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February 18, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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News Brief - Sponsored by WG Security Products

Flash Crowds? NBA Jam: Mall officials shut down Galleria early due to excessive crowds  Saturday night took “NBA Jam” to a whole new level. In many ways it was fueled by social media. Greg Noble, the general manager of The Galleria said in a statement Saturday evening that as of 8:15 p.m. the mall had reached legal capacity and officially closed. Mall visitors say they were there because of pictures they received on Instagram and Twitter of celebrities who were supposedly inside. The Houston Police Department sent Special Response Teams to the mall to help clear out the crowds. Escalators were shut down to force people out. The incredible police presence included a mounted unit used to control riots. HPD also blocked off Westheimer between Post Oak and McCue, to help control The Galleria crowd. Despite the crowds, visitors behaved; however, traffic outside was a mess. (Source (Source

Ex-Marsh Supermarkets CEO must pay $2.2M in damages for using the company as his "personal checkbook."  The supermarket chain had sued Don Marsh, accusing the 75-year-old of defrauding it of millions of dollars to finance extravagant trips and buy expensive gifts for friends and family. After a two-week trial, a federal jury in Indianapolis decided that Marsh committed fraud and must pay $2.2 million in damages, the Indianapolis Star reported. The company, which has about 100 stores in Indiana and Ohio, alleged that Marsh abused his authority as CEO "to facilitate his covert use of its coffers as his own personal checkbook." (Source

'Silent victim' of Ore. mall shooting is near death - Justice For Girls store manager
A pregnant woman who was not injured during the mass shooting at the Clackamas Town Center last December but who became mysteriously ill afterwards is close to death. Ogden was the manager of a popular kids clothing store at the Clackamas Town Center when a gunman opened fire in the mall on Tuesday, Dec. 11. She was seven months pregnant at the time. When the shooting started she herded her employees and customers at Justice for Girls into a backroom and kept them safe. But in the weeks following the shooting, the normally bubbly Vanessa started to withdraw and became tired and quiet. Eventually, she stopped speaking. But her condition deteriorated and she wound up in the hospital before Christmas. An MRI revealed she had suffered 60 to 70 mini-strokes. She hasn't spoken since Christmas. On Thursday, Valentine's Day, Facebook posts said Vanessa had gone into respiratory arrest and doctors could no longer detect brain activity. (Source

E-commerce grows 16% in 2012 and hits $225B in sales 
From 2000,the first year the government started tracking online sales, through 2012 e-commerce grew at a compound annual growth rate of 19.1% compared to just 3.2% for total retail. (Source

Retail CFOs: Online to play bigger role in sales performance 
The survey of 100 CFOs at retailers across the country found that reduced economic concerns had led many to focus on ways to adapt to the rise of online shopping. As a result, retailers are beginning to integrate online sales into their sales-accounting practices to develop a more accurate picture of their performance, and 66% said they include online sales in their comps as e-commerce began accounting for a larger portion of sales overall. Nearly three-quarters expect e-commerce sales to increase by 6.9% this year. (Source

Best Buy Offering Year-Round Online Price Matching 
In a win for retail shoppers, Best Buy has officially announced that it plans to implement its holiday price matching policy year-round starting March 3. Bold and aggressive. But that's what it takes to survive today's online consumer. (Source

Amazon fires German security firm Hensel European Security Services "with immediate effect" over mistreatment of foreign temporary workers shown on public television  A documentary shown on German public television channel ARD last week showed staff of the security company — whose initials spell out the surname of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess — wearing clothes linked to Germany's neo-Nazi scene. It also interviewed people claiming they were intimidated by the security guards, who were stationed at a holiday camp where the temporary staff were housed. (Source

Recession cost UK retailers $35.7B U.S. since 2008 
New study reveals massive cost of the recession to retailers and predicts that retail is set to lose out further as consumers find more ways outside of retail to spend their discretionary income. (Source

Google to open their own stores by years end 
The mission of the stores is to get new Google Nexus, Chrome, and especially upcoming products into the hands of prospective customers. (Source

Cyber-espionage is "just so widespread that it’s known to be a national issue at this point."  Cyber-espionage, which was once viewed as a concern mainly by U.S. intelligence and the military, is increasingly seen as a direct threat to the nation’s economic interests. The assessment does not quantify the financial impact of the espionage, but outside experts have estimated it in the tens of billions of dollars. (Source

