Breaking News in the Industry: May 25, 2018

Accused Kmart killer paroled 8 times before stabbing LP associate

While family and friends mourn Jeffery Campbell, Kmart loss prevention associate, his alleged killer remains behind bars. A funeral was held Monday. “Full of compassion and life, Jeff loved to make people laugh,” Campbell’s obituary stated. “He was a great artist, a brilliant writer, a loving son and a loyal friend.” A makeshift memorial was placed outside the Visalia Kmart in California. Among the items left were flowers, photos, Jolly Ranchers and balloons. The man accused of killing the Kmart employee is due back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing date setting. Jeremy Kechloian, 44, is accused of attacking Campbell, 31, on May 9.

Campbell, an LP associate at the Visalia store, was escorting Kechloian out of the store. Witnesses told police Kechloian was behaving “erratically” before he lunged at Campbell. Kechloian stabbed Campbell in the neck several times with a knife, police said. The suspect left the store when witnesses called 911. He was found by officers near the back of the store and arrested. While being questioned at Visalia Police Department headquarters, Kechloian attacked an officer. During the struggle, Kechloian broke his hand was admitted into Kaweah Delta Medical Center, police said. Campbell was rushed to the hospital and died a day later. Kechloian was charged with homicide and assault on a peace officer.

Kechloian’s criminal history is lengthy, having served at least five prison stints dating back to 2000, according to the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. He also spent time at Atascadero State Hospital in connection with an assault. Kechloian’s was handed a two-year, eight-month prison sentence for possession of a controlled substance and petty theft with a prior conviction in 2000. He was released to parole supervision in December 2001 and was back behind bars nearly a year later, after violating the terms of his parole.

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On Nov. 11, 2003, he was also sentenced to two years for possession of a controlled substance. He was released to parole supervision in May 2005 and returned to prison just a few months later with a four-year sentence for petty theft with a prior conviction. He was again paroled in 2007 but returned a year later for possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. Kechloian paroled in 2008 and returned from parole March 2009 with a three-year term for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. He was paroled in June 2010. In June 2014, was sentenced to a four-year term after being found guilty of resisting arrest and deterring an officer with the threat of violence and possession of a controlled substance. “He received almost two and half years of pre-sentencing credits, which are given by a judge at the time of adjudication, and was released to parole supervision in November 2015,” said Ike Dodson, CDCR public information officer.   [Source: Visalia Times Delta]

Five charged in $2.5 million credit card scheme

Five men are accused of using the stolen identities of children to orchestrate a $2.5 million credit card fraud sting that spanned four states, officials said. Authorities have arrested Syed Rehman, of Jersey City, Talat Al Maan, of Maryland, and Fatou Diambo, of Philadelphia. The other two men, Jaheed Wahed Ahmen, of Jersey City, and Kashife Idrees, of Maryland are still being sought. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Newark, the men used stolen identities of minors paired with a different birth date to open up credit cards with five different banks between January 2015 and March 2018.

They kept the accounts in good standing “long enough to establish a creditworthiness” of the accounts before they “busted out” the cards with large purchases at fakes businesses registered to the defendants, the complaint indicates. Also at the center of the investigation is 7th Heaven Food Mart Corp., a business owned by Rehman at a New York Avenue gas station in Jersey City. Authorities allege the men purchased items to sell at the business and also made purchases at the location using the fraudulent credit cards. The total loss in the scheme is estimated to be over $2.5 million.   [Source: NJ.com]

Thieves break into big box retailer [Viral Video]

Surveillance video from inside the Huber Heights, Ohio, Target store shows three men breaking into the store and stealing Xbox video game consoles. Dash-cam video from a Huber Heights police cruiser also shows a short chase involving the suspects after the break-in. It happened around 2 am on Wednesday. Target surveillance cameras capture the men breaking the front glass door before heading straight to the electronics section. Police say the men also tried to steal cell phones, but couldn’t get into the case. After ransacking the store, the suspects escaped in a dark-colored sedan, which was quickly spotted by Huber Heights police officers.

Police tried to stop the car, but it took off. Huber Heights police Sgt Charles Taylor says it was a quick pursuit, and it was caught on dash cam video. Police hit the car, forcing it to spin out at Taylorsville Road. The car eventually pulled over, and the two men inside were arrested. But police believe at least one more suspect may be at large, as the stolen Xboxes were never recovered and the third man see on the video was not arrested. “We do believe that there is a third person and probably a second vehicle involved. Which we believe had the property that was removed from Target in that vehicle that did get away,” Sgt Taylor said. “This is not common. It’s not common for Target. I can’t recall the last time we’ve been dispatched to Target reference a burglary or a crime in progress from the store. This is not typical.”

