Breaking News in the Industry: September 7, 2017

Shoplifting suspects crash car into outlet store

Three men were arrested following a shoplifting incident at the North Georgia Premium Outlets that ended with the suspects’ car crashing into an unoccupied store. According to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson, deputies responded to a shoplifting call at the Calvin Klein store at the outlet mall and upon arrival, officers reported that three subjects were seen exiting the store and entering a vehicle, Johnson said. “Upon seeing the officers, the suspects attempted to flee the area and made a wrong turn at a high rate of speed,” Johnson said. “The suspects crashed their vehicle into the unoccupied store that formerly housed the Christmas Store.” According to Johnson, after crashing the vehicle, the three subjects exited the vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded lot. All three were subsequently located and arrested. The items the three had stolen from the store are valued at $346.05.

“I commend the fast and thorough response of our law enforcement officers,” Johnson said. “I am very proud of their efforts and their actions in these apprehensions.” The men arrested, Kadarris Montarius Cloud, 20; Brian Anthony Denson, 20; and Brian Demarco Locklin Jr., 20, all live in Atlanta. Cloud, the driver of the car, was charged with obstructing an officer, four counts of possession of tools for commission of a crime, theft by shoplifting, removed/falsified ID of a license plate, hit and run, reckless driving and failure to stop for a stop sign. Denson and Locklin were charged with obstructing an officer, four counts of possession of tools for commission of a crime and theft by shoplifting. Locklin faces an additional charge of possessing tools for commission of a crime. As of Tuesday afternoon, all were still being held at the Dawson County Detention Center. Cloud is being held on $16,744 bond, Denson is being held on $15,700 bond and Locklin is being held on $18,700 bond.  [Source: Forsyth County News]

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Suspect slips off handcuffs, leads police on wild chase [Video]

A Texas woman suspected of shoplifting in Lufkin slips out of her handcuffs in a police vehicle and steals it while the arresting officers search her belongings, in a video released by Lufkin police. Then, she leads police on a wild chase through the countryside.The video posted on the Lufkin PD Facebook page begins with Toscha Sponsler, 33, of nearby Pollok being handcuffed face-down on the ground after being chased on foot during her initial arrest in an Ulta shoplifting case. She’s then shown wriggling in the back seat of the patrol unit. She manages to remove her seat belt, slips the handcuffs, climbs through a window partition into the driver’s seat and flees. While she’s doing this, one of the officers looks through the passenger door window to check on her before resuming his work outside. She, meanwhile, checks to see where the officers are, before climbing into the front seat and taking off.

“Gawd dang!” one of the officers yells as she speeds off. “Hey!” Sponsler leads police from several agencies on a 20-minute chase that reaches speeds up to 100 mph and includes near collisions before a DPS trooper coaxes her into a spin, causing her to lose control of the vehicle and slide to a stop on the side of the road in Zavalla, about 25 miles southeast of Lufkin. Sponsler waived medical treatment after the incident Saturday and was taken to the Angelina County Jail, where she is being held on $18,000 bond, police said. Authorities threw the book at her, accusing her of escape causing serious bodily injury and threat with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a public servant, possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction and unauthorized use of a vehicle.  [Source: Star-Telegram]

Trio nabbed after laptop heist also suspected in multiple crimes

Three Detroiters were nabbed by police in Warren after trying to steal a half-dozen laptops from a Target store. The incident unfolded just after 11 a.m. Monday at the Target store. Target loss prevention specialists told police two men entered the store and loaded a shopping cart full of laptop computers, then pushed the cart out the front door without paying. The suspects were loading the stolen computers into a beige Buick when the store called 911. As police were responding to the area, the suspects fled the Target parking lot when one of the responding units attempted to stop the car, but the driver refused. At that point, police initiated a chase. Officers deployed stop sticks flattening one of the car’s rear tires. The suspects then pulled into the Meijer parking lot, where the two male suspects fled the vehicle on foot into the south entrance doors of the store. The driver, a 27-year-old man, changed his shirt inside Meijer and was taken into custody as he exited the store. The second suspect, a 26-year-old man, was apprehended inside Meijer The third suspect, a 25-year-old woman, was arrested in the Meijer parking lot without incident as she exited the suspect vehicle. Six laptop computers with a total retail value of approximately $1,100 were recovered by police. Investigators say the suspects are believed to be responsible for similar thefts in the area. Charges are pending. [Source: CBS Detroit]

