Breaking News in the Industry: January 3, 2018

retail theft ring shoplifting, security in shopping malls. catching shoplifters, prop 47

Retired cop hampers grab-and-dash trio’s get-away

For Blue Grass Mayor Tim Brandenburg, a retired Davenport, Iowa, police officer, his police instincts helped to capture a trio of alleged grab-and-dash thieves at Blaine’s Farm & Fleet in Davenport on Sunday. While walking into the Farm & Fleet store at 8535 Northwest Blvd. about noon, he saw two people, a female and a boy, running out another door, “with their arms full,” Brandenburg said. “I’m just recovering from double hernia surgery so I couldn’t do much,” Brandenburg said Sunday. “I had the boy pinned up against the car, but he was able to escape and squirmed over the roof of the car and took off. That was fine. He was wearing a T-shirt and sweat pants so he wasn’t going far.”

What helped to prevent the trio from getting away is the car, a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, had some kind of mechanical trouble, he said. “She couldn’t get the car started,” Brandenburg said with a chuckle. “She was fiddling with the wires under the hood and people were laughing. I started taking stuff out of the car.” Davenport Police Officer Mike Martin was dispatched to the scene at 12:06 p.m. according to the arrest affidavits he filed. The driver of the car was Donesha Marie Clay, 25, Davenport, according to police. According to the arrest affidavits, Clay drove a 15-year-old boy and woman, identified at Tatiana Aniesha Love, to the Farm & Fleet store where they allegedly stole merchandise valued in excess of $500. When officers searched the car, they also found a red basket belonging to Hy-Vee filled with bottles of liquor. “They had some high-end alcohol in there, including some Crown Royal,” Brandenburg said.  [Source: Globe Gazette]

NYPD cop who makes $173K caught shoplifting

An NYPD officer was caught shoplifting during the Christmas season, but he wasn’t arrested. Sgt. Tamas Balatoni, 49, allegedly switched the price tags on items in a Banana Republic store during the last-minute Christmas rush. A store worker called the police on the officer, who makes $173,000 a year, and officers from the Fifth Precinct responded. While Balatoni was stripped of his gun and badge and assigned to desk duty, he was not arrested. However, the New York Post reported a police source saying that the department was pressuring him to resign. “If he doesn’t retire, he’s probably going to get fired,” the police source said. “He’s an embarrassment to the Police Department and to the profession itself.” Balatoni, who earns a base salary of $108,593 but scored $173,525 in 2017 with overtime pay, had been on special assignment as a driver for Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre before the incident on Thursday.  [Source: The Grio]

No bond for man accused of trying to run over officer in Florida

Here is an update to the story we reported on in yesterday’s LP InsiderA man shot by a local police officer, and accused of attempting to run him over this weekend, has gained enough strength to be moved to the Brevard County Jail. The only visible sign of Christopher Stringer’s gunshot wound was a bandage wrapped around his head. Stringer faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated fleeing and eluding and retail theft. Police said Stringer had been shoplifting at the Hammock Landing Mall in West Melbourne on Friday when a loss-prevention associate at Kohl’s chased him into the parking lot.  According to authorities, when they arrived Stringer tried to run over an officer. Police said the officer fired in self-defense and wounded Stringer, who drove himself to the hospital, where he was arrested. Stringer was transferred to the Brevard County Jail Sunday night. Stringer’s arrest history has generated mug shots that go back at least 15 years, and includes assault, weapon and drug charges. He was out on bail on a drug charge at the time of Friday night’s shooting.  [Source: WESH7 News]

Nordstrom to begin hiring employees for new NYC men’s store

Nordstrom will hire 250 employees for its first stand-alone Men’s Store in Manhattan, which will open on Broadway between West 57th and West 58th Streets in April 2018. The company will also open a New York City flagship store in 2019 at the base of Central Park Tower, an Extell Development Company Project. Sales and support positions will be posted on Wednesday, January 3 and interested applicants are invited to apply for jobs online at careers.nordstrom.com. The retailer also announced Cailin Caro, as store manager of the NYC Men’s Store, and company veteran Chris Wanlass, as vice president of its Manhattan full-line stores.

Sales positions are available in all areas, including men’s apparel, designer, furnishings, shoes and grooming. Hiring will also take place for various support positions in building services, housekeeping, loss prevention, as well as jobs in the store’s food offerings. Nordstrom offers employees a competitive benefits package including a retail discount, medical coverage, 401(k), commuter benefits (up to $100 a month towards transit elections) and paid parental leave. New hires will participate in extensive product-knowledge seminars, selling immersion and a day of shadowing at one of the neighboring full-line stores. To promote the start of employee hiring, the retailer wrapped the exterior of its Men’s Store with larger-than-life ‘help wanted’ banners incorporating witty job descriptions like “Desperately Seeking Sock Svengali,” “Now Hiring: Sneaker Obsessives,” and “People People Wanted.” The recruiting campaign also includes digital and social media placements.  [Source: CISION PR News]

Two citizens help foil shoplifting attempt

Two good Samaritans helped foil an alleged shoplifting incident over the holidays. Rochester, Minnesota, police say around Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. an officer working security was approached by a Scheel’s employee about a man who allegedly had taken ammunition from the store. An officer approached 19-year-old Dylan Sutter, of Rochester, before Sutter fought with the officer and ran through Riddle’s Jewelry store in Apache Mall. Sutter, who had home invasion charges recently, allegedly ran back to the food court when two citizens helped apprehend him. Sutter was charged with felonies for possessions ammunition, possession of a controlled substance. He is facing misdemeanor charges for theft, fleeing an officer on foot, obstruction the legal process and damage to property.  [Source: KIMT3 News]

Credit card counterfeit fraud plummets after EMV settles in US market

Converting the US card system to the global EMV standard involved re-carding almost a billion credit and debit cards, and upgrading more than 4 million point of sale acceptance devices.  US issuers resisted the standard for decades, falling back on the strengths of their predictive scoring; merchants pushed back because of implementation costs.  Two years after implentation, the transition is stabilized and according to Visa, there are specific, measurable results. Since the use of EMV chips was incentivized by the liability shift two years ago, this type of fraud has fallen dramatically. At first glance, the results are promising.

  • Merchants that completed the chip upgrade have seen a drop of 66% in counterfeit card and fraudulent purchases from June 2015 to June 2017, according to a recent security report from Visa.
  • Over 2.3 million US merchants, or about 50% of domestic storefronts, now accept chip cards, a whopping 473% increase since the beginning of the EMV migration in the US Chip payment volume across Visa cards has risen mightily as well.
  • In December 2015, just a shade under $16 billion was facilitated using Visa chip cards. By June 2017, that number had risen to $58.4 billion, a 265% increase.

The next big deal on fraud management will come later this year as card issuers begin to address upgrades to 3DSecure, which will simplify compliance and provide expanded capabilities …but for now, this is a win for the industry.  [Source: PaymentsJournal]

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