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Never Eat Alone

An IOBSE Conference Session on the Importance of Networking

Keith White and Suni Shamapande

Originally Published 7-30-12

In this three part series filmed at the International Organization of Black Security Executives Spring Conference, Suni Shamapande, former Divisional Vice President of Loss Prevention for Sears Holdings Corp., and Keith White, Sr. Vice President of Loss Prevention for Gap Inc., address attendees on the importance of networking - featuring the book "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi.

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Update: Weis Supermarket Mass Killer left a chilling prediction about Trump
Police say that a men who killed three of his co-workers in a shooting spree in a northeast Pennsylvania grocery store had a history of posting violent messages on social media, including a chilling prediction about President Trump.

Authorities identified the Twitter account of 24-year-old Randy Stair, who committed suicide after his murder spree. And he posted this disturbing message about Trump: The tweet reads, "I can almost certainly guarantee you that Donald Trump will be assassinated. Maybe not this year, but in the near future," and was posted in September of 2016, before the election.

Police say Stair barricaded his fellow employees in a Pennsylvania grocery store and shot three to death. A fourth escaped and called the police. He spent 90 minutes blocking exits, and then began his murderous spree. "This is really a mental health situation that utterly spiraled out of control," Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell said. "I think he had longstanding mental health issues that resulted in this horrible tragedy." theblaze.com

'Crime School'
Teens share tips on how to get away with shoplifting online

Teen shoplifters in Australia are using an online "crime school" to learn how to steal thousands of dollars in goods from Melbourne retailers. Children as young as 13 are taught how to bypass store security cameras, deactivate electronic tags and outsmart loss prevention officers.

They then post photos of "lifting hauls" to the website - even tallying the value of cosmetics, clothing, lingerie and electronics stolen from stores. Stores including The Body Shop, Mecca Maxima, Victoria's Secret and Lush Cosmetics are among those targeted.

Several claimed their shoplifting was justified - branding it a rebellion against retail corporations and unrealistic beauty standards. "The more I look at prices on the items I shove in my bag, the more justified I feel in stealing," one wrote. heraldsun.com

US Customs launches Anti-Counterfeiting Education Campaign
US Customs and Border Protection has launched a new campaign aimed at informing the public of the "real dangers" of counterfeit goods. The Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) at the US Chamber of Commerce has supported the campaign, The Truth Behind Counterfeits, which will run at six of the busiest US international airports. According to a report from GIPC, counterfeiting worldwide has become a $461 billion-per-year problem. The 2016 report, Measuring the Magnitude of Global Counterfeiting, said that counterfeits had beaten previous estimates, doubling forecasts from 2008. ipprotheinternet.com

Background Checks: Hiring Essential Or Barrier To Re-Entry?
The Rise of Claims Alleging Bias in Hiring Screening
Criminal Convictions Protected Class

As statistics of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirm, in recent years, there has been a rise of administrative charges alleging violations of anti-discrimination laws based on hiring decisions.[1]

For example, in May 2017, an organization that provides re-entry services to ex-offenders filed a charge with the EEOC, accusing a major national retailer of classwide bias against the hiring of Latino, African-American and male applicants based on their criminal conviction records. The charge alleges that the retailer denied employment to a Latino applicant who disclosed a 2001 conviction without conducting an individualized inquiry into the candidate's previous work experience and ability to perform the job sought. The charge alleges that the retailer does not conduct individualized assessments of applicants' conviction records. The charge advances two primary theories of violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: (1) disparate treatment discrimination, and (2) disparate impact discrimination.

The EEOC charge described above is just one instance of a larger trend of scrutiny toward standard hiring practices due to their alleged discriminatory consequences.

Retailers may screen out applicants with theft convictions as a means of reducing the risk of inventory shrinkage. Employers may also use criminal background checks to reduce the risk of workplace violence incidents or related lawsuits.

Some employers view criminal background checks as a barrier to re-entry for ex-offenders seeking to support themselves and their families through steady employment.

"Ban the box" laws have earned mixed reviews from those examining whether such laws enhance job opportunities for ex-offenders.

