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Breaking News in the Industry: February 13, 2019

Jewelry burglary of $700,000; one of two suspects at large

Los Angeles police are searching for one of the suspects in a burglary of high-end jewelry from a Macy’s department store in Canoga Park, California, last July. In a written statement, detectives said the burglars made off with about $700,000 worth of jewelry during the heist. About seven months later, police said they served search warrants around the city to find 40-year-old Marvin Carter and 33-year-old Khadijah Toliver. Both were arrested Feb. 7.

Detectives said they believe Carter was one of the two men seen in surveillance camera footage breaking into the store and smashing open several jewelry displays. Toliver was arrested for allegedly receiving stolen property. Police were still looking for a third suspect, 45-year-old Michael Bourgois. They said Bourgois was the second man seen participating in the burglary.

Police described Bourgois, who they said was still on the run, as standing 5-foot-8, weighing about 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. He was last photographed with a shaved head. Captain Lillian Carranza, a commander in LAPD’s commercial crimes division, said anyone who spots Bourgois should not approach him. She asked residents to call 9-1-1 or Topanga Division detectives at 213.486.6940 if they see Bourgoius or know of his location.
[Source: Los Angeles Daily News]

FBI offering $2,000 for cargo theft information

There is a cash reward of $2,000 being offered to anyone who is willing come forward with information about a recently stolen truck and trailer filled with energy drinks. The theft occurred on in the overnight hours of February 2 through 3 just almost two weeks ago in the area of East Broadway Avenue and 50th Street in Tampa, Florida.

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The stolen truck was recovered in Broward County on last Thursday, Feb. 7, but the trailer is still missing and contains more than $65,000 in energy drinks. The trailer identification LRG number is 5347 and the Florida License Plate number is 2277CS. For anyone who has information on this cargo theft call the FBI Tampa field office at 813.253.1000[Source: Tampa Bay Times]

New study says non-grocery retailers lost $300 billion from markdowns in 2018

US non-grocery retailers lost $300 billion in revenue in 2018 due to markdowns, according to a new report from Celect. That’s the equivalent of about 12% of sales. The cloud-based inventory management platform polled 200 senior retail executives with help from Coresight Research. More than half of respondents (53%) attributed the missed sales to “inventory misjudgments.” Respondents said 60% of sales are at full price.

Among retailers who sell across platforms, only 6.3% of respondents said they sold 90% to 100% of their inventory at full price, below the 15% average. “This suggests that the complexity of omnichannel operations makes inventory management more challenging, as retailers selling through multiple channels must consider more variables that can affect sales,” according to the report.   [Source: Market Watch]

Employee’s $220,000 jewelry heist

A Providence, Rhode Island, woman was arrested after more than $200,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from Ross-Simons headquarters in Cranston. Yanill C. Taveras, 26, faces charges of embezzlement. According to Cranston Police, Ross-Simons reported the theft on January 29 after finding discrepancies while taking inventory. Jewelry was found in an office where storage is not permitted, and further investigation uncovered that several extremely valuable pieces were missing. In all, 121 pieces worth $222,152 were stolen.

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Taveras, a former employee of the company, was identified as the prime suspect in the case. Investigators determined that she has recently pawned large amounts of jewelry at several different shops. Detectives were able to recover $105,650 worth of jewelry from the pawn shops, which Ross-Simons employees were able to positively identify. Taveras was arrested on January 31 and charged with embezzlement/fraudulent conversion over $100. She was released on $4,500 bail and is set to appear next in court on April 25.  Investigators continue the search for the remaining missing jewelry. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Cranston Police Detective Hopkins at 401.477.5065.   [Source: Cranston Patch]

Police officer arrested for burgling vet clinic for opioids

A southeastern Iowa police officer has been charged with burglary after allegedly breaking into a veterinary clinic to steal powerful pain medications. The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced the arrest Monday of 31-year-old Ryan Mills, who lives in Washington, Iowa and works in Fairfield. A criminal complaint alleges Mills was caught stealing 57 tablets of Tramadol from the Veterinary Clinic in Fairfield before business hours on Jan. 1. Later, he allegedly admitted to entering the clinic on multiple occasions to steal the opioids from a medicine cabinet. Tramadol is a controlled narcotic used to treat moderate to severe pain and is highly addictive.

The clinic began an internal investigation in November after noticing shortages of the drug in its inventory. An employee allegedly saw Mills commit the Jan. 1 theft and police were informed. The Division of Criminal Investigation and the Washington County Attorney’s Office are handling the case to avoid conflicts of interest. Mills was booked into jail Monday.    [Source: The News Tribune]

California sues the DOT over rest break rules for truckers

California has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking it to overturn the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCA) recent decree that the state can’t enforce its rest break and meal rules against truck drivers. Just before Christmas, the FMCSA announced that it would grant the trucking industry’s petition to preempt California’s meal and rest break rules, which differ from rest and break rules laid out in federal hours of service regulations. Groups such as the American Trucking Associations lobbied the Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, who oversees the FMCSA, to preempt state regulations, arguing that the state’s rules conflict with federal rules and cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.

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DOT determined that California’s law is “incompatible with federal regulations and causes a disruption in interstate commerce.  In addition, the confusing and conflicting requirements are overly burdensome for drivers and reduce productivity, increasing costs for consumers. Additionally, safety issues have likely resulted from the lack of adequate parking solutions for trucks in the State [of California].”

“It is well within a state’s rights to establish standards for the welfare of our workers,” said Attorney General Becerra in a statement. “Truck drivers, like every other person protected under California’s labor laws across hundreds of different industries, deserve adequate meal and rest breaks.”
California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su pointed out in that statement that “under the George W. Bush administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had determined that these very same worker rights were not preempted by federal law. In this reversal, the federal government would have drivers work up to 12 hours a day without breaks. We refuse to sit back and allow workers to be treated that way in California.” The Teamsters union also has challenged FMCSA’s move, also in a petition to the Ninth Circuit. Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement, “Highway safety for Teamster members and the public must never be put at risk just so that transportation corporations can eke out a little more profit.”  [Source: Trucking Info]

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