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February 1, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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Apple suspected of bribing Russian ministers with trip to London  
Apple is said to have held a week-long seminar for Russian regional ministers of education and other officials at a venue in London. The London event has come to the attention of the National Anti-Corruption Committee which is to investigate whether the trip was in fact completely financed by Apple, as that could be considered bribery. The report suggests that the timing of the trip was suspicious because large federal government educational tenders (RFP's) for the modernization of equipment worth up to RUB 2 billion (USD 66.5 million) per region will soon be conducted. (Source

Shopko completes conversion of Pamida stores 
Shopko has completed the conversion of 163 Pamida stores. The move makes Shopko one of the largest U.S. retailers to serve smaller and rural communities. The merger was first announced one year ago this month. Today Shopko currently operates 176 Shopko Hometown stores. (Source

Mobile coupon redemption will grow 50% worldwide in 2013 
Consumers will use 10 billion mobile coupons this year up 50% from 2012, Juniper research predicts. Consumers redeem mobile coupons more than 10 times as often as they do coupons clipped from print publications or printed from their computers—10% of the time for mobile discounts versus less than 1% of the time for traditional coupons, the report says. And the fraud potential will grown exponentially. (Source

"Operation Red Zone" shuts down 300+ websites, Feds seize $13.6M in phony sports merchandise and the drug cartels are involved Investigators confiscate more than $13.6M of phony sports merchandise and shut down over 300 web sites over the past five months and expect to seize and shut down more in New Orleans during Super Bowl week. Federal investigators say they have intelligence that shows even the Mexican drug cartels are getting involved in the counterfeit NFL black market trade. (Source (Source

In China Apple is King and Microsoft is just a Pirate
Apple does $26.6B in 12 months sales a 31% increase since 2009 and on the other side of the coin 90% of Microsoft users use pirated versions because they just don't want to pay for intellectual property - software. Bootleg versions keeps Microsoft from seeing monster growth in China. China also has a ban on video game consoles, so there's no hope for Microsoft's Xbox 360. Since Apple primarily sells hardware with integrated software at premium prices, it has become a luxury status symbol that can't be easily replicated. There are counterfeit iPhone ripoffs, but when it comes to hardware, nothing can beat the real thing. Its gadgets are among other popular luxury brands in the country, like Coach. For now, Apple will enjoy its role as the one and only domestic tech giant that can succeed in China. (Source

Online Ads are More Dangerous than Porn, Cisco Says
Cisco found in its 2013 Annual Security report, it can be more dangerous to click on an online advertisement than an adult content site these days, according to Cisco. (Source

Gen Y online behavior have broadened threats
As a growing user base of younger workers blur the lines of what online activities occur during personal or work time, like social networking on Twitter or LinkedIn, it becomes harder for corporate managers to defend their business from threats. "The hacking community started realizing they could go after the low-hanging fruit through targeting normal transactions," Stewart said. "Also, [users] are now pulling malware into other infrastructures, like their corporate network." (Source

Off-Duty MS Deputy suffers heart attack, and died after detaining accused shoplifter  The off-duty officer went to help when an alleged shoplifter began fighting officers outside a Memphis Wal-Mart. Within the hour, 42-year-old Scott Johnson died of a heart attack. (Source

Security loophole drives identity thieves increasingly to Payday Lenders - it’s a national trend with one case having 300+ victims  The Identity Theft Council is warning of a troubling increase in the exploitation of payday lending loopholes by identity thieves. According to the Council, because many payday lenders don’t run credit checks with the three main consumer credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and Transunion – before granting credit, identity thieves are increasingly turning to these lenders to bypass the few security precautions available to consumers to protect themselves. "I would estimate that more than a third of the identity theft cases we’ve worked on in the last six months have involved payday lenders," according to Neal O’Farrell, founder and Executive Director of the Identity Theft Council. "It’s a triple whammy for victims." (Source

