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Agilence Webinar Tomorrow @ Noon ET
Combatting Instacart Fraud, Theft & More

E-commerce platforms like Instacart have seen their overall footprint within the grocery and retail industries skyrocket during the pandemic. While more consumers move to buying products this way, brands are being left to decipher how to best optimize this new relationship with Instacart.

Join us for a new webinar that covers the latest trends, tips and tricks on how to best leverage your Instacart data.

This webinar will cover:

● Analyzing the impact of Instacart on the retail and grocery industries
Tracking the specific fraud and theft cases rising across the Instacart Shopper landscape
Digging into the correlation between your In-Store vs. Instacart sales
Leveraging your Instacart data for Category and Pricing Analysis
And more...

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Protests & Violence

The Post COVID-19 Future of Retail Loss Prevention (Pt. II)
- with Tony D'Onofrio, Global Retail Influencer

Crime patterns are changing and getting more violent

In my last video I discussed the increased retail violence in the United States. An additional challenge is the growth of organized retail crime or ORC. National Retail Federation research points out that ORC cost retailers an average $719,548 per $1 billion in sales, up 2% from 2019. This was the fifth year in a row the figure has topped $700,000 and is up significantly from just over $450,000 in 2015. 75% of retailers saw an increase in ORC in 2020 and 57% saw more violence. Watch here

Crime Increase Lines Up With 1st Stay-at-Home Order
In line with National Trends & Revolving Jail Doors With Quick Releases

Minneapolis violent crimes soared in 2020 amid pandemic, protests

Pandemic, shutdowns, unrest triggered a domino effect, leaders say.

Violent crimes soared by 21% in Minneapolis last year, adding a painful coda to the city's struggles in coping with a deadly pandemic and widespread protests against racial injustice.

The city recorded 5,422 violent crime incidents, including homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults, according to preliminary year-end Minneapolis police statistics. That is a dramatic jump over the previous five years, which averaged roughly 4,496 such crimes. Property crime saw a more modest 10% increase.

A range of mental health experts and community leaders say that the increase in violence is unlikely due to any one factor. But most lay the blame largely on the pandemic, which has left many jobless and struggling to pay their bills, shuttered schools and worsened the lack of affordable housing.

Violent crime climbed in almost every part of the city, but it continued to exact the heaviest toll in poorer neighborhoods, a Star Tribune analysis found.

Minneapolis is in line with a national trend that saw homicide rates jump 30% in other large U.S. cities, according to a new report by the Council on Criminal Justice and Arnold Ventures, which suggests the coronavirus pandemic and unrest over racial injustice were factors. At the same time, those cities saw declines in property and drug crimes, the study found, where Minneapolis did not. The increase in crime, the Star Tribune analysis found, dates to last spring, when the state imposed its first stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the virus.

Police officials point to what they see as a revolving door for suspects in some crimes, with arrests followed by quick release, under new rules aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in jails. Often they would only be rearrested for the same crime. Others blamed the rise in crime on reductions in certain traffic stops after criticism about racial profiling, and new pursuit guidelines that bar officers from chasing fleeing suspects in all but the most serious cases. startribune.com

Minneapolis: George Floyd Murder Trial Begins March 8th
Minneapolis & St. Paul Expecting Unrest - Will Stores Board Up?

Gov. Tim Walz to activate Minnesota National Guard for Derek Chauvin's trial

Derek Chauvin to be tried in death of George Floyd.

Gov. Tim Walz is activating the Minnesota National Guard ahead of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in March.

The preparation of the National Guard is one of many steps the state is taking in anticipation of potential unrest around the trial, which is set to start March 8. Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in George Floyd's death last May.

The upcoming trials of the former officers involved in the death of George Floyd have raised the potential of civil unrest in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and nearby communities," Walz said in a statement Friday.

Walz said this week that in addition to peaceful protests, the trials will be a "magnet" for people who want to do more than just express their First Amendment rights.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington on Wednesday described how he started that day talking with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces about trial preparation, then met with Black church leaders in north Minneapolis about what they can do to protect their congregations and churches.

He said he followed that with a conference call with 213 chief law enforcement officers about how the state and dozens of local law enforcement agencies will work together to block crime during the trial. startribune.com

Retail Violence & Harassment Investigation
H&M Responds to Gender-Based Violence at a Facility That Makes Its Clothing
H&M has responded after Jeyasre Kathiravel, a 20-year-old garment worker at the brand's supplier Natchi Apparels (which is owned by Eastman Exports) in Kaithian Kottai, Tamil Nadu, was found dead near her home.

According to police reports obtained by The Guardian, a man who was her supervisor at the supplier's facility confessed to killing her and has been charged with her abduction and murder. Her family and coworkers claim that prior to her death, she was repeatedly harassed and intimidated by her supervisor. They say that Kathiravel reported the abuse on several occasions but nothing was done about it.

A union leader for the workers at the factory told the outlet that gender-based harassment was commonplace.

After public outcry on social media from several activist organizations like Clean Clothes Campaign, Remake, and Asia Floor Wage Alliance, H&M released a statement saying that they would conduct a third-party investigation into the harassment claims at Eastman Exports and work toward ending gender-based violence in its supply chain.

