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Join us in the Fight against Organized Retail Crime

Join the NRF's ORC Investigators Network of over 1,000 LP Professionals

The National Retail Federation (NRF) Organized Retail Crime (ORC) investigators network is made up of over 1000 loss prevention professionals including federal, state and local law enforcement officers.

The network is
organized into 7 regions around the country, each hosting quarterly conference calls during which participants share best practices, discuss emerging trends, and connect on investigations that help eradicate crime.

The network also meets each year at NRF PROTECT, the largest retail loss prevention event in North America, and coordinates with various Organized Retail Crime Associations (ORCA) and law enforcement agencies.

The NRF ORC investigators network is
Co-Chaired by Gabe Esposito of Verizon and Jon Shimp of Louis Vuitton North America, and is hosted by Bob Moraca of the NRF.

network serves as a force multiplier for loss prevention and law enforcement professionals in the fight against ORC, and provides a great forum through which information can be exchanged and losses mitigated" said Esposito.  

"Regardless if you have been in the security industry 30 days or 30 years,
we need everyone to sign up and join us in the fight against ORC, be a part of it and help make a difference", said Shimp.

To join and for more information please contact April O'Brien at programs@nrf.com, call 202-783-7971 or visit the NRF's website at www.nrf.com


Agilence Adds 23,000 New Deployed Locations & Investments
in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Wrap a Strong 2019

Agilence, Inc., the leading provider of operational analytics & reporting solutions to the retail, restaurant, and convenience industries, today announced continued growth driven by product enhancements, capital investments and strong sales.

"Year after year, our data analytics platform continues to improve and advance as a result of our fantastic developers and customer input. 2019 was no different as we expanded the functionality of Agilence's technology and made significant strides in maintaining our position as the leader in data analytics for the retail, restaurant and convenience industries," said Russ Hawkins, President and CEO of Agilence. newswire.com

CONTROLTEK's RFID Veteran Rubin Press Publishes Educational Article Series
Rubin Press, vice president of global sales at CONTROLTEK, is publishing a series of articles about RFID technology. In his articles, Press uses his technical expertise, developed from years of experience partnering with retailers to implement the technology to improve their operations, to explain how RFID technology works and the endless potential for retail and other industries.

"Rubin has a great understanding of the many possibilities of RFID technology, not just from a sales standpoint but as an innovator," said Tom Meehan, CFI, chief strategy officer at CONTROLTEK. "Since he has returned to CONTROLTEK, we have met with many clients to learn about their challenges and collaborate with them to come up with new approaches to their problems." controltekusa.com

The first article in Press's series, "What is RFID and How Does RFID Work?" is being published today and can be found on the CONTROLTEK company blog.

Zebra Technologies Releases 2020 Shopper Vision Study

It's all about the experience: retail insights from around the globe. More than 4,800 customers and 1,500 retail professionals were surveyed to help retailers gain a deeper understanding of their shoppers. See what they have to say about the state of the industry, how to deliver a better shopping experience and what to expect in the future.

Meet and exceed your customer's expectations. Today's customer demands a flawless shopping experience in-store and online. Discover how to provide them with access to knowledgeable associates, smooth transactions and lightning-fast order fulfillment.

Download the study here.

A timeline of events surrounding the Bezos phone hack

Bezos hack connected to Khashoggi murder and the Washington Post's subsequent media coverage.

News -- almost impossible to believe -- broke yesterday that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, was somehow involved in the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

According to reports from the Guardian and the Financial Times, the Saudi royal family member, commonly referred to as MbS, allegedly sent a booby-trapped video to Bezos via a WhatsApp message last year, on May 1, 2018.

A day later, the entire affair still seems like a bad Hollywood movie script. However, the reality is that there's a lot of context and background to these accusations, along with a long history of enmity and antipathy from the side of the Saudi prince.

Below is a timeline of all the events that tie in with the Khashoggi murder and the Bezos iPhone hack. We took this timeline from a report published today by two human rights experts at the United Nations, and we updated it with today's most recent revelations.

Starting in October of 2013, with 31 dates and separate happenings. Quite interesting and obviously targeting and attacking Bezos on a global level. Talk about having a target on your back.  What a nightmare for security. While at the same time being extremely challenging.

