Breaking News in the Industry: October 10, 2018

Group of six snatch $11,000 in designer purses

The following information comes from the Northbrook, Illinois, Police Department as a record of incidents reported to the police and those arrested on criminal charges, which represent accusations that are often dropped or reduced. Updated information may be available from the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court. Everyone arrested is presumed to be innocent unless found guilty in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

Staff at the Northbrook Court Louis Vuitton reported around 3:30 p.m. on October 3 that five men and one woman described as in their early 20’s stole three purses from a display worth about $11,000 before fleeing the area in one foreign type vehicle and another sedan. Police are continuing to investigate. (Last week, four women or girls stole about a dozen purses from another Northbrook store.)     [Source: Northbrook Patch]

Apple contracts police to deter thefts at retail stores

Apple is expanding its efforts to deter thieves from their retail stores in California, as well as beefing up security to prevent further loss. The tech giant has moved to contract local police to provide “tighter security” at its stores. These officers are paid by Apple and are privately contracted, meaning that no tax dollars are at use.

Apple already has security and police guarding its stores across the country, but this new contact is an extension of those efforts in response to safety concerns at California stores. While many malls offer their own security, their power is greatly limited, and once robbers escape the mall, there’s nothing the mall security can do.

Thus far, the Sacramento police officers contracted by Apple have helped to put customers at ease, and stores have been robbery free for several weeks, according to CBS Sacramento.   [Source: Security Today]

New tech uses product ‘fingerprints’ to detect counterfeits

Entrupy has launched a fingerprinting solution to counteract the growth of counterfeit products, according to a press release. The company’s company’s tech uses computer vision techniques, artificial intelligence and machine learning to verify the authenticity of designer and luxury goods through a fingerprint-like match stored in the cloud.

The Entrupy Fingerprinting system, which relies on a mobile app, has been tested by an upscale retail chain in the United Kingdom. The retailer, which Entrupy did not identify, used the system on high-value goods to prevent returns fraud. Verify returns instantly at the point of intake expedites returns and detects if a replica product has been substituted, according to Entrupy.

The company said the system has been tested in diverse categories, including apparel, cosmetics, luxury goods, electronics and industrial parts. Brands currently authenticated include Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Coach, Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Saint Laurent, according to Entrupy’s website.  [Source: RetailDIVE]

Men in bonnets shoplift thousands from lingerie store

Police in Spartanburg, South Carolina, say two men wearing bonnets shoplifted thousands of dollars in merchandise from a Victoria’s Secret store. The incident happened Monday evening at WestGate Mall in Spartanburg, according to a Spartanburg Police Department incident report.

The manager of Victoria’s Secret/PINK told officers she was alerted by the machine at the store’s entrance that detects when merchandise is being shoplifted, according to the report. n employee told officers that when she was cleaning up, she saw a man wearing a white shirt, blue jeans and a bonnet on his head, the report states. Another customer saw two men with bonnets on their heads “grab several thousand dollars worth” of merchandise and clothes from the front table in the store and clothing that was hanging up beside the table, police said.

There was surveillance footage of the theft; however, the manager told officers it would not be available from corporate until later. The two bonnet-clad suspects were seen running toward and then through Bed, Bath & Beyond, then getting into an SUV outside the store. The police department redacted the total dollar amount of the stolen items in the report.   [Source: The State]

Consumers getting refunds from record fraud judgment

The government has obtained a record $1.3 billion civil court judgment against AMG Services, Inc. and Scott Tucker on charges they operated a massive payday lending scheme. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) say $505 million of that amount is being returned to consumers the government says were victims of deception. The defendants were charged with violating both the FTC Act and the Truth in Lending Act.

The case goes back to 2012 when the FTC charged the company told borrowers they would only pay a one-time fee plus the loan amount. Instead, the government said AMG made multiple withdrawals from consumers’ bank accounts, charging a new finance fee with each withdrawal. Because of that, consumers who borrowed from AMG paid far more for the loans than they had originally agreed to pay.

Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York concluded prosecution of Tucker and his attorney by securing convictions on criminal charges. Tucker was sentenced to 16 years in prison. U.S. Bancorp, the parent company of U.S. Bank, was fined $528 million for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. Prosecutors said it failed to alert law enforcement to Tucker’s suspicious banking activities.

The FTC and DOJ say they are using the money obtained through the civil and criminal cases to make refunds to consumers who took out loans before January 2013 from any AMG company. Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check. Consumers should also guard against telephone calls from people claiming to be from the government, seeking information or funds to facilitate payment. That’s an old scam trick.

The FTC says it has the companies’ business records and will use them to identify consumers eligible for a refund and will send the check. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks.While it is not necessary to contact the FTC, consumers who have questions may call the agency at 866.730.8147.   [Source: Consumer Affairs]

Two men shoplift with 3 children, baby carrier in tow

Two Illinois men were seen leading three children, a baby carrier and carts of stolen merchandise out of a Walmart. Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities reports two black men in their mid to late 30s were walking out of a Walmart on Sept. 29 when store security confronted them. The men had three children, all of whom appeared to be younger than four years old. One of the men also had a covered baby carrier on his cart.

The men refused to cooperate with store loss prevention, according to the report. One men pulled the children into a 2018 Toyota Camry rental car by the arms. The other “tossed the carrier in the back seat.” None of the children were secured. They then left the store. The baby carrier was covered, but LP said they think baby clothes were stashed under the cover. The report says anyone with information can submit a tip anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 309.762.9500 or submitting a Web Tip. Tippers could receive up to $1,000 in rewards.   [Source: WQAD8 News]

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