In the fashion industry, regulating the supply chain in a way that protects the workers - 80% of whom are women - has been one of the most pervasive problems that often results in unsafe working conditions that go unreported. Regular, structured oversight and third party investigations are a critical step in moving toward a more equitable fashion industry.  msn.com

Threats by white supremacists in state continue to be serious, officials say
Supremacist groups are more likely to operate covertly, FBI agent says.
Minnesota continues to face a serious threat of violence from white supremacists and other domestic terrorist groups, two of the state's top law enforcers said Friday. startribune.com

They Supported 'Defund the Police.' Then the NYC Mayoral Campaign Began.
Most of the leading mayoral candidates have been wary of embracing the "defund the police" movement, which has lost some mainstream political momentum.


COVID Update

US: Over 27.6M Cases - 475K Dead - 17.3M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 106M Cases - 2.3M Dead - 78M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 273   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 233
*Red indicates change in total deaths

UK Variant Doubling Every Week and a Half
U.K. coronavirus variant spreading rapidly through United States, study finds
The coronavirus variant that shut down much of the United Kingdom is spreading rapidly across the United States, outcompeting other strains and doubling its prevalence among confirmed infections every week and a half, according to new research made public Sunday.

The spread of the variant, officially known as B.1.1.7, and the threat of other mutant strains of the virus, have added urgency to the effort to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. The variant is more contagious than earlier forms of the coronavirus and may also be more lethal, although that is far less certain. washingtonpost.com

CEO's Start Speaking Out As Quarterly Results Coming Out

What the CEO's Are Saying & Expecting
It's All Contingent on a Successful Vaccine Roll-Out

Slow Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout, New Variants Shift Some Business Plans
Consumers are unlikely to resume travel, dining out and shopping in stores at a pre-pandemic cadence until later this year, chiefs of some large companies told Wall Street analysts and investors in recent weeks. Some CEOs said consumer activity could pick up as soon as spring. Others pointed to a recovery later in the year-or even 2022.

"Let me underscore that progress on economic growth is contingent on an effective vaccine rollout program globally," said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon. "In its absence, economic recovery will be unnecessarily delayed."

The pandemic has unevenly bolstered and derailed growth prospects; divided workforces into staff able to shelter at home and those who must report in person for duty; and reshaped consumer purchasing as stay-at-home orders change. The rapid shifts have complicated financial forecasts and made consumer behavior hard to predict.

Walgreens Worries COVID-19 Will Require Annual Vaccines

Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and health care at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., said in an interview the company expects a return to normalcy as the vaccine is distributed, but much will depend on how long immunity lasts. The company worries that Covid-19 could turn out to be a more permanent fixture of life, a serious and deadly flulike illness that will require annual vaccines, he said.

While the early months of 2021 are likely to be challenging in terms of continued lockdowns and restrictions, many executives said they are hopeful that by spring, enough people will be vaccinated that consumer confidence will grow. wsj.com

Fashion brands see sales rebounding-eventually. Europe's murky outlook could snag growth
Retailers including Nordstrom, Coach owner Tapestry and Michael Kors parent Capri Holdings are beginning to give investors a glimpse into when their sales might start to grow again from pandemic lows.

These businesses will soon lap a period during the Covid crisis when stores were shut for months and shoppers retreated to their homes, only rarely venturing out to buy groceries and other essentials. But most outlooks remain murky, at best.

Many apparel, footwear and accessories brands are reporting a strong rebound in China, and are starting to see the same trends emerge in North America. But Europe remains a trouble spot, with renewed lockdowns in the region still hampering shopper demand and threatening forecasts. The rollout of the Covid vaccine is a hopeful development, but companies are reticent to provide specific financial estimates.

'Normal' isn't going to be the same

"We don't think normal is going back to pre-pandemic levels," Nordstrom Chief Executive Erik Nordstrom told CNBC. "But this is a strange time, particularly [in] big urban centers, you don't have office workers. ... For what we sell, there's headwinds that the pandemic has brought for a lot of fashion."

"They're still being guarded," said Craig Johnson, founder and president of retail research firm CGP. "Few retailers are putting out any kind of guidance at all, maybe real long-term guidance. ... It's like aiming at a dart board. Who really knows?"

Kohl's Amazon Injection in January

CEO Michelle Gass also told CNBC that sales strengthened into January, in part due to more shoppers visiting its stores to make Amazon returns after exchanging holiday gifts. cnbc.com

The Vaccination Effort

FEMA/National Guard Objective:
200 Teams of 222 Personnel Each - 6,000 Shots Daily Per Team
Active Now: 100 Mobile Vaccination Teams Delivering 50,000 Shots Daily

Making Mass Vaccination Centers Safe & Secure

Pentagon deploys troops to fuel COVID-19 vaccine drive
The Pentagon will deploy more than 1,100 troops to five vaccination centers in what will be the first wave of increased military support for the White House campaign to get more Americans inoculated against COVID-19.

President Joe Biden has called for setting up 100 mass vaccination centers around the country within a month.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked the Pentagon to supply as many as 10,000 service members to staff 100 centers.

Each of the Pentagon's current five military teams includes 222 personnel, including 80 who will give the vaccines, as well as nurses and other support staff. The teams would be able to provide about 6,000 shots a day.

The five teams represent a growing use of the active duty military to a vaccination campaign that already involves nearly 100 National Guard teams in 29 states across the country. National Guard leaders told The Associated Press that they are now considering training additional Guard members to give shots, so that they can also expand vaccinations in more remote and rural portions of their states.

The Guard has the ability to field about 200 additional teams and the more likely going to be filled largely by active duty troops operating in their home states.

Guard leaders said the close to 100 mobile vaccination teams already active are delivering more than 50,000 shots a day.