What a read! zdnet.com

Former CEO & Co-Founder of Aspen Skiing Co. Gets 6 Years Prison
for Stealing $6M & Selling Online

Husband & Wife Duo Sold Co. in 2003 & Started Stealing 13,000 Pairs of Skis Over 12 Yrs

Former Aspen Skiing Co. executive and city Councilman Derek Johnson was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for methodically stealing and selling more than 13,000 pairs of company-owned skis worth nearly $6 million over more than 12 years. 

"The scale and consistency of the theft dwarfs prior (theft) cases that have come before the court," District Judge Chris Seldin said. "The scale and the amount of theft is enough to justify a Department of Corrections sentence. This is an incredibly serious offense."

Johnson, who served one term on the Aspen City Council and ran for mayor in 2013, pleaded guilty in November to one count of felony theft between $100,000 and $1 million and faced between four and 12 years in prison under terms of a plea deal with the District Attorney's Office. His wife, Kerri, 48, also pleaded guilty to one count of felony theft in connection with the scheme to sell stolen skis on eBay, though prosecutors agreed not to ask for prison when she is sentenced next month. 

The couple will have to pay back $250,000 to Skico under terms of the plea deal. Johnson's wife was the bookkeeper for their long-running eBay business.

Johnson and his wife peddled more than 13,000 pairs of skis between 2006 and November 2018, when they were caught, Nottingham said. That number includes at least 3,800 new pairs of skis, and equates to nearly three pairs of skis stolen from his employer and sold every day for 12 years, Nottingham said. 

"This was a massive theft operation," aspentimes.com

Digital Signage - Where does LP Fit into the Messaging?
With digital signage being a whole new frontier in the retail space and one that is destined to replace traditional store signage, where does LP fit in and how do we make the most impact on the consumer?

Obviously this will be a difficult area and not an easy subject for the various groups inside a retailer. Marketing will dominate along with the merchants, HR and legal.

However, this represents an opportunity to positively shape the consumer view towards the company with the appropriate messages about courteous, attentive, knowledgeable staff and maintaining and ensuring a safe and secure shopping environment. These two banners alone can address a wide array of subjects, practices, and technology applications. From surveillance to 'See Something - Say Something' to calming de-escalating direct and subliminal messaging, the digital signage technology, with its ability to identify viewers, could be as powerful on the masses as any marketing campaign. Because it's exactly that. A marketing campaign meant to reduce shoplifting, violence and robberies and promote a positive company profile. That, in turn, drives sales.

Given the recent studies about Gen Z's purchasing decisions being guided by their concern about a retailer's position on different social issues, this is a great opportunity for Loss Prevention to truly become proactive and show how positive messaging about such critical subjects can be integrated in the overall messaging through the digital signage program of a store and have a huge impact on behavior and outcomes.

Utilizing the right resources and subject matter experts, this could become a powerful tool for a retailer and Loss Prevention has a vital role to play.

The Online Sales Train Is Gaining Speed

Here's the Proof in Today's News

Will store closures worsen in 2020? Is there any doubt?

9,300 Stores Closed in 2019

More than 9,300 stores turned off their lights last year, according to Coresight Research, and three weeks into 2020, chains including Bed Bath & Beyond, Chico's, GameStop, Gap, J.C. Penney, Lucky's Market, Macy's, Papyrus, Pier 1 Imports and others have announced plans to shutter locations. Cushman & Wakefield has estimated that as many as 12,000 stores may close this year.

The expectation that struggling retailers will shutter stores is strong despite denials to the contrary. retailwire.com

After Bankruptcy, Nearly Half of Retailers Close All Stores

Liquidations are more prevalent in retail bankruptcies while top lenders recover on average 91 cents on the dollar, according to research by Fitch Ratings.

Secured creditors are recovering all or most of their investments when retailers file for bankruptcy protection, even as nearly half these companies don't survive with a physical presence, according to Fitch Ratings research.

Among large retail and supermarket chains that filed for bankruptcy protection over the past 15 years, 45% closed all of their stores, the ratings firm said in a new report. Fitch found that the bankruptcies of 25 out of 55 retail and supermarket companies ended in liquidations.

