Breaking News in the Industry: November 14, 2017

LP Worldwide: Watch as Apple’s flagship London store is targeted by moped gang in front of shocked bystanders [Video]

This is the moment thieves on mopeds targeted Apple’s flagship London store before making off with thousands of pounds worth of laptops and iPads. Video footage posted online showed at least three scooters waiting on the pavement as the suspects wearing helmets ran in and out during the early morning raid in Regent Street. Miah Mohammad Sheful, 28, who shot the 44-second clip as he waited for a bus, said it took the suspects several attempts to break in the door of the tech giant’s flagship store. Passing cars started beeping their horns to prevent the burglary as they realized what was unfolding, the digital marketer said. The man who threatened the loss prevention associate was described as black. Two iPhone Xs were later recovered near King’s Cross. The raid comes one month after a gang of thieves riding mopeds attacked a high-end jeweler’s in the same street. Three suspects are believed to have smashed display cabinets to escape with a high-value haul, after a hammer, axe and bats were used to break in to the store. Officers believe six culprits were involved in the raid at Mappin & Webb in Regent Street.

There has been a surge in thefts of mopeds or scooters, as well as in crimes carried out by individuals riding them. Figures suggest that in the year to September, there were more than 19,385 “moped enabled” crimes in the capital – an average of 53 a day – including thefts and robberies. Police say there are a number of factors behind the trend, including a rise in the number of people using scooters to commute and a growing market for second-hand mobile phone parts. Scooter criminals normally travel in pairs with a passenger sitting behind the driver, targeting busy areas where they can snatch high-value smartphones. At the end of last month, Scotland Yard revealed that it was using a special spray to “tag” moped-riding criminals after a surge in offenses perpetrated using the vehicles. The spray marks the offender with an invisible liquid which is extremely difficult to remove and contains a DNA-style unique code. Frontline teams have also been kitted out with automatic “stinger” devices that can remotely puncture tires to stop criminals getting away. In a third tactic, a fleet of new lightweight motorbikes has been rolled out to make police more nimble in their pursuit of suspects, who often use alleyways and narrow streets to escape.  [Source: Evening Standard]

Employee accused of stealing more than $45,000 from grocery store

In Utah, Payson Police say a woman faces felony theft charges after she allegedly stole more than $45,000 from her place of employment of the course of several months. Sergeant  Noemi Sandoval of the Payson Police Department said 49-year-old Kathleen Garner was booked into jail on a charge of second-degree felony theft after the manager at Payson Market noticed issues with funds. Sandoval said that manager noticed that large refunds were being given out regularly and confronted Garner, who allegedly admitted to her manager she had taken the money. Garner is accused of stealing more than $45,000 from the market between October of 2016 and August of 2017. Police responded to the information from the manager and corroborated the details by examining time cards and bank deposits before ultimately arresting Garner Thursday. [Source: Fox13 News]

Increase in card not present fraud after adoption of EMV

The utilization of chip technology in credit cards was introduced to combat credit card fraud and increase information security. Credit cards are embedded with microprocessor chips, commonly known as “EMV technology”—named after the original developers, Europay, MasterCard and Visa. Unlike traditional magnetic stripe cards, chip-enabled cards support dynamic authentication, which includes unique data in each transaction and makes stored data significantly more difficult for would-be thieves to copy. To encourage the adoption of this technology, there was a fraud liability shift in October 2015: Now, if merchants choose not to provide EMV payment terminals, but the card the consumer used is chip-enabled, the liability for any counterfeit card purchases will fall to the merchant rather than the card issuer. In the case of a “technology tie”—where both the card issuer and the merchant, or neither the card issuer nor the merchant, adopt EMV technology—the liability remains with the issuer. The transition to EMV technology has generally been successful.

While initial evidence suggests that the introduction of EMV technology has reduced fraud where the credit card is physically present, there has been an increase in “card not present” fraud—fraudulent transactions in situations where the customer is not required to physically present the card to the merchant, such as online or over the phone. One study estimates that, as a result of the EMV liability shift and the increase in e-commerce, CNP fraud in the US is expected to increase from $3.1 billion in 2015 to $6.4 billion in 2018. This increase in CNP fraud is not surprising. As credit card information has become harder to steal through in-person transactions, it is only logical that identity thieves would look for an easier target: the enormous and still rapidly growing online sales market. Additionally, the US was one of the last major economies to shift to EMV technology; data collected after other countries transitioned to EMV demonstrated that there would likely be an increase in CNP fraud after the shift. For example, one year after “chip-on-chip rates hit a breaking point of … 50 percent” in Canada, CNP fraud increased by 30.1 percent. In Australia, the increase was a staggering 126.1 percent. A November 2016 report from ACI Worldwide estimated that CNP fraud attempt rates in the US would increase 12 percent by volume.  [Source: CUInsight]

