Get Our Email Newsletter

Breaking News in the Industry: April 18, 2018

Shoplifting crew strikes home improvement stores

Baltimore County Police say they cleared fifteen shoplifting incidents at home improvement stores involving an organized crew of criminals, and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying two more of the suspects. Police say the two suspects pictured are associated with this shoplifting crew and were caught on surveillance camera taking tools from a Home Depot store in western Baltimore County. The suspects involved in this shoplifting crew have stolen in excess of $100,000 worth of tools, usually Dewalt or Milwaukee tool kits. While detectives have cleared fifteen cases from Baltimore County, there are at least forty documented cases involving this group of suspects spanning throughout Maryland and in Delaware. The suspects typically enter the stores, most commonly Home Depot or Lowe’s, in groups of 2 – 4 people and walk straight to the tool corral area, take easily carried tool kits, then walk together directly out of the store. Anyone who recognizes the two unidentified suspects or has any information on these crimes or additional suspects can contact police at 410-307-2020.  [Source: Fox5 News]

Starbucks says it will close its 8,000 company-owned stores in the US for one afternoon to educate employees about racial bias

The announcement follows an uproar over the arrest of two black men who were waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week. The store manager called the police. “I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” he said. “Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.” Starbucks says the training will be developed with guidance from experts including former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Sherrilyn Ifill, the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, will also help design the program, as will executives from the Equal Justice Initiative and Demos, the progressive think tank. The experts will also review the effectiveness of the training, Starbucks said.  The two men entered the Starbucks on Thursday and asked to use to the bathroom. An employee told them it was only for paying customers. When they then sat in the store without ordering anything, the manager called police, and the men were arrested for trespassing. No charges were filed. Johnson met with the two men on Monday and apologized for how they were treated, a company spokesperson said. The company says the manager who called the police is no longer working at that store. Starbucks would not comment on other reports that she has left the company by mutual agreement. Separately, a Facebook video taken in January at a Starbucks in California shows a black customer saying that he was not allowed to use the bathroom when a white customer was. The racial bias training will be provided on May 29 to about 175,000 workers. [Source: CNN Money]

Ring worth $20,000 stolen from jewelry store; two men sought

Police were looking for two men Thursday after they stole a ring worth more than $20,000 from a Killeen, Texas, jewelry store. The theft was reported just after 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Zales store at 2100 W.S. Young Dr. The two men entered the store and requested to see the ring, police said. An employee allowed one of the two to look at the ring, and then both suspects ran, taking the ring with them. Both men were black and one was in his 20s with a small Afro and brown eyes. He was wearing a black and yellow jogging suit with a jaguar or lion logo on the front and back. The second was also in his 20s and has short black hair and brown eyes. He was wearing blue jeans, white shoes, a white tank top and a blue jean jacket with “Nicki Minaj” on the back. The two may have escaped in a white sedan. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-TIPS.   [Source: KWTX10 News]

- Digital Partner -

Teen employee charged with felony theft for returns scam

A 16-year-old girl was charged with felony theft Sunday after she allegedly stole merchandise and money from JCPenney over several months. According to a Galesburg, Illinois, police report, officers were called about 4 p.m. Sunday to the retail anchor at Sandburg Mall, 1150 W. Carl Sandburg Drive. Once there, a corporate loss prevention associate told police the teenage worker had been under investigation for a month for reportedly making fraudulent returns. The employee “would find a cash purchase, and then make a return for the merchandise, and take the cash for the return.” Store records showed the worker allegedly took about $3,800 in returns and stolen merchandise. The employee reportedly wrote a statement and told the loss prevention officer the thefts began in December 2017.   [Source: The Register-Mail]

Woman arrested for shoplifting dog collar earns felony charge for carrying pills

A woman who was already wanted in Stafford, Virginia, picked up a new felony charge Wednesday after she was arrested for trying to steal a dog collar and other items from a county Walmart, police said. Serena Marie Ball, 46, of Locust Grove was charged with possession of a controlled substance after Percocet that she didn’t have a prescription for was found on her following her arrest, Stafford Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo said. Ball was also charged with misdemeanor larceny. According to police, Deputy Dominic Torrice went to the Walmart in response to a reported shoplifting. A loss prevention associate told Torrice that a woman had opened a bag of dog bones and stuffed some in her pockets and removed a tag from a shirt and placed it on a dog collar. Store surveillance video showed that the woman had failed to pay for just under $40 worth of items in the self-checkout line, Vicinanzo said. Police said the suspect became belligerent when taken into custody, continually screaming and claiming she was injured. Medical personnel were called to the scene and determined that the woman was not injured. At the Rappahannock Regional Jail, the dog collar was recovered among her belongings, along with the pills. Ball was wanted in Stafford Circuit Court for skipping a court appearance late last year. She is charged with DUI, 3rd offense, which is also a felony.  [Source: The Free Lance-Star]

Trust in Facebook has spectacularly nosedived after its enormous data breach

Trust in Facebook has spectacularly collapsed after the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was revealed to have improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million users. A survey of 3,000 people by the Ponemon Institute, a US think tank, reported by the Financial Times, showed that users were significantly more skeptical than they were last year that Facebook would handle their personal information with care. In the week after the former Cambridge Analytica staffer Christopher Wylie’s revelations about the data breach, just 27% of respondents to the Ponemon study agreed with the statement “Facebook is committed to protecting the privacy of my personal information.” This was a substantial drop from the 79% of people who agreed with the statement in 2017. The findings support Business Insider Intelligence’s 2018 Digital Trust survey, which found that 81% of Facebook users have little to no confidence in the company to protect their data and privacy. These fears were considerably more pronounced for Facebook than they were for Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube. Ponemon has been polling US Facebook users for most of the past decade, according to the FT. It said some respondents were particularly upset the company had not informed them of the Cambridge Analytica data breach in 2015, when Facebook learned of it. “They put Facebook on such a high pedestal that the bottom is more painful,” Ponemon’s chairman, Larry Ponemon, told the Financial Times. Business Insider has contacted the think tank for the full results of its survey.   [Source: Business Insider]

Loss Prevention Magazine updates delivered to your inbox

Get the free daily newsletter read by thousands of loss prevention professionals, security, and retail management from the store level to the c-suite.

What's New

Digital Partners

Become a Digital Partner

Violence in the Workplace

Download this 34-page special report from Loss Prevention Magazine about types and frequency of violent incidents, impacts on employees and customers, effectiveness of tools and training, and much more.


View All | Sponsor a Webinar


View All | Submit a Whitepaper

LP Solutions

View All | Submit Your Content

Loss Prevention Media Logo

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

The trusted newsletter for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management. Get the latest news, best practices, technology updates, management tips, career opportunities and more.

No, thank you.

View our privacy policy.