Currently, nine retailers are on Fitch's watch list for being at risk of default, including bankruptcy, based on concerns over their loans and bonds. The ratings agency included J.C. Penney Co., Fresh Market Inc., J.Crew Group Inc., Fairway Market, Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, as well as Ascena Retail Group Inc., which owns Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, and Catherines. wsj.com

E-commerce could kill 30K stores and half a million jobs by 2025

The Online Sales Train in Steaming Full Speed

56,000 Stores Have Closed - 670,000 Jobs Lost Since 2008

E-commerce has been a net negative - an agent of "destructive destruction" - for the retail industry writ large, according to a new study from credit insurance company Euler Hermes. The study found that 56,000 stores, or 10.7% of the discretionary retail footprint, have closed in the U.S. and 670,000 net jobs (9.6% of the total) have been lost since 2008.

More, 41% of retailers have seen their profit margins decrease in that timeframe. Those various retail losses have tracked with the expansion of e-commerce, which has grown well ahead of other retail segments at 10.5% per annum. But for every job created in e-commerce, four and a half jobs are lost by traditional retailers, according to the study. 

And the bloodletting could continue, according to the study's author, Aurélien Duthoit​, sector advisor for retail, technology and household equipment with Euler Hermes. Dethoit estimates that continued e-commerce penetration could eliminate another 500,000 jobs and 30,000 retail establishments by 2025

For traditional retailers, efforts to boost e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities bring new expenses and risks, and won't necessarily save a distressed retailer, according to the study.

That anything might slow the online sales train is "[p]ossible, but very unlikely," Duthoit​​ writes. retaildive.com

SHRM Series Part 3
Workplace Drug Testing: Can Employers Still Screen for Marijuana?

Medical and recreational marijuana use are more socially acceptable than ever, and states are legalizing use of the drug at a rapid pace. So should employers even bother testing for weed anymore?

Employers that drug test typically use a five-panel screen that includes amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP). Some employers, however, have dropped marijuana from the panel.

"More and more employers appear to be treating marijuana use like alcohol use and ignoring off-duty recreational use," said Anne-Marie Welch, an attorney with Clark Hill in Birmingham, Mich.

"A growing number of states have taken their own steps to ease restrictions on employees' marijuana use for medicinal or recreational purposes off duty," Welch noted. So employers that need or want to continue testing or disciplining for marijuana use must know the applicable state laws, including the court decisions that interpret those rules. shrm.org

At $50 a Pack, Australia's Tobacco Black Market is Booming

Meijer Extends In-Store Food Waste Reduction Program With Flashfood

Fairway Market in the Big Apple filed Chapter 11 plans to sell all stores


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Guardian EdgePro

A security management tool that's simple, effective and mobile

The new technology must-have in commercial security

Frustrated with your current commercial security operation? EdgePro is an online security management tool that provides easier oversight for large and multi-location organizations.

It collects critical security data from your business locations in real-time and presents it on one user-friendly platform. See which locations are in alarm status, opened late, closed early, and more - it's all on your dashboard. Plus, its responsive mobile design makes remote management a simple task.

EdgePro is a smart tool that security and loss prevention professionals actually enjoy using to manage business security - at the office or on the road.

● Anytime, anywhere control from your smartphone, tablet, or computer
● Intuitive dashboard for easy site navigation
● Instant access to real-time security data
● Alarm incidents and history
● Notifications via text or email alerts
● Late-to-open/early-to-close reports


Mobile Control

The EdgePro tool provides instant access to critical security data about your Guardian-installed system in real time. See which locations are in alarm status, opened late, closed early and more - all featured on your dashboard. EdgePro's real-time data yields faster insights to help guide business decisions.

One-Click Reports

Retrieve reports about your EdgePro system on alarm history, dispatches, open/close occurrences, service requests and more with just one click. You can also subscribe to automatically receive reports via email hourly, daily or weekly - whenever you desire.

User-Friendly Interface

The EdgePro tool was created with simple and intuitive navigation to avoid confusion and unnecessary complexity. The welcome dashboard displays a quick summary of your EdgePro system and a search bar is also available for specific inquiries.







NSA issues guidance for securing the cloud

The National Security Agency on Wednesday released a detailed examination of methods used to attack cloud providers amid growing concern these services could be a weak spot in companies' cyber defenses.

