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Breaking News in the Industry: August 9, 2018

Police officer reportedly uses Taser on 11-year-old girl accused of shoplifting

An incident involving a Cincinnati, Ohio, police officer using a Taser on an 11-year-old girl is under investigation. This happened Monday at the Kroger on Kenard Avenue in Spring Grove Village. Cincinnati Police say the officer involved was working a detail and was investigating a group of girls who were allegedly shoplifting from the store.

Police said the officer approached one girl who ignored the officer and walked away, ignoring commands to stop. The officer then deployed the Taser and struck the girl in the back. She was placed into custody and charged with theft and obstructing official business. The girl was then taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for evaluation and was released into a guardian’s custody. She will appear in Hamilton County Juvenile Court at a later date.

Police Chief Eliot Isaac said in a statement Tuesday: “We are extremely concerned when force is used by one of our officers on a child of this age. As a result we will be taking a very thorough review of our policies as it relates to using force on juveniles as well as the propriety of the officers actions. The officer involved has been put on restricted duty pending the outcome of the investigation.” Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman who chairs the Law and Public Safety Committee told Cincinnati Police he wants answers Wednesday, including any surveillance video from the store or the officer’s body camera. Smitherman says he’s troubled when any child is tased.    [Source: Fox25 News]

Over 400 cards found in credit card scam

Over 400 gift cards were found in suspicion of credit card fraud after a search of a Holly Spring, North Carolina, resident’s cars on Thursday, according to the Holly Springs Police Department. Justo Ernest Morales Aguila and Enrique Guillermo Mena Do Cabo were both charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, financial transaction card fraud, trafficking in stolen identities and identity theft. Newly purchased items were found in the car that police suspect were bought with the fraudulent gift cards. Twelve portable credit card skimmers were also found in the car.

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Police believe that based off of items collected with the search warrant, the suspects were placing rings on gas pumps and other credit card readers to steal identities in Wake County. The warrant says suspects that operate using skimmers are known to load information and money on the reloadable gift cards so their criminal activity is not detected. The manager at a Harris Teeter in the area called the Holly Springs Police Department to report the two men after they checked out at his store. Officers found about 50 gift cards from several retail locations on Morales Aguila and Mena Do Cabo, according to the search warrant.   [Source: WRAL News]

Not if, but when: How supply chains prepare for hurricane season

Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate. Four 2017 hurricanes that were so destructive that the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has retired their names. The four storms devastated portions of Texas (Harvey), Florida (Irma), Puerto Rico (Maria) and the Caribbean (Nate), leaving massive power outages, severe flooding and death in their wake. according to the Washington Post, final costs may not be known for years, but estimates suggest the tab will far exceed $200 billion.  Now Hector has grown to a Category 3 hurricane as it moves close to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.

Planning for the “not if, but when” scenarios
The number and intensity of the storms can vary, but their occurrence should never be a surprise, Rod Daugherty, VP Product Strategy at Atlanta-based Blue Ridge, told Supply Chain Dive. “We know there are going to be hurricanes in the fall,” he said. “It’s not if, but when. My whole summer is [spent] doing logistics to move products from the Gulf Coast and out of harm’s way. In the manufacturing sector, for example, you have to move your supply chain so you don’t lose inventory.”

Physical sites such as factories, warehouses and chemical plants can’t be moved, but transportation companies have assets that can be relocated. As soon as they know where the storm will hit landfall, equipment must be moved. “It really comes down to better planning,” Daugherty said, “so that they don’t lose tractors and trailers and have them ready to go when [the storm] passes.” Sometimes, though, emergency response measures lead to another supply chain delay, Daugherty said. When Houston got hit so severely during Harvey, all the loads that could be trucked in or out were. But in a ripple effect, a driver shortage resulted elsewhere. It had nothing to do with the hurricane geographically, but receiving was off course because of all the drivers hauling to and from Houston after the storm.

