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Breaking News in the Industry: February 14, 2019

ORC ring busted: 2 arrested, police  looking for 3rd

Two Michigan men are facing charges in connection with a string of Macomb County drugstore thefts. Authorities said Kenneth Gildersleeve, 54, of Lake, is charged with one count of organized retail crime and one count of second-degree retail fraud. Michael Troy, 32, of Pontiac, is charged with one count of first-degree retail fraud.

Thefts were reported at multiple drugstores between January 20 and February 7. The items stolen included liquor, infant formula and condoms from stores across the county. Authorities said businesses in Harrison Township, Macomb Township and Mt. Clemens were among those that were hit. A witness was able to provide authorities with a license plate and vehicle description. Authorities said the vehicle was registered to a man who said he loaned the vehicle to Gildersleeve. Authorities are still looking for a third man, known as Frank. Anyone with information is asked to call the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at 586.463.1854.   [Source: ClickOnDetroit]

LP associate threatened by knife-wielding ex-employee

A former employee at a New Hanover County Walmart in North Carolina is accused of pulling a knife on loss prevention associates and stealing a cart full of items from the store. Lieutenant Jerry Brewer, spokesperson for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s office, said deputies responded to the Carolina Beach Road store Monday afternoon after loss prevention employees alerted 911 about the armed robbery.

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Brewer said 45-year-old Tammy Carol Oxendine entered the store and started filling up her cart with items, including perfume and body spray, before heading toward the exit. When LP associates confronted Oxendine, she allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened them as she was leaving the store. Oxendine was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of larceny, and second-degree trespassing. She was given a $50,500 bond. Brewer confirmed that Oxendine was a former employee at the Walmart store and was likely not allowed on the property.   [Source: WECT6 News]

New uses for facial recognition technology

Amazon’s varied uses of facial recognition technology sparked debate last week after an Amazon seller in Vietnam told BuzzFeed News that the platform required he record a five-second video of his face in order to sign up to sell on the platform. “The video will be encrypted and stored for identification purpose. To proceed, enable access to your webcam,” reads a screenshot of the prompt published by BuzzFeed. There was no option to decline the video.

In response to questions regarding the scale of the seller video requests, the use of the data and any link with Rekognition, Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) existing facial recognition product, an Amazon spokesperson emailed the following statement to Supply Chain Dive: “We always experiment with new ways to verify the information sellers provide us in order to protect our store from bad actors. Seller identification information is securely stored and used only for identify (sic) verification.”   [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

Suspect gets a ‘boo-boo’ during attempted theft

A 19-year-old Texas man was caught stealing from Academy Sports and Outdoors on Monday night when a loss prevention associate found the suspect in a bathroom with blood both on a stall and on some store merchandise, according to a police report. Denton police say the man admitted he cut his hand while cutting the items from their packaging at Academy in the 2600 block of West University Drive. He allegedly tried to take an AirSoft rifle and pistol, a leg holster and a knife. The property was worth about $157, the report shows.

The LP associate reportedly saw a shopping cart with the items in it parked outside a restroom. When the 19-year-old exited the restroom, the employee reportedly took him back into the restroom to give him first aid. That is when the man allegedly admitted to trying to take the items, the report shows. The man was charged with theft of property and taken to Denton City Jail.   [Source: Denton Record-Chronicle]

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Shoplifting video is almost laughable

Video released from a Georgia mall seems to be a blooper reel, but it shows a very serious crime. Two shoplifting suspects were trying to make a quick getaway from a Victoria’s Secret store in Rome but then drop the stolen items. The women ended up getting their act together and made off with thousands-of-dollars’ worth of merchandise, but police are hoping they won’t get away clean with the help of someone who may recognize them in the video.

The almost comical video was taken inside the Mount Berry Mall in Rome. Video taken from nearby Dunham Sports store show the video trying to leave. The pair stops and picks up the merchandise, but the other girl cannot walk straight because she has so much stuff and the bag is awkward. Rome Police Detective Corey Bowers calls the women brazen. It all happened in the evening last week with customers in the store and shopping in the mall.   [Source: Fox5 News]

Good Samaritan finds $4,000 inside donated book

And now for some good news… Thousands of dollars found inside a donated book has been returned to the former owner. KPNX-TV reports that volunteer Cathy McAllister was sorting books for a charity book sale in Phoenix, Arizona, last weekend when she found $4,000 in a chamber cut inside “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” The station says she initially thought the $100 bills were Monopoly money.

McAllister said the former owner also left a letter and an address label inside the book. The man’s family was contacted and the money returned. McAllister said the man’s daughter asked him whether he’d done the same thing with other books. McAllister said she suspects the family went home and opened up every other book in the bookcase.   [Source: YakimaHerald]

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