Breaking News in the Industry: September 22, 2017

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Man accused of robbing Target identified as fleeing fugitive sheriffs tried to shoot

The Gap, Pennsylvania, man a sheriff’s deputy shot at Thursday as he tried to elude police is the same man who is charged with robbing the Lititz Target at knifepoint earlier this month. Clinton L. Young III, 26, drove at authorities and “made maneuvers to hit them,” prompting the deputy to fire at least one shot at him, Brett Hambright, spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said Thursday. Young was not struck by the bullet and it is unclear if the bullet struck the vehicle, Hambright said. Authorities said Young attempted to flee when they served him with a felony warrant Thursday afternoon at a home in Colerain Township. Hambright said one of the deputies serving the warrant fired his gun at Young after it appeared Young tried to strike the deputies with his car.

Young led authorities on a low-speed pursuit for about four miles before crashing his vehicle into an embankment in Sadsbury Township, Young was not seriously injured in the crash. A female passenger in the vehicle is not facing charges at this time but police are still investigating her involvement, according to Hambright. He was charged Wednesday with felony robbery, as well as misdemeanor terroristic threats and retail theft, in connection with the Sept. 7 incident at the Target in Lititz. [Source: Lancaster Online]

Indiana shoplifting suspect crashes into two Northeast Wisconsin brothers

Two Northeast Wisconsin brothers riding their motorcycles were struck by a shoplifting suspect who was fleeing police in Terre Haute, Indiana on Wednesday. Police say that Detective Jerry Urban of Sheboygan County, and his brother, Glenn Urban of Suamico, were riding their motorcycles next to each other when the suspect drove his sedan through them, hitting them both. “It looks like he drove right between the two of them, they were riding side-by-side and he comes between the two of them,” Sheriff Greg Ewing of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Office said.Both brothers were wearing helmets and sustained serious head injuries, but are expected to be okay.  “We spoke to the families of both of the victims and they’re both going to be released from the hospital today,” Ewing said.

Police identified the suspect as 40 year-old Dale Robert Oaks, who was seen shoplifting from Walmart before the police chase. He has a severe criminal history. Since 2005, Oaks has been booked into jail 40 times with 91 charges. After Oaks hit the Urban brothers, he crashed his car and stole a maintenance truck from a car dealership that apparently had the keys still in the ignition. As police swarmed Oaks’ crash car, he took off in the red maintenance pickup truck he stole from the Dodge dealership. Oaks is still on the run. If you have any information, you are asked to call police. [Source: GreenBay.com]

Early forecast calls for stronger holiday season for retailers

Last year, total retail sales for the holiday season climbed 3.6 percent. Deloitte expects retail holiday sales to top $1 trillion between the months of November and January this year. The consumer appears to be more stable and certain heading into the holiday season, according to Rod Sides, who heads up Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution practice. With disposable personal income climbing and consumer confidence staying elevated across the U.S., the holiday shopping season could bring healthier sales for retailers to cap off a tumultuous year. Deloitte said it expects retailers to see holiday sales growth of as much as 4.5 percent.

Last year, total sales for the season climbed 3.6 percent, matching results in 2015. E-commerce sales, meanwhile, are expected to increase 18 to 21 percent during the 2017 holiday season, the firm found. Digital sales climbed 14.3 percent in 2016. “Sentiment and spending indicators are firing on all cylinders, but the question is: How will retailers respond given the profound disruption across the industry?” said Rod Sides, who heads up Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution practice. “The good news is retail is thriving, and it is the proliferation of new, niche retailers that is resulting in share constantly changing hands,” Sides said. Deloitte expects total holiday sales, which are seasonally adjusted and exclude motor vehicles and gasoline sales, to reach $1.04 trillion to $1.05 trillion for the period, which stretches from November through January. E-commerce sales could peak at $114 billion, according to Deloitte. [Source: CNBC]

Alabama still doesn’t have a data breach notification law

If a company in Alabama has a data breach, it doesn’t have a legal obligation to tell customers their personal information has been compromised. Alabama and South Dakota are the only states without data breach notification laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, for several years has sponsored legislation to change that and, in light of the massive Equifax data breach, said he’ll try again in the 2018 legislative session.

Equifax disclosed this month that hackers were able to access the personal information of 143 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and full legal names, The Associated Press reported. Equifax didn’t make the breach public until six weeks after the company discovered it. “If it can happen to Equifax … that tells me it can happen to any business or company,” Orr said. Attorney General Steve Marshall said his office will redouble its efforts next year to pass a data breach bill. “The magnitude of the recent Equifax data breach underscores why this consumer protection law is needed,” he said. Orr said he thinks there is middle ground to be found that protects consumers and isn’t onerous for businesses. The 2018 legislative session begins Jan. 9. [Source: Decatur Daily]

Those Levi’s you bought on eBay may have been stolen by a drug-addicted shoplifter

As every online shopper knows, there are a lot of bargains out there in the proliferation of social media venues. But what you might not know is that some of the merchandise you find on eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is so cheap because it’s stolen from stores. Websites have accelerated increasingly sophisticated organized retail theft rings, which have long relied on shoplifters known as “boosters” clearing store shelves of in-demand goods and then selling and reselling to higher levels of fences who deal in truckloads of stolen property.

Now the rings can sell shoplifted bottles of aspirin, infant formula or jeans in the same virtual marketplaces where legitimate items are sold. Investigators are also seeing more of what they call “e-fencing,” where fences sell store merchandise credit or gift cards obtained by returning stolen goods. “There’s a lot of them out there,” said Raleigh police Sgt. Scott Womack. “People can outsource stolen property very quickly that way.” The cost to retailers is estimated at $30 billion a year – a cost ultimately passed along to shoppers. But customers risk being hurt by more than higher prices. Expired or improperly stored medicine and infant formula often end up back on shelves, putting people’s health at risk. And then there’s the chance that people are shopping next to drug-addicted thieves. [Source: The Herald Sun]

Panty raid foiled at Green Oak Victoria’s Secret

Malaja Sharde Isom, a Toledo, Ohio, resident, was arraigned Thursday in 53rd District Court on charges of organized retail crime after police said she and three companions attempted to leave the Victoria’s Secret store at Green Oak Village Place mall without paying for merchandise. Green Oak Police Chief Jason Pless said store staff became suspicious about the impending theft and called police as the women loaded lingerie, clothing and beauty products into the store’s shopping totes. The store has become one of many local targets for organized retail crimes, Pless said. “This has been occurring at numerous retail locations throughout Livingston County and the surrounding area,” he said, noting Green Oak Township Police responded to a similar situation at the mall only a few days prior.  “A group of individuals – three or four working in tandem – will walk into a store, load up shopping bags or just their arms – and turn around and walk right past store employees.”

The three other women with Isom, also Toledo residents, were released pending further investigation, but Isom was arrested and charged because employees observed her removing security tags from the clothing, Pless said. Isom, who was also charged with malicious destruction of property for removal of the tags, is currently lodged at the Livingston County Jail on $25,000 bond. Isom is scheduled for a probable cause conference Sept. 26, followed by an Oct. 3 preliminary exam. Organized retail crime is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison or $5,000. [Source: Livingston Daily]

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