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NRF Big Show (Virtual)
Jan. 2021

Jan. 22, 2021

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March 2-4, 2021

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April 25-28, 2021

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June 6-8, 2021

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Elizabeth Giovanni promoted to Project Manager, Loss Prevention, Process Improvement for AutoZone

Elizabeth has been with AutoZone for nearly two years. Before her promotion to Project Manager, Loss Prevention, Process Improvement, she served as Regional Loss Prevention Manager for the company. Prior to joining AutoZone in 2019, she spent nearly three years with RandStad USA. Earlier in her career, she held roles with Swarovski, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Stop and Shop. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






RILA Announces New Dates & Location for 2021 AP Conference

Faced with unprecedented challenges over the past ten months, the retail asset protection community has demonstrated unparalleled leadership, an unwavering commitment to sharing best practices, and a steadfast desire to listen and learn from each other. RILA's Retail Asset Protection Conference will be your first meaningful opportunity to experience all of these things in-person.

With this in mind, we are excited to announce that we're moving the Retail Asset Protection Conference to August 17-20, 2021 so we can all be together safely. And, we're headed to the Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando.

There's another exciting change to share! The 2021 Conference will be co-located with RILA's supply chain event - LINK2021: The Retail Supply Chain Conference. You will still experience the full Retail Asset Protection Conference, with the best educational content the Industry has to offer, the most senior-level AP executives to network with and more ways to showcase your technology, services, and solutions.

Learn more here.

IAI introduces the Elite Training Event Series for 2021

This event will include three virtual events along with the main event culminating with the Elite Training Days annual conference.

IAI EDUCATE kicks off on Friday, Jan. 22 with a line-up of industry-leading academics and practitioners. All presentations will be targeted at discussing how to take the findings from research and apply them into a field environment.

This will be an entirely VIRTUAL event and will be FREE for all to attend! Click here to register.

Protests & Violence

DOJ Court Filing: "The insurrection is still in progress"
U.S. says Capitol rioters meant to 'capture and assassinate' officials - filing

Federal prosecutors offered an ominous new assessment of last week's siege of the U.S. Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters on Thursday, saying in a court filing that rioters intended "to capture and assassinate elected officials."

"Strong evidence, including Chansley's, the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was famously photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of Vice President Mike Pence in the chamber of the U.S. Senate, own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States government," prosecutors wrote.

The prosecutors' assessment comes as prosecutors and federal agents have begun bringing more serious charges tied to violence at the Capitol, including revealing cases Thursday.

In Chansley's case, prosecutors said the charges
"involve active participation in an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States government," and warned that "the insurrection is still in progress" as law enforcement prepares for more demonstrations in Washington and state capitals. reuters.com

Secret Service launches massive security operation to protect Biden inauguration
The high-alert security posture is starting six days earlier than planned to coordinate roles for the FBI, National Guard, U.S. Marshals Service and a host of other federal agencies that will fall under Secret Service command.

"Everyone can just rest assured they are throwing the kitchen sink at this event," said one Secret Service official involved in protective planning who was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The accelerated timetable has also allowed authorities to fortify the city and deploy officers in anticipation of potential violence on Sunday, when pro-Trump groups are calling for armed marches in Washington and the 50 state capitals.

Veteran Secret Service and Homeland Security officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share their worries described a level of concern unlike anything in their careers. Threats they fear include a plot by armed groups to encircle the White House or the U.S. Capitol and the inauguration event, as well as the possibility that gunmen could stage coordinated attacks against less-fortified targets in the city.

The siege at the Capitol has put Secret Service planners and their federal partners in feverish reassessment mode to consider all the ways they can mitigate anything like a repeat of Jan. 6 - or something worse.

'We'll surround the White House & kill any Democrat that steps on the ...lawn'

Secret Service's Nationwide call for 'All hands on deck'
 'Executing members of Congress' - Protest Permits - 'Securing the entire city'

Read the whole story about the Secret Service's massive security operation

FBI DC Update:
80 Cases Charges - 34 Arrested - 200 Open Case Files - 140,000 Digital Media Tips

Acting US AG Jeffrey A. Rosen Attends Security Briefing at FBI's Strategic Information & Operations Center on Inauguration Planning & Recent Capitol Attack
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen attended a briefing today at the FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) on the recent attack on the Capitol building and law enforcement preparations for the upcoming presidential inauguration. Following the briefing, he addressed the assembled law enforcement partners and thanked them for their efforts.

Americans can be proud of the effort the men and women of the Justice Department and our federal, state, and local partners have made in the days since the attack on the Capitol building," said Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

During the SIOC visit,
Rosen was briefed by federal, state, and local partners on specifics of the security plans for this week and next.  Following that security briefing, Mr. Rosen met with a team of FBI leaders for another update on the investigations concerning the attack on the Capitol building.

To date,
approximately 80 cases have been charged and 34 individuals have been arrested for their alleged criminal conduct during the attack on the Capitol Building. The FBI has opened approximately 200 subject case files and received about 140,000 digital media tips from the public. Notably, many of the tips are coming from friends, co-workers and other acquaintances of those allegedly involved in the attack.