Hokanson noted that while the Guard could staff as many as 600 vaccine teams, he has to cut that number about in half because of those types of civilian job restrictions. startribune.com

Biden plans to take up NFL offer to use stadiums for vaccines
During an interview on CBS' Super Bowl pregame show, Biden said "absolutely we will" when asked whether the federal government intends to use all the stadiums to try to ramp up vaccine distribution.

Seven NFL stadiums -- the Carolina Panthers' Bank of America Stadium, Arizona Cardinals' State Farm Stadium, Atlanta Falcons' Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Baltimore Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium, Houston Texans' NRG Park, Miami Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium and New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium -- are already being used as vaccination sites. Goodell's offer extends to the rest of them.

Along with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden is set to virtually tour the State Farm Stadium vaccination site on Monday, according to the president's public schedule. espn.com

100M Vaccines Per Month
US pharmacies could administer up to 100M doses of Covid vaccine a month
Twenty-one "national pharmacy partners and networks of independent pharmacies representing over 40,000 pharmacy locations nationwide" are taking part in the program, according to a government fact sheet, which includes a list of all participating pharmacies or networks. Some experts have suggested that pharmacies nationwide will have the capacity to administer 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine once supply is available. cnn.com

   Pfizer expects to cut COVID-19 vaccine production time by close to 50%

   AstraZeneca's Vaccine Not Effective Against Virus Variant in South Africa

Post-Super Bowl Superspreader Event?
Thousands of maskless Tampa fans flooded the streets, celebrating the Super Bowl win while risking a superspreader event
Outside Raymond James Stadium on Sunday night, three barefaced Buccaneers fans jumped up and down on the roof of a white car, waving their arms. One man held out his phone and recorded the largely maskless Tampa crowd cheering, flying flags, hugging and colliding into each other as the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers won the franchise's first Super Bowl in 18 years.

Throughout Tampa this weekend, hordes of football fans crammed into bars, clogged streets and belted chants - many without masks, despite dire warnings from public health experts that the Super Bowl could become a superspreader event.

A report posted on the preprint server medRxiv on Sunday found that a more contagious and possibly more deadly mutation of the virus first discovered in the United Kingdom is rapidly spreading in Florida. The study said that the state has the most cases of the variant in the country. washingtonpost.com

   Will the Super Bowl Cause a Coronavirus Surge?

COVID is Everywhere Now - Any & All Activities Have Risks

COVID-19 exposure on flights is more common than you think. The US doesn't share details, but Canada does
Canada has been posting public COVID-19 exposure alerts online for flights, trains and cruise ships throughout the pandemic. Flights are listed as soon as authorities receive word of a positive test of a recent traveler, regardless of where and when they might have been infected, factors that are hard to pinpoint in most COVID-19 cases.

Incidents are posted as little as two days after the flight, so other recent travelers can search to see if someone on their flight tested positive and watch for symptoms. The flights fall off the list after two weeks because of Canada's mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. One major Canadian airline, WestJet, keeps a running list of its affected flights (more than 700 to date) on its website for recent passengers and would-be ticket buyers to see.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't publish a list of affected flights, nor do U.S. airlines, who prefer to tout their pandemic safety protocols and studies that show a low risk of virus transmission on planes.

Canada's approach has two major public health benefits: 1) Allowing the public to easily see if someone on their flight tested positive so they can take the appropriate steps in an effort to stop the spread is essentially public contact tracing, he said. 2) The regularly updated lists of flights also help would-be travelers, "It gives someone an idea if they're debating on whether or not to fly, of what the risks are,'' he said. "The more information the public has on the risk of everyday activities, the more informed those activities are going to be.''

"You could do the same study on Greyhound buses or Amtrak trains or the subway. The fact is, that with so much community spread, when you go anywhere, you're going to be around people with COVID,'' he said. "I think that people just don't realize that this virus is everywhere right now. Any activity you do is going to have risk.'' usatoday.com

Applicable for Any Group or Business Sector

Giving People Peace of Mind & Showing Your Organization Cares

A Return to Meetings: COVID Protocol Document
When in-person meetings resume post-pandemic, meeting professionals will need to consider several new elements of meeting execution, as well as develop additional documentation, including a COVID protocol document.

Your protocol document is your standalone document that states everything your association is doing to keep everyone safe," Schmidt said. "It encompasses several elements-from cleaning, to screening and testing, to transportation, and everything in between."

While the document will likely be something that your meetings team consistently refers to, Schmidt said it's also
good information for all participants and adds a layer of transparency to your meeting. "If you post it on your website, you'll likely give people peace of mind by showing them that you're keeping their safety top of mind," she said.

Schmidt recommends
starting the document with an executive summary before diving into the details. "This basically lays out what this document will cover and why it exists," she said. "From there, you can break it out into how COVID protocols will be applied to different segments and sections of your event."

While each event's protocol document will be unique, here are some sections that Schmidt recommends: associationsnow.com

What to Consider When Moving to a Hybrid Work Model
With a large-scale vaccine rollout underway, more organizations will be wrestling with how best to transition workers back into their offices this year after spending most of 2020 working from home.

Hybrid work models, in which some employees are onsite while others work from home, have become the keystone to corporate reopening plans. Google was one of the first to announce in December 2020 that its planned return to the office-set for September-would feature a pilot program in which employees would be expected to work at least three days a week onsite and the rest of the time remotely.

