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Chris Batson, CFI, MBA promoted to Director of Asset Protection, Total Loss for Gap Inc.

Chris has been with Gap Inc. for 18 years, starting with the company in 2003 as Manager of Investigations. Throughout his time with Gap, he has held various roles, including Director Of Loss Prevention, Institutional Shrink & Analytics, Sr. Manger of Corporate Reporting, Analytics and Institutional Shrink, and Sr. Manager of Investigations and LP Intelligence. Prior to joining Gap, he spent more than 10 years with Lowe's as an ALPM. Congratulations, Chris!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






Protests & Violence


Violence & Unrest Aren't Going Anywhere
Support for political violence among Americans is on the rise
Nearly one in three Americans said that taking "violent actions" is an appropriate remedy when elected leaders refuse to protect the country. An even larger share of the public - 36% - agreed that the "use of force" is necessary to arrest the decline of America's traditional way of life. But how alarmed should we be about the rise of public support for political violence in the US? If my initial reaction was one of concern, further research has only compounded my fears.

Justifying the use of force in their own words

Even when posed in an open-ended format, most respondents still endorsed the use of political violence and could readily reach for a justification. A 63-year-old male respondent suggested that he would condone the use of violence "when the political representation in their country fails to represent them or violates the founding principles of their Constitution."

Another respondent said violence can be justified when "our American way of life is taken away."

Growing partisan hostility

Support for political violence is almost certainly the product of the broader political context and cues from political elites. Past research suggests that concerns about demographic change, strong partisan identity and feelings of partisan hostility are linked to support for political violence.

In our poll, support for political violence is much higher among those who believe white people experience discrimination comparable to Black people and other minority groups. Moreover, people may be more prone to engaging in extra-constitutional actions if they believe democratic processes are corrupt or stacked against them and that their political opponents present an existential threat.

If provided a compelling reason by political elites many Americans - certainly a much larger share than the group of Trump supporters who invaded the Capitol building - will consider violence to be a reasonable political recourse. businessinsider.com

Proud Boys vs. Antifa in Salem, Oregon

'Heavily armed' protesters, counter-protesters gather at Capitol in Salem
A small group of Proud Boys and Trump supporters traveled to Oregon's Capitol on Sunday, where they clashed with a group of about 150 anti-fascist counterprotesters.

Three people have been arrested after "heavily armed" protesters gathered at the Capitol building in Salem, Oregon Sunday afternoon, according to local police

At one point Sunday, a large truck quickly sped through a crowd of the anti-fascist protesters as they stood in the street. Video showed the vehicle nearly hitting one person.

According to Salem Police, close to 100 people were at the Capitol around noon wearing black clothing and ballistic vests. They say they were also carrying firearms, bats, skateboards, umbrellas, shields and gas masks.

By 2:30 p.m., Salem police said the crowd had grown to an estimated 150-200 people. Shortly after, police reported that "the risk of violence has increased as the opposing protestors are expected to arrive in large numbers." katu.com  opb.org

'America is on Trial'
Vigils, rallies held in George Floyd's honor as opening arguments begin in the
Derek Chauvin trial
Fencing and concrete barriers encircle the county government center. Nearby businesses are boarded up. And the intersection at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, where George Floyd died, remains closed to traffic.

Ten months since the death of George Floyd in police custody, opening statements are set to begin Monday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Local activists planned rallies and vigils Sunday to honor Floyd's life and draw attention to the case.

Protesters - some chanting, drumming and holding portraits of Floyd - demonstrated outside the courthouse throughout the 11 days of jury selection, which concluded last week. Some said they planned to protest throughout the rest of the trial. usatoday.com

Derek Chauvin murder trial opens with opening statements, evidence


COVID Update

143M Vaccinations Given

US: 30.9M Cases - 562.5K Dead - 23.4M Recovered
Worldwide: 127.8M Cases - 2.7M Dead - 103M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 275
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Adult Vaccine Eligibility By State
46 states have announced plans to open up eligibility for adults by May 1

Retail America Shines in Vaccine Effort
Federal government finds that Americans prefer vaccination at pharmacies over expensive mega-sites
The Biden administration is rethinking a costly system of government-run mass vaccination sites after data revealed the program is lagging well behind a much cheaper federal effort to distribute doses via retail pharmacies.

Despite the money the federal government has spent on the mass-vaccination pilot sites, they are administering just a fraction of the shots given across the country each day. Federal data show the retail pharmacy program - which has signed up 21 chains and 17,000 stores - can reach far more Americans in a shorter time, according to four senior officials with direct knowledge of the matter. The bottom line, those sources said, is that more Americans seem to be willing to walk to their local pharmacist to get the vaccine than to travel to a federal vaccination site for the shot.

FEMA data obtained by POLITICO make clear that the pharmacy sites are far outpacing the stadiums, arenas and convention centers enlisted as mass vaccination sites.

The federal retail pharmacy program reported March 11 it had administered nearly 1 million doses over a single day. Over the course of the next four days, the program's pharmacies administered more than 5 million more doses, according to the federal vaccination data obtained by POLITICO.