Brazen Daylight Robbery of Fort Lauderdale TJ Maxx Caught on Video.  Fort Lauderdale Police are looking for a trio of suspects they say were caught on video robbing a TJ Maxx store at gunpoint in broad daylight. The robbery happened around 1 p.m. on Tuesday when two of the suspects entered the store posing as customers. One of the suspects approached the store manager, told him he was armed and demanded to be taken to the safe. Another manager noticed something going on and walked over, and the suspect pulled out a silver handgun. (Source

Caught on camera: Robbers hit Boost Mobile store in northeast Houston  Aggressive and violent, this cell phone store got hit hard by armed robbers. A disturbing trend in America - cell phone stores getting hit all the time. (Source

One arrest made in check fraud ring of 3 operating in WA, hitting retailers 
Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 25-year-old Vancouver man suspected of passing fraudulent checks at retail stores in Longview, Kelso and Woodland. Two other suspects are being interviewed. Last week, the sheriff’s office asked the public for help identifying three people who had allegedly passed fraudulent checks through the Woodland and Longview Wal-Mart's, both Safeway's and the Radio Shack in Longview, the former Sears store in Kelso and other retailers in the Portland and Vancouver area. (Source

Montco jewelry store owner kidnapped, robbed at store and home in East Norriton, Pa.  Four suspects are being sought in connection with an armed robbery and kidnapping of a jewelry store owner. Robbed at gunpoint by four masked men of an undisclosed amount of money he was then forced to drive the men to his Montgomery County jewelry store, Shuler's Jewelers and they robbed the store. They released him. There are no descriptions of the suspects at this time. (Source

Portland teen ‘flash mob’ strikes at Macy’s in Lloyd Center Mall for $1000 of merchandise.  Police say a teen flash mob stole about $1,000 worth of Levis jeans from the Macy’s store at Lloyd Center Mall. Police say five or six boys and girls grabbed the jeans and ran out of the mall Thursday night through another store where they were picked up by an SUV. Police are checking surveillance video. (Source

Police search for suspect who robbed Lauderhill, Fla. Babies R’ Us.  Lauderhill Police are looking for an armed man who robbed a Babies R' Us earlier this month. The robbery happened around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 at the store at 7350 W. Commercial Boulevard, Lauderhill Police said Wednesday. Police say the suspect jumped over the cash register, pointed a gun at the cashier and demanded money. He fled with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured during the robbery, which was captured on the store's surveillance system. (Source

Wichita Walmart Robber calls in a bomb threat demanding cash. 
Police say a would-be robber likely drove off before a Walmart employee could deliver the cash to him during a phoned-in robbery attempt and bomb threat at the store Thursday afternoon. Wichita police said a store employee received the call on a store phone about 2:40 p.m. The caller told the employee to gather money from registers and slip it into a back window of a vehicle in the parking lot that would then drive off. He also “indicated that there were three explosive devices in the store”. No one was waiting when the employee tried to deliver the money. Police think the caller may have driven off when he saw officers, who responded within about 15 seconds. (Source

Second time in three months a jewelry store in Des Plaines, ILL., was robbed 
For the second time in approximately three months a robbery was attempted on a Des Plaines jewelry store. In both cases the suspected thief did not escape with jewelry from R.C. Wahl Jewelers. (Source

Kay Jewelers in Stockton, Cal. smashed by SUV.  Stockton police are looking for four people who rammed a stolen SUV into the Kay Jewelers store on Trinity Parkway in Stockton and burglarized the store. The burglary happened at 3:30 a.m. on January 29. The burglars used hammers to smash display cases and stole several items of jewelry. One burglar was described as a light skinned male, short dark hair, sideburns, wearing shorts and a light colored jacket with a red hood and red on the sleeves. A second burglar was wearing a dark hooded jacket with a wide light colored plaid pattern and possible matching scarf. (Source

Fort Meyers jewelry store gets smashed by a Cadillac, losing $50K in merchandise. Provident Jewelers Owner found parts of the Cadillac half way through his store, as thieves used the stolen car to smash out the front entrance. Once inside the thieves smashed showcases stealing over $50,000 in merchandise. Most of the high end merchandise was secured in the stores safe and was not stolen. The stolen Cadillac was later recovered by Police. (Source