Thieves steal $2M from display case at NY Four Seasons Hotel, making a clean getaway  Three thieves stole $2 million worth of jewels and other fine goods from a display case at the Four Seasons in Midtown Saturday night at 2 a.m. Two men ran up to the display case with sledgehammers, broke the Jacob & Co. case, emptied it and got away in their getaway car. (Source

Boulder Apple store hit for $160,000 smash and grab  Boulder Police said a hooded bandit threw three rocks through the nearly $100,000 custom-made front glass door to break into the store early Saturday morning. Once inside, the man stole almost $64,000 worth of merchandise. (Source

Baltimore County police raid Plaza Flea Market for counterfeit goods 
Several officers blocked off exits to the market, while others went to specific tables, keeping the vendors from leaving. Over an intercom, authorities announced that the flea market was closing. Shoppers had to show police at the door photo I.D.s to verify they were not among those targeted by the warrants. Cpl. Cathy Batton, a police spokeswoman, said the department had been investigating the vendors for months as part of a joint investigation with the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and others. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending against vendors who police believe were selling counterfeit items. None of the suspects were identified. The seized items will be evaluated by trademark experts. (Source

Heavily Armed shoplifter arrested at Walmart in Massapequa, New York. 
Alexander Hollingsworth entered the store with the intent to steal CD’s and DVD’s, he did and was stopped by Loss Prevention as he was leaving the store. Hollingsworth now faces far more severe charges because he was carrying a loaded .38 caliber pistol, metal knuckles, a knife and drugs. No one was injured in the incident. (Source

Update: Escaped Felon killed by Police following the stabbing of a Miami Detective at a Texas Walmart.  Authorities in Texas shot and killed an escaped prisoner early Saturday, several days after they say he stabbed a detective tasked with taking him across the country. Alberto Morales, 42, was killed shortly after he was located in a wooded area in Grapevine, near Dallas. With the help of a helicopter, authorities found Morales not far from a home where someone stole jewelry and men's clothing. Morales' death ended a manhunt that began on Monday. It was then that police say he stabbed a Florida detective multiple times and disappeared. That detective, and another, had been transporting Morales from Florida to Nevada. The trip began on a Miami-Houston-Las Vegas flight. (Source

California Highway Patrol Helicopter used to track jean thieves from Kohl’s.  Two men were arrested on Friday afternoon after swiping hundreds of dollars worth of jeans from a Kohl’s in Clovis, California. Jain Huipes, 23, and 19-year-old Daniel Jimenez, both of Fresno, were arrested for commercial burglary. Police say the two men stuffed $325 worth of blue jeans from the Kohl's department store in the Sierra Vista Mall before running out of the store. They then got into a car and drove, later throwing the merchandise out of the window. Huipes and Jimenez were eventually found by police after residents reported a suspicious vehicle in their neighborhood. A California Highway Patrol helicopter then hovered overhead over the neighborhood while Clovis police and Sheriff's deputies took the suspects into custody. (Source

Front-end loader smashes out the safe at Jewelry Plaza in New Jersey During Snowstorm.  During the heavy snow storm on Saturday 02/09/2013 a burglary was reported to have taken place at the Jewelry Plaza located in the center isle of Route 22. Officers responding found the Caterpillar front end loader was in the parking lot running and abandoned. Based upon the damage it was obvious that this large piece of construction equipment was used to crash through the side of the building. The suspects stole a large 4 foot tall free standing safe that weighed hundreds of pounds, placing it into a pickup truck. The safe contained jewelry and cash but an exact amount is not yet tabulated. (Source

Shoplifter killed following high speed chase going the wrong way on a freeway ramp in Maryland.  A man died Thursday after he allegedly shoplifted merchandise from the Sears store in the Valley Mall and led authorities on a pursuit that ended when the man went the wrong way up an Interstate 81 on ramp and struck a Volkswagen. The string of events started about 12:20 p.m. when Washington County 911 received a call about a theft of merchandise at Sears, Deputies arrived at Sears and the man, who had stolen clothing, dropped the items in the parking lot. Police did not pursue Adams when he was traveling the wrong directions on roads. (Source

Hurricane Sandy accused Looter files suit against NYC; falsely accused. 
Donald Franks appears to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Franks was accused of looting a grocery store near his home. Franks has been cleared by the Grand Jury, the father of three was simply walking in the area of the grocery store, when Police noticed 16 youths looting the store. Franks didn’t run and police quickly grabbed him. Franks spent nine days on Rikers Island trying to clear his name. (Source

