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Breaking News in the Industry: May 4, 2018

Suspect steals $52.6K in designer merchandise from area stores

An eagle-eyed loss prevention associate is being credited with stymieing an alleged professional shoplifter, with security camera footage of the incident to boot. In mid-April, a 47-year-old woman of Reistertown, Maryland, entered the Nordstrom Rack along Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg. The loss prevention associate assigned  She proceeded to purchase the $640 article of clothing for a bargain price of $13.49, thanks to the tag trade. As she exited the discount fashion retailer, designer dress in hand, the loss prevention associate confronted her and called the Gaithersburg Police Department.

Upon further investigation, Nordstrom Rack determined the brand’s mainline Nordstrom store at Tysons Corner had been monitoring this woman for a couple of years. Between April 2016 and January 2017 alone, police say she returned 130 items at the Tysons location without proof of purchase. However, Nordstrom, which is known for exemplary customer service, issued credit card refunds and/or gift cards for all 130 items, totaling $52,615.74 in losses.

According to court documents, this woman has a daughter and works as a manicurist at an upscale spa. She was born in Russia, but has lived in Reistertown for at least 25 years. She posted her $3,500 bond and was released from jail. She is scheduled for a hearing in Montgomery County District Court on June 4, on charges of theft scheme between $25,000 and $100,000, plus theft between $100 and $1,500. She faces up to 10 years in prison, plus $15,500 in fines. No defense attorney is currently listed in her court paperwork. [Source: WJLA News]

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Reward offered for help identifying armed shoplifter

Albuquerque Crime Stoppers is now offering a reward for information about an armed shoplifter. Police say back in October a man was confronted by a loss prevention guard at Costco for concealing items. The man then threatened the employee with a knife. He’s described as Native American between 35-45 years old, and is about 6-feet tall. Investigators say they’ve exhausted all leads. They’re now offering a $1,000 reward. Call 505.843.STOP.  [Source: KRQE News]

Employee arrested for $3.5K ORC theft

A Toys “R” Us employee in Florida was arrested after police say he stole video games from the store and sold them online. In a police report from Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office, Former Assistant Manager is facing one organized fraud charge and three charges of employee theft. The felony warrants were issued by the department after a member of JSO’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force was contacted by the Toys “R” Us Town Center location the report details. The Manager and loss prevention manager turned over two months worth of surveillance video.  The report says Lippy would walk to the locked cases grab the video games, “ take the video games into the Managers Office. He would then walk out of the office with a back pack filled with video games and leave the business.” The report cites three separate instances where Lippy was caught on camera, itemized receipts from the manager given to police value the games at a total of $3,469.28. Additionally, the loss prevention manager provided evidence to police that Lippy was using an eBay account to resell the video games.  “Many of the listings were the same specific games that were stolen during the listed thefts,” according to the police report.  [Source: WKOV News]

Troopers searching for man accused of assaulting loss prevention associate

Kentucky State Police are asking the public to identify a suspect they say assaulted a Walmart loss prevention associate while shoplifting. Troopers say the man was at the Corbin Walmart around 9 p.m. when loss prevention associates noticed he was shoplifting. They tried to stop him, but investigators say he assaulted one before getting away running across the Cumberland Gap Parkway with three others. The man is approximately 5’9, and he was wearing blue jeans with a white t-shirt and baseball hat. The suspect is facing a robbery charge. Troopers are asking the public with any information on the man’s identity or his whereabouts to call Kentucky State Police at 606.878.6622 or 800.222.5555.  [Source: WKYT News]

Police arrest 1 in suspected theft ring

A New York City resident was arrested in Chicopee, Massachusetts, after allegedly trying to steal more than $6,200 in merchandise from Home Depot. Carlos Colon, 24, of Bronx, New York, was arrested on Thursday and charged with larceny over $250, said Michael Wilk, police public information officer. He is believed to be part of a group of five people who attempted to steal a large amount of items from the store. Loss prevention associates first spotted three men and a women loading carriages with items at about 3:35 p.m., he said. When police arrived three of the people fled the store without the stolen merchandise and a fourth person was outside at a car and believed to be alerting the others of the officers’ arrival. That man was issued a trespass notice banning him from the store, Wilk said. Store security officers did apprehend Colon, who was arrested for trying to steal a large amount of expensive items. He was held overnight at the Chicopee Police Department without bail and arraigned in Chicopee District Court on Friday, Wilk said.  [Source: MASSlive]

Cashier accused of stealing nearly $17K in three days

A Target cashier has been arrested after he was accused of stealing nearly $17K in merchandise with a co-conspirator. Dionza Dominique Brown, 28 of Monroe, Louisiana was arrested Tuesday. According to Brown’s arrest report, Monroe Police responded to Target in reference to an organized retail theft complaint. Once officers arrived, they spoke with Target’s asset protection manager who said he found 22 separate incidents since March 30, 2018 where Dionza Brown had committed retail theft by having certain persons come to the register where he was working as a cashier. The manager advised Brown would ring up the merchandise and have his co-conspirators swipe a card that he know would be declined. He said Brown would then give the voided transaction register tape to the co-conspirator who would walk out of Target with the merchandise without paying for it. The manager said Brown was seen on camera completing the 22 fraudulent transactions that totaled $16,664.40. Post Miranda, Brown admitted to the thefts but claimed he did not receive compensation. Brown is charged with one count organized retail theft and one count criminal conspiracy. His bond has not yet been set.  [Source: MyArklaMiss]

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Editor’s Note: this post has been revised to remove the name of an alleged shoplifter.

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