Breaking News in the Industry: August 26, 2016

Clerk Arrested in Shooting of Shoplifting Suspect at Convenience Store

The shooting was reported at the Shell convenience store on Manhattan Boulevard and the West Bank Expressway, in New Orleans. Deputies were told by a store clerk that he noticed a man trying to shoplift several bottles of liquor. He tried stop the man and an altercation ensued inside the store. 

Juan Villanueva, the clerk, said he activated the front door locking mechanism to help stop the suspect from leaving. He said the suspect was able to break through the door. It was when the suspect was running toward the gas pumps that Villanueva, who had armed himself with a gun, fired a shot and struck the suspect in the leg, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators said the suspect was able to flee the store on a bicycle and go to University Medical Center in New Orleans, where he sought treatment for his injury. Lionel Trim, the shoplifting suspect, was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies. He first told them that he had been shot in Algiers, but later admitted to being shot at the Harvey convenience store. Trim remains at the hospital. The Sheriff’s Office said he will be issued a misdemeanor summons for shoplifting.

Villanueva was arrested on a charges of aggravated second-degree battery and aggravated criminal damage. The Sheriff’s Office said he was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. Officials said the investigation is continuing. [Source: Krebs on WDNS News]

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Man Accused of Stabbing Walmart Security Guard Could Get Four Years in Jail

A former Walmart loss prevention officer cried in a Kamloops, Canada, courtroom  as he relived the details of the night he was stabbed five times. A sentencing hearing was held  for Connor Dufresne, 20, who pleaded guilty to theft and aggravated assault in April, five months after he stabbed the officer. Kamloops Provincial Court heard that Dufresne was seen on surveillance camera acting suspicious while he wandered the aisles in Walmart.

Dufresne was seen picking up a basket and putting items into it before taking a computer bag and trying to put merchandise it, including a Sony sound system and Beats by Dre headphones. At this point, the loss prevention officer decided to leave his office to keep a closer eye on the suspect. Court heard Dufresne approached the officer, asking for the time. The accused began to wander around more, before bolting out of the emergency exit door. The officer gave chase, which is protocol for Walmart loss prevention officers. Crown prosecutor Adrienne Murphy said the officer ran about five feet out the door, stopped and yelled “store security.” Dufresne kept running, so the officer ran another 10 feet but had to stop due to store policy. After that, the officer doesn’t remember what happened, other than the feeling of a knife entering his body.

Court heard Dufresne had a “panic reaction” after the guard placed his hands on the suspect and that Dufresne warned him he had a weapon. Murphy told the court the employee went back inside to get treatment from first-aid while another officer waited outside for police. Court heard a Kamloops RCMP officer spotted Dufresne walking down the road that night looking sweaty and breathing heavily. The Mountie waved him over, asking who he was. Dufresne gave the officer his twin brother’s name, but the constable was able to partially identify him as the stabbing suspect by the shoes he was wearing and dried blood on his hand. “I’ll be honest with you. I did do it,” Dufresne told the officer. “I’m an idiot… My name is Connor Dufresne and I have a warrant.”  Dufresne had a warrant out for his arrest for breaching a probation condition. Murphy told the court that Dufresne offered no remorse or concern for the victim at any point while he was with police. He was arrested and has been in custody ever since.

In the Walmart loss prevention officer’s victim impact statement he says he now suffers from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s had to leave his job as a loss prevention officer and is now in a new role at Walmart making less money. Dufresne doesn’t have a violent past criminal past and has breached bail or probation conditions for previous offences 17 times. Murphy told the court the pre-sentencing report prepared on Dufresne was troubling. “Mr. Dufresne doesn’t see his drug use as problematic,” Murphy read from the report. “(He) blames others for his drug use.” Dufresne also maintained in the report that he was high on meth at the time of the incident which has not been proven.  [Source:]

Five Ways Retailers are Using Technology to Rethink in-store Shopping

Many brick-and-mortar stores are watching their profits slowly crumble to the ground, thanks to the Internet. With the ease of online shopping and fast, free shipping from subscription services like Amazon Prime and Walmart’s ShippingPass, some consumers are shying away from physical retail locations.

Shoppers prefer stores to the web for now, but online shopping is growing at a fast pace. E-commerce sales jumped 15.5% in the first quarter of 2016 compared with a year earlier, while total retail sales increased by only 2.2% during that time, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Some companies are shutting down branches due to lack of profit. Kmart and Sears are in the process of closing 78 locations, and Macy’s recently announced plans to close about 100 stores.

But retailers are finding creative ways to make in-store shopping more enticing and prevent it from becoming obsolete. “There’s no store customer or e-commerce customer, there’s just customers, and customers shop increasingly as they want,” says Dan Evans Jr., Nordstrom’s business public relations director. “For us to grow and evolve as a company, we need to have a real sense of urgency around staying relevant.”  [Source:]

19% of Shoppers Would Abandon a Retailer That’s Been Hacked

Nearly a fifth of shoppers would avoid at a retailer that has been a victim of a cybersecurity hack, according to a survey. The 2016 KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer report surveyed 448 consumers in the U.S. and found that 19% would abandon a retailer entirely over a hack. Another 33% said that fears their personal information would be exposed would keep them from shopping at the breached retailer for more than three months. The study also looked at 100 cybersecurity executives and found that 55% said they haven’t spent money on cybersecurity in the past year and 42% said their company didn’t have a leader in charge of information security.

Those responses confirmed worries that retailers are falling behind other industries like financial services and technology on cybersecurity issues.
The study also looked at 100 cybersecurity executives and found that 55% said they haven’t spent money on cybersecurity in the past year and 42% said their company didn’t have a leader in charge of information security. Those responses confirmed worries that retailers are falling behind other industries like financial services and technology on cybersecurity issues.

“There is a lot at stake here for retailers,” Mark Larson, KPMG business leader for consumer markets, said in a statement. “Retailers that don’t make cybersecurity a strategic imperative are taking a big gamble.” Tony Buffomante, cybersecurity leader for KPMG, said many retailers are not doing enough to protect their businesses from cyberattacks or react to them when they do occur. Paying more attention to cybersecurity could help their businesses, he added. The survey results, posted Tuesday online, found that retail and automotive industries were laggards in appointing leaders to assess cyberthreats and opportunities. The financial services and tech industries were leaders. Cyberattacks were also called “rampant” in the survey, show. [Source:]

Kim Richards Narrowly Avoids Jail Time in Target Shoplifting Case

The former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star’s attorney argued in a Los Angeles court for a probation violation hearing that while she did miss the initial deadline for completing 20 days of community service and 52 AA meetings, she has since completed those tasks. Richards’ lawyer tells E! News that “Kim is up to date on all her requirements with the court and her probation was reinstated.” A new hearing date was set for November, TMZ first broke the story. Richards was sentenced back in October 2015 for her Target shoplifting arrest after she plead no contest to one count of petty theft.

The former child star was originally arrested on Aug. 2, 2015 for stealing upwards of $600 worth of items from a Target near her home in the San Fernando Valley late at night. Security spotted her taking several items and placed her under a citizen’s arrest until the police arrived on the premises. Days before the arrest, sources confirmed to E! News that Richards was briefly hospitalized for an undisclosed reason.

Meanwhile, a separate source gave an update on how Richards has been over the past few months, telling us, “At the moment, she seems to be doing OK. She goes to AA [meetings]. She’s trying to get some projects off the ground. There are three or four in the works.”  [Source:]

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