Former Chicago Bears, Texas A&M, player Darren “Tank” Lewis arrested in Duncanville 7-Eleven armed robbery.  A former NFL, football player was in custody Wednesday in connection with the armed robbery of a Duncanville 7-Eleven store that left an employee injured. Darren Lewis, 44, was in the DeSoto City Jail, Duncanville, Texas, authorities planned to charge him with aggravated robbery. The robbery occurred about 2 a.m. Tuesday at a 7-Eleven where Lewis is accused of demanding money from an employee, who was shot in the thigh after refusing to hand it over. The employee was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Lewis was an All-American running back for Texas A&M in 1990 and was drafted by the Chicago Bears, but only played two seasons. (Source

Lowes Maintenance Supervisor Dies of Electrocution at Distribution Center in Rockford, Illinois.  53-year-old Gregory Stewart of Forreston died yesterday after being electrocuted at Lowes Distribution Center. Around 3:30 p.m. on January 30th, the Rockford Fire Department received a medical call at Lowes Distribution Center. When paramedics arrived, Stewart was totally unresponsive and had unstable vital signs. He was transported by ambulance to Rockford Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Stewart is said to have been working in a false ceiling above a conference room when a coworker heard a noise and called out to him. The coworker then went to his aid, brought him down the ladder and CPR was initiated. (Source

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January Same Store Sales Results

Rite Aid up 0.3% with total sales down 0.5%

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Natural Grocers Q1 up 12.9% with sales up 28.1%
Harris Teeter Q1 up 2.53% with sales up 3.7%
Metro (Canada) Q1 up 1.5% with sales up 2.7%
Bebe Q2 down 10.5% with net sales down 11%


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2012 Thought Challenge Awards Committee

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Sears lays off 700 in Canadian stores under the banner of "Right-Sizing"
Of the layoffs, 360 from were the stores and 300 from its distribution centers. The remaining workers are being let go from head office and other support areas. Sears Canada has been revamping operations to encourage more customers to return to its stores after years of declining sales, and also to prepare for the entry of numerous U.S. retailers, including discount chain Target. (Source

Best Buy closed 7 namesake stores and 8 Future Shop stores in Canada
Cutting 900 jobs and will continue to operate more than 120 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile locations and over 140 Future Shop stores in Canada. Employees arrived for their shift Thursday morning and were met by security guards and closed doors. They did not receive advance notice of a closure. (Source

Four men work as a team to hit West 49 for $15,500 in watches in Oshawa.  Four men working as a team; two working as look-outs, worked very quickly to steal $15,500 of watches for West 49 in the Oshawa Centre Mall. Police believe these same individuals may have struck in Ottawa, St Bruno, Oue and Brantford, Ontario. (Source

Thief targets Costco customers purchasing bulk cigarettes. 
The suspect was waiting in the parking lot at Costco stores in Saanich, Langford, Nanaimo, Burnaby, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Kamloops waiting for customers who purchased a large quantity of cigarettes. The suspect would then wait for his chance and break into the vehicle; one incident netted him $3200 of cigarettes. (Source

RCMP makes four arrests in Richmond store break-ins. 
Last week we reported that the RCMP had met with local merchants in Richmond to develop a strategy to catch the suspects who broke into 30 local businesses. This group arrested last Saturday may or may not be responsible for the Chinese Herbal store thefts, but are connected to the theft of cell phones and electronics. (Source

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Vendor Spotlight

Denise Canfield Named Universal Surveillance Systems
Executive Vice President

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – January 31, 2013 – Universal Surveillance Systems LLC (USS), the architects of surveillance technology, has named Denise Canfield as executive vice president. In this position, she will drive the strategy and direction for all USS operations including sales, research & development, marketing, finance, customer service, service and technology. She was previously USS senior vice president of operations. She will also serve on the board of directors of the non-profit USS Foundation that helps disadvantaged children have a chance for a brighter tomorrow.

USS President and CEO Adel Sayegh said, “With her extensive knowledge of the loss prevention industry and incredible business acumen, Denise is the ideal choice for this critical position. She understands the USS vision of excellence and, with her strategic thinking and drive, will help lead USS in our upcoming chapter of growth and introduction of new products.”