Legislative Trend to "Individualize" the Assessment of Criminal Records
Since the "ban the box" movement began in the late 1990s, the discussion has moved beyond the literal "box" - the space on a job application that asks about a criminal record - to how employers actually use conviction records that are obtained later in the hiring process.

More and more jurisdictions have enacted laws to regulate how and when employers may use criminal record information to make employment decisions. Although these laws vary in key respects, they share an aim to promote the individualized assessment of criminal records; hence the "fair chance" name tied to many of these laws. These laws generally prohibit employers from automatically disqualifying applicants with convictions and require them to consider specific factors before making an adverse employment decision based on a conviction record, including the well-known "Green factors" of (1) the nature and gravity of the offense; (2) the time that has passed since the offense; and (3) and the nature of the job held or sought.[7]

For example, as of March 14, 2016, the City of Philadelphia requires employers to consider factors, including the applicant's employment history before and after the offense, any incarceration period, character or employment references, and any evidence of rehabilitation since the conviction.[8] Similarly, a Vermont law that takes effect on July 1, 2017, will require employers who use criminal record screens to give applicants an opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding their criminal records, including post-conviction rehabilitation.[9] Also, a bill is pending in the Alabama state legislature that would require employers to consider factors, including whether the circumstances underlying the applicant's criminal conviction will recur in the position the applicant seeks.[10]  law360.com

Hudson's Bay Company Announces 2,000 Job Cuts
Hudson's - Saks Fifth Ave - Off 5th - Lord & Taylor - Gilt Groupe
The Canadian-American department store conglomerate is flattening its hierarchy across businesses, realizing more than $350 million in annual savings when the changes are fully implemented.

On Thursday, those layoffs - which will eliminate 2,000 positions when completed - began. According on one source, there were "hundreds" of layoffs at Gilt alone.

Dismissed employees were asked to stay at the office on Thursday while HBC readied a public announcement, which was released at 4.05pm ET.

In the release, HBC laid out its "Transformation Plan," which is a result of a six-month operational review that identified inefficiencies with the aim of streamlining and improving back-of-store productivity in North America.

The plan calls for major changes in senior-level management, including the creation of two leadership teams, one focused on Hudson's Bay in Canada, and another to accelerate growth at Lord & Taylor. businessoffashion.com
Ascena Retail Group to Close 250 Stores & 400 More if Rents Can't be Renegotiated
Ascena reported a net loss of more than $1 billion on the corporate books in the third quarter of the 2017 fiscal year. The brands ascena owns are Maurice's, dressbarn, Justice, Lane Bryant, Catherines, Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lou & Grey.

Calling for a "leaner, more-profitable Ascena," CEO David Jaffe said in an investor call Thursday afternoon that 250 stores across the company's seven brands will close and an additional 400 could close if better leases can not be negotiated in the next two years. That would put a big dent in the corporation's 4,850 locations, more than 1,000 of which are Maurices stores. wdio.com duluthnewstribune.com

FTC Expected To Block Rite Aid-Walgreens Deal: Report
The news was reported by Bloomberg, citing Capital Forum.

The report follows growing doubts from the government about the deal, which would combine the second and third largest drugstore chains, and its potential to harm competition.

Walgreens had initially agreed to sell 865 Rite Aid stores to pharmacy chain Fred's (FRED), then upped its offer to 1,200 stores, after regulators didn't think the original number was enough. The company this year also cut its takeover price.

Last month, Rite Aid and Walgreens said they had complied with the FTC's request for information about the potential merger, initiating a 60-day countdown for the agency to give the deal a thumbs up or thumbs down. investors.com

Twenty-two retailers in Moody's portfolio in serious financial trouble -
Could lead to bankruptcy

Eclipsing the level of seriously distressed retail companies that Moody's reported during the Great Recession.

Moody's predicts that the ranks of "distressed" retailers at risk of filing for bankruptcy will only grow in the next 12 to 18 months. 