The Department also
launched a new online service for the public and media to track defendants charged with criminal offenses related to the Capitol attack. The link is here: Investigations Regarding Violence at the Capitoljustice.gov

The Capitol riot is spurring new interest in gun-detection AI
A new round of debate over surveillance technology broke out after the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. As some oberservers wisely pointed out, such events make it
tempting to loosen restrictions on surveillance technologies such as facial recognition in the name of safety, but yielding to those temptations could lead to a rapid erosion of privacy and civil liberties. The Patriot Act Congress adopted after 9/11 (and the mass surveillance programs that followed) is a notable example.

Capitol security is already requiring lawmakers to
pass through new metal detectors, which has already infuriated some of Congress's more libertarian members. Congress could feasibly decide to go further and install new cameras that identify every face in the vicinity of the Capitol, perhaps checking any one of them against social media and public records data, as a way of preventing future attacks.

Shifting the focus from detecting human faces to
detecting the instruments of harm they carry with them might be a way to satisfy security needs while preserving civil liberties. Companies such as ZeroEyes and Omnilert sell computer vision AI systems that identify guns seen through the lenses of security cameras. Both companies report a sharp uptick in interest after the assault on the Capitol, video of which clearly shows people carrying firearms.

The most serious criticism of gun-detection AI concerns false positives. "This technology, which tends to involve object and behavior recognition, is far from accurate," says Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Fraser says that it's not just events like the Capitol attack that are hiking up demand for gun detection technology. The last year has seen a spike in gun sales, driven by the pandemic, social instability, and fears that gun ownership will be restricted. . Because there are more guns out there, Fraser says the burden of detecting them in public spaces falls on technology. fastcompany.com

Security experts weigh in on how to prevent more right-wing violence on Inauguration Day

Taking right-wing violence seriously (for a change)

CNN reports that officials suspect there will be violent protests, with people potentially armed with explosives such as pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails, similar to those seized around the riot last week. And other reports have indicated that law enforcement agencies are contemplating possibilities like suicide bombings and airplane crashes or attacks via unmanned planes.

Roadblocks, including concrete barriers, are being set up around the restricted inauguration area, with transit stations and parking garages there also closed off. Armed National Guard members have already taken positions at the Capitol, in some cases even sleeping inside the building. While officials haven't specified how they and law enforcement plan to respond to inauguration protests that turn violent, it's quite possible they, too, will be quicker to turn to more violent measures. fastcompany.com

Tallahassee Man Arrested For Inciting Violence At The Florida Capitol Building

Rockford Man Charged With Arson for Allegedly Setting Fire to Retail Business at 6260 E. State St., Rockford, ILL - Burlington Store

COVID Update

US: Over 23.8M Cases - 398K Dead - 14.1M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 93M Cases - 2M Dead - 67M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 260   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 200
*Red indicates change in total deaths

CDC: New Variant More Contagious - Not More Severe
U.K. Covid-19 Variant Likely to Become Dominant U.S. Strain in March, CDC Says

Public-health agency warns highly contagious variant could predominate domestically without increased masking, social distancing

A highly transmissible coronavirus variant that was first identified in the U.K. is spreading rapidly in the U.S. and likely to become the dominant strain circulating domestically in March without measures to slow it, federal health authorities said.

Health officials called Friday for increasing mitigation efforts, like wearing masks and social distancing, to curb the spread of the more contagious variant.

The "B.1.1.7" variant had infected at least 76 people in 12 states as of Jan. 13 and threatens to worsen the pandemic in the U.S. in coming months as daily cases and hospitalizations are already at record levels, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report modeling the potential impact of the variant.

While the new variant doesn't appear to cause more severe illness, it is more contagious than the currently dominating strain of the coronavirus, the CDC said.

That means it could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths by infecting more people overall, the agency said, exacerbating pressures on health-care systems that are already at or near capacity. wsj.com

CDC JUST Told Health Departments Do Whatever it Takes
To Prevent New Variant Transmission

Fear over COVID-19 variant grows as L.A. County mulls closing malls, gyms

Los Angeles County and the rest of the nation are in a race against time to vaccinate as many people as possible against the coronavirus before a variant thought to be even more contagious takes hold.

Settings that could be scrutinized further include outdoor gyms, which have been allowed to open at 50% capacity, and indoor malls and retail, which are supposed to be open at only 20% capacity, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday night. It has yet to be officially found in L.A. County, has already been identified in San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Ferrer said the CDC is urging public health officials nationwide to do whatever it takes to prevent transmission "so that that variant doesn't get hold as being the most dominant form of the virus that circulates for as long as possible."

"What we're really trying to do here is really sort of create the opportunity for us to actually get as many people vaccinated as possible before that variant gets hold," Ferrer said. "That means we have to go back to the drawing board and look at everything we're doing, and really assess how, in a very short period of time, can we get more control over the surge, more ability to actually slow rates of transmission?" latimes.com

*Editor's Note: Expect Closures & More Stringent Curfews This Weekend - More Than Ever Before - The Nation is Facing Being Shut Down Completely!

