Breaking News in the Industry: September 18, 2018

Employee says he stole as retaliation for lack of hours, benefits

Court documents uncovered by KIRO 7 reveal Seattle police are investigating an Amazon employee for stealing electronics while fulfilling orders. Police officers were called out to the Amazon Fresh location on South Lander Street by a loss prevention associate who says the employee was caught on camera three times taking small electronics, including phones and external hard drives. That associate says surveillance video showed the employee scanning items for customer orders, then taking additional items off the shelf without scanning them.

According to the documents, the employee admitted that he’d been stealing for more than eight months by hiding the items on his person or in his bag when he left the building. He estimated he walked away with about $12,800 worth of electronics, which he sold on eBay to help deal with his financial difficulties and as a way to supplement his substance abuse.

The documents go on:  “(Employee) said he initially started stealing and reselling the items because of his financial hardships. He went on to say things changed when he learned Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, was the richest person in the world, while he was not allowed to work more hours a week because he may get more benefits, or because there weren’t enough shifts for employees and this ‘definitely added fuel to the fire.’”

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The employee was fired and booked into jail on suspicion of theft and trafficking stolen property. He made an initial court appearance where a judge did not find probable cause to hold him. Seattle police are still investigating the case. KIRO 7 is not naming the employee since he has not been charged. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.   [Source: KIRO7 News]

‘Dog food and wine!’ First grocery store opens after Florence draws mob scene

A crowd bordering on a mob scene formed in Wilmington, North Carolina, as the first grocery store opened in four days, drawing 500 storm-soaked residents to push through the doors. After two days in darkness, the city saw electricity return to a two-block grid on College Avenue. Hurricane Florence victims with Internet access saw the grocery’s notice go up on Facebook. But most saw the line stretching around the side of the store and simply joined it.  As doors opened at 10 a.m., Harris Teeter employees loudly warned shoppers elbowing each other at the door to be civil, and that Wilmington police had nothing better to do than haul unruly people out of the store.

As the doors slid open, cheers filled the rain-soaked parking lot as they pushed inside. “We need wine!” said Nadia McAlear, 24. “Dog food and wine!” said her mother, Sarah Mason. Since Florence struck, the city has endured a total blackout with not a single business open. With supplies of peanut butter and crackers running low, storm victims relished a chance for a fresh meal.. if only a cold cut sandwich. Cars parked on the sidewalks in hopes of a bag of charcoal. In this disaster area, the Teeter provides.   [Source: The News & Observer]

Reno, Nevada conducts FAA-approved drone delivery flight

Drone company Flirtey completed its first delivery flight under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot program in Reno, Nevada, the city announced. The multi-drone delivery demonstration was conducted under the FAA’s Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP), which gave 10 local governments the authority to fast-track regulatory approvals for drone delivery in order to collect data for more widespread implementation.

During the test, a single pilot simultaneously flew several Flirtey drones to deliver automated external defibrillators. The tests used the company’s next-generation drone, designed for heavier payloads over long distances. Flirtey founder and CEO Matthew Sweeny said in a statement that the test was a “major milestone toward scaling drone delivery nationwide,” and touted the potential for delivery of medical supplies and equipment in emergencies.  [Source: SupplyChainDIVE]

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Police arrest woman twice in 7 hours for shoplifting, baring breasts

A Youngstown, Ohio, woman has been arrested for the second time in a 7 hour period and is facing charges for shoplifting and indecent exposure. 56-year-old Angela Orr was arrested for the second time at noon after allegedly attempting to shoplift two pairs of shoes and a package of socks from Burlington Coat Factory on State Route 224. Police say she was caught trying to stuff them into her purse. Officers followed Orr outside, where she was arrested. Orr had already been arrested and released once early this morning. She was charged with theft and indecency after allegedly exposing herself to employees at the Walmart on Doral Road when they confronted her about the suspected shoplifting around 5:30 Friday morning.

According to police reports, Orr and another suspect, 51-year-old Kendall Johnson, can be seen on CCTV attempting to exit the store with items they didn’t pay for. Those items included men’s clothing and a hoverboard. When confronted by Walmart employees, Orr allegedly began pulling down her pants and claiming she was handicapped.  Orr then allegedly lifted up her shirt in the direction of a maintenance employee and said, “you want to see my titties,” before she and Johnson fled the store. The pair were stopped by officers a short time later and taken into custody. Police say as they were walking around the truck they could see a box containing a hoverboard that appeared to be brand new. Johnson was issued a summons on the charge of theft. Orr is now facing multiple charges of theft and one charge of public indecency. They are both scheduled to appear in court on September 18.   [Source: WFMJ21 News]

Pair charged with using baby carriage to shoplift

Police in Massachusetts say a pair of suspected shoplifters used an unique way to disguise their theft on Thursday… a baby carriage that had a pillow in place of a baby. Police arrested Terrell D. Paniss, 26, of Bellingham, and Cassandra Pessini, 22, of Millville, after they fled Sears at the Natick Mall at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Earlier on Wednesday, Sears store loss prevention began watching Paniss and Pessini as they pushed a baby carriage throughout the store. The pair went into the Lands’ End section of the store and LP associates saw them take several items of children’s clothing and hide them in the carriage where a baby would sit, police Lt. Cara Rossi said on Thursday. The pair began to leave the store. When store LP tried to stop them, they ran, pushing the baby carriage ahead of them. Store loss prevention associates called police and the suspects were stopped near Total Wine on Rte. 27. Inside the carriage, police discovered the stolen clothing, Rossi said. “We’re not sure if they have a child, or just the carriage,” said Rossi. “They did steal children’s clothing.”   [Source: MetroWest Daily News]

Henri Bendel stores closing after 123-year-run

The luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing. L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said that the 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The Columbus, Ohio, company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential.

Henry Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol. In the 1960s, its in-house illustrator was a young artist named Andy Warhol. The company’s flagship store on New York’s 5th Avenue, steps away from Trump Tower, is a landmark in Manhattan.   [Source: CBS MoneyWatch]

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