Retailers rated Ca or lower by Moody's:

Boardriders SA - sporting subsidiary of Quiksilver
The Bon-Ton Stores - parent of department store chain
Fairway Group Holdings - food retailer
Tops Holding II - supermarket operator
99 Cents Only Stores - discount retailer
TOMS Shoes - footwear company
David's Bridal - wedding dresses and formalwear seller
Evergreen AcqCo 1 LP - parent of thrift chain Savers
Charming Charlie - women's jewelry and accessories
Vince LLC - clothing retailer
Calceus Acquisition - owner of Cole Haan footwear firm
Charlotte Russe - women's clothing
Neiman Marcus Group - luxury department store
Sears Holdings - owner of Sears and Kmart.
Indra Holdings - holding company owner of Totes Isotoner
Velocity Pooling Vehicle - does business as MAG, Motorsport Aftermarket Group
Chinos Intermediate Holdings - parent of J. Crew Group
Everest Holdings - manages Eddie Bauer brand
Nine West Holdings - clothing, shoes and accessories
Claire's Stores - accessories and jewelry
True Religion Apparel - men's and women's clothing
Gymboree - children's apparel   usatoday.com businessinsider.com

Are You Prepared for a Corporate Crisis?
No one can predict when disaster will strike - but knowing what to expect if it does will buy precious time.

Imagine yourself as a top executive in a company hit by a major crisis within the last 72 hours. First, and most importantly, there may have been serious damage to the community in which you operate. Your customers may have suffered, people's livelihoods destroyed. The environment may be irretrievably damaged. Some of your employees and contractors may be injured, or worse. Your investors will be livid, and the board looking to assign blame. By the end of the first week, chances are your organization will be facing dozens of lawsuits, some set to become class actions over time. cfo.com

Outraged shoppers are reportedly 'looting' Madison, N.J., designer thrift store that's closing down
As the saying goes, what goes around comes back around. But maybe not if you donated clothes to a 2nd Time Around store.

The high-end thrift store chain, which sells luxury items, announced on May 31 that it is going out of business. Some consignors are concerned that they won't be paid for the items they've donated.

Frustrated donors have taken to stores that are still open and reportedly attacked employees, damaged signage, and stolen items off the shelves, according to Racked.

"We have consignors literally coming into the store trying to loot us!" one employee told Racked. "We've had to call the police because customers have physically put their hands on employees," the same employee told Racked. 2nd Time Around's 53 E. Houston Street location in New York City has already closed, but the remaining stores will continue to have a going-out-of-business sale throughout June. thisisisnsider.com

BCBG Bought By Marquee Brands LLC and Global Brands Group Holding Limited
Marquee and Global Brands intend to continue to operate a substantial majority of BCBG's core businesses as a going concern. prnewswire.com

Automation Could Eliminate Millions of Retail Jobs
Different Skill Sets Required

Up to half of all current jobs in the retail sector are likely to vanish because of e-commerce, automation of jobs and the closing of brick-and-mortar stores. Millions of retail jobs - as we now know them - are going the way of gas station attendants. Just as ATMs replaced many bank tellers, automated check-out stations are supplanting retail clerks.

But more important to the overall economy than the disappearance of mostly low-income, entry-level jobs in the checkout lane is that the retail jobs likely to remain are starting to require different skill sets. And - another big consequence - the funnel is narrowing through which retail workers are able to get promotions to better-paying, career-type jobs.

One recent analysis, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, estimated that 7.5 million retail jobs are at risk due to computerization. That matters. goerie.com

As Store Layoffs Mount, Retail Lags Other Sectors In Retraining Workers
Many retail workers are undergoing what economists call "job displacement," meaning they are losing their jobs largely because of major technological shifts. Layoffs in traditional retail have accelerated sharply this year, with hundreds of store closings and nine U.S. chains filing for bankruptcy so far in 2017. Retail is increasingly diverse, what experts call "omnichannel," meaning most retailers sell through a hybrid of online and traditional stores. Hiring is most in demand for work in e-commerce: warehousing, logistics and technology. The National Retail Federation says that to better equip people for those new jobs, it launched a training and certification program for workers. npr.org

