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Breaking News in the Industry: December 18, 2017

Two men arrested in theft of $15K in power tools

Two men are facing criminal charges after police say they stole thousands of dollars worth of tools from Utah stores. Charges filed in 3rd District Court on Wednesday allege Chad Ware, 21, and Paul Labouve, 27, busted through glass doors of a Home Depot and a hobby shop in Sandy, and Lowe’s stores in Murray and Riverton, running off each time with armfuls of power tools and electronics. Investigators serving a search warrant in connection with the case Thursday discovered what they believe is at least $15,000 worth of those tools. According to the charges, online listings for some of the power tools appeared for sale on the online classifieds website Offerup within 90 minutes after surveillance video at the Sandy Home Depot recorded two men carrying them out of the broken door. A Ford Explorer the men are recorded using to drive off with the tools was also listed, charges state.

After a detective arranged to purchase one of the drills, a warrant was obtained and investigators put a GPS tracker on the Explorer two days later, according to the charges. “We were able to recover a large number of tools, approximately $15,000 worth of the tools that had been stolen across the valley,” Madsen said. “Once we get those processed, we’ll get those back to the rightful owners.” Ware and Labouve are not from Utah, Madsen said, but appear to have come from another state. The men are suspected in a similar burglary in Colorado, Madsen said, and there is a “slight chance” some of the tools found Thursday are from that alleged heist. “We will see what we can find,” Madsen said. As of Friday, no federal investigators had joined the case, Madsen said. Ware and Labouve are each charged with theft, a second-degree felony; four counts of burglary, a third-degree felony; an additional count of theft, a third-degree felony; a class A misdemeanor charge of theft; a class B misdemeanor charge of theft; a class A misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief; and three class B misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief.  [Source: KSL News]

Shoplifter: Making a list and checking it twice?

A Monroe, Louisiana, man accused of shoplifting multiple bottles of liquor at Target is facing additional charges after he reportedly threatened police. According to an arrest affidavit for Eric Daniel, 26, officers dispatched to Target were told that asset protection associates saw Daniel taking items from the alcoholic beverage aisle while an additional suspect walked the aisle ends watching for workers.  Daniel and the other suspect reportedly selected several bottles of Hennessy and Crown Royal which appeared to be selected from a list Daniel was reading from.  Per the report, the pair then traveled to the cosmetics aisle and took three Chi items before walking through the checkout area and past all points of sale to leave the store. An employee attempted to stop the suspect as he left, but both suspects entered a vehicle and sped away in a Chrysler van.

Officers later located the van and saw the suspect leaving the home in the same clothes identified in Target security footage. Daniel was advised he was under arrest and refused to comply with officer commands, the report states.  While enroute to jail, he reportedly told officers why police were being killed and that all police were going to die.  Per the report, officers saw multiple online posts from Daniel stating he had Crown Royal and Hennessy to sell. Daniel was booked into OCC on charges of organized retail theft, felony shoplifting, public intimidation and resisting an officer.  [Source: The NewsStar]

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Study shows merchandise returns account for $351 billion

Appriss Retail, who provide retail performance improvement solutions, today released its 2017 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry report, which analyzes results from the National Retail Federation’s 2017 Organized Retail Crime survey to provide insights for retailers to minimize the effect of return fraud and abuse on their business. According to the survey, total merchandise returns account for more than $351 billion in lost sales for U.S. retailers. This size is overwhelming; merchandise returns are close to the estimated 2017 federal budget deficit of $400+ billion. Retail fraud and abuse accounted for $17.6 to $22.8 billion in the United States. And return fraud averages 9.4% of all Buy-Online-Return-In-Store (BORIS) ecommerce returns. “It is critical to understand how returns and return fraud reduce net sales and contribute to total loss – clear causes of retail performance issues,” said Krishnan Sastry, president of Appriss Retail. “The results within this report offer the industry’s best view of the subject of merchandise returns, as well as potential fraud and abuse.”

For a complete copy of the report, please go to the Appriss website by clicking here.  The extreme loss of profit is causing retailers to offset the negative business impact by raising prices and reducing costs, which often means a loss of jobs. Last year alone, return fraud cost U.S. retailers and workers between 596,000 and 775,000 jobs. And the cost to each state is steep also. Retail revenue losses are costing states a total of $1.1 billion to $1.4 billion in lost sales taxes. Preventing fraud and abuse is a major challenge, but retailers are also looking to improve the shopping experience and differentiate the consumer experience during the return process. The ability to offer e-commerce consumers more flexible and lenient returns, while still mitigating the risk of fraud and abuse is critical.   [Source: Business Insider]

Triple murder suspect fugitive caught while allegedly shoplifting

A triple murder fugitive wanted after escaping a north Mississippi jail last month has been captured in Houston, Texas, again. Deputies caught up to him at a Walmart in Spring.

