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January 24, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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News Brief - Sponsored by WG Security Products

Meijer's rolls out new Vice President of Asset Protection position 
 With over 190 stores and 60,000 team members in five states this "superstore" inventor is now looking for it's first Vice President of Asset Protection in it's company's history. This regional player is well respected and focused on looking at LP exec's who have grocery experience. With $16.6B in 2011 sales this retailer is truly making a commitment to the AP industry. There's not many new frontiers left in our industry and this may the biggest "new job" of 2013.

Loss Prevention at Apple retail may be in for some changes with the departure of Apple's VP of Retail  A key player in the birth of Apple’s retail chain and a potential candidate to lead the retail stores has left the company. Jerry McDougal, Vice-President of Retail, said goodbye to his colleagues last Friday. Loss Prevention reported to him for many years and this is the second key retail exec to leave Apple recently as this executive helped build the retail platform with Ron Johnson, the current CEO at JC Penney. McDougal was Johnson’s right-hand man from the moment the chain was conceived in 2000. An Apple spokesman told AllThingsD that Jim Bean, a 15-year Apple veteran, has moved from his VP Finance position and assume McDougal’s position. Now you've got a finance executive running the LP program and not an operator. Whenever you have such changes the likely hood of more change is greater. (Source

International identity theft ring of 13 indicted in Chicago that reached to Russia and Poland and hit retailers  An international identity theft scheme was halted by the FBI following an investigation on Friday that dates back to 2009. The United States Department of Justice announced that two federal grand jury indictments were handed down, charging a total of 13 individuals with a variety of offenses - from scheming to obtaining goods, cars and money illegally. Among those charged were Peter Vana, 36, of Skokie, with three counts of wire fraud and Yaroslav Bolesta, 25, of Northbrook with one count of wire fraud. The duo is alleged to have participated in the fraud of purchasing multiple pieces of clothing, sporting goods, electronics and even vehicles through the use of identity theft and credit card fraud. All in all, 24 counts were made against 13 defendants, some of which were against people from Moscow and Poland. (Source

The new breed of "bounty hunters" - Third party auditors - going after suppliers for $1B to $2B annually  The recession caused retailers large and small to look for ways to improve profit and the third party auditors, who scour payment records between retailers and their suppliers looking for pricing errors, freight foul-ups and other opportunities for lost revenue, have just "inundated" suppliers with audit claims worldwide. And some say they've become the new breed bounty hunters making life as a supplier miserable. Working on a contingency basis - only getting paid from recoveries for retailers have become very creative in finding new claims. Across the entire retail channel, Evert says there is $1 billion to $2 billion in errors that suppliers and retailers are trying to recover for themselves with the help of third party auditors. (Source

MoneyGram teams up with the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition to cut off funds for counterfeiters worldwide  MoneyGram will participate in the IACC Payment Processor Portal Program, which is designed to prevent disreputable merchants from selling counterfeit goods by disabling certain payment processing channels, such as MoneyGram money transfers, to these merchants. (Source

The C-Store industry continues to explode, now hitting 149,220 stores in the U.S.  That figures is up 1,094 units from the prior year. The store count among companies with more than 500 units grew by 8.9% to 21,738 stores, compared to the less than 1% growth that saw units operated by independents increase to 93,819 stores. Convenience stores now account for 34.8% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, and the total count of slightly more than 149,000 units is double what it was in 1982. With 7-Eleven leading the way with over 8,030 stores and growing at a rapid pace, Mark Stinde is leading the Asset Protection efforts and building the best in class program in that entire industry. (Source

Now down to about 500 U.S. stores how long does Blockbuster have?
When Dish Network bought them in 2011 they had 1,700 and closed 500 last year alone. They also came to the market shortly after the purchase and were going to fill a new Director of LP position and backed off within three months. Never to approach that one again. With a skeleton LP team they won't be around much longer. It'll be surprising if they make it to 2014. (Source

