Law Enforcement, Retail Loss Prevention Professionals Honored at NRF PROTECT

NRF Protect

The National Retail Federation today announced the recipients of its annual loss prevention awards – Ring of Excellence, Law Enforcement Retail Partnership and Retail Case of the Year – during an awards ceremony Thursday evening, June 25, that closed the 2015 NRF PROTECT conference in Long Beach, CA.

The 2015 award recipients are as follows:

Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award:
Sergeant Charles Anderson, St. Paul Police Department, and Senior Special Agent Michael Olson, U.S. Secret Service

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This award acknowledges law enforcement professionals or agencies that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the retail industry in combating fraud, protecting assets and reducing losses.

The 2015 recipients of this award were selected because of their work tracking and apprehending a large criminal enterprise in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area from 2006 – 2014. The crime ring owned and operated 13 mobile phone stores that were used as fronts to funnel the illicit proceeds of their criminal activity. Over 20 people were arrested, federally indicted and convicted for interstate transportation of stolen goods, access device fraud and identity theft.

The partnerships developed in this case also led to the formation of the Twin Cities Organized Retail Crime Association. TCORCA is the first organized retail crime association in Minnesota and has representation from local, state and federal law enforcement/prosecutors as well as retail and financial loss prevention and fraud investigation professionals.

Loss Prevention Case of the Year Award:
Christian Placencia, market investigator, JCPenney

This award is the premier recognition program for retail LP professionals, recognizing investigators whose work has made a significant impact on their companies, communities and industry.

Placencia is recognized for his work uncovering and investigating a lucrative international fence operation in the San Fernando Valley area of California. He played an integral role in the undercover operation conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the LAPD Interstate Task Force and the JCPenney investigative team. In March 2012, the LAPD Interstate Task Force executed search warrants at four different fence locations resulting in the recovery of $750,000 worth of merchandise. The case was adjudicated in 2014 resulting in six arrests. Affected retailers received $120,000 in restitution.

Ring of Excellence Award:
Richard Mellor (Retired)

This award recognizes pioneers in the retail LP community whose honor, integrity and character serve as an example for the loss prevention industry.

Mellor was vice president of loss prevention at NRF from November 2011 until his retirement at the end of 2013, and continued to consult for NRF until July 2014. During his time with NRF he was tasked with leading NRF’s efforts on retail security and safety issues and running the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council, the industry’s premier membership council for senior loss prevention executives from several of the nation’s largest and well-known companies. He also advised the industry on critical issues such as emergency planning and response, organized retail crime and development of protocols for responding to store and shopping mall shootings. Mellor was also chief spokesman on loss prevention, employee and customer safety issues at NRF and has testified before Congress and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

As a retail industry veteran, spending more than 40 years in the asset protection arena, Mellor served as a respected retail loss prevention executive representing a number of companies.

Immediately prior to his time at NRF, Mellor served for 12 years as divisional vice president for Helzberg Diamonds. He also boasts experience serving as the divisional vice president of loss prevention and security for Bon-Ton, regional director of security for Macy’s East and divisional vice president of security for both Woodward and Lothrop and John Wanamaker. During his employment at John Wanamaker he served as president of the Store’s Mutual Association,  for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, where he was charged with oversight and managing of the legal and financial affairs devoted to background checks at each store in the three states.

In 2005, Mellor was awarded NRF’s Silver Plaque in recognition of his visionary leadership and influence on the retail loss prevention community. He was an active member of the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council for more than 25 years, serving as chairman from 2002 to 2005 and on the Council on Diversity for six years.

In his retirement, Mellor provides retail consultant expertise to SheerID, a service provider for Omni-channel eligibility verification, specializing in fraud protection. Mellor began his career in law enforcement as a police officer for the City of Philadelphia.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation.

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