The NSA advisory contains detailed descriptions of attack methods observed by U.S. intelligence agencies and steps on how to counter them. WSJ Pro Cybersecurity reported Dec. 3 that the NSA was compiling this guidance.

Cloud providers and managed service providers are attractive targets for hackers, as a successful attack could provide access to sensitive systems for dozens or hundreds of client companies.

The guidance focuses on four primary areas of cloud security:

Misconfigurations in cloud systems. As an example, the NSA cited configuration errors from defense contractors that exposed data from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2017.

Poor access controls, such as weak authentication methods. The agency said the Iran-based Mabna hacking group has been able to bypass multifactor authentication systems by subverting other controls.

Crowded servers. Some systems that allow several companies to be hosted on the same cloud server can be vulnerable to attack, the NSA warned, enabling hackers to attack multiple targets with one successful breach.

Supply-chain vulnerabilities. The NSA cited the ShadowHammer cyberattack campaign in March, which used flaws in computers made by Asustek Computer Inc. to install malware through legitimate software updates as one example.

Malicious insiders, criminals and nation-states are examining weaknesses in cloud security, the NSA said, with varying objectives. Criminals and insiders might look to exploit sensitive information or destroy it, for instance, while nation-states might attempt to use access to these servers to gain entry to more sensitive systems at a cloud provider's customer. Untrained or neglectful employees also could inadvertently allow attackers to gain access to sensitive information by failing to properly follow security procedures, the agency said. wsj.com

To Avoid Disruption, Ransomware Victims Continue to Pay Up

Reactions Are Split - 33% Pay & 32% Don't

Proofpoint polled 600 IT security professionals from around the world on trends related to phishing and other email-borne threats.

The results showed that 33% - or nearly 200 of the organizations represented in the survey - paid a ransom last year to get their data back after experiencing a ransomware infection. Another 32% reported being infected with ransomware but refusing to accede to attacker demands for payment.

Sixty-nine percent of the organizations that paid a ransom said they got back access to their data and systems after the first payment. But 22% never regained access to their data after paying the demanded ransom, while 7% got hit with additional demands and ended up walking away empty-handed anyway. Two percent were forced to pay more money to regain access to encrypted systems and data.

Proofpoint said it is unclear what the organizations that didn't pay a ransom did to recover access to encrypted systems and data or what disruption they might have endured as a result of their refusal to pay.

A September 2019 Dark Reading survey showed a nearly fourfold increase over 2018 - from 4% to 15% - in ransomware victims that paid to get their data back after an infection.

The survey results are likely to dismay many security experts who say that paying ransoms is only going to encourage more attacks. Over the past 18 months or so, threat actors have shifted from mass-volume spray-and-pray attacks on consumers to more targeted and carefully planned ransomware campaigns against businesses, government, and public-sector entities. Municipal entities, in particular, have been targeted heavily. darkreading.com

$2.8 billion in Bitcoin sent to crypto exchanges by criminals in 2019
Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis said Wednesday that it traced $2.8 billion in Bitcoin being sent by criminals to crypto exchanges in 2019, with the bulk of those transactions going to cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Huobi.

"While exchanges have always been a popular off-ramp for illicit cryptocurrency, they've taken in a steadily growing share since the beginning of 2019. Over the course of the entire year, we traced $2.8 billion in Bitcoin that moved from criminal entities to exchanges," Chainalysis noted, with 27.5% of that amount going to Binance and 24.7% going to Huobi.

On the two exchanges, a small group of accounts that received more than $100 billion worth of BTC in 2019 took in most of the illicit funds, Chainalysis found. 75% of the total amount received on Huobi and Binance went to 810 of the highest-receiving accounts.

"Overall, just over 300,000 individual accounts at Binance and Huobi received Bitcoin from criminal sources in 2019," Chainalysis noted. finance.yahoo.com

For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right

New research: Security operations centers suffer high turnover & yield mediocre results for the investment they require.

The security operations center (SOC), considered a core component of many organizations' cybersecurity strategies, is plagued with high costs and myriad challenges. Businesses running a SOC often struggle to achieve a high return for what proves to be an expensive investment.