More CEOs Being Fired for Ethical Lapses, Study Finds
According to the 2016 CEO Success Study, dismissals for ethical lapses globally have increased by 36 percent over the past five years, to 5.3 percent in 2012-16 from 3.9 percent in 2007-11. Despite this increase, the study authors say the numbers don't necessarily mean there has been more corporate misbehavior; instead, companies are simply holding CEOs to higher standards. shrm.org

Arcadia, CA: Female Peacock takes out $500 in wine after crashing liquor store
A female peacock has ruffled more than just feathers at a Los Angeles-area liquor store. Without a peep, the peahen strutted into the open door of the Royal Oaks Liquor Store in Arcadia on Monday. Store manager and college senior Rani Ghanem said he didn't even know it was there until a customer walked in and asked him about "el pollo," Spanish for "the chicken."

An animal-control officer responded after Ghanem called 911, approaching the peahen with gloves and a fishing net. That's when the hilarity ensued, Ghanem said. tampabay.com

Better Business Bureau offers tips on safety in the workplace

Publix to offer deliveries from all stores in 4 years

Bebe Sells Distribution Center and Puts LA Design Center Up for Sale

Stater Bros. Charities Sending Over 1,000 Care Packages to Deployed Local Service Members

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

HBC Q1 comp's down 2.9%, net sales down 3%
   Saks Fifth Avenue comp's down 4.8%
   DSG (Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay, Home Outfitters) comp's down 2.4%
   HBC Off Price comp's down 6.8%
   HBC Europe comp's flat
ascena retail group Q3 comp's down 8%, net sales down 6.2%
   Ann Taylor comp's down 7%
   LOFT comp's down 6%
   maurices comp's down 12%
   dressbarn comp's down 8%
   Lane Bryant comp's down 11%
   Catherines comp's down 6%
   Justice comp's down 6%

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Managing conflict at the point of impact for retailers

According to Bob Moraca, VP Loss Prevention NRF, he has constantly heard from members and non-members alike that retail criminals are becoming increasingly more aggressive and menacing. As a result, we asked retailers in our latest ORC survey and sure enough, the data from the most recent NRF ORC survey released last October, further documents that reality. Almost every retail respondent, 96.5 percent, reported that in the past 12 months, shoplifters and ORC criminals have become more aggressive.

While it's clear that there is no way to totally prevent violence, Moraca believes that with the proper tools and training, security officers, Loss Prevention professionals and store level employees may be able to defuse a potentially fierce encounter before it builds to a peak and that they may even be able to de-escalate a potentially violent encounter even if it starts to achieve momentum.

Acting on that belief, NRF has partnered with Milwaukee, Wisc.-based Vistelar, a provider of training programs designed to prevent and manage conflict by using non-escalatory and de-escalatory verbalization skills.

That program, created with feedback from the NRF is a version of Vistelar's Verbal Defense & Influence Training (VD&I) program customized to meet the specific needs of retailers and their loss prevention department.

Two training directors from Vistelar will be running a workshop from noon to 4:00 PM on June 26th, 2017 at this year's NRF PROTECT 17, at the Gaylord National Harbor in Washington DC.

This workshop will focus on managing conflict at the point of impact - the short period of time when disagreements, insults or gateway behaviors (e.g., swearing, aggressive posturing, verbal threats) can escalate to conflict and on to emotional and/or physical violence.

Read more here

Filipino Man Gets 5 Years For Running $9M Cybercrime Ring
Angelo Virtucio, a 30-year-old resident of the Philippines, was sentenced by a U.S. District Judge in New Jersey. According to prosecutors, Virtucio purchased stolen account data from online black market forums and then used a global network of individuals as"cashers" - cybercriminals who encode stolen credit and debit card information on counterfeit cards to then make purchases or withdraw money - to monetize the stolen account data.

Account holders' credit card information was primarily obtained by computer hacking, while debit account information was typically obtained through ATM skimming.