California: Stay-at-home orders have been extended in much of the state

Counties in Southern California, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley remain under the order

The mask order and a limited curfew remain.
A curfew is still in place for most counties.

Nonessential activity outside the home is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. There is a statewide mask mandate.

Pushing Incentives to Get Workers Vaccinated?
Instacart Offers $25 to Drivers to Get Vaccines

Joining Dollar General and Trader Joe's in compensating employees for vaccines

San Francisco-based Instacart has nearly doubled its mostly gig workforce to about 500,000 to meet a surge in demand for online grocery shopping since the pandemic erupted in the U.S. last spring.

Grocery chain Trader Joe's, which has more than 50,000 employees, said Thursday it will give employees two hours of pay per dose for getting the vaccine.

Dollar General said Wednesday it will give employees the equivalent of four hours of pay if they get the vaccine. It employs 157,000 people.

CDC says grocery workers - which would include Instacart and Dollar General's employees - should be in the second group to receive shots after health care workers and nursing home residents.

Some states have already opened eligibility to the second group, which also includes firefighters, police, teachers, corrections workers, postal employees and people 75 and older. There are around 50 million people in that group.

However, most companies are reluctant to impose such mandates, said Sharon Perley Masling, a partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis who has been advising clients on workplace issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency nature of the vaccine's FDA approval makes it impractical for many companies to require it, given that the shots are not available to most of the population, she said.

Still, Masling said the companies she works with are taking various steps to strongly encourage their workers to get vaccinated, including internal public relations campaigns showing top executives who are eligible getting the shots. Other incentives include free child care, paid time off and freebies like pizza delivery and other gifts, she said.

Target Corp. also plans no incentives, but said it will make the vaccine free and accessible to its 350,000 employees. Target said 1,700 of its stores have a CVS pharmacy on site that will offer the vaccine to staff when it's available.

Albertsons, a grocery chain with 2,250 U.S. stores and 300,000 employees, also isn't doling out financial incentives. startribune.com

Hitting the $2k Direct Payments & Funding National Vaccine Program
'We Cannot Afford Inaction': Biden Unveils $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Plan

President-elect Joe Biden outlined his plans for economic relief from the coronavirus crisis on Thursday evening, citing the need for a more robust vaccination plan as well as for additional direct payments to American families to help recover the U.S. economy. His plan, called the American Rescue Plan, is expected to cost $1.9 trillion.

The package includes $1,400 direct stimulus checks, which would supplement the $600 checks Congress passed late last year. Biden also proposes an additional $160 billion for a national vaccine program, including $20 billion for distribution, and an additional $50 billion for expanded testing.

The plan also calls on Congress to invest $170 billion in K-12 schools and higher education, including $130 billion for schools to safely reopen. npr.org

Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce join COVID-19 vaccination records system project

Tech giants are among the companies participating in the initiative,
which seeks to create a "health wallet app"

As mass COVID-19 vaccination programs kick off in some countries around the world, a group of leading organizations including Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce have come up with a new way of keeping track of those who have been given the jab, which could let work, play and travel resume as soon as possible. 

Brought together in a new project called the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), the organizations have pitched a technology that would allow people who have been inoculated to keep and access a record of their immunization history in a digital "Health Wallet" app on their phones. Those without a smartphone would receive a paper version of the record containing a QR code to scan in order to access their credentials. zdnet.com

President-Elect Biden Calls for Paid Leave During Pandemic
The American Rescue Plan comprises paid leave, an increased minimum wage, an extension of unemployment compensation, more support for small businesses and relief to those who need help. shrm.org

Why Fashion Brands Were Silent After the US Capitol Storming
Even as consumers expect their favourite brands to align with their values and take a stand on socio-political issues, there was little for fashion companies to gain in wading into America's latest crisis.

Almost immediately, many paused their marketing activities for fear of appearing next to coverage or commentary on what President-elect Joe Biden gravely called "insurrection." But few major brands rushed to make big consumer-facing statements. businessoffashion.com

Hey CVS & Walgreens - What's Happening?
Calif. Fails Miserably at Vaccinating Long-Term Care Facility Residents - Hit Only 5%

And while the vaccines became available in the U.S. in mid-December, only 3% of California facilities in the program had been scheduled for their first visit from a vaccination team as of Sunday, the data show.

The Reason: It wasn't until Monday that state health officials, who set the priorities for the vaccine program, authorized the pharmacies to start vaccinating at assisted living facilities, according to a statement sent to The Times by CVS.

The state's first priority was skilled nursing facilities, where the pharmacies started vaccinating on Dec. 28, according to CVS and the CDC.

But even at the 855 California skilled nursing facilities in the program, only 26% of residents had been vaccinated as of Sunday, according to the data.

The numbers are more encouraging in L.A. County, where public health officials opted to control vaccination in skilled nursing facilities themselves. Sixty-six percent of residents had been vaccinated as of last week, county officials said, and they hope to complete the process by next week.