"It's clear that Americans feel comfortable relying on their local pharmacies for the vaccine," said one senior Biden health official. "The retail pharmacy program will keep growing and I think you will begin to see more people going down the block to CVS to get the shot than driving maybe an hour to the federal sites to get it." politico.com

New CDC Study Shows Vaccines Are Effective Against COVID Variants
Moderna & Pfizer vaccines are very effective in real-world conditions
Consistent with clinical trial data, a two-dose regimen prevented 90 percent of infections by two weeks after the second shot. One dose prevented 80 percent of infections by two weeks after vaccination.

There has been debate over whether vaccinated people can still get asymptomatic infections and transmit the virus to others. The study, by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggested that transmission is extremely unlikely.

There also has been concern that variants may render the vaccines less effective. The study's results do not confirm that fear. Troubling variants were circulating during the time of the study - from December 14, 2020 to March 13, 2021 - yet the vaccines still provided powerful protection. nytimes.com

CDC Provides Guidance on Employers' Onsite Vaccinations
Large employers should consider onsite vaccination programs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in recent guidance. The CDC didn't recommend onsite vaccination programs for small or midsize employers, saying they should encourage offsite vaccination.

The guidance recommended that an employer consider a workplace vaccination program if it has:

A large number of workers onsite with predictable schedules.

The ability to enroll with the local jurisdiction's immunization program as a vaccination provider, including appropriately training staff or using an enrolled vaccination provider.

A location with enough space to have a vaccination clinic while maintaining social distancing through the entire process, from screening to post-vaccination observation. shrm.org

   10 more states open vaccine eligibility to all adults this week

   Retail relics provide space for vaccination sites

'The Surge is Already Here'
State leaders sound the alarm over Covid-19 case increases
For weeks, health experts have warned of another possible Covid-19 surge if Americans get lax with safety measures while the country races to vaccinate more people. Now infections are on the rise again and some state leaders are sounding the alarm over their latest trends.

After weeks of declines and then a plateau, the average number of new Covid-19 cases saw a 7% increase from the previous week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Friday. The average of new virus-related hospitalizations also saw a slight increase from the previous week, she said.

More than two dozen states are reporting at least a 10% increase of new cases compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

State leaders across the US have expressed concern about their latest Covid-19 data, urging residents to double down on safety measures just a few weeks longer until enough of the population is protected against the virus. cnn.com

Florida Becomes Hot Spot for COVID Variant
In less than a week span, cases of coronavirus variant double in Florida
Florida, which was already the country's hardest-hit state for two kinds of coronavirus variants, more than doubled its tally of the variants in a report released Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control.

Florida had reported 1,075 variant cases through Thursday. Sunday's report added another 1,255 cases, bringing the state to 2,330.

The United States as a whole reported another 2,303 variant cases on Sunday, more than double the worst increase ever seen in the thrice-weekly CDC updates. The previous record was set Tuesday.

Scientists view Florida - the state furthest along in lifting restrictions, reopening society and welcoming tourists - as a bellwether for the nation. If recent trends there are any indication, the rest of the country may be in trouble. tallahassee.com  yahoo.com

McKinsey & Company
Most popular: 1. When will the COVID-19 pandemic end?
In the United Kingdom and the United States, we see progress toward a transition to normalcy during the second quarter of 2021. The new wave of cases in the European Union means that a similar transition is likely to come later there, in the late second or third quarter. Improved vaccine availability makes herd immunity most likely in the third quarter for the United Kingdom and the United States and in the fourth quarter for the European Union, but risks threaten that timeline.

The fall in COVID-19 cases across much of the world over the past ten weeks signals a new dawn in the fight against the disease. Vaccines are proving effective and rapidly scaling, bending the curve in many geographies. This is a fragile dawn, however, with transmission and deaths still high, unequal access to vaccines, and variants of concern threatening to undo progress to date.

The trajectory of UK and US cases has enabled the beginnings of a transition toward normalcy. We expect this transition to continue in the second quarter of 2021 and will likely see many aspects of social and economic life return to the prepandemic normal, consistent with UK Prime Minister Johnson's staged reopening plan for the United Kingdom and US President Biden's goal of a normal Independence Day.

The past month or two have seen seven important developments: Vaccines work - The Vaccine rollout is improving. More Vaccines are on the way. Therapeutics are poised to make more of a difference. New cases and deaths are lower-but still high. It is increasingly clear that more infectious variants of concern may drive a new wave of cases in the coming months. Variants may also reduce vaccine efficacy or enable reinfection. mckinsey.com

Walmart Employees Want Screening Pay - NYC COVID Price-Gouging Fines
Walmart employees say they haven't been compensated for arriving for their shifts early to undergo coronavirus screenings, New York City has been accused of imposing excessive COVID-19 price-gouging fines

While courts across the country are altering procedures, restricting access and postponing certain cases to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the outbreak has also prompted a wave of litigation.

Walmart workers hit the retail giant with a $5 million proposed class action Monday, alleging Walmart required employees to arrive for their shifts early to undergo COVID-19 screenings but flouted the law by failing to fully compensate them for their time.

New York City authorities have unconstitutionally imposed excessive COVID-19 price-gouging fines without due process on "potentially tens of thousands of individuals and businesses" that sell face masks and other pandemic supplies, according to a proposed $50 million class action filed in federal court. law360.com

Lawsuit Claims Employers CAN'T Mandate Vaccine Approved Only For Emergency Use
Can Employers Mandate a Vaccine Authorized for Emergency Use?
Federal and state anti-discrimination agencies have issued guidance for employers that want to require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine-but at least one lawsuit has claimed that employers can't mandate a vaccine that is approved only for emergency use. While this argument might not hold up in court, employers should be aware of the risks associated with a vaccine mandate.