To move around nearly $5 million in criminal proceeds from the cybercrime ring, Virtucio used an account with Liberty Reserve, an online currency service that was shut down after authorities conducted an investigation revealing it was widely used in the criminal underworld to pay for, and receive payment for, contraband or illegal services, and to launder criminal proceeds, according to the charges. law360.com

Security Teams Overwhelmed by Rising Volume of Attacks
Splunk, provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, today announced the results of new research from IDC that shows organizations are constantly under attack and struggling to keep up. The research finds most organizations run time-consuming security investigations and often fail to effectively protect themselves. Read the full IDC InfoBrief, "Investigation or Exasperation? The State of Security Operations," sponsored by Splunk. darkreading.com

Gamestop Warning Customers of Credit Card Security Hack
Last month, word got out that GameStop was hacked and customer credit card information was obtained for many patrons that made online purchases between September 2016 and February 2017. Now, GameStop is finally sending out letters to those gamers who may have been affected.

According to details from GameStop, it looks like the hackers were able to gain access to customer credit card numbers, expiration dates, card verification numbers, names, and addresses. Essentially, the hackers have enough information to use the cards anywhere they want for purchases.

GameStop has said it is actively working with KrebsOnSecurity to "eradicate any issues that may be identified," but for many gamers that's not very reassuring. What's even more troubling for some is that it's taken nearly two months since the company first announced the hack for GameStop to inform customers directly about the problem. gamerant.com

Outdated Operating Systems, Browsers Correlate with Real Data Breaches
Organizations that run more than half of their computers on outdated operating systems are three times more likely to suffer a data breach, while those running more than half of their browsers on old versions are twice as likely to get hit with a breach, a new study found.

Security ratings service BitSight studied the correlation between real data breaches and thousands of organizations running older, out-of-date versions of operating systems and browsers on their computers. They found that among some 35,000 companies worldwide across 20 industries, 2,000 had more than 50% of their computers running out-of-date OSes. Some 8,500 companies had half of their computers running out-of-date browsers.

While it wasn't much of a shocker that outdated software raises the likelihood of a breach, Dahlberg says, the volume of machines running the older code was surprising. "The sheer number of companies that actually have this many outdated systems" was an eye-opener, he says.

In an odd twist, financial services scored the same as healthcare and retail when it came to out-of-date OSes and browsers, each with 15% of their computers. darkreading.com

Cyber Squatters
Why Phishing Season Lasts All Year for Top US Retailers

The Anti-Phishing Working Group reports that 2016 saw over 1.2M phishing attacks, a 65% increase over 2015. The FBI places the financial losses since 2013 at well over $3B - and that's just for one particular "species" of phish, the so-called business email compromise.

There are various "lures" that phishers use to attempt to draw their victims in, but a common category capitalizes on the appeal of well-known brands. So-called cyber squatters purchase Internet domains, often in huge numbers, to set up look-alike sites that draw unsuspecting victims with promises of such things as great prices on luxury goods. What actually gets delivered ranges from counterfeit goods to malware, and into the bargain, credit card numbers and other sensitive information are also often stolen. To make the ruse harder to detect, many phishing sites, after harvesting the user's credentials, forward the user to the legitimate site. Thus, the user may have no inkling that something bad just happened.

As you might imagine, the more popular the brand, the more suspicious domains it garners. During a five-day test period, some 200 high-risk-scoring Apple-related domains were registered. If this was a representative week- and our ongoing monitoring suggests it was - Apple would rack up some 12,000 high-risk-score domains per year. This is one of the many reasons that big companies don't just register their own variants ahead of time; the numbers of possible permutations are enormous, especially when you consider that any given variant could exist in each of over 1,000 top level domains (.com, .net, .co.uk, .bike, etc.).

No major brand is immune; Apple is just one familiar example. We found abuse domains for Amazon (14), Nike (10), Wal-Mart (5), and several others. And if the numbers for those retailers don't seem overwhelming, remember that these were domains just from a five-day period in March. darkreading.com

Eyeing Bad Behavior and Stopping Payments Fraud
In an interview with PYMNTS' Karen Webster, Laurent Pacalin, CEO of Guardian Analytics, discussed the ways technology can help uncover and stop fraud incidents while they are still being attempted at financial institutions and enterprises.

"Fraudsters can steal your identity, but they cannot steal your behavior," said Pacalin, who noted that this is the premise behind behavioral analytics as it is applied to fraud detection.

