Breaking News in the Industry: December 21, 2018

Close up of a business mans hand hiding money in his suit jacket pocket.

Employee’s $17,000 refund scheme

An employee in Ohio at the new Silverspot Cinema at Pinecrest is accused of stealing $16,966. Antonio Rice, 18, of Euclid, is charged with theft by deception. He was arrested and taken to the Solon City Jail. Orange Village police said Rice stole the money through 156 authorized credit card transactions at the movie theater between September 18 and December 7.

He was crediting accounts for purchases that never occurred, the police report said. Video proved no one was at his register at those times. He also took cash from the drawer, according to the report. The manager discovered the theft during an internal audit and suspended Rice during the investigation.  [Source: Fox8 Cleveland]

PD credits anonymous tipster with solving multiple retail thefts

Thanks to an anonymous tip, and to this day Carlisle Police Detective Thomas Dolan still doesn’t know who made the call, police recently solved a string of retail thefts in Pennsylvania.“That one simple anonymous tip, and the investigation we did led to solving a whole bunch of retail thefts throughout central Pennsylvania,” Dolan said. “It’s going to be thousands of dollars… We’re probably talking easily over $10,000 in retail products.”

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Carlisle Police said Ashley Karpovich, 30, of Minersville, and John Daniel Butz, 38, of Lancaster, walked into a Walmart  and walked out with more than $1,000 worth of electronics, clothing and merchandise. That could have been the end of the story. But a customer in Walmart saw what they considered suspicious activity and alerted loss prevention associates at the store. Through an investigation, Dolan said police identified the vehicle in which the thieves traveled and tied it back to Karpovich. Karpovich and Butz are now charged with felony retail theft.

More than $5,000 worth of products were stolen from a Walmart in Swatara Township, Dolan said. “Without [the anonymous] information, this probably would have been either very difficult to solve or it would have taken much longer to solve, and they would have continued on their crime spree,” he said. “That tip led to the identification, which led to everything else.” Witnesses to crimes can leave anonymous tips with Carlisle Police by calling the station at 717-243-5252.   [Source: The Sentinel]

‘Oh-you-shouldn’t-have’ unwanted gifts cost 13 billion

No one’s perfect when it comes to choosing holiday gifts for a friend or loved one… but we might be even worse than we thought. A new study from Finder.com estimates Americans will spend $13 billion on unwanted gifts, with 56% of the people surveyed saying they’ll receive at least one “you-shouldn’t-have” present.

Clothes and accessories top the unwanted list, with 34% surveyed as unhappy recipients. Household items came in second at 18% and cosmetics and perfume with 14% of people grousing. More people than you might expect tend to hang onto these unwanted gifts, with 29% keeping them versus 22% who exchange them.

So who’s hardest to please when it comes to gift giving? Millennials, of course. People born between 1977 and 1995 led the pack among age groups, with 68% receiving gifts they don’t want. Generation X came in at 58% and 41% of baby boomers are expected to receive duds during the holidays. Consumers have spent $80 billion in online sales alone so far this year. And Adobe Analytics predicts overall holiday online spending will top $124 billion this year.   [Source: Fortune]

Former police chief and wife admit to ‘sufficient facts’ in shoplifting case

A former police chief and his wife accused of shoplifting and then allegedly receiving special treatment have finally had their cases resolved in court. In a case that’s raised questions about the secretive court system that allows hearings to be held behind closed doors, Edward and Christine Savage have now admitted to sufficient facts after being charged with shoplifting.

Store surveillance video obtained by 5 Investigates shows former Hanson Police Chief Edward Savage and his wife Christine inside Kohl’s in Hingham April 2017, filling up their cart. Savage had left the department by the time of the incident.Christine goes into the dressing room and when she comes out, the clothes are inside and under a Kohl’s bag in the carriage. They head out of the store, followed by store security.

Hingham Police sent the case to court, asking a clerk magistrate to charge them with shoplifting. In audio obtained by 5 Investigates of the secret hearing, the Savages say they left to go to their car to get a wallet.
”I simply had no intention to not pay for something,” Edward Savage said. “Stupid, stupid, stupid mistake,” Christine Savage said.

But then-Clerk Magistrate Joseph Ligotti wasn’t buying it, “You want me to believe that two people have to go back to a car to get one wallet?” he said. “I don’t believe either one of them.”Ligotti goes on to say he’s going to give them a break and not issue charges because of their lawyer, former state representative Daniel Webster. If they stayed out of legal trouble and wrote letters of of apology to the Hingham police and Kohl’s, no charges would issue.

After 5 Investigates started asking questions about the case, a new clerk magistrate charged the Savages with shoplifting, because they hadn’t written the apology letters. The couple finally wrote the letters, but still called the incident a misunderstanding. They were arraigned and charged, leading to a hearing last month where they they admitted to sufficient facts, which means the case will go away if they stay out of trouble for six months.   [Source: WCVB5 News]

LPA threatened with knife

Kingsport police in Tennessee say they are searching for a man suspected of threatening employees with a knife and attempting the steal nearly $1,000 of merchandise from Walmart. Police released a photograph of the suspect taken from surveillance video footage. The footage is from December 9 in the morning

Police say the suspect attempted to push a shopping cart full of merchandise out of the West Stone Drive store. When Walmart loss prevention personnel confronted the man, he pulled a large knife from the pile of merchandise and “raised it in a threatening and aggressive manner,” police say.   Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to contact police at 423.229.9429 or 423.246.9111.   [Source: News Channnel11]

Police arrest 5 for multiple shoplifting incidents

Five California women suspected of being responsible for stealing about $35,000 in merchandise from Marshalls stores picked the wrong one Wednesday night and were arrested after security officers there saw them stealing items from a Fremont location, authorities said Friday.

The women, who range in age from 33 to 43, were arrested in the store parking lot where police recovered 292 items taken from the store totaling $4,600, authorities said. Three of the suspects are from Oakland, one is from San Francisco, and one is from Fresno. Among the items recovered were clothing, home goods, fragrances and lingerie, police said.

The store loss prevention team called police at 8:17 p.m. Wednesday, saying that the suspects were in the store and were believed to have stolen items, police said. The LP associates told police they had information that the women were responsible for about $35,000 in thefts from various Marshalls stores in the past month. None of the other stores was named.

Police then set up surveillance in the store parking lot.Once store security confirmed the women had committed thefts at the store and were walking to their vehicle, officers in marked and unmarked units blocked the vehicle and detained them, police said. Loss prevention associates helped officers recover the items found in bags in their vehicle. The women were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.   [Source: The Mercury News]

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