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Breaking News in the Industry: January 3, 2019

Loaded gun recovered from 13-year-old shoplifter in stolen car

Police recovered a gun from a 13-year-old shoplifting suspect Thursday in Roseville, Minnesota. Around 6:39 p.m., a witness reported to police that they saw six teens steal shoes from DSW and run to a car in the parking lot, according to the Roseville Police Department. The witness then followed the teens to Marshall’s where the group committed another shoplifting. Police arrived at the scene while the teens were inside.

The group, which included three boys and three girls, had been riding in a vehicle stolen out of St. Paul. Inside the car, police found ammo, a pellet gun and mace. Police also recovered a loaded gun in a 13-year-old boy’s jacket pocket. Authorities are still investigating and charges are pending.   [Source: Fox9 News]

Shoplift turns into chase of stolen police car

Around 6:40 p.m. on Thursday, North Carolina police officers were called to the Walmart store in reference to a man who was trying to take items from the store without paying. A Walmart loss prevention associate had detained the man after an altercation between the two. Abraham G. Burns, 38, attempted to flee from High Point officers once they arrived, a police news release stated. He was handcuffed by officers and placed in a seated position in the rear of a marked police vehicle.

While police continued the shoplifting investigation, Burns was able to move the handcuffs to the front of his body, open the shield that separates the front and back seats of the vehicle, get into the driver’s seat and drive off, police said. A vehicle pursuit ensued through High Point into Greensboro on Interstate 40 East ending at the Alamance County line at exit 138. During the pursuit, a Greensboro police officer deployed stop sticks. High Point police also received assistance from the NC Highway Patrol and Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. Burns remains in the custody of the High Point Police Department at High Point Medical Center where he is under medical evaluation.   [Source: Winston-Salem Journal]

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‘Pooey Puitton’ sues Louis Vuitton

A California toy company has sued Louis Vuitton to stop the French luxury goods maker from interfering with its sales of a slime-filled, poop-shaped toy purse for children, Pooey Puitton. In a complaint filed on Friday in Los Angeles federal court, MGA Entertainment Inc said no reasonable consumer would mistake Pooey Puitton, which retails for $59.99, for costlier Louis Vuitton handbags.

MGA called Pooey Puitton protected parody “designed to mock, criticize, and make fun of that wealth and celebrity” associated with Louis Vuitton products and rejected what it called Louis Vuitton’s claim of trademark infringement to an MGA customer. “The use of the Pooey name and Pooey product in association with a product line of ‘magical unicorn poop’ is intended to criticize or comment upon the rich and famous, the Louis Vuitton name, the LV marks, and on their conspicuous consumption,” the complaint said.

MGA is seeking a court declaration that Pooey Puitton does not infringe Louis Vuitton’s intellectual property rights, and is protected parody and fair use. The Van Nuys, California-based company said Pooey Puitton, whose contents include “slime powder” for making a “rainbow of poop” when water is added, is part of its Poopsie Slime Surprise line launched in 2018 and among its more successful new toys.    [Source: Reuters]

Multi-state fraud scheme believed to be international, 2 arrested

A multi-state ORC ring to defraud a department store chain was broken up by the loss prevention team. More than 90 victims were reported and $100,000 allegedly stolen. And it all ended in December in Wilmington, North Carolina. On December 18, Wimington Police Department officers arrested a pair of men reportedly found with fake credit and gift cards outside the Mayfaire Town Center Belk. Now, detectives say Henrique Teixeira Mendes De Almeida, 29, and Gustavo Teixeira Mendes De Almeida, 34, were involved in a massive black market enterprise. Police spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron said the two are brothers from Portugal with a residence in Florida.

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Police Detective Daniel Fortier said the Almeidas used a card scanner to put stolen credit card numbers on fake credit cards, and more than 90 potential victims of the identify theft have been identified so far. After buying items, the men allegedly shipped them to Florida to be resold internationally. “It all started from the Belk’s organized retail crime investigators,” Fortier said. “Throughout the state they’ve been watching some suspects use fraudulent credit cards to purchase merchandise and gift cards, and then shortly thereafter, a week or two, the money that they’d use to purchase those items were refunded to the actual cardholder.”

Each man is charged with 21 counts of forgery of instrument and one count obtaining property by false pretense. But Fortier said he’s in contact with police from other municipalities across North Carolina — as well as federal investigators — who may press charges of their own. The men are being held at the New Hanover County jail with bails set at $125,000.   [Source: StarNewsOnline]

Alert employee foils gift card theft ring

Alert staff members of a Monticello Kwik Trip store in Minnesota played an instrumental role in thwarting the efforts of three New York men to use a stolen credit card to purchase thousands of dollars in gift cards. Now Stevens Louis (age 25), Turgot Solages, Jr (age 21), and Don Phillippe Aubourg (age 20), all of Brooklyn , New York, are facing 10 years in prison and $20,000 fines after being charged in Wright County District Court with financial card fraud and identity theft.

On November 27, Kwik Trip employees were alerted to a series of thefts at Kwik Trip stores in Otsego and St. Michael. Employees were told to be on the lookout for three males presenting New York identification. The men were also driving a vehicle with New York license plates. Louis, Solages, Jr. and Aubourg were allegedly making the rounds to Kwik Trip stores and purchasing Home Depot gift cards with a fraudulent credit card. A credit card being used in the scheme allegedly bore the name of Aubourg, but the data stored on the card’s magnetic strip did not match the numbers embossed on the front of the credit card. Earlier on November 27, the three were involved in the fraudulent purchase of Home Depot gift cards at Kwik Trip stores in Otsego and St. Michael. In St. Michael, $900 in Home Depot gift cards were purchased with the fraudulent credit card, according to a criminal complaint filed in Wright County District Court.

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The cashier, who was aware of the previous incidents, attempted to delay the purchase. As a result, the men because suspicious of the clerk’s actions and abruptly left the store in a black Volkswagen bearing New York license plates, the complaint states. The Wright County Sheriff’s Office was notified and quickly responded to the scene. A large stack of 17 Home Depot gift cards were located in the drivers side door, according to the criminal complaint. Also observed in plain view was a blue Mastercard bearing Aubourg’s name. It’s that card that was later found to have an embossed credit card number that did not match up with numbers embedded in the card’s magnetic strip.   [Source: Monticello Times]

Retail sales of dogs and cats banned in California

A new California law will puts a leash on pet store sales, becoming the first state to ban retail sales of cats, dogs and rabbits in an effort to crack down on breeding mills. A bill signed in October, AB 485, went into effect January 1. It says pet stores can only sell cats, dogs and rabbits that come from local rescue groups, shelters or animal control agencies. Pet stores will also have to maintain records for where each of those animals came from, and must include that information on their cages or enclosures. Store operators will face a $500 fine for any violation of the law.

Another California law that started New Year’s Day will further advance pet protections by allowing judges in divorce proceedings to consider the best interests of pets and create custody arrangements for them. Current California law regards pets as property. Cats and dogs were also rescued by the farm bill signed this month by President Trump, which includes a provision formally banning the slaughter and trade of those animals for human consumption. Before the bill, it was legal in 44 states to turn cats and dogs into food.   [Source: CBS News]

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