There are two aspects to fraud, he continued, noting that there is the "method of the compromise," which hinges on just how fraudsters get into a system to commit fraud, via manual processes, social engineering or phishing. Then there's the aspect of the point of compromise, said Pacalin, whether online or mobile or even through a call center.

The company has developed advanced risk models that capture and process a significant amount of activity and transaction data, he continued, ranging from browsers to device-focused information and payment transaction details, with a focus on catching anomalies in customer behavior. pymnts.com

Comey: Hundreds of Organizations Targeted by Russia

Report: Lowe's outsourcing tech jobs

UPS Study: U.S. Online Shoppers Turning To International Retailers
97% of Online Shoppers Purchase from Marketplaces

Nearly half of avid U.S. online shoppers bought items from international retailers, demonstrating the need for retailers to offer more personalized services as a way to compete against lower prices, according to the sixth annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study.

The UPS study found that almost all avid U.S. online shoppers (97%), made purchases on marketplaces, up 12 points from 2016, and that 81 percent cite price as the most important factor when searching for and selecting products online. According to respondents who purchased from an international retailer (47%), 43 percent were driven by lower prices on U.S. marketplaces and 36 percent wanted unique products not found from U.S. retailers.

The use of smartphones continues to be an increasingly important part of the shopping experience online and in physical stores. Eight in ten online shoppers use retailer apps, often preferring apps to websites because of faster speed and a better user experience. The convenience factor is key as "on the go" mobile shoppers seek efficiency at every turn. Mobile coupons (50%) and high-quality product images (50%) are two of the most important app features. globenewswire.com

Security of E-commerce Websites is Crucial to Reduce Fraud Risk
Any business that accepts credit card (CC) payments is in danger from credit card fraudsters and hackers. Most brick and mortar establishments acknowledge this danger and have restructured their credit card processing systems to incorporate secure technologies and protocol. E-commerce websites also face the risk of being robbed by criminals. They must protect the business and its customers by complying with industry best practices for secure credit card transactions and federal regulations.

Ecommerce website owners can be targets of various kinds of credit card fraud. Some of these may be so stealthy that their effect will not be immediately noticeable in the business finances. Some of the risks faced by ecommerce websites are:

• Stolen Credit Card Numbers Used to Pay for Goods

• Randomly Validated Credit Card Numbers Used for Big Purchases

• Credit Refunded to Stolen Credit Card

• Customer Payments Diverted to Fake Clearing Accounts

• Responsibility of Securing the E-Commerce Website

• E-Commerce Website Design and Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance goodherald.com

Ikea to Test Selling Via Third Party Online Retailers

Polk County, FL: Sheriff Grady Judd says 4 suspects ran elaborate state -wide theft operation
Two members of a theft ring took in enough money that they could afford expensive homes in a gated community, Sheriff Judd said. The operation involved the use of stolen personal identification to buy more than $64,000 in cellphones from major stores throughout Florida. Two Kissimmee men have been arrested for their roles in the year-long operation and authorities are pursuing two more suspects. The quartet attempted to steal nearly $60,000 more in merchandise. Judd said his agency created a Retail Crime unit in 2014. He said members of Walmart's investigative department contacted the Sheriff's Office in December after realizing there was an ongoing, organized ring making purchases based on stolen identification. theledger.com

Sarasota, FL: Sarasota drone racing dealer feels betrayed by employee who stole over $100,000 of unopened merchandise, sold the products to  pawnbrokers
Wendell Ardis Board III, 38, of Sarasota, has been charged with 89 counts of theft, including 44 counts of dealing in stolen property, 44 counts of providing false ownership of pawned items, and one count of grand larceny over $100,000 in connection with the alleged thefts. An internet search discovered that an eBay store belonging to a Sarasota-based pawnbroker was re-selling the products on its eBay store. Pawn search queries found that Board made more than 60 transactions involving GetFPV.com products in Manatee County and 18 pawns in Sarasota County. heraldtribune.com

