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Breaking News in the Industry: December 9, 2016

Shoplifting suspect stabs officer at Walmart

A deputy police chief says a female officer has been stabbed inside a Walmart store in Columbia, South Carolina, while responding to a shoplifting call.
Deputy Chief Melron Kelly tells WACH-TV the incident took place just before 10 p.m. at the store on Bush River Road. Kelly says the officer pursued the male suspect, who fled.

The police department said in a tweet that the officer was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition. Police posted a picture of a suspect on Twitter and urged residents to call 911 with information. They were reviewing surveillance footage and were using several helicopters to search for the man.  [Source: ABC News]

Shoplifting turns into attempted murder of a police officer

Two men from Detroit are in jail after police say a case of shoplifting ended with an attempted murder charge. A press release from the department says Ernest Powell and Deandre Tucker stole almost 380 dollars worth of cigarettes from the Shell Station on Peggy Flats road a little before 1 a.m. yesterday.  Someone from the gas station called police and said they were driving a blue Jeep Cherokee.

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Officers later found a similar car driving down I-75 and pulled it over at the southbound entrance ramp at Exit 77. Police say the driver refused to get out of the car, then put the car in reverse, peeled backwards and hit the officer with the open car door. The Jeep then took off down I-75.  Police chased them down the interstate and saw someone throwing stolen cigarettes out the window.  The car turned around at Exit 62 in Mount Vernon and started going North back to Madison County. By this point several other agencies had joined the chase.  Police say the driver swerved at one of the cruisers and almost hit it. The chase ended around Exit 76 when the driver lost control of the Jeep Cherokee and crashed. The three people in the SUV got out and ran into a wooded area, but were all found.

22-year-old Ernest Powell is the alleged driver and has been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, 2 counts of wanton endangerment with a police officer, fleeing and theft. Deandre Tucker was charged with theft, fleeing and evading, and evidence tampering, while both Powell and Tucker are charged with unlawful transaction with a minor because the third person in the car was a minor.  The minor was not charged. [Source:]

Security vulnerabilities, potential hack attacks demand greater attention

Hackers have more opportunity to infiltrate retailer networks, according to a SecurityScorecard report, and that means retailers need to shore up security precautions. In fact no retailers, big or small, is immune from security threats, notes the vendor’s cybersecurity report that studied 48 largest retailers. The report reveals more than 50 percent may have failed to meet the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards, and security issues range from malware to weak network protection and poor security awareness among store employees.

“Our analysis indicates that even the most secure retailers could be susceptible to a breach. Additionally, previously installed and dormant malware could be activated during this time of year to capitalize on a larger score. If a hacker decides to take action while organizations scramble to keep up with an uptick in sales activity, attacks are more likely to be successful,” said Sam Kassoumeh, co-founder and COO of SecurityScorecard, in an announcement.  [Source: Retail Customer Experience]

Bald man who stole hair growth products sentenced to prison

A Florida man dubbed the “Balding Bandit” has been sentenced to two years in prison for stealing hair growth formula, among other items, from stores across Ohio, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said. In October, Andres Arias, 36, was arrested in Ohio on a charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He pleaded guilty to the charge Tuesday, the attorney general’s office said. He was arrested in August in Palm Beach County, Florida, on an out-of-state fugitive charge, jail records show. He was extradited to Alabama, where he was also wanted on theft charges, according to court records.

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From December 2015 through February, Arias flew to cities throughout Ohio, rented cars and drove to CVS and Walgreens stores where he would steal items such as Rogaine and memory- and weight-loss supplements, according to a news release from the attorney general’s office. He hid the items in his pants pockets, then shipped them to associates in New Jersey, who would deposit money into his bank account, the attorney general’s office said. “Organized retail theft costs Ohio businesses and consumers tens of millions of dollars every year,” David Fornshell, the Warren County, Ohio, prosecutor who worked the case said in a news release. Arias paid a $22,000 restitution, according to the release.

Ohio media dubbed Arias the “balding bandit” after surveillance footage showed a balding man stealing hair growth formula from stores throughout the state. That man was later identified as Arias. In May, Arias was arrested by Boca Raton, Florida, police on charges of driving under the influence and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway, court records show. He is scheduled to have a plea conference on that case in February, according to court records.  [Source: Fox25 Boston]

Amazon sued over counterfeits once again

E-commerce giant Amazon is facing yet another lawsuit after the makers of the Snuggie blanket and other products went to court claiming trademark infringement from “astronomical” numbers of counterfeits sold via the online marketplace. Manufacturers Allstar Marketing Group LLC, Ideavillage Products Corp and Ontel Products Corp brought the case against Amazon alleging the online marketplace had allowed its product display pages to be “hijacked” by counterfeiters from countries in Asia who were taking a “free ride” on the brand names’ successes. They allege that Amazon has not made moves to stop the sale of their fakes, which are in the thousands.

The manufacturers make products including the Snuggie sleeved blanket, Copper Fit compression sleeves and Magic Tracks toy racetracks, all of which are mainly sold on the TV. The companies claim they have lost profits from the presence of online fakes, which are being sold at a “rampant rate”, while their reputations have taken a hit as a result of negative reviews by customers who have bought the counterfeit products. They also accuse Amazon of copyright infringement and violating New York state false advertising and unfair competition laws, and are seeking millions of dollars in lost profits and punitive damages through the lawsuit. “Amazon has taken no action to prevent the sale of such counterfeit products despite having the knowledge, opportunity and means to do so,” the companies said.

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This is not the first lawsuit against Amazon on the grounds of counterfeit products sold on its platform. Last month, a US family sued the e-commerce site for $30m alleging that a hover-board toy that was bought off Amazon was counterfeit and caught fire, destroying the family’s $1m home. While the criticisms against Amazon over its approach to counterfeiters have recently intensified – a music industry group has made claims of a “serious counterfeit operation” on the site and shoemaker Birkenstock pulled its products earlier this year claiming the site’s lackluster anti-counterfeiting stance – the e-commerce giant has been seen to be making strides to fight fakes. Last month, the online marketplace filed two lawsuits against vendors allegedly selling fake goods, and just this month reports suggested Amazon was making anti-counterfeiting a top priority for 2017 by introducing a new, stricter registration initiative to make it harder for counterfeiters to sell fakes on its platform. [Source: Securing Industry]


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