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Breaking News in the Industry: January 7, 2019

Credit card fraud ring busted

Four New York residents were arrested in the parking lot outside the Tysons Corner Center mall in Virginia on New Year’s Day for charges related to credit card theft. According to Fairfax County Police, the department’s “Christmas Anti-Theft Team” was working on a shoplifting case when they were notified by a loss prevention associate at the mall of possible credit card fraud.

“The LP associate indicated he saw a woman in this store who was recently seen using fraudulent credit cards in a Maryland store,” police said in a crime report. “Our officers began watching her while other officers made contact with the victim who lives in California. While watching the woman, other suspects were developed.” Police arrested two men, and two women were arrested outside of the mall at their car. Police allege over $10,000 in fraudulently purchased merchandise was discovered inside.   [Source: Tysons Reporter]

Employee gets jail time for theft

A Michigan Walmart cashier who pilfered from the till has been sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to repay what she took. Terra Monique Davis, 19, of North Muskegon was sentenced to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to embezzlement between $1,000 and $20,000. Muskegon County Circuit Judge William Marietti also ordered Davis to pay $3,150 in restitution. Total fines and costs amounted to $4,248, according to her judgment of sentence.

- Digital Partner -

Davis took money on nine different occasions between July 21 and August 3, according to a police officer’s complaint affidavit for a warrant-less arrest. The thefts occurred while she was working as a cashier at Walmart. Davis was caught stealing on closed circuit TV as well as by a loss prevention manager performing surveillance of her, according to the affidavit. At the time of her arrest on August 3, 2018, Davis was on probation for attempted first-degree retail fraud, according to court information.   [Source: MLive]

Chinese retailers are getting cashier-less right

A handful of American companies, from giants like Amazon and Walmart to upstarts like Standard Cognition and Zippin, are betting on a windfall for whoever works out the bugs in cashier-less checkout… and makes it cheap. But like so much of tech, it’s a global race, and the Chinese are surging ahead.

American retailers may be focused on the wrong thing. Their obsession is with totally hands-free checkout, which Amazon dubs “just walk out.” But Chinese retailers have figured out that there are cheaper and easier ways to eliminate checkout lines. Amazon’s technology,  through which cameras pick up what shoppers are buying so they can be automatically charged when they leave the store, has thus far only worked in small stores, like a 2,500-square-foot Amazon Go. With its Sam’s Club Now, Walmart is going small, too, not having figured out as yet how cashier-less can work at a large scale.

But, but, but: China’s retail giants, Alibaba and, have tackled scale and lines without killing checkout altogether. Instead, they use the power of mobile payments. Rather than being monitored by ubiquitous cameras and sensors, Chinese shoppers pay for everything from street food to new laptops by scanning QR codes with their cellphones. The bottom line: Billions of dollars are being spent on perfecting cashier-less checkout, but getting American consumers to switch to mobile payments may be an easier and cheaper way to streamline shopping in the long run.   [Source: AXIOS]

Employee arrested for scan scam

Police have arrested a Florida Home Depot employee on charges of Grand Theft and Petit Theft after they say he failed to charge a customer for items numerous times over the course of a month and a half. 31-year-old Alejandro Suarez Ybarra was arrested early Friday and released on $41,000 bond.

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An Asset Protection Specialist for the store told police that Suarez Ybarra had been altering transactions, allowing merchandise to be removed from the store without being paid for. An internal investigation revealed that between November 19 and December 28, the employee scanned merchandise but did not scan all the merchandise. There were twelve confirmed sales transactions allowing merchandise to leave the store without receiving full payment.

Alejandro had been altering transactions for the same customer in each incident. The total confirmed amount of identified merchandise that was removed from the store without receiving payment was over $6,000. He was charged with 4 counts of Petit Theft and 7 counts of Grand Theft.   [Source: Fox4 Now]

Employee theft case; $7K in under-ringing scheme

An O’Reilly Auto employee in Florida is facing charges after he price adjusted products and kept the difference for himself, according to an arrest affidavit. Ashlee Morales-Ramos, 29, stole almost $7,000 from the auto parts store. He admitted to stealing the money, the affidavit shows. Morales-Ramos is now facing a grand theft charge. He was arrested on a $2,000 bond.   [Source: WFTS Tampa Bay News]

ORC holiday task force a success: Over 300 arrests, $700K in recoveries

Over 300 people were arrested by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) between November 21 and Dec.ember 23 as part of its Organized Retail Crime Holiday Task Force, according to KCSO. A total of 317 adults and 22 juveniles were arrested during the month-long period leading up to Christmas, and more than $185,000 in stolen property, including eight vehicles, was recovered. Detectives also seized around $535,000 in counterfeit trademark property.

- Digital Partner -

KCSO deputies also recovered 133 grams of meth, 36.5 grams of heroin, 15 grams of marijuana and unspecified amounts of ecstasy, Xanax, Sublocade, oxymorphone and Subxone. Deputies issued 51 misdemeanor citations and served 50 outstanding warrants.  Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler applauded the task force for their work during the holiday season and commended the efforts of loss prevention teams at retailers.   [Source: Knox News]

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