Canfield began with USS in 2002 in the accounting department and progressed rapidly to senior vice president. Her background and expertise includes finance and management positions at manufacturing, healthcare, public works and import/export companies.

Canfield resides in Fontana, CA.

About Us:

Universal Surveillance Systems (USS) is the largest privately held innovator of loss prevention solutions. Since 1995, USS has maintained the vision of providing unsurpassed technical innovation with unrivaled customer support to Fortune 500 clients, worldwide leading retailers, and local communities. USS offers total security solutions designed to deter theft, prevent loss, and increase profitability. To learn more about the complete line of USS electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems and loss prevention solutions, visit USS at USS is also on Facebook at, Twitter at and LinkedIn at

For more information, contact:

Scott Richardson
Corporate Communications Manager
Universal Surveillance Systems



Deputies in Georgia arrest man they say stole over $10,000 from six Walmart stores in South Carolina.  Deputy’s say 36-year-old Brian Williams has been charged with theft by bringing stolen property into the state after he stole $10,780.52 worth of merchandise. Williams was pulled over Tuesday after deputies say he made an improper lane change I-95. A deputy asked for permission to search Williams's vehicle. Williams denied the request, at which time a sergeant performed a free air search around the vehicle with his K-9. The dog alerted on the vehicle it was searched. Inside the car, deputies said they found small traces of marijuana and two plastic bins filled merchandise inside of his vehicle. The items in the bins were Gillette razors, Nicorette Lozenges and gum, 5-Hour energy drink, Mucinex, Claritin, Zantac, Crest White Strips, Prevacid, Olay Skin Cream, Phillips Sonicare toothbrushes and pet items. When asked if Williams had receipts for the items found, Williams said he bought them at the flea market in Jacksonville. Deputies interviewed the passenger who stated that Williams may have stolen the items from Wal-Mart stores in South Carolina. (Source

WA. Sen. Mike Carrell Wants to Nip 'Flash Robs' in the Bud
Flash mobs are nothing new. But "flash robs" apparently are. That's why state Sen. Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) has introduced a bill - SB 5178 - to set up stiffer penalties for these acts of organized retail theft. Much like flash mobs are set up by a group of people communicating via text message or social media - with the usual outcome typically being some sort of spontaneous public dance - "flash robs," as they're awkwardly referred to in the language of Carrell's bill, are coordinated robberies set up by a group of people communicating electronically. If ultimately passed, Carrell's proposed legislation, which is scheduled to be heard Friday morning by the Senate Law & Justice Committee, would make it so groups of nine or more people could be charged with organized retail theft - a felony - if they jack $250 or more in merchandise and use electronic means to orchestrate the heist. (Source

Organized retail crime said to be widespread, growing
Organized retail crime across the nation has been on the rise the past few years. Of the 125 loss prevention executives with business from across the nation, 96 percent said their businesses were victims of organized retail crime between April 2011 and April 2012, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. On Wednesday, West York Police announced that 110 people have been charged for their alleged involvement in a retail theft ring based in the borough. Officials said the ring netted an estimated $750,000 in stolen merchandise but that amount could be closer to a $1 million. (Source

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Thought Challenge 

Thought Challenge Review

Smart Device Technology and the Challenges for Loss Prevention

By Marc Smith
Manager, Shortage Control
Sears Holdings Corporation

as published on August 23, 2012

All major retailers are moving at light speed to bring smart device technology to the market place. The challenges for not only retail loss prevention but for loss prevention solution providers are to be nimble enough to embrace and accommodate the ever-changing technology.

Mobile Point of Sale and Self Checkout – Did the customer really pay for that?