Amazon faces fines following the death of a second warehouse worker in as many months

Amazon could face $28,000 in potential fines after an inspection by the state of Indiana found potential workplace safety violations at a warehouse where a 59-year-old worker was killed in late September. The Associated Press reported that the victim, Phillip Terry of Indianapolis, “was fatally crushed when a forklift’s lift fell on him while he was doing maintenance work on it.” Terry was killed on Sept. 24 at an Amazon facility in the Indianapolis suburb of Plainfield. In a nine-page letter to Amazon, the Indiana Department of Labor outlined four violations that could carry fines of $7,000 each. They included a failure to “provide adequate training” and to develop and document certain safety procedures. Amazon can appeal the penalties. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company does not comment on ongoing investigations, but released a statement saying: “Safety is our number one priority, and as we do with any incident, we are reviewing our practices and protocols to ensure the well-being of our employees. Any safety incident that occurs within our operations is one too many.” Also in September, a 28-year-old worker named Devan Shoemaker was killed at an Amazon warehouse in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Shoemaker was accidentally crushed by a truck near the facility’s loading docks, according to a local news report. Another Amazon worker was killed in an accident at the same facility in 2014. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is still investigating Shoemaker’s death, a spokeswoman said. [Source: recode]

Employee charged for stealing from coffee shop

A former Starbucks manager is in hot water after allegedly stealing nearly $38,000 from her previous employer. Carlin R. Cook, 29, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is charged with felony theft in a business setting over $10,000. According to the criminal complaint, a Starbucks regional asset protection manager contacted the Racine Police Department on June 8 about bank deposits missing from Starbucks. The manager had discovered 25 missing deposits between March 2 and May 16, totaling $37,896.24. The LP manager contacted Dunbar Armored, which collects the store’s deposits. The company said they received “various excuses as to why a deposit was not ready or why it was not picked up” on each of those occasions. Cook, a store manager, was identified as a possible suspect. She allegedly worked on 11 of the 18 days deposits were missing. Cook was also reportedly seen on surveillance video taking a deposit bag on at least one occasion.

On June 12, the manager contacted police and told them Cook allegedly confessed to taking money from the store. Police spoke with Cook, who reportedly admitted to taking deposits from the store, but denied taking all of them. She could not tell police how many deposits she took, but agreed it was more than five. Cook told police she took the money because was having financial difficulties, including $80,000 in student loans and $5,000 in credit card debt. A preliminary hearing for Cook is scheduled on December 6.  On June 12, the LP manager contacted police and told them Cook allegedly confessed to taking money from the store. Police spoke with Cook, who reportedly admitted to taking deposits from the store, but denied taking all of them. She could not tell police how many deposits she took, but agreed it was more than five. [Source: The Journal Times]

Baltimore man gets time for lingerie robberies

A Baltimore man couldn’t hold back his tears as he told a Berks County judge that his role in robberies at two Victoria’s Secret stores will cause him to miss the birth of his first child. Deonte J. Griffin, 24, said that he was standing before Judge Patrick T. Barrett “humbled and asking for mercy,” hoping to right his wrongs so he can be there for every other step of his son’s life. “No man should ever have to miss the birth of their first child,” Griffin said last week in court. “I took my freedom for granted. I can never get that back.” Griffin entered open guilty pleas November 2, to two counts each of robbery and conspiracy to commit retail theft for the robberies at a Lebanon County mall and the Berkshire Mall on May 19. Assistant District Attorney Jason C. Glessner asked for a state prison sentence of one to five years. But Barrett chose to follow defense attorney Jay M. Nigrini’s request of 12 to 23 months in Berks County Prison, followed by five years of probation. The judge told Griffin that the only reason he was going with the lesser sentence was because of his child.

“If you screw up in the next seven years, you will be back in front of me again,” the judge said. Nigrini said that Griffin had a lot of good things going for him when he helped commit the robberies, including his own business and membership in a union. But he said that Griffin began to have issues related to his bipolar medication. “He began to self-medicate with heroin and that clouded his judgment in relation to this matter,” Nigrini said. Now that Griffin has pleaded guilty, Lyric T. McLaughlin, 21, is the only co-defendant with an active case. Getaway driver Justin Inman, 24, was sentenced to nine months to five years in state prison followed by two years of probation. James E. McCarter Jr., 19, and Twanika D. Greer, 24, were each sentenced to 6 to 23 months in Berks County Prison followed by three years of probation.
All of the defendants are from Baltimore. Nigrini said that McLaughlin was the mastermind behind the plan to steal lingerie to sell through Instagram. Barrett couldn’t understand why Griffin would “do something so stupid.” “You were making $20 an hour and you decided with a group of people to steal underwear from a bunch of malls,” the judge said. “I’ll never understand this one.”  [Source: Reading Eagle]

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