was leaving the store, according to police. The officer hit Walters with a taser, but Walters continued to drive away. Investigators tracked Walters to Garrettsville in Portage County, where he was arrested. The vehicle, which belonged to his mother, was returned to her. [Source: WKBN27 First News]

LP Worldwide: ORC Alleged LCBO Booze Thief

“These bottles are being sold somewhere else,” said Constable Naresh Dabas from the district response unit which is focusing on retail crime as Halton, Ontario, Canada police are cracking down on shoplifting across the region. The incident took place on Oct. 24 at 7:23 PM. Police allege the man, who was carrying a side duffel bag, “selected five different types of alcohol bottles” then “concealed it in that duffel bag,” Dabas said. “He walked past the cashier without making any attempt to pay.”

Here’s what was lifted: Hine Rare VSOP cognac valued at $98.15; Captain Morgan spiced rum worth $59.95; Prince Igor Extreme Vodka valued at $60.55; Glenfiddich single malt 12-year-old whisky worth $85.35; Maestro Dobel tequila worth $74.95. Items are valued at $378.95 total. The suspect is a white male, about 25-to-30-years-old, standing 5-foot-9 with a skinny build and brown hair. He was wearing a black jacket with one yellow and one white stripe, black jogging pants with a white stripe on the side, and black sneakers. The man was alone, carrying a red duffel bag with a black strap. Anyone with information is asked to phone 905-825-4747 ext. 2351 or ext. 2360 or CrimeStoppers 1-800-222-8477.  [Source: InHalton]

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