Fresh & Easy continues to have problems with prosecutors fining them $833,136 for overcharging at the registers  On the block for sale, closing stores, eliminating most of the LP department last year this retailer just can't get a break. Prosecutors alleged that Fresh & Easy had charged customers more at checkout for certain products than the prices listed on shelves and had marked meat and seafood packages at a higher price per pound than indicated on the shelves. Weights and measures officials in 12 California counties recorded instances of price fraud during 124 inspections at 82 Fresh & Easy stores. (Source

"The popularity and increased adoption of cloud-based security services will influence the shape of future security marketplaces," Growth rates for cloud-based security services are set to overtake those of traditional on-premises. Security equipment over the next three years with operational cost reduction, flexibility of deployment across multiple IT environments, and fast implementation and product updates among major factors driving demand. Are you in the cloud yet? It's here and it's more cost effective. (Source

70% of exploit kits released or developed in Russia - the center of Cybercrime
Russia's notoriety as a home for cybercriminals was highlighted in the conviction of the creator of the infamous Gozi malware and a new report that found the majority of exploit kits were built in the country. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in New York unsealed an indictment that charged Russian national Nikita Kuzmin with creating the Gozi Trojan. The malware infected more than 1 million computers globally and led to 10s of millions of dollars in losses at several major U.S. banks. Russia is home to some of the world's most notorious malware writers and distributors. Lax law enforcement and an economy favoring the wealthy have pushed many computer programmers underground. A large number of the developers build the malware and then sell or rent it to others. (Source

The new ID theft scheme - flood your inbox to distract you from valid emails confirming purchases or balance transfers from fraudulent transactions  The victims' email inboxes suddenly get flooded with thousands upon thousands of emails, as many as 60,000 during a 12- to 24-hour period, that contain no links, no graphics, and no advertisements. "[The contents are] nothing but mash-ups of words and phrases from literature." Although the attack, while under way, makes it almost impossible to use one's email account, the real point is to distract the user from valid email, which will likely include confirmations of purchase receipts or balance transfers from fraudulent transactions made with the victim's credentials. (Source

Three women hitting stores at Towne Center in Mount Pleasant, N.C. hit policeman with car and lead cops on 20 mile chase  A Mount Pleasant police officer was investigating reports of thefts at several stores at the Towne Centre shopping center when she spotted three women matching the description of the suspects about 2:15 p.m. and tried to detain them. The women knocked the officer over as they sped away in a silver car, police said. Victoria’s Secret was among the stores the shoplifters reportedly targeted. More than 20 squad cars from several agencies joined the chase ending when they crashed into a residential garage almost hitting the home owner. (Source

Longmont, Colorado, police standoff with suicidal Walmart robbery suspect ends peacefully  19-year-old Longmont man held police at bay, at times with a gun pointed against his neck, for nearly 90 minutes Tuesday night after robbing Walmart of ammunition. An employee in the sporting goods department said a man with a black handgun took a box of 9 mm ammunition. (Source

Florida Police Bust Cargo Truck Theft Ring responsible for every truck theft in Florida last year except one  Five people have been arrested by Jacksonville police and at least two others are in custody elsewhere in Florida in an investigation into a statewide truck theft ring. Police said the suspects took between 20 and 25 tractor-trailers in Jacksonville, Nassau County, Orlando, Tampa and Lakeland. Investigators said the stolen goods were being shipped to Miami. "In October, we, in conjunction with six other law enforcement agencies throughout the state, started a cargo theft task force," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said. "In that cargo theft task force, people were watching the individuals." Police said the theft ring came to a halt on I-95 in Jacksonville when the suspects were arrested. Police said the suspects were connected to every truck theft in the state last year except for one. (Source

12 Luxury Cars Stolen In Smash-And-Grab At Hayward, CA Dealership
Thieves made off with a dozen high-end vehicles after a break in at a Hayward car dealership early Monday morning. (Source