Actor Forrest Whitaker frisked and searched at NYC's Milano Market on Friday - nothing found  As the Oscar winner was leaving the Upper East Side deli he was stopped by an employee who thought he had been shoplifting. According to TMZ, the store employee patted 51-year-old Whitaker down and found nothing on the Last King of Scotland actor. The Milano Market manager denied the incident ever occurred. (Source

Last week's most popular news article --

The largest investment in a single store in history - the Macy's Herald Square remodel - $400M - Why?  Macy's is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate its iconic Herald Square store in New York City with new retail tech. It'll be a new high-tech store and the CCTV LP work alone has been probably the biggest CCTV roll-out in LP history. (Source



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RILA Announces 2013 College Student Program

Program offers scholarship and collaboration opportunities
with top industry executives

Arlington, VA – The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) announced its 2013 RILA College Student Program, offering undergraduate and masters students a scholarship to the 2013 Retail Asset Protection Conference and a competitive advantage over their peers through industry networking and best-in-class educational opportunities. Sponsoring retailers will cover students’ attendance at RILA’s 2013 Retail Asset Protection Conference and offer personalized education and mentoring.

The groundbreaking program affords students the opportunity to learn about asset protection from experts in the field and access to nearly 1,000 retail executive in attendance at the conference. Students will also receive a scholarship to complete the Loss Prevention Foundation’s (LPF) Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) certification course and examination, a one-year complimentary membership to LPF and complimentary enrollment in the Academic and Retail Partnership Program that guarantees students who have earned the LPQ certification a job interview with one or more participating retailers.

“This program offers students unprecedented exposure to the retail industry and presents them with opportunities they don’t get by sitting in the college classroom,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations for RILA. “It’s a win-win; mentors are connected to talented young people who are passionate about pursuing a career in retail and students get to showcase their skills to key decision makers at some of the largest and most progressive employers in the U.S.”

In the months leading up to the Retail Asset Protection Conference, students will work with corporate and store level personnel from their mentor companies to complete a research project, culminating in a presenation during a breakout session at the conference. This year’s topic is titled, "Customer Rights, Customer Service and Asset Protection in a Mobile Point-of-Sale World."

“Given the industry’s focus on the risks associated with emerging POS technologies, this is a timely and relevant research project that should lead to some interesting insights,” said LaBruno.

“LPF supports RILA’s efforts to attract aspiring graduates into the Asset Protection/Loss Prevention profession. Their college program has evolved into a magnificent opportunity for retailers to identify talented students," said Gene Smith, president of the Loss Prevention Foundation and sponsor of the 2013 College Student Program.

Student mentors participating in the 2013 RILA College Student Program include:

  •  7-Eleven, Inc.
  •  Abercrombie & Fitch, Co.
  •  Aspect Loss Prevention, a division of Verisk Crime Analytics
  •  Axis Communications, Inc.
  •  Big Lots Stores, Inc.
  •  Cabela’s Inc.
  •  Dicks’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
  •  Hart Systems, LLC
  •  J.C. Penny Company, Inc.
  •  Loss Prevention Foundation
  •  Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
  •  The Home Depot, Inc.
  •  Walgreen Co.
  •  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Students from University of Texas McCombs School of Business, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Mississippi College and Sam Houston State University are participating in the program.

The 2013 Retail Asset Protection Conference will take place April 28-May 1 in Orlando, FL.


Chrissa Benson
(703) 600-2032



Two females indicted on conspiracy and $11,000 in credit card fraud in NY.   
The two females drove to Red Bank to shop at the Coco Pari store, attempting to use a fraudulently issued HSBC credit card in one of the suspect’s names. Shanierah Aaron and Urika Tucker, both face attempted fraudulent use of a credit card, conspiracy and credit card theft charges. Tucker had driven the car and waited for Aaron as she went inside the store to attempt to make the purchases. (Source

Four apprehended for ORC thefts from Oregon Safeway’s: thefts totaling $13,000. Dennis Hanks, Mary Gibson, Adam Veelle and Betty Walters have been charged with Organized Retail Crime involving pre-paid Visa Gift cards. The group is believed to have fraudulently loaded a cash value onto the cards, then was able to withdraw the money from the card prior to Safeway discovering. Police also believe the four suspects would sell the pre-paid visa cards to other people for $100 or in exchange for heroin. (Source

