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Breaking News in the Industry: June 26, 2018

Two men arrested for alleged credit card skimmer installations

Two suspects are in custody in California after allegedly tampering with a gas pump and attempting to attach a skimming device at a City of Goleta gas station. At about 4:45 p.m., yesterday, a citizen near the Valero Gas station in the 5600 block of Calle Real reported to Sheriff’s Dispatch that two subjects were tampering with a gas pump and the attached credit card reader. The reporting party told dispatchers that the subjects were seen driving away in a U-Haul rental van that had the license plate removed, the U-Haul serial number covered with tape, and the side and rear windows covered with brown paper. That van was last seen entering the northbound freeway from the Fairview on-ramp.

A responding deputy located the van and conducted a traffic enforcement stop. The vehicle exited the freeway, continued for a short distance, and then yielded in a parking lot in a parking lot. It was quickly determined that the two male suspects in the van were involved with tampering of the gas pump. Deputies ordered the suspects out of the van and two men were detained in the back of patrol cars. Because the deputies could not clearly see inside the cargo van, the rear windows were shattered out using a 40MM impact sponge round. The vehicle was then cleared and no other persons were found inside. While searching the vehicle, deputies located several pieces of equipment used for “Skimming” or illegally collecting data off the magnetic stripe on credit cards when used at payment terminals like those found on gas station pumps.

24-year-old Harutyun Shahinyan of Los Angeles California, and 30-year-old Carlos Lemus of Port Orchard Washington, were both booked at Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of violations of California Penal Code Section § 502.6 – Possession of a scanning device with the intent to defraud, California Penal Code Section § 484d – Credit card fraud, and a violation 18 U.S. Code Section § 1029 – Fraud and related activity in connection with access devices. Both are being held without bail.   [Source: edhat News]

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Alleged attack using car door ups shoplifting charge to felony

A Portsmouth, New Hampshire, man is charged with robbery after an alleged shoplifting incident at Kittery Trading Post in Maine ended in the injury of a store employee. Robert Chase, 31, of 229 Raleigh Way, now faces a felony charge. According to Kittery police Lt. John Desjardins, a scuffle that occurred in the store parking lot after the alleged June 17 theft upped the charge from a misdemeanor to felony.

Police were called to the Kittery Trading Post around 3:15 p.m., when Chase was allegedly stealing clothing items with a female accomplice, Desjardins said. As store loss prevention employees attempted to apprehend the two, the suspects made it out to their car, where Chase allegedly struck a loss prevention associate with his car door, causing injury to her shoulder and a cut to her hand. The alleged threat of force, Desjardins said, makes the charge felony robbery, rather than misdemeanor shoplifting. Desjardins said the female believed to be an accomplice was not charged, as the responding officers felt there was no probable cause to charge her in connection with a crime.   [Source: Bangor Daily News]

Robber arrested after employees recognized him from previous incidents

San Antonio, Texas, police quickly identified a man accused of robbing a Marshalls after loss prevention associates recognized him, officials said.
Reynaldo Polendo Jr., 32, was arrested in connection to the robbery at the retail shop on June 18. Surveillance cameras caught him putting merchandise inside his bag, according to the arrest affidavit. An LP associate tried to stop him, but Polendo pulled up his shirt and displayed a black handgun, so the associate allowed him to leave, police said. Loss prevention officers had recognized Polendo, who had previously committed other thefts, according to the affidavit. Because of this, they already had his personal information on file.    [Source: mySA]

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Women used baby stroller to steal from store; mace LP associate

Two women were arrested and charged in connection to a theft and attack on a loss prevention officer at a Mechanicsville, Virginia, store. Kenequa T. Allmond, 23, and Courtney E. Fultz, 31, both from Newport News, were charged with robbery, grand larceny and illegal use of tear gas in connection to the June 14 crime. The women entered the Best Buy on Battle Hill Drive and walked to the electronics section, investigators said.

“Once there, the suspects selected merchandise, concealed it in an empty stroller and then proceeded to leave the business,” a Hanover Sheriff’s spokesperson said. “As the suspects were exiting the business, a loss prevention associate confronted the suspects about the concealed merchandise. [One of the women] then sprayed the loss prevention associate in the face with what is believed to be mace and both fled from the store with the stolen merchandise.”  They drove off in a black vehicle with no front license plate.

“We are extremely proud of the teamwork displayed by our investigators and law enforcement partners from the Newport News and Hampton Police Departments in quickly bringing these two individuals to justice,” Hanover Sheriff Colonel David R. Hines said. Both women were booked at Pamunkey Regional Jail without bond.   [Source: WTVR6 News]

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Search for suspect after attempted armed robbery

The Mount Pleasant Police Department in South Carolina are looking for a man accused of attempting to steal $561 dollars worth of items from the Walmart in Mount Pleasant with a knife Sunday morning. A Mount Pleasant Police Officer says he responded around 8:56 a.m. after a shoplifting in progress was reported. While in route, the officer says he was told an assault was also progress and a knife may be involved.

The store’s loss prevention associate Christopher Whaley, says the suspect tried to exit the store with a cart full of items he did not pay for. Whaley says he tried to stop the suspect, who pushed him out of the way and ran.
 Whaley says the suspect ran back towards the Walmart to retrieve the cart. Surveillance video shows the suspect lunging at Whaley and a physical fight that followed, according to the associate.

The video shows Whaley getting the suspect on the ground, the officer says. He says the suspect then got back up and pulled out a knife. Whaley used an empty shopping cart to keep the suspect away, who proceeded to run away again. A witness says he saw the suspect leave the Jim ‘N Nick’s Restaurant across the street in a gold sedan that may have been a Lincoln Town Car. He described the car’s driver as a black female. Police are in the process of obtaining surveillance video from the restaurant. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mount Pleasant Police Department at 843.884.4176.   [Source: ABC4 News]


Employee fakes robbery; tries stealing money from registers

Tiffin Police in Ohio say an arrest was made involving a fake robbery at the Denny’s restaurant after they responded to a report that an employee was robbed behind the business. The initial report indicated a white male, standing approximately 5’ 8” tall, and wearing dark clothing had forcefully taken the business’ morning deposit from the female manager, 26-year-old Chelsa Chaney, as she went to climb into her vehicle. After taking the money, the suspect was reported to have run northwest from the business through the parking lot.

Chaney informed police she had been uninjured during the theft, and no weapon had been displayed. Officers were on scene in under a minute and checked the surrounding area for the suspect. Detectives from the department’s Criminal Division responded also and took over the investigation. Following the initial report, police say evidence was located that was found to be contradictory with Chaney’s initial statements and brought suspicion to her story.

Detective Shawn Vallery re-interviewed Chaney, and once confronted with the inconsistencies, she recanted her story. It was determined then, that Chaney had in-fact fabricated the robbery claim in order to steal the money herself from the business. Following her confession to the crime, police say Chaney cooperated with investigators and led them to where the remainder of the money was hidden. She was subsequently placed under arrest and is currently being held at the Seneca County Jail.

“The Criminal Division worked quickly on solving this case to make sure the community did not have a violent robber running around,” Chief Stevens said. “Kudo’s to Detective Vallery and Detective Lieutenant Marquis for their hard work and investigative skills.” Felony charges of theft and filing a false report are forthcoming.   [Source: WTOL11 News]

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