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Breaking News in the Industry: April 25, 2018

Surveillance video captures theft of $2,000 guitar [Viral Video]

Ramapo New York police are looking for the public’s help in finding two men who they say stole an expensive guitar from a music store. The store managers at Alto Music on Route 59 in Airmont say the suspect walked out of the room for high-end guitars with one in his hand. He walked over to a corner of the store and put the $2,000 guitar down his pants. The whole incident was caught on security cams. The surveillance video shows the suspect walking with a cane around the store. But employees say that cane was likely a prop, enabling the man to walk out the store with what looked like a limp due to the guitar being down his pants. The suspect wasn’t alone. A second man was also caught on tape standing watch for his friend. Store managers say this wasn’t the first time they’ve seen both at Alto Music. “Hopefully someone recognizes them. Luckily the camera got pretty clear shots of their faces. And since they have been here before, we’re assuming they’re local. So hopefully someone recognizes them,” says Seth Berman, of Alto Music. Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call  845.357.2400..  [Source: News12 Westchester]

Leader of massive shoplifting ring is stuck with having to pay $452K bill

The leader of a far-reaching mid-state shoplifting ring is stuck with a $452,000 bill for his crime after a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel rejected his appeal.The court wasn’t convinced by James Giuffrida’s claim that his lawyer was ineffective both before and after he pleaded no contest to running an “organized retail theft conspiracy” that employed more than 100 drug addicts. The York County man was arrested in November 2012. Two years later, right after a jury was selected for his trial, Giuffrida pleaded no contest to multiple criminal charges. He had no sentencing deal. York County Judge Craig T. Trebilcock sentenced Giuffrida to 6 3/4 to 13 1/2 years in prison and fined him $55,000. Giuffida, 35, later was ordered to pay $397,431 in restitution as well. In the state court opinion denying the appeal, Senior Judge William H. Platt rejected Giuffrida’s assertion that his lawyer coerced him to make the no contest plea. Giuffrida insisted his attorney did so because he wasn’t ready for the trial. Platt concluded that court records show otherwise. Giuffrida twice voiced his desire to plead no contest even after Trebilcock advised him that without a sentencing agreement, “You’re entering a plea without a safety net,” the state judge noted. Investigators said that at its height Giuffrida’s ring employed 110 addicts who committed more than 2,500 thefts at 92 stores in York, Adams, Cumberland, Lebanon, Dauphin and Lancaster counties and in Maryland. The thieves would return some items for refunds on store gift cards, police said, and would keep others for resale. Giuffrida would gather the goods and gift cards at his West York business, Powerhouse Graphix, they said.   [Source: Penn Live]

Shoplifting suspect chased through store, shocked with Taser in garden center

A 33-year-old man who was wanted on shoplifting charges was chased through an Upstate South Carolina Walmart tore before he was shocked with a Taser and taken into custody, police say. Officers were called the Walmart on Dorman Centre Drive about a man who was in the store who they say was wanted on shoplifting charges. An officer said that he identified the suspect as Ernest Robbins, and confirmed that there were arrest warrants against him. The officer said he located Robbins near the toy department and told him he was taking him into custody on the outstanding charges. The officer said Robbins resisted him, broke free and ran through the store. The officer said he chased Robbins and warned him that he would use a Taser on him, but Robbins would not stop. The officer said he fired the Taser once and missed, and fired a second time, hitting Robbins as he ran into the garden department. The officer said as he rolled Robbins over and put him in handcuffs, Robbins kept asking what his name was. While walking Robbins to the patrol car, he fell down in the middle of Walmart and said he couldn’t walk. An ambulance was called to the store and Robbins was taken to the hospital. He was then booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on three counts of shoplifting.  [Source: WYFF 4 News]

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Four shoplifting suspects arrested after pursuit ends in fiery crash

Four suspects were arrested in Acton, Massachusetts, Tuesday following a pursuit through at least two communities, state police said. Police said John Hickey, 31 of Everett, was behind the wheel with three accomplices who shoplifted from a grocery store in Grafton. The pursuit ended along Route 2 with a fiery crash involving at least two vehicles. Police said the suspects plowed into a car driven by a pizza shop owner out to make a delivery in Acton. Hickey was charged with conspiracy, failing to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license and speeding. Dylan Brunetto, 27, of Billerica was charged with Conspiracy. He also has a warrant for a prior shoplifting incident. Felicia Drew, 31, of Pepperell and Gregory Tammaro, 28, of Groton, were charged with conspiracy and shoplifting over $100. All four suspects are well known to police, authorities said.  [Source: WCVB5 News]

Three men arrested in alleged retail crime ring

Three men were arraigned in Michigan on Friday for their alleged involvement in pawning high-value merchandise purchased from thieves targeting big-box stores such as Home Depot, Target, Walmart and Meijer. Spencer Robert Szostak, 31, of Dearborn; Steven Todd Kilbourne-Bullion, 30 of Allen Park; and Stephen Robert Dodge, 31, of Dearborn are charged with several offenses, including using a computer to commit a crime, organized retail crime, and receiving and concealing stolen property, according to a statement from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. Szostak is accused of the most counts, 20. He is also charged with “continuing a criminal enterprise,” or racketeering, a felony punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. He was assisted by the Kilbourne-Bullion, facing 14 counts, and Dodge, charged with 9 counts, according to the prosecutor’s office. The three were working at U.S. Pawn Shop on South Beech Daly Road in Dearborn Heights, and would sell the purchased and pilfered items through the store and on eBay. This happened from October 2017 to April, the prosecutor’s office alleges. An investigation by the Canton Police Department led to the men’s arrest. They were arraigned Friday in Plymouth and given $10,000 personal recognizance bonds.   [Source: MLive]

Amazon wants to Key your car

Amazon on Tuesday said that it’s expanding its Amazon Key in-home delivery service to customers’ cars. With “Amazon Key In-Car,” Prime members with “compatible vehicles” can opt to have packages delivered inside their cars when parked in a publicly accessible area. Amazon expects those locations to typically be at a customer’s home or workplace, according to a company press release. Compatible vehicles include 2015 or newer Chevrolets, Buicks, GMC, Cadillacs or Volvos with active roadside assistance accounts. The service carries no charge for Prime members and is available starting now in 37 U.S. metropolitan areas, the same areas where Amazon Key is already available. More cities and more vehicle makes and models will be added over time, Amazon said.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

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