Breaking News in the Industry: December 22, 2017

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Retail theft unit nabs 290

The holiday season isn’t so merry and bright for some suspected thieves in Tennessee. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) says its Organized Retail Crime Task Force has arrested about 290 people in recent weeks on charges that range from shoplifting to purse snatching to car theft. The specialized unit, which dates to 2012, has recovered about $60,000 in stolen property during the season. Four vehicles that had been stolen have been recovered, one of which was found with $10,000 in cash as well as 15 grams of methamphetamine, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s officials are seeking to to take two vehicles, according to authorities. Retail crime typically goes up at Christmastime. An increase in shoppers creates greater opportunities for thieves. Drug users often are willing to steal to get cash so they can fuel their habit. Knox County, like many metro areas in the United States, is trying to quell an opioid abuse health crisis. In July, a new state law updated the legal definition of theft to address evading or disabling alarm systems or store surveillance cameras. It also allows law officers to charge repeat repeat offenders with a felony after they’ve committed five offenses within two years. Earlier this year the Task Force recovered more than $400,000 in goods taken from three businesses.  [Source: NBC10 News]

Police officer in wrongly-accused shoplift beating charged [Viral Video]

Prosecutors are seeking charges against Detroit Police Officer Lonnie Wade after a man was beaten inside a Meijer in Detroit. The 65-year-old officer accused David Bivins of shoplifting on October 10, 2017, and a verbal exchange ensued. Surveillance video and cell phone video show Wade beating Bivins with a baton in the altercation.  Many believed after seeing the cell phone video, which Worthy says was uploaded to YouTube, that excessive force was used. Bivins, who suffered a cut lip and broken teeth as a result of the beating, was arrested for disorderly conduct, but Worthy rejected resisting and obstruction charges. Detroit Police Chief James Craig said there was no evidence of retail fraud. Wade has been charged with Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm, Felonious Assault; Misconduct in Office for an invalid arrest; and a second charge of Misconduct in Office for improper deployment of his baton.  [Source: Fox2 News]

Iowa man involved in at least 14 grab-and-dash thefts arrested

A Davenport man who Davenport police say has been at the scene of at least 14 grab-and-dash thefts since June was taken into custody Wednesday. Derick Lamont Levy, who also uses the alias Derrick Lamont Levy, 26, is charged with 10 counts of second-degree theft, nine counts of third-degree theft, and one count of fourth-degree theft. Police say numerous additional charges against Levy are pending. Levy also is charged with one count of ongoing criminal activity, a Class B felony under Iowa law that carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years. Second-degree theft is a Class D felony under Iowa law that carries a prison sentence of up to five years. Third-degree theft is an aggravated misdemeanor that carries a prison sentence of up to two years. The stores that Levy and his accomplices have allegedly struck include Von Maur and Victoria’s Secret, at NorthPark Mall, and Ulta Beauty in Davenport. Levy and his accomplices allegedly struck these stores multiple times since June. The total of the amount of merchandise stolen based on the current arrest affidavits is $19,223.45. That number will go higher as more charges are added, police said. Among the thefts committed include the Nov. 14 theft at Von Maur when Levy and a woman entered the store, selected multiple pieces of clothing and ran out the south entrance about 30 seconds later, according to the arrest affidavit filed by Davenport Police Detective Craig Burkle.  [Source: Quad City Times]

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Two men charged after police report finding 38 fraudulent credit cards

Two men were arrested Tuesday after police found them with more than 30 fraudulent credit cards, according to arrest affidavits. Yordan Tato, 29, and Josue Tato, 23, both of Miramar, Florida, were each charged with theft, unlawful possession of person information and grand theft. Police were alerted to the thefts after a man claimed his credit card was used to purchase a $900 money order at a post office, according to reports. About a week later, an employee at the post office contacted police Tuesday and said the men who bought the money order were back and trying to purchase more, according to the report. The men left the post office before police arrived. An officer pulled over Yordan Tato and Josue Tato, who were later identified by the post office employee, and searched their vehicle, according to the report.

Officers found about $1,150, several money orders and a bag with about 30 credit and debit cards. The cards were labeled “No,” “Possibles” and “Pins,” which had the pin numbers taped to the back of them, according to the report. At the police station, 38 cards were found to be fraudulent, and the bank listed on the front of the cards wasn’t real, according to the report. Yordan Tato said he didn’t know the cards were in the vehicle. Josue Tato did not comment to police, according to the report. Yordan and Josue Tato were being held at the Martin County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon without bail.   [Source: TCPalm]

Store clerk charged with theft

A Walmart store clerk in Louisiana was arrested for stealing nearly $5,000 while she worked as a cashier. Tierra Williams, 18, was charged with felony theft for misappropriating over $4,600 during the November and December. Caddo Sheriff’s Detective Casey Jones said that on 18 occasions, Williams stole money from her register while working at the Mansfield Road store. She was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center on Saturday.  [Source: ArkLaTex Homepage]

Two Notre Dame players suspended for alleged shoplifting

According to Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, two Fighting Irish football players have been suspended from all football related activities. Irish Illustrated was tipped off of this news earlier this week. However, the details weren’t known until today. “University of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly announced Wednesday that sophomore wide receiver Kevin Stepherson and freshman running back CJ Holmes have each been suspended indefinitely from all football related activities,” as noted in the above tweet from Notre Dame’s Michael Bertsch.

According to a report from WNDU, the two football players were arrested Friday night for allegedly shoplifting. Although neither were taken to jail or booked. For Stepherson, this is his second arrest during his time in South Bend.  In his first year with the Irish in 2016, Stepherson caught 25 passes for 462 yards and five scores in 10 games. He followed that up with 19 catches for 359 yards and five touchdowns this past season. Holmes, a freshman with the Irish and a four-star recruit coming out of high school, played in three games this year and ran for 32 yards and eight carries.  [Source: Irish Illustrated]

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