Breaking News in the Industry: April 27, 2018

Thief poses as employee, steals $4,500 in watches [Viral Video]

A crook blended in and went unnoticed while he stole $4,500 worth of Apple watches. How could he break into the Walmart near Mountain Island Lake, North Carolina, while employees were closing up and without anyone noticing? Simple – he hid in plain sight, wearing a Walmart blue smock. Even when he ran into other employees, he played it cool by pretending to re-stock merchandise. “They noticed him because of what he was wearing, a Walmart smock, just like everybody else in the store,” said CMPD Detective Brandon Miller. “They thought he was just a regular worker.” With no one the wiser, he headed to the closed up electronics section and found what he was looking for – Apple watches. And he’s got a tool to break into the locked cabinet – a crowbar. “He brought the crowbar with him, he concealed it in his sleeve or pants leg.” We then see him help himself to boxes and boxes of Apple watches. “We’re looking at a total loss of just over $4,500.” With 13 boxes of watches in a shopping cart, each watch valued at $395, he raced out of the store and to his car, which was parked just out of camera range. Police think they’ve spotted him in another crime. “We haven’t seen him here in Charlotte, but we do have intel this guy may be connected to a similar incident down in Salisbury.” They are still working to make that connection to the two Walmarts. He is described as tall, heavyset, between the ages of 25 and 35. He put a lot of forethought into this theft. If you have the foresight to imagine a reward coming your way, call Crime Stoppers at 704.334.1600. You won’t have to leave your name and you won’t be called to court.   [Source: WBTV3 News]

Fraudster sentenced in credit card fraud scheme

U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. on Wednesday sentenced the seventh member of the “Manche Boy Mafia” gang to federal prison for his part in a credit card fraud scheme. Johnnie Earl Ross, 24, of Tampa, was sentenced to six years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty Feb. 8, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to court documents and statements made in open court, from at least January 2015 through November 2016, Ross and others affiliated with the “Manche Boy Mafia” or “MBM” organization conspired to commit credit card fraud and identity theft in the Tampa Bay area. The conspirators bought stolen credit and debit card account numbers online from various websites, some of which used bitcoins as their currency. They then purchased or stole re-loadable gift cards and used machines to emboss the stolen account numbers and their own names onto the front of these altered gift cards, thereby producing counterfeit credit cards. The conspirators then used these counterfeit cards at various retailers around the Tampa Bay area to purchase gift cards and electronics, which they either kept or sold for cash. Investigators determined that they had engaged in hundreds of successful transactions with counterfeit credit cards and had possessed and used thousands of stolen account numbers from people across the U.S. In total, Ross was held responsible for more than $540,000 in intended or attempted purchases with counterfeit credit cards and stolen account information. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Tampa Police Department.    [Source: Tampa Bay Reporter]

Employee charged with stealing thousands from store

A former Adidas employee in San Marcos, Texas has been released from jail on a $5,000 bail after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a local outlet location. Statesman reports that Frank Rodriguez III allegedly absconded with $2,600 last December from the Adidas store where he once worked. According to an affidavit, Rodriguez confessed to the theft in February, telling the store manager he had carried a cash deposit bag to an area without surveillance cameras before removing the $2,600 and tossing the remaining money in a new bag. In March, Rodriguez admitted the scheme to police. He’s been charged with felony theft and faces up to two years in jail for the dimwitted deed.   [Source: Sole Collector]

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Four shoplifting suspects arrested after police chase ends in crash

Four suspected shoplifters were arrested Tuesday after police said they threw beer bottles at officers during a wild chase through several Massachusetts towns. The four suspects were wanted in connection with an alleged incident at a Shaw’s supermarket in Groton. Police in Littleton attempted to initiate a stop but the driver continued on as three occupants allegedly threw beer bottles and other items out the window at them. The pursuit spanned several highways, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour. The chase came to an end when the driver allegedly slammed into a Di Capri pizza delivery driver’s car near Acton Pharmacy on Massachusetts Avenue and burst into flames. Guy Hutchins witnessed the crash and said both cars suffered severe damage. No injuries were reported as a result of the crash. “Most of the front of their car was down here. Big pieces. It was busted to pieces,” said Hutchins. Police arrested John Hickey, 31, of Everett, Dylan Brunetto, 27, of Billerica, Felicia Drew, 31, of Pepperell, and Gregory Tammaro, 28, of Groton. Hickey faces charges of failing to stop for police and negligent operation of vehicle, among several violations. Brunetto, Drew and Tammaro all face shoplifting charges. All four suspects were arraigned Tuesday afternoon.   [Source: WHDH7 News]

Employees charged in separate theft cases

Two people have been arrested in separate employee-theft cases from Arkansas businesses. On April 19, Magnolia police received a report of theft at the Walgreens store. An employee was identified as the suspect in the report. An investigation by a company loss prevention investigator, and later by Magnolia police, led to the arrest of David E. Johnson, 48, of Norphlet. Johnson had his first court appearance on April 19 on a charge of theft of property over $2,500. He was released on $2,500 bond. In a separate case, Magnolia police received a report on April 5 of theft from Murphy’s Jewelers. The suspect was identified as Leah Srebalus, 23, of Waldo.  An investigation led to the arrest of Srebalus on the charge of theft of property over $5,000. Srebalus had her first court appearance on April 6. She is free on $5,000 bond.  [Source: Magnolia Reporter]

Cargo thieves get more sophisticated by going back to the basics

Technology in today’s world has radically changed the threats that companies face. In the transportation industry, technology is increasingly used by cargo thieves when they break into shipping containers. While an amateur will crudely force his way into a trailer or container, the professional ring will want to conceal as much as possible about when, where, and how the theft occurred. The cargo seal thus becomes a necessary target, because it is the easiest way for a shipper to identify when and where his cargo has been tampered with. A few highly skilled career criminals can separate the traditional cargo seal and re-install it with a soldering gun. But now, unskilled thieves have begun to use 3D printing to replicate seals.

Shippers naturally devote significant resources to protect against these evolving technological threats. But another (and possibly more dangerous) hack that shippers need to guard against is not technology driven: it’s a good old-fashioned hack with drills and hammers. Rather than bother with trying to re-create or duplicate the seal once it’s broken, thieves are simply taking the door off its hinges or removing the handle with the seal intact. Security experts now openly acknowledge how easy it is for a thief to open a trailer or ocean container without breaking the seal. All it takes is a drill, some rivets, and a little paint. The thief drills through the rivets on the handle to gain easy access to the goods. Once he’s done pilfering the container’s contents, it’s just a matter of putting the handle back into place with new rivets and painting over it to cover any trace of foul play. It has become a common form of theft plaguing the transportation industry. This low-tech hack leaves the shipper at a loss when trying to find out where the theft occurred and, equally as important, who will be on the hook for the loss. And if the shipper can’t pass that loss on to a carrier, he may be out of luck with his insurance company, too. If the goods weren’t lost, and there’s no sign of a broken seal, the insurance company may very well say that it is not responsible for paying for the loss.   [Source: JDsupra]

 

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