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Breaking News in the Industry: January 16, 2018

Watch shoplifter steal jewelry from retailer in New Orleans [Viral Video]

The owner of a Magazine Street boutique is asking for the public’s help to identify a man who she says stole about a thousand dollars worth of jewelry from her store. The unidentified man pocketed rings from Century Girl Vintage, 2023 Magazine St., New Orleans, on Wednesday (Jan. 10), owner Leah Blake said.  An employee said the man entered the store just before closing. In surveillance video, he can be seen casually walking to the rear of the store and grabbing items that he doesn’t put back. “He was just picking up rings like you would pick eggs on a farm,”  A relative who was waiting to give the employee a ride home noticed the man enter the store and thought it was suspicious for him to be visiting a women’s boutique at closing time, according to Blake.

The relative came inside and chatted up the man to make sure the employee was OK, Blake said. “He was really charming and talkative,” she said. When asked where he was from, the man hesitated before saying he was visiting from Dallas. However, Blake’s employee and the relative noted he had a New Orleans accent and was wearing a New Orleans Saints shirt.  “He clearly had a New Orleans, kind of y’at accent,” Blake said. In sharing details about the theft in a Magazine Street business forum, Blake learned that a shoplifter with a similar description had stolen jewelry from Sterling Silvia, 3110 Magazine St. An employee at Sterling Silvia confirmed Sunday that the business had posted a photograph of the shoplifter on the front door. It’s not clear what was stolen from that store. At Century Girl, the shoplifter took a 14-karat gold lion ring with emerald eyes and two vintage silver rings from the 1920s, one with an aquamarine stone and another with a synthetic sapphire, Blake said. “It’s just awful when it happens to small businesses,” she said. [Source: The Times Picyune]

Jason’s Deli: Data Breach Could Affect 2 Million Cards

Hackers have struck the quick-service industry again. Jason’s Deli announced that a “large quantity of payment card information” was being sold on the dark web, and at least a portion of the data was pulled from Jason’s Deli locations. While the investigation is still underway, as many as two million credit card numbers may have been compromised. The company was notified December 22 and said, “management immediately activated our response plan, including engagement of a leading threat response team, involvement of other forensic experts, and cooperation with law enforcement.” Jason’s Deli said RAM-scraping malware targeted a number of its point-of-sales systems at corporate-owned locations beginning June 8. The brand said the security breach has been contained. “While this information varies from card issuer to card issuer, full track data can include the following: cardholder name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, cardholder verification value, and service code.

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However, it should be noted that the cardholder verification value that may have been compromised is not the same as the three-digit value printed on the back of certain payment cards (e.g., Discover, MasterCard, and Visa) or the four-digit value printed on the front of other payment cards (e.g., American Express). In addition, the track data does not include personal identification numbers (“PINs”) associated with debit cards,” Jason’ Deli said in a statement. Jason’s Deli is the latest restaurant company to face a breach. This past October, Pizza Hut announced that a “small percentage” of its customers were affected by a “temporary security intrusion.” In September, Sonic Drive-In revealed that it was the target of a security breach. In May, Chipotle announced a security issue hit “most” of its locations. Arby’s said in February that potentially more than 355,000 customers’ credit cards could have been compromised. More than a thousand Wendy’s locations were impacted by a major card breach in July 2016, an issue that proved costly for card-issuing banks and credit unions, KrebsOnSecurity points out. Wendy’s needed months to fix the situation, partly because of the brand’s large corporate-owned structure.[Source: QSR Magazine]

Woman charged with shoplifting allegedly tried running down officers in car

A woman reportedly led Great Falls police on a chase on Tuesday, nearly striking three officers’ cruisers pursuing her for allegedly shoplifting items from Shopko. Samantha Wise was arrested the next day at the home of her friend, Derek Xavier Nisbet, who was also arrested for hiding a person wanted by police.  According to court documents, Shopko alerted police to a shoplifting incident on Jan. 9, claiming a man, later identified as Nisbet, left on foot while a woman, who police identified as Wise, left in a vehicle with stolen items.