Dothan, Alabama jewelry store loses $85,000 in smash and grab; police investigating over a dozen burglaries.  In the past several weeks the Circle City area has been hit with over a dozen break-ins. Yesterday the thieves took aim at Interco Coin and Jewelry, smashing out showcases with a brick and made off with 176 jewelry pieces valued at $85,000. The owner stated to police that the thieves were inside the store for 10 to 15 seconds. (Source

Ogden, Utah jewelry robbery may be tied to robbery in Maine.  No smashing of the showcase for these two suspects. During store hours with customers and sales staff in the area, two men cut the glass from the showcase, emptied the case and disappeared from the Morgan Jewelers in the Newgate Mall. Police say the operation was identical to a robbery that occurred during store hours in Maine last year, getting away with $125,000 in merchandise. (Source

Two women steal $1600 of testosterone booster from Complete Nutrition store in Wisconsin.  The Associate was helping another customer when two middle aged women entered the store and concealed bottles of testosterone booster valued at $180 a piece. Police are investigating the theft but currently have only the video surveillance to go on. (Source

Two arrested in Walmart arsons in Baton Rouge. 
Paul Triplett a former Walmart Associate, turned himself into police and has been charged with two counts of aggravated arson, two counts of terrorizing and one count of felony theft, Quinteria Sanders was arrested later and charged. Triplett and Sanders also have been arrested and accused of stealing a computer valued at $900 from the Wal-Mart on Jan. 12, where they allegedly set one of the fires. Another area Walmart also had a fire the same morning, in both cases customers were ushered out of the store by associates. Officials believe each store sustained about $11,000 in damage. (Source

South Pasadena Police arrest a man after year long credit card fraud scheme.  Feng Xian, 21 drove a Mercedes, had the designer clothing and jewelry and had no visible means of support. In most cases, Xian placed his own name on the front of the credit cards, so they matched his own ID, but coded the magnetic strips on the back of the cards with information linked to other people's accounts. Xian is a Chinese national in the United States on a green card. (Source

Seven people enter a Joplin Jewelry store at one time; store loses $20,000 of merchandise.  A group of seven people entered Cindi’s Diamonds in the Northpark Mall, they immediately split into two groups. As the clerk was assisting one man a second man reached behind the showcase stealing a tray of rings valued $20,000. The missing merchandise went unnoticed until the seven people had left the store. (Source



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eBay PROACT Supported Investigation Leads to -Loss-prevention officer receiving a two year prison sentence for retail theft

A man who stole more than $10,000 worth of merchandise from a store he was hired to protect from thieves was ordered Tuesday to serve two years in prison. The man was sentenced in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to a total of eight years with six years suspended. He had previously pleaded guilty to grand larceny and wearing a mask in public. The thefts occurred in a store where he worked as a loss-prevention officer. The evidence showed that on at least 10 occasions he disguised himself in a rubber mask and sunglasses and took various electronics out of the store garden center entrance without paying for them. Click here to read the full article.

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Pottstown, PA theft Ring busted; Walmart and Best Buy targeted for $6000 in electronics.  The family-oriented theft ring operated for only a few days back in December, but now four suspects have been arrested two still remain at large. Among the stolen items were Vizio flat screen televisions, HP desktop computers, a printer and four lap tops. The group was captured on video at both Walmart and Best Buy. (Source

ORC gang of 4 busted hitting Best Buy stores in Southern Florida  Three people were arrested in Boynton Beach, accused of stealing an estimated $10,000 worth of merchandise from several Best Buy stores in South Florida. Police said they were attempting to steal some items when they were caught. (Source

Task force arrests two responsible for possibly over 20 smash-and-grab burglaries in Manatee, elsewhere in FL.  Law enforcement officers late Wednesday arrested two Palmetto men they say are responsible for a recent string of smash-and-grab burglaries at convenience stores throughout the region, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Officials said several more burglary charges will be filed in coming days by officials in Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee and Desoto counties investigating more than 20 similar break-ins recently at other convenience stores. (Source

