Breaking News in the Industry: March 10, 2017

Rhode Island police seize $20,000 in counterfeit goods during raid

Police seized about $20,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise and arrested a man during the raid of a Cranston, Rhode Island store.
Wade E. Brown, 37, was apprehended Tuesday after authorities discovered the goods at Litt Fashions on Park Avenue. Brown, who owns the business and is also known as “Jimmy Dean” and “DJBiggBizz, was taken into custody on counterfeiting and forgery charges. Police said they were told Brown had been selling counterfeit merchandise from inside the store, where the goods were displayed for sale.

Detectives also noted that they saw Brown selling the items at a flea market, adding that intellectual property investigators later identified the goods as “counterfeit trademarked merchandise.” According to authorities, seized counterfeit items included brands such as Nike, Polo, North Face, Louis Vuitton, Prada, various pro sports, Coach, Beats, and Ray Ban, as well as several other high-end designers. “It is estimated that if the items seized were authentic and sold in the legitimate market place, the total value would be approximately $20,000,” police noted. Brown was released on $5,000 personal recognizance.   [For more: TurnTo10 News]

Update on slain LP associate

The Loss Prevention Associate who was murdered was a 44-year-old father of three. Larry Drumgole was a Loss Prevention Associate at the Burlington Store in the Potomac Mills Mall. Saturday afternoon police said he confronted a suspected shoplifter. A struggle ensued and Drumgole was stabbed to death.

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Two days after his murder, condolences are flooding social media. Friend, Chuck Claiborne, put his feelings down on Facebook. He describes Drumgole as a good listener.”It really touched me and hurt me so much to know the way his life was taken away from his kids, but I truly know he’s in heaven,” said Claiborne. “When you run across a person this special, you get very emotional, knowing he was taken away from his kids and his wife just like that just doing what he had to do which was his job.”

Police said 35-year-old Jamel Kingsbury stabbed him to death. He’s still on the run. At the mall on Monday, shoppers said the violence is alarming. “It’s hard for us to protect ourselves nowadays. We just have to be aware of our surroundings and walk with other people,” said shopper Brittany Bolden. “Malls are supposed to be fun and you shouldn’t have to worry about being stabbed or anything harmful happening to you,” said another shopper, Jovan Lawless.  Investigators believe Kingsbury is still in the area. If you know where he’s hiding, call Prince William County police.  A GoFundMe page has been set up for Drumgole’s memorial.  [For more: WUSA9 News]

Shoplifting lands cop in hot water

A Berrien County Michigan Sheriff’s Department lieutenant is on administrative leave after pleading guilty to charges related to shoplifting groceries from the Niles Walmart.
 Lt. Trent Babcock, 41, of Walling Lane in Niles, is an 18-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Niles Township substation. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of third-degree retail fraud Friday in Berrien County Trial Court and was ordered to pay $435 in fines and costs. The internal investigation did not start until Babcock’s plea and sentence in the criminal matter Friday. Bailey said he expects the investigation to be finished within a week.

The police report of the incident indicates that a Walmart store video from Feb. 7 showed Babcock loading up a shopping cart with groceries. He placed some of the groceries in a blue plastic tote and other groceries in two black bags, all while still in the store. Babcock is then seen exiting through a closed checkout lane and leaving the store without paying for the items. He was confronted by a Walmart asset protection manager the next day and admitted to taking the items without paying for them, according to the report. The value of the groceries taken was put at $184. Of that amount, Babcock returned $172 worth of groceries on Feb. 8, turning the items over to Det./Lt. Greg Sanders of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. Bailey said an Allegan County Sheriff’s Department detective, at his request, conducted the investigation of the criminal case. Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic said his office handled the case and did not send out the case to another county as it has done in other instances, because there was no conflict of interest found. “A case being awkward is not a conflict,” Sepic said.   [For more: The Herald-Palladium]

Target shoplifting suspect leads police on pursuit

A brief police pursuit ended in arrest after Huntersville Police in North Carolina responded to a shoplifting case. Police said they initially responded to a shoplifting case of over $1000 Monday. When they came into contact with one of the suspects, 24-year-old Uniqua Lastarr Adams, she fled the area in a white Nissan Pathfinder. According to police, Adams nearly struck the officer standing next to her vehicle.

The encounter turned into a brief pursuit where Adams was stopped in a cul-de-sac where Adams was arrested and charged. Another suspect, 26-year-old Alexis Station, remained at Target and was arrested without incident.  [For more: WCNC News]

These are America’s favorite fast food restaurants

In an industry rife with competition, quick-service restaurants are pulling out all the stops to turn patrons into loyal customers. Diners aren’t just looking for quality food or speedy service, they want both. Chains that are able to adapt to changing consumer demands are better equipped to keep customers walking in the front door.