Police located Nisbet at West Bank Park allegedly in possession of items shoplifted from Shopko, while an officer later found the SUV, reportedly stolen, Wise was driving near the 700 block of 6th Street Northwest, according to court documents.  When approached by a police cruiser, Wise reportedly smiled and flipped him off before driving directly at the officer, who had to step out of the way to avoid being hit, charging documents state. Later on, another officer on Central Avenue West reported Wise entered his lane and drove directly at the officer who was trying to turn around to initiate a traffic stop. The officer had to veer into a different lane to avoid being struck, charging documents state. [Source: Great Falls Tribune]

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Supermarket employee accused of stealing $8,000 over a year

A Giant Food Store employee is accused of stealing approximately $8,000 in cash from the Lower Saucon Township supermarket over a period of about a year. In a news release Thursday, township police said Toska Slotter, 42, of Hellertown, “admitted to committing the thefts,” which police say occurred between Jan. 24, 2017 and Jan. 7, 2018 at the 1880 Leithsville Road store. Police said they were alerted to the alleged thefts by Giant Asset Protection. At the time of her interview with police, authorities say Slotter “was also found to be in possession of three different controlled substances–Adderall, Methadone and Suboxone–without a prescription.” After being arraigned before District Judge Roy Manwaring Wednesday on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a controlled substance, Slotter was released on $15,000 unsecured bail, police said.  [Source: Socuan Source]

Woman gets jail for 2016 retail fraud

A Wilson, Michigan, woman, who failed to appear for her sentencing nine months ago, was sentenced in Delta County Circuit Court on Friday in connection with the theft of merchandise from two Escanaba stores in 2016.  Melissa Rose Meshigaud-Ritchie, 37, was sentenced to 90 days in jail on one count of conspiracy to first-degree retail fraud, a five-year felony, which she pleaded guilty to in early 2017 but failed to show for sentencing last April. Meshigaud-Ritchie was arrested in December 2016 along with co-defendants Veronica Mae Williams, 28, and Manitoubani Wandahsega, 35, all of Wilson, for stealing nearly $3,000 worth of security systems and miscellaneous merchandise from Menards and Dunham’s Sports earlier that month.

According to Escanaba Public Safety, the three removed items from the stores through doors that were locked from the outside but not the inside. In February 2017, Meshigaud-Ritchie pleaded guilty to conspiracy to first-degree retail fraud but failed to appear for her April 24 circuit court sentencing and was charged with contempt of court. During her sentencing Friday, Meshigaud-Ritchie was given credit for serving 55 days in jail. The balance of her 90-day sentence was suspended due to her having a serious medical condition. She admitted in court she was drunk when the theft occurred and she nearly died in jail due to her health issue. She was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to have no alcohol or illegal drugs and cannot enter bars. She must undergo drug testing. She was also ordered to have no contact and not be within 500 feet of Menards or Dunham’s. In addition to being fined $1,028 in court costs, Meshigaud-Ritchie was ordered to pay joint restitution with Wandahsega and Williams including $2,399 to Menards and $434 to Dunham’s. [Source: Daily Press]

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Store employee charged in shoplifting $3,280 in merchandise; cash

An employee at a Florida Dollar Star, a low-priced close-out store located inside the Merritt Square Mall, was taken into custody Wednesday after deputies said he had stolen thousands of dollars worth of items and took cash from the register over a period of seven weeks.  After the manager of Dollar Star confronted Derek Anthony Jeter, 20, with accusations the employee was shoplifting, Jeter provided the manager a written statement outlining items he had stolen, according to reports.  Unlike the $1-only Dollar Store, at Dollar Star, you can buy luggage for $40. But most items in the store are under $10. When deputies made contact with the Cape Canaveral man, he told them he had taken food, drinks and clothes from the store. He also took money from the cash register and carried out fraudulent returns to pocket the money, according to deputies.  This went on for seven weeks, totaling about $3,280 in items, cash and fraudulent transactions, deputies report. Jeter was booked into the Brevard County Jail with bail set at $4,000. [Source: Florida Today]

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