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May 30, 2013 SUBSCRIBE

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The International Center for Missing and Exploited Children helps lead the way to shut down illegal internet payment sites  Eight years ago, Ernie Allen, the head of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, called the heads of major banks and credit card companies. Why, he wanted to know, were they letting child pornographers move illicit profits through their systems? And so began a collaboration between his organization, major banks, credit card companies, Internet service providers, payment processors, and Internet companies like Google and Microsoft. They had hoped to follow the money and quash child pornography for good. But at some point the money trail went cold. For the last year, Mr. Allen has been working with global law enforcement and financial leaders to find out why. He may be getting closer to an answer. Today, cybersecurity experts say billions of dollars made from child pornography and illicit sales of things like national secrets and drugs are being moved through anonymous Internet payment systems like Liberty Reserve, the currency exchange whose operators were indicted Tuesday for laundering $6 billion. Cybersecurity experts said it was just one among hundreds of anonymous Internet payment systems. (Source

ABC News Nightline trying to produce an episode on internal theft in the retail industry  For the last month ABC News has been trying to locate a security firm that would allow them to film an internal theft case from start to finish and including the actual interview of the suspected dishonest employee. As you might understand it's been a difficult search and we agreed to run this story for the industry to merely advise you of their efforts. Should anyone be interested, please feel free to contact us directly for more information at

Web-like analytics are coming to brick-and-mortar stores 
A company called Placed is applying some of the methods used online to the real world. Placed Insights service, the company automatically collects data from people who have downloaded its smartphone app, so the population that it studies is self-selected, despite protestations to the contrary by CEO and founder David Shim. It's not nearly as accurate as simply counting heads, as stores already do. Nevertheless, the technology is both fascinating and promising -- maybe even revolutionary. While big retailers and chain restaurants have developed sophisticated methods for measuring foot traffic within their stores, Placed also reports what customers do before they get there and after they leave. Further, it breaks down their demographic profiles and presents retailers and restaurant chains with the kinds of analytics that companies like Nielsen (NSLN) and comScore (SCOR) provide to online marketers. (Source

New study shows annual online return rates of 3% is well below some broader industry studies  This year for the first time for the 2013 edition of the Top 500 Guide, Internet Retailer asked Top 500 merchants about the percentage of products returned and received a response from about 16% of the ranked retailers. The median return rate of 3% is well below some broader industry studies. On average, data compiled from about 50 clients of retail consulting firm Kurt Salmon show that online consumers return 20% to 30% of orders of apparel and other soft goods. That compares to a return rate of less than 10% for hard goods like gifts, home products and toys. (Source

The world’s largest e-commerce event yet - one day LP will be there as well   
More than 9,500 online retail professionals from more than 40 countries will attend the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2013 next week in Chicago. An 11% increase over last year. The attendees represent a broad array of retail chains, web-only merchants, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers, as well as travel, hospitality, nonprofits and financial services companies and the e-commerce vendors that provide services to them. The content theme for IRCE 2013 is “Breaking barriers toward a new retail economy,” and sessions will detail how retailers can connect the disparate parts of their organizations to provide a better shopping experience for consumers and drive sales. (Source

Attacks aimed at mobile devices are progressing much more rapidly than any attacks ever waged against PCs  Organizations are in danger if they don't pay attention because it's coming fast. Are your registers, cashiers, employees, and systems ready for the onslaught? Jail-broken devices will be here soon - shopping in your store. Malicious and fraudulent activity on the mobile platform is growing much more quickly than it did on the PC platform over the last 10 years. "Organizations, even if they aren't interested in mobile payments, have to be concerned about these risks and address them proactively," says Jevans, founder and chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group. "Anybody who is allowing their employees to bring these mobile devices into the work place is at risk." (Source

Abercrombie & Fitch files lawsuit to fight Counterfeiting of merchandise. 
A&F has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Florida against hundreds of different websites selling counterfeit A&F merchandise. A&F is focused on the sites of,, and A&F is seeking $100,000 in damages plus interest, fees and costs. (Source