Assisted living facilities in L.A. County, however, are still assigned to CVS and Walgreens. As of Sunday, almost none had begun receiving the vaccine, the data show. latimes.com

Unleash the Nations Retailers Please - Let's Just Get Them in Arms
Some big US pharmacies will not check ID before administering COVID-19 vaccines

Many U.S. pharmacies, including those inside Kroger Co supermarkets and the drugstore chain of CVS Health Corp, say they will not be checking IDs before administering COVID-19 vaccines, leaving the door open to those who do not meet states' guidelines to jump the line.

AdvertisementWhile the United States has distributed more than 30 million vaccine doses, a little over 11 million had been administered as of Thursday, a lag that prompted U.S. health secretary Alex Azar to call on states to begin vaccinating the vulnerable older population and those with certain chronic health conditions to get more vaccines into arms.

U.S. retailers face a choice of strictly enforcing state eligibility rules with on-site identity checks, or rely on an honor system that could allow people to ignore those guidelines but also get more people inoculated.

Twenty-two states have moved toward using age as the main criteria for prioritizing inoculations, with four more set to follow next week. Others are adhering to strict guidelines meant to assure that scarce coronavirus vaccine supplies went first to healthcare workers, nursing home residents and first responders.

"We are not planning to ask for ID to receive a COVID-19 vaccination," a CVS Health spokesman said. "These vaccinations will be appointment-only in our stores and patients will have already gone through an eligibility screening when they register for an appointment on our website, through our app or via a 1-800 number."

"Identification will not be required to receive the vaccine," a Kroger spokeswoman said.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said it would follow state and local guidance on how to verify eligibility.

Hy-Vee, said it has included its own warning on its website that ID may - or may not - be asked for prior to the shot being given.

Stop & Shop Supermarket said it would check IDs or pay stubs if instructed to do so by individual states.

Publix Super Markets said people would need to provide "proof of insurance and/or their driver's license or social security card."

In Washington D.C., which relies on pharmacy chains Safeway and Giant Food to administer vaccines, it is unclear who verifies people's healthcare worker status.

Giant Food said it was just checking the photo ID and insurance card of anyone who secured an appointment through the district's website.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University's medical school, said: "The more vaccines you have, the less you have to worry about prioritization.  We know it's not going to be perfect, but who cares, we need to get them into the arms."

Schaffner said the solution was to increase vaccine availability and hire more vaccinators. reuters.com


LAPD Approved to Use Facial Recognition - With Limitations
Big Win For FR & A First Step on the West Coast

LAPD face biometrics policy approved by Commission

Facial recognition tool will be deployed with 'strong oversight'

The Los Angeles Police Commission has unanimously approved the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD's) police for the deployment of facial recognition technologies to identify suspects, KFI reports.

In particular, after the ruling, the biometric photo comparison technology utilized by Los Angeles County's Digital Mugshot System will be able to identify suspects only to investigate crimes, mitigate an imminent threat to life, and help identify a person who is incapable of identifying themselves.

To mitigate privacy advocates' worries, the LAPD clarified it cannot use the facial recognition platform outside the county's mugshot system.

Furthermore, all matches found by the system will be investigated further by human analysts, to limit racial and sexual disparities that are known to exist within facial recognition systems.

"This is a system that is not an active system, meaning the only time information or photo comparisons are brought to the system is when we are conducting a criminal investigation or mitigating an imminent threat," commented Chief Michel Moore during the Los Angeles Police Commission meeting. biometricupdate.com

NIST Research on How COVID-19 & Masks Are Impacting FR Systems
NIST updating guidance on facial recognition algorithms

The pandemic has inspired new uses for facial recognition software, but may require tweaking of algorithms. Masks, which leave only the forehead, eyes and maybe the bridge of the nose exposed, can make it harder to identify people accurately - especially for law enforcement.

One such player in that arena is the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which has been a consistent source for best practices, latest tech developments and standards.

"We started maybe two or three different bits of work, one on quality assessment - can you look at an image and say it's a good quality image? That is important to performance downstream. Another bit of work that we've been doing during the pandemic, obviously, is to look at - can face recognition work when somebody is wearing a protective face mask?" NIST computer scientist and biometrics expert Patrick Grother said on Federal Monthly Insights - Digital Transformation.

While some algorithms do not tolerate the reduced facial visibility at all, causing error rates to increase, he said some algorithms are prioritizing the eye region of the face naturally, leaving them still usable in an operational context. The biometrics industry's long-term goal is to make it easier, which he said means more flexibility for capturing images.

The technology may be limited for now but Grother warned not to bet against facial recognition. The accuracy gains in the last decade - not to mention higher resolution cameras on cellphones - have been substantial. federalnewsnetwork.com

Polar Vortex Update:
Blizzard warning for Central US, 15 states on alert for damaging winds and heavy snow
Hopefully this will negatively impact State Capital protester turnout

Making the News Nationwide
The polar vortex is coming - and raising the odds for intense winter weather

The result of a recent spike in Arctic temperatures causing disruption could mean frigid winter weather pummelling the U.S. Midwest and Northeast and the mid-latitude regions of Europe. It's expected to arrive in the next week or two and could last, in fits and spurts, into February. nationalgeographic.com

All in All A Strong Holiday Season - Good News
NRF says 2020 holiday sales grew 8.3 percent despite pandemic

Retail sales during 2020's November-December holiday season grew an unexpectedly high 8.3 percent over the same period in 2019 to $789.4 billion, exceeding the National Retail Federation's holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, NRF said today. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9 percent at $209 billion.

