Breaking News in the Industry: October 3, 2018

Police officer hurt chasing shoplifting suspect

A Brentwood, Tennessee, police officer was injured after trying to stop a shoplifting suspect at a TJ Maxx. The incident happened Monday at the retail store on Franklin Road. According to police, the officer chased the suspect across the parking lot to his car and was knocked to the ground when the suspect tried to drive away.

The officer hit his head on the asphalt during the incident. He was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he is expected to recover. The suspect did escape but police do have leads. Instead of a simple shoplifting charge, the suspect is now facing a felony charge for resisting arrest and injuring an officer.  [Source: NewsChannel5]

Thief wore the clothes he took out of the store, police say; Here’s how

A man pulled a knife on a security worker in a Lexington, Kentucky, store to escape from the business in the clothes he took, police said. Lexington police want the public’s help in identifying a man who was caught on camera pulling a knife after stealing clothes from the TJ Maxx on West Lowry Lane. The man was wearing pants, a belt and a white t-shirt when he tried to leave the store. The store’s loss prevention associate reported to police that the customer didn’t pay for the items. When the loss prevention associate approached the man, the suspect pulled out a knife from his pocket and threatened the LP associate. He was allowed to flee.

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Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Lexington Police at 859.258.3600. Anonymous tips, including photos and videos, can be submitted by texting LEXPD plus the tip to CRIMES (274637). Information can also be sent anonymously through Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at 859.253.2020 or Bluegrass Crime Stoppers.   [Source: Herald-Leader]

Halloween spending to hit $9B

Total spending for Halloween will stay about the same as last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. It will reach $9 billion, the second highest in the survey’s 14-year history, just missing last year’s record $9.1 billion in sales.
 Most of it, $3.2 billion, will be spent on costumes (bought by 68% of Halloween shoppers), followed by $2.7 billion on decorations (74%), $2.6 billion on candy (95%) and $400 million on greeting cards (35%).

More than a third (35%) of those looking for costumes will search online for inspiration, 29% in stores, 19% will ask friends and family, 19% will look to Pinterest and 16% will look to Facebook, according to the report. For costumes, party supplies and other goodies, 45% will head to discount stores, 35% to a specialty Halloween store or costume store, 25% to department stores, 24% to grocery stores and 24% to the internet.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

Fire chief accused of credit card fraud for jewelry to groceries

The former fire chief of a small community north of Phoenix, Arizona, is accused of using the department’s credit card to pay $4,000 in personal expenses from movie tickets to groceries. Mark Dillon, 50, the former fire chief of Crown King, was arrested Sept. 27, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO). Dillon spent less than a year as chief, from August 2016 to June 2017, of the unincorporated community approximately 15 miles northwest of Black Canyon City.

Crown King Fire District personnel noticed numerous charges on the district’s credit card unrelated to work, according to YCSO. The charges included items such as legal fees for an “off-duty altercation,” jewelry, children’s toys, groceries and movie tickets, authorities said.  Fire officials alerted detectives when Dillon failed to adequately explain the credit card usage after his resignation, according to YCSO.

Detectives began investigating in May 2018 and discovered Dillon spent more than $4,000 on personal expenses over five months, YCSO said. In addition, Dillon is suspected of removing his fire district personnel file without permission. Detectives also found a job application with a forged signature Dillon may have submitted to another agency, according to YSCO. Detectives arrested Dillon at his home in Coolidge after obtaining arrest and search warrants with help from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators said Dillon admitted to charging personal expenses on the district’s credit card, but argued that the Crown King Fire District Board was responsible for not denying the charges. Dillon was booked into the Pinal County Jail on $25,000 bond.  [Source: AZ Central]

Police believe ‘high-end’ men’s clothing theft ring may have struck malls

Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help identifying at least two members of a suspected high-end men’s clothing theft ring who walked out of Macy’s at Westmoreland Mall in last month with more than $5,000 worth of stolen apparel. The suspects, both black males, entered the Hempfield business around 2:30 p.m. Sept 20, said Trooper Stephen Limani.“They apparently scouted the store beforehand because one hid behind a structure inside the store so he could not be picked up by the store’s security camera,” Limani said. One suspect had a trimmed beard, baseball cap and white shirt. He removed clothing from the rack, hid it under his jacket and walked over to his accomplice, who placed the items inside large Macy’s shopping bags, Limani said.

“They appear to know what they are doing, and they may have struck the Macy’s in Robinson Township that same morning,” Limani said. “They made several trips back and forth, in and out of the store, carrying these large Macy’s bags containing high-end clothes, including Polo brand.” Only a few clothing items were left on the rack “by the time they were done,” he said. Troopers and store security believe the men may have been targeting a new line of Polo apparel that had just been placed on the sales floor that week. Robinson police could not be reached for comment.

Limani said Macy’s security told troopers that similar style of thefts of high-end men’s clothing have been reported in Texas recently. “I understand you can’t suspect anyone carrying a Macy’s bag out of the store, but these were several very large bags and were really obvious. They made at least six trips,” he said. Limani said shoppers should immediately alert store security to suspicious activity. He said police believe the men fled in a large, white sport utility vehicle like a Chevrolet Tahoe, Limani said. “We’re hoping that someone else shopping in the store at the same time may have noticed something we could go on. We’re hoping to catch a break,” he said. Anyone with information should call state police at 724.832.3288.   [Source: Trib Live]

Facebook could face up to $1.6 billion in fines over data breach as regulators eye formal probe

A top European regulator is considering opening a formal investigation into Facebook following a data breach that hit 50 million users and which could land the social network with millions of dollars in fines under strict new rules in the region. On Friday, Facebook disclosed that it had discovered a security bug that allowed hackers to access information to around 50 million accounts. Of those 50 million accounts, less than 10 percent are based in the European Union (EU), according to the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). Facebook’s European subsidiary is headquartered in Ireland, so the Irish DPC is the data watchdog that regulates Facebook.

In a statement to CNBC on Tuesday, the Irish DPC said that it was awaiting “more detailed numbers” and that it was assessing whether to open a formal probe into Facebook. “Before we would launch any investigation there are steps that would have to be taken in relation to information gathering and preparing the scope of an inquiry. Furthermore, we would need to establish under which provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 we would conduct it. We are currently engaged in those steps,” a spokesperson for the regulator said. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC. But it tweeted that it was working with regulators and will release more information about the breach soon.   [Source: CNBC News]

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