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Breaking News in the Industry: June 27, 2018

Police chief facing shoplifting charge

The Fort Smith Police Department in Oklahoma allege Howe Police Chief John Edward Doyle Jr. shoplifted at the Walmart on 62nd Street in Fort Smith on Friday evening. The report from the department by Officer Darren Riddick alleges Doyle switched price tags on two products.The store’s asset protection associate told police that Doyle switched the prices tags of $5.97 and $29.88 on two camping chairs then purchased the higher priced chair with the lesser price tag via self checkout.

In the report, Riddick alleges Doyle admitted to the fraudulent purchase. “He made comments about how stupid he was and that he did it for the adrenaline rush,” the report read. He was booked in the Sebastian County jail on the misdemeanor charge of shoplifting under $1,000 and released on a $1,000 bond.   [Source: Poteau Daily News]

Romanian nationals in court for ATM skimming scheme

One of two Romanian nationals charged in connection with ATM debit card skimming schemes in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, recently appeared in court. Fond du Lac Circuit Judge Richard Nuss decided Friday there was enough evidence for the case to continue against Mihai-Alexandru Preda, 26, charged in connection with credit card fraud. Catalin-Adrian Capanu, 35, asked for a Romanian-language interpreter so his preliminary hearing will be rescheduled.

Prosecutors charged Capanu and Preda, of Anaheim, California, on June 15 with 20 felony counts of credit card forgery as party to a crime and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer as party to a crime each. Police found 137 counterfeit debit cards with the men when they were arrested after using an ATM at Marine Credit Union, 80 W. Rees St., Fond du Lac, according to court records. Fond du Lac police said the men are part of a nationwide Romanian organized crime ring.   [Source: FDL Reporter]

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Pair arrested after three-county chase with police

A man and woman in Georgia were jailed after a group was accused of shoplifting at the Cedartown Walmart and ended up in hot pursuit by law enforcement in an attempt to get away. Cedartown Police Chief Jamie Newsome said the chase that spanned three counties began when an officer was called out from his department by Walmart’s Loss Prevention department of suspected shoplifters leaving the store. Newsome said a group of four were alleged to have taken items from the store, and then gotten into a vehicle police found out was stolen after Cedartown Police tried to stop the group from leaving.

The chase began, and after several minutes of trying to catch the vehicle Newsome said his shift commander at the time decided to call officers off and put out a lookout for the vehicle. “Around 15 minutes later we got word from Floyd County that they were chasing a car heading back to Polk County on Highway 27 matching that description,” Newsome said. He said the chase continued south again and into Haralson County, where eventually two of the group was involved in a wreck with a tractor trailer and the pursuit ended.

Newsome said that James Barber of a Temple, address, was booked by the Georgia State Patrol and jailed in Haralson County on charges in the City of Cedartown with shoplifting, fleeing attempting to elude and a laundry list of other traffic violations running from officers in Cedartown. Aubriana Oliver, from Dallas was also charged in Cedartown city court with shoplifting. Police said the remaining two who were involved in the incident are believed to have fled from the car after officers called off the chase in Cedartown initially, and when it picked back up in Floyd County. Their identities are under investigation, and Newsome asked for anyone who might have information to contact Cedartown Police Department at 770.748.4123.   [Source: The Polk County Standard Journal]

Multi-state jewelry theft suspect arrested

A 34-year-old Virginia man was arrested Sunday night after Rehoboth Beach Police in Delaware say a store owner recognized him as a possible suspect in a string of recent jewelry thefts. Just after 8 p.m. Sunday, police said, they were called to a local jewelry store in Rehoboth Beach where the owner reported a customer of his resembled a man shown in photographs taken from surveillance footage of recent jewelry store thefts. The man was no longer in the store, so police set out in search of the man, stopping by other local jewelry stores to spread word of the man’s presence, a police department release said.

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Police entered Dynasty Jewelers, on the first block of Rehoboth Avenue, and found Jack L. Boone, of Chesapeake, Virginia. When he was taken into custody for questioning, police said, Boone gave them a fake name, so they took him to the Rehoboth Beach Police Department. Police said further investigation revealed Boone was suspected of stealing jewelry from multiple stores in other jurisdictions throughout Delaware and surrounding states. As a result, Rehoboth Police charged Boone with a count of criminal impersonation, which is a misdemeanor offense. Boone was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $1,000 cash bail.   [Source: Delaware Online]

Shoplifter charged with robbery

A suspected shoplifter threatened a Kohl’s loss prevention associate on Sunday while stealing several unspecified items from the store in the 2600 block of West University Drive, in Denton, Texas, according to a police report. The LP associate saw the suspect and chased him on foot, the report said. When the suspect threatened the employee, the man stopped the chase as the suspect fled to a parked car near a Starbucks at Rayzor Ranch Marketplace. The suspect then ran out of the vehicle and across the street, where police eventually apprehended him, the report said. He was charged with robbery and evading arrest.   [Source: Denton Record-Chronical]

Why retailers are installing blue lights in bathrooms to discourage drug use

As the nation grapples with the harrowing effects of its massive opioid epidemic, many companies are trying innovative ideas to help solve the problem.
A handful of convenience stores and supermarkets are experimenting with an unusual strategy: Installing blue lights in bathrooms in order to quell drug usage by making it more difficult for people to inject themselves. The theory is that drug users, who often use the privacy of bathroom stalls to shoot up heroin and other drugs, would have difficulty finding their veins.

Turkey Hill Minit Markets, a 260-store chain in Pennsylvania, is one of two convenience store chains that have teamed with University of Florida’s Loss Prevention Research Council to field-test the bulbs’ effectiveness. “The hardest-core opiate user still wants to be accurate. They want to make sure the needle goes in the right spot,” Read Hayes, director of the loss prevention group, told ABC News. Although the study is still in its initial stages, Hayes reported that early feedback from stores with blue lights has been positive, with reports of theft and violent crime seemingly declining. But some warn that the lights may do more harm than good. A 2013 study conducted by the Harm Reduction Journal warned that the benefits of blue lights were minimal at best and detrimental at worst as it raised the risk of an injection-related injury significantly.

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“While there was general agreement that blue lights do make injecting more difficult, a small number of participants were entirely undeterred by them,” the study said. “Half would use a blue-lit washroom if they needed somewhere to inject urgently.” Despite the risks, Turkey Hill remains confident that blue lights have the potential to deter drug use in their stores. Speaking with the Associated Press, Matt Dorgan, the chain’s protection manager, insisted that the lights were effective in the stores where they had been installed. “It’s a pretty dramatic reduction,” he said. “We haven’t had a single overdose.”   [Source: Fortune]

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