"There was a massive boost to most consumer wallets this season," Kleinhenz said. "Consumers were able to splurge on holiday gifts because of increased money in their bank accounts from the stimulus payments they received earlier in the year and the money they saved by not traveling, dining out or attending entertainment events. Some families are still struggling, as are some retail sectors. But the promise of a new round of stimulus checks after a deal was struck before Christmas helped increase consumer confidence. Consumers were also encouraged by the news of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, which helped offset concerns about increased infection rates and state restrictions on activity." nrf.com

New EEOC Webpage Provides Resources on Curbing Systemic Bias
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published new resources for employers to help them identify and address systemic discrimination in the workplace.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Systemic Enforcement at the EEOC

NACDS 2021 Annual Meeting goes virtual
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced that its 2021 NACDS Annual Meeting will be held virtually due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic from April 26-28.

Contact Jim Whitman, NACDS' senior vice president, member services and programs, at 703-837-4610, jwhitman@nacds.org, for additional information. Also please visit the 2021 NACDS Annual Meeting frequently-asked questions.

Flu activity remains at unseasonably low levels

Ulta announces corporate layoffs, merchandising restructure

*In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the D&D Daily will not be publishing on Monday and will resume publication on Tuesday, Jan. 19th.

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LPRC Anti-Sweep Offender Feedback Survey: Tally Smart Shelf

Tally's smart-sensing pad perceived by offenders as 'difficult to defeat'
and a 'highly effective crime prevention technology'

The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) conducted a series of in-person survey interviews in the Gainesville, Florida Innovation Lab in order to better understand the impact of an anti-sweep technology on retail offenders: The Tally Smart Shelf. This research was conducted with several high-loss and ORC (organized retail crime) vulnerable items: Tide detergent, Similac infant formula, and Red Bull energy drinks. The LPRC collected data from 10 active shoplifting offenders. This report details the results of these surveys.

Summary of Key Findings - 'See It, Get It, Fear It'

While only 20% of offenders (2 people) were aware of the Smart Shelf before being prompted, 100% were deterred by it to some degree, with 50% reporting that they'd steal fewer items, and 50% reporting that they'd avoid theft from the device altogether (see Table 1).

The Tally Smart Shelf

The Tally Smart Shelf is a smart-sensing pad that communicates with the Tally platform to give instant alerts as product is removed from the shelves. There are three main benefits as advertised by Tally Retail Solutions:

  • The Smart Shelf is designed to act as a deterrent to offenders without restricting access to honest customers. If too much product is taken at one time, a series of customizable alerts can triggered, such as audible store pages, emails, and text messages. The Smart Shelf also takes live video of the incident for review.

  • The Smart Shelf can also help track inventory and give alerts when products are running low, out-of-stock, or when items need to be shifted forward on the shelves.

  • Since there are no additional tags or fixtures on the products themselves, the Smart Shelf does not add additional work to store employees. Once installed, the Tally software detects the presence of an item and gives automatic, real-time alerts.

For a full copy of the LPRC report, email Sean Ryan at sean.ryan@tally.solutions






U.S. Building a Cyber Security Team - Finally
Biden proposal calls investments in federal IT 'an urgent national security issue'

President-elect Joe Biden wants to give federal technology modernization and cybersecurity efforts a historic increase

As part of his COVID relief proposal to Congress, Biden called the need to upgrade the federal IT infrastructure an urgent national security issue. To that end, the proposal requests $9 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund-a 3,600% increase over the $25 million it received in fiscal 2020.

'Rapidly Hire Hundreds' - Cyber Security Team to Support Federal CISO Finally

All of this money needs people to support the contracting and implementation of the technology. So the Biden team is requesting $200 million to hire cybersecurity and engineering experts. The proposal called for the money to go to the Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR) fund to help rapidly hire hundreds of experts to support the federal chief information security officer and U.S. Digital Service. federalnewsnetwork.com

Attackers Exploit Poor Cyber Hygiene to Compromise Cloud Security Environments
CISA is aware of several recent successful cyberattacks against various organizations' cloud services. Threat actors used a variety of tactics and techniques, including phishing and brute force logins, to attempt to exploit weaknesses in cloud security practices.

In response, CISA has released Analysis Report AR21-013A: Strengthening Security Configurations to Defend Against Attackers Targeting Cloud Services which provides technical details and indicators of compromise to help detect and respond to potential attacks.

CISA encourages users and administrators to review AR21-013A and apply the recommendations to strengthen cloud environment configurations. cisa.gov

Federal News Network: Data, analytics at the center of law enforcement efforts to stop illicit use of crypto currency
The reliance and value of using data and tools to track and stop bad actors using cryptocurrency is quickly becoming one of the best ways for law enforcement, intelligence and other authorities to successfully protect citizens and businesses.