These findings come from a new report entitled "The Economics of Security Operations Centers: What Is the True Cost for Effective Results?" conducted by the Ponemon Institute and commissioned by Respond Software. Researchers surveyed 637 IT and IT security practitioners who work in organizations running SOCs to learn about their economics and effectiveness.

Only 51% of organizations surveyed are satisfied with their SOC's effectiveness in detecting cyberattacks. Forty-four percent say their SOC's ROI is worsening.

The most important SOC activities, they say, are the minimization of false-positives (84%), threat intelligence reporting (83%), monitoring and analyzing alerts (77%), intrusion detection (77%), use of technologies such as automation and machine learning (74%), agile DevOps (73%), threat hunting (71%), and cyber forensics (69%). darkreading.com

SOC Benchmarking Study - How Does Yours Stack Up?

Microsoft Error Exposed 250 Million Elasticsearch Records

Updated FTCODE Ransomware Now Steals Credentials, Passwords

How the World's Largest Banks Use Advanced Graph Analytics to Fight Fraud



Denver, CO: Dispensary burglaries hit 3-year high
as 2019 ended with rash of armed robberies

Employees at marijuana businesses "absolutely" worried about more robberies

Police are investigating a string of armed robberies of metro-area dispensaries in December as the number of break-ins at Denver marijuana businesses hit a three-year high in 2019.

Dispensaries in the city reported five robberies and 122 burglaries last year, according to the Denver Police Department. Both offenses increased slightly from 2018, when Denver marijuana businesses reported one robbery and 120 burglaries.

Overall, crimes related to the marijuana industry accounted for 0.30% of Denver's total offenses reported in 2018, the latest year data was available, according to the police department.

Burglary of controlled substances, a class 2 felony, is the most common type of crime in the marijuana industry, said Denver police Cmdr. James Henning, of the department's investigative division, adding that criminals primarily target dispensaries and cannabis grows.

"It's like cash in hand," Henning said. In Colorado, "marijuana at wholesale price is going for $1,200 per pound... but if you take that same pound of marijuana to the East Coast, it's worth $3,000 to $3,500."

John Goutell, general counsel for Frosted Leaf, said the dispensary's three Denver locations have been burglarized after hours eight times since 2014. Frosted Leaf beefed up security following the December robbery, but Goutell believes it will take more than that to curb the problem. Dispensary employees are "absolutely" worried there will be another stickup and some are considering leaving the industry because of the threat, he said.

"We probably won't see any relief in these kinds of robberies until these businesses aren't forced to deal only in cash," Goutell said.

Moving away from being a cash-only industry isn't a pipe dream. In September, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act, which would give legal marijuana operations access to banking services. Authored by Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, the bill was recently discussed by the Senate Banking Committee and legislators are hopeful it will be signed into law this year. denverpost.com

Detroit, MI: Recreational marijuana stalled in Michigan's largest city as police blame black-market weed for violence
Detroit is likely to extend a ban on recreational marijuana businesses in Michigan's largest city until at least March 31. That announcement came on Tuesday, the same day Detroit Police Chief James Craig in statements to the Detroit News blamed black-market marijuana for "most" of the city's increased violence this year, including a total of 17 homicides and 32 nonfatal shootings. By 2015, there were an estimated 150-plus unlicensed marijuana dispensaries operating inside Detroit's 140-square-mile border. While increased enforcement has impacted the proliferation, many unlicensed businesses continue to operate, whether from brick-and-mortar buildings or otherwise, Detroit police say. mlive.com

Cannabis Industry Groups Urge Chairman of Senate Banking Committee to Advance House-approved Cannabis Banking Bill
A coalition of more than 30 national and state cannabis industry organizations sent a letter Thursday to Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-ID), urging him to advance the House-approved version of a bill aimed at addressing the state-legal cannabis industry's lack of access to banking and other financial services. The House of Representatives passed the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act by a vote of 321-103 in September, with 91 Republicans voting in favor. Chairman Crapo said he intended to have the bill considered in his committee, but also expressed concerns about the bill and other aspects of cannabis policy not related to banking. cannabistradefederation.com

Canadian Company has Developed Groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence Sobriety Testing for Alcohol/Cannabis Impairment
Toronto-based Cultivar Holdings has launched a new tested artificial intelligence technology ("PredictMedix") that it says will revolutionize how companies and law enforcement are able to test sobriety by detecting impairment for alcohol and cannabis.
The PredictMedix artificial intelligence technology uses facial and voice recognition to identify cannabis and alcohol impairment. The company says that it has filed US patents while also having recently signed agreements with two multi-billion-dollar conglomerates.