Weddle said that beyond 2021, data suggests "that we could be in a hybrid workforce situation permanently." She cited McKinsey research that found 80 percent of remote workers said they enjoy working from home, and 69 percent are just as or more productive at home than in the office.

But business leaders need a plan to help smooth the transition from completely remote work to a hybrid arrangement, said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at staffing firm Robert Half in Los Angeles. "A starting point can be a wider embrace of remote work and making a hybrid workforce model a long-term strategy for the business," he said. "They'll need to decide how many people and how much real estate they'll need to support a hybrid model." shrm.org

Kroger Invest $1.5B In Rewarding Front Line Workers
Kroger Launches New Round of Worker Bonuses
The company plans to spend at least $50 million more to thank and reward its associates, including offering a $100 store credit and 1,000 fuel points to its hourly front-line grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call center associates. Kroger will also provide a one-time payment of $100 to all associates who receive the full manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That's a total investment of $1.5 billion in fiscal 2020 in rewarding front-line associates since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. retaileader.com

Store UV Disinfect Robot
Badger Tech robot fights COVID-19 in grocery stores
NICHOLASVILLE, KY - Badger Technologies' newest automated solution, the Badger™ UV Disinfect robot, is an ultraviolet (UV) disinfecting robot designed to combat COVID-19 and high-risk pathogens commonly found in grocery, foodservice and retail environments. Testing results showed that the robot can decontaminate 40,000 square feet in approximately two hours, enabling rapid disinfection of typical store spaces, including shelves, aisles and checkout areas. supermarketperimeter.com

The Pandemic Has Stopped The Spread Of Nearly Every Virus Besides COVID
Epidemiologists theorize that the global shutdown and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing have helped with containing the coronavirus. However, other viruses such as influenza A and B, norovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza, and human metapneumovirus - as well as bacterial infections such as pertussis (whooping cough) and pneumonia - have all gone down in reported levels. yahoo.com


Fraud Trends to Watch in 2021
LexisNexis Risk Solutions Reveals the State of Fraud in the United States and Canada Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Analysis Stems from Multiple Studies Conducted in 2020 by LexisNexis Risk Solutions to Uncover Key Fraud Trends in the U.S. and Canada as 2021 Begins

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions unveiled findings on the current State of Fraud, detailing key fraud trends occurring in 2020 for organizations in the United States and Canada while also looking ahead at what to expect in 2021. LexisNexis Risk Solutions compiled these findings from a review of multiple studies it conducted in 2020. The consolidation of the report findings uncovers a perfect storm of trends that have impacted fraud throughout the past year and those that may linger into the new year.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused 2020 to be a year of unique circumstances and disruption to the global economy. One thing that has stayed the same is fraudsters' willpower to gain access to money and confidential information. While many believe that fraud victims are mostly the technologically naïve, 2020 validated that anyone can be a victim. LexisNexis Risk Solutions examined consumer behavior, popular fraud methods, social uncertainty due to the pandemic when compiling this data and suggests what organizations of all shapes and sizes can do to protect their business.

The Shift of Consumer Behavior Towards Digital Transactions
2020 saw major changes in the ways in which consumers behave. Digital transaction in the U.S. and Canada increased 42% year-over-year leading up to June 2020 with 60% representing mobile transactions; 67% made via a mobile app and 33% made by a mobile browser.

The 2020 State of Fraud Report examines key fraud trends occurring in 2020 for U.S. and Canada, along with solutions to help organizations navigate these trends while growing their businesses in 2021. Findings come from three LexisNexis® Risk Solutions reports: 2020 LexisNexis® Risk Solutions True Cost of Fraud™ e-Commerce/Retail and the 2020 LexisNexis® Risk Solutions True Cost of Fraud™ Financial Services & Lending; LexisNexis® Risk Solutions Cybercrime Report January - June 2020; and an internal analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and fraud trends. prnewswire.com

For more information, please visit www.risk.lexisnexis.com and www.relx.com.

January Was a Strong Month - With Online Still Booming - Up 62%
Former Saks CEO Says - $600 Stimulus Checks Fueled Jan's Positive Gains

Former CEO Analysis's of Jan numbers - Great Call-Outs

Department Stores Show New Signs of Life With Rare Sales Gain
Sales at U.S. department stores just grew for the first time in more than a year after stimulus checks and holiday returns drove Americans back to the mall.

After a difficult 2020 that saw consumers eschew brick-and-mortar shopping in favor of delivery giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc., department-store sales rose 1.5% in January, marking the first positive month since December 2019, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. In fact, every retail sector -- besides apparel -- posted positive year-on-year gains in January, it said.

"There's no question that within these numbers, there's a reflection of the impact of the $600 stimulus checks that came out right at the very end of December," said Steve Sadove, senior adviser for Mastercard and former chief executive officer of Saks Inc. "People got the checks and they went out and spent them."

The hardware and furnishing sectors saw the biggest growth in January, with Americans still spending to improve the homes they've been stuck in throughout the pandemic. But even department stores logged a rare month of growth, which Sadove attributed to holiday gift-card redemptions and in-person gift returns -- which often translate into a new, bigger sale. Department stores performed better in the Southwest and on the West Coast, with the double-whammy of weather and Covid restrictions weighing on East Coast retail.