We may have a new term to ad to the retail loss prevention dictionary; "Self Sweet -Hearting."
Retailers generally have exception reporting to conduct investigations of Point-of-Sale (POS) transactions and dedicated closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras for review of exception transactions post transaction. These tools have historically provided the tools that loss prevention has needed to conduct investigations of POS theft and fraud. The CCTV tool may be rendered useless if the camera is fixed.
Is the answer pan tilt zoom (PTZ) cameras? Then comes the budget challenge. If you do have the camera technology, you may not have the dedicated payroll to follow the mobile device around.
Does the technology exist to have the PTZ follow the device without manual intervention? This is the challenge for technology providers.
We in Loss Prevention tend to be control freaks. Relinquishing the PTZ controls to technology will be a culture change.

How Do We Keep The Technology in the Building?

Like all technology, the cost of mobile devices will come down. The need to continually upgrade applications and software will be an on-going expense that retailers will have to budget and plan for.
Retailers will need a robust system to ensure the devices are checked in and out ensuring their employees are accountable for the devices.
Most retailers are ensuring the devices are "wiped" of the POS and inventory control applications if the device is logged on after reported missing. The devices still have value to the thief, after all who would not want a new iPad?
Most devices have the ability for GPS tracking, but once the device is removed from the store is it cost effective to track the device down for recovery and criminal arrest?
The answer may be the technology coming to the market place simultaneously with radio frequency identification (RFID).

With Self Checkout Who Removes the Theft Mitigation Device?

For high risk product today, retailers try to maintain a self-service strategy by using theft mitigation products such as EAS tags or Spider Wrap. These devices are typically removed from the product at the POS. Does this mean that these devices become obsolete?
Perhaps applications can be added that automatically contact a store employee to remove the device.
Retailers may have to return to the Service model where high risk product is delivered to the paying customer at a central location in the store. These locations may already exist with merchandise pickup areas, service desks or layaway as this retail tactic regains popularity.
Has the time for Benefit Denial Technology arrived? The product would be rendered useless either digitally or mechanically until the product is paid for. This would require a complete culture change, training of customers and employees and an investment in the technology by retailers.

There are certainly more challenges on the horizon as technology continues to evolve and is introduced to the retail market place. Retailers, technology developers and solution providers with the vision to embrace and evolve with innovative loss prevention solutions will reap the rewards. The customer will enjoy having more options to dictate their shopping experience.


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Director of Safety & Security Columbus Zoo Columbus, OH Columbus Zoo
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Director, Loss Prevention REI Kent, WA REI
Global Director of LP Nike, Inc. Portland, OR Nike, Inc.
Director, Loss Prevention Lumber Liquidators Toano, VA Lumber Liquidators
Director, Security Major League Soccer New York, NY Major League Soccer
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AP Asst. Manager Cabela's Hamburg, PA Cabela's
Regional Loss Prevention Mgr Wolverine Worldwide Rockford, MI Wolverine Worldwide
District Operations Mgr Home Depot Bedfork Park, IL Home Depot
Mgr, District LP Walgreens New York, NY Walgreens
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's New York, NY Bloomingdale's
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's New York, NY Bloomingdale's
Dept. Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Oklahoma City, OK Lowe's
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Stamford, CT Macy's
Organized Retail Crime Mgr Macy's Miami, FL Macy's

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Spider-Man's 3 Leadership Lessons 
What does our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man have to teach us about leadership? Plenty, but I'd like to focus on just three lessons. So, what are the lessons we can learn from the amazing web-slinger? (Benefits of honesty)

Overcoming Being Overqualified  When you're job searching, having your experience match exactly with the job qualifications is a long shot. So what do you do when you are overqualified for a position that you are interested in? How do you put your best foot forward? (Some tips)

How to Go About Networking at Work  I can't stress enough how important networking is. No matter what your industry, personality, or situation, networking is one of the best ways to find a job. The connections you build during your search will benefit you throughout your career. (Once you get it)

Bad Leaders Can Change Their Spots We have many ways to describe the common belief that a person's behavior is relatively fixed: "A leopard can't change his spots." "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." You could probably add a few more old saws yourself. (Prevalent)

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We all need "Encouragement"

Take a minute and watch this - You'll be encouraged

"Forget about Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, this might very well be the best inspirational pep talk ever. And the one who gives this speech is none other than a young, very classy, kid."

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

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