When employees refuse a vaccine, the employer should address their concerns and explain the reasons why the company has adopted a mandatory vaccination policy, said Mark Goldstein, an attorney with Reed Smith in New York City. "An open dialogue and education will be key, as will following FDA updates in this regard and consulting with legal counsel." shrm.org

2021 is a 'Transition Year'
ServiceNow expects most employees will continue work remotely at least 2 days a week, even after the Covid pandemic passes
"2021 will be a transition year," a company representative said in an email to the Business Journal. "As the world reopens, we will innovate, observe, learn and adapt together to explore new ways of working within a flexible, primarily distributed model."

Earlier this month, Bill McDermott, CEO of the enterprise software company, told attendees of a virtual tech conference that ServiceNow would continue to allow employees to work from home or remotely when it reopened its offices.

ServiceNow expects most workers will work from home or remotely at least two days a week, the representative said. And many of them - what it calls "work from anywhere" employees - will be fully remote, without assigned workplaces in its offices. bizjournals.com


'Year From Hell' for Grocery Workers

Coronavirus, then a mass shooting: It's been a year from hell for Colorado
grocery store workers
The killing of 10 people at King Soopers in Boulder a week ago - including three of the supermarket's employees, an Instacart shopper and vendor there to fix a machine at the in-store Starbucks - has rattled grocery workers everywhere, forcing them to imagine what they would do if that happened at their own store. And that terrifying day came after a hellish year for the essential employees who have had to argue with anti-mask customers and risk their health at work so the rest of us could buy food.

"It's been brutal," said Johnson, who is director of operations. "And it still is, quite honestly."

The pandemic has been mentally exhausting for grocery workers - from sanitizing every basket and cart between shoppers, to taking employees' temperatures before they can start a shift, to placing a monitor at the front door to make sure the store doesn't bust capacity limits required by law.

So when a grocery store in neighboring Boulder was the scene of a deadly rampage last week, rattled employees at Marczyk's were offered time off if they needed to step away for a few days. Johnson said he and his team were "in shock," but launched into making sure the store was as safe as possible.

Workers were already trained about what to do in the event of a hold-up - there's a button to push to call police. But what they were imagining before was a robbery, not a person wielding an assault weapon intent on killing workers and shoppers.

"Grocery workers, it doesn't matter if it's a man-made or natural disaster - flood, blizzard, forest fires, grocery workers always work. They're a critical part of the food-supply chain," Cordova said. "They've had coworkers die (of COVID), yet they have to come back to work every day." coloradosun.com

The 'Work to Zero' Initiative

How to Reduce and Eliminate Workplace Fatalities

The NSC's Work to Zero initiative is exploring innovative safety technologies with the goal of making workplace fatalities a thing of the past.

Emily Whitcomb, director of the National Safety Council's Work to Zero initiative, believes the safety profession has come a long way in reducing workplace injury rates over the last 25 years. "Unfortunately," she states, "our fatality rates have been stagnant in that period, and thousands of workers are still dying on the job every year."

"The Work to Zero initiative, she explains, "wants to push our safety leaders to consider how to design out the risk for workers using innovative safety technologies," such as augmented and virtual reality, drones, machine learning, sensors and wearables, robots and cobots.

"Better design, eliminating or engineering out the risk should be top of mind for our safety leaders," Whitcomb says. "There are many lifesaving technologies on the market today, so why is adoption so slow? We are on the cusp of the next evolution of our safety journey, and I'm excited to be leading it through the Work to Zero initiative." ehstoday.com

Retail Impact of Jammed Cargo Ship

Oil, coffee, toilet paper and more supplies jammed by ship stuck in Suez Canal

The ship has finally been freed, but the impact will still be felt globally

The skyscraper-sized vessel container ship stuck sideways in the Suez Canal cost the shipping world $400 million an hour. Already, shipping analysts estimated, the colossal traffic jam was holding up nearly $10 billion in trade every day.

The blockage is not only threatening gas and oil supplies it is also causing shortages of toilet paper, coffee, furniture, exercise equipment and liquified natural gas.

"All global retail trade moves in containers, or 90 percent of it," said Alan Murphy, the founder of Sea-Intelligence, a maritime data and analysis firm. "So everything is impacted. Name any brand name, and they will be stuck on one of those vessels."

"Containers are already scarce in China and the backup in the Suez will further stress the inventory," explained Jon Monroe, a maritime trade and logistics consultant. "We are back to a pre-Chinese New Year environment where factories are running at full steam and are struggling to find containers as well as space for their finished goods."

A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels Friday outside the Suez Canal and some vessels began changing course as dredgers and tugboats worked to free a giant container ship. The massive container ship was finally free Monday, an official said. nytimes.com nypost.com bostonherald.com

   IKEA says it could have supply chain issues because of the Suez Canal blockage

Cargo Theft Hits Five-Year High
Recorded cargo theft incidents, average values increased in 2020
Cargo theft volumes and values in the U.S. increased in 2020 over the previous year and also hit a five-year high, according to cargo theft recording firm Sensitech's annual report.

