Breaking News in the Industry: September 19, 2018

Shoplifters leave scene, roll vehicle

Two people in Nebraska are in trouble with the law after police say they tried to steal from a gas station and fled the scene. Around 9:45 p.m. Monday, a shoplifting was reported at the Kwik Shop at Cotner and Holdrege. Then just before 10 p.m., Lincoln Police said the suspects crashed their car in the north entrance of Bethany Park, striking a light pole. Police said both suspects left the scene but were found. The driver was taken into custody. The passenger was cited for shoplifting.   [Source: 1011 Now]

Employee injured attempting to stop shoplifting, one arrested

A 45-year-old employee of Menard’s was struck by a vehicle and injured Saturday while confronting a man believed to be shoplifting. Police Lt. Brent Wasson said the suspect, a 35-year-old male, was seen on video taking approximately $30 in merchandise when he was approached by the employee. The suspect then fled the store and entered a 1998 Ford Explorer in the parking lot. The employee followed closely and went to the back of the vehicle to record the vehicle’s information and license plate number.

The suspect put the vehicle in reverse and struck the employee, knocking him to the ground and injuring his shoulder, Wasson said. Officers later located the suspect, who admitted to being at the store, but denied shoplifting and claimed to have no knowledge of striking the employee with his vehicle. Officers arrested the 35-year-old male and charged him with felony aggravated assault and battery.   [Source: County17 News]

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Yahoo’s holding company will pay $47M to settle biggest data breach in history

The holding company that was once known as Yahoo will pay $47 million to settle three separate lawsuits over its mishandling of the biggest data breach in human history. In a new filing on Monday, Altaba called the settlements a “significant milestone” in its effort to clear the company’s legal liabilities related to the case. TechCrunch first reported on the filing.

Hackers broke into Yahoo’s servers twice, in 2013 and 2014, stealing personal information on 3 billion accounts. This included encrypted passwords, security questions and answers, email addresses, names and phone numbers. The company didn’t tell the public about the data breaches until late 2016, in the midst of its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon Communications.

Verizon chopped $350 million from its offer, buying the company last year for $4.48 billion. It split the company into two, taking its Internet assets in-house under its Oath division, and putting its investment holdings in a separate company called Altaba. In the fallout from the breach, Yahoo launched an internal investigation and found then-CEO Marissa Mayer and other top executives knew about the breach but didn’t tell the public or shareholders. Mayer lost her equity compensation bonuses from 2016 and 2017, and the company’s top lawyer resigned.

Federal investigators tied the data breaches back to state-sponsored Russian hackers, prosecuting one man who was sentenced to five years in prison. Investors and consumers sued. “…We have reached an agreement in principle (subject to court approval) to settle the consumer class action litigation related to the Yahoo data breach,” Altaba said in its latest filing. “We have also received final court approval of the securities class action settlement, and we have negotiated an agreement to settle the shareholder derivative litigation (subject to court approval). … Together, these developments mark a significant milestone in cleaning up our contingent liabilities related to the Yahoo data breach.”   [Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal]

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WATCH: Veteran prosecutor charged with shoplifting cosmetics

Veteran Broward County, Florida, prosecutor Stacey Honowitz stuck $42.93 worth of mascara, lipstick and other cosmetics into her purse and tried to walk out of Publix without paying for them, police say. A loss prevention associate saw her, and it was caught on camera. And now she’s been charged with a misdemeanor. Honowitz, 56, was stopped Saturday leaving the Publix at 18995 Biscayne Blvd. in Aventura, according to a police report. She was suspended from her $108,000-a-year job Monday. Her lawyer, Miami attorney Jayne Weintraub, called it a big misunderstanding.

Honowitz had been shopping with her parents and daughter Saturday and spent $124.16 on groceries. “She inadvertently did not pay for the cosmetics when she checked out,” Weintraub said. “She did not even leave the store after she paid. She then purchased lottery tickets and was chatting with another customer. There was no intent to commit a crime at all.”

