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Breaking News in the Industry: December 5, 2018

Employee embezzles over $25,000 from store

CVS Loss Prevention was informed from their corporate office that a deposit bag was late. They then reached out to 31-year-old Kristina Arnold, who was a shift supervisor, to ask who signed the deposit log.
 Arnold initially claimed the bag must have been stuck in the chute. The corporate LP investigator later discovered more bags were not turned in and saw Arnold concealing deposit bags under her shirt in video surveillance footage.

Arnold admitted to Oklahoma City police the reporting person’s information was correct and voluntarily made a written statement. In total, Arnold admitted to embezzling $25,923.60 from November 1 through November 22. Arnold has been booked into Oklahoma County jail.   [Source: Fox25 News]

Mom steals daughter’s identity for shopping spree

A Tallahassee woman has been arrested after she admitted to investigators that she fraudulently used her child’s identity to buy her family things “for Christmas.” Rose Burch, 43, was arrested on Wednesday for several charges related to theft and fraud. According to a probable cause document, the victim went to the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in May to report fraudulent use of her personal information.

The victim said that she was looking at her credit report when she noticed two accounts that were not hers. When she reached out the companies involved, the victim learned that her mother, Burch, had opened an account at Fingerhut using her social security number. Using the victim’s identity, Burch also unsuccessfully attempted to buy nearly $500 worth of items from Fingerhut five years ago and again tried to by more than $1,200 worth of items in 2017. Fingerhut ended up shipping items valued at $583.66 to Burch in 2017.

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When investigators spoke to Burch in October 2018 and questioned her about fraudulently opening the account with her child’s identity, she told officers “I did, I did.”  Burch admitted that she bought the items using a fraudulently obtained credit card, stating that she did this “for Christmas” for her and her children. She further explained that she was battling health issues and admitted that she ha been arrested for fraud related charges in the past.  [Source: WTXL27 News]

‘Operation Santa Patrol’ adds drones; ‘bait’ cars

Grinches, be gone. That’s the message police in Salisbury, North Carolina, are sending wannabe thieves this holiday season with their Operation Santa Patrol. Because officers say they see an uptick in shoplifters and car break-ins during the season, they are deploying a drone in the downtown core and near big box stores as a deterrent. “[It’s] being viewed live by an assistant with the drone pilot. The video made available for anyone investigating any crimes captured,” said Sgt. Travis Shulenburger with Criminal Investigations.

While virtually every business has a sophisticated surveillance system, many people said having this extra layer of protection is great for shoppers and stores alike. ”I would think it would be a huge relief to our customers to know that kind of police presence is out there watching your cars and street and making sure you get to your car safely,” added Pam Coffield of Stitchin’ Post Gifts. Other Santa Patrol methods include undercover officers and loading up “bait” cars with fake merchandise. Shifts are 12 hours, 7 days a week. SPD’s goal is to drop the crime rate by 15 percent this season.   [Source: Spectrum News]

Woman phones in bomb threat

A Pennsylvania woman is accused of making the bomb threat that evacuated the West Manchester Township Walmart the day before Thanksgiving, according to police. West Manchester Township Police said Jodi Lynn Markle called York County 911 and reported that she had placed a pipe bomb at the Walmart on Nov. 21. Markle, 55, no address provided, is charged with making terroristic threats causing an evacuation, a felony, and making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor.

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According to charging documents filed by Detective Robert Davenport, a woman called in a bomb threat to York County 911 just before 2 p.m. that day. The calls prompted a two-hour long evacuation so the store could be searched, police said. Police said at the time that the grounds were searched by York County Sheriff’s Department K-9s, and no problems were found. Police found that the phone that called 911 had been activated at the Walmart on Nov. 21, officials said.

A loss prevention associate viewed surveillance footage of the purchase and recognized the customer as Markle, and he remembered her from a previous incident that resulted in her being banned from the store, according to authorities. Davenport found a different phone number for her, called it and spoke to her. “I was immediately able to determine that Markle’s voice was similar to the voice on the 911 calls that I had listened to regarding the bomb threats,” Davenport wrote in charging documents. Davenport arranged to meet with Markle, and she admitted to going to the Walmart on Nov. 21 and Nov. 23, officials said. She also admitted buying the phone but denied making the threats, according to officials.   [Source: York Dispatch]

Shoplifting mom attacks trooper while holding child

A Knox County woman is behind bars after troopers say she attacked a loss associate while shoplifting with a 3-year-old child. Kentucky State Police say an off-duty Corbin police officer working in loss prevention at a Walmart in Corbin caught Trudy Angel, 49, of Barbourville shoplifting Tuesday evening.

When the officer confronted Angel, she tried to get away along with her child. The officer began struggling with her to prevent her from getting away, and Angel began pushing and hitting the officer. The officer would eventually put Angel on the ground after someone else was able to get a hold of the child. Angel is charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, shoplifting, resisting arrest and menacing. She was placed in the Laurel County Detention Center. Her bond was set at $2,500.   [Source: WKYT News]

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Electric trucks may help Santa’s supply chain

Santa may not be concerned with his environmental footprint (thanks, of course, to his power source.. eight friendly reindeer, and nine on those foggy Christmas Eves), but fleets are increasingly focused on reducing theirs and cutting fuel usage. Electric vehicles, particularly medium-duty trucks and those vehicles used in e-commerce and last-mile delivery, represent prime opportunities to achieve both goals. And with the boom in e-commerce, especially around the holidays, electric offers a potential game-changing opportunity for the supply chain… even Santa’s.

“What’s key is that we make these trucks and infrastructure [projects] successful in these early pilots,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of the North American Council on Freight Efficiency (NACFE), during a Friday webinar. “The places where electric trucks make the most sense is where they should be.”

Roeth spoke about NACFE’s work and medium-duty electric truck potential during the webinar, sponsored by Alternative Clean Transportation News (ACT News) and NACFE. Joining Roeth on the call, titled “Santa’s Carbon Footprint: It Takes More Than Reindeer These Days,” was Jessie Lund, an associate with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and Scott Strelecki, senior regional planner, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Roeth noted that the adoption of electric vehicles will be slow, and all the speakers said that urban, last-mile delivery makes the most sense right now, but that technologies are changing fast and the idea that electric vehicles need to achieve parity with diesel-variants is a myth. “We’re finding as we do all this research that infrastructure is emerging as one of the top questions, and even barriers for fleets,” Lund said, noting a UPS report that found a lack of charging infrastructure is the second most common barrier among fleets to commercial adoption.  [Source: Freight Wave]

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