The firm notes that its data is an indirect representation of the overall cargo theft footprint and not a direct reflection. It uses data from transportation security councils, insurance companies and law enforcement organizations, which may not represent 100% of all thefts but does provide a cross-section of thefts to identify trends, the firm notes.

Sensitech recorded 870 cargo thefts throughout the U.S. in 2020 - 222 in the first quarter, 230 in the second quarter, 185 in the third quarter and 233 in the fourth quarter. The average value of 2020 thefts was $166,854.

These numbers represent a 23% increase in volume and a 41% increase in average value when compared to 2019. The numbers also represent the highest recorded volume and average value in the last five years, Sensitech adds.

2020 represents a second consecutive year with an upward trend in reported cargo theft volume, which prior to 2019 had been in decline since 2011. ccjdigital.com

Courtrooms Reinvented For COVID-19
Law360 publishes public article

Elaborate Steps: Juries Returning To Changed Courts
Jurors stepped back into court Monday for the first time in months as in-person trials restarted in many places, but they're performing that public service in courtrooms that look very different than they did before the pandemic, all to accommodate proceedings that face a host of new challenges.

Plexiglass barriers, socially distant juries and air tests are just some of the physical changes greeting those returning to courtrooms. The measures mean trials will be fewer and take longer, and they create new hurdles for public access to the courts, judges acknowledge.

The changes may also affect how courthouses are designed and built for years to come, according to some experts.

"It's elaborate, it's complicated, there's no question that conducting jury trials in this way reduces our capacity substantially," said Maryland Chief U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar. "But we're not dead in the water, we're far from it."

Smoking in the Courtroom

Judge Bredar is taking an unusual approach to restarting in-person jury trials. He is allowing smoking in his Baltimore courtroom - in the form of smoke tests.

'Ubiquitous' Plexiglass - Thinking Outside the Box for Juries - Providing Public Access law360.com

How essential retailers are defending against a 2021 slowdown
Big-box retailers like Home Depot and Target, hardware stores, grocery stores and drug stores were some of the only places where people in the U.S. could still shop in-person, after the first wave of stay-at-home measures. As a result, they reported unprecedented sales growth through the spring. A sampling of those results from last year: Target's comparable store sales were up 10.8% year-over-year between March and May, Lowe's comparable sales were up 12.3% year-over-year during the same time period, and Kroger's sales were up 19% during its first quarter last year.

Now, the challenge these once-essential retailers face this year, is to capitalize on some of that sales growth they saw last spring. In earnings calls over the past month and a half, most of the executives at these retailers have said that they don't expect to match the revenue growth they saw last year. Rather, the goal is to maintain marketshare. In order to keep shoppers coming back to their stores and websites, these once-essential retailers are using this year to expand into new categories, striking deals with popular brands or launching their own private-label lines, and launching new digital features. But it's a challenging prospect now to keep customers coming back, now that they have more choices about where to spend their money.

"As society starts to open up, trends are not as conducive for retail growth as consumers will start to spend more on experiences such as travel and dining out rather than on products," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail said. modernretail.co

Kmart And Sears Spend Another Friday Evening Closing More Stores

Home improvement retail still has legs after all-time highs

Finding remote work a struggle? Here's how to get your team back on track

Last week's #1 article --

Home Depot Loss Prevention Agent critically wounded, Chicago Police Officer also shot by fleeing Shoplifter; Suspect killed in shootout
A shoplifting suspect who got into a shootout with Chicago police is dead, and a police officer and a security worker were hospitalized in an incident that broke out Thursday afternoon at a store on the city's Southwest Side, authorities said. The officer is the fourth Chicago cop to be shot in less than two weeks. The police officer was being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was expected to undergo surgery.

A second victim, a Loss Prevention Agent from The Home Depot store where the incident broke out about 5 p.m., on West 46th Street, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in grave condition
, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt. The officer wounded in the shooting has four years with the department and is assigned to the 9th District, authorities said. Shortly before 8 p.m., the officer had been released from the hospital. Authorities said the suspect shot the security worker inside or outside the store. Officers responded, and the suspect tried running away and shot one of the officers, authorities said. They also said police who responded at some point fired back and struck the suspect. The security worker was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where his condition was described as grave.  dailymail.co.uk  chicagotribune.com

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Interface Delivers Savings & Vendor Consolidation with Managed SD-WAN, 4G/LTE, UCaaS and Security Systems for Thrive Restaurant Group

Consolidation of vendor ecosystem unclogs productivity bottlenecks and delivers savings and greater planning clarity to one of Applebee's largest franchisees

Interface Security Systems, a leading managed services provider delivering managed network, business security and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises, recently provided Thrive Restaurant Group, one of Applebee's largest franchisees in the US, with scalable network, communications and security services. The new solutions include a next-generation secure SD-WAN architecture with network upgrades, 4G/LTE wireless capability, unified communications as service (UCaaS) with cloud-based VoIP and a secure and standardized business security systems platform. As a significant update to Thrive's outdated legacy systems, the new Interface solution unclogs productivity bottlenecks and gives the flexibility the restaurant chain needs to address changing customer preferences.