Total retail sales, excluding cars and gasoline, rose 9.2% last month from a year earlier, said Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks online and in-store retail sales across all payment methods. Online sales grew 62.1%. The estimates are 95% correlated with the official retail sales figures the Commerce Department will release later this month, it said. bnnbloomberg.ca

4 smart tricks that make the Zoom chat function more powerful
From emoji to files, acquire these Zoom chat superpowers in order to have more fulfilling conversations.

Belk Reaffirms Its Plan to Complete a "Pre-Packaged, One Day" Reorganization

Price Chopper, Tops Markets to Merge

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

National Director of Security job posted for Nature's Medicines in Phoenix, AZ
The National Director of Security will be responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment internally and externally for all retail and cultivation locations nationwide. This position will be responsible for developing, establishing and maintaining all safety and security policies, access control procedures, risk management efforts, fire, safety, emergency management and asset protection. This position will also be instrumental in designing, creating and hiring security teams for all locations nationwide. indeed.com

Sr Manager, Security job posted for JB Hunt in Lowell, AR
Under general direction, this position is responsible for providing oversight to a team of of managers and/or higher level individual contributors. This individual will lead them with all aspects of their security duties to ensure protection of J.B. Hunts' personnel, property and equipment. This individual will possess a high level ability to make time-sensitive decisions, manage multiple competing priorities, and work in a fast paced environment. jbhunt.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com

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EAS Tag Recirculation: Apparel Source Tagging for Today's Retailers

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) Source Tagging and EAS Tag Recirculation are playing a large role in the evolution of retail logistics and loss prevention. Retailers realize that in-store tagging is very expensive, time consuming, and highly inefficient, and they are looking toward solutions that move EAS tagging to the most economical place in the logistics chain - out of the store, and back toward where the merchandise is manufactured.

Enterprising early adopters, such as Kohl's, Gap, Inc., Zara and bebe have proven that EAS Tag Recirculation provides important benefits, including:

● Predictable cost of operating an EAS program.
● No capital requirements for additional EAS tags.
● Merchandise arrives at stores source tagged, secure and floor ready.
● More tagging consistency, less apparel damage.
● Maximum tagging protection during peak inventory periods.
● No customer issues with tag pollution, when un-deactivated EAS sewn-in labels set off alarms.
● No environmental issues caused by the non-degradable components of disposable labels.
● More security and better shortage reduction results than with sewn-in or disposable EAS.
● Cash rebates for the return of tags and pins.

By implementing EAS Tag Recirculation, retailers achieve higher levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction through this sustainable, innovative growth program spearheaded by their loss prevention department.






768% Spike in Remote Attacks
Big jump in RDP attacks as hackers target staff working from home

Researchers at ESET detected billions of cyberattacks attempting to take advantage of people working remotely - and cyber criminals aren't letting up yet.

According to researchers at cyberscurity company ESET, that ease has led to a 768% growth in Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks over the course of 2020. In total, ESET detected 29 billion attempted RDP attacks across the year, as cyber criminals attempt to exploit remote workers.

In some cases, RDP ports are even misconfigured, providing attackers with even greater access to networks. Either way, RDP attacks can be used to infiltrate networks to examine and steal sensitive information, while it can also be used as a means of gaining enough access to the network to deploy ransomware attacks.

This is all in environments that might be less protected than they would be if employees were working from within the office, rather than working remotely.

The ESET report notes that there was a drop off in RDP attacks during December, something that they've attributed to cyber criminals taking time off over Christmas. But it's expected that 2021 will continue to see cyber criminals attempting to use RDP attacks to break into corporate networks, especially as employees continue to work remotely. zdnet.com

International Cybersecurity Effort
Security Researchers Push for 'Bug Bounty Program of Last Resort'

An international program that pays out hefty sums for the discovery of software vulnerabilities could spur greater scrutiny of applications and lead to better security.

AdvertisementCreating national programs to buy vulnerability information from security researchers could significantly reduce the risk of software flaws, according to two European security researchers.

In a paper published on Thursday - "Bug Bounty Program of Last Resort" - Stefan Frei and Oliver Rochford argue that the funds necessary to pay a bounty of $50K, $150K, and $250K for medium-, high-, and critical-severity vulnerabilities from the top 500 vendors would amount to $1.7 billion, less than 0.01% of the US gross domestic product. To create a net positive impact on cybercriminals, the effort would only have to create minimal savings of less than 0.5% of the $1 trillion annual impact of cybercrime, the researchers state.

While the proposal is ambitious, only modest results would reduce the pool of available zero-days and create a more secure software ecosystem, says Frei, security officer at SDX Security and a lecturer at ETH Zurich, a public university in Switzerland.

An economic analysis of bug-bounty programs published at the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) in 2019 found that combining rewards and better law enforcement tends to have the surest impact for improving security. The Open Bug Bounty Project boasts that crowdsourced researchers have helped close hundreds of thousands of potential vulnerabilities in websites and software.

Yet having a government-coordinated effort aimed at finding the majority of vulnerabilities in software and rewarding researchers could have a significant impact on software security. Not only would it spur more scrutiny of applications and code, but passing the costs of rewards back to the software vendor could help further incentivize secure coding.  darkreading.com

Kremlin Funding Hackers?
Do Ransomware Operators Have a Russian Government Nexus?

Maze was one of the most notorious and successful ransomware operations of recent years until its "retirement" last November. The group pioneered the data-leaking model that involves first stealing victims' data, then using the threat of leaking it to try to force victims to pay. The strategy worked, helping fuel a boom in ransomware profits and leading numerous other operations to follow suit.

