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Breaking News in the Industry: November 2, 2018

Jewelry store manager accused of theft

A Tallahassee, Florida, man is accused of stealing from a Kay Jewelers store he managed. He is identified as Holloway Samuels, 25, and used fraudulent refund and return/exchanges to steal from the store, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Samuels was the store manager of a Kay Jewelers on December 14, 2017, when a “suspicious refund” was made for a diamond enhancer. The store’s loss prevention manager determined that the refund Samuels said he had made to a buyer did not occur, court documents said, and Samuels used the fraudulent transaction to steal $1,519.73.

Samuels also admitted that in October 2017 he conducted another false refund/exchange at the store by returning a three-stone diamond ring for a gold chain, creating a theft of $1,903.71. Samuels credited the funds from the second theft to a friend’s debit card. He was released from the Leon County Detention on Sunday on a $3,000 bond. He was booked into jail on Friday on two counts of grand theft of $300 or more but less than $5,000.   [Source: WTXL27 News]

Shoplifting brothers nabbed by LP

Police say two brothers from Burlington, Wisconsin, were caught leaving a store with nearly $1,500 in stolen merchandise. Jason R. Bennett, 32, is charged with retail theft, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and obstructing an officer. Russell W. Bennett, 29, is charged with retail theft. The store’s loss prevention associate said two men concealed merchandise under their clothes and exited the store without paying.

- Digital Partner -

According to the criminal complaint, one of the men allegedly had a drill combo, battery, circuit breaker, sheath, leather boots and hooded jacket worth $673. The other man allegedly had a pistol magazine, tool kit, marine items, LED lights, cordless drill, batteries, belt, shirt and two hats worth $810.

Initially, Jason identified himself as “Timothy Bennett” and his true identity was later determined at the jail, the complaint says. Officers also learned he was on probation and Racine County had issued a warrant for his arrest. While still at Fleet Farm, Jason said he was concerned for a dog that was inside his car. Krueger went to the vehicle, where he found a Doberman. [Source: Waupaca County News]

Pizza Hut unveils pizza-making pickup truck

Pizza Hut has joined forces with Toyota to develop the one-of-a-kind, zero-emission Tundra PIE Pro, a mobile pizza factory with the ability to deliver oven-hot pizza wherever it goes. The full-size pizza-making truck was introduced at Toyota’s 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show presentation. “We are constantly focused on evolving our processes and systems through improvements and innovations that allow our team members and drivers to better serve our customers,” said Nicolas Burquier, Chief Customer and Operations Officer, Pizza Hut, U.S. “We are exploring next-generation solutions and automation to support and streamline our delivery business in the future. The Tundra PIE Pro and our work with Toyota are only helping accelerate our commitment to transform both the team member and the customer experience at Pizza Hut.”

The Tundra PIE Pro features a unique truck bed that has been converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels, also known as “The Kitchen,” which contains a refrigerator, a pair of computer-guided robotic arms, and a portable conveyor oven. Like the truck itself, all components in The Kitchen are powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power-train. From start to finish, the pizza-making process takes between six and seven minutes. Built to make pizza on the go, the Tundra PIE Pro presents an untapped opportunity for Pizza Hut.   [Source: Cision PR Newswire]

LP Solutions

LPA and deputies snag suspect

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas is crediting the quick actions of patrol deputies with the arrest of a robbery suspect who attacked a loss prevention associate (LPA) at a local retail store on Monday evening. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Hobby Lobby store in west Harris County about an incident at another nearby retail store. According to a press release, an LPA for a nearby Walmart told deputies that Gerald Warren, 40, came into the store and was “under scanning ” items while checking out. The loss prevention officer said Warren would place a paper over the barcodes and scan the item as usual.

The LP associate confronted Warren as he was leaving the store, and tried to get Warren to come back inside. Instead, Warren resisted and pushed a shopping cart into the loss prevention officer and knocked him to the ground. Warren ran to a late model Cadillac Escalade and drove away. The LPA followed Warren to the nearby Hobby Lobby and called the sheriff’s office for help. Warren was taken into custody without incident, and transported to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Processing Center. He is being held on a $5000 bond.   [Source:Houston Patch]

No contest plea accepted by former football player

Over several months, Bakersfield, California, police have investigated several theft from the Apple Store in the Valley Plaza Mall, and now a local football player may be responsible for one of them. According to police reports, former Bakersfield College football player Charles Ray Mitchell entered the store and grabbed a 2018 MacBook Pro laptop. Before fleeing the store, Mitchell allegedly punched a security guard in the face and fled.

Store employees reported on a separate occasion, Mitchell took over $5,000 worth of iPhones. Bakersfield police said surveillance video captured Mitchell on that offense. 17 News asked the college if Mitchell was still on the team, they said, “We have no Charles Mitchell on our football team.” Mitchell pleaded no contest to second degree robbery earlier this month and is scheduled to be sentenced in November.   [Source:]

- Digital Partner -

Cyber-criminals up online fraud nearly 300%

If you shop online or use your phone to look up items on Amazon, there’s a good chance you have seen ads for similar items appear on your Facebook or Instagram feeds. It’s no secret that companies are tracking your online shopping habits. They are trying to hone in on what you really want to buy, and scammers are too. There’s a new report that shows scammers are targeting victims through their social media profiles.

They searched through data on hundreds of millions of fraudulent online purchases and found a nearly 300 percent increase in the number of fake retail websites created to get your personal information. Here’s how the scam works: when you see an ad appear on your social media profile then you click on it, you might add a couple of items to your cart. When you go to purchase those items, you will need to enter your personal information and your credit or debit card number. Cyber-criminals will take that information and run up charges as fast as they can. If you become a victim, contact your bank immediately and report the fraudulent charges.   [Source: WAFB9 News]

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