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Breaking News in the Industry: August 15, 2018

Police arrest 2 women for shoplifting, assaulting LP

Police arrested two Tulsa, Oklahoma women suspected of shoplifting and assaulting loss prevention personnel three times in the past week. Investigators said on three occasions, August 8th, 12th and 13th, Kayla Dixon and Symone Henson went into a Tulsa retailer, grabbed sports apparel, then pepper sprayed LP associate as they left the businesses without paying.

Police said in the first two thefts, the pair took $1,480 worth of merchandise. During the third theft attempt, officers said store the LP associates  were able to prevent the two from taking any merchandise. Police said each time, Dixon and Henson got into a silver Chevrolet Spark and drove off.  During the August 13th theft attempt, the pair dropped a set of car keys and a can of mace as they fled. After obtaining a search warrant, police arrested Dixon and Henson on Monday afternoon at a Tulsa apartment complex. Police booked Dixon, 19, and Henson, 20, into the Tulsa County jail on complaints including grand larceny, possession of stolen property as well as assault and battery.  [Source: NewsOn6]

Employee charged with theft

A Texas Home Depot employee accused of helping a customer leave with nearly $3,000 worth of merchandise last month has been charged with theft. Authorities said officers were called to the store on July 14 after store managers confronted Dawn Anne Ruhs. According to the police report, Ruhs began a sales transaction for a customer with a cart full of merchandise but voided the transaction before payment was received.

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The 45-year-old was seen on security video taking the merchandise, which included a riding lawn mower, out of the store with the customer, the report states. Store managers said there was a previous investigation into the employee “due to suspected activity of the same nature,” according to the police report. Ruhs was charged with theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000 on Saturday. She was released from the Brazos County Jail the same day after posting $7,500 bail. Theft of property in that amount is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. [Source: The Eagle]

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Brits accept level of fraud for online convenience

Two-thirds of UK consumers see fraud as an inevitable risk when shopping online, according to Paysafe research. The company surveyed 5,056 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany and Austria and found that seven in ten UK consumers now prefer shopping online rather than going to physical stores, and 68% do so much more than they did a year ago. One third have experienced payment fraud in the past year, up 6% on 2017.

When online, 61% have used digital wallets in the past month, 34% have used a credit card and 57% a debit card. Meanwhile, 51% are using in-app purchases more than a year ago. 79% now say they prefer websites that already have their payment information stored. Cash, however, continues to thrive as the most common form of payment: 88% of consumers used it in the past month to make a purchase. Although 62% of UK consumers carry less cash than they did a year ago, falling from an average of £33 last year to £21 in 2018, their relationship with notes and coins is changing and there are other ways to keep it at the forefront of the payment mix. For example, in Austria and Germany, online cash replacement systems which negate the need to share financial data are used by 12% and 9% of respondents respectively.

Oscar Nieboer, Chief Marketing Officer, Paysafe Group, comments: “In the UK, we have now reached a level of maturity in online retail – most websites are optimised, the checkout process is increasingly simple and delivery is getting quicker. In turn, more consumers are telling us they are accepting a level of fraud for this convenience. What is notable, though, is the same rules do not yet apply to biometrics, such as voice-activated payments. The idea of a consumer’s unique biometric data being defrauded is uncomfortable, and this manifests as emerging technology like voice not yet attracting mainstream usage for payments.”   [Source: Retail Technology Innovation Hub]

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Suspect accused of under-ringing items faces grand theft charge

A 36-year-old Ocala, Florida, man was arrested Tuesday for grand theft after he allegedly under-rang items in a self checkout lane at a Walmart store. Jason James Ruby was arrested at 6:55 p.m. and taken to the Marion County Jail. He was released Wednesday in lieu of $2,000 bail.

According to the Marion County Sheriff’s office report, a loss prevention associate told a deputy she saw Ruby in the store at 9570 State Road 200 trying to return some items that could not be returned. He then went to a baseball trading card display and picked out individual packs of cards and two large boxes of cards.

Ruby went to a self-checkout machine and “held a pack of cards valued at $1.98 in his left hand. He would then pick up other packs of cards, scan the pack in his left hand and put the other packs into a shopping bag,” the report states. Twenty of the 50 packs of cards were priced at $9.98 and 29 were marked $5.98. The two large boxes were priced at $49.98 and $79.98. The report placed the “total value for the merchandise that was under-rung by Ruby” at $504.96. Ruby passed all points of sale within the store and was confronted by a loss prevention associate and escorted to an office while authorities were notified. [Source: Ocala StarBanner]

Cashier accused of pilfering from the till

A former Walmart cashier is accused of pilfering money from the till. Terra Monique Davis, 18, of North Muskegon has been charged with embezzlement, a potential five-year felony. She’s accused of taking more than $3,000 from the Walmart at 1879 E. Sherman Blvd. in Fruitport Township. It’s alleged that David took money on nine different occasions between July 21 and Aug. 3, according to a complaint affidavit for a warrantless arrest filed by Fruitport Township Police Officer Timothy Thompson.

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Davis was caught stealing on closed circuit TV as well as by a loss prevention manager performing surveillance of her, according to Thompson’s affidavit. In addition, she admitted to some of the theft, Thompson wrote. Davis is on probation for attempted first-degree retail fraud, according to court information. She was arrested at the store on Aug. 3, and was arraigned Aug. 6. She posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond.   [Source: MLive]

Eight women arrested for spending thousands with stolen credit cards

Eight women have been charged for allegedly using a handful of stolen credit cards to purchase more than $8,000 worth of goods during a series of shopping sprees in Alaska late last year. Elizabeth J. Freeman, 32, Tonya S. Fry, 44, Samantha J. Fry, Joanna L. Samson-Sills, 44, Bridget L. Samson, 28, Desiree J. Guilliam, 23, Teri L. Bannach, 42, and Savanna M. Enix, 32, were each charged with theft for allegedly using credit cards belonging to a deceased man to purchase groceries, gas, snacks, cigarettes and Christmas decorations, among other items, between November and December 2017, according to an Alaska State Troopers affidavit filed with the court.

The women allegedly charged $8,155.71 on the cards, which were inside a wallet that was reported stolen from a Soldotna home in late November 2017, according to the affidavit. Two cell phones and $300 cash were also reported stolen at the time. The cards were reportedly used at different times by different women at local stores, including Walgreens, Walmart, Fred Meyer and Tesoro. A stolen card was also used to pay for work on a home septic system, according to the affidavit.   [Source: Peninsula Clarion]

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