One rumor that emerged before Maze's exit, however, was that it had the backing, if not direct support, of the Russian government, and that the group was merely another name for the notorious cybercrime gang called Evil Corp.

Some chatter suggested Maze - and its apparent successor, Egregor - might have had a connection with the Russian government's principal security agency, the FSB, although the nature of that connection remains unclear. govinfosecurity.com

Facebook hires first chief compliance officer amid regulatory scrutiny
Henry Moniz joined Facebook on Feb. 8 to head the social media giant's compliance team, The Wall Street Journal reported. Moniz previously served as chief compliance officer and chief audit executive for media company ViacomCBS and will be the first to hold the title of compliance chief at Facebook.

Moniz will work under Facebook's general counsel Jennifer Newstead, according to the Journal, and report to a board committee that oversees audit and risk. Facebook reportedly hopes Moniz's appointment will help the company move toward its goal of enhancing global compliance and risk management as well as promoting high standards of legal and ethical conduct. msn.com

Government censorship threats over TikTok spiked interest in VPNs




No, I didn't! Yes, you did!

The emphatic denial, a subject refusing to acknowledge their involvement in the act, is often simply stated with an "I didn't do it". The natural instinct of an interviewer, or any person in a debate, is to immediately respond countering the denial from the subject. The interviewer is often filled with adrenaline from the anticipation of the conversation, they are siloed on the strength of the evidence and when met with resistance that are tempted to immediately respond with the classic, "Yes, you did!". Unfortunately, the most likely result of this interaction is an ensuing argument, filled with emotion and defensiveness from both parties in the investigation. Truth be told, an interview should be anything but an argument, but this slippery slope is under the control of the interviewer.

Read more






Mandatory 'Graveyard Shifts'
Amazon Is Forcing Its Warehouse Workers Into Brutal 'Megacycle' Shifts

The company has been quietly transitioning warehouse workers at Amazon warehouses nationwide to a 10-hour graveyard shift, known as the "megacycle."

On January 25, hundreds of workers at an Amazon warehouse in Chicago were presented with a baffling choice: sign up for a ten-and-a-half-hour graveyard shift, or lose your job.

Management informed workers that their warehouse, known as DCH1, would be shut down, and they were being offered a shift that runs from 1:20am to 11:50am, which is known as "megacycle," at a new Chicago warehouse.

DCH1 has been the target of protests, walkouts, and petitions organized by workers that have changed Amazon's nationwide policies for its warehouses. Its closure will force workers to choose between their lives outside of Amazon and keeping their jobs in the middle of a pandemic.

"[This decision] is cruel and the antithesis of family-friendly corporate responsibility," organized workers at the facility who go by DCH1 Amazonians United, told Motherboard.

The ultimatum presented to workers at DCH1 reflects a broader strategy in the U.S. for Amazon. The company has been quietly transitioning warehouse workers at delivery stations nationwide to the "megacycle" shift in recent months. The megacycle shift collapses shorter shifts into one 10-hour shift that begins around 1 am and ends around lunchtime. vice.com

New Administration Coming for Amazon?
Amazon's tax bill likely to go up under Biden administration
Under Mr. Biden's plan, companies with profits over $100 million would have to top up their tax rates to 15%, after allowances for foreign tax payments and past operating losses. The campaign projected that the minimum tax would raise $400 billion over a decade, though independent estimates were lower. The result depends on how any eventual law is written and how it interacts with other policy changes.

For 2019, Amazon would have paid about $1.3 billion in additional taxes under the Biden minimum tax, according to Mr. Sullivan's estimates. For 2020, it would have owed between $1.6 billion and $2.1 billion because of the minimum tax, depending on whether Congress raises the corporate tax rate to Mr. Biden's proposed 28% or keeps it at 21%. wsj.com

Amazon warehouse worker union vote will go forward in Alabama
Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, will receive ballots in the mail next week for a union election. The vote, which Amazon sought to delay while it fought for the vote to take place in person, will be the first union election at a US Amazon warehouse since a failed effort in 2014. It'll also be the largest US group of Amazon workers to vote on the question, at around 5,800 people. msn.com

Counterfeit Vaccines Being Sold On the Darknet & Likely to Proliferate Further
As Covid-19 vaccines roll out in several countries, counterfeits are being marketed online. WSJ explains how phony vaccines end up on the internet and the risks for people who buy them. wsj.com

Online Living During the Pandemic Has Fueled Digital Fraud

Watch out, Alibaba. Chinese video apps are quickly becoming e-commerce players too







Daly City, CA: Police Recover $30,000 In Shoplifted Items From Drug Stores
A Daly City man was arrested Wednesday in connection with the suspected theft of roughly $30,000 worth of items from Walgreens and CVS stores, according to police. At about 3 p.m., Daly City Police officers arrested 52-year-old Jorge Robles and found the items in a van on Callan Boulevard between Serramonte and Hickey boulevards, according to police spokesman Sgt. Mario Busalacchi. The investigation is still ongoing, but it appears as if multiple stores were targeted in a shoplifting operation, Busalacchi said. The recovered items -- including cosmetics, lotions and perfume, among other things -- were donated by the stores to CORA, a San Mateo County organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence and abuse. sfgate.com

Update: RI woman pleads guilty to role in shoplifting ring that hit Macy's in North Attleboro
A Rhode Island woman has been placed on two years of probation after pleading guilty to participating in a shoplifting ring and trying to shock a security guard with a stun gun. Jeoni Frazier, 19, of Providence, admitted Thursday in Attleboro District Court to several larceny counts and charges of conspiracy and unlawful possession of a stun gun. The shoplifting ring targeted Macy's department stores at the Emerald Square mall in North Attleboro and the Providence Place Mall.