With 81 restaurants across the United States, Thrive found itself struggling with challenges common to many geographically distributed businesses, including: managing multiple network and voice providers, dealing with outdated CCTV hardware and a lack of accountability from vendors.

"With 81 restaurants across ten states, we needed a partner we could count on to manage our network, voice and security for all locations," explains Brian Houchin, Director of IT for Thrive Restaurant Group.

When it came to managing vendors, Thrive simply had too many. Troubleshooting technical issues was challenging as it was difficult to pin accountability on a specific vendor. In addition, tracking invoices, service credits and administering multiple vendors was an inefficient and time-consuming exercise every month.

Outdated hardware and changing regulations also posed a challenge. Unreliable CCTV equipment left the restaurants, employees and customers vulnerable to security risks on-premises. Constantly evolving Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance rules meant Houchin had to devote hours of his limited bandwidth to keep up with the latest changes and updates so Thrive could avoid major penalties and security threats.

With the COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupting Thrive's business, restaurant staff found it challenging to handle sudden spikes in call volumes as they had to work with a legacy phone system that was not scalable. The lack of 4G wireless coverage outside of the restaurant premises made curbside pickup and take-out services impossible to manage.

Thrive turned to Interface to implement a secure, scalable network and communications backbone that would unclog the productivity bottlenecks and give the flexibility the restaurant chain needed to cater to changing customer needs.

Click here for a more detailed case study.

About Interface Security Systems
Interface Security Systems is a leading managed services provider delivering business security, managed network and business intelligence solutions to distributed enterprises. We improve security, streamline connectivity, optimize operations and reduce IT costs, maximizing ROI for the nation's top brands. Learn more and follow us on our blog Making IT Happen and on LinkedIn.






From Russia With Love
SolarWinds hack got emails of top DHS officials
Suspected Russian hackers gained access to email accounts belonging to the Trump administration's head of the Department of Homeland Security and members of the department's cybersecurity staff whose jobs included hunting threats from foreign countries, The Associated Press has learned.

The intelligence value of the hacking of then-acting Secretary Chad Wolf and his staff is not publicly known, but the symbolism is stark. Their accounts were accessed as part of what's known as the SolarWinds intrusion and it throws into question how the U.S. government can protect individuals, companies and institutions across the country if it can't protect itself.

The short answer for many security experts and federal officials is that it can't - at least not without some significant changes.

"The SolarWinds hack was a victory for our foreign adversaries, and a failure for DHS," said Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, top Republican on the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "We are talking about DHS's crown jewels."

The Biden administration has tried to keep a tight lid on the scope of the SolarWinds attack as it weighs retaliatory measures against Russia. But an inquiry by the AP found new details about the breach at DHS and other agencies, including the Energy Department, where hackers accessed top officials' private schedules. apnews.com

Retailer Fat Face Pays $2 Million Ransom to Conti Gang
Left unsaid in Fat Face's "strictly private and confidential" data breach notification to affected customers this week was any indication that the U.K.-based clothing and accessory retailer had paid a $2 million ransom to unlock its systems (see: British Clothing Retailer Fat Face Discloses Data Breach).

But as Computer Weekly reported on Friday, based on details of the ransom-payment negotiation obtained by its French sister publication, LeMagIT, Fat Face's data breach traced to it having been hit with a phishing attack on Jan. 10 by the Conti ransomware gang.

Responding to a 213 bitcoin - worth $8 million - opening ransom demand, Fat Face's negotiator reportedly argued that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, its revenue was down 75%. Ultimately, Conti agreed to a $2 million payment, saying that it didn't want to bankrupt the retailer, Computer Weekly reports.

The attackers triggered their crypto-locking malware one week after gaining access to Fat Face's systems, evading its security defenses, identifying its "Veeam backup servers and Nimble storage," and exfiltrating 200GB of data, according to Computer Weekly.

Luckily for Fat Face, the firm had a cyber insurance policy with Beazley Furlonge Ltd. that included coverage for ransom payouts. Or at least that's what the Conti gang said in its negotiations with Fat Face after the retailer said that the $8 million initial ransom demand was too high. govinfosecurity.com

Cybersecurity Should Be Top Priority

Billions of records have been hacked already. Make cybersecurity a priority of risk disaster, warns analyst

A new report warns against relegating cybersecurity to the bottom of the to-do list.

More data records have been compromised in 2020 alone than in the past 15 years combined, in what is described as a mounting "data breach crisis" in the latest study from analysis firm Canalys.

Over the past 12 months, 31 billion data records have been compromised, found Canalys. This is up 171% from the previous year, and constitutes well over half of the 55 billion data records that have been compromised in total since 2005.

AdvertisementCases of ransomware - a specific type of attack that encrypts servers and data to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid - have been on the rise, with the number of reported incidents up 60% compared to 2019.

"Prioritize cybersecurity and invest in broadening protection, detection and response measures or face disaster," said Canalys chief analyst Matthew Ball.

According to Canalys, this unprecedented boom in attacks can be in part attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced organizations across the world to digitize at pace, without putting enough thought into the new security requirements that come with doing business online.

To keep businesses afloat, money was invested in digital technologies and the cloud, to move processes online and adapt to new ways of working. Cybersecurity concerns, however, were all-too-often put on hold, noted Canalys. zdnet.com

Secret Service Hosts Cyber Incident Response Simulation
U.S. Secret Service hosted a virtual Cyber Incident Response Simulation with state and municipal government officials focused on ransomware attacks and mitigation strategies.