Former Duluth man pleads guilty to being part of the 25 member identity theft ring that hit retailers for $170,389  Davis was part of the major fraud ring that recruited individuals to conduct fraudulent transactions at financial institutions and retail establishments. He provided the recruited individuals with fraudulent identification documents and counterfeit checks that Davis received from another member of the conspiracy. Davis also drove individuals to retail stores where they conducted the fraudulent transactions. In addition to Davis, 25 other co-conspirators have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing. Four men were convicted for their roles in the ring in September following a jury trial. Three more are scheduled for trial in April. (Source

Walmart Employee Theft Ring Broken Up in Colorado Springs 
Four Wal-Mart employees were arrested Friday evening after they were suspected of stealing items from the store over a period of several months. Colorado Springs police arrested the suspects at the Wal-Mart on 3201 E. Platte Ave. Loss prevention agents alerted police to the employee thefts. Police discovered that the four had been stealing items such as computers, televisions and video games, then selling and pawning the items. Police believe the thefts have been going on for months. Police say they are still in the process of investigating these crimes. (Source

Organized Retail Crime:
Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State

The Food Marketing Institute has released a report containing Organized Retail Crime: Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State. Over the next several days the Daily will publish these figures. Stay tuned to see your state estimate!

State Annual Sales - Retail Trade and Food Services (2009) State % of Annual Retail Sales Est. Amount of Stolen Merchandise Attributed to ORC (by State) State Sales Tax Rates Est. Lost Sales Tax Revenue Attributed to ORC (by State)
Kentucky $54,695,615,324 1.27% $379,749,724 6.00% $22,784,983
Louisiana $64,295,659,495 1.49% $446,402,491 4.00% $17,856,100
Maine $21,638,788,744 0.50% $150,237,345 5.00% $7,511,867
Maryland $82,402,100,400 1.91% $572,114,871 6.00% $34,326,892
Massachusetts $96,567,108,420 2.23% $670,462,021 6.25% $41,903,876

*Note: States with no state sales tax were omitted (AK, DE, MT, NH, and OR)

For more information on organized retail crime, visit FMI's issue page.

Do you have an ORC case to share? Publishing it educates the LP & retail community
which might fuel even more jobs and funding.
Share your ORC news and help the industry grow

Vendor Spotlight

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3-Alarm Tags

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4-Alarm Wave Tags

4-Alarm technology is exclusive to WG. Known as the Wave Tags, no other company offers tags with 4 distinct alarm settings. Wave is simply the most secure hard tag in the entire industry, utilizing infrared (IR) technology. On top of the three alarm settings, Wave has an added layer of IR protection. Wave tags can ONLY be deactivated and detached with a specific Wave detacher which emits the unique IR signal allowing the tag to disarm and be removed. This neutralizes the thief who brings an unauthorized magnetic device to remove tags.

Contact our marketing department if you'd like further information on multi alarm tags.

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Working in the Gray: Workplace Deviance, Theft and Fraud

By William England, CFE
Senior Manager, Regional Asset Protection
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.

as published on November 5, 2012

I recently attended a fraud training seminar in New Orleans where the presenter, Ryan Hubbs, put forth his research on Using the Deviant Behaviors of Others to Find Fraud. The crux of the presentation simple, Is there a correlation between non-fraudulent behaviors in the workplace and fraud? After researching over 19,000 case reports and news articles involving businessmen, politicians, military Generals, pastors and priests charged with theft or fraud, the answer is an overwhelming Yes.

Try to recall how many times you have seen a political figure or corporate executive be charged with a fraud of some sort only to have the investigation later reveal other reality-TV worthy tidbits like an extra-marital affair, gambling addiction, obsession with pornography and the like. Almost always, the subjects being charged exhibited a deviant behavior that could have been a clue to investigators saying 'Dig Here'. A quick Google News search for 'Fraud Charges AND Sex' hit 57,600 articles published within the last 30 days. There is an undeniable link. So, how does all of this tie in to the world of retail Loss Prevention?

I began thinking about all of the non-fraudulent or theft related behaviors that exist in corporate offices across America. Sexual harassment, workplace violence, bullying, office affairs, retaliation, intimidation and the viewing of adult websites using company workstations or laptops all occur on a more frequent basis than any professional would like to admit. Would your Loss Prevention organization be invited to participate in these investigations? Would senior leadership even want their LP teams involved with these types of investigations?