ORC gang of three hit Famous Footwear and other retailers in Kennewick, WA. 
Three Hermiston residents are being accused of organized retail theft after police say they were caught stealing goods from three Kennewick stores. Dena Faulstich, 38, Angela Stellings, 23, and Jerome Price, 27, were arrested Thursday after an employee at Famous Footwear spotted them concealing shoes inside the store, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin. The suspects were chased out of the store and caught as officers arrived. That's when additional property stolen from Ranch & Home and Craft Warehouse was spotted inside their car, he said. (Source

Two charged with theft of $3500 in cologne from Ulta and JC Penney in New York.  A month long investigation has led to the arrest of two suspects in New Hartford, New York. Back on December 11 the Ulta Beauty Supply store was hit for $2200 of cologne by a male and female suspect; they got away but were captured on video. On December 17 the two hit JC Penney in the Sangertown Square Mall for $1500 of cologne, Kortney Servatius was arrested with a booster bag and a hypodermic needle. The male suspect got away but was later identified as Richard Brown and arrested. (Source

Identity Theft Ring hits NE Ohio, hitting Kohl’s, Macy’s, J. Crew, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Brooks Brothers  Turns out, identity thieves racked up more $14,000 dollars in one name alone in New York. Multiple victims all in one neighborhood in Ohio with five of them living on one street. The investigation is ongoing. They were opening accounts with the names and trying to buy merchandise immediately. Strangely enough even this writer got hit on Dec. 23. These may be mail box hitters. Which has become real popular over the last couple of years. (Source

ORC? Memphis police looking for suspect who's been hitting Sam's Club and an ID thief hitting stores for thousands  Southaven Police are searching for a 33-year-Memphis woman accused of identity theft by using personal information to purchase several thousand dollars worth of merchandise at stores in the city. They're also looking for a man wanted in connection with a series of shopliftings at Sam's Club. The suspect is described as a white man, approximately 6 feet, 210-220 pounds with receding brown hair with a bald spot in the back. He is usually accompanied by a woman. Anyone with information is asked to call the Southaven Police Department at 662-393-8652 or Desoto County Crime Stoppers at 662-429-8477. (Source

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Vendor Spotlight


Mobile POS and Payments
A Problem for Retailers

By Gator Hudson

There are two fast emerging technologies that will affect retail sales and surveillance:
1) Card reading devices that work inside a retail establishment that are essentially replacing “cash registers."
2) Mobile payment acceptance using devices attached to smart phones.

Mobile Point-of-Sale
The NRF says that in a few years the way you buy items in store will change dramatically. Instead of going to a cash register a clerk will walk up to you and ask if you want buy the item you are looking at, then “swipe” either your cell phone (using near field technology), or your credit card, over a mobile payment device they have in their hand. Several retailers are already using this technology. The challenge is that there is no dedicated camera over the cash register anymore to capture the images of the transaction. What to do?

The answer it seems to me is to build a top facing camera into the payment device the sales clerk has in his hand. When the transaction starts the camera comes on and captures images during the transaction. Or possibly it’s always recording but we use analytics to store the images for x seconds before and after the transaction.

The wireless network infrastructure in the store will be major upgraded to support the mobile POS devices so there should be enough bandwidth to support the images being sent from the built in camera, especially if the device has onboard intelligence about what to send/save.

Mobile Payment By Smartphone
Payment devices like Square are attached to a smartphone. The idea is the contractor that comes to your house to repair your roof can accept your credit card payment right there with his smartphone. The similar idea of using the smartphone’s camera to record and transmit the image applies. This would work well for the new smartphones that have a camera facing the front of the phone as well as the back.

Learn how you can use video to combat mobile payment fraud here.



Thought Challenge

Thought Challenge Review

By Randy Guarneri
District Asset Protection Manager

as published on August 8, 2012

All companies have Shrink Budgets, and we all know the factors that go into those budgets: shrink history, item movement, square footage, sales volume for the last 2 to 3 years, new competition openings, competition closings, etc.