The training was the seventh of its kind and the fifth virtual event conducted with the agency's Cyber Fraud Task Force (CFTF) partners. Executives who play an active part in their organization's cyber incident response were offered a simulated scenario to enhance planning, collaboration and information sharing between state and local government agencies and the Secret Service. The uniquely designed cybercrime crisis role-play simulation allowed participants to gain a better understanding of how to efficiently and effectively respond to a ransomware attack. secretservice.gov

40% of Apps Leaking Information

4 Open Source Tools to Add to Your Security Arsenal




But, I've Always Done it That Way

Change is difficult to accept, in business, relationships, strategy and of course...interviewing. Throughout the last 40 years, WZ has been proactive in evolving the standards of interviewing or interrogation techniques starting with introducing the concept of Non-Confrontational approaches many years ago. Although we have continued to evolve over these few decades, there is no more important time to challenge the status quo, than the present. All investigative professionals should be constantly challenging their practice and asking themselves "how do I know what I know?". There is a difference between defining success based off of results versus based on the informed strategic process that drove the results. Truth be told, this is a challenge for all professions - including ours.

Read more






Amazon Union Vote Ends Today
Amazon warehouse employees have hours left to vote on a union that could dramatically change the tech giant and the future of work in America
On Monday, 6,000 Amazon workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama will have their last day to vote on a union that could forever change the company - and have a massive impact on workers across the US.

"It may be the most important union vote in decades," Lynne Vincent, an assistant professor of management at Syracuse University's Whitman School, told Insider. "It represents the conversation in our nation regarding economic and racial disparities that are embedded in our systems and structure and how power is distributed."

Workers had the chance to vote by mail to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) starting in early February. Tallying the votes is expected to take days, with the RWDSU saying the timeline will become more clear when counting begins on Tuesday.

"This is the richest man in the world against workers," Wilma Liebman, who served on the National Labor Relations Board under Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, said.

According to experts who spoke with Insider, workers in Bessemer could provide a roadmap for employees at Amazon and other companies across the country on how to effectively unionize. After decades of declining labor union membership, Amazon's high-profile unionization efforts could play a part in reversing the trend.

"If they are able to win a union for themselves in such a broken system, then I think that is so encouraging to other Amazon warehouse workers, but also workers across other industries and at other retailers," said Celine McNicholas, the director of government affairs at the Economic Policy Institute. businessinsider.com

E-Commerce Warehouse Boom

Old Golf Courses Are Being Turned Into E-Commerce Warehouses
Golf has enjoyed a minor renaissance in the U.S. during the pandemic-after all, it's an outdoor sport, and it's relatively easy to keep socially distant while playing. But it's still not as hot as the warehouse boom.

As investors hunt for industrial properties tethered to e-commerce, developers are buying golf courses and converting them into space for warehouses. A languishing course is often the largest tract of unbuilt land for miles around, and there are plenty of them. As the jump in golf's popularity driven by Tiger Woods in the early 2000s fades, scores of courses are closing each year. "When Tiger came on the scene, everybody started building golf courses," says Chris Gary, executive vice president at real estate firm NAI Hiffman, who built a golf facility in the Chicago area earlier in his career. "There was a surge in interest, and they basically overbuilt."

Although the number of rounds played in the U.S. last year rose almost 14%, the sport has been in decline over the past 15 years. Today there are about 5 million fewer players than there were in 2005. And roughly 2,400 courses have closed since 2006, according to data from Pellucid Corp. and the Internet Golf Database. That's left thousands of acres ripe for takeover. bloomberg.com

How online shopping became unavoidable




Update: Polk County, FL: Polk County Sheriff's Deputies Take Down Suspected Crime Family After They Allegedly Defraud Lowe's Stores In Eleven Counties
Update to last week's Polk County Sheriff's Office case against the family of three involved in major fraud of Lowe's stores in eleven Florida counties... Susan Highlander Bailey was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office on March 27, 2021, on the Polk County warrant. She has been charged with: Obtaining Property by Fraud, Money Laundering, Gross Fraud, and 2-counts of Organized Retail Theft over $3,000.

A man, his son, and his daughter-in-law have been identified by the Polk County Sheriff's Office as suspects of wide-spread fraud at numerous Lowe's Home Improvement stores in Florida. 50-year-old Robert Bailey, and his son 28-year-old Christopher Bailey, are currently in jail in Hernando and Pasco counties respectively, and a warrant for Christopher's wife, 51-year-old Susan Highlander Bailey, has been issued for her and she is currently being sought. The Pasco County family was found to have made 65 fraudulent transactions at Lowe's stores in eleven Florida counties, costing the store $28,801.79 in losses. Members of the PCSO's Organized Retail Crime Unit first learned of the trio's activity last year when they were contacted by a Lowe's ORC manager about how the suspects had removed items from store shelves then made immediate "returns" at the customer service counter for store credit. The suspects would then purchase merchandise, usually tools, with the store credit.