In retail locations other issues may arise that get a little more Loss Prevention focus but because they may not directly impact the shrink number or would be hard to prosecute, they get low priority or no attention at all. For example, loyalty program abuses, coupon abuse and employee discount abuse all cost the company money but many Loss Prevention departments would likely leave these types of investigations for Human Resources to handle. Is this in the best interest of the company?

Human Resources investigations generally are conducted with a different purpose; to resolve the ethical or policy aspect of situations. What research illustrates though is that employees who exhibit these deviant behaviors, which at their core are blatant and knowing violations of company policy, many times deserve beyond a cursory examination. These deviant behaviors could be indicators of other activities beyond policy violations which could be costing your company large sums of money.

I contend Loss Prevention should at least play a supporting role in these investigations. I am not suggesting we be the first call made on these issues or that LP should take the lead on every sexual harassment complaint or sordid office affair, but we need to be in the conversation on these types of issues. Our Loss Prevention teams are trained to investigate. It's what many of us do best. With solid partnerships in Human Resources, Legal, IT and Accounting, many times these cases could be reviewed in just a few hours to determine if they warrant further examination.

If a Buyer is found to have viewed or downloaded adult materials on their company device, LP should do a little leg work and review expense reports for irregularities. Was the adult site subscription put on an expense report as something else? Shouldn't your exception reporting system give visibility to loyalty card abuses? When a cashier appears several times on exception reports for loyalty program abuse, wouldn't you want to look over their refunds? Maybe you'd want to watch some video of them running the register to spot potential sweet-hearting. A simple policy violation which may have resulted in a verbal warning might turn into a theft case worth several thousand dollars. Not giving the issue some basic attention could further your exposure and exacerbate your losses.

Test the theory. Review some past cases and see how many of them were made well after Human Resources or management has already interacted with your subject. What is the dollar value of those cases? Do you still think you can afford to not be in the conversation on these issues?


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Director, DC & Corp Security Sports Authority Englewood, CO Sports Authority
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Douglasville, GA Macy's
Sr Regional LP Mgr Eddie Bauer Newark, NJ Eddie Bauer
Sr Regional LP Mgr Eddie Bauer Chicago, IL Eddie Bauer
Mgr, Loss Prevention Eddie Bauer Bellevue, WA Eddie Bauer
LP Mgr, DC & Call Center Ops Eddie Bauer Groveport, OH Eddie Bauer
District AP Manager Sports Authority Homestead, FL Sports Authority
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Franklin, WI Lowe's
District LP Mgr Kmart Denver, CO Sears Holdings Corp
Area Loss Prevention Mgr Home Services Ontario, CA Sears Holdings Corp
Loss Prevention Mgr Kmart Fontana, CA Sears Holdings Corp
Regional LP Mgr CVS Caremark Glen Cove, NY CVS Caremark
Manager LP DC CVS Caremark Woonsocket, RI CVS Caremark
Regional LP Mgr CVS Caremark Clifton Park, NY CVS Caremark
Mgr, LP - E-Commerce NBC Universal Orlando, FL
Loss Prevention Mgr Rite Aid Buffalo, NY Rite Aid
Loss Prevention Mgr Rite Aid Baltimore, MD Rite Aid


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Management Practices That Spell Doom Well-intentioned but misguided managers are sinking their employers because they don't understand the science of human behavior. Many time-honored management practices actually reward employees' bad habits and punish good behavior, often with devastating results.  (You better check the slideshow)

Is Laughter the Solution to All of Our Problems?  I think we can all agree that laughter is a universally desired part of existence. Not only does it keep us amused, it also has health and emotional benefits as well, and can help us concentrate at work.  (Break out the Three Stooges)

Last week's most popular articles --

5 Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview  When an interviewer asks you if you have any questions, this is a great opportunity to find out more about the job and the company's expectations, but you can't forget that the interviewer hasn't stopped judging YOU. (Scuttle your chances)

6 Must-Ask Interview Questions  Interviewing can be a gut-wrenching process. Most books on how to interview list hundreds of interview questions you need to be ready to answer, but few talk about the questions you need to ask. (Take control)

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Sometimes you've just got to draw the line on what advice to follow and who you ask. Certainly getting advice is important on any issue or decision. But at the end of the day you've got to own your own decision and listen to the bird on your shoulder. We all have one and oftentimes it's muted by our friends and family members. At 5 am staring into that mirror is usually when the bird whispers the clearest. The only problem then is if you don't hear it because you're not listening.

Just a thought,

Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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