Fuquay-Varina, NC: 2 arrested in $46,000 Sprint phone scam, ID theft ring
Fuquay-Varina Police with the assistance of Cary police and the US Secret Service, arrested 23-year-old Michael Kwaku Bosompemh and 24-year-old Marie Lahai Kamara. According to police, the pair would obtain stolen IDs and place orders through Sprint for Samsung S8 cell phones, totaling over $46,000. abc11.com

Update: Lower Nazareth, PA: Police searching for 2 more men in C&S Wholesale baby formula heist

Authorities in Northampton County are searching for two more men tied to an $11,000 baby formula heist in Lower Nazareth Township. Police on Thursday released a surveillance photo of a man sought in connection with the May 27 theft from C & S Wholesale Warehouse. Authorities have already arrested two men, who crashed into a gate trying to escape. Police said two other suspects managed to blend into the crowd of other employees and escape capture. wfmz.com

Update: Streetsboro, OH: Former Home Depot employee pleads guilty in $30,000 theft
A woman accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the Streetsboro Home Depot where she worked last year has pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge. Dionne L. Smith, 31, entered a guilty plea Wednesday to one count of grand theft, before Judge Becky Doherty. A charge of tampering with records, also a fourth-degree felony, was dismissed on a motion by the Prosecutor. She faces the possibility of probation or a maximum of 18 months in prison at sentencing. Streetsboro police investigated Smith after the Home Depot Loss Prevention manager reported the thefts. The investigation revealed Smith was creating fraudulent returns on merchandise, converting the value into store credit cards and keeping them. The incidents took place over a one-year span between January 2016 and January this year. recordpub.com

Update: Belleville, IL: Store owner charged with stocking stolen baby formula
The owner of Sammy's Market in Belleville is facing charges of stealing more than $500 worth of baby formula. Ehssan Hamdan has been charged with the theft of Enfamil infant formula from Schnucks Markets in Belleville in June 2016. Hamdan, 24, was called to a Belleville Liquor Commission hearing and had his liquor license revoked in September 2016. During the hearing, Belleville Detective Shane Brown testified that Hamdan was recruiting people to steal baby formula from other stores and then stocking the formula on his own store's shelves. Brown said the two people would receive $3, $5 or $6 for a container of baby formula. The containers typically sell for $18 to $32. bnd.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Santa Clara County, CA: Man, 21, Dead in Double Shooting At Sunnyvale Strip Mall
Officers responded shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, to reports of shots fired at Fair Oaks Plaza, a strip mall on East Duane Avenue in Sunnyvale's San Miguel neighborhood. The first arriving officer found the 21-year-old man, who was declared dead at the scene. The second victim, a 24-year-old man, was found nearby in the parking lot and was taken to a hospital. Investigators believe there was "some kind of altercation" with one or more other people. abc7news.com

Update: Punta Gorda, FL: Man Guilty of Fatal Shooting, Arson at 7-Eleven
James Russo was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He faces life in prison at his July 17 sentencing. Authorities say Russo went to a Punta Gorda 7-Eleven in November 2015 and shot the store clerk, 18-year-old Kyle Farishian. Russo then poured gasoline on Farishian and set him on fire. usnews.com

Robberies & Thefts

3 Canadians Plead Guilty To $17M Cigarette Smuggling
A trio of Canadian men on Thursday admitted to a Missouri federal court their roles in a $17 million scheme to move hundreds of thousands of cartons of contraband cigarettes from Kansas City to New York to be sold on Indian reservations, the U.S. Department of Justice has announced.

There were 18 co-defendants who have also pled guilty to participating in the racket, which saw premium brand cigarettes bought in Kansas City sold to retailers on Indian reservations in New York without paying the $4.35 per pack excise tax for the cigarettes or applying the appropriate tax stamps. law360.com

Olympia, WA: ATF releases surveillance video of car ramming gun store
The stolen car rammed through the front of the gun shop in the middle of the night. Then four thieves ran inside and started grabbing guns. Surveillance video released by the ATF shows the burglary at I-5 Guns and Ammo on May 26, where thieves managed to steal 28 firearms. This is the fifth Gun store Burglary in the area this year. Burglars were in and out of the store in less then 1 minute. kiro7.com

