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Breaking News in the Industry: December 6, 2018

Employee refund scam nets $30,000

Police in Massachusetts arrested a 20-year-old Brockton woman on an unrelated warrant Monday morning after IKEA’s loss prevention department reported an alleged scam she was running as an employee. IKEA representatives told police the employee gave out about $30,000 in returns for items that were never purchased from the store over the past few months. But the employee was arrested Monday on a warrant unrelated to the return fraud, according to Lt. John Bonney, a spokesman for the Police Department, while they continue to investigate the store’s claims against her.  [Source: The Patriot Ledger]

Shoplifting couple collared for almost $4,000 in merchandise

A man and woman from New Jersey loaded $3,345 worth of stolen merchandise into their car Saturday outside a Walmart in Lower Nazareth Township, according to police. Erick Boniela, 24, and Stephanie Atkinson, 33, of Avenel, were arrested and charged with felony retail theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, according to Colonial Regional police.

Authorities were tipped off to the pair after a witness saw them loading multiple TVs and other electronics into their car, parked along the side of the store, police said. Police allegedly found them tying a small refrigerator and sound bar to the roof of their Saturn. Police said the inside of the car was brimming with TVs, electronics, clothing, jewelry, shoes and toys. In total, officers recovered 120 items stolen from the store, police said. Surveillance cameras inside showed Boniela and Atkinson taking multiple trips out of the store without paying for products over a period that spanned hours, according to police.   [Source: The Morning Call]

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Holidays come early when Secret Santa pays off $30,000 in layaways

A Secret Santa made the holiday season a little brighter for hundreds of shoppers near Philadelphia after paying off nearly $30,000 worth of layaways at a Walmart Andy Rumford, of Kennett Square, tells The Daily Local he was shocked when he went to make a payment at the East Marlborough location and found out someone had picked up the tab.

A Walmart official tells the newspaper the person who paid off the accounts wants to remain anonymous. Rumford owned about $150 on his items and went to pick them up on Saturday. The cashier told him someone came in and wrote a $29,000 check to pay off all the items on layaway in the whole store. Rumford says “something like this makes you want to reach out and do good for others.   [Source: YakimaHerald]

Fleeing shoplifter jumps from 2nd floor; knocks over kid

Body camera video captured the moment police used a Taser to take down a suspect who got into a scuffle with an officer at a local mall. Police said it started as a simple case of shoplifting inside the mall but took a very violent turn as officers chased that suspect out here to the parking garage.

Body camera footage shows a Dunwoody officer scuffling with Jeffrey Newell at Perimeter Mall on Saturday.Sergeant Robert Parsons said Newell jumped over a railing to get away. Amazingly, Newell got up and exited the mall to avoid arrest on felony shoplifting charges. “(He had) about $1,200 worth of clothes,” said Parsons.

Before the scuffle, a mother told us Newell ran into her 5-year-old daughter as he ran from cops. Out of nowhere, this madman just kind of comes up in between us and pushes her out of the way to make a path for himself,” the mother said. She said the impact was so violent, her daughter’s shoe flew off and ended up in the bag with the bag of merchandise that he allegedly stole leaving the little girl injured and scared. “She is terrified of that mall. That broke my heart,” the mother said.

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Cops eventually cornered Newell, shocked him with a stun gun and arrested him. “Anybody who would hit a 5-year-old, 40-pound child? I’m glad he’s locked up,” the mother said. Newell is facing several charges, including felony shoplifting, reckless conduct for hitting the child and an aggravated assault charge because police say he pulled a knife on someone else trying to stop him while he ran.   [Source: WSB-TV2 Atlanta]

Shoplifting mom, child caught; drugs, weapons charges

A Council Bluffs woman arrested Monday is charged with several felonies — including a controlled substance violation and trafficking in stolen weapons — was apprehended by authorities for shoplifting at Walmart, according to court records. The 26-year-old woman, was being held on a $50,000 bond at the Pottawattamie County Jail on Tuesday. She is also charged with child endangerment, carrying weapons, theft, unlawful possession of a prescription drug and possession of marijuana.

The woman and a male suspect were already in custody at the loss prevention office of the business when the officer arrived. The other suspect was cited for theft and eventually released, police said. nvestigators learned from an employee that the woman, the man and a child were swapping tags on items while at the self-checkout station — for a total of $94.

The officer asked the two suspects if there was anything illegal in the car they arrived in at Walmart. The woman allegedly said there was marijuana in the vehicle, police said. In the woman’s purse, authorities found several Ziplock baggies containing meth, marijuana, Xanax and painkillers.

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Video from inside Walmart showed the woman placing 50 cent tags on higher priced items while bagging items herself and not scanning them, police said. The owner of the vehicle, the woman’s boyfriend, arrived and consented to police searching it. Inside, police found a handgun which was verified as stolen in Omaha. At the jail, the officer found multiple Walmart barcode stickers in her pocket. Police took the woman’s child into protective custody.   [Source: The Daily Nonpareil]

Pharmacy deploys more time delay safes

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health announced today that it has completed the rollout of time delay safes in all of its 77 CVS Pharmacy locations in Kentucky. The safes will help prevent pharmacy robberies and combat the ongoing opioid epidemic by helping to prevent diversion of controlled substance narcotic medications by keeping them out of the hands of unauthorized individuals. In addition, the safes will help CVS Pharmacy ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees.

Controlled substance narcotic medications that are sought after by robbers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, are now stored in safes using time delay technology in every CVS Pharmacy in the state of Kentucky. Time delay safes help deter pharmacy robberies by electronically delaying the time it takes for pharmacy employees to be able to open the safe. CVS Pharmacy first implemented time delay safes in Indianapolis, a city experiencing a high volume of pharmacy robberies, in 2015. The company saw a 70 percent decline in pharmacy robberies among the Indianapolis stores where the time delay safes had been installed.

“Pharmacy robberies are a challenging issue for every pharmacy and we are committed to doing all we can to reduce the number of pharmacy robbery incidents in our Kentucky stores,” said Everett Moore, Division Vice President of CVS Pharmacy. “In other parts of the country we have seen that time delay safes, combined with the other security policies and procedures in place at our stores, can greatly reduce these incidents.  We are pleased to roll out time delay safes here in Kentucky to help ensure that our pharmacies remain a safe environment for our patients and colleagues.”

“I applaud CVS Health on the installation of time delay safes in all of their Kentucky pharmacies,” said State Senator Julie Raque Adams. “The opioid epidemic has hit Kentucky especially hard, as it has so many other states, and our communities are working to fight this growing problem each and every day. An important way to do so is to ensure that medications are kept out of the wrong hands and the safes now in place at CVS Pharmacy locations in Kentucky will help do just that.”

“Substance misuse is a significant driver of criminal behavior, as people sometimes turn to illegal behavior to fuel their addictions,”  said Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad. “I am very pleased that our partners at CVS Health are taking additional steps to reduce thefts from their stores. It takes all of us as a community working together to address the high rates of addiction we are seeing and to reduce the crime that often comes with that.”

The time delay function cannot be overridden and is designed to serve as a deterrent to would-be pharmacy robbers whose goal is to enter and exit their robbery targets as quickly as possible. All CVS Pharmacy locations with time delay safes display highly-visible signage to inform the public that time delay safes are in use to prevent on-demand access to controlled substance narcotics.   [Source: Cision PR Newswire]

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