The huge increase in criminals moving money through cryptocurrency was one of the reasons why the Justice Department issued its first ever cryptocurrency enforcement framework in October 2020. One of the main takeaways is DoJ believes law enforcement professionals across agencies must continually develop and maintain the base of knowledge and skills necessary to identify threats involving cryptocurrency; conduct robust and efficient investigations of those threats; and employ the many appropriate legal tools available to bring individuals and entities that abuse cryptocurrency to justice.

In this exclusive executive briefing, the following law enforcement and national security officials tell a story as to why they need to have the tools and data to understand, stop and apprehend those using cryptocurrency to carry out illegal activities. (Registration may be required)

   EXECUTIVE BRIEFING SERIES: Data Strategies in the Intelligence Community

It's time for a national privacy law in the US
By Ameesh Divatia, CEO, Baffle

In stark c
ontrast to the EU and a number of other countries, the US remains one of the few major players in the global economy without national privacy legislation. Some states have enacted privacy laws, and the federal government has enacted industry-specific laws - HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and FCRA - but there is no single, homogeneous enforceable set of data privacy guidelines that all US companies are required to follow.

Having uniform, federal requirements for data privacy has multiple advantages. First, it will allow an effective way to enforce these regulations, prompting data collectors to take these regulations more seriously. Second, it will enable technology providers to design solutions that specifically aid in protecting sensitive consumer data. Data collectors (i.e., companies that have their customers' data) want to comply with regulations but are overwhelmed with the variation in requirements by state.

The status quo is putting American consumers at risk and businesses at a distinct disadvantage both at home and globally, due to the reluctance of consumers to do business with them. A national privacy mandate could help US businesses reap the benefits that more stringent privacy practices can provide. helpnetsecurity.com

McKinsey and Company:
Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing




Your CMO Could be Losing Millions to Ad Fraud - Just an FYI
How Uber learned it had a huge ad fraud problem

Ad fraud remains an embedded, expensive and pervasive problem
in the digital advertising sector

One of the key moments of cut-through for many was when Uber sued its agency after discovering tens of millions of dollars of ad fraud. That high profile case included Uber suing its agency, and its agency countersuing in response.

To understand the scale of the problem, Kevin Frisch, Head of Performance Marketing and CRM for Uber at the time in 2017, was able to cut digital ad spend by two thirds - almost $US100 million - with no appreciable impact on the performance of campaigns.

Frisch, who these days is the VP of Marketing at Intuit, described the discovery of the fraud, and what he learned about the scale of the problem, during a podcast on Marketing Today at the start of last year.

According to Frisch, "We turned off 100 million of annual spend out of the $150 [million], and basically saw no change in our number of rider app installs."

The first inkling that there was a problem with Uber's digital advertising was when he started receiving complaining about ads on Breitbart that he thought had been cancelled.

What Frisch discovered was that Uber was the victim of attribution fraud.  The ad networks were taking credit for installs that would have happened organically, by getting inside the attribution path.

So you type in UBER into the Google Play Store to find Uber. And as soon as you get the letter R this app that's in the background fires, clicks on your device, and makes it look like you clicked on an ad, and then lo and behold, you downloaded the Uber app - thanks, ad network. [The ad network] raises its hand and says 'hey that download - I have a click on that device, now pay me $20."

It's an instructive story and not a bad one to revisit if you are a digital marketer starting to plan out your activity for 2021.

Asked what advice he would give to CMOs today, Frisch says it would be sensible to assume that half of what's out there on the display channels is fraudulent. which-50.com

Pandemic Price Gouging?
Amazon vendors hiked prices on 'essential' products amid coronavirus pandemic, report suggests

Amazon sellers doubled prices on 136 items deemed essential last year, according to a US PIRG report

Amazon sellers raised prices on 136 items deemed essential, including some personal protective equipment, during the coronavirus pandemic, a new report suggests.

A report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund released Thursday analyzed prices of "essential" products such as face masks, pulse oximeters, surgical gloves, hand sanitizer and toilet paper and found the sellers of 409 items raised the prices by more than 20% in the last year.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund used data from 15 product categories with 50 listings per category looking at a total of 750 products. For each, it noted the price of the listing on Dec. 1, 2019, before the new coronavirus became widespread in the U.S., and compared it with the price listed for the same item on Dec. 1, 2020. The data used is said to come from product listings that have been tracked on the e-commerce website the longest, or at least one year.

At least 136 products out of the listings collected doubled in price. Of the 409 listings with price increases of over 20%, one in seven were sold directly by Amazon, according to the report. The report acknowledged some price increases are due to heightened demand and not all are protected under current price-gouging laws. foxnews.com

Pet Products and Services Market Takes a Fancy to E-Commerce







West Valley, UT: Woman arrested after shoplifting more than
$20K merchandise from Costco stores

Andria Lecor Welte, 40, is facing charges of: Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony, Money laundering, a second-degree felony, Retail theft, a second-degree felony. Two counts of retail theft, a third-degree felony, Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a third-degree felony, Possession of a controlled substance, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor, Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

On Jan. 10, police were called to the Costco in West Valley City to take a shoplifting report where a female suspect was observed entering into the store, selecting over $5,000 worth of merchandise and leaving the store, the statement said. Police on scene were also alerted that the same woman had visited the same Costco on Jan. 4 and she had stolen over $4,000 worth of merchandise. The initial officer sent out a photograph of the suspect department-wide to attempt to identify the woman. On Wednesday, detectives went to the West Valley City Costco to follow up on the case. Loss prevention was able to identify with their peers that the same suspect had shoplifted from the Salt Lake City Costco in December, the Murray Costco in the last week, and the Sandy Costco Wednesday. Detectives attempted to identify the suspect, but were unable to.

