Breaking News in the Industry: February 20, 2019

Suspect injures 7 cops after shoplift, a fight, then pursuit and crash

The Connecticut man accused of shoplifting and leading Stamford police on a chase that injured seven officers had his bond set at $250,000 during a court appearance Tuesday. Jorge Duche, 29, is facing a slew of charges, including robbery, assault and engaging police in pursuit.

Police say Duche shoplifted a pair of slippers Friday at Lord and Taylor. Loss Prevention then notified a sergeant on patrol nearby. Police say Duche fought with the sergeant who tried to arrest him. The sergeant fell backward and broke his ankle. Police say Duche then took off in a car, and when officers tried to pull him over, police say a chase began. Duche then rammed into two cruisers head-on. “Things went from simple to bad really quickly,” says Captain Diedrich Hohn. They say he then fought with officers before he was eventually taken into custody.

Seven officers were hurt, sustaining broken bones, neck and back injuries. Five of those officers have not yet returned to the force. “It’s pretty silly that a pair of slippers from shoplifting turns into a robbery and it goes downhill from there,” says Captain Hohn. Duche was treated at a hospital and released. He appeared in court in a wheelchair and with a cast on his arm. A judge told him Tuesday that this was a “major event” and held him on $250,000 bond. Officials say this isn’t the first time he shoplifted in Stamford, and that he’s also committed crimes in other cities. Prosecutors say Duche also had a suspended license.   [Source: News12 Connecticut]

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Two phone thieves caught by stealth GPS

New details about how two men who robbed an AT&T store in Joliet, Illinois, and got caught in Chicago Heights. The two men took several cell phones from the retail store on Saturday, February 16th. But what they didn’t know is that one of the cell phones in the box is really a GPS tracker according to Joliet Police Sergeant Christopher Botzum. Cell phone companies began using the GPS stealth tracker due to the number of thefts.

Once the two thieves got away, they drove along I-80 but Joliet police lost them in pursuit. That’s when a Chicago police helicopter were able to track the GPS and follow the suspects to a home in Chicago Heights. Twenty-year old Sean Watson of Hazel Crest arrested for violating his parole and armed robbery with a firearm. Watson is being held on $750,000 bond. Also arrested, 18-year old Allen D. Johnson of Chicago Heights, for armed robbery with a firearm. His bail is set at $500,000.   [Source: WJOL News]

New report says cargo theft down in 2018

Cargo thefts fell in 2018, according to a report from supply chain security company SensiGuard. The firm reported 592 cargo thefts in 2018, a 19 percent decline from 2017. The average value of a theft was $142,342. More thefts occurred in California than any other state, with 26 percent occurring in that state. Texas, at 15 percent, and Florida, at 11 percent, were the next highest states for thefts.

Electronics were the most likely item stolen, according to SensiGuard, with 20 percent of thefts involving electronics. Home and garden items were the next most stolen items at 16 percent and food and drinks third at 14 percent. Thieves most often targeted full truckloads of goods, which represented 74 percent of all cargo thefts.   [Source: FreightWaves]

Shoplifter who spit on LP gets fine and 6 months behind bars

Alicia Sinenci, 30, in Wailuku, Hawaii, was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service as part of four years’ probation. Not too many kind of mammals or animals spit — camels, llamas . . . ,” 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo said in imposing the Sinenci, who gave no local address, had pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery, second-degree criminal trespassing and two counts of fourth-degree theft.

She was arrested at 12:45 p.m. July 24 after a clerk alerted Macy’s loss prevention associaates about suspicious behavior by Sinenci, who had been issued a trespassing citation several months earlier, said Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas. He said Sinenci was seen going into a fitting room and employees could hear zippers opening and closing before she left the fitting room, which was empty after she left. LP associates followed Sinenci as she left the Macy’s men’s store without paying for nine T-shirts that she had stuffed in a backpack, Temas said. He said the backpack was one of two stolen from the Victoria’s Secret store at the mall.

Sinenci ran up the escalator to try to escape a loss prevention associates, Temas said. When she was stopped, “she doesn’t surrender,” he said. “She starts screaming, she’s spitting and she’s actively resisting,” Temas said. He said Sinenci dug her nails into one LP associate’s arm and spit at the loss prevention manager. Arriving police officers saw Sinenci’s disruptive behavior, as well as spit the size of silver dollars on the manager, Temas said. Sinenci was heard saying, “Let me go. Stop treating me like an animal. You were acting like an animal,” Judge Loo told Sinenci. “You know what we do with wild animals,” Loo said. “We cage them up. We put them in jail.”

She was ordered to pay fines totaling $658, representing twice the value of the merchandise that she shoplifted. Sinenci was ordered not enter Macy’s or Victoria’s Secret without authorization from her probation officer. She was given credit for nearly five months she has spent in jail.   [Source: The Maui News]

Suspect charged in alleged ORC ring

A woman has been charged in connection with an alleged organized retail Crime (ORC) ring that ended in Radnor, Pennsylvania. “I knew my inventory very well and I looked over and a piece was missing,” said Pam Ferber. A high-end boutique in Wayne is a shopper’s paradise.  It has pricey purses, costly coats and fancy furs. Ferber is the manager and says two women came into Jacques Ferber Furs on East Lancaster Avenue Thursday and saw something they liked and stole it.

“I did say to her you have my coat and that’s when they decided to leave,” said Pam who knew before that something wasn’t right about the duo. “They’re very active and have you jumping around like do you have this, in another size and how about this. So the distractor keeps you very distracted,” she said. Police say 55-year-old Tamala Tucker is one of the women.

Pam says Tucker denied having it and left after she confronted her.  Pam got a good look at the car and took a picture of the license plate. Sergeant Dan Lunger with Radnor Township Police say officers stopped the car not far from the store and found much more than the fur coat inside. “There were several trash bags in the back seat with clothes in them. New clothes some of which you could see still had the security devices on them,” said Sergeant Lunger.  He added, “Several of the clothing items had the security devices wrapped in tin foil which was defeating the security sensors at the various locations where the clothes were taken from.” Tucker was arrested and charged.  Police say her 51-year-old sister and 79-year-old mother were also in the car but haven’t been charged at this time. Police say a second fur coat found in the car was stolen from the same store but from the Delaware location days ago. Delaware State Police are investigating that. The other clothing included 36 pieces worth more than $10,000.   [Source: Fox29 News]

Sears leaner after bankruptcy

In some ways, the “new” Sears has a lot in common with the company that filed for bankruptcy protection in October. Its largest shareholder is now its owner. The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a $5.2 billion bid by Sears Chairman Edward Lampert to buy the company through his hedge fund, ESL Investments, last week. Plans outlined by ESL, including smaller stores and a focus on the retailer’s strengths such as appliances, sound like initiatives Sears has pitched before, as losses mounted in the years leading up to the company’s bankruptcy.

But early attempts to put the strategy in place were hampered by Sears’ past financial challenges, said Mohsin Meghji, Sears’ chief restructuring officer and managing partner at M-III Partners, an advisory company hired by Sears. “It is a high-quality management team, but all of their horsepower was largely focused around legacy issues related to contractual obligations, debt leverage and liquidity management,” Meghji said. “Is there a place for a niche, appliance-focused retailer called Sears? Sure. But it has to be executed really well, and previously it wasn’t done as well as it could have been.”    [Source: The Gazette]

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