Breaking News in the Industry: September 25, 2017

Two suspected of assaulting LP associate arrested

Two people suspected of assaulting a loss prevention associate and theft are behind bars, police said. In August, employees of Kohl’s noticed two people leave the store with items they hadn’t paid for.  The store’s loss prevention officer stopped Elizabeth Fuller, 28, and Steven Hawley, 44, as they were leaving. The loss prevention associate told police that Fuller sprayed him with a chemical and the two suspects were able to get away with the stolen items. Nearly a month went by before the two were spotted again.

On Thursday night, officers were called to Walmart the suspects were believed to be in the store. When officers arrived, they contacted Fuller and Hawley. Investigators were able to link the suspects to the Kohl’s robbery. Fuller and Hawley were arrested and booked into Tulare County Pretrial Facility on suspicion of armed robbery and conspiracy. Their bail was set at $60,000. [Source: USA Today]

LP Worldwide: Man allegedly steals $300,000 diamond from mall store

The Cerrone flagship store in Martin Place in Sydney, Australia, had just opened for business when a neatly presented man entered through the sliding glass doors. Wearing a polo neck sweater, dark jeans and black Nike sneakers with a designer satchel casually slung over his shoulder, the man made himself comfortable in the luxury store on Tuesday morning and asked to see some of the merchandise. He allegedly viewed an unset five-carat diamond worth $300,000 before switching it for a similar looking stone of much lesser value. He then allegedly left the store with the genuine diamond, walking out into busy Martin Place.

Police have released CCTV footage which shows the man outside the store before being let in and taking a seat at the counter. After he walked out of the store, staff realized the stones had been switched and contacted police. Cerrone retail manager Alison Kotevski said the calculated nature of the alleged robbery made her feel “sick”. She said the man went into the store on Monday and spent some time looking at the stone before returning the following day. “We think he studied the diamond and had a copy made before coming back to the store on Tuesday,” she said. Police established a crime scene in the shop, which specializes in high-end designer jewelry, and conducted a forensic examination. Sydney City Local Area Command officers are investigating the alleged theft and have appealed for public assistance in identifying the man. Anyone with information about the Martin Place incident can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. [Source: Forbes Advocate]

Retail employee charged with theft

A 46-year-old Illinois woman faces a felony charge for allegedly stealing $100,000 to $500,000 from JCPenney while she was employed at the store. Jennifer D. Dillingham of Mt. Vernon is charged with Class 1 felony theft, punishable by four to 15 years in prison. She is accused of stealing the money between 2014 and Aug. 30, 2017. Dillingham was arrested Aug. 30 and later posted bond and was released from the Jefferson County Justice Center. She has a first appearance court date set for 9 a.m. Oct. 6. [Source: Register News]

Couple sought after LP associate cut with box cutter during Phoenix theft

Silent Witness and the Phoenix Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying a couple accused of shoplifting and attacking a store employee. Police report that September 5, a man and woman entered the Safeway near 7th Avenue and Osborn Road. The suspects reportedly concealed various items from the store and tried to leave without paying. An LP associate tried to stop the two as they were leaving which led to the male suspect pulling out a box cutter and cutting the associate.  The two then fled the area. If you have any information on the identity of these suspects, you are asked to call 480-WITNESS, you can remain anonymous.  [Source: ABC15 Arizona News]

Taking extra precautions after Equifax data breach

Many people are nervous about the Equifax credit bureau data breach, but are people taking extra precautions? Equifax’s data breach potentially compromises the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans. Consumer experts say it should be a wake up call to everyone. “It’s a reminder that consumers have to be very very vigilant [about] the information that is out there,” said Frank Frassetto, Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Consumer Protection. In a poll by research firm SSRS, taken after the Equifax breach, 66 percent of people responding said they were concerned, but only 19 percent had taken any steps to find out if their personal information had been compromised. Frasesetto says Everyone should actively monitor financial statements and credit reports. “Go to Annual Credit Report every four months and request a copy of your credit report, because that’s one way you can see if credit actually has been taken out in their name and by law they’re required, able to get a free credit report, so because we have 3 credit reporting agencies, instead of waiting 12 months every four months pick one and then the next four months pick another and keep rotating,” said Frasseto. Equifax announced this week it’s offering free credit freezes until November 21. The company will also refund fees to anyone who already paid for a credit freeze since September 7. Freezing your credit file means no one can access it, not even you, without a PIN or passphrase. It makes it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.  [Source: WBAY2 News]

Three Missouri men arrested for alleged credit card fraud operation

Indiana State Police troopers arrested three men from Kansas City, Missouri, in Huntington County after finding them in possession of an illegal credit card-skimming device and a total of about 500 fraudulent credit cards and gift cards with an estimated value of $50,000. The arrests came after Troopers Alaa Hamed and Christopher Eagles stopped a Nissan SUV for a traffic violation. The troopers became suspicious because of the way the men acted, and Eagles’ K-9 partner Axle was asked to conduct a free air sniff around the exterior of the SUV. After the dog gave a positive alert, the troopers searched the vehicle. The troopers allegedly found a credit card-skimming device, which was plugged into a laptop computer, and more than 160 plastic credit cards, more than 60 MasterCard gift cards, tampering tools and about 1 gram of suspected marijuana, the news release said.

As a result of those findings and further investigation, troopers from the Indianapolis State Police post obtained a search warrant for a room at the Motel 6 in Indianapolis. The search there allegedly found several hundred fraudulent cards and a hard drive. The three men were taken into custody without incident and booked into the Huntington County Jail.
Omar C. Sosa, 19, Adrian Miguel Abreu Boza, 19, and Alejandro Abreu Martinez, 27, all of Kansas City, Mo., each were arrested on preliminary charges of unlawful possession of a card-skimming device, forgery-counterfeiting, fraud and possession of marijuana. [Source: News Sentinel]

Shoplifting suspect bites LP associate during confrontation

Police say a shoplifting suspect got away after she bit a Macy’s employee during a confrontation at a Hempfield Township mall. According to state police, a woman in the Macy’s department store was caught on surveillance footage taking two sweaters and a pair of sweatpants off a rack and walking into a fitting room. She then put the items into a large purse and walked back out. A Macy’s loss prevention associate saw the woman leave the fitting room without the items she had entered with. After he checked the fitting room and found it empty, he approached the woman as she was walking towards the exit. Police say the woman complied with the officer at first, but then began to fight him when he grabbed her purse. He attempted to restrain her and forced her to the ground. The woman then bit the associate on the arm, causing him to release her, and she fled the store. The officer did sustain an injury from the bite. He was able to recover all three articles of clothing. The suspect is described as 6 feet tall and approximately 250-275 pounds. She is believed to be about 25-30 years old. She has bright red hair. Police believe she may have been driving a silver Nissan sedan. Police say she’s also a suspect in retail thefts in the Monroeville area. Anyone who recognizes this woman should call Pennsylvania State Police.  [Source: CBS Pittsburgh]

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