The investigation found that the suspects made eight pawn transactions within hours of the fraudulent returns and purchases. "These three weren't difficult to track down. They used their Florida driver's licenses during the transactions, and Robert and Christopher were in jail for other crimes when we charged them. Their scheme, and others like it, not only cost Lowe's money, but also consumers, due to prices being driven up by the losses." - Grady Judd, Sheriff. Their fraudulent thefts are known to have occurred between July 10, 2020 and September 3, 2020.  dailyridge.com

Bellingham, WA: Woman hid in JCPenney till after closing then bagged up $73,000 of merchandise
A woman suspected of staying in the Bellis Fair JCPenney until all employees had left for the night, reportedly gathered nearly $73,000 worth of items before the alarm sounded and Bellingham Police found her hiding. Tina Marie Louise Davis-Taylor, 35, was booked into Whatcom County Jail Thursday, March 25, on suspicion of first-degree theft, second-degree malicious mischief, second-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Officers were called to the JCPenney at 12:44 a.m. Thursday after the store's alarm sounded following multiple trips, Lt. Claudia Murphy told The Bellingham Herald. Officers entered the store and found Davis-Taylor wearing a headlamp, latex gloves, a backpack and purse and hiding behind a merchandise rack, Murphy reported. Davis-Taylor also reportedly had multiple bags, backpacks and suitcases full of unpaid merchandise, was wearing a shirt with JCPenney tags still on it and had stolen jewelry and gift cards in it. Additionally, Murphy reported that Davis-Taylor was found with cutting tools, nippers, a hammer and other burglary tools. msn.com

New Bloomfield, MO: 3 Women arrested after Kohl's $2,000 robbery
Three women were arrested Friday after stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise from a Jefferson City Kohl's store. A Jefferson City Police Department news release said officers were dispatched just after 6 p.m. March 26 to a theft in progress at the store. Dispatchers advised responding officers that the three suspects "had assaulted several people" while attempting to get to their car with their stolen items. According to police, witnesses said one of the suspects bit and struck a Loss Prevention Officer as they were leaving. The officer received on-site medical attention. All stolen merchandise, worth around $2,000, was recovered. krcgtv.com

London, England: Pair who stole $55,000 in cash and perfume from
high-end West End store
Two men have been jailed for stealing more than $55,000 in cash and perfume in a series of West End robberies. Reed Roberts, 30, of Compton Passage, Islington, and Alfie Atherton, 29, of Saxon Road, Tower Hamlets, took $30,000 in cash off a delivery driver who was about to drop it off at a supermarket in Clerkenwell Road on February 1 last year. Roberts was sentenced to seven years and six months' imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday (March 26), and Atherton was sentenced to 10 years and six months' in prison. Detectives from the Flying Squad investigating the cash in transit robbery were also able to link the duo to a "smash and grab" robbery at a high-end department store in Marlborough Street three days earlier. news.yahoo.com

Vernon, BC, Canada: $15k Sunglasses Burglary at Village Green Mall
Dozens of designer sunglasses, worth an estimated $15,000, were stolen from Iris Optometrists and Opticians in Village Green Mall. The incident took place on Thursday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. The mall closes at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Clara Mainville, manager of Iris Optometrists and Opticians, posted about the incident on Facebook. The Maui Jim display case close to the entrance was broken into and the merchandise was stolen. There were 44 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses stolen, which retail anywhere from $300 and up. The individual was wearing a face mask and couldn't be identified on security video footage. castanet.net

Oak Brook, IL: Police investigating theft of $2600 in computers from Costco

Jefferson City, MO: Prison time ordered in $1,000 Walmart theft case; long-term drug treatment program

Lexington Park, MD: SMCSO Seeking Identities for Theft Suspects at Vape Planet

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Shootings & Deaths

Baltimore, MD: Grocery store shooting leaves two dead, one hurt
A preliminary investigation reveals 27-year-old Joshua Green shot three people at the Royal Farms along Middleborough Road in Essex just before 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Two victims were pronounced dead on the scene and one is recovering at a local hospital. According to detectives, the suspect left the store and returned home where he set his apartment on fire.

Police later found him outside his apartment complex dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Detectives traveled to the home of the suspect's parents where they discovered the two dead; both individuals appeared to have been shot. Detectives say all three incidents are connected and they are not searching for any additional suspects in connection to these three incidents. foxbaltimore.com

Houston, TX: Man dead, 2 others injured in shooting at convenience store
Houston police are looking for the gunman who shot and killed a man and injured two others at a convenience store on Houston's south side early Sunday morning. This shooting happened at about 12:45 a.m. in the 3300 block of Dixie Road. According to investigators, a 29-year-old man walked inside of the store with his sister and girlfriend. The suspect then walked inside the store moments later and shot the man multiple times. Police said he also shot two other people, ages 42 and 31, before getting away in a red vehicle. The 29-year-old man died on scene. khou.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Riverside, CA: Moreno Valley Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Robbery Charges for Month-Long Pharmacy Crime Spree in Inland Empire
A Riverside County man pleaded guilty Thursday to federal criminal charges that he engaged in a month-long robbery spree of pharmacies in the Inland Empire while wearing a medical mask over his face. David Anthony Battle, 51, of Moreno Valley, pleaded guilty to six felony counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery). According to his plea agreement, from July 6, 2020 to August 10, 2020, Battle robbed six pharmacies - Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid - in Moreno Valley, Colton, and San Bernardino, and attempted to rob two other Moreno Valley pharmacies. During each incident, Battle wore similar clothing - including wearing medical masks covering his nose and mouth - and used a similar method of brandishing what appeared to be a handgun by pulling it out from his waistband and holding it at his side, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case. He then demanded that money in the cash register be placed in a bag and handed over, the plea agreement states. Law enforcement reviewed store surveillance videos, which led them to arrest Battle, court documents state. During Battle's arrest, a black BB-gun-style pistol was found on the ground near him, the affidavit states. Battle netted $5,453 in illicit gains from the robberies, though $3,200 of that came from the July 6 robbery of a Walgreens store in Moreno Valley, according to the plea agreement. United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal has scheduled a June 14 sentencing hearing, at which time Battle will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each Hobbs Act robbery count. imperialvalleynews.com

