Breaking News in the Industry: October 10, 2017

Shoplifter Shoplifting and theft

Virginia woman faces 29 felonies for fraud

A Waynesboro, Virginia, woman is facing 29 felony counts of credit card fraud, larceny and other charges after police say she stole a family member’s checks and credit card number and racked up several thousand dollars worth of fraudulent purchases last month. Chassidy Batton Painter, 39, of Waynesboro, turned herself in to police at the Waynesboro Police Department according to a release from the WPD. In late September, the 69-year-old victim, who is related to Painter by marriage, reported to an officer that several of her checks had been stolen from her checkbook.  With the ill-gotten checks, police say, Painter then went on a nearly month-long spending spree. It included several hundred dollars in gift cards and payment of rent. Painter passed the forged checks at both Waynesboro Walmarts, where she got gift cards, according to the release, and used one of the checks to pay her rent.

In addition, the victim reported that nearly a dozen charges had been made using one of her credit cards. The purchases were made at Lowe’s and Rite Aid, and the offenses date from September 2 to September 25. With the assistance of the Walmart Neighborhood Market staff, the officer was able to identify Painter as the suspect, according to the release. Painter was has been charged with the following:  11 counts of Credit Card Fraud; seven counts of Petit Larceny/3rd or subsequent offense; six counts of Passing a Forged Document; and five counts of Obtaining Money or Goods by False Pretenses. She was being held on a $2,000 bond at Middle River Regional Jail. [Source: The News Virginian]

Police K-9 helps find shoplifting suspect

Police in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, responded to Target regarding a shoplifter actively fleeing the store with about $500 in merchandise Saturday afternoon, police said. While responding to the call, Officer Darren Emond observed the 2004 Nissan Quest van that the suspect fled in, according to Detective Kyle Costa, spokesman for the Dartmouth Police Department. After locating the van, Emond saw the male suspect flee from the van and into the woods, Costa said in a news release. With help from Dartmouth Police K-9 Officer Jared White and his K-9 partner Reaper, the suspect was found and arrested, Costa said. Dartmouth Police charged the male suspect, identified as Jimmy Guzman Hernandez, 34, New Bedford, with larceny over $250 and the unlawful deactivation or removal of a theft detection device, Costa said.  [Source: SouthCoastToday]

Four Chicago women accused of stealing merchandise from store

Four Chicago women were charged with retail theft on Sept. 30 after a Norridge police officer was dispatched to Carson’s, 4200 N. Harlem, at 4:03 p.m. Charged with retail theft, a misdemeanor, were Miesha Cooper, 19, of the 700 block of North Central; Dominique Manning, 19, of the 5200 block of North Washington Boulevard; Devona Manning, of the 200 block of North Lorel; and Jennika Eaton, 23, of the 200 block of South Lavergne. They are to appear in court Nov. 3. A loss prevention agent told the responding officer he observed five shoppers conceal merchandise and exit the store without paying. He said Harlem Irving Plaza loss prevention associates stopped all except one. The women were escorted back into the store where the merchandise, which totaled $816.23, was recovered.  [Source: Chicago Tribune]

Amazon refuses anti-counterfeit measures in Swatch deal

A potential deal between Swiss watch company Swatch and e-commerce giant Amazon has stalled after discussions over policing counterfeits on the marketplace reached a stalemate. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the two companies had been talking for months about selling Swatch’s high-end watches such as Longines, Omega and Blancpain on Amazon. As part of an agreement, Swatch had sought a written commitment from Amazon to “proactively police its site for counterfeits and unauthorised retailers” but the tech giant refused, Nick Hayek, Swatch chief executive, told the WSJ. Progress on a deal has now ground to a halt as a result. “We add value to them. But they should also add value to the brand,” Hayek told the newspaper. The watch-maker’s position is that without stringent processes in place, Amazon risked undermining the exclusivity and premium prices of luxury goods; an opinion shared by many high-end brands. Amazon, which has been investing heavily in fashion and has been targeting luxury brands, declined to provide any comments on the Swatch deal for the WSJ article. [Source: Securing Industry]

Two charged with credit card theft

In Idaho, a man and woman were arrested by Pocatello Police Sunday for illegal use of a financial transaction card. Gloria Francesca Vanrossum, 54, was charged with 3 counts of grand theft and 1 count of fraud.  Randall Joe Leach, 40, was charged with six counts of fraud by acquiring a financial transaction card without consent. Both are from Seattle, Washington. Police were called to WINCO Saturday, where a female shopper reported her credit card and wallet were stolen from her shopping cart. The store’s loss prevention associate quickly found the theft on video, along with tape of the couple leaving the parking lot in a vehicle. Several large purchases were made with the card shortly after the theft was reported. A police officer used the vehicle license number to track down the vehicle in a hotel parking lot in the 1000 block of South 5th Avenue early Sunday. Leach was arrested there. Vanrossum was arrested after questioning at the Police Department. [Source: KIDK3 News]

Walmart launches Mobile Express Returns to refund or exchange online items in physical stores

As Walmart continues to build out its e-commerce business to rival Amazon’s, its latest development will build on some of the retail giant’s most established operations: Walmart is launching a new in-store returns service called Mobile Express Returns. People who purchase items online and then need to return them can do so by logging them on the Walmart app, generating a QR code for the transaction, and then walking into a physical Walmart store to return or exchange the items quickly. In certain cases such as orders with bulky items, customers can simply keep them and still get a refund, a program it referred to as “keep it” in an interview last week. Mobile Express Returns is due to launch in November of this year and get rolled out to all of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the U.S. The plan is to consider how to expand the same returns service to cover third-party sellers on Walmart.com’s online marketplace. But Walmart has confirmed to me that there are “no plans” to add Jet.com, an Amazon-style marketplace Walmart acquired for $3 billion last year, to that service.

Mobile Express Returns is not the first time that Walmart has tried to accept returns for online items in stores, but Daniel Eckert, SVP, Walmart Services and Digital Acceleration, Walmart U.S., said that this will be a new system that will work much faster. “Time has become the new currency in retail as much as saving money,” he said in a call with journalists ahead of today. “It’s thinking about how we can create a more seamless shopping experience… When something is bought online and attempted to be returned in the store, customers … expect [that they] can come back to the store and return it. We didn’t appreciate how sophisticated we had to be.”  [Source: TechCrunch]

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