Workplaces are said to be particularly interested in the new impairment technology.

Research has found that THC detection via a breathalyzer or any other methodology cannot work for cannabis impairment because THC lacks correlation with impairment. retail-insider.com

Evart, MI: Police don't see increase in crime after legal marijuana sales begin

Cannabis magazine High Times to open retail stores this year

Illinois approves state's first marijuana smoking lounge




The Future of Ecommerce's Fraud Frontier: NRF 2020

MarketScale's Geoff Short sat down with Patrick Hodo, Red Maple CIO, at NRF 2020 for a conversation on cybersecurity, particularly in the retail industry and the ecommerce space.

Texas-based Red Maple provides solutions for retailers that help them fight fraud and online theft, areas that are growing alongside increased online transactions and expanding payment methods.

Forward-looking companies, Hodo said, are centralizing their goals on enabling credit card payments without actual credit card usage that increase ease of payment for the consumer. However, that goal comes along with significant obstacles.

"One of the things that we've worked on is a patented solution where, instead of the entire credit card number ... you take the first four and last four digits of the card with the customer-service person," Hodo said. "Then you let the customer, on their own device or over a phone call, finish it off."

The idea, Hodo said, is to minimize access to the consumer's entire credit card number, then deliver a token to merchants to be used again and again without that complete access to the entire number.

Short and Hodo also touched on additional concerns on the security frontier beyond customer-facing and credit card concerns and solutions to those roadblocks moving forward, threat-level assessment, the global nature of retail and ecommerce, and more. marketscale.com

Man charged with $1.5 million fraud for allegedly filing false damage claims on items shipped through USPS
A Florida man has been federally charged with running a $1.5 million fraud for allegedly filing false claims on merchandise he sold through his online company.

Miami resident Edwin Jim Garcia-Albarracin, 45, allegedly filed fraudulent claims for "purportedly damaged packages" sold through his online business, Rambos Market, stating that they were damaged when they were shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, according to a federal indictment filed in the Southern District of Florida earlier this month.

Garcia-Albarracin sold a variety of products through online marketplaces such as Listia and eBay, according to the court documents.

He would then purchase insurance through USPS and allegedly later file a claim stating that the contents of the packages had been damaged
. abcnews.com

Surpassing U.S. Online Consumers:
UK Ecommerce Surpassed 28.2% of Retail Sales During the 2019 Holiday's ($132.33B)

UPS launches plugins for ecommerce merchants




Fredericksburg, VA: Man arrested in suspected in major theft operation
An investigation began last month after a loss prevention officer at the Target store in Central Park saw Dehaven make several purchases in the store. City police were given the license number the suspect left in, and the van was spotted Dec. 23 in the Walmart parking lot. As officers approached the van, the suspect put the vehicle in reverse and tried to leave, striking a police cruiser in the process. Dehaven was taken into custody at the scene. Detective Johnny Wright wrote that several boxes of new items, including vacuums and Kitchen Aid products, were in the van, along with a U.S. Marshal's badge and ID and a BB gun. After executing a search warrant on the van, police recovered about $15,000 worth of property, including chainsaws, paint sprayers, Delta faucets, gift cards and electronics. Wright wrote that more than $6,500 in cash was found, along with numerous bar codes sorted by individual stores printed on peel-and-stick labels. cbs12.com

Gainesville, FL: Suspect Arrested: Man exits Best Buy by roof after stealing $50k in electronics
A South Carolina man who police say tried to steal $50,000 worth of electronics from a Gainesville Best Buy before he exited through a roof hatch to avoid authorities, is now behind bars. Herbert Alston, 27, of McClellanville, SC, arrived at the electronics and appliance store at, at about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 1, according to a Gainesville Police sworn complaint. Alston hid behind a shelf inside the store, which closed at 8 p.m. At about 9:45 p.m., after all customers and employees had left, Alston emerged from his hiding place and used a pair of bolt cutters to pry open a locked case, the complaint said. This sounded an alarm, which police later arrived to investigate. Alston placed electronics from the case into his bag, the complaint said, then tried to scale a ladder to the roof hatch. Store surveillance footage showed he was unable to carry the large bag containing the stolen items up the ladder, the complaint said, so he stuffed several phones inside his clothes and ditched the bag. gainesville.com

