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Breaking News in the Industry: January 9, 2019

Fleeing suspects in head-on collision with deputy

Deputies are searching for two suspects after a deputy was injured after a shoplifting incident in White Center on Monday evening. Deputies said authorities responded to a report of a shoplift at Safeway. When the deputies arrived, the suspects were exiting the store and were being chased by a loss prevention associate.

The two suspects then got into a black, four-door, 1996 Lexus LS. Deputies said the driver struck a deputy head-on and he was taken to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The two suspects in the vehicle drove away and a third suspect was arrested.

Police identified the suspects they are searching for as Khalia Wimberly, 18, and Davevion Irving, 19. Deputies said the two are dating and said to be couch surfing, possibly in the Tacoma area. Anyone with information is asked to call  911 or the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206.296.3311.   [Source: KIRO7 News]

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Inveterate shoplifter busted after 22nd time

A Florida woman with a history of retail theft convictions has been accused of committing more than 20 retail/petit thefts at two Walmart stores during November, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said. Michele Lindsay Bowen, 38, was first arrested November 27 and charged with two counts of Retail Theft, which is a felony, because of her prior convictions. Bowen was stopped by loss prevention officers while shopping at the Walmart in Brooksville. Loss prevention personnel said they recognized Bowen from video surveillance captured on
 November 25 that showed her altering price tags on various items, including an HP Pavilion Laptop computer valued at $499.99.

A subsequent investigation by Walmart loss prevention revealed that Bowen had visited two Walmart stores on a number of occasions throughout November. Deputies said a closer inspection of the videos showed Bowen altering price tags each time before scanning various items.

Between two stores, Bowen committed 22 transactions where she was caught on video altering price tags during the month of November. On Saturday, deputies arrested Bowen on 22 additional counts of Retail/Petit Theft. The total value of items taken from both Walmart stores totaled nearly $5,000, for which she paid less than $100 using the self-checkout register. Bowen has two previous convictions for Retail Theft in Georgia back in 2012. Additional charges are pending further investigation as additional store video is reviewed.  [Source: Tampa Bay Reporter]

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Parcel deliveries directly to your garage from Amazon

Amazon has added new products to its digital lock product line, formerly called Amazon Key, now called Key by Amazon, according to a press release. The new products include a keyless entry product for garage doors, to be available in the U.S. in Q2 2019, a smart fob to enable deliveries to offices and residences, along with partnerships for customers of Schlage Wi-Fi Deadbolt and the Ring home security app. If Amazon Prime Members install a myQ-connected garage door opener, they will be able to remotely grant access to their garages for delivery purposes.   [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

Three jailed for felony burglary

Three suspects were arrested Monday on felony burglary charges after allegedly stealing items from a Nevada Kohl’s department store, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said. Arrested were Cybele Ornelas, 55, Jessie Dahneke, 41, and Jessica Aguirre Marquez, 25. Each were taken into custody for suspicion of felony burglary and two of them for gross misdemeanor possession of burglary tools.

According to the arrest report, deputies were dispatched to Kohl’s in the 3800 block of South Carson Street in reference to loss prevention detaining a woman who had concealed clothing items under her shirt and walked past all points of payment.

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On scene the deputy made contact with a loss prevention associate who was standing next to the detained woman, Jessica Marquez. Loss prevention stated Marquez concealed gloves, socks and luggage locks under her shirt. She was detained outside the front doors of the store. The value of items were $71.91, according to the arrest report. [Source: Carson Now]

Employee accused of embezzling $20K in gift cards

A former employee of Ocean State Job Lot who was in charge of making sure store sales and transactions were accurate and true is herself now alleged to have stolen nearly $20,000 from the discount retail chain. Jennifer L. Cotrone, 44, of Coventry, Rhode Island, was previously a sales audit coordinator for the company for which she worked for 18 years.

Rhode Island State Police were brought in to start an investigation after Job Lot employees started finding promotional ‘Crazy Deal’ gift cards missing, said Maj. Dennis Fleming, a state police detective commander. Detectives allege that Cotrone would obtain the ‘Crazy Deal’ promo gift cards from retail locations and use them for personal expenditures. She’s also alleged to have issued bogus refunds to credit cards in her name through the cash register computer system. The amount taken via gift cards and fraudulent refunds amounts to nearly $20,000, the state police said. Cotrone is charged with one count of felony larceny over $1,500, and one count of felony access to a computer for fraudulent purposes.   [Source: WPRI12 Eyewitness News]

Retailer’s $19M trademark case appeal fails

Costco Wholesale Corp. lost a bid to reverse or reduce a $19 million judgment against it for allegedly selling counterfeit Tiffany & Co. engagement rings. The January 7 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York means Costco must pay nearly $6 million more to cover Tiffany’s legal costs even as its appeal of the six-year-old case moves forward. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had paused the case for more than a year pending the district court’s ruling on Costco’s post-judgment motion.

“Costco looks forward to vindicating its rights in the appeal,” David H. Bernstein, counsel for Costco and an IP attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, told Bloomberg Law in an email. Tiffany in 2017 won an award of $8.25 million in punitive damages plus $11.1 million in tripled lost profits damages. The district court had found that Costco acted in bad faith by using the term “Tiffany” in display signs to describe the rings’ setting style.

Costco failed to show the court relied on the wrong standard to determine whether the rings were counterfeit, and that it incorrectly calculated the award, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain wrote. She granted Tiffany an additional $5.9 million in litigation expenses and directed the jewelry retailer to propose an attorneys’ fee award by January 21. “We are gratified that Judge Swain has reiterated what she has said repeatedly now, and what a jury also found, that Costco’s use of the world famous Tiffany mark to sell its own jewelry was totally improper,” Jeffrey Mitchell, a commercial litigator at Browne George Ross LLP in New York, told Bloomberg Law in an email.   [Source: Bloomberg Law]


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