Breaking News in the Industry: November 21, 2018

Joy riding minors go on shoplifting spree

Four Ohio minors who stole a car and shoplifted from multiple store were arrested Tuesday evening, according to the South Euclid Police Department. According to police, a loss prevention associate working at the Walmart was alerted that there were a group of disruptive individuals in the store around 6 p.m. Authorities said the LP associate found the juveniles and ordered them out of the store. He then monitored the group on the surveillance cameras in the parking lot.

The LP associate ran the plates of the vehicle the individuals entered and confirmed it was listed as stolen by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department. The associate called the South Euclid Police Department, who responded to the scene, according to police. They said two of the juveniles were apprehended on scene, and two fled the scene. The two juveniles who were apprehended on the scene were taken for booking where they were highly uncooperative, giving false information to avoid being charged.

The two suspects who fled were apprehended two hours later while attempting to steal from a TJ Maxx nearby, according to police. They said all four juveniles are being charged with receiving stolen property, a felony. One individual is being additionally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.   [Source: News5 Cleveland]

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Shoplifting suspect turns herself in two hours after Facebook post

Two hours after police posted a photo of a shoplifting suspect on Facebook, a woman turned herself in. The reason? “She turned herself in because of the heat she was getting from family and friends after the post was shared.,” said Lt. Joseph M. Murgo. Police were looking for the woman who was suspected of shoplifting from an East Haven Stop & Shop on Saturday. This occurred while police were holding a Stuff a Cruiser event in which officers accepted food donations in a police cruiser for the East Haven Food Pantry. Murgo said he posted two photos on the department’s Facebook page of a surveillance video from a shoplifting that occurred at Stop &Shop while we were out in the parking lot accepting donations.

“The photos were shared a ton of times and within two hours of the post, the suspect walked into the police department lobby to turn herself in,” Murgo said. “Because the crime occurred on Saturday, we were not able to take her into custody right away, as the investigating officer will have to submit an arrest warrant to court before arresting her. “We do however have a positive ID on the suspect and charges are pending. Once we make the arrest, we will identify her. Thank you for spreading the word. Hopefully the proven power of the media/ social media will deter people from committing these types of crimes in the future.”   [Source: New Haven Register]

One gas station chain has nearly 80% of the CC skimmers found

By the time Dan Drake discovered the fraudulent purchases on his credit card en route to visiting his son in California recently, criminals had already plundered $1,500. Drake, a former US prosecutor who spent years going after credit-card scammers in court, had been scammed himself. The Phoenix resident reviewed his charges and concluded his financial information was probably captured by a skimming device at a Circle K fuel pump as he filled up his truck right before the trip. If he’s right, he’s by no means alone.

Circle K is now the most popular gas station chain in the state for fraudsters to install card skimmers at fuel pumps, an Arizona Republic analysis of data from the Arizona Division of Weights and Measures shows. So far in 2018, 77 percent of skimmers found at Arizona gas stations were at Circle K locations, even though the brand makes up only about 30 percent of gas stations around the state, according to data obtained under Arizona public records law.

Other brands such as Shell and Chevron have experienced drops in the number of skimmers found at their sites in the past five years, the records show. But Circle K’s total has risen from one skimmer found in mid-2013 to 85 so far this year. The company’s numbers helped drive an all-time high of 110 skimmers discovered at Arizona fuel pumps this year as of the end of October.   [Source: AZ Central]

Deputies led to theft suspect by Uber driver

A Florida Uber driver is credited with helping deputies in Charlotte County locate the man they say stole from a area pawn shop. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office posted a photo of two suspects in a November 6th theft at Lone Star Pawn in Port Charlotte on their Facebook page and say that within an hour, a man contacted the sheriff’s office. He told detectives that he was an Uber driver, was not involved in the crime but had apparently driven the suspect.

Using Uber driving records, deputies identified 26-year-old Scott Joseph Humbert. Deputies say Humbert went to Lone Star Pawn to pawn a GoPro but stole three pieces of jewelry from the counter display. Surveillance video shows Humbert prying open the glass counter, according to deputies. Humbert was located and arrested. He is charged with grand theft.   [Source: MySunCoast]

Store owners partner with PD on anti-shoplifting program

For the fifth year in a row, the Kentwood Police Department in Michigan is partnering with local store owners throughout the city through Operation PRICE in an attempt to curtail retail theft during the holiday season. Through the educational program, which was first introduced during the 2014 holiday season, the Police Department helps educate store employees on ways to discourage shoplifting and to identify potential crime, as well as what procedures to follow when a shoplifter is caught in the act. The partnership between police and store owners also has provided an increased police presence in stores and on the streets over the last few holiday seasons.

Operation PRICE, which stands for Preventing Retail Theft Through Initiative, Collaboration and Enforcement, will run from Saturday, November 24, through Friday, January 4, during which time participating retailers will have posters and signs displayed declaring their partnership with the department. Shoppers also will see police officers in and around the community’s prime retail destinations, such as Woodland Mall.

Police Chief Thomas Hillen said the program has had a proven track record in helping local businesses decrease incidents of shoplifting, which, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2018 National Retail Security Survey, was the top source of inventory shrinkage for the fourth year in a row, outpacing employee theft.

The key to the program’s success, Hillen said, is the focus on collaborating with business owners and employees. “At the end of the day, we are working toward the same goal: reducing crime in our community,” Hillen said. “By proactively engaging with business owners and employees, and having open communication early on, we are able to equip them with knowledge and skills needed to help prevent crime. Being able to increase police presence at their shops also helps discourage theft.   [Source: MLive]


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