Phoenix, AZ: Armed robbery suspect sought in multiple Jack in the Box Armed Robberies
Authorities are asking for the public's help in searching for a man suspected of robbing multiple Phoenix Jack in the Box locations. Silent Witness officials say he is suspected of robbing the locations on multiple dates in March 2021. Employees say he approached them, demanded money from the register and threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate. abc15.com

Manchester, CT: Man in UPS uniform robs AutoZone at gunpoint
A man in a UPS uniform robbed a Manchester store at gunpoint Sunday night, police said. The holdup happened at AutoZone Auto Parts, 410 Broad St., about 8 p.m., they said. No one was injured. The armed man came into the store with a handgun, took money and left in a gray Volkswagen sedan, police said. He was described as Black, 5 foot 8, about 160 pounds and wearing a UPS uniform. Police don't know why the man was wearing the uniform, Lt. Ryan Shea said Monday. That is part of the investigation, he said. courant.com

Brush, CO: Two Fast Food Employees Fight Staff, Flee Police After Being Fired
A pair of Wendy's employees were arrested after they were dismissed from the restaurant's employment Wednesday evening. Kobi Johnson, 26, and Mariah Loma, 25, were taken into custody separately. Johnson, according to a press release from the Brush Police Department, returned to the restaurant around 6 p.m. after being fired earlier in the day. He physically engaged several employees. Other employees were prevented from calling 9-1-1 by Loma, as described by the department. Johnson left before law enforcement arrived at the restaurant. As police searched for him at a different location, Johnson returned to the restaurant, physically assaulted an employee, and used his vehicle to ram a manager's vehicle in the parking lot. denver.cbslocal.com

Logan UT: Suspect accepts plea deal in Armed Robbery case at Burger King
A man facing seven felony charges after the Oct. 13 robbery of two people at a Cache County Burger King has accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to four felonies. Matthew Kay Archuleta, 27, pleaded guilt to: Two two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, Two counts of counts of purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony. Archuleta was originally arrested with two other males, one 30 and one a juvenile. The other man's case information is currently unavailable through court online records. According to witnesses, three males robbed victims outside the fast food restaurant, using a shotgun and a semi-automatic handgun. gephardtdaily.com

Newark, DE: Burglary suspects hit 5 Newark-area restaurants, eyewear store early Thursday

Richmond, IN: Former Logistics Revolution employee's theft of $327K results in 6-month jail sentence

Holland, MI: Police recover 6 firearms stolen in Gun shop Burglary




AutoZone - Manchester, CT - Armed Robbery
Bike - Santa Fe, NM - Burglary / Arson
C-Store - Mt. Pleasant, MI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Framingham, MA - Burglary
C-Store - Highland Park, NJ - Robbery
C-Store - Lyndhurst, VA - Robbery
C-Store - Santa Cruz, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Redmond, OR - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Greensboro, NC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Boise, ID - Armed Robbery
CVS - Oklahoma City, OK - Armed Robbery
Eyewear - Newark, DE - Burglary
Gas Station - West Hartford, CT - Burglary
Gas Station - Windsor Locks, CT - Burglary
JC Penney - Bellingham, WA - Burglary
Jewelry - Portland, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Charlotte, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Southgate, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Columbus, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Cabazon, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Tigard, OR - Robbery
Restaurant - Phoenix, AZ - Armed Robbery (Jack in the Box)
Restaurant - Newark, DE - Burglary
Restaurant - Newark, DE - Burglary
Rite Aid - New Castle, DE - Armed Robbery
Rite Aid - Wilmington, DE - Armed Robbery
Shoes - Saugus, MA - Robbery
Walmart - New Hartford, CT- Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



James Ferrens, CPP, PSP named Team Leader - Physical Security
for Domino's

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The Vice President of Loss Prevention reports to the Company's General Counsel and is responsible for leading the organization's global asset protection and security efforts. You will collaborate effectively across the Company.  linkedin.com

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Being too close to the trees to see the forest is an expression that also fits not appreciating the role you play on your own team. With the needs of the day seemingly always taking priority, it's difficult for some to step back and truly see the value you can add to your own team. Realizing it and accepting the responsibility as a team member is half the battle. But doing something with it and truly adding value is what helps the team win the game. Every group, every department is in fact a team and every member plays a vital role towards the success and the survival of that team. That's why that old expression - One for all and all for one - took such a hold in literature. Because it is that simple. The hard part is taking responsibility for it.

Just a Thought,

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