Breaking News in the Industry: September 12, 2018

Shoplifter pulls knife after being chased

An accused would-be shoplifter elevated his crime to robbery when he pulled a knife on Walmart loss prevention associates trying to stop him, according to police allegations. Brandon Gallen Floyd got away before state troopers arrived, according to charging documents… but not before dropping his cellphone at the scene and leaving fingerprints behind, state police said. Floyd, 30, of Owings Mills, Maryland, is now a wanted fugitive. Police have obtained an arrest warrant for him, according to charging documents. Once he’s captured he will be charged with robbery, attempted retail theft and two counts of simple assault, court records state.

According to charging documents, troopers were called to the Walmart in Shrewsbury Township about 3:10 a.m. May 8 for a reported robbery. The suspect had fled before troopers arrived, but documents indicate he left behind enough forensic evidence for investigators to positively identify him. State police allege Floyd filled a shopping cart with merchandise then tried to leave Walmart through a rear door without paying. But he set off an alarm when he opened the door, police said. Walmart LP chased Floyd “throughout the store and he attempted to exit with the items through numerous emergency exit doors,” charging documents state. Floyd then abandoned the car and tried again to flee the store. “When confronted by (two) employees the suspect brandished a knife and told the employees not to come any closer,” documents state. Floyd then left Walmart and fled the area in a black sedan, according to police.

Merchandise in the cart he left behind included two Smart Boards, a queen-size air bed, two 43-inch televisions, Remington electric clippers and a portable power bank, documents allege. The items are worth about $1,100, according to police.Troopers were able to lift seven of Floyd’s fingerprints from an exit door, the air-bed box, a Hoverboard box and a package of batteries. A national fingerprint database identified the prints as belonging to Floyd, police said. Troopers then reviewed Walmart surveillance video and confirmed the shoplifter-turned-robber matched Floyd’s description, according to charging documents. Anyone with information on Floyd’s identity can call state police in York at 717.428.1011.   [Source: York Dispatch]

Loss prevention associate injured trying to stop theft

Columbus, Ohio, police are trying to identify two men accused of shoplifting inside of a Macy’s last month. The Columbus Division of Police said the incident occurred on August 21 at 1:10 p.m. at The Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Police said two Hispanic men, ages 17 and 22, were shoplifting inside Macy’s when a loss prevention associate approached them. A struggled ensued with the bigger suspect. The loss prevention associate was thrown to the ground, which caused the associate to break a finger. This incident turned into a robbery because the LP associate was injured. Anyone with information this incident or the identities of both suspects is asked to contact Detective Beard in CPD’s Burglary Unit at 614.645.2091.   [Source: ABC6 News]

Crew-style thefts plague Apple store and other tech stores

Roseville police say a trend of “crew”-style thefts has been on the rise in recent months, with tens of thousands of dollars in electronics being stolen from the city’s Apple store and a number of other cellphone stores. The Roseville Police Department said in a statement Monday evening that the city has had eight reported instances of crew-style thefts from cellphone/tech stores so far in 2018. Four of the eight have taken place at the Apple store inside Westfield Galleria, which had merchandise taken both Sunday and Monday, according to a news release from the police department.

Three suspects also reportedly stole 15 iPhones and fled the Apple Store on Aug. 29, according to Roseville police crime logs. In mid-August, four males in hoodies walked out of the mall with more than $21,000 worth of products. Similar in nature to other Apple store thefts in the state and nationwide, the alleged thieves entered during operating hours, snatched display products and left the store, with the process taking just a few moments.
 A very similar crime occurred in early July at the Apple store in a Fresno mall. Police described that incident as a “large grand theft.”

A week after the four-man Roseville mall theft, authorities reportedly arrested five people, ages 19 through 26, suspected of being involved in an organized retail theft crew. One of the five was a Sacramento resident, one was from Fresno and the rest were from the East Bay Area, Ventura County sheriff’s officials said. These and other recent Roseville cellphone store thefts do not appear to have been armed robberies, the Roseville Police Department said in Monday’s news release. Roseville police are working with mall management to attempt to ward off future thefts and attempts at Westfield Galleria, according to the news release.

It’s not just the Apple store. Roseville’s Monday announcement said that a police pursuit — involving spike strips that deflated all four tires on a suspect vehicle — led to four suspects being apprehended Friday after reportedly stealing cellphones from the T-Mobile store on Pleasant Grove Boulevard. And Aug. 28, a single suspect was taken into custody after allegedly taking several cellphones from the AT&T store on Douglas Boulevard.