Market Force Information is out with a new set of restaurant rankings culled from the responses of more than 11,000 people and aggregated into a composite loyalty index that measures satisfaction with the food quality, service, value and restaurant experience, among other things.
The company averaged each chain’s score to determine which had the highest loyalty rating. Here’s what Market Force found:

Favorite burger chain
In-N-Out Burger
California-based In-N-Out Burger is a beloved brand with West Coast diners and took the top spot in the burger category of Market Force’s survey. The restaurant earned a score of 79 percent, 5 percentage points higher than its next closest competitor, Culver’s. Other top burger chains included Five Guys, which received a score of 70 percent, and Smashburger, which scored 58 percent. In comparison, the lowest ranked chains were Carl’s Jr. with 44 percent, Burger King with 41 percent and McDonald’s with 36 percent.

Favorite Mexican chain
Chipotle
Chipotle has struggled in recent years to keep up its sales, but diners still regard the brand highly for its food quality and cleanliness. The chain ranked No. 1 in Market Force’s list of quick-service Mexican restaurants. Chipotle scored 57 percent, narrowly beating out Moe’s Southwest Grill and El Pollo Loco, which both had 55 percent. The lowest ranked Mexican chains were Del Taco, Taco John’s and Taco Bell. These chains suffered from low ratings in food quality, cleanliness and healthy options, among others.

Favorite pizza chain
Marco’s Pizza
In a crowded field of pizza chains, Marco’s Pizza came out on top. The chain scored 75 percent on the loyalty index, edging out Papa Murphy’s, which held the top spot for three straight years. Marco’s Pizza received strong ratings in food quality, atmosphere and cleanliness. Close competitors were Papa Murphy’s with a score of 71 percent and Pizza Ranch, which scored 64 percent. The lowest ranked pizza chains were Pizza Hut, Little Caesars and CiCi’s pizza.

Favorite chicken chain
Chick-fil-A
Chick-fil-A has been the top chicken chain on Market Force’s loyalty ranking since the survey was first conducted four years ago, and it remains there. The chicken chain scored 78 percent in the category, above its nearest competitor, Raising Cane’s, by 8 percentage points. Chick-fil-A scored well above other chicken chains in all categories, except for one: healthy options. El Pollo Loco received a score of 57 percent in this area, while Chick-fil-A received 56 percent. The lowest ranked chicken chains were Popeyes, Church’s Chicken and KFC.

Favorite sandwich chain
Firehouse Subs
Beating out competitors like Panera Bread, McAlister’s Deli and Jersey Mike’s, Firehouse Subs received the highest ranking of sandwich chains, according to Market Force. The chain received a score of 77 percent, 7 percentage points higher than its nearest competitor. Firehouse Subs received strong ratings for food quality, cleanliness, staff friendliness and atmosphere. While Panera was ranked high for food quality and healthy options, it had the worst value rating of the bunch. The lowest-ranked sandwich chains were Jimmy John’s, Subway and Arby’s.  [For more: CNBC]

Fortune 1000 companies two times more prone to data breaches

According to a recent report from, BitSight a security ratings agency, Fortune 1000 organizations are significantly more susceptible to cyber-attacks than non-Fortune listed companies. Companies listed under the Fortune magazines’ top 1000 are more likely, or have already been subject to twice the amount of data breaches compared to peers.

The BitSight report, released March 8th, presents information about the level of cyber security among these companies, and identifies some of the most common system compromises.  In order to identify common security breaches, BitSight looked at 2,500 companies in similar industries with at least 2,500 employees, before comparing them to the Fortune 1000 group. Using algorithms derived from security incidents around the globe, they were able to come up with security rating system.

Ratings were assigned from 250 to 900 with 900 being the lowest risk. BitSight found that about one in every twenty companies had undergone a breach disclosed to the public within the last 15 months. Even more concerning, most of the Fortune 1000 was found to have at least one administration division using an open port system, making them a susceptible for illegal access.  According to the report, only 53 of the 1000 companies were found to have put effort into improving security.  [For more: Tech Times]

Settlement proposed in The Home Depot data breach lawsuit

A settlement proposed Wednesday would finally conclude the lawsuit brought against Home Depot, following the 2014 data breach. Under the proposed terms of settlement, Home Depot would be required to pay $25 million into a settlement fund for distribution through a claims process to financial institutions that had not yet released their legal rights to recovery. Financial institutions filing a valid claim, would be eligible to receive a fixed payment at roughly $2 per compromised card without submitting documentation of losses, regardless of if compensation has previously been received from another source. Home Depot also agreed to pay up to $2.225 million to entities whose claims were released by a sponsor in connection with the recovery program. Eligible entities would be entitled to payment of about $2 per compromised card.

In order to meet the demands of plaintiffs CUNA and others, Home Depot agrees to strengthen future data security measures. Furthermore, Home Depot will pay all court-ordered fees, expenses, and costs associated with the lawsuit. If the Atlanta District Court approves, a claims process will be implemented for credit unions to file their claims. CUNA will provide more information upon establishment of the mechanism.

“Credit unions and their members have unfortunately borne the brunt of lax merchant data security standards. This settlement would be a step toward making them whole again. We believe this settlement represents one of the better outcomes in data breach litigation,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “We’re hopeful credit unions will see more victories in data breach suits going forward. In the meantime, CUNA will continue pursuing a legislative solution that will result in stricter merchant data security standards, making it much harder for merchants to compromise payment card information.”  [For more: CUNA News]

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