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Breaking News in the Industry: September 9, 2016

Teens in Hooded Sweatshirts Steal 22 Phones From Apple Store

A group of about a dozen teens simultaneously stole 22 phones from an Apple Store in Hingham, MA, Monday evening, police said. Authorities are calling this an “organized retail theft.” Police said there were about 10 to 12 thieves, described as black teen males who were all wearing sweatshirts with hoods on. Some of the culprits fled the scene in a white car, possibly a Ford Taurus, that had its plate covered, according to police. No surveillance video has been released yet. The value of the stolen phones is estimated at over $14,000. [Source: CBS Local]

LP Worldwide: Thief Locked up  After Committing 165th Shoplifting Offence

Stephen Michael Stelmach, 62, admitted stealing clothes worth hundreds of pounds from Top Shop after CCTV cameras captured him using a device designed to remove security tags. Prosecutor Peter Bardsley described how the defendant had gone to the Dunmail Park shop on August 13 armed with a “detagging device,” which allowed him to discreetly remove security tags from stock. After he left the shop, staff found 15 discarded tags lying about in the store. “CCTV shows him selecting items from the rails, and the manager Miss Jones said that at no point does he go to the till and pay,” said the prosecutor.

Tom Lomas, chairman of the magistrates, told Stelmach: “You seem to have made a career out of going all over the country stealing. So we feel that we have no other option but to place you in custody.” The defendant was jailed for 24 weeks. In addition, Stelmach must pay a £115 victim surcharge. [Source: News &]

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Louisiana Boy Finds Bag of Meth in Video Game Package

It was Grand Theft Auto come to life: When an 11-year-old bought a video game Wednesday in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he opened the plastic case to find a bag of drugs. KPLC-TV reports that the boy’s father returned to the store and called police. Det. Rebecca Reed with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed the substance was methamphetamine.

Joey Mooring is director of public relations for GameStop. Mooring told the TV station that the Grapevine, Texas-based company checks used games for quality when customers trade them in. He also says games are checked again before being shipped to another store. The Lake Charles store manager says employees there typically don’t examine games received from elsewhere in the company.  Reed says GameStop told police it couldn’t track the game’s origin. [Source:]

Suspected Shoplifter Accused of Assaulting Loss Prevention Officer

A 36-year-old man with a Florida address appeared in a Mesa County courtroom on Friday, accused of assaulting a loss-prevention officer at Herberger’s in the Mesa Mall and attempting to flee after being confronted over alleged shoplifting at the store. Law enforcement arrived at the store Thursday afternoon, and found Paul Fay, of Cape Coral, Florida, handcuffed and detained in the store’s loss-prevention office.

Deputies also found a loss-prevention officer with blood on his clothing, the result of Fay allegedly striking the man in the face prior to law enforcement’s arrival, according to an arrest affidavit. The loss prevention officer who was allegedly assaulted told sheriff’s deputies that he saw Fay conceal a number of shirts into the front of his pants, and then try to walk out of the store. Fay was initially detained in the store’s loss-prevention office, but while in the office he allegedly “head-butted” the security officer, knocking him into the wall, and then “struck (the officer) with a closed fist under the left side of his jaw, causing pain,” according to an affidavit. [Source: The Daily Sentinel]

Retailers Face Shipping Crisis With Holiday Season Around The Corner

As the run-up to retail’s big season is getting ready to get underway, the nation’s retailers have a big, big problem at the ports. A problem that has now gotten severe enough that they are looking to the federal government for assistance.

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The problem is not American in origin. It stems from extreme financial difficulties suffered by South Korea’s Hanjin Shippin g Co. Hanjin is one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, and as of this week, it has filed for bankruptcy protection.  “While the situation is still developing, the prospect of harm is significant and apparent,” Sandra Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, wrote in a letter to the Department of Commerce and the Federal Maritime Commission. She further noted the challenges U.S. shippers would face and that the situation “could have a substantial impact on consumers and the economy at large.” At the time of its collapse, Hanjin handled about 7.8 percent of the trans-Pacific U.S. market. Since its filing, terminal operators, ports, cargo handlers, truckers and others have refused to handle its cargo because, at present, there is no guarantee they are getting paid for doing so. In addition, some Hanjin ships have been seized by creditors or barred from shipping cargo from Busan, South Korea’s main port. Other ships have been turned back from from ports in the U.S., China, Canada, Spain and elsewhere. [Source:]


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