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Costco 3Q up 5% with sales up 8%
Express 1Q flat with net sales up 3% and e-commerce sales up 48%
DSW 1Q down 2.4% with net sales up 7.7%
Big Lots 1Q down 2.5% with revenue up 2%
Delia's 1Q down 7% with revenue down 14%

Disneyland worker arrested in connection with explosion inside theme park  A 22-year-old who works at the venerable Southern California theme park was arrested late Tuesday, hours after a small explosion in Mickey's Toontown section. The blast did not hurt anyone, but it did rattle nerves and prompt the evacuation of that part of the park for a few hours. Anaheim police on Wednesday identified the suspect in the explosion as Christian Barnes, a Long Beach resident and an outdoor vendor at Disneyland. Booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, Barnes is being held on $1 million bail. People were cleared from Toontown for about two hours as authorities investigated, though the rest of Disneyland remained open. (Source (Source

“Sample lady” shot and killed by Police inside Virginia Costco.  A contract employee who was passing out samples of pizza at the Costco in Sterling, Virginia apparently snapped and attacked a Sheriff’s Deputy with a knife and a pair of scissors; the woman was shot and killed. Two deputies had been called to respond to a disorderly conduct complaint that the woman was wielding a knife and scissors and threatening employees at the store. Police attempted to taser the woman but it was unable to subdue her. (Source (Source

Two Pilot Flying J sales executives plead guilty to engaging in rebate fraud scheme to reduce truckers rebates and increase their commissions - facing lengthy jail terms With the Fed's and the IRS raid a month ago, these are the first two sales executives to be charged in this multi-million dollar scheme to reduce truckers rebates for buying gas there and increase their commissions. The investigation has shown this was a huge scheme that was actually managed by the top sales executive in the company and taught at their national sales meetings. The owner of this private $30B company has denied any knowledge of the scheme and of interesting note bought the Cleveland Browns NFL football team last year for over $700M in cash. This is all about abusing truckers nationwide by miscalculating their loyalty rewards program and increasing their commissions significantly. At the end of the day if it's proved the owner had knowledge, then he'll also lose his NFL football team. As you might imagine, the Cleveland fans are already calling for his head. (Source

Gang members busted for three 7-Eleven robberies in mini crime spree in Redwood City, Cal.  It took less than three hours for two alleged Norteno gang members to rob three Redwood City convenience stores Tuesday morning with rifles stolen in a residential burglary days earlier, Redwood City police said. (Source

Long Beach Couple goes on credit card spending spree using identity theft. 
Judith Guzman and George Wusstig opened nearly $20,000 in new credit at Bert’s Mega Mall, Best Buy and The Home Depot. They used as much of the credit limit as the could before being apprehended. Of the $10,000 credit line at Bert’s Mega Mall, Guzman used $9,949. Guzman had stolen the identity of a Los Angeles woman. She now faces charges of commercial burglary, identity theft and credit card fraud and forgery. (Source

Pennsylvania woman arrested for shoplifting at Kohl’s faces additional charges of Heroin possession.  Alysha Grant was apprehended for the theft of $820 worth of merchandise from the Kohl’s store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Grant may have wished she left her heroin and drug paraphernalia at home. She now faces several additional charges and bail was set at $10,000. (Source

Winn Dixie store in South Florida robbed at gunpoint.  Two suspects smashed a hole in the back of the store to gain entrance; police believe it took the suspects two hours to break-in. Once inside, the suspects waited for the manager and associates to arrive at 6am. The suspects forced the staff to the floor and demanded the manager open the safe. Once the suspects had the cash in a duffle bag they made a quick escape. No one was injured during the robbery. (Source

Houston Police searching for suspects the beating of an AutoZone employee during robbery.  Three suspects quickly entered the AutoZone store as a fourth suspect stood guard at the door. One of the suspects beat the store associate with a gun until he opened the safe. The employee then lost consciousness and was dragged to the front of the store where he was forced to open the register. (Source

Rock Hill Police investigate $1000 of iPads stolen from Walmart display case. 
Two men entered the Walmart in Rock Hill, South Carolina and apparently ‘pulled’ on the iPad display case until it broke. The two suspects grabbed $1000 worth of Apple products and fled the store. (Source