Additionally, a woman was accused of purchasing more than $3,000 in goods from the store using a stolen credit card during an $8,000-plus shopping spree, Roseville police said last week. Police advise not to intervene in these crimes, but to be a good witness and provide accurate descriptions of suspects and suspected vehicles to authorities. And, especially at malls and shopping centers, Roseville police reminded shoppers not to leave items of value in their vehicles.   [Source: The Sacramento Bee]

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British Airways breach caused by credit card skimming malware

A security firm says credit card skimming malware installed by hackers on British Airways’  website a few months ago was to blame for a data breach of over 380,000 credit cards. Payments through the airline’s website and mobile app were stolen over the three-week period, but a key clue was that travel information wasn’t affected.

Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at RiskIQ, suspected it might be the same group that was behind the Ticketmaster breach, in which hackers targeted a third-party that loaded code on Ticketmaster’s  various sites. From there, it could siphon off thousands of transactions. This time, Klijnsma said the group took an even more “highly targeted approach,” describing a wave of attacks that the “Magecart” collective has used to steal thousands of records from various sites in recent months. “This British Airways attack was just an extension of this campaign,” he said, prior to the release of his research.

His research, released Tuesday, points to hackers injecting code directly onto the company’s website which the airline used shared on both the website and the mobile app. Using his company’s proprietary web crawling technology, he found that code hosted on the airline’s global site was compromised on August 21, the reported date of the breach, and malicious code was injected without anyone noticing. When a customer clicked bought plane tickets, the code would scrape the credit card information the open payment page and forward the data to a fake site run by the hackers from a private server in Romania. Names, billing address, email address, and all bank card details were collected by the code.   [Source: TechCrunch]

Grocery chain attains zero-waste status

Giant Food Stores LLC’s Cleona, Pennsylvania, store has become the first in the Ahold Delhaize USA chain to reach zero-waste status. As defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, zero waste means that 90 percent or more of a store’s total waste is being diverted from a landfill or incineration. “It’s been a total store effort as we set up each department, so it’s easy to do the right thing when it comes to lessening our environmental impact,” noted Judy Knarr, assistant store manager at the Cleona location and green captain for her district. “We have associates across the store who have embraced our recycling efforts and collectively have changed the store’s culture to achieve this goal.”

The store’s employees have implemented recycling procedures, as well as carefully monitoring what’s sent to its trash compactor so nothing gets thrown away that could potentially be recycled. This includes ensuring that no cardboard is labeled as garbage, filling designated bins with food waste and scraps for organic recycling, and collecting plastic bags, plastic film and empty pharmacy pill bottles to be sent to Giant’s recycling center. The undertaking began in 2012, when the company began promoting best practices to reduce waste within stores. Along with the Cleona associates, shoppers have joined in the effort. “There are a lot of little things we do that get the customers excited and help us drive down waste at the same time,” said Andrea Doygun, the store’s manager. “For example, we clean the empty frosting containers from the bakery, as well as corn crates from produce, and put them out for our customers to take them home and reuse them. Every little thing counts.”   [Source: Progressive Grocer]

Tech start-up opens rival cashier-less demo store

Another tech company has opened a temporary retail outpost in San Francisco to show off its cashier-less technology. Artificial intelligence technology provider Standard Cognition has opened a “proof-of-concept” convenience store in San Francisco that allows consumers to shop and pay without scanning merchandise or stopping to check out. The nearly 2,000-sq.-ft. shop, called Standard Market, sells basic c-store items. It is open to the general public and will remain open indefinitely. Plans call for expanded hours and new features to be added during the coming weeks. Later this year, customers will have the option to pay without the app, using cash or credit card.

Here’s how the system works: Customers download the Standard Checkout app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Entering the store, customers check in through the app, select items from the shelves, and pay electronically through a credit or debit card stored within the app. Customers receive an electronic receipt following their visit. The system correctly matches items to the right shopper, and detects when a shopper returns an item to a shelf or inserts it in a bag or pocket. There is no scanning required, for a friction-less experience.

Meanwhile, Amazon Go opened the doors to its third cashier-less convenience store on Monday in Seattle. And Walmart is launching a new Sam’s Club concept store that is focused on fresh foods and digital technology. The new 32,000 sq. ft., technology-driven store location, which will set up shop in Dallas, will feature the company’s Scan & Go mobile self-checkout system, and digital signage.   [Source: Chain Store Age]

 

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