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Breaking News in the Industry: November 28, 2018

Robbery suspect turned in by his father and girlfriend

Police in Pennsylvania charged a Lower Saucon Township man in his failed attempt to rob a drugstore after his father and girlfriend reportedly saw surveillance footage on the news and called authorities. Palmer Township police charged Joseph T. Arnold Jr. with attempted robbery and related offenses after he allegedly tried unsuccessfully to rob a Walgreens at knife-point early Saturday morning. District Judge John Capobianco arraigned the 20-year-old Sunday morning, setting bail at $200,000.

Township police were dispatched to Walgreens around 4:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a burglary in progress. When police arrived, a clerk reported that a man wearing a “Baja style hoodie” and a white shirt wrapped around his mouth placed a piece of paper on the counter that politely read, “This is a hold up, I am armed please empty everything,” according to court records. When the clerk refused, the would-be robber flashed an open pocket knife, according to records. The clerk still refused and grabbed a phone to call 911, prompting the robber to run away.

Palmer Township police reviewed the attempted robbery that was caught on store surveillance. Authorities met later that night with a man who said he saw a picture of the robber “on the evening news” and was confident it was his son, according to records. Joseph Arnold told police that he dropped his son at work directly across the street from the Walgreens shortly before 4 a.m. that morning. Authorities said he later drove his son to police headquarters.

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Investigators said Joseph Arnold Jr.’s girlfriend also called police to say she recognized him from the news and social media. The hoodie he was wearing belonged to her although he wore it every day, she told police. She said she also recognized the boots she bought him.   [Source: WFMV69 News]

Four shoplifters flee, crash after escape attempt

Northern Virginia’s notorious traffic helped police stop some Tysons Corner Center shoplifters on Black Friday, but it didn’t come without some damages to surrounding cars. Around 10:05 p.m. on Nov. 23, police say three women fled the Zara store with stolen merchandise. The suspects got into a car and fled. Officers initially tried to pull them over unsuccessfully. The pursuit ended where traffic was halted at a red light. Police say the suspects’ car struck several cars that were stopped. There were no injuries. After the women were arrested, investigations revealed the women allegedly stole from multiple businesses in the area.   [Source: McLean Patch]

Retail stocks may rally

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, there’s some cautious optimism that we may see a Santa Rally for retail stocks. Retail was very well behaved for the first nine months of the year, but had a rough start to the fourth quarter. If stores can deliver another strong holiday showing, retail stocks could be on the nice list.

The “holiday shopping season got off to a healthy start,” Keybanc Capital Markets’ Edward Yruma says, although e-commerce continues to increase its market share, especially as retailers increasingly offer the same promotions online and in their stores. He says traffic levels appeared “stable” at stores he checked on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, an interpretation bolstered by ShopperTrak, which reported there was a 1% decrease in shopper numbers—better than the 1.6% decline seen last year. “On balance, our initial observations point to the potential for a strong holiday season,” Yruma says.

For e-commerce and softline stores, as outlets selling apparel and footwear are known, overall traffic looked strong, writes Yruma. Standouts include Walmart, Gap’s Old Navy, and Urban Outfitters. Levels of inventory for doorbuster sale items seemed adequate to meet initial demand, he says, noting a trend for retailers to shift promotions earlier and make them available online. Target gave its REDCard holders early access to Black Friday deals online, while Walmart offered pre-Black Friday sales as well, and Amazon had lightening offers and early promotions on some devices. Cold weather also helped move goods like sweaters and jackets, Yruma says.

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On the hardline side, he says, things were more of a mixed bag. “Initial industry data points suggest softness for many physical retailers, with traffic lower for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and we believe the shift to e-commerce (and the emergence of ‘Black November’ and a ‘Cyber Post-Thanksgiving Weekend’) weighed on results for the start of the holiday season,” he writes.   [Source: Barron’s]

Nine-time loser threatens clerk

A nine-time convicted felon in Florida has been arrested after Pensacola Police say he pointed a gun at a Family Dollar employee after stealing several items from the store. Carlo Floyd, 46, is charged with armed robbery after officials say he stole $50 worth of items Friday from the store on North Pace Boulevard.

Employees say Floyd entered the front door and grabbed several items and walked out.  Then an employee confronted him and told him to return the items. He returned some but not all of the items and left. An employee chased after him and one block away Floyd pulled a handgun from his jacket and said “you better walk away and go back before I shoot you,” according to the arrest report. Floyd was found with a bag of Kibbles and Bits dog food, five bags of Tide Pods, paper towels and hamburger buns.  [Source: WKRG5 News]

Duo charged in parking lot armed robbery

Investigators in South Carolina have charged two men in connection with a weekend armed robbery at a local retail store, according to the Columbia Police Department. Quarterrious Gibson and John Quick II are charged with armed robbery and having a gun during a violent crime. Police say the two approached a woman and her child in the parking lot of a Walmart around 10 a.m. Sunday.

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The two are accused of stealing the woman’s purse from her shoulder and leaving the area in a car, according to police.
 Richland County deputies initially detained the two men at The Retreat at Broad River apartment complex while following up on similar incidents in their jurisdiction.  [Source: WACH Fox57 News]

US Postal Service data exposure may affect 60M

The United States Postal Service (USPS) confirms a long-lived security flaw on its website potentially exposed the data of 60 million users over the course of 2017 and 2018. Krebs on Security reports the Postal Service has now closed a loophole on its site that allowed anyone with an online account at to view account details for approximately 60 million other users.

But note this well: While all that data and more was available, the USPS says it has no reason to believe any of it was in fact accessed by hackers. The security flaw was discovered by a researcher who contacted USPS to report the exploit back in 2017. Unfortunately, no action was taken to shore up the system at that time. It took the efforts of Krebs on Security to get the loophole closed earlier this month.   [Source: Fox57 News]

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