Breaking News in the Industry: May 30, 2018

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More eyes on retail thieves: How police act regionally to catch criminals

Local police agencies are now acting regionally to make arrests when thieves target retail stores in Ohio. What at one time may have been investigated as a singular shoplifting crime is now being looking at on a broader scale, officials said. Last week, a suspect in a rifle theft from Cabela’s in West Chester Township soon became a possible suspect in shoplifting incidents at a Walmart in Fairfield Township. The connection was made based on store surveillance  photos shared quickly among police agencies. Police agencies throughout the region are meeting regularly with loss prevention professionals from stores in the area as part the Organized Retail Theft Association, a sort of retail theft intelligence group.

“We talk about trends, scams they may be seeing and share information,” said West Chester Police Lt. Dave Tivin. “This is really a part of how law enforcement has changed,” he said. In years past, law enforcement agencies may not have known about similar area crimes until the nightly news. Now, thanks to technology and combined effort, shared information comes daily to officers’ desktops. That sharing of information enables West Chester Police Department to rule out their rifle theft suspect in connection to a break-in at a Mason gun store last week, he said. “We are working smarter, not harder,” Tivin said.

The Organized Retail Theft Association began in West Chester Township, where businesses are booming and expanding, “We are now starting to expand it,” Tivin said. “The same person can victimize a string of stores from Beavercreek to Florence (Kentucky), so sharing information is key.”While officers are cautious when posting information on social media, Tivin said it has also expanded the spread of information the leads to arrests. “It is to the point now that if we post something and don’t get a response, we think something is off,” he said.  [Source: Journal-News]

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Employee caught stealing at department store

Police say a Dillard’s employee was arrested Friday after stealing from the store at the Melbourne Square Mall in Florida.  Theondra Loyd, 23, was charged with Grand Theft and Scheme to Defraud after a manager observed her conducting three fraudulent returns, according to the report. The theft was also caught on video surveillance, the arrest affidavit said. “The video shows the employee on the computer entering the POP number manually and complete a return without any merchandise present. The refund process is completed and a balance is transferred to a gift card,” Melbourne police said. Officers arrested Loyd at Dillard’s and transported her to the Brevard County Jail.    [Source: Palm Bay Daily]

Shrink cost retailers $100B last year

Loss of inventory due to shoplifting, employee theft or other errors collectively cost retailers almost $100 billion worldwide, or about 1.82% of global sales, last year, according to the Sensormatic Global Shrink Index from Tyco Retail Solutions and PlanetRetail RNG, the former of which is a solutions firm focused on loss prevention. The percentage of sales lost in the U.S. stood at 1.85%, slightly higher than the global number, though because the U.S. market is much bigger than other markets measured, that percentage translates to a total of more than $42 billion in shrinkage for U.S. retailers, or more than 40% of global dollars lost. The 2018 Sensormatic Global Shrink Index surveyed 1,100 retail decision makers across four regions, 14 countries and 13 retail segments. The companies they represented operate more than 229,000 stores that took in an estimated $1.56 trillion during 2017-2018, accounting for 80% of total global retail sales.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

Coca-Cola breach: Employee stole hard drive with 8,000 workers’ data

According to a security notice from Coca-Cola, the breach was not a traditional one rather the company was informed by law enforcement authorities that a former employee at a Coca-Cola subsidiary was found in possession of a hard drive appeared to have been misappropriated from Coca-Cola. The incident took place in September 2017, however, law enforcement officials requested Coca-Cola not to publicize the matter back then due to ongoing investigations. Now that the investigations have been concluded Coca-Cola has confirmed that the hard drive contained some documents belonging to its workers. “We take the protection and proper use of your information very seriously and we deeply regret that this happened,” Coca-Cola said in a statement to its workers. Coca-Cola believes that the breach may have allowed unauthorized individuals to gain access to certain personally identifiable information (PII). However, it is unclear if the information was used to commit identity theft. The company is also offering free identity monitoring for one year.

This is not the first time when an insider has done damage to the company they worked for. Previously, an ex-Marriott employee hacked into Marriott’s hotel reservation system and slashed up to 95% rates on more than 3,000 rooms. Last year, a 29-year-old Barclay’s banker was jailed for six years and four months for assisting two cyber-criminals to launder more than £2.5 million ($3 million) from Barclays Ealing, London branch where he worked. In April this year, a 59-year-old US female was arrested for hacking into her previous employer’s internal networks and creating havoc by sabotaging the day-to-day activities of the company. The accused was a former employee of Peninsula Airlines or PenAir, an Alaskan regional airline.   [Source: HackRead]

Shoplifter who threatened LP associate with gun pulled over with 4 kids in car

Police detained two women on Sunday after a woman shoplifted at Walmart, then threatened a loss prevention associate with a gun when she was confronted, police said.  According to San Antonio, Texas, police, the woman was in the process of shoplifting items from a Walmart on Walzem Road when loss prevention associates confronted her, threatened the employee with a gun and ran with the items. An off-duty Windcrest police officer that saw the woman’s vehicle got into his car and followed the vehicle involved in the robbery while giving police her license plate number. Police said they found the car approximately 30 minutes after the robbery and pulled the driver over on 410 and Starcrest Drive. Two women were detained and four kids were also in the car, according to police. Authorities are working to determine which woman brandished the gun and shoplifted the items. Police said if both women played a role in the crime, they will both be charged with aggravated robbery.    [Source: KSAT12 News]

Father and son charged with organized retail theft

A Connecticut father and son face charges after police said they were part of a shoplifting ring and stole $450 worth of shoes from a store in Fairfield last year.  Edwin Figueroa, Sr., 58 and Edwin Figueroa, Jr., 31, of Meriden, were each charged May 17 with organized retail theft less than $10,000. Their bond was set at $25,000 each. On May 22, 2017, DSW, 696 Post Road., Fairfield, reported $450 worth of Nike sneakers were stolen and the suspects were captured on video, said Lt. Robert Kalamaras. The manager told police he recognized the suspects, later identified as Edwin Figueroa Sr. and Edwin Figueroa, Jr., and added several other DSW stores in the state, including one in North Haven, had been targeted by a shoplifting ring. On May 27, 2017 Southington police investigated a larceny at Rite-Aid and identified the suspect as Edwin Figueroa, Jr., Kalamares said. Southington police found several pairs of Nike sneakers, some with security tags still attached, in the back of his vehicle.   [Source: My Record Journal]