Breaking News in the Industry: May 15, 2018

working in loss prevention

More than 40 iPhones stolen from store; police searching for 2 suspects

Rochester Police are searching for two men after more than 40 iPhones were stolen from Target North in Rochester, Minnesota. Just before 10 p.m.  Saturday, an employee noticed two men who didn’t work at the store leaving the storage area and stockroom meant only for employees. The witness said the men were pushing a shopping cart with a suitcase in it. When the employee asked what they were doing in the stockroom, the men replied that they “were good.” A press release said they exited the store quickly with the shopping cart and suitcase. After some investigating, Target employees discovered the men entered the stockroom and used a bolt cutter to open a locked cabinet and put more than 40 iPhones into the suitcase before leaving the store. Police are searching for one black male in his 20’s with medium-length hair with dreadlocks, a thin build, and baggy pants. The other suspect is described as another black male in his 20’s with shorter hair and unshaven. ABC 6 News also reached out to Target and a spokesperson on the phone told us they have provided images and video to police to help with the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Rochester police. This is an ongoing investigation.  [Source: ABC6 News]

Police officer charged with shoplifting

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer was charged on Thursday with shoplifting food seven times from the Harris Teeter near SouthPark mall in south Charlotte, North Carolina. Officer Samuel Yaravitz was arrested and charged with seven counts of misdemeanor larceny from the store as recently as Wednesday, police said. Jail records show only six counts of misdemeanor larceny and that the 43-year-old Yaravitz is free on $6,000 bail. He is suspended from the department without pay, Chief Kerr Putney said at an afternoon news conference at police headquarters. “We are charged with upholding and enforcing the law and will continue to hold ourselves accountable when we violate it,” Putney said.
 “I am disappointed that a member of our department has fallen short of our organization’s high standards,” the chief said. “… It’s unconscionable.”

The shoplifting occurred between Feb. 13 and May 9, according to a statement released by police. Police did not disclose the type of food involved. Putney said CMPD detectives began investigating Yaravitz on Wednesday but would not say how he came to be a suspect. Yaravitz was in a CMPD patrol car on at least several of the occasions, according to the chief. “CMPD immediately launched a criminal and internal investigation after receiving information that a CMPD officer was shoplifting at a local supermarket,” according to CMPD’s statement.
 “Evidence and information gathered during the investigation allowed detectives to identify Officer Yaravitz as the suspect. Officer Yaravitz was arrested and charged with seven counts of larceny.” Yaravitz, a patrol officer assigned to the Providence Division, was hired by CMPD on June 23, 1999.  [Source: The Charlotte Observer]

Man used baby stroller to steal TVs from department store

A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, man used a baby stroller to steal televisions and other electronics from a Lower Nazareth department store, police said Sunday. Colonial Regional Police say they stopped Raul Ortiz-Ortiz, 29, of the 700 block of East Fourth Street on Saturday afternoon at the Target in the Lower Nazareth Commons. Police said that between April 26 and Saturday, Ortiz-Ortiz took numerous televisions and other electronics, removed their security devices and placed them in the bottom of the baby carriage. Ortiz-Ortiz is charged with felony retail theft, receiving stolen property, tampering with security devices and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arraigned by District Judge John Capobianco of Nazareth and sent to Northampton County Prison. A prison official said Ortiz-Ortiz was released after posting 10 percent of $5,000 bail, pending a future preliminary hearing.  [Source: The Morning Call]

Two charged with shoplifting, found with ‘snips’

Police said two women were arrested Monday and charged in an alleged shoplifting incident at Destination XL in Westport, Connecticut. According to a news release, police responded to the store after loss prevention associates reported having observed two women shoplifting inside the store. LP associates said both women left when confronted, however a third suspect had also entered the store and attempted to distract store personnel by asking questions. She then exited the store and left in a vehicle. Police said the associates were able to provide police dispatchers with a description of the suspected vehicle and the registration plate. Officers located and stopped the vehicle shortly after.