Three Australian women arrested for shoplifting 8 rabbits; Police find over 100 rabbits at their home.  Police in Victoria have arrested three women in connection to the theft of eight lop eared rabbits from a pet store in Bulleen. When Police went to the home they discovered over 100 rabbits. The three women posted bail and will be back in court in August. (Source

Waco jury sentences a habitual criminal to 50 years; caught stealing ribs.  
Willie Smith Ward will have 50 years to think about how good those baby back ribs would have tasted; with his 5 previous felony and 4 misdemeanor convictions it took the Waco jury two minutes to sentence him to 50 years. Ward had been apprehended at the HEB store back in September of 2011, when stopped by Loss Prevention, Ward told the agent he had a knife and attempted to flee. Ward will need to serve 12.5 years of the 50 year sentence before he is eligible for parole. (Source






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Five Mistakes Leaders Unknowingly Make That Scare Employees 
Even if you're not the type of leader to bully your employees or use fear tactics to get things done, you may be unintentionally scaring your employees. "From time to time, we all say or do things that spark unconscious fears in our employees," says Comaford, author of the SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together. When we feel scared we get stuck in survival mode, and we focus on how we can stay "safe." So how are leaders actually holding the employees back? The offenders include:

  ●You "help" employees by giving them solutions- Don't tell them what to do, inquire so they can find the solution on their own.
  ●Your meetings are heavy on sharing and point-proving, light on promises and requests- Focus on giving them enough information so you can get requests and give promises to those who need them.
  ●You give feedback to employees without first establishing rapport- Try using these phrases to help your employees see you as an equal- "what if...," "I need your help," and "Would it be helpful if...."
  ●You focus on problems rather than outcomes- Focusing on problems only increases anxiety which then results in another problem; it's just a continuous cycle.
  ●You frame "change" the wrong way- When employees want to resist change, present change as an improvement and help them see the good that will be added. (Don't scare them away)

Four Distracted Driving Myths 
The National Safety Council has news for those who "claim" that using hands-free devices are perfectly safe to use behind-the-wheel: using a cell phone while driving, even if both of your hands are on the wheel, is still dangerous. According to this infographic, "The Great Multitasking Lie," drivers using handheld or hands-free cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a car crash, and estimates drivers using cell phones are involved in 21 percent of all crashes in the United States. NSC's infographic outlines four myths dealing with distracted driving including: Myth 1: Drivers can multitask. Myth 2: Talking to someone on a cell phone is no different from talking to someone in the car. Myth 3: Hands-free devices eliminate the danger of cell phone use during driving. Myth 4: Drivers talking on cell phones still have quicker reaction time than those who are driving under the influence. (Fact or Fiction?)

Why Workers Are Stressed 
According to a poll conducted in Europe, workers there feel that job insecurity is one of the most common causes of work-related stress. Poll results came back with 51% of European workers considering work-related stress is common, and 16% consider it "very common." The report also took into consideration perceptions about the aging work force, and indicated that 12 percent of workers were aware of workplace programs that make it easier for older workers to keep working up to or even past the age of retirement. (Stop the stress)

Sleep Disorders Spell Safety, Productivity Concerns at Work 
With National Sleep Awareness Month coming to a close tomorrow, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine is hoping to raise more awareness about sleeping disorders and the impact these disorders have on worker's health and their productivity. According to a recent study, insomnia affects about 23% of all US workers, which turns into 367 million lost work days per year! Causes of sleeping disorders vary, from being associated with work stress or anxiety, to changes in a work schedule. While there is medicinal treatment available for sleep disorders, means of prevention should be considered first in the line of treatment. (Why so tired?)



