Breaking News in the Industry: July 11, 2018

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Suspect who assaulted AP team members arrested

Franklin Police say a  20-year-old Tennessean assaulted Target store asset protection team members during a brawl. Brayden Bartlett, 20, of Murfreesboro is now jailed on charges of theft, felony vandalism and two counts of assault. Police say Bartlett repeatedly kicked and hit Target security personnel and demolished anti-theft security towers at the Cool Springs location in April. Bartlett was arrested Sunday, His first court appearance is slated for Tuesday morning.    [Source: Fox17 News]

Woman gets jail for bomb threat linked to shoplifting spree

A woman who phoned in a bomb threat to a Target store in southern Kent County, Michigan, to create a diversion for a late November shoplifting spree was sentenced to jail Monday and put on probation. Victoria L. Smith admitted to making the bomb threat in order to divert attention from her thefts at the Target store at 1925 Market Place Drive SE in Gaines Township. She was charged with making a false report or threat of a bomb/harmful device, which is punishable by up to four years in prison. Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Jay Quist sentenced Smith to 30 days in jail with credit for one day served. Smith was also placed on probation for three years.

Kent County deputies say she called in a bomb threat on Nov. 28 to distract employees so she could pilfer items from the Target store. Smith told Target employees on the phone that they had eight minutes to evacuate the building before a bomb would blow up, investigators said. Target and a Staples store, which is next door, were evacuated. Law enforcement searched the buildings; they did not find any suspicious packages. Investigators were able to determine the source of the phone call. Smith was arrested on Feb. 26.  [Source: ABC13 OnYourSide]

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Lawsuit: Police officer’s grudge led to man’s shoplifting arrest

A Hickman County man in Tennessee is suing the city of Fairview and Walmart Inc. after a case of mis-identification led to his May 2017 arrest for shoplifting from the company’s Fairview store. The complaint, filed in May, alleges the police officer involved in the man’s arrest, Wesley Dutton, had a longstanding grudge against the plaintiff, Staley Forsythe. Dutton is the biological father of Forsythe’s adopted son, and Forsythe is married to the child’s biological mother, according to court documents. Dutton previously terminated his parental rights of the child.

The lawsuit was first filed in Williamson County Circuit Court, alleging malicious prosecution, abuse of process, defamation, false arrest and imprisonment, and civil rights violations. Walmart, the store’s loss prevention associate, the city of Fairview and Dutton are all named as defendants. Fairview Police Chief Zack Humphreys told The Tennessean on Tuesday that Dutton had no involvement in Forsythe’s arrest. “The officer did not make the arrest. He did not swear to the affidavit, nor was he the affiant,” Humphreys said. The case was moved last week to federal court on the basis that it involves federal claims, said Kristin Berexa, who’s representing Fairview in the case.  [Source: Tennessean]

Fraudster sentenced in credit card scheme

After five times avoiding punishment for a sophisticated form of credit-card fraud, Florida resident Odemnis Prats Leiva had a life-altering comeuppance in U.S. District Court in Greeneville for identical instances of fraud perpetrated in East Tennessee. U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced Leiva, a 31-year-old native of Cuba, to 54 months in federal prison, the maximum guidelines-range sentence. Greer also ordered Leiva to pay $21,115 in restitution. He’ll get credit for the 10 months he served in federal custody. Leiva pleaded guilty earlier to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. His co-defendant, Amaurys Mendez Companon, 40, pleaded to the same charges, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 29.     [Source: Citizen Tribune]

Pawn shops bought items with store security devices still attached

Undercover investigators in Salt Lake City say not only did several pawn shops under investigation buy items still in their original store packaging; but also in some cases, the items were purchased with the store security devices still on them, according to court documents. In June, investigators from the Utah Attorney General’s Office served search warrants on seven pawn shops along the Wasatch Front following numerous complaints that some were acting as fencing operations, or knowingly purchasing stolen goods from people. Investigators seized an “overwhelming” amount of property that day, according to the Utah Attorney General’s Office, ranging from power tools to kitchen appliances to sporting goods.

Over the weekend, several of those warrants were unsealed and additional details of the operation revealed. Many of the initial complaints that sparked the investigation came from Home Depot, “who stated their stores in Utah were seeing a significant increase in retail theft and they believed a large number of the items being stolen from their stores were being fenced in local pawn shops,” according to the warrants. Warrants were served in Kearns, Lindon, West Jordan, Riverton, Salt Lake City and West Valley City. From March until June, undercover officers were able to successfully sell items provided by Home Depot to several pawn shops, the warrants state.   [Source: Deseret News]

Crook nabbed as serial shoplifter after stealing $1K in toothpaste

A Bayonne, New Jersey, man has been charged with four shoplifting incidents, including two from the same store in which police say he got away with more than $1,000 in toothpaste, authorities said. Marcos A. Baez, 40, was arrested at the Rite Aid on North Street in Bayonne on July 4 after he shoplifted $179 in merchandise from the store, Bayonne police Lt. Eric Amato said.

In the course of the investigation, Baez was identified as the person who stole $1,017 in toothpaste from the same store on June 28 and July 2, Amato said.
Police charged Baez with stealing $180 worth of deodorant from the Quick Chek at 260-280 Broadway in Bayonne on July 2, Amato said, noting that when Baez was searched police recovered a hypodermic syringe. Baez was charged with four counts of shoplifting and possession of a hypodermic syringe.   [Source:]



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