Frazier and two other women were charged with stealing stacks of designer clothing from the store. As part of her plea, Frazier was also ordered to pay restitution that will be determined at a later date. A store representative told the court that the loss was over $5,000. Prosecutors recommended Frazier serve six months of a one-year jail term with the balance suspended with probation. Rich said his client admitted wrongdoing but had no prior record and was doing the bidding of older suspects charged in the alleged ring.
"She was not the one driving the bus," Rich told the court. thesunchronicle.com

Idaho Falls, ID: Two get probation for stealing thousands from Sam's Club
A couple were placed on probation after a scheme to steal thousands from Sam's Club in Idaho Falls. Enrique Molina Lopez and Melissa Ricks pleaded guilty to felony grand theft. On Monday, a judge placed Lopez on three years of probation. Ricks had already been placed on four years of probation last year. Both were given withheld judgments, meaning if they are successful on probation, then the conviction could be removed from their criminal record. Idaho Falls Police wrote in a probable cause affidavit that on Dec. 24, 2019, staff at Sam's Club saw Lopez taking items from the shelves to the returns cashier and exchanging them for store credit cards. Officers cited Lopez that day with misdemeanor petty theft. Prosecutors later amended Lopez's charge to the felonies.

Further investigation led Sam's Club loss prevention to call the police again on Dec. 23, after Ricks, who was an employee at Sam's Club, admitted to stealing thousands from the store. Ricks told police she would load money onto gift cards and return them to the store for cash, according to court documents. In a written statement, Ricks said, "We have estimated over two years it is $20,000 worth." However, loss prevention staff calculated the amount stolen closer to $13,000. Both were ordered to pay $1,000 fines. eastidahonews.com

Sonora, CA: Loot Piled In A Pickup Bed Results In Two Arrests
A man and woman shopping at the Sonora Lowe's decided to skip the registers and walk out of the store with over a thousand dollars of tools on Thursday afternoon. Sonora Police report that an employee followed the man out to a truck parked behind the store and saw him loading the merchandise into the pickup. Luckily, a passing patrol officer was flagged down and able to stop the truck before it left the parking lot. The officer was able to stop the truck before it left the parking lot. Behind the wheel was 27-year-old Mathew Littleton of Sonora. A records check detailed that he was on probation, which allowed for a search of the vehicle, uncovering the stolen items in the truck bed. Officer Thomas Brickley details, "There were miscellaneous power tools, hand tools, flashlights, and other items." Littleton also had drug paraphernalia on him. Littleton's accomplice, 20-year-old Heaven Pratt was found at a nearby store. The two were arrested for grand theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, and being in possession of drug paraphernalia. Their bail was set at $20,000 each. mymotherlode.com

St. George, UT: Man arrested after alleged $770 theft, beating of Staples' employee in parking lot
Officers arrived to learn that a suspect had reportedly entered the store, filled a shopping cart with merchandise and then walked out without paying for the items. He was then confronted by one of the store's loss prevention officers as he was loading the items into his car. When confronted, the suspect began to punch the employee "in the face - repeatedly," the officer wrote, which is when the store manager stepped in and attempted to intervene. The suspect allegedly pushed the manager as employees called 911. stgeorgeutah.com

Westlake, OH: Police seeking 2 Shoplifter who stole over $500 of merchandise from Michael's store

Millville, NJ: Police seeking Walmart shoplifter having troubles without a belt

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Shootings & Deaths

Update: Las Vegas, NV: Customer sent to prison for killing Garden Grove nail salon manager in Las Vegas parking lot incident
A Las Vegas woman was sentenced Friday to 10 to 25 years in prison for killing a nail salon manager with a vehicle while trying to skip out on a $35 manicure. Krystal Whipple in December pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, admitting she killed Nhu "Annie" Ngoc Nguyen, a 51-year-old mother of three from Garden Grove, in December 2018. nypost.com

Tallahassee, FL: New trial ordered in murder of Flagler County C-store clerk
An appeals court Friday ordered a new trial for a man convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting death of a Flagler County convenience-store clerk. A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that a circuit judge used an incorrect legal standard when he denied a request by Joseph Frank Bova II to represent himself. Bova was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2019 in the murder of Zuheily Rosado, a clerk at a Mobil convenience store, according to local media reports at the time. But the appeals court Friday said Circuit Judge Terence Perkins did not properly handle a request by Bova to represent himself in the case. fox35orlando.com

Shreveport, LA: Former Big Lots Employee fired a gun at staff and stole $4,000 Sentenced to 50 Years
A Louisiana man convicted of burglary at a store he worked in has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. State prosecutors said District Judge John D. Mosely Jr. on Thursday sentenced Christopher Sanders, 35, of Shreveport, to 45 years in prison for armed robbery and five years for use of a gun in this flight. An employee of the Big Lots store, Sanders entered the store on September 29, 2018, on the pretext that he was there to work a shift when he fired a gun at a colleague, threatened to kill her and l forced to open the store. safely, he stole about $ 4,000 and took the woman's cell phone. After just 18 minutes, jurors found Sanders guilty on October 27. bollyinside.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Talk About 2nd Chance - On Supervised Release Stole $840,000
Rochester Man Going To Prison For 4 1/2 Years For Defrauding Holiday Inn While Working the Front Desk
Henry Williams, 55, of Rochester, NY, sentenced to 55 months on top of another 12 months in prison for violating the terms of supervised release imposed in connection with an earlier conviction for fraud, and pay restitution totaling $5,649.98.