Hamilton, County, OH: Truck driver wanted in alleged $200,000 Texas chicken hustle arrested in Ohio
A Georgia man was arrested Tuesday in Harrison after police said he illegally sold chickens off his truck in Texas. Thomas Derwin Blair, 58, is charged with theft of cargo greater than $200,000, a felony. The Harrison Police Department approached Blair, who was driving a semi-tractor trailer, on Interstate 74 near New Haven Road around 3 p.m., according to arrest records. Officers said Blair was parked on the highway. After identifying him, the officers discovered Blair had an open warrant out of Dallas, Texas. Dallas investigators said in April of last year Blair was hired to drive 22 pallets of chicken to a company, but instead of delivering it, he sold some or all of it to another person. Blair is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center awaiting extradition to Texas. He faces no charges locally. cincinnati.com

Southington, CT: Man accused of organized retail theft;
$2,500 of items from Lowes and Home Depot

Police have arrested a 39-year-old Torrington man who is accused of stealing from two chain stores. Police say Christopher Main stole Milwaukee brand tools from the Home Depot and Lowes stores in Southington. The stolen items were valued at $2,945, according to police. rep-am.com

Jackson, MS: Man could be serial Apple Watch thief
On Wednesday, police released surveillance photos of the man they said is facing a felony theft charge in the theft of several Apple Watches from a display at a Jackson T-Mobile store. "He is also believed to be responsible for similar thefts at locations in neighboring states," JPD officials said in a tweet. wapt.com

Detroit, MI: Man arrested for armed robbery in Detroit had more than 30 iPhones

Jackson County, MI: Michigan State Police seize 100 fraudulent credit cards, gift cards and debit cards in bust

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Shootings & Deaths

Seattle; WA: Suspect sought after man killed in downtown shooting near Westlake Mall
Authorities say one person was killed and seven others were injured Wednesday during a shooting in downtown Seattle. The shooting happened around 5 p.m. after a fight escalated outside a McDonald's restaurant on 3rd Avenue and Pine Street. "This was not a random incident," Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said. "There were multiple people involved. There was a dispute that happened in front of the McDonald's. People pulled out guns and shots rang out." Authorities say there were multiple shooters involved who then fled during the chaos. Chief Best says detectives are reviewing video to see the exact number of people involved in the altercation. She is calling on witnesses to help with the investigation. Witnesses say they heard what they believed was automatic gunfire. fox40.com

Lake Worth, FL: Gas station murder started as dispute between two employees
A fight between two clerks led to a murder at a gas station in Lake Worth. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Roberto Portillo-Quijano shot and killed 42-year-old Abdessamad Ez Zahraoui at the Citgo Gas station on Tuesday night. cbs12.com

St Paul, MN: Man fatally shot outside C-Store, the city's third homicide so far this year

Las Vegas, NV: Employees, customers speak out after Fashion Show Mall shooting
An 18-year-old is in jail in connection with Tuesday night's shooting at Fashion Show on the Strip. Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas was with a friend when he got into an argument with another person, shooting that individual and two bystanders. 8 News Now spoke with people who were there at the time of the incident. "At this point, we are thinking it is an active shooter," recalled Sarah Gonzalez, a Victoria's Secret employee. Gonzalez was locked inside the store after shots rang out. "While in there for the two hours, we did not know what was going on. We had no clue. Phones were not working," she said. "People trying to call family, nothing was going through." Gonzalez told us the shooting happened near Foot Locker. "When I go back, I do not know how I will feel," she stated. It's unclear if the three people who were shot knew the shooter.

