How can retailers minimize their exposure to store theft from career criminals, both effectively partnering with law enforcement and prosecutors and ensuring convicted offenders do not return to steal again?
Loss prevention organizations have struggled for decades to protect retail locations from thieves who understand the difficulty of apprehension and prosecution that all too often is viewed as a “minor” offense. One solution provider has developed a comprehensive service working with retailers that identifies offenders, builds a “case in a box” for law enforcement, and follows the offender through the judicial process and even after incarceration with ongoing deterrence communication.
ALTO is expanding their programs into the United States that began in 2003 and have proven successful with major retailers in Chile, Columbia, Mexico, and Spain. Currently over 7,000 retail locations in more than 100 cities are achieving lower shrink and increased revenues while enjoying a safer environment for their customers and employees.
Karl Langhorst, CPP, CFI, a well-known US retail loss prevention executive, most recently the corporate senior director of loss prevention at The Kroger Co., was recruited to lead the ALTO initiative in the US as their executive vice president.
“I am delighted to help my peers in US retail implement an innovative strategy for dealing with the significant problem of external theft in their stores,” he said. “ALTO is committed to changing the face of loss prevention in North America with a comprehensive collaborative program that combines proven technology and processes that will assist retailers and law enforcement combat the ever-growing trend of retail crime that negatively impacts our society.”
Expert Board of Advisors
As part of that commitment, ALTO has enlisted the assistance of some notable experts in loss prevention, criminal law, and law enforcement to serve as their board of advisors to assist the company with their entrée into the US retail market.
Bill Williams, recently retired as captain from the Los Angeles Police Department where he commanded multiple divisions including the Commercial Crimes Division, accepted his appointment to the board and said, “I believe it’s high time that ALTO came into the US market. Shoplifting and other retail crimes are a significant problem throughout the United States, particularly in California. It is my view the ALTO solution will allow retailers to better package crime investigations and assist in the recovery and retention of evidence for law enforcement and prosecutors. That, in turn, will assist in holding lawbreakers accountable for their activity.” Williams is also a founding member and law enforcement chair of the Los Angeles Area Organized Retail Crime Association (LAAORCA).
Gary Johnson, CPP, representing retail loss prevention on the board, said, “We need to find new ways to deter retail theft, which is now the leading property crime in America. We continue to view theft and fraud as not a major crime. And, if you do get caught there’s not much of a punishment for it. The successes ALTO has had in Latin America and Spain have been nothing short of astounding. Recidivism is a key metric, and looking at ALTO’s success over the past decade—a 97 percent reduction—that should warrant our full attention.” Johnson has an extensive career in corporate security and loss prevention holding executive positions at The Vitamin Shoppe, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, and Barnes & Noble. He is a past chair of the National Retail Federation’s loss prevention advisory council. He currently serves on the Loss Prevention Foundation’s Benevolent Fund steering committee.
Other board members include Louis Anemone, who retired as chief of the New York Police Department (NYPD) after a 34-year career. He has also served as deputy director of the New York State Office of Public Security and deputy director of security for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, member of the NY State Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Honor Legion of the NYPD.
Carol Martinson has corporate security, asset protection, and risk management experience in the finance, big box, discount, and grocery sectors, including executive positions with SUPERVALU, Lund Food Holdings, Target, and First Bank System. Her most recent positions include COO of Accentus-Lundus, president of International Security Design, and adjunct faculty member in the master of science in security technology program at the University of Michigan.
William Morales is a retired police detective who started his career with the Miami-Dade Police Department where he had wide-ranging experience in all areas of law enforcement including coordinating major events such as the NFL Super Bowl and MLB World Series, providing training and investigations as a member of the TOMCATS Cargo Crimes Task Force, and investigating organized retail crime with the Organized Crime Division. Morales continues to speak to companies across the country as a subject-matter expert sharing best practices to assist them on how to secure their supply chain.
Loren Naiman recently retired from the Post-Conviction Litigation and Discovery Division of the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney. A career prosecutor, he served as both a trial deputy and assistant head deputy in the LA County Auto Insurance Fraud Division, deputy in charge of the High Technology Analysis and Litigation Team, and assistant head deputy in the Hardcore Gang Division.
ALTO US Headquartered in Miami
ALTO opened its US headquarters in Miami, Florida, in 2016 with Karl Langhorst joining the executive team with Cristian Lopez, US country leader, to introduce the ALTO Alliance retail solution and supply-chain solution, ALTO Assurance, to the US market (alto.us).
In early 2017, well-known supply-chain asset protection expert Maurizio Scrofani, LPC, CCSP, joined the team to lead the enhancements of the company’s end-to-end supply-chain security and intelligence initiatives already in place in Latin America. Scrofani has held senior leadership roles at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Delonghi, and Verisk Analytics where he was co-founder and president of CargoNet.