On supervised release following a 2016 conviction for bank fraud in Western District of New York, he began working at the front desk of the Holiday Inn Rochester Downtown. In January 2020, Williams began using the hotel's point of sale machine fraudulently to load and attempt to load hundreds of thousands of dollars onto credit/debit cards that he controlled. The defendant impersonated various hotel managers while making phone calls to the hotel's card payment processor in furtherance of his scheme. Williams also attempted to cover his tracks and conceal his involvement in the fraud by impersonating a hotel employee and making false complaints of criminal activity by another hotel employee.

The defendant successfully stole approximately $4,871.58 in fraudulent funds. He also attempted over a period of time to obtain more than $840,000 in additional fraudulent funds. justice.gov

Lubbock, TX: Sutherlands Home Improvement store employee ran over shoplifting suspect with Jeep
An employee of a Lubbock, Texas home improvement store jumped in a Jeep to pursue a shoplifting suspect Wednesday and ran the man over, according to a police report. At 11:44 a.m., Lubbock police responded to Sutherlands after getting reports of a theft. When officers arrived, they found the suspect injured and lying on the ground. The police report said the employee was working inside Sutherlands when he saw the suspect run out of the business with stolen items. The man got inside of his Jeep and pursued the suspect who was running away, according to police. The suspect then got on a bike he had staged by the dumpster and rode away, but couldn't keep his balance and fell off the bike, the report states. The store employee wasn't able to stop the Jeep fast enough and ran over the man. The driver of the Jeep stayed at the scene and the suspect was taken to University Medical Center by EMS for his injures. A family member of the shoplifting suspect told sister station KLBK that the injuries were very serious. The police report said the stolen property was recovered. kxan.com

Wanted shoplifter tased after he tries to outrun Albuquerque police
Jonah Bell didn't heed that warning from Albuquerque police. Last June, officers found the 34-year-old passed out in his car near Gibson and Girard. Bell had a warrant out for his arrest for skipping out on court for a shoplifting charge. When officers tried to speak with him, he took off. Rather than stopping, Bell took off and tried to jump a fence to avoid the officer. Even after being tased, a panicked Bell still struggled to follow directions. Once he was in handcuffs Bell said the officers scared him and that's why he ran. Bell has a lengthy history of shoplifting and skipping out on court. krqe.com

Perkins Township, OH: 2 Apprehended for Shoplifting ends with 5 arrested,
1 pepper-sprayed
A group of people were charged after an incident at a Perkins Township store Friday afternoon that included an officer using pepper spray on a woman. Five people were arrested, all on misdemeanor charges: resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and two of the people charged with theft. The incident started after loss prevention officers at a Milan Road (U.S. 250) store took two members of the group into custody for alleged shoplifting, according to Perkins police. Police were called after one woman started pounding on the loss prevention office in the store in protest of the two people being detained. Officers walked with that woman outside after the store banned her and she allegedly wouldn't identify herself to police, prompting officers to take her into custody. Other members of the group then allegedly interfered in the arrest, resulting in one woman being pepper-sprayed, Musser said.  sanduskyregister.com

Fremont, CA: 62-year-old Walmart employee punched in the face by female shoplifter, charged with robbery

Cleveland, OH: Woman charged with Shoplifting; scans 14 of 30 items, blaming her children from distracting her




C-Store - Columbus, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Johnson City, TN - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Hewitt, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Omaha, NE - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Madison, WI - Robbery
CVS - New Castle, PA - Armed Robbery
Hardware - Madison, WI - Burglary
Jewelry - Elizabeth, NJ - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Kingston, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Columbia, MD - Robbery
Jewelry - Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - San Francisco, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Laurel, MD - Robbery
Jewelry - Honolulu, HI - Robbery
Jewelry - Clifton, NJ - Robbery
Jewelry - Memphis, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Des Moines, IA - Robbery
Jewelry - Bethesda, MD - Burglary
Jewelry - Duluth, MN - Robbery
Liquor - Wallingford, CT - Burglary
Music - Modesto, CA - Burglary
Restaurant -St Paul, MN - Burglary
Restaurant - Modesto, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - Colorado Springs, CO - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Staten Island, NY - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - San Mateo, CA - Armed Robbery
Sally Beauty - Bayonne, NJ - Armed Robbery
Staples - St George, UT - Robbery/ Assault on Assoc
Tobacco - Modesto, CA - Burglary
Walmart - Fremont, CA - Robbery / Assault of Assoc
7-Eleven - Cumberland County, PA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 25 robberies
• 7 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



Chanalue Knibbs promoted to Territory Asset Protection Director
for Burlington Stores

Submit Your New Hires/Promotions or New Position






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Being a mentor can be an extremely worthwhile experience and sometimes the mentee brings mentoring to the relationship as well because we all learn from each other no matter what role we play. And while you may be reluctant or just feel time-strapped, try giving it a chance even for a short time and see what happens. As the old expression goes, one person can make a difference and you could help a fellow LP executive grow beyond their own expectations and, in having helped the number of people we've helped in our mere search role, I for one can say there is no better feeling in the world than helping someone reach beyond! That's what has actually kept me doing what I do for all these years!

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