Loss Prevention Departments are measured in some form or fashion by the percentages reflected by the shrink budgets. Here is my proposal: Look at data developed by criminologists Robert Figlio and Steven Aurand, and incorporate this data into our yearly Shrink Budgets.

Now you might be asking yourself these questions: "Who are Figlio and Aurand, and what exactly did they develop that could benefit our company?"

These individuals developed none other than the CAP Index (Crimes Against Persons/Property). This Index is composed of demographic variables such as housing data, population, economic data, educational information, etc. Do these factors sound familiar? They should.

This is the same sort of information which is used when interviewing a suspected dishonest associate and when looking at his/her personnel file to develop our rationalizations when dealing with these issues. Furthermore, we may even seek answers from store managers such as these: "What part of town do they live in?" "How much do they make?" "Are they in school? " "Are they a single parent?" and "How many children do they have?"

Let me give you a perfect example of why CAP Indexes would be useful in Shrink Budgets. Why would a posh store in Ponte Vedra, Florida, with a CAP Index of a minuscule 16 have the same exact Shrink Budget as a store in Atlanta, Georgia, doing the same sales volume with a CAP Index of 584? Would it surprise you that there was a 2.89% difference in shrink between the two stores? You can guess which one had the higher shrink!

In this sputtering economy, theft has increased for both the occasional and professional criminal. If companies were to use criminologists Figlio and Aurand's data model and incorporate it into existing known data that is currently used to make shrink budgets, it could help predict new losses that are on the horizon and help develop realistic budgets. I would also argue that this process could assist in hiring a better quality of employee, help decrease the number of Worker's Compensation Claims, help determine which locations need security guards and/or police officers, and truly compare stores realistically with regards to shrinkage.

It could be a total win-win sweep for Loss Prevention and Operations!

Randy Guarneri has over fourteen years experience in loss prevention management. Guarneri has held various positions in loss prevention and asset protection, including store, district, and regional positions. Guarneri has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology with a Minor in Criminal Justice from College of Charleston. He is a member of the Alabama Retail Association, Southeast Loss Prevention Network, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) for Asset Protection and a member of the Local Chapter of Loss Prevention/Law Enforcement Division of Birmingham.

Guarneri can be reached at or (843) 224-4961.


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Melissa Lauricello, CFI, CFCI was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Brooks Brothers.
Keith Poland was named Asset Protection District Manager for Rite Aid.

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How to Refresh Your Brain -- in 10 Minutes   When you go from one task to the next -- all day long -- your mind constantly races to catch up. In fact, the average office worker changes windows on his computer 37 times an hour. Hit the reset button with this underrated trick. (Slow down)

Are You Too Productive?
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, according to the classic saying. But is all work also making Jack a dumber boy? There is such a thing as too much productivity and efficiency, say neuroscientists, at least when it crowds all play out of your day. (Gone too far)

4 Types of Time-Wasting Bosses  Do you feel that you're working longer and longer hours but not having a commensurately large impact on your business? If you answered yes, know that at least you're not alone. Do you recognize yourself in any of these types? (Popular ways)

Every Office Has Its Bullies; Here's How to Outwit Them  All of use can be difficult to work with at times, in ways we're usually blind to. Here's how to deal with others (and your own flaws) to defuse difficult work situations, from the authors of "Mean Girls at Work," Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster. (Particularly pernicious)

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As many of us speed through our days and work hard to accomplish our objectives, oftentimes the one thing that suffers is our active listening skills. These skills are important if we expect to truly change behavior or direction as quickly as today's pace requires. Active listening is difficult for some and requires an individual to hear things they may not be open to hearing or just hearing things that aren't said because oftentimes it isn't what's said that's important, it's what isn't said that can mean the most. Hearing that usually takes place upon reflection because most of us aren't intellectually fast enough to respond instantaneously. Active listening is a tool and a skill that can help an executive every day. It merely requires the thought and the practice.

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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