 Harris County Sheriff’s Office District 1 Patrol Deputy N. Gonzalez was called to the Walmart in the 3400 block of FM 1960 W, where loss prevention officers held two men suspected of shoplifting.

 Neither man had ID, but fingerprints proved one of the suspects was Antoine Adams, 28. Deputies quickly learned Adams was wanted for three murders and a felony escape charge. He was also listed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted fugitives.Adams escaped from the Marshall County, Mississippi, detention facility on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, after being held there on murder charges in Mississippi, and two separate murder charges in Memphis, Tennessee.

 This isn’t the first time Adams has been caught in Houston.

 He was arrested as a fugitive on a murder warrant for those murders in July.

 Adams is currently being held in the Harris County jail, awaiting extradition back to Marshall County.  [Source: ABC13 Eyewitness News]

Winter holiday season cargo theft trends

Holidays pose significant theft risks to the supply chain, as enterprising thieves seek to exploit extended business closing hours and an increase in unattended freight. CargoNet examined recorded incidents of cargo theft and trucking vehicle theft from December 23 to January 2 for 2012 through 2016. The 2012 and 2016 holiday seasons were the most active in this analysis, each with 51 theft events. The 2016 holiday season had more events in January (11 events) compared with 2012 (7 events). There were 199 total theft events in this analysis period; 132 involved cargo theft, and 149 involved vehicle theft. Note that vehicles and cargo are frequently stolen together. For vehicles, CargoNet logged 79 stolen tractors, 104 stolen trailers, and 24 chassis/intermodal containers. In total, $10,625,339 in cargo was stolen in this analysis period, and the average loss value per incident equaled $136,222. However, the total cost of a cargo theft is often much higher when considering the value of any vehicles stolen, replacement costs for the cargo, the cost of the claims process, and more.
It can be difficult to obtain an exact day of loss in these thefts. The cargo or vehicles are often left unattended for multiple days, and there may be no clues to discern the exact day the theft occurred.

In this analysis, 57 percent of theft events had an exact day of loss. Thefts were most common on December 24, with December 27 and 31 and January 1 tied for second place. Texas had the most theft events, with 38 reported in the state in this analysis period. Thefts were also common in California (31 thefts), Georgia (25 thefts), Florida (16 thefts), and New Jersey (16 thefts). Food and beverage was the most common category of cargo stolen. In this category, thieves targeted meat products, nonalcoholic beverages, and mixed freight. Apparel and accessories along with electronics losses tied for second place. In these commodity categories, thieves targeted footwear shipments and televisions. Computer and computer accessories were also targeted electronics items. Apparel and accessories shipments were the costliest on average; each loss had an average loss value of $451,537. Theft events were most common at parking lots such as those at retail big-box stores; however, theft events were also high at truck stops and warehouse locations. Click here to view the complete winter holiday cargo theft infographic and security tips.

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Noteworthy thefts from previous winter holiday weeks:

  • $3,000,000 in computer accessories from Dinuba, CA
  • $1,000,000 in footwear from Edison, NJ
  • $1,000,000 in high-end apparel from Newark, NJ
  • $599,559 in footwear from Long Beach, CA
  • $417,000 in footwear from Portland, OR   [Source: American Journal of Transportation]

UPS employee delivers package containing iPhone X, goes back to steal it

A UPS employee delivered an iPhone, then went back to the home to steal the package on Thursday. “I never would have thought it would happen in my neighborhood or to me on my front porch,” said the victim, who didn’t want to be identified. According to the arrest affidavit, Jason Mohn, 47, of St. Petersburg, delivered the victim’s Apple iPhone X package to her front porch. Mohn then allegedly returned two hours later and took the package, hiding it under his shirt and running away. “I got a motion detection on the front porch notification on my phone and it was around 8 o’clock on my phone and I’m like, ‘no one is supposed to be there.’ I asked my sister to look up the video for who delivered the package and she almost dropped my phone when she saw it was the same guy, in the same clothes, except the UPS vest,” said the victim.

Both the delivery and the theft were caught on two home security cameras that were on the victim’s front porch. “Apparently the guy that stole the phone wrote in his notes that he hand delivered it and handed it to me but that never happened. I really feel bad for the guy. He just messed up his life over a stupid iPhone,” said the victim. The iPhone was found the next day by a UPS investigator inside Mohn’s work area, next to his belongings. He faces a charge of grand theft, a felony. Deputies returned the iPhone to the victim.  [Source: NewsChannel8]

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