Breaking News in the Industry: September 21, 2018

$70,000 in gold jewelry reported stolen

About 50 men’s rings , a mix of new, vintage, and white and yellow gold, worth $70,000 were allegedly stolen in broad daylight Monday from a jewelry store. Officers responded to Villa Iris Imports, 618 Third St., at 4:27 p.m., according to Napa Police. The victim, who did not see the alleged theft happen, believes one man distracted him while an accomplice reportedly stole the rings. The case is under investigation.   [Source: Napa Valley Register]

Shoplifter sucker punches employee

A would-be shoplifter swung his sticky fingers into the face of an Astoria, New York, Rite Aid employee who noticed him trying to sneak stolen goods out of the drugstore, police said Wednesday. The man attempted to leave the Rite Aid at 30th Avenue and 33rd Street without paying for his goods on Aug. 14 at about 10:30 a.m., authorities said. When an employee tried to stop him, he punched the worker in the face before dropping the items and sprinting from the store, police said.

The employee suffered a bruising and swelling from the attack. An NYPD spokeswoman told Patch it was unclear what the man was trying to steal. Police estimated the suspect to be between 30 and 40 years old. He was last seen wearing all dark clothing. Anyone with information about the robbery attempt is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800.577.8477.   [Source: Astoria Patch]

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Amazon will consider opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021

Amazon is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, according to people familiar with matter, an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains like 7-Eleven, quick-service sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, and mom-and-pop pizzerias and taco trucks.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos sees eliminating meal-time logjams in busy cities as the best way for Amazon to reinvent the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, where most spending still occurs. But he’s still experimenting with the best format: a convenience store that sells fresh prepared foods as well as a limited grocery selection similar to 7-Eleven franchises, or a place to simply pick up a quick bite to eat for people in a rush, similar to the U.K.-based chain Pret a Manger, one of the people said.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment. The company unveiled its first cashierless store near its headquarters in Seattle in 2016 and has since announced two additional sites in Seattle and one in Chicago. Two of the new stores offer only a limited selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks, showing that Amazon is experimenting with the concept simply as a meal-on-the-run option. Two other stores, including the original AmazonGo, also have a small selection of groceries, making it more akin to a convenience store.   [Source: Yahoo! Finance]

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Shoplifting arrest turns into drug charges

An Easton, Pennsylvania, man accused of shoplifting $40 worth of shorts is now facing felony drug charges after authorities allegedly found Fentanyl, crack and meth among his belongings. Palmer Township police charged Luis R. Gonzalez, of East Wilkes Barre Street, with two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, following his arrest outside the Palmer Park Mall in June. District Judge Jacqueline Taschner arraigned the 29-year-old Wednesday, setting bail at $200,000.

Palmer Township police were dispatched to the Boscov’s department store on June 25 for a report of a man in custody for shoplifting. Store loss prevention told police the suspect also allegedly had drugs in his possession, according to court records. LP associates said they watched as Gonzalez removed three pairs of shorts from their hangars and allegedly walked out of the store hiding two of them, according to records. As a store LP associate searched Gonzalez’s bag for any other stolen items, he allegedly found hypodermic needles.

During a search at police headquarters, authorities allege they found nearly 5 grams of methamphetamine, more than 5 grams of Fentanyl, 7 grams of crack and a tablet of the painkiller Buprenorphine Hydrochloride. Police said they also found three scales, several needles and the cargo shorts. Authorities said they discovered an active arrest warrant for Gonzalez out of Warren County, N.J. Court records do not indicate the nature of those charges.

In Pennsylvania, Gonzalez now faces two felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, three misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, a single misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a single summary count of retail theft. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 3.   [Source: WFMZ69 News]

Suspect arrested for armed robberies and shootings and he’s only 13

North Carolina police arrested a 13-year-old in a recent string of Charlotte armed robberies in which two people were shot. One victim was shot at South Tryon Wireless and Fashion in the 2700 block of South Tryon Street on the night of Sept. 11, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) said in a news release Thursday night. The other victim was shot the night before in the 2900 block of South Tryon, CMPD said. Police have not released the conditions of the victims.

The robberies began on the night of Sept. 2 when a food deliverer reported being robbed at gunpoint in the 3600 block of Griffith Street, near Interstate 77 south of Remount Road. A food deliverer was robbed in the same block on the night of Sept. 13, according to police. On the afternoon of Sept. 15, My-T Barber Shop in the 400 block of Remount Road was robbed.

Police charged the teen with various counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

 Police are not saying if they’re looking for additional suspects in the robberies. “The investigations are still active and ongoing,” CMPD said in the news release.   [Source: The Charlotte Observer]

This store lost $100K to shoplifters last year. A manager just helped nab one suspect

Police said an observant Dollar General manager in Illinois is credited with providing the information that led to an arrest Monday in a shoplifting case. Sharnetta Johnson saw someone stealing from the store in Alorton and called police. When Detective Marcus R. Smith arrived, he said Johnson was able to provide him with enough details to catch the suspect.

“She remained calm and allowed the suspect to leave the store and get into a vehicle,” Smith said, of Johnson, the store manager. “Miss Johnson wrote down the license plate number to the vehicle and got a full description of the suspect. She also provided video surveillance footage.” Smith arrested Tahonna G. Betts, 36, who has a history of theft charges, the same day. She has been charged with misdemeanor theft.

Smith said the store manager told him that last year the location had suffered a $100,000 loss due to retail theft. The detective noted the Alorton Police Department receives lots of calls related to thefts at the store.

“Theft to this degree financially, if not stopped, would bring a store to its knees,” Smith said. “The village of Alorton barely has businesses to support its tax base. The Dollar General is a valuable business in the village of Alorton. We need it to remain here. So, Ms. Johnson’s efforts and her presence in the store is win-win for both the village and the store.”

When the detective returned to the store with the stolen items, he thanked Johnson for her assistance in the apprehension of the suspect. He asked Johnson if she ever considered becoming a police officer, noting Alorton is looking for an officer. That’s when he learned she had already submitted an application to the Alorton Police Department for a part-time job. “I don’t think Miss Johnson will have any trouble with the physical aspects of law enforcement nor the bare basic minimal physical requirements to get into the police academy,” Smith said. “She is a former track star from East St. Louis Senior High School where her track record still stands,” Smith noted. Johnson could not talk to the BND because of a Dollar General corporate policy. Angela Petkovic, a spokeswoman for Dollar General, said the company “respectfully declined to allow for an employee to be interviewed” for this story.   [Source: Belleville News-Democrat]


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