Gonzalez said there was another shooting at the mall in May and that "because of that, we were able to have procedures for this one and remain calm." Store employees' sense of knowing what to do was certainly noticed. Clark County Treasurer Laura Fitzpatrick was also at Victoria's Secret. "It was at about two hours when they finally lifted the lockdown," she recounted. She said from employees to security and Metro, she was impressed with the response: "Came away with a very good strong impression of how trained and professionally trained they were to handle an incident like this horrible incident." 8newsnow.com

Charlotte, NC: Pizza delivery driver fights back, shoots 3 of 4 would-be robbers
Police are investigating after a pizza delivery driver shot three of four people who they said ambushed him and tried to rob him overnight outside an east Charlotte apartment complex. wsoctv.com

Pensacola, FL: Dollar General Clerk Shot and Severely Wounded in Armed Robbery


ICE HSI seizes 700+ counterfeit sports items, $300K value, day of College Football National Championship game
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized more than 700 counterfeit sports-related items worth an estimated $300,000 during a joint anti-counterfeiting operation Monday in downtown New Orleans the day of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

In fiscal year 2019, HSI as a whole seized more than $800 million in counterfeit goods and made more than 350 criminal arrests related to support of IPR enforcement operations. ice.gov

Pittsburgh, PA: Customs officials seize $90K in counterfeit designer merchandise
U.S. Customs and Border Protection found more than $90,000 of counterfeit designer merchandise near Pittsburgh International Airport during a recent inspection. Officials said they initially examined two express parcels on Dec. 19 that were shipped from Hong Kong. The first shipment, which was destined for a Pittsburgh address, contained a Rolex watch, a Louis Vuitton bracelet, one pair each of Christian Loubouton shoes and boots, two pairs of Amiri jeans, an Off White shirt, Gucci jacket and a Louis Vuitton sweatshirt. Officers seized the first shipment on Jan. 18. The second shipment, which was destined for a Blawnox address, contained high-end charms and jewelry and was seized Jan. 17. Customs officials worked with the Centers of Excellence and Expertise and a trademark holder to deem the products counterfeit. If authentic, the first parcel had an suggested retail value of $47,910, and the second, $42,888. timesonline.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Las Vegas, NV: Update: Arrest Made in Fashion Show Mall Shooting
Police say an 18-year-old was arrested on attempted murder charges a day after a shooting that wounded three people, sent shoppers scrambling and drew a massive police response to an upscale Las Vegas Strip mall. Police said Wednesday the shooting the previous evening at the Fashion Show Mall stemmed from a gang-related dispute. Police identified Christopher Valenzuela-Olivas as the shooter who fled after three people were wounded. Police say the three victims have been released from a hospital. Valenzuela-Olivas is jailed pending a court appearance where he'll have an attorney appointed for his defense. kdwn.com

Boone County, MO: Man charged in shooting at Columbia Walmart
An 18-year-old man charged with opening fire at a Columbia Walmart used a firearm that was defaced and reported stolen as he shot toward employees, a shopper and his child. Boone County prosecutors on Saturday charged Jamie Anton Jackson with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count each of armed criminal action and child endangerment in the Friday evening incident at the Walmart. moberlymonitor.com

Venezuelan Man Gets 48 Months Fed Prison for ATM Skimming in N.C.

UK; Perth, Australia: Teen Gang arrested after raiding Gucci store, posing with the haul online

Paw Paw, MI: Police arrest two in connection to Walmart Armed Robbery in November

Washington, D.C.: Police search for suspect in 5 early-morning armed robberies in Mt. Pleasant

Sherman, TX: Woman Shoplifter pulls knife on Kohl's Loss Prevention

Beverly, OH: Clerk behind staged C-Store robbery gets two years



C-Store - Chandler, AZ - Robbery
C-Store - Waukesha, WI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Washington, DC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Cromwell, CT - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery / Assault
C-Store - Marble Falls, TX - Armed Robbery
CVS - Winston-Salem, NC - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Pensacola, FL - Armed Robbery
Family Dollar - Lima, OH - Burglary
Jewelry - Palm Desert, CA - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Overland Park, KS - Burglary
● Jewelry - Columbus, OH - Robbery
Kohl's - Sherman, TX - Armed Robbery / Knife on LP
Restaurant - Harrison Township, OH - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Macon, GA - Armed Robbery (Waffle House)
Skate Shop - Greensboro, NC - Armed Robbery
Sprint - Detroit, MI - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Waukesha, WI - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Sonora, CA - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Fort Myers, FL - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 2 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click to enlarge map


None to report.


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