Breaking News in the Industry: September 14, 2018

Four women accused of shoplifting $5,000 worth of merchandise

Four women were arrested and accused of shoplifting merchandise worth over $5,000 from St. Tammany stores in Louisiana, according to a Wednesday news release from Mandeville Police Department. Atoya Campbell, 42, Erica Riley, 46, Kreshanda Pruitt, 30, Leisa Pruitt, 46, were all arrested on felony theft and possession of stolen things.

Officers said they had located the four suspects after responding to a report of shoplifting at Old Navy clothing Store on Highway 190. Officers said they were then able to locate the four women in a car, inside of which was merchandise from Victoria Secret, JC-Penny, Maurice’s and Old Navy. The value of the stolen goods was about $5,000, according to the news release.

The vehicle also contained a device used to remove security tags from goods that the suspects may have used to evade stores’ security scanners, police said. Video surveillance footage obtained by MPD shows the suspects hiding items in large purses then leaving the stores. All four women were from Mississippi. Kreshanda Pruitt and Leisa Pruitt are from Gulfport, Campbell is from Brooksville, and Riley is from Tupelo.   [Source: The New Orleans Advocate]

Thief uses sledgehammer to get to jewelry; pursuit followed

Police in Ohio have identified the three suspects arrested in connection to a theft at the Beavercreek Jared the Galleria of Jewelry store and subsequent pursuit. Jordan Bates, Antonio Kellog and Trevon McIntosh were arrested on various charges. Police said two of the men entered the store and the third stayed in the vehicle. One of the suspects used a sledgehammer to strike a glass case to get the jewelry. Approximately $200,000 in jewelry was stolen, but was recovered after the chase.

Three men were arrested following a high-speed chase through Shelby County involving a vehicle troopers said was involved in a Beavercreek jewelry store robbery. The suspects, who have not been identified, range from 23 to 27 and are from Detroit, according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol press release. The Piqua Post was notified of a dark gray Dodge Caravan with Michigan plates wanted in connected with a robbery around 11 a.m. at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry near the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The van was rented out of Detroit and believed to be heading north.

Lt. Joseph Gebhart with the OSHP Piqua Post said troopers first spotted the van shortly before noon on Interstate 75. A trooper attempted a traffic stop with the assistance of Sidney police, but the van fled at speeds exceeding 100 mph. An OSHP plane in the area was able to pursue the van to Botkins. “At one point (the vehicle) exited off the interstate and came onto County Road 25-A,” Gebhart said. The van traveled on County Road 25-A through Anna and into Botkins, where the driver struck a large curb and disabled the vehicle.

The men attempted to flee on foot, but troopers were able to track the trio and led ground patrols to their location, according to the release. The three men were caught, but a search of the area caused the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office to place Anna and Botkins schools on lockdown, said Shelby County Sheriff John Lehnhart. “It’s a happy ending when nobody gets hurt,” the sheriff said. Troopers said they are working with the Beavercreek Police Department on the case.   [Source: Dayton Daily News]

7-Eleven rolls out Apple Pay, Google Pay to all US stores

7-Eleven said this week that mobile payment systems Apple Pay and Google Pay will be accepted at most of its nearly 8,000 U.S. stores this month, according to a press release. The convenience retailer already accepts Samsung Pay. The rollout began in August, reported AppleInsider. Mobile payment is among a growing list of digital advances at 7-Eleven, according to the release. These include the 7-Eleven NOW smartphone app which enables mobile ordering and delivery; 7-Eleven Rewards; the 7-Eleven Bot on Facebook Messenger; Amazon Locker and Amazon Cash; and the BillPay app powered by PayNearMe.

7-Eleven also will hold its first “Next Up” event for new and emerging brands on Oct. 11 at the 7-Eleven Store Support Center in Irving, Texas. The brands present products in an expo setting, and executives can attend merchandising, logistics and operations workshops, the company also said Wednesday.   [Source: RetailDIVE]

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Couple pleads guilty to multi-state crime spree

Grasonville residents, 39 year-old Matthew Dale Bush, along with 34 year-old Crystal French have both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank larceny; interstate transportation of stolen goods, and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles. Bush also pleaded guilty to bank robbery and to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. He pleaded guilty on September 11, 2018, followed by French pleading guilty the following day.

Bush and French plotted to break into retail businesses in order to steal ATMs between September and October 2017. The couple admitted that they used stolen vehicles to travel to and from the scenes of crimes across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. The couple would marry during their crime spree.

On October 22, 2017, Officers spotted Bush and French leaving a bank robbery on Bel Air Road in Perry Hall, Maryland. and tried to pull the couple over.  Bush drove away in a reckless manner, fleeing into Baltimore City before crashing into another vehicle.  The two ran away, followed by at least two police officers before being caught and arrested.

French faces a maximum sentence of five year in prison for the conspiracy, while Bush faces between four and 10 years in prison for the conspiracy, bank robbery, and gun charges.  A hearing is scheduled for Bush on December 11, 2018, and for French on December 12, 2018.  [Source: WJZ13 News]

Captured: The ‘Barcode Bandit’

In Illinois, the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that a 38-year-old Bolingbrook man has been charged with stealing electronics from the Target store on Kingery Road in Willowbrook. Authorities say that Ryan Stowers, who lives in the 500 block of Castle Court, Bolingbrook, faces one charge of burglary, a Class 2 felony, and one count of misdemeanor retail theft.

Stowers is accused of committing his crimes at the Target store on Kingery Highway in Willowbrook, authorities say. “Once again, we have a defendant who allegedly traveled to DuPage County to commit a crime,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a press release. “Thanks to the well-trained eyes of the asset protection associate, Mr. Stowers’ alleged attempt at obtaining these expensive electronics at a significantly reduced price was thwarted.”

Authorities in DuPage County say the Bolingbrook man brought several items including Swedish Fish and two routers to a self-checkout. “It is alleged that when Stowers scanned the routers he covered the bar code on the routers with his left hand, pretended he was scanning the items, but instead scanned a bar code he had attached to his wrist using rubber bands,” prosecutors say.

As a result, Target’s bar code device scanned the routers as being priced at $49.99 each when in reality one was $99 and the other was $179, prosecutors said. “It is alleged that after the transaction, Stowers left the store with the merchandise. Stowers was immediately detained by a loss prevention officer upon leaving the store. He was arrested and taken into custody last night,” Berlin said. Stowers’ next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 10.    [Source: Bollingbrook Patch]

Good news for retailers this holiday season: Americans are spending on big-ticket items

Americans spent a record $2 billion online on Labor Day, making it one of the biggest online shopping days of the year and giving new hope to retailers ahead of the closely watched holiday season. Online spending on Labor Day grew 23 percent to $2.08 billion, from $1.69 billion a year earlier, as shoppers bought big-ticket items like electronics, appliances, mattresses and grills, according to data from Adobe Analytics being released Friday.

The data paint a picture of growing consumer confidence, as a low unemployment rate and signs of wage growth help boost sales for some of the country’s largest retailers. Walmart, Nordstrom and Home Depot have all posted strong quarterly sales in recent weeks, and economists say they expect that momentum to continue through the end of the year.    [Source: The Washington Post]


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