Breaking News in the Industry: January 28, 2019

Shoplift turns to high-speed chase; police officer injured

One person is in custody after a high speed chase ended in St Louis County, police said. Loss prevention associates at Walmart on Michigan Avenue in Arnold called police officers after two men left Walmart with two carts of electronics, police said.

The suspects rammed one patrol car and struck an officer outside another car. The officer was knocked down and hurt his knee. The suspects left the parking lot and law enforcement chased the suspect’s vehicle from Walmart until it ended around Green Park Road and Kohr’s Lane in South County.   [Source: KMOV4 News]

Duo allegedly steals ‘4 trash cans full’ of merchandise; arrested after chase, crash

Police arrested two Los Angeles women Friday after they allegedly stole more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from a Covina Walmart store, then led police on a brief pursuit that ended with a crash, officials said. Officers were on patrol shortly before 10 a.m. when they noticed a car parked in the parking lot of the Walmart. The vehicle was still running, but no one was inside, prompting the officers to become suspicious, Covina police Sgt. John Zumwalt said.

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As they watched the car, two women came running out of the store carrying two trash cans full of merchandise, he said. Officers tried to pull over the car, but it sped away. Police chased the fleeing car for about two blocks before it crashed into a tree, Zumwalt said. The two women fled into a nearby condominium complex before eventually being cornered and arrested. Inside their car, police found a total of four trash cans stuffed with more than $2,000 worth of merchandise stolen from the store, the sergeant said. The trash cans, themselves, were also believed to have been pilfered from the Walmart.

Amya Kimani Malbrue, 19, of Los Angeles and Olivia Chandler Robertson, 22, of Los Angeles were booked on suspicion of crimes including felony shoplifting, grand theft, resisting or obstructing police, he said. Investigators were also looking into the possibility the women were connected to a robbery reported Thursday night elsewhere in Los Angeles County, Zumwalt said. According to Los Angeles County booking records, Malbrue’s bail was set at $10,000, while Robertson’s bail was set at $25,000.  [Source: KTLA5 News]

New bills to allow interstate carry of firearms for truckers

Two bills in the North Carolina House of Representatives and the Senate are pushing for “national concealed carry reciprocity.” Right now, those with a conceal carry license face a patchwork of different state laws when they travel from state to state. That would be especially helpful for truck drivers who drive interstate and have a concealed carry license. Truckers with a concealed carry license may soon be able to bring their handgun across state lines.

In 2017, 23 truck transportation workers died in the US as a result of “violence and other injuries by persons or animals.” Twenty-one died in 2016 from the same causes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cargo theft, which sometimes results in drivers missing or injured, is more common. According to CargoNet, there were 328 reports of crimes on freight and the truckers who carry them in Q3 2018 alone. These crimes typically occur at warehouses and truck stops. Some truckers say that carrying an unloaded gun helps defend them against thieves, while others always carry an aluminum bat or pepper spray.

Others say that the larger issue is a lack of truck driver parking. In 2009, for instance, 35-year-old truck driver Jason Rivenburg was shot in the head and robbed of $7 after he parked his truck in the lot of an abandoned gas station. There were no safer parking spots available. That sparked Congress to enact “Jason’s Law” in 2012, designed to investigate the lack of truck parking in the country. The first Jason’s Law study, published in 2015, found that nearly three-quarters of State Department of Transportation heads said there’s a lack of commercial truck parking in their state.   [Source: LMTonline]

Employee charged with theft of more than $100,000

A White Bear Lake, Minnesota, man is accused of stealing almost $120,000 in goods and services from his employer over the course of a month, according to a criminal complaint filed in St. Croix County Circuit Court January 22. Timothy Ryan Skrypek, 30, was charged with three counts of felony theft following allegations that he made 45 fraudulent phone activations totaling $63,899.39 in lost income, stole $42,773 worth of devices and store deposits that total $12,588.20 while employed by the AT&T store in Hudson, the complaint states.

Authorities allege the thefts took place from Feb. 1, 2018, through March 1, 2018. According to the complaint, store surveillance video showed Skrypek removed iPhones from the store, typically five or six at a time for a total of 89, on 17 of those days. On Feb. 26, 2018, the store manager noticed three empty bank deposit bags that were ripped open stashed underneath a container inside the inventory safe. The next day, 56 phones were noticed as missing during an inventory check and loss prevention was alerted to the issue.

The store manager informed police that Skrypek, who they suspected of the theft, was being interviewed by loss prevention, but didn’t immediately offer much more information on the situation. The manager later told police in a statement that when he discovered the deposit bags, he confronted employees and Skrypek eventually confessed to taking the money and said he would return it the next day. The money was never returned.

When questioned by police, Skrypek said he had purchased five iPhones for his family and provided a sale invoice for the phones. He also produced a deposit bag from his car, which was marked as containing $1,072.09 in cash, but contained cash in the amount of $1,564. Another employee who worked with Skrypek during his time at the store told police months later that Skrypek put a total of five phones on her account, which totaled $2,050. She noticed the extra charges in April 2018 and notified AT&T. Each felony theft count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. A warrant was issued for Skrypek’s arrest January, 22.  [Source: New Richmond News]

Ticket-switcher lands in jail

A young Pennsylvania woman is incarcerated for an alleged retail theft scheme involving items worth hundreds of dollars ringing up for only 99 cents, according to Muncy Township Police. Jordan Beth Hanson, 23, whose last known address was 1963 North Susquehanna Trail, Selinsgrove, only paid $1.98 for items valued at $1,099.98, at Target, Muncy Township, on January 15, 2019,  according to police.  Hanson swapped bar code stickers on expensive items with the stickers from cheaper ones, arresting officer Muncy Township Police Department Corporal Bryann Bingaman wrote in her affidavit.

She processed the purchases through a self-checkout kiosk, which was caught on the retailer’s closed circuit security cameras, according to Bingaman’s affidavit. The sticker swap scheme allowed Hanson to purchase a Dyson vacuum valued at $599.99 for only 99 cents, according to police. The vacuum allegedly rang up as Dove travel size deodorant. She also allegedly paid only 99 cents for an XBox One NBA Game System Package valued at $499.99. The item also rang up as Dove travel size deodorant, the affidavit stated. Hanson was charged with retail theft and incarcerated at the Lycoming County Prison on January 18, 2019.   [Source: NorthCentralPA.com]

Strict data breach law proposed… again

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Representative Jason Saine reintroduced data privacy legislation that would give organizations just 30 days to report a breach. For healthcare providers in the state, the law would effectively cut in half the notification time outlined in HIPAA, which mandates breach notifications occur within 60 days of discovery. According to the proposal, the tighter notification will “allow people to freeze their credit across all major credit reporting agencies and take other measures to prevent identity theft before it occurs.” Further, the bill would redefine a breach to include ransomware attacks, where the personal information is accessed and potentially not acquired. This is also particularly notable for healthcare organizations, as hackers continue to target the sector with ransomware attacks.

The bill also outlines consumer data protections, including giving individuals the right to request a list of the data maintained on them, the source, and where it was disclosed. If passed, the legislation would also mandate that breached organizations provide victims with two years of free credit monitoring. Victims would also be allowed to freeze their credit without cost.

The proposal is the second attempt for the state at revamping its privacy law. In January 2018, Saine and Stein introduced legislation that would give businesses just 15 days to report a breach after discovery. According to Saine, they spent the year working with citizen advocates like AARP and the business community to redraft the law.   [Source: Health IT Security]

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