Breaking News in the Industry: November 16, 2018

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Holiday hiring for retail expected to top 650,000

This holiday season, consumer confidence is strong, and the economy is healthy. Against that backdrop, retailers are hoping to rake in the green this holiday season, but in order to do that, they’re going to need a whole lot of elves. With a tight labor market, retailers like Macy’s and Target started hiring their holiday help this past July, and holiday hiring plans are impressive. Amazon has plans to hire 100,000 people. Target, meanwhile, is planning to hire 120,000, and Macy’s, 80,000. According to estimates from the National Retail Federation, retailers could be looking to hire 650,000 seasonal holiday employees this year, roughly 10% up from 2017’s holiday workforce.   [Source: Fox10 News]

Robber takes taxi to rob store

A Hagerstown, Maryland, man who allegedly called a Dollar General store Sunday morning, then hired a cab to take him to rob the store, was being held without bond on Wednesday. Robert Lee Pettaway, 24, of Meadowlark Avenue is charged with armed robbery, robbery, first- and second-degree assault and theft of $100 to $1,500 in the holdup, which was called in at 9:11 a.m. from the Dollar General.

The cashier was stocking shelves near the register later when a man grabbed her from behind, put a sharp object to her neck and demanded money from the register. The man left the store with $264, the document said. Store surveillance  video showed the robber was wearing a scarf around his face, a black stocking cap and square sunglasses, the document said. Security cameras from private residences behind the Dollar General showed that man arrived in a cab about two minutes before the robbery was reported.

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Investigators also checked with the ride service company and a driver said she had picked up a fare matching the robber’s description on Robinwood Drive. The address was within sight of Pettaway’s Meadowlark Avenue address, the document said. The driver drove the man to behind the Dollar General, where he returned after a couple of minutes, the document said. The driver then took the man to an Elm Street address before returning him to Robinwood Drive. Investigators took the cab driver back to the area where she picked the man up, where Pettaway was spotted outside his Meadowlark Avenue address, the document said. He was seen getting into another cab, which police stopped a short time later.   [Source: Herald-Mail Media]

Thanksgiving holiday cargo theft trends and security tips

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and enterprising cargo thieves will seek to exploit the abundance of unattended trailers and warehouses loaded with desirable cargo. Activity is expected to be higher this holiday season than previous years, because publications report consumer confidence is at an 18-year high and shoppers plan to spend more this year than in recent seasons.

CargoNet analyzed data from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for 2013 to 2017 and found cargo thieves stole $9.4 million in cargo, 79 semi-tractors, and 95 semi-trailers across 108 reported theft events. Twenty percent of theft events in this analysis occurred in California, 14 percent in Texas, and 12 percent in Florida. Cargo thefts were reported in more than 20 states. Article continues on our website.  [Source: LPM Insider]

‘Porch Pirates’ are ID thieves too

Atlantic Beach, Florida, police arrested two men who they said are members of a Miami-based identity theft ring that employs quick-hitting porch pirate tactics to pick up fraudulent credit cards.  Alvaro Acosta, 28, and Obed Cardoza, 21, were arrested Friday after a stake-out in the Ocean Walk area. According to an arrest report, one resident saw on his surveillance video system that a package delivered by FedEx was stolen from his front porch two minutes after it was delivered. The man told police he hadn’t been expecting any packages.

The next day, according to police, the man got a call about fraudulent activity on a credit card that had been activated in his name, and $11,000 had already been charged on the card. Police said they learned that three more packages from the same credit card company were to be delivered, so they set up the stake-out and when Acosta and Cardoza grabbed another package, they were busted. Cardoza bonded out of jail but when he went to pick up his impounded SUV Tuesday, he was arrested again on charges of ID theft and credit card fraud. Atlantic Beach police said they processed credit card receipts found in the SUV, leading to the additional charges. [Source: News4Jax]

Additional charges found after shoplift arrest

A suspect was in court for shoplifting, but racked up a whole host of other charges while he was there. The suspect is charged with failing to return to court to answer charges. This all began April 9, 2018 in Myrtle Beach Magistrate Court when a Judge found Christopher Bryan Bellows guilty of shoplifting and sentenced him to 30 days in jail. Authorities then found the 40-year-old had narcotics concealed in his jeans. Bellows admitted he was concealing heroin, clonazepam and crystal methamphetamine. Bellows said he got a ride to the courthouse by a friend. Officers went to the parking lot to inform that friend of Bellow’s arrest and saw a syringe in the middle console of the vehicle. It was loaded with 20 units of a brown liquid. Bellows admitted the syringe was his and that the liquid was Heroin.   [Source: WMBF News]

Local PD holds theft Summit for holidays

Representatives from businesses across the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area gathered at the Green Bay Police Department Tuesday afternoon to talk about a negative side effect of the holiday season: retail theft. Retail stores across the country have their biggest months in November and December,” Keli Biebel, owner of the Wild Ginger boutique in downtown Green Bay explained, “more people, more traffic, and more shoplifting.” Biebel says that for small businesses like Wild Ginger, retail theft is a major problem.

“We don’t have the security and the staffing that the larger department stores have,” she said, “so it hits us harder and hits our pocketbook directly.” Captain Kevin Warych of the Green Bay Police Department agrees, “For those smaller Ma and Pop stores, it’s that much more important because they need a lot of turnover, they need to sell a lot of property, and when that property is going out the door for free, that’s really hurting the bottom line.”

Capt. Warych told Local 5 that the purpose of Tuesday’s retail theft roundtable was to morph individual efforts to end shoplifting into a larger conversation.  It’s about learning what people are doing, best practices, what areas of improvement we can do, make sure we’re all working on the same mission,” he said. It’s a mission to keep local businesses in the black. “We’re bringing all this merchandise in and paying for it and having to pay for the rent and the lights and everything that goes with running a business,” Biebel said. “They think that we can writie it off, or it’s not going to effect us, and it does.”   [Source:]

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