After being read her Miranda rights, the suspect, identified as Welte, said the methamphetamine on her person was given to her in exchange for the stolen products. Further investigation revealed that the suspect and her husband were staying in a hotel in West Valley City. The suspect was transported to the Home2 hotel. At the hotel, the suspect signed a consent to search her hotel room. The suspect's husband was located inside of the room asleep and he was detained without incident. A search of the room revealed drug paraphernalia and several items indicated as stolen by Costco loss prevention.

In total around $1,000 of the $15,000 West Valley City Costco merchandise was recovered. "The suspect confessed to committing all of the shoplifting to total over $20,000 and that she would exchange the merchandise for drugs," the statement said. The suspect's husband in on probation; while Welte, before this incident, had six outstanding third-degree felony theft warrants. gephardtdaily.com

Lyndhurst, NJ: Police Nab Ex-Con Wanted In Multi-Thousand-Dollar Clifton Thefts
A team of Lyndhurst detectives and uniformed officers converged on the Stop & Shop after a security officer recognized Quaire Wilson, 31, and called them, Detective Lt. Vincent Auteri said. Wilson's picture had been sent to area Stop & Shop stores following a pair of thefts of more than $1,000 each from a Clifton location. Lyndhurst police already knew Wilson. His criminal record stretches back more than a decade in several New Jersey counties, for offenses ranging from theft and burglary to eluding police. Fourteen months ago, he barricaded himself in a Lyndhurst motel following a police chase. dailyvoice.com

Isabella County, MI: Woman arrested for stealing
$600 worth of merchandise from Walmart

Officers came across a vehicle matching the description of a retail fraud suspect around 3 p.m. The 31-year-old driver was described by officers as "visibly nervous." They found she had approximately $600 worth of stolen merchandise from Walmart. She was arrested for retail fraud and driving with a suspended license, and taken to jail. cm-life.com

Brookfield, WI: Over $400 worth of merchandise stolen
from Dick's Sporting Goods

Brookfield police are asking for the public's help to identify a pair of theft suspects. It happened at Dick's Sporting Goods on Monday, Jan. 4. According to police, a man and a woman entered the store around 3 p.m. and concealed five pieces of clothing totaling $462.38 into a backpack. fox6now.com

Richmond, VA: Henrico Police looking for suspected tool thief
Authorities in Henrico County are looking for information on the person or persons involved with a tool theft from a local business. Police say around 4:40 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2020, someone broke into a commercial business on Brook Road. The suspect made off with a number of pieces of lawn care equipment. wric.com

Millburn, NJ: Shoplifter with items from multiple store arrest at Short Hills
On January 10, 2021 at 3:30 pm, Millburn Police Officer Matos responded to Bognar at The Mall at Short Hills for a report of theft. Bognar associates reported that the male identified as Gary Wilson Jr, selected a coat and left the store without making payment. Wilson was placed under arrest for shoplifting and found also to be in possession of stolen merchandise from Gap, Cole Haan, and Bloomingdales. tapinto.net

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Shootings & Deaths

Garland, TX: 15-Year-Old Charged With Murder
After Deadly Shooting outside Gas Station
A 15-year-old male has been arrested and is facing murder charges after a deadly shooting in Garland Thursday afternoon. Officers were called to a disturbance at a gas station around 1:30 p.m. on West Kingsley. Investigators say the 15-year-old, 18-year-old Jairo Sait Saavedra and a third unidentified male met at the location for an unknown reason. Surveillance video shows the three individuals began to fight when the 15-year-old and Saavedra retrieved handguns and exchanged gunfire. A short time later, a second 911 call was dispatched to a strip shopping center on South First Street. That is where officers found two men who had been shot, one inside one of the businesses and one in a car. Investigators believe the men were shot at the gas station where officers were called first. The man inside the business was identified as Saavedra. He was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to be okay. The man inside the car was pronounced dead on the scene. His name has not been released. nbcdfw.com

Update: Sarasota, FL: Four men have been indicted for 1st Degree Murder in connection with the 2019 homicide at Vape store
Amado Zeppi, James Brewer, Michael Hepner and Coty Paulk were initially charged with 2nd Degree Murder in the case. The Manatee County Sheriff's Office told ABC7 at the time that, Brewer was driven to the Green Galaxy Smoke Shop by Hepner and entered the store in an attempt to distract Mohammed Hamed. Hamed was ordered to the back of the store and forced to open a safe. Deputies say Zeppi continued to point his weapon at Hamed, and then unprovoked, he swung the firearm striking Hamed with the bayonet end. The firearm fired upon striking Hamed, killing him. All four men fled with Hepner driving the vehicle. mysuncoast.com