18-year-old employee racks up $13K in fake discounts

An 18-year-old Franklin, Wisconsin, woman is being held on Felony retail theft charges after authorities say she issued unauthorized discounts on Sears store items totaling more than $13,000 to people she knew. Greendale police officers were dispatched to the Sears Department Store at Southridge mall on a report of employee theft. When officers arrived, the store’s loss prevention officer was holding Sarameh Eman of Franklin, 18, for theft, in addition to two more employees on suspicion of theft. According to her criminal complaint, Sears placed coupons at the register for employees to scan. On numerous occasions, Eman would scan items while checking out customers and the items would show the correct sale price. Eman would then scan an additional coupon to give the customers a total of 80-90 percent off the price of the merchandise.

Eman would check out items using a “class control” feature which allowed her to enter whatever price she chose for the 
merchandise. Eman would enter values much lower than they should have been. According to her criminal complaint, store security told police that Eman was also observed on camera checking out customers but not scanning some items.
 She would place the items directly in the bag without charging the customer for them. The total loss attributable to Eman from July 2, 2017, through July 15, 2017 amounted to $13,728.03, her criminal complaint stated. In an interview with police, Eman admitted that she gave the discount to family and friends. She stated she felt pressured to give the discounts because people knew she had given the discount to others. When asked if other employees were doing the same thing, she reportedly said that two more employees were engaged in similar actions. [Source: Greenville Patch]

Nebraska man charged with shoplifting after explosion inside store

A man is in jail after he allegedly set off a large firework in an Omaha department store. According to police reports, officers were called to the Oak View Mall Kohl’s store after employees reported hearing an explosion inside the store. A loss prevention associate at the store told police he believed the man responsible for setting off an explosive device was still inside the store. The officer told police he believed a large firework was set off as a diversion, checked the store’s surveillance video and saw 23-year-old Michael Do walk away from where the explosion occurred. The explosion left burn marks on the shelves and burned several bed sets. The reports states that Do then exited the store through fire doors. He was taken into custody by police as he was walking around the corner of the store pushing a shopping cart full of items. Police found an additional explosive device and a stun gun after searching Do. He was booked into the Douglas County Correctional Center for felony shoplifting, destruction of property and carrying a concealed weapon. The shoplifting charge is a felony due to Do taking an estimated $2,400 worth of bed sets, electronics and clothing. [Source: WOWT6 News]

This gadget tells you if your handbag is a fake

Distinguishing an authentic Louis Vuitton bag from a well-made fake is a subtle art that involves counting stitches, feeling the leather’s grain and poring over print patterns. A New York startup says it has a technology that can spot counterfeits without the guesswork. Entrupy’s solution is a handheld microscope camera that lets anyone with a smartphone check a luxury accessory within minutes. Since launching the service a year ago, the company says its accuracy has improved to better than 98 percent for 11 brands including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci. Holographic tags, micro printing and even radio beacons woven into fabric have been used by fashion labels for years to help establish the authenticity of their products. Apparel makers will spend $6.15 billion on anti-counterfeit technologies in 2017, according to London-based researcher Visiongain, but the anonymity of Internet shopping and the growing popularity of second-hand dealers is making the war against fakes harder.

“Even 10 years ago, a woman going to buy a second-hand bag would know very well that Chanel, Gucci and Prada don’t sell on the street corner,” said Susan Scafidi, director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University in New York. “But now, with so much legitimate and illegitimate commerce occurring online, it is very difficult for consumers to tell the difference.” Entrupy says its camera magnifies objects 260 times, so features invisible to the human eye become telltale signs: misshapen stamp marks, tiny gaps in leather grain, and paint overruns. The device, which looks like a bulky flashlight with a wireless connection, can be leased for an initial fee of $299. Monthly plans start from $99. So far, about 160 businesses including pawn shops, wholesalers and online retailers have signed up. “Today everything is done by humans,” Entrupy co-founder Vidyuth Srinivasan said by telephone. “For businesses that are growing, that’s not a scalable solution.”  [Source: Bloomberg]

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