Breaking News in the Industry: February 14, 2018

Female shoplifter threatened LP associates with knife

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying two female suspects who allegedly stole items from Target at Ala Moana Center in Hawaii and threatened a loss prevention associate with a pocket-knife. Just after 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 28, the two suspects entered the retail store, selected some items and left the establishment without paying for the merchandise. Police said the LP associate stopped the suspects outside of the store when one of the perpetrators brandished a pocket knife and threatened to stab the victim. Both suspects then fled. Anyone with information is asked to call police or CrimeStoppers.   [Source: Star Advertiser]

Employee accused of $8,400 theft

A former worker at the KFC restaurant in New York was arrested Monday for allegedly stealing an estimated $8,400 from the eatery while working there, police said. Tanya S. White, 43, of Schenectady, was arrested after an investigation by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office after restaurant administration noticed an apparent theft, officials said. Police determined that White was taking orders from customers but not entering them into the restaurant’s cash register between last April and last month, resulting in felony counts of grand larceny and falsifying business records, according to the Sheriff’s Office. White was arraigned in Queensbury Town Court and released on her own recognizance. Sheriff’s Patrol Officer Jesse Pound and Investigator Doug David investigated the case. [Source: The Post Star]

Credit card scam believed to be key to 3 murders

Three Dec. 28 murders in D.C. and Prince George’s County, Maryland, are believed to be connected, with the connection being a credit card scam they were involved in, police said in court documents. One man, 23-year-old Ashton Briscoe of Northeast, faces a charge of first-degree murder while armed in the murder of Kerrice Lewis, 23, of Hyattsville, Maryland. Lewis’ body was found in the trunk of a burning car in a Southeast alley to the rear of Adrian Street. Court documents filed in Superior Court in D.C. say she had been shot 15 times before she was burned. The credit card scam is believed to be what led to her death; however, the documents do not elaborate on the type of scam allegedly being run. Police said in the affidavit to arrest Briscoe that they had been told “Dennis (Travon) Whitaker and Ms. Lewis were beefing, because Dennis Whitaker believed Ms. Lewis had set him up and got him shot at.” In the 10-page affidavit, police outlined the links connecting Briscoe, Whitaker and Malique Lewis, 20, with Kerrice Lewis, whose body was found at 7:21 p.m. Dec. 28, and the bodies of her two friends, Ronzay Green, 23, and  Armani Coles, 27. Police found Green, who had been shot, at 11:20 a.m. Dec. 28 on the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Northeast.  [Source: WTOP News]

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Three employees fired, restaurant closes to ‘regroup’ after video alleges racial profiling [Viral Video]

Three employees have been fired and a restaurant closed down after a Missouri woman posted a video on Facebook that she says demonstrates the racial profiling that black people in America deal with. The video is a recording of her and her friend’s encounter with a police officer, a mall security guard and a manager at the Applebee’s restaurant at Independence Mall on Saturday. “This is what black people have to deal with if you want to know,” one of the women says. The women were eating dinner there when two officers approached them about an incident that had happened the day before, in which two women, apparently resembling them left without paying for their food. However, the women say the server’s description of the dine-and-dashing women was vague, with few details other than skin color and body size. “We have not been here!” Asia Hardy repeatedly exclaims to one officer. In a statement released Monday evening, Applebee’s said the restaurant’s manager, a server, and another employee involved in the incident have been fired after an internal investigation. The franchise also said the Independence Center location is now temporarily closed “in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.” Applebee’s said they are reaching out to apologize to the two women. [Source: Fox4KC News]

More Secret Service resources needed to combat credit card skimming

In the wake of a rash of local credit card “skimming” episodes, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is asking the Secret Service to provide more resources to confront the crimes. “In Livingston County alone over the past seven weeks more than 20 separate cases of credit card fraud were reported that officials believe is the result of skimmers recently uncovered at area gas stations,” Schumer wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director Randolph Alles. ” It is vital that we address this form of fraud that victimizes hundreds of New Yorkers and creates fear in thousands more.” Credit card “skimmers” have become more common methods for pilfering credit card numbers. The skimmer is a clandestine device designed to steal credit card information by “skimming” the magnetic strips on cards swiped at ATMs or gas stations. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office also reported several skimming incidents in late 2017. Schumer is urging the Secret Service to increase the number of agents and resources to counter skimming crimes. He also is recommending enhanced collaboration with local law enforcement. [Source: Democrat & Chronicle]

Amazon laying off ‘hundreds’ of corporate employees

Amazon is laying off employees, mostly in its consumer retail business, numbering in the “several hundreds,” two people familiar with the matter told The Seattle Times. Layoffs are expected to hit the corporate headquarters, as well as elsewhere in its global operations. In an emailed statement to RetailDIVE, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is “making headcount adjustments across the company… small reductions in a couple of places and aggressive hiring in many others. For affected employees, we work to find roles in the areas where we are hiring.” As of Monday, the spokesperson said Amazon has 3,900 jobs open in Seattle and 12,000 jobs open worldwide in its corporate operations, and it will continue to grow. “As you have reported, over the past five months, we have secured at least 1 million square feet in the city … a sign we will keep hiring here,” the spokesperson said, adding that the space would allow the company to hire an additional 5,000 people. [Source: RetailDIVE]

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