South Carolina Senate Judicial Subcommittee approves ORC legislation and sends it back to the Senate floor for debate next week  The bill targets professional shoplifting rings by gradually increasing penalties for those caught more than once. "What the amendment does is go back and tiers the penalties so we don't have first offense, five year felonies right off the bat," said Senator Brad Hutto, who represents the 40th Senate District. (Source

Washington woman sentenced to two years for Target ORC case.  
Sacha Madorin-McGregor has been sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to theft in connection with trying to leave the Olympia Target store in October with 152 items concealed in storage bins including CDs, DVDs, Seahawks T-shirts and women’s beauty products. Madorin-McGregor has a history of mental health issues. She also has a record for prior shoplifting and identity theft offences. (Source

Two Boca Raton shoplifters apprehended with $900 of merchandise in a baby stroller. Two female shoplifters were apprehended at Macy’s after taking several items into the fitting room, removing the article surveillance tags and concealing the merchandise in a baby stroller. The suspects were apprehended and admitted to stealing the merchandise for cash which they planned on receiving once the merchandise was sold to Plato’s Closet. (Source

ORC? Four charged with theft from JC Penney in Marlborough. 
Three men entered the JC Penney store as their female accomplice waited in the get a way car. The three suspects gathered up $1300 worth on merchandise and broke for the door. Loss Prevention had already contacted the police because they had seen the suspects operate before. Police were able to catch up to the suspects on the interstate and pulled them over. All four suspects were charged; one suspect had several outstanding warrants. (Source

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Vendor Spotlight

Contact: Ray Esposito
Senior VP, Strategic Initiatives

The Truth about Employee Theft:
5 Myths that Deter Resolution

Internal theft is the leading cause of loss in the retail and restaurant industry. Although, in theory people enjoy the discussion, in practice the confrontation can be discomforting. No employer wants to “believe” that their employees have stolen from them. Often that discomfort helps to create certain myths about employee theft.

In psychology there is something called the “self-confirming” hypothesis. That is we only attend to the information that supports what we already believe. In an investigation that means we seek out only the evidence that supports our theory and ignore the pieces that don’t fit.

This is often the case in our beliefs on employee theft. It is far easier to believe that only “bad” people steal. The problem with that belief is not whether it is valid, but whether we are using the proper definition of “bad.”

This eBook contains some of the most common "myths" or beliefs that companies hold in evaluating the level of employee theft in their organization.

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Axonify. Read how Pep Boys reduced their shrink by 55% by overhauling their LP awareness program. Download.

Thought Challenge

"Memory is always the first thing to go" as they say...

By Erik Stephens, CFI
Regional Director Loss Prevention
Bed Bath & Beyond

I find it interesting that this applies not only in life as we grow older but also in our technology. Depending how much memory you have left, you may remember when buying 1GB (gigabyte) of memory for a computer cost around $100 (1985ish). Today, you could probably find 1TB (terabyte=1000GB) for around the same $100 (or less).

Today, technology is rapidly growing, in fact, it is growing so fast in the video surveillance part of the industry that many manufacturers have competing technologies on the market at the same time. The down side is that our industry, Retail Loss Prevention, doesn't seem to be quickly adapting to and taking advantage of the technology. We seem to be in a waiting game to find out what is the next technology to adopt.

Reality is that nothing comes next if we don't use what is available, now. Or what comes next is designed for another user. We are currently in an era when we, Retail LP experts, can truly impact the technology and influence it to change where we want it to go. But we must embrace the technology that is here... Now...

IP camera systems have developed with the interest of Retail in mind but very few retailers have adopted them, even for new store construction although the pricing is very competitive to analog systems.


The argument that I have heard around the industry is "Why should I have better camera equipment if I don't have anyone there to watch it?"
The answer is....That's why! There is no one there to watch it!

As many departments have been faced with 'workforce reductions' or 'departmental reorganization' we have found that our people are handling more and more territory and there is fewer staff in the buildings combating losses. Fewer loss prevention, fewer customer service & sales associates as well as fewer managers. Our cases are becoming more complex as our suspects are travelling to hit multiple stores and multiple retailers. Our LP teams are being stretched thinner & are being asked to review video for ORC cases, Policy compliance and to validate information identified from an exception report. In many of our environments, the camera shot is attempting to record as much as possible and hold the video for as long as possible. There is just not enough memory with old technology to have a good shot and a good history.

This is where having better technology comes in...IP / Mega Pixel cameras (HD quality) can give clearer pictures at a further distance than current 600 or 700TVL analog cameras. DVR, NVR, NAS or Cloud memory can easily and cost effectively be increased to accommodate long term storage (more memory = clearer pictures), IP cameras from many manufacturers have a 360 degree recording area. (More coverage = More of the crime on video). An IP camera system that incorporates 360 cameras, Fixed domes and the memory required to meet the expectations of your organization is probably the same cost, if not less expensive, than the OLD analog devices currently being used.

