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Breaking News in the Industry: August 30, 2018

Employee charged with running up $200K on employer’s credit cards

A Warner Robins man is accused of stealing gas credit cards from his former employer and then selling fuel to truckers for half the price using the stolen cards. His ex-employer estimated the loss at $200,000. David Turner Jr., 26, was charged with 572 counts each of financial transaction card fraud and of receiving goods from fraudulent charges, according to a Crisp County Sheriff’s Office post on Facebook. Turner is also charged with 20 counts each of identity fraud and of financial transaction card theft, seven counts of entering auto and one count criminal trespass.

From January to August, Turner allegedly stole gas cards from company trucks of former employer Cordele Intermodal Service, then used the stolen cards and sold fuel to truckers for half the price on the cards, according to the post. A company audit determined the loss of $200,000, the post said. Houston County sheriff’s deputies arrested Turner on Tuesday morning, jail records show. Crisp County sheriff’s deputies picked him up Tuesday afternoon from the Houston County Detention Center and took him to the Crisp County jail.   [Source: The Telegraph]

Shoplifting suspect returns stolen goods, leaves kids behind

Authorities stopped a woman, accused of taking items from a grocery, but what she left behind was far more valuable. Court documents say Lanise Lindsey, 27, was leaving Kroger on Colerain Avenue last week when police confronted her, suspecting that she had shoplifted. Police said she then went back inside, removed the items from her purse and fled from the store, leaving behind her two children. Lindsey has been charged with two counts of endangering children. She will be arraigned in Hamilton County court on Tuesday.   [Source: WLWT5 News]

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DHL tests new international returns process

DHL has been testing a new process for international e-commerce returns for the last month, DC Velocity reports, in an effort to build a supply chain for international returns equal to domestic ones. Returns are currently flowing between the U.S. and the U.K. and the U.S. and Australia. The full program will launch in 2019, but not in time for so-called “returns season” for holiday gifts in January. The program includes direct returns to the sender as well as some consolidation at U.S. locations so that items can be either disposed of or  sold, leveraging multiple DHL services.   [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

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Mother, daughter arrested on shoplifting charges

A mother and daughter from Macon-Bibb County were arrested following a traffic stop Saturday afternoon on felony shoplifting charges stemming from the theft of more than $650 worth of groceries from the Milledgeville Kroger. The suspects were identified as Shameeka Nicole Anthony, 42, of the 3500 block of Travis Boulevard, and Tia Lee Anthony, 21, of the 2100 block of Neal Avenue, according to an incident report filed by Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Joshua Holcomb.

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Shammeka Anthony was charged with theft by shoplifting and driving while license suspended, records show. Tia Anthony, meanwhile, also was charged with theft by shoplifting, and permitting an unlicensed person to drive. After the pair was arrested, they were taken to the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center and jailed. The shoplifting incident happened shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday.Holcomb said in his report that he was informed by a dispatcher that the suspects had left the store in a black car. The store manager provided a description as well as a license plate number of the car. While en route to the call at the grocery store off North Columbia Street, Holcomb said he spotted a car matching the description, and later confirmed by the license plate number that it was the same car.

The car, described as a 2008 Ford Taurus, was seen traveling along Roberson Mill Road, according to Holcomb. The driver of the car, later identified as Shameeka Anthony, later made a right turn onto Ga. Route 22. The deputy said he stopped the car along Ga. Rt. 22 near Walter B. Williams Park. Holcomb said the driver never slowed down or attempted to stop. Holcomb said a dispatcher had advised him earlier that two women had reportedly stolen several hundreds of dollars in merchandise from the grocery store.

The store manager told a sheriff’s office dispatcher that he last saw the car traveling south on North Columbia Street. Holcomb said once the car was stopped he saw an assortment of groceries in the back seat. Both women subsequently were asked to step out of the car by the deputy and they were then questioned individually. Shameeka Anthony later reportedly admitted she was coming from Kroger where she had bought some groceries. Holcomb said when he asked her if she had a receipt for the groceries she presented a receipt from Kroger dated Aug. 21. She later reportedly admitted that the groceries had not been paid for, according to the incident report. The deputy said the suspect told him she was struggling and had intended on selling the items.   [Source: The Union-Recorder]

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Shoplifter stopped at ‘Taser-point’ outside store

An accused shoplifter’s dash from Forsyth, Georgia, Menards store came to an abrupt halt Sunday afternoon when he was confronted by a sheriff’s deputy who ordered him to the ground at “taser-point,” according to a sworn affidavit. Macon County sheriff’s deputy Byron Ebbert said the 31-year-old man was fleeing a loss prevention associate who caught him trying to steal a $670 paint sprayer and a 5-gallon bucket of stain priced at $200. Ebbert said the LP associate, who had alerted authorities, confronted the man in the parking lot about 4:40 p.m. and the man took off running.

Ebbert said the loss prevention associate told him the man’s shoplifting technique had been to walk into the store carrying two one-gallon pails of paint. He then asked for two green “proof of entrance” stickers for the paint, which he said he planned to return. “He later removed the green proof of entrance stickers from the one gallon paint pails he had brought with him and placed one of the stickers on the paint sprayer and the other on the 5-gallon bucket of stain,” Ebbert said. But the LP asociate had been watching as the man loaded the items into a cart, and he followed him out as he left the store, Ebbert said. The man was booked on a preliminary charge of burglary and remained held in the Macon County Jail on Monday night in lieu of $10,000 bond. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office.   [Source: Herald & Review]

Expect peak shipping season to be tougher than ever, experts warn

The U.S. economy remains on one of its best trajectories in years, leading to higher demand from consumers. The demand is butting up against tight transportation supply, especially for trucking. As a result, intermodal freight likely will become an increasingly popular option during the peak season. A panel of freight industry experts delivered this message during last Thursday’s “Navigating New Realities: Peak Shipping Season Intermodal Outlook” webinar hosted by American Shipper. Patrick Duffy, research director at American Shipper, said this peak season stands out for “particularly daunting conditions: surging imports, perhaps to beat tariffs; reductions in carrier service due to consolidation; GRI (general rate increases); and bunker surcharges.”

“As trade rhetoric continues to grow negative and trucking capacity remains tight, you have beneficial cargo owners and forwarders shipping earlier this year and wondering whether they will have to rely on air cargo to fill their shelves,” Duffy said. Webinar panelist Ibrahiim Bayaan, chief economist at FreightWaves, said this year’s peak shipping season comes against the backdrop of a robust U.S. economy.

U.S. gross domestic product grew 4.1 percent on an annualized basis in the second quarter, “one of the strongest quarters since the recession,” Bayaan said. While annualized GDP growth once hovered closer to 2 percent to 2.25 percent, “we have been able to exceed those levels over the past several quarters, particularly this year because of some policy changes.” The U.S. economy “is in a different state than it was four or five years ago,” he added.

Other economic indicators also are strong and accelerating. Bayaan noted that retail sales plateaued last year, especially after a series of hurricanes hit the U.S. Southeast and Gulf Coast. But low unemployment and high consumer confidence are pushing retail sales up 6 percent this year. Retailers, though, are still keeping their inventories lean, with the U.S. inventory-to-sales ratio falling from the high levels of the second half of 2016. “You have this combination of low inventories and high demand, which means inventories have to be replenished and sent out again,” Bayaan said. “This lean inventory is positive for the transportation industry, but it does put pressure on carriers to do things in a timely fashion.”   [Source: FreightWaves]

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