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Breaking News in the Industry: July 26, 2018

Employees accused of stealing more than $65,000 from cosmetics store

Two women in Bismark, North Dakota,  are accused of stealing more than $50,000 from their employer. Faye Zempel and Amanda Sapin are each charged with theft of property and conspiracy to commit theft of property. Burleigh County court documents claim the two women were stealing from Merle Norman cosmetics while employed there.

Both women were caught on tape taking cash from the till, and at one point they were believed to be working together. A store audit showed more than $65,000 in loss, almost all of which started after Sapin began working at the store. They each face 25 years in jail if convicted, a preliminary hearing has not been set in either case.   [Source: MyNDNow]

Suspect came to store armed with brass knuckles

A Joliet, Illinois, man armed with brass knuckles tried to steal items from Walmart, police said. About 11 p.m. Tuesday, Brandon M. Hicks, 32, of the zero to 100 block of North Briggs Street, was arrested and charged with retail theft and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the incident. He later was released on his own recognizance. Officers responded to a report of a retail theft complaint at Walmart in Joliet, Police Sgt. Darrell Gavin said.

When the officers arrived, they spoke with loss prevention staff at the store who said they detained Hicks after catching him trying to steal merchandise. The officers were told Hicks placed items in his shopping cart and tried to leave the store without paying for them, Gavin said. Officers told Hicks he was under arrest, but when they asked him whether he had any weapons or unlawful items on him, he insinuated he did. The officers recovered a set of brass knuckles from his pocket.

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Hicks is scheduled to appear in court August 28. On May 6, 2013, Hicks pleaded guilty to driving between 15 and 20 mph over the speed limit. He was sentenced to six months of court supervision and ordered to pay $120 in fines. He also was ordered to attend traffic school.    [Source: The Herald-News]

With Toys R Us gone, Hasbro’s finding new retail shelves

Toymaker Hasbro will report second-quarter earnings later this morning. Earlier in 2018, the company reported that first-quarter revenue had fallen by 16 percent compared with the same period last year. It’s been a tough couple of months as retailer Toys R Us went bankrupt and closed hundreds of stores. But Hasbro is finding new shelves to display its toys, both virtually and in brick-and-mortars.

The company is expanding its e-commerce business and moving some of its toys to dollar stores, drug stores and sporting goods stores. And then of course, there’s Walmart and Target, which account for more than a quarter of Hasbro’s merchandise, said Jaime Katz, an analyst at Morningstar who follows the toy market. “The biggest swing is still going to be on those big-box vendors, rather than having some small percentage of sales at, like, sporting goods stores,” Katz said.   [Source: WESA 90.5 News]

Drone shoplifter punched cop before high speed chase

A Sicklerville, New Jersey, man is behind bars on charges he assaulted a Walmart loss prevention associate and a police officer while trying to escape arrest for shoplifting toy drones.  Monroe Township police said 35-year-old Brent E. Barr bolted from the Black Horse Pike store around 9 a.m. Tuesday after police responded to a shoplifting report. He had been compliant and was in the custody of the Walmart’s loss prevention office until an officer checked to see if he had outstanding warrants, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

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Barr shoved a store loss prevention associate, shoved and punched a patrol officer in the face, got in a vehicle and led police on a high-speed car chase, authorities said. Police said they terminated the pursuit for safety reasons and arrested Barr later, without incident, in Winslow.

“We are thankful the loss prevention associate was not injured during this event,” Monroe police said in a Facebook post announcing the arrest. The assaulted officer, Thomas Pacilio, suffered minor injuries, the post said. Police said Barr initially had tried to leave the store with $163 worth of toys and electronics, including drones, concealed in Walmart shopping bags. He was held in Salem County Jail on charges of robbery, shoplifting, resisting arrest, assault on police and attempting to elude police.  [Source: Courier Post]

Cargo theft numbers decline in second quarter

The total number of cargo thefts recorded in 2018’s second quarter was down 4 percent from the same period last year, according to a report from cargo theft recording firm CargoNet. Cargo thefts have been on the decline recently with reported thefts falling by 12 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.

The firm reports there were 157 cargo thefts during the quarter with an average value per theft of $186,779 for a total estimated loss of $29.3 million during the quarter. Cargo theft numbers were highest in California with 34 reported thefts during the quarter, which is a 21 percent decrease in the state from the second quarter last year. Florida had the second-most reported thefts with 22. Cargo theft increases were seen in the Canadian province of Ontario and in Illinois.

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Household products took over as the most-stolen commodity during the quarter as food and beverage cargo thefts continued to decline. Thieves specifically targeted major appliances, mixed household goods and tools, CargoNet reports. Truck stops were the most common locations for cargo thefts to occur with 18 percent of all thefts occurring at these locations. This is a shift from the previous two years when truck stop cargo thefts only accounted for 9 percent and 11 percent of thefts in the second quarter 2016 and 2017, respectively. Thefts at secured yard locations accounted for 16 percent of total cargo thefts.   [Source: Commercial Cargo Journal]

Man destroys three laptops in theft attempt; threatens police

A Holden, Massachusetts, man destroyed three laptop computers he attempted to steal from BJ’s Wholesale Club on Saturday and then threatened to kill a police officer after his arrest, authorities said. Framingham Police arrested Kevin Case on Saturday at 11:45 a.m., prosecutor Francesca Cone said Monday during Case’s Framingham District Court arraignment.

Case was in the store on Whittier Street on Saturday when store security said he tried to steal three display model laptop computers. However, Cone said, all three were connected to security wires and when Case attempted to take them, he broke the screens. According to a police report filed in court, two of the computers were valued at $1,100 and a third was valued at around $450.

Police stopped him as he was walking away from the store and he denied the theft attempt. However, when police searched him, they found tools often used in thefts, as well as several pieces of jewelry from Kohl’s with the price tags still attached. Kohl’s said he did not buy the items. Case was arrested without a struggle, but became angry at the police station, Cone said. “He became uncooperative during booking and threatened to kill one of the officers,” Cone said. Case became so uncooperative officers could not finish booking him. They put Case in a holding cell until he calmed down, the prosecutor said.

Police charged Case with threatening to commit a crime, malicious destruction of property worth more than $1,200, receiving stolen property worth less than $1,200 and possession of tools often used in burglaries. Cone asked Judge David Cunis to hold Case on $1,000 bail and order him to stay away from BJ’s. She said Case had a 17-page record of mostly larceny-type cases, and has a history of missing court. Case’s lawyer, Katie Sheldon, asked Cunis to release her client. She said Case needs go to a detox due to his alcoholism and had a detox/rehabilitation center that would take him on Monday if he were released from custody. “He has a fabulous opportunity that can change his life; frankly, it can save his life,” Sheldon said. Cunis ordered Case held on the $1,000 bail. Case is due back in court on August 10 for a pretrial conference.   [Source: The Metro Daily West]

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