Breaking News in the Industry: February 4, 2019

Gun-toting shoplifting suspect turns into 5 hour stand-off

A 32-year-old Kalamazoo man is facing several charges after he was allegedly spotted shoplifting at the D & W on Parkview around 2 pm Saturday afternoon. Public Safety arrived while he was still in the store. When confronted they say the suspect discarded a handgun and made a run for it where they say he broke into a home on Logan Avenue, less than a block away and refused to come out.

Lieutenant Michael Skurski says after a five hour stand-off in the Oakwood Neighborhood, and after obtaining a search warrant the Metro SWAT team sent in a K-9 and forcibly entered the home. The suspect was found hiding in a closet and taken into custody. He was booked into the Kalamazoo County Jail for retail fraud, resisting, home invasion and several gun felonies including possession of a stolen gun. He apparently has previous felonies as well which could mean a longer sentence if he is convicted.   [Source: WKZO Radio News]

Super Bowl authorities seize $24M in counterfeit tickets and merchandise

More than two dozen arrests were made in a multi-agency operation targeting counterfeit Super Bowl tickets and merchandise. US Immigration and Border officials said nearly 300,000 items worth an estimated $24 million has been seized as part of an effort called ‘operation team player.’ That’s almost $10 million more than last year’s seizure. Officials say hundreds more have been snagged recently in Atlanta.

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In a joint press conference, officials warned sports fans to be extra cautious of any scams. “When you are buying tickets, you must consider the source. The safest route is always to purchase from an approved source. Many fans believe that if they are not purchasing tickets, for example, from a scalper on the street, that they are safe, that it’s okay to buy tickets on a third-party website because the sellers can be tracked and traced. I’m here to tell you that is not always the case. A majority of counterfeit sales happen not on the street, but actually happen through the internet,” Bill McSwain U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said. Police officials said 28 people have been arrested in the operation and 21 were convicted.   [Source: WAFB9 News]

Cops with Compassion

When police caught up with a man suspected of shoplifting from a Westwood, Kansas, Walmart store last weekend, they found out there was more to the man’s story than some stolen merchandise. The man, accused of walking away from the store with some cold medicine, diapers, and other items, had a terminally ill wife at home, and a young son with special needs.

He was in an especially difficulty spot at that moment, with the store insisting he be charged for the alleged theft and a separate warrant out for his arrest in Lenexa. But, as the Westwood Police Department explained in a Facebook post this weekend, police officers from four local departments found a way to cut the man a break. “All had a job to do, but did it with compassion,” the Westwood Police Department’s post said. “Got to like that kind of teamwork.”    [Source: The Kansas City Star]

National Retail Security Survey 2018 Has $46.8M Impact on Retailers

In the modern age of retail, a National Retail Federation (NRF) has found that inventory loss, due to crime or error, is having a $46.8 billion impact on the industry’s bottom line. The organization also noted that, on average, the shrink comes at a cost of 1.33 percent of sales to retailers, Forbes reported. According to the survey from the NRF and the University of Florida, 41 percent of polled retailers noted a rise in their inventory shrink. At the same time, the average shoplifting incident cost rose to $559, as the average cost of return fraud reached over $1,750.

According to a study from FaceFirst, 20 percent of shoplifters, that are known, hit up three or more locations of a retailer. In addition, 60 percent of these known shoplifters visit at least two locations of a given retail chain. The report also noted that the top source of inventory shrinkage for four consecutive years was shoplifting. Some technology companies are offering security networks to help chain retailers with this challenge. While each store discovers the faces and intentions of each organized retail gang with traditional video surveillance, every store in a geographic area can have that intelligence via network surveillance as soon as the gang hits the first store. In addition, the system itself can raise the red flag when gang members enter another store, with the help of biometric identification driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

In other cases, network security can help identify where a customer is making the rounds among local stores of the same chain. The customer might not be leaving stores with their pockets stuffed, but they might be up to something suspicious. DeepCam CFO Otto Lowe previously said that a strength of network security is being able to pinpoint these kinds of telltale behaviors.   [Source: PYMNTS]

Shoplifter arrested after baby formula heist, punching store manager

A Pennsylvania man punched a store manager after he stole several canisters of baby formula, according to charges filed. Borough police arrested Craig Joseph Daniels, 29, of Division Street, on charges he stole baby formula and food items from Price Chopper in the West Side Mall on Wednesday and Saturday. According to criminal complaints in the case, a store loss prevention associate contacted police when Daniels was observed on video from a surveillance camera selecting 10 cans of baby formula and a package of brownies. Daniels passed the cash registers and exited the store near the beer and liquor area.

After leaving the store, Daniels was stopped by the LP associate and told to return to the store. Daniels initially agreed to reenter the store but instead, he punched a female store manager and fled. An officer spotted Daniels running through the parking lot and gave chase. The officer caught up to Daniels with assistance from a passer-by, the complaint says. Police said other officers were delayed in responding to assist due to weather officer caught up to Daniels with assistance from a passer-by, the complaint says. Police said other officers were delayed in responding to assist due to weather conditions at the time.

Police said Daniels also was recorded stealing 14 canisters of formula and a cake from the store. He was arraigned  by District Judge Thomas Malloy in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of robbery, flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, simple assault, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia and separate counts of retail theft. He was jailed at the county correctional facility for lack of $11,000 total bail.   [Source: Times Leader]

Personal privacy perceptions revealed in new study

Blis, a global provider of advanced location data technology, today announced the launch of a new research report titled The Currency of Data: Quantifying the Value of Consumer Information in 2019, which uncovered how Americans feel about their personal data and how willing they are to share it. The study finds that consumer awareness of their personal data is growing, and, as a result, it is critical that marketers not only abide by data-acquisition regulation but also work to instill consumer trust and put control back in their hands.

  • Nearly two in three consumers are more aware of how their personal information is being used today than they were just a year ago, and 83% of people are aware that their location is tracked. The research also shows that:
  • 60% would unveil their personally identifiable information (for free or at a price) to advertisers and 57% of these respondents place a $10 minimum value on their identity
  • 2/3 of customers are willing to have their location tracked, either permanently or through opt-in prompts
  • 4 in 10 consumers are not willing to share their personal or location data, even if incentivized while 10% will give it away for free

Consumers with household incomes of less than $50K are more likely to give their data for free, while those making more than $50K are likely to sell the same information for at least $5.   [Source: CISION PR Newswire]

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