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Breaking News in the Industry: January 29, 2019

Her 20th shoplift charge gets her jail time

An Augusta woman, has pleaded guilty to her 20th shoplifting charge. Maxine H. Green, 49, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to felony shoplifting. She faced a minimum of one year in prison and up to 10 years in prison. Judge Daniel J. Craig noted that under current parole guidelines, if he sentenced Green to 10 years in prison, as the prosecutor requested, she would still only spend a year incarcerated.

In the past 20 years or so, Green has been arrested and convicted multiple times of shoplifting, battery, property damage and once for escape, Assistant District Attorney Pete Lamb said. She served prison time at least three times. Defense attorney Jesse Owen told the judge Green’s mental illness has affected her impulse control. Craig sentenced Green to one year in prison followed by nine years probation. Conditions of probation include paying a $15,000 fine and performing 200 hours of community service within 12 months of her release from prison. In addition, Green cannot enter any retail establishment.   [Source: The Augusta Chronicle]

These retailers earn high marks for customer service and reputation

Publix Super Markets. and Costco Wholesale. finished first in their brick-and-mortar retail segments on the Newsweek America’s Best Customer Service 2019 list. In addition, Publix and Costco, along with Walmart, Target and CVS Health, made the top 50 as “all-stars” in Fortune’s 2019 list of The World’s Most Admired Companies.

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In the Newsweek list, Publix came in Number 1 for customer service in the supermarket category with a score of 9.07, followed by ShopRite (8.95) and Trader Joe’s (8.94). Costco led the superstore and warehouse club segment with an 8.79 score for customer service, ahead of No. 2 Meijer (8.60) and No. 3 Target (8.29).

Among the other food, drug, mass and convenience retailers on Newsweek’s list, QuikTrip was No. 1 among convenience stores in customer service with a score of 8.78, followed by Wawa (8.28) and Sheetz (8.23). Independent pharmacy network Good Neighbor Pharmacy, part of drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp., had the top score in the pharmacies and drugstores category at 8.29, beating out national chains Walgreens (No. 2 at 8.08) and CVS Pharmacy (No. 3 at 7.94).   [Source: Supermarket News]

Employee’s scheme to steal $14K of electronics called ‘interesting’ by police

Police say an employee of the Best Buy distribution center in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, has been arrested after he stole roughly $14,000 worth of electronics. Shepherdsville Police say that during the month of January, 20-year-old Perry Vincent stole approximately 12 cell phones, five pairs of earphones and four video games. Investigators said the way he did it was nothing short of interesting.

“He used totes that they use to move merchandise around the warehouse,” Maj. Mike O’Donnell said. “He stacked those at his work station to block the view of the cameras.” During breaks, police said he would wrap up the the stolen stuff, take it outside and drop it on the other side of a fence. And then walk through security on his way out, go to the back of the warehouse and recover them, before he went home for the night,” O’Donnell said. He allegedly admitted to selling the items to people “on the street.” Vincent has been charged with theft by unlawful taking of an amount of $10,000 or more. He is currently being held in the Bullitt County Detention Center. [Source: WDRB News]

Two-timing shoplifter arrested

A serial shoplifter is now behind bars. Albuquerque Police say in December, Anthony Aguirre stashed hundreds of dollars in electronics into a backpack at the Target on Lomas, pulling a knife on a loss prevention employee who tried to stop him. Through surveillance video, police recognized him from several other cases. On Friday, APD officers working a blitz at the Home Depot saw Aguirre try to walk out with a hammer drill kit and power tool without paying. He was arrested as he tried to get away.   [Source: KRQE News]

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Employee arrested for bulk theft

A Texas At Home employee was arrested for helping to steal almost 300 items from the store over the holiday season. College Station Police say Constance Taylor, 35, and another employee would ring up items at the cash register, mark them as “suspended transactions,” and walk the items out of the front door. The “suspended transactions” of the stolen items would disappear from the system in 24 hours. Authorities say the crimes happened between December 5 and January 12. The value of the 277 items totaled nearly $4,000. Police say Taylor admitted to being a part of the crime. She was arrested and charged with theft. Taylor has been arrested three other times for theft since 2013.   [Source: KBTX-TV3]

Court certifies class of 5M applicants in another background check suit

Walmart is now one of several employers that have recently faced allegations of improper background check procedures, in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and/or state law. Delta recently paid $2.3 million to settle a class action involving approximately 44,000 applicants. Like Walmart, Delta was accused of (among other things) including extraneous information on its disclosure forms. Frito-Lay and Target have paid out multi-million dollar background check settlements as well within the past year.

The FCRA has specific rules employers must follow. A disclosure form, for example, must consist of only the legally required disclosure. Multi-state employers often try to consolidate and standardize their compliance efforts to satisfy the requirements of multiple jurisdictions, but where background checks are concerned this move can backfire. As these employers recently found, a single problematic background check form can give rise to a costly class action involving thousands of plaintiffs.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

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