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Breaking News in the Industry: August 7, 2018

Retail theft bust nabs 32 people; Sheriff warns others, ‘You will go to jail’

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s Organized Retail Crime Unit arrested 32 people Monday, officials said. The arrests were part of a countywide undercover investigation focused on catching thieves who hit multiple Polk County stores. “Our Organized Retail Crime task force works with area retailers and other law enforcement agencies to apprehend those who are stealing. We are sending out this warning to everyone: If you steal from stores in Polk County, you will go to jail.” Sheriff Grady Judd said.

The arrests were made at the following businesses in the areas of Auburndale, Mulberry, Lakeland, Lake Wales and Winter Haven: Bealls, Bealls Outlet, Belk, Goodwill, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Marshall’s, JCPenney, Target, TJ Maxx, Walgreens and Walmart.  Detectives worked with loss prevention personnel at each store, focusing on identifying people who were trying to conceal items and leave the stores without paying, and other methods of theft or fraud, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Of the 32 suspects arrested, six were juveniles, who were charged with petit theft and grand theft.  The youngest person arrested was 14 years old and the oldest was 60 years old.  The Sheriff’s Office filed a total of 20 felony charges and 29 misdemeanor charges. The total value of items stolen by these suspects is $7,627.00.  Nineteen of those arrested have criminal histories. Those with criminal histories have a combined total of 57 previous felony and 79 previous misdemeanor charges, deputies said. The names of those arrested along with their mug shots, are listed on the website.     [Source: WFTV9 News]

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Six Rutgers football players won’t report to camp as credit card probe continues

As Rutgers begins preparation for the 2018 football season Friday, a credit card fraud case that could involve at least eight players looms over the Scarlet Knights squad. Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey told NJ Advance Media Wednesday that his office was providing legal guidance to the Rutgers police as the university agency continues its investigation. The recent involvement of the county, even in its advisory role, speaks to the scope and complexity of the case being brought by the university police.

Redshirt junior linebacker/safety Malik Dixon, senior defensive back Kobe Marfo, sophomore defensive end C.J. Onyechi, redshirt freshman cornerback Edwin Lopez, redshirt freshman defensive back Naijee Jones and redshirt freshman linebacker Syhiem Simmons will not report for the start of preseason practices, NJ Advance Media has learned. None of the six was listed on a Rutgers training camp roster obtained by NJ Advance Media on Thursday. Reached by phone, Rutgers coach Chris Ash told NJ Advance Media the six players not listed on the training-camp roster are part of an ongoing investigation and he couldn’t make any comments beyond that.

In addition, defensive back K.J. Gray and linebacker Brendan DeVera — who were dismissed from the Rutgers football program in mid-July — are at the center of the probe, three persons with knowledge of the investigation told NJ Advance Media. The three persons requested anonymity because they have not been authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

The six other players could be facing either a dismissal from the team or a suspension for an indefinite period of time. Ash said last week at Big Ten Media Day the disciplinary measures will be finalized if “potential charges come.’’ None of the players at this point have been charged with any wrongdoing. Attempts to reach the players by phone have been unsuccessful. The players and their legal representatives have been cooperating with police, according to two persons with knowledge of the investigation…   [Source:]

WATCH: Video shows clerk scuffling with thief

Police are searching for a man and woman suspected of stealing five cell phones on display from a T-Mobile store in Garden Grove, California. The theft occurred in the store at Brookhurst Street and Westminster Avenue at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday. The pair can be seen on the security camera cutting wires and ripping out the phones, which police say were valued at $3,360. A store clerk confronted the male suspect and the suspect pulled out a pair of scissors. “I just tried to stop them,” the clerk told CBS2 news. “If I’m not calling police, this will be happening again,” It was the second time in as many months the store was robbed, the report said. Anyone who witnessed the thefts or can identify the suspects is asked to call Garden Grove Police Detective Dennis Wardle at 714.741.5837.    [Source: The Orange County Register]

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Employee accused of stealing nearly $6K in electronics

The West Monroe Police Department has arrested a Louisiana Walmart employee after they say he stole almost $6,000.00 in electronics. Johnathan Jackson, 24 of Monroe, was arrested on August 1, 2018 around 2:30 a.m. According to the arrest report, West Monroe Police Officers responded to the West Monroe Walmart in reference to a theft.