Honowitz, a supervisor in the sex crimes and child abuse unit, has built a reputation over 30 years as a tenacious prosecutor and advocate for victim’s rights. She appears frequently on national news and commentary shows to discuss crime stories, child safety and related issues. “She is highly regarded and respected in the legal community for her honesty and professionalism,” said former prosecutor David Frankel, who has known Honowitz for more than 30 years. “She has never been afraid to fight for the rights of children in an area most people would rather not know anything about. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of children who are safer and whose lives are better because of her.”

Honowitz has self-published two books aimed at educating children about avoiding molestation: “My Privates are Private” and “Genius With a Penis: Don’t Touch.” A spokeswoman for the Broward State Attorney’s Office said Honowitz will be paid using her vacation time during her suspension until her office’s administrative investigation is complete.

She has accumulated more than four weeks of vacation and personal leave time. The shoplifting charge is a misdemeanor that will be handled by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Police did not take Honowitz into custody, but she was given a “promise to appear” ticket and allowed to go home with the groceries she purchased. The beauty products were returned to the store.   [Source: SunSentinal]

Thief has tough road ahead

A 19-year-old local man who racked up three felony convictions in two jurisdictions in about a year deserved more than just a probationary sentence, a district judge said Monday. “You know the cliché, ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?'” Judge Chris Seldin asked Kaden Gustin. Seldin pointed out that when Gustin was first arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise while working at an Aspen retail store, he let him out of jail on bond only to have Gustin go out and allegedly commit more felonies in Pitkin and Eagle counties. And that was despite the fact that he’d been in trouble as a juvenile and should have known what was in store if he kept committing crimes, Seldin said. “Evidently those efforts made in the juvenile system were not enough to keep you out of the adult system,” Seldin said. “You have entered the adult system in a fairly spectacular way … kind of like a cannonball landing in a pool. You made quite a splash.”

After the first arrest, Gustin was later picked up and charged with stealing cash from a friend’s mother, who let him borrow her car. He also was charged in Eagle County with unspecified charges that led to a recent felony conviction in that jurisdiction, prosecutor Don Nottingham said. Gustin pleaded guilty in early August to two felony counts of theft in Pitkin County. On Monday, Seldin gave Gustin the same sentence he received in Eagle County — four years of probation — though with one significant difference: Gustin must spend nine months in a rigorous halfway house-type environment called Garfield County Community Corrections. That program — which is notoriously difficult to complete — will teach valuable life skills Gustin doesn’t appear to possess, Seldin said.  The three felony convictions on his record are going to make the rest of his life — in particular getting a job — difficult, Seldin said. “Man, that’s tough,” the judge said. The two four-year probation sentences will run concurrently, Nottingham said.   [Source: The Aspen Times]

Black Friday projected to be busiest shopping day again for 2018

Tyco Retail Solutions today announced the ShopperTrak list of the most anticipated holiday shopping days of 2018, and the top 10 busiest days to bring in nearly half of a retailer’s seasonal shopper traffic. Black Friday, November 23, earned the top spot again this year. Super Saturday, December 22and Saturday, December 15 are expected to be the second and third busiest shopping days, respectively.

“Our historical analysis indicates that Black Friday is again and has been the biggest shopper traffic day of the year, and each Saturday in December gets progressively busier as you approach Christmas Day,” said Brian Field, senior director of retail consulting practice at ShopperTrak. “The Thanksgiving Day weekend — including Black Friday as the busiest day, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 24 as the fifth busiest day — will be a crucial span of days for retailers as they approach the holiday season.”

These key dates account for nearly 45 percent of all shopper traffic for the entire holiday season, and so it will be essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to align their staffing, inventory and merchandising efforts in relation to these dates. “Ensuring that key merchandise is in stores especially during these ten days and scheduling associates for the right days at the right times will allow retailers to provide their customers with the intended experience and keep them coming back well beyond the holidays, added Field.”   [Source: PR Newswire]

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