Update: Fresno, CA: 28-year-old arrested for two Fresno homicides
The Fresno Police Department announced the arrest of a 28-year-old man for killing two people. Police said they arrested Jose Verduzco 28, for two separate homicides in the city of Fresno. The first homicide happened on Dec. 2, 2020, around 4:30 a.m. According to police, Saul Velazco, 37, a clerk at a convenience store was fatally shot while working. Lieutenant Larry Bowlan said Velazco was a loyal employee of the business for the past six years and a husband and father. Police said that Verduzco the suspect arrived at the business and entered the store and without hesitation, he fatally shot Velazco multiple times killing him. The second homicide happened three days later on Dec. 5. Police said 36-year-old Nicole Saenz was gunned down inside of a residence near Olive and Hughes avenues. yourcentralvalley.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Diego, CA: Armed robber briefly holds 2 hostage
at Subway in the Midway District

A man armed with a knife held two people hostage for about 30 minutes Thursday afternoon inside a Midway District sandwich shop before they were able to escape to safety, police said. "The suspect grabbed an employee and a knife and told police to leave or he would cut the employee," Officer Heims said. The officer backed away and called for assistance, including a SWAT team and emergency negotiators, Lt. Takeuchi said in a news release. The 38-year-old man remained holed up inside the Subway restaurant for roughly 90 minutes after the hostages got out, police said. He later surrendered to SWAT officers, who arrested him on suspicion of robbery, false imprisonment and parole violation. sandiegouniontribune.com

Houston, TX: Man arrested after threatening to shoot everyone at a Wingstop because his food wasn't ready Constable deputies said they responded to a weapon's disturbance at the Wingstop on FM 1960 Road. Law enforcement said that witnesses said the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle after threatening them. Constable deputies said they found the vehicle nearby and stopped him. The driver was identified as 32-year-old Tommye Nichols and was found to be in possession of a firearm, constable deputies say.
Nichols became upset because his food was not ready and threatened to shoot everyone at the restaurant. Witnesses told authorities he walked to his vehicle, got a gun, returned to the restaurant, demanded his money back, and continued to make threats. Nichols was arrested and booked, charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. click2houston.com

Detroit, MI: 2 former Hospital Employees Charged With
Selling Stolen Surgical Devices on eBay

Three men face charges of being part of a ring that sold surgical equipment stolen from Beaumont Health -- some of which was used. Two of the people are former hospital employees who had access to the equipment, federal authorities say. The indictment names former Beaumont employees Paul Purdy, 49, of Bellbrook, Ohio, and Valdet Seferovic, 32, of Auburn Hills. Zafar I. Khan, a 40-year-old Fenton resident who owns a medical device company in Flint, also is accused. Authorities allege that the stolen equipment was sold on eBay and Amazon around the country, resulting in more than $560,000 in revenue in a scheme that started in June 2017 and ran through March 2019. Purdy and Seferovic, who were friends, primarily stole three types of medical devices: Cystoscopes, Ophthalmoscopes and Otoscopes. deadlinedetroit.com

UK: Gloucester, England: Success for Operation Blitzen
as Police tackle thieves in city centre

A police operation to tackle thieves in Gloucester city centre during the Christmas period has seen six people arrested for related offences. Operation Blitzen has seen areas such Kings Walk, Eastgate Shopping Centre and Gloucester Quays being targeted by the officers to deal with issues such as theft and anti-social behavior. It has already helped prevent a number of incidents over the past three weeks.

Los Angeles, CA: ICE HSI probe results in 7-year prison sentence for his role in credit card 'bust out' scams used to buy liquor and cemetery plots; requesting nearly $5M in restitution

Las Vegas, NV: Violent crime down 36% in Metro jurisdiction, despite spike in murders




C-Store - Madison County, MS - Armed Robbery
C-Store -Odesa, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
C-Store - Tulsa, OK - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Vicksburg, MS - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Abilene, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Corbin, KY - Burglary
Dollar General -Jackson, MS - Burglary
Family Dollar - Hammond, LA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Corbin, KY - Burglary
Hardware - Henrico, VA - Robbery
Jewelry - Friendswood, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Elizabeth, NJ - Robbery
Jewelry - Danbury, CT - Robbery
Jewelry - Hamilton Township, NJ - Burglary
Liquor - Newark, NJ - Burglary
Pawn - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Newark, NJ - Burglary
Restaurant - Hazlehurst, MS - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - San Diego, CA - Armed Robbery (Subway)
T-Mobile - Brighton, MI - Armed Robbery
Thrift - Omaha, NE - Burglary
Thrift - Elkton, MD - Burglary
Thrift - Pittsburgh, PA - Burglary
7-Eleven - Bowie, MD - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 16 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 0 shooting
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 90 robberies
• 24 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



Anthony Dentler, LPQ promoted to Regional Asset Protection Manager for Bass Pro Shops

Eric Welch promoted to Regional Manager - Asset Protection for
Bass Pro Shops

Marshall Fredrick promoted to Regional Asset Protection Manager
for Bass Pro Shops

Marissa Kendel named District Loss Prevention Manager for Sephora

Submit Your New Hires/Promotions or New Position






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