Shoppers at the store today said given the recent spate of break-ins around the Miami Valley, they’re not entirely shocked by the incident.
“It does make me a little nervous that that can just happen like that,” shopper Ann Albert said. “But no, I’m not completely surprised because that does tend to happen, every now and again. I use to work in retail and it happened where I used to work.” The two men police have in custody are facing breaking and entering charges. The driver is also facing charges of failure to comply.    [Source: WDTN2 News]

Shoplifting suspects likely won’t face murder charge in police shooting

Two accused shoplifters arrested after Orlando police officers fatally shot a suspected accomplice at the Colonial Plaza shopping center this month likely won’t be charged with murder in his death, a prosecutor said Wednesday. Jocelyn Villot, 32, and Brittany Chandler, 26, have been in the Orange County Jail since May 7, when two officers shot Juan Alberto Silva as he tried to drive away from Colonial Plaza on East Colonial Drive. Villot and Chandler were in the back of the van, having just shoplifted clothing from Marshall’s, police said. Silva’s family has questioned why he was shot. The Orlando Police Department has a policy against firing into vehicles, although police Chief John Mina has said he believed the officers were in fear for their lives when they opened fire.

Besides grand theft and resisting arrest without violence, Orlando police arrested Villot and Chandler on charges of third-degree felony murder, under a state law that allows a person taking part in a felony to be charged with murder if someone dies during the crime.Villot was in court Thursday for a bond hearing. “There doesn’t appear to be evidence that she or the other co-defendant encouraged the driver to commit a violent felony,” Assistant State Attorney Will Jay said Wednesday. He told Circuit Judge Leticia Marques he plans to file paperwork formally charging Villot by Friday, and that the murder charge won’t be on it.Mina said he had “no response” to the announcement. “That’s the decision the prosecutor makes, so the only thing we can do is do our jobs, give the case to the state attorney’s office, and what they do with it, it’s up to them,” he said.    [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Four arrested with stolen credit cards

Three adults and one teenager were arrested Monday after Palm Beach police said they tried to use stolen credit cards to purchase Gucci and Louis Vuitton purses. Police arrested a man and a woman, 22-year-old Chengliang Yang and 18-year-old Yuting Iwu,  on felony charges of organized scheme to defraud, fraudulent use of credit card and possession of a fake driver’s license. Police also arrested a 17-year-old boy on the same charges, but the Daily News is not naming him because he’s a juvenile. Zijun Guo, 30, was arrested and charged with organized scheme to defraud.

According to a sworn affidavit, the four people drove to Palm Beach from Flushing, N.Y., where Iwu said she was told to enter a pool hall and take a package sitting underneath a mahjong table. Inside the package were fake driver licenses and fraudulent credit cards, according to police. The four people said they were “hired” by a “larger group” to purchase items and return them to New York, according to the affidavit. The teen told police they were to receive 15 percent of the items they bought.

Police began receiving calls from the Louis Vuitton store at about 3 p.m. Monday. According to the affidavit, two people, Yang and the teenager, left the store after trying to buy at least $2,900 worth of purses with stolen credit cards. A store employee canceled the purchase when the names listed on the credit cards didn’t match the two men. Police found Iwu walking across the street after a Saks Fifth Avenue employee pointed her out. Iwu had tried to buy three Gucci purses with a total value of $9,160 at the department store, according to the affidavit, but the sales clerk canceled the purchase when Iwu’s name didn’t match the credit card.

Soon after, police found Guo sitting in a gray Jeep on Worth Avenue. Guo told police he was a Lyft driver and had driven Chengliang, Iwu and the teenager to Florida from New York. Guo allowed officers to search his car where, police said, they found a cigarette box containing several stolen credit cards. Each card had a sticky note with the dollar amounts that was allowed to be spent on the card, according to the affidavit. Yang and Iwu are being held on $15,000 bond each. Guo was released Wednesday on $5,000 bond. The teenager was released Tuesday night, according to jail records.   [Source: The Shiny Sheet]

Cargo theft firm warns against increased Memorial Day weekend activity

Cargo theft recording firm SensiGuard is warning truck drivers and fleets of increased cargo theft activity over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  The firm says cargo theft levels have increased on Memorial Day weekend by as much as 52 percent over normal weekends with average theft values up to 191 percent higher than non-holiday weekends. SensiGuard says since 2013, Memorial Day weekends have seen an average increase in cargo theft activity of 28 percent totaling more than $9.7 million.

To combat cargo theft over holiday weekends, the firm recommends confirming receivers’ holiday weekend hours to mitigate the time a load is parked unsecured. Additionally, SensiGuard says to plan for secure parking locations if a load has to sit longer than normal because of the holiday. GPS tracking and active monitoring are suggested for high-value loads. Notable thefts over Memorial Day weekend in recent years include:
• Pilferage of electronics worth $135,000 in Tennessee in 2017
• Fictitious pickup of computers worth $584,000 in Kentucky in 2017
• Theft of a full truckload of cosmetics worth $2.5 million in New Jersey in 2015
• Theft of a full truckload of TVs and displays worth $800,000 in Florida in 2014

[Source: Commercial Carrier Journal]

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