According to police, the woman who allegedly attempted to distract store employees was the driver of the vehicle. She was identified as Asia Bailey, 39, of Bridgeport, police said. Police said the passenger was identified as Dana Williams, 31, of Stratford, who was allegedly seen placing items into her bag. The third suspect had left on foot and was not located, police said. When patted down for weapons, police said officers located a pair of “snips,” a tool commonly used to remove store tags, in Bailey’s front pocket. Officers subsequently located a second pair in the glove compartment of the vehicle. Police said both women initially denied having participated in the shoplifting incident and having been with a third person. “During the course of investigation, both Bailey and Williams lied to officers numerous times in an attempt to redirect the investigation of the shoplifting,” Lieutenant Jillian Cabana said in a release. Both women were arrested and charged with interfering with an officer: non-assaultive, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and possession of a shoplifting device.  [Source: Westport Patch]

Man allegedly pulls knife on LP during theft

Birmingham Police in Alabama are asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect wanted for stealing items from a department store and pulling a knife on loss prevention associates who attempted to stop him. The suspect entered the Belk store in the 200 block of Summit Boulevard. He attempted to run out of the store without paying for several items, according to Birmingham Police. Loss prevention attempted to stop the suspect, but he pulled out a knife and continued to leave the location. According to police, the suspect got into a white Toyota Corolla that pulled up to the front of the store driven by an unknown person. The suspect drove away with the stolen merchandise. If there is anyone who has information pertaining to the case please contact Crime Stoppers at 205.254.7777 or Birmingham Police Department Robbery Detectives at 205.254.1753.    [Source: CBS42 News]

I want my data back, data back, data back: Chili’s hit by data breach

If you have eaten at Chili’s restaurants within the past two months, then you might want to check your credit report and card statements. Chili’s parent company, Brinker International, announced over the weekend that customers’ payment information might have been exposed in a malware attack. rinker did not disclose how many customers were affected or how hackers gained unauthorized access to its systems. “While the investigation is still ongoing, we believe that malware was used to gather payment card information, including credit or debit card numbers and cardholder names, from our payment-related systems for in-restaurant purchases at certain Chili’s restaurants,” the Dallas-based company said in a statement Saturday. Brinker said Chili’s does not collect Social Security numbers, dates of birth or state identification numbers full date of birth, so that data was not compromised. Chili’s is the latest restaurant to suffer a data breach. Panera Bread recently acknowledged that data belonging to some customers were vulnerable on its website for at least eight months. The data included names, addresses and the last four digits of credit card numbers. Earlier this year Applebee’s found malware on its payment systems in 167 locations across 15 states, potentially exposing customer credit card data. The barrage of data breaches at restaurants and other businesses highlights the heightened risks of identity theft and the continued vulnerabilities presented by payment systems, databases of customer information, and mobile apps.

Brinker said it first learned of the breach on Friday, the same day it first disclosed the breach. The company said it has notified law enforcement agencies and is working with independent experts to investigate to investigate the issue. Brinker pointed to Friday’s statement after being asked about updates on the data breach.While it is not clear how many of Chili’s 1,600 locations were affected, Brinker still urged customers “out of an abundance of caution” to take steps to protect their information. Those recommendations included placing a fraud alert on your credit file with the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and reviewing personal bank account information for suspicious activity. The company said it is also working to provide credit monitoring and fraud resolution service for the customers who may have had their data stolen. “We sincerely apologize to those who may have been affected and assure you we are working diligently to resolve this incident,” the company said in its Friday notice. On Brinker’s website, the company touts Chili’s as a “technology pioneer leading the industry in the creation of the digital guest experience.” In 2013, Chili’s began rolling out tablets at tables in their restaurants, allowing customers to browse the menu and pay their bills. Every Chili’s restaurant table, numbering more than 70,000 now has a tablet, according to Brinker’s website. Tabletop Media, the company behind the devices, did not respond to a request for comment. Under the heading “Technology Innovation,” Brinker’s webpage on Chili’s reads: “Chili’s approach to technology innovation is simple – build an infrastructure and keep the digital Guest experience at its core.”    [Source: The Washington Post]

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