Breaking News in the Industry: January 21, 2019

Shoplifting

C-Store clerk admits $800 robbery was a hoax

A gas station convenience store clerk told police she felt sorry for a homeless man and handed him $800 out of the till, covering up the donation to make it look like a robbery. The 33-year-old woman was booked Wednesday on preliminary charges of theft and filing a false police report in the incident. Detectives were suspicious of her robbery story, and a sworn Decatur police affidavit said she was arrested after being called to police headquarters for questioning. All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office.

Writing in the affidavit, detective Jason Derbort said the woman admitted her robbery story wasn’t true and, instead, described giving the money to the homeless man after deciding to “help him out.” “(She) stated the man gave her back approximately half of the money she turned over to him,” Derbort said. “She stated the man put the money in the front passenger seat of her car, and (the cash) totaled $459.” Derbort quoted the woman as saying she cooked up the robbery story after a customer asked her what was going on.“… She decided she needed to call the police to report this as a robbery as she did not know how to explain the missing money to her boss,” Derbort said. The woman remained held in the Macon County Jail on Thursday night, in lieu of posting $5,000 bail. A message left with FasMart management seeking comment was not immediately returned.   [Source: Herald & Review]

Shoplifter stymied by pregnant store clerk

A pregnant store clerk in South Carolina thwarted a shoplifting attempt at a Family Dollar store in Greenville Friday, according to the Greenville Police Department. Officers responded to the reported shoplifting at the Family Dollar. Police Department spokesman Donald Porter said in a press release.  Store employees and witnesses reported a man who had attempted to leave the store without paying for a speaker system, Porter said.

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The pregnant clerk tried to take the item from the man as he was leaving, and the man retaliated by grabbing the clerk by her throat and pushing her away, Porter said. “Another customer came to the rescue and scuffled with the suspect, eventually shoving the suspect out of the store,” Porter said in the release.

The suspect fled the scene on a bicycle… without the speaker. The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall with a medium build, short brown hair and some facial hair. He was last seen wearing a green hoodie, black pants and black shoes.Police ask anyone with information on the man’s identity or location to contact CrimeStoppers at 23.CRIME (864.232.7463). Tipsters can remain anonymous.   [Source: Greenville News]

How to check to see if you are part of the 770M affected in massive data breach

Security researchers recently discovered that over 770 million email addresses and passwords had been compromised making it the largest collection of breached data ever. The information breach is made up of several individual data breaches from thousands of websites, rather than just one hack of a large service or internet site. And with that many accounts hit, it’s more than likely one of your profiles is part of the mix. “It seems like it’s a reality of today’s world that you’re going to have your information out there all over the place,” breach victim James Nichol said.

But one security researcher has made it easier than ever to know for sure if you’ve been affected or not. You just type in your email address at Have I Been Pwned?, and there it will tell you how many breaches your account has been linked with and just what information was taken. Email addresses, IP addresses, names, and your physical addresses are common things that are compromised in the breaches. “I don’t know really what to think, it’s not something you come across everyday knowing that your passwords have been hacked,” Jonathan Fernandez said.    [Source: Valley News Live]

Employee stole more than $16,000; charged with 31 felony counts

A Save-A-Lot employee in Pennsylvania is accused of stealing more than $16,000 from the store over 18 months, police said. Beaver Falls police charged 31-year-old Dorothy Grier, 31 with felony counts of theft and receiving stolen property. According to the police report, Save-A-Lot’s loss prevention associate contacted police on Jan. 14 about the possibility of theft by an employee. The LP associate told police they had discovered that an employee, identified as Grier, had been stealing money from the store.

Save-A-Lot estimated that Grier had stolen about $16,078 between July 2018 and Jan. 14, according to the police report. Grier was ringing in higher-value items at her register as if it was a customer purchasing them and then quickly returning the items and pocketing the return money, the LP associate told police.

Police said Grier admitted to stealing money from Save-A-Lot by making fictitious returns and keeping the money, but said she had no idea how much money she’d taken. Grier told police she had some health issues that made her miss work and she was behind on some of her bills. She was free after posting $10,000 bond.   [Source: The Times Online]

Prolific armed robber in custody

A Michigan man with an extensive criminal background has reportedly confessed to four armed robberies in Pontiac and Waterford occurring in the last few weeks, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday. Richard Allen Jefferson, 50, is in the Oakland County Jail, awaiting arraignment.

Detectives say he has confessed to the following armed robberies:
⁃ Dec. 23, 2018 – Rite Aid – $900 taken
⁃ Jan. 7, 2019 – Thrifty Florist – $150 taken
⁃ Jan. 7, 2019 – 7-Eleven – $200-$300 taken
⁃ Jan. 14, 2019 – TCF Bank – $1400 taken

Detectives from the sheriff’s office and the Waterford Township Police Department partnered on solving the robberies and identified Jefferson as a suspect. He was located at a residence in Flint, arrested by Flint police at the request of the sheriff’s office and then transferred to the sheriff’s office where he was interviewed and ultimately confessed, the sheriff’s office said.

“I am pleased with the police work done and am grateful for the partnership with Waterford Township PD, who assisted in bringing justice for the victims of these armed robberies,” said Sheriff Mike Bouchard. “This career criminal is now behind bars without further harm to our community.”    [Source: The Oakland Press]

Here we go again; Gymboree may close remaining stores

Remember the scramble to grab everything possible from Toys “R” Us before they officially closed shop? Well, here we go again. The once popular children’s clothing retailer Gymboree, which at one time had a nearly cult-like following, is expected to file for bankruptcy and close its remaining brick-and-mortar stores, the Wall Street Journal first reported. The Gymboree website says it operates more than 900 retail stores in the U.S. and Canada, as well as franchises around the world.

So what happened to this company that once saw a rush of parents and kids in their stores? It’s a combination of many things. Allen Adamson, New York University adjunct professor at the Stern School of Business and author of “Shift Ahead,” told TODAY Style that the retailer simply couldn’t cut it in the modern retail landscape. It’s possible that the company’s higher-end brand, Janie and Jack, may be sold to another company, according to CNBC.

So what to do if a Gymboree gift card is sitting around the house? Go out and spend it quickly, advised Dart. The company will likely try to sell off as much of its merchandise as quickly as possible (remember Toys “R” Us?) and then close within a matter of months.   [Source: TODAY Style]

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