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How Home Depot used its supply chain for island relief
Daugherty’s colleague, Blue Ridge Chief Data Scientist Rajesh Veliyanallore, pointed out that the major players would always have a strategy . “Walmart has a group that just does this. They can predict and pre-position some inventory at stores, move some to a safe zone, then rush it to the stores after the hurricane passes by.” Home Depot, for example, will make sure that such emergency items as batteries, flashlights and plywood for boarding up windows is plentiful at stores in the hurricane’s path. Since October of this year, Home Depot has sent 6,900 containers to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including emergency relief supplies and rebuilding materials. Initial Home Depot shipments to the Caribbean contained critical necessities like batteries, flashlights, tarps, chainsaws and inflatable beds. Power generators and bottled water are still high in demand. Because Puerto Rico’s infrastructure took such a beating, fuel also is a necessity to keep trucks and generators running.   [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

Suspected shoplifter pulls gun on loss prevention staff

A man and woman in California were arrested after shoplifting from a major retail store and threatening employees with a handgun, officials said. At approximately 3:16 pm, on Saturday, July 28, 2018, Hesperia Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Target in the 12700 block of Main Street in regards to an armed robbery.

Sheriff’s Service Specialist Edgar Moran with the Hesperia Station said the suspect, later identified as Johnny Chavez Jr., 40, of Hesperia was shoplifting and when Target Loss Prevention attempted to detain him, Chavez reached into his waistband and pulled out a gun. “Chavez then fled on foot to the Bakers Restaurant. Deputies surrounded the Bakers and Chavez was detained without incident,” stated Moran. The gun brandished by Chavez was located at the bottom of a trashcan inside the Baker’s men’s bathroom along with his white shirt.

As Chavez was being detained, his girlfriend, Julie Morgan, 33 of Hesperia, exited the Target with stolen items and was also detained without incident. Both Chavez and Morgan were booked into High Desert Detention Center. Chavez for PC211 robbery and PC182 (a)(1)- conspiracy to commit a crime. Morgan was booked for PC182 (a)(1) according to public arrest records she was released from custody and has no scheduled court appearance.     [Source: Victor Valley News]

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Police requested to investigate thefts by employee

An investigation by loss prevention personnel at the West Rome, Georgia, Walmart has uncovered at least three thefts by an employee over the last two months, totaling $780.46. According to Rome police reports, on Sunday, a loss prevention agent requested a Rome police officer come to the store at 2510 Redmond Circle to review the initial findings of their investigation as well as to have a detective follow up.

Though their investigation is ongoing, loss prevention staff discovered thefts by the employee on June 20, July 16 and July 22. The items taken varied. They included beer, cakes, cleaning supplies and electronics. The cashier is caught on camera voiding items he has scanned or pretending to scan them for customers. Then he walks out with them to their cars to load the items into their cars. Loss prevention staff intends to interview the employee upon the completion of their investigation.     [Source: Rome News-Tribune]

New face recognition data on shoplifting reveals extent of ORC

An analysis of biometric data from FaceFirst, a retail facial recognition provider, revealed that repeat shoplifters are more organized and aggressive than previously known, striking the same retailer multiple times across several locations. In a shoplifting recidivism study of biometric data spanning a six-month period, FaceFirst found that 60 percent of known shoplifters were detected entering at least two separate locations of the same retail chain, while 20 percent visited three or more locations.  “Unfortunately for retailers, shoplifters are incredibly loyal to their favorite brands,” said FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp. “Until now, it has been nearly impossible to prove beyond anecdotal evidence how pervasive and strategic recidivism is.”

The study challenges statistics from the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) indicating that the vast majority of shoplifting is not premeditated. However, the study appears to validate National Retail Federation (NRF) reports that indicate a broad trend toward rising organized retail crime (ORC), defined as the professional theft of retail merchandise with the intent to resell for financial gain. The National Retail Federation estimates that organized retail crime is a $30 billion problem for stores each year in the United States, and the average cost of a single shoplifting incident is $559. An estimated $9.6 billion of stolen merchandise is returned fraudulently, while a 2018 Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) study found evidence that other items are sold at flea markets.

“Our team is working to integrate bio-recognition into retail stores for two primary reasons,” said Dr. Read Hayes, University of Florida Research Scientist, and Director at the LPRC, which aims to assist loss prevention professionals through in-depth research and analysis on the latest technology. “Facial feature-matching helps managers more rapidly recognize known violent or property offenders, helping make employees and shoppers safer.”

Facial recognition is used by retailers to quickly identify repeat offenders and notify in-store loss prevention personnel. “Face recognition makes it possible to stop crimes before they start,” stated Trepp. “Our retail customers have seen a decrease in external shrink by one third or more after implementing facial recognition solutions in conjunction with their current loss prevention processes.” Hayes also foresees future adoption among retailers for use cases that go beyond security: “Secondly, many shoppers indicate they’d like to be recognized at their favorite brick and mortar stores, just as they are at their preferred shopping websites.”   [Source: Cision PR Web]

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