We need these devices in our business and we need the memory to support these devices.
As we all continue to share information on cases through ORC ties, I have seen some great video and some... lets just say "old" video...
We can't continue to chase the 'New' thief, the 'old' way. We need to adopt what is available and then mold what is next.

Submit your Thought Challenge

Job Opening




Mgr, Asset Protection RSC Winn Dixie Baldwin, FL Winn Dixie
Asset Protection Manager The HoneyBaked Ham Co. Alpharetta, GA The HoneyBaked Ham Co.
Dir, Sec. Risk Info & Analysis Target Minneapolis, MN Target
Senior Director, LP Corporate Hoffman Estates, IL Sears Holdings Corp
Director of Loss Prevention CVS Caremark Lumberton, NJ CVS Caremark
Sr Mgr of Global Security YUM! Brands Louisville, KY YUM! Brands
Director of LP - East Zone Express Miami, FL Express

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Philadelphia, PA

Downing & Downing

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Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only

Job Opening




Asset Protection Mgr Home Depot Edwardsville, IL Home Depot
District Operations Mgr Home Depot Baltimore, MD Home Depot
Asset Protection Mgr Home Depot Dallas, TX Home Depot
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Thibodaux, LA Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Oklahoma City, OK Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Sherman, TX Lowe's
District LP Manager Sears Hoffman Estates, IL Sears Holdings Corp
Regional LP Manager Kmart Rio Piedra, Puerto Rico Sears Holdings Corp
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Burbank, CA Sears Holdings Corp
District AP Manager Sports Authority Hawthrone, CA Sports Authority
LP & Env. Health & Safety Mgr Wholesale Sports Edmonton, AB, Canada Workopolis
Asset Protection Mgr Ralph Lauren Harriman, NY Ralph Lauren
District LP Manager Kroger Atlanta, GA Kroger
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's Aventura, FL Bloomingdale's
District LP Manager Sport Chalet Sacramento, CA Sport Chalet
Project Mgr, Loss Prevention Amazon Seattle, WA Amazon
Loss Prevention Mgr Bergner's Champaign, IL The Bon-Ton Stores
Loss Prevention Mgr Natural Grocers Lakewood, CO Natural Grocers
Loss Prevention Mgr Bloomingdale's Garden City, NY Linkedin
AP District Mgr Rite Aid Poughkeepsie, NY Rite Aid

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Which Behaviors Must Leaders Avoid?
It's not all about what you should be doing to engage and inspire your employees, but take into consideration the things you shouldn't be doing as well. People tend to remember the bad over the good, so make sure your bad won't be remembered. Here are some of the behaviors you should avoid, to make sure your positive traits come out on top! (Body language sometimes speaks louder than words)

5 Reminders Every Leader Needs
When you get bogged down with the tasks and demands of work, make sure you don't forget these five important reminders so you always know how to treat your employees and conduct your business. Don't get too consumed with your daily routine that you forget the most important items of your business and leadership role. (Fight for what's right)

Leadership Basics: What to Do When You Don't Have All the Answers  If you don't know something, don't pretend or deny it, and don't make something up; honesty helps build integrity and it gives you and your team something to relate to. If you don't know something, instead of worrying about the fact that you don't have the answer, use these four ways to turn it into an opportunity. (Don't just sit there, do something!)

4 Leadership Skills that Hobbies Help Build  Make time for the things you love to do outside of work. Go blow off some steam watching your favorite sports, or enjoy reading a best-selling book. Your hobbies can help you become a better leader in these four key areas: decision-making, systematic thinking, creativity and confidence. (Use your interests to your advantage)

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Managing your career upwards is also about simply managing your boss so to speak. While everything out there talks about managing direct reports, managing your relationships, managing your time, and managing your job, you've also got to be aware of the fact that you need to manage your boss as well. As a matter of fact, managing your boss may be the most critical part of managing your career upwards and most don't approach it that way. That being said, one must be careful here because most bosses don't want to be managed.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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