Yakima County, WA: 2 bookkeepers, 9 'phantom' employees charged with stealing $1M from Zirkle Fruit Company
Norma Ruth Garza, 52, and Maria Teresa Galarza, 38, allegedly organized the theft ring by issuing paychecks to "phantom" employees. Their scheme unraveled last November when both women were off on payday; Galarza on a scheduled vacation and Garza because her son had been killed. The investigation went back to April 2010, and totaled $956,153 in fraudulent paychecks over the years. Zirkle Fruit is one of the largest apple and cherry operations in Eastern Washington. tri-cityherald.com

Pontotoc, MS: Final McDonald's Armed Robbery suspect/ former employee arrested in Chicago

Tulsa, OK: Police believe McDonald's robber connected to previous KFC robbery

Austin, TX: USPS contract employee fired, investigated for stealing gift cards

Kay Jewelers in the Tanger Outlet Center, Commerce, GA reported a Grab & Run on 6/8, item valued at $8,300

Kay Jewelers in the Ontario Mills, Ontario, CA reported a Grab & Run on 6/4, item valued at $30,800

Fire & Arson

Mathis, TX: Arson investigators looking into a Muslim Family Owned C-Store Fire; possible Hate Crime
Mathis police have confirmed that a fire that destroyed a convenience store owned by a Muslim family last month was an act of arson. Now they are asking State and federal agencies to help determining if it was motivated by hate. kiiitv.com

West Manchester, PA: Electrical fire causes evacuation at Walmart 


Broadway Pizza - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
Circle K - Greenville, NC - Armed Robbery
Convenient Food Mart - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
Cricket Wireless - Madera, CA - Armed Robbery
CVS - Callahan, FL - Robbery
CVS - Westerly, RI - Robbery
Dollar General - Knoxville, TN - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - McDonough, GA - Armed Robbery
Eblens Shoe - New Haven, CT - Burglary
Food Fast - Tyler, TX - Armed Robbery
Jiffy Store - South Boston, VA - Robbery
Lincoln General Store - Lincoln, VT - Burglary
Pine River Pawn - Bayfield, CO - Burglary
Stop & Shop - Miami, FL - Armed Robbery
Wawa - Ridley Township, PA - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
13 robberies
0 shootings
0 killed

Weekly Totals:
70 robberies
2 shootings
1 killed

None to report.

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Providing Employee Feedback

How to Give Critical Feedback and Not Sound Like a Creep  Your employees need to know when they're headed in the right direction and when they're not, and the information needs to be sent in a productive way. Giving feedback thoughtfully is time-consuming but it's better than the alternative: miscommunication and hurt feelings. Here's how to give criticism with compassion. Get to the point

How to Deliver Criticism in a Positive Way  Sharing feedback can be difficult, you never know how someone will react or interpret what you're telling them. This is why making it as positive as possible will help ease any tensions and it can help make your message clear. Here's what you should do. Take the time

Yes, Smart Bosses Frequently Give Negative Feedback  Nobody likes to be the bad guy and give negative feedback to someone. It can be stressful to both the giver and receiver, but negative feedback holds some common misconceptions. It can help boost your employee performance and make sure everyone is on the same page. Here's what you should avoid and what you should do when it comes to delivering negative feedback. Discuss importance

Here's How Good Managers Give Bad Employees Feedback  No leader likes to give a low-performing employee feedback, but it's part of the job. Without feedback, employee performance is at risk. Here's how the best managers give criticism to employees who may be having issues at work. Have a game plan

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Competition is a good thing because it's what has made America so strong. Whether it's competition between companies or between executives, it has a tendency to bring out the best in most people and in most organizations. It leads to innovation, invention, growth and it instills a sense of competition in everything we do that tends to motivate and challenge people to reach beyond their own self-definitions of what they can do or can't do. Without it, progress, which is slow to begin with, would be stifled but, with it, you have inspiration and purpose. The whole key is how you compete in the open market, whether as a company or as an executive, reflecting professional standards and a code of ethics is critical even when your competition isn't. The #1 rule should always be never speak ill of the competition because in actuality it's more of a reflection of who you are and not who they are.

Just a Thought,

Gus Downing

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