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Breaking News in the Industry: August 3, 2018

Watch: Armed guard shoplift with help

The armed security guard who was caught on camera stealing $3,000 worth of electronics from a local Walmart in a cooler has been arrested. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Florida says Jamaal Montague, 27, was arrested Tuesday after numerous tips on their social media post. He has been charged with grand theft, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and dealing in stolen property.

Deputies say the man loaded up a several coolers with $3,000 worth of electronics while inside the store. He then pushed the cart out through the garden center, pushed it up against a gate, and jumped the gate. On the other side of the gate, the guard’s accomplice helped him get the stuffed coolers over the fence. If you know the security guard or have any information, you are asked to call Detective Kevin Tim at 850.606.3300, or to remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward, please call Big Bend Crime Stoppers at 850.574-TIPS (8477).    [Source: WTXL27 News]

Shoplifting suspect assaults two people; Hides In cornfield

Mitchell Police arrested a shoplifting suspect who allegedly assaulted two people, and then hid in an Iowa cornfield Friday. Authorities say 32-year-old Victor McKittrick, Jr, pushed an employee to the ground while leaving a store with unpaid merchandise. Police say McKittrick then assaulted another victim and stole his side-by-side utility vehicle. McKittrick later abandoned the vehicle and ran into a cornfield to hide. McKittrick was arrested and is being charged with second-degree theft and simple assault.   [Source: Keloland News]

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Five-Finger Discount: A look at Pennsylvania’s three strikes law for retail theft

On May 5, 2016, Robert Rice, a 28-year-old man from Trout Run, Pennsylvania, entered a Turkey Hill convenience store on South Market Street in Upper Allen Township and picked up some merchandise, according to Upper Allen Township Police. Police said Rice then left the store without paying for the items, which according to court records show cost a little more than $30.

Typically, a retail theft involving the loss of $30 in merchandise would constitute a summary offense, similar to a traffic citation. However, Rice was charged with felony retail theft and sentenced to a maximum 12 months in Cumberland County Prison. Rice had two previous convictions for retail theft, triggering Pennsylvania’s three strikes law. The law states that all third or subsequent convictions for retail theft are to be graded as third degree felonies regardless of the value of the items stolen.

His $30 retail theft also wound up costing him nearly $1,300 in fines and fees, including a $300 booking center fee, a $190 “plea fee” — which is a fee imposed on defendants for pleading guilty — $250 for the state DNA detection fund, $10 for domestic violence compensation, $5 for the firearms education and training fund. His crime did not involve a firearm or an act of domestic violence.

In Pennsylvania, retail theft can be graded anywhere from a summary offense all the way up to a felony depending on the value of the items stolen and the number of prior convictions the defendant has. A first offense where the value of the items stolen is less than $150 is graded as a summary, which is the same grading as things like a speeding ticket. Retail theft can be a misdemeanor if it is a second offense or the value of the goods stolen is $150 or more, according to state law. Third or subsequent offenses, theft of a gun or a motor vehicle or where the value of items stolen exceeds $1,000 are all graded as a third degree felony. Other crimes that are graded as a third degree felony are involuntary manslaughter, institutional sexual assault and carrying a firearm without a license. In Rice’s case, if he had stolen all of the merchandise from all three of his retail theft cases, he would have faced just a summary offense. Court records show that the value of the items he stole totaled a little more than $100…   [Source: The Sentinel]

Biting, shoplifting suspect arrested

A Connecticut woman faces charges for seriously biting a pharmacy employee who was trying to detain her for shoplifting. Marissa Chevalier, 20, of Enfield, tried to shoplift more than $200 worth of batteries from the Walgreens on Washington Street, police said. The incident happened on Tuesday around 7:40 a.m. When officers arrived, they met with the employee who had detained Chevalier.

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The employee told officers that Chevalier bit the employee and punctured the skin. Other employees had to aid in detaining Chevalier. She was taken into custody without further incident when officers arrived. Chevalier was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and sixth-degree larceny.The Walgreens employee had to be transported by an ambulance to Hartford Hospital’s emergency room for treatment for the bite.   [Source: WFSB3 Eyewitness News]

WATCH: Thieves carry 50-inch TV … on a motorcycle

Authorities in Texas said two men who stole a 50-inch TV from a home fled with the stolen device on a motorcycle. The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office said security camera footage shows the two men arrive at a Manvel home on a motorcycle and take a TV that had been screwed into a cabinet on the back patio. The men then fled on the motorcycle with the television sandwiched between them. Multiple witnesses snapped photos of the unusual sight and police said deputies followed the motorcycle for a time, but lost track of the suspects.  [Source: UPI]

Retail fraud volume and cost increase sharply year-on-year

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions released its comprehensive 2018 True Cost of Fraud report, for the retail sector. Findings show fraud is escalating at an unprecedented pace in an industry already operating on very thin margins. The LexisNexis Fraud Multiplier, which measures the cost for each dollar of fraud loss, found that this year, every dollar of fraud cost merchants $2.94, up from $2.77 a year ago, a 6 percent increase. The report also found the volume of successful and thwarted fraudulent attempts rising steeply at the companies surveyed—from a monthly average of 238 to 306 successful fraudulent transactions, year-on-year, and from 257 to 313 prevented fraudulent transactions.

Mobile commerce continues to be the sector most susceptible to fraud, particularly with identity fraud. Mid- to large-size mobile commerce merchants that sell digital goods see 39 percent of the fraud losses from identity theft, including synthetic identities. Though these merchants appear to have shown signs of investing in fraud prevention solutions in the past year, many still struggle with identity fraud. This is likely due to the types of solutions that these merchants are implementing.

- Digital Partner -

“The hotly competitive retail landscape means merchants must meet customer expectations for convenience and continually drive business growth,” said Kimberly Sutherland, senior director, fraud and identity management strategy, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “However, these key drivers also have increased risk for identity-related fraud, especially with the rise of synthetic identities and the volume of botnet orders. Therefore, it’s crucial for retailers to not just invest in a large number of fraud prevention solutions, but the right combination and layering of the solutions to defend against different threats. Retailers are beginning to demand solutions that combine physical identity data with digital identity data so that they have 360 degree view to know if the person they are doing business with really is that person.”

Other findings of the report include:
• Digital goods merchants who layer core, identity and fraud transaction solutions have lower fraud costs ($2.88 for every $1 of fraud) than those that use only a limited set of core solutions (up to $3.61 per $1 of fraud).

• The LexisNexis Fraud Multiplier has risen most sharply, year-on-year, among those selling digital goods through the mobile channel. For every $1 of fraud, mid- to large-mobile commerce merchants selling digital goods are hit with an average cost of $3.29, as opposed to their physical goods-only counterparts at $2.78.

“Retailers are more likely to be tracking where they’ve successfully thwarted fraud rather than also tracking where they’ve been able to prevent it from occurring. This approach lessens the overall effectiveness of preventing fraud, given that fraudsters are adept at testing for areas that are less of a focus by merchants, and change their attack points accordingly,” added Sutherland.    [Source: PR Newswire]

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