Once officers arrived, they made contact with the complainant who stated she saw the suspect/employee, Johnathan Jackson, involved in a possible theft of multiple electronic items. When asked, Jackson came to the asset protection office. Jackson told officers he knew they were there because of the cell phones. Jackson said he did not take the iPhones but left them on a pallet in the back of the store. Then Jackson said the chargers and ear buds were in his vehicle outside of the store. Later in the investigation, Jackson also admitted to taking a Samsung Galaxy S9+, a Samsung Gear S3 watch, an Apple Watch series 3 and Sound Mates ear buds.

Jackson gave officers permission to search his vehicle. A quick search revealed four iPhone ear buds and chargers along with one other Sound Mates ear buds. Jackson said again he didn’t have the iPhones that were in the boxes of the chargers and ear buds he had taken. Officers then arrested Jackson and took him to the West Monroe Jail. Officers stayed at Walmart to collect the training receipt of the stolen phones.

The Galaxy S9+, Samsung Gear S3, two Sound Mates ear buds, iPhone chargers and iPhone ear buds were recovered and returned to Walmart. The four iPhones (two iPhone Xs and two iPhone 8+) and Apple Watch series 3 have not been recovered. The total cost of the merchandise was $5,596.76. The theft happened on July 24th and 25th during Jackson’s shift. Jackson has been transported to the Ouachita Correctional Center on a count of felony theft. His bond has not yet been set.   [Source: MyArklaMiss]

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Police break up suspected credit card fraud ring

ABC7 News uncovered details of a suspected theft ring that recovered 293 credit and debit cards. Court records show it all started when Fairfax County Police pulled over the suspects for a registration violation in Virginia. Officers reported finding fake cards in the car, receipts for iPhones and jewelry, as well as fake IDs with the names “Jorge Soler” and “Luis Lopez”.

Investigators discovered the suspects had been staying in Fairfax for weeks living at a Candlewood Suites near Interstate 66, where the police uncovered credit card skimmers and machines to alter credit cards. The search warrant shows the police found 293 cards that where “altered or in the process of being altered.” One suspect had several charges dropped, but the documents do not explain why. The suspects are due back in court in October.   [Source: WLJA7 News]


Supply chain attacks increase as cybercriminals focus on exploiting weak links

Companies of all sizes and spanning all industries are aware of the security risks that are out there. They understand security best practices and invest heavily in the tools and processes necessary to protect data and network resources from exploits and malicious code. Granted, there are plenty of companies that still fail pretty hard at meeting that bar. But, as companies continue to improve their security posture, cybercriminals find innovative ways to adapt. A recent report from CrowdStrike suggests that cybercriminals are increasingly circumventing defenses and finding weak links to exploit via supply chain attacks.

Some of the key findings from the report include:

  • Two-thirds of the surveyed organizations experienced a software supply chain attack in the past 12 months. At the same time, 71 percent believe their organization does not always hold external suppliers to the same security standards.
  • The vast majority (87 percent) of those that suffered a software supply chain attack had either a full strategy in place, or some level of response pre-planned at the time of their attack.
  • Only 37 percent of respondents in the US, UK and Singapore said their organization has vetted all suppliers, new or existing in the past 12 months and only a quarter believe with certainty their organization will increase its supply chain resilience in the future.
  • 90 percent of respondents confirmed they incurred a financial cost as a result of experiencing a software supply chain attack. The average cost of an attack was over $1.1 million dollars…    [Source: Forbes]


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