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December 17, 2013


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Stores have free rein to recoup shoplifting losses - The article that's making the rounds in most major publications today  Outside the view of paying customers, people accused of shoplifting at Macy's huge flagship store are escorted by security guards to cells in "Room 140," where they can be held for hours, asked to sign an admission of guilt and pay hundreds in fines, sometimes without any conclusive proof they stole anything.

As shoppers jam stores ahead of the December holidays, claims of racial profiling at department stores in New York have helped expose the wide latitude that laws in at least 27 states give retailers to hold and fine shoplifting suspects, even if a person hasn't yet technically stolen anything, is wrongly accused or criminal charges are dropped.

You must remember, these people are not police officers; they are store employees," said Faruk Usar, the attorney for a 62-year-old Turkish woman who sued Macy's, which some customers say bullied them into paying fines on the spot or harassed them with letters demanding payment. "When they are detained, they are not yet even in a real jail."

Industrywide, more than $12 billion is lost to shoplifting each year. The laws, which vary on strictness and fine amounts, allow stores to try to recoup some losses. Under New York's longstanding law, retailers may collect a penalty of five times the cost of the stolen merchandise, up to $500 per item, plus as much as $1,500 if the merchandise isn't in a condition to be sold. A conviction is not necessary to bring a civil claim

Some customers say stores have harassed them into signing admissions of guilt in order to turn a profit — not just recoup a loss.

Retailers don't divulge how much money they recoup but use it in part to offset security costs, said Barbara Staib, spokeswoman for the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. The total is a fraction of what they lose, she said.

But at least nine customers at the Macy's store immortalized in "Miracle on 34th Street" say in lawsuits that the retailer is abusing the law, wrongly targeting minorities and holding customers for hours, years after it settled similar claims brought by the state attorney general by paying a $600,000 fine and changing practices. That agreement expired in 2008.

Elina Kazan, a spokeswoman for Cincinnati-based Macy's, said the company's practices prohibit coercion when recovering fines. "Our policy of exercising our right to pursue a civil recovery payment is consistent with common practice in the retail industry and within the parameters of the law," she said.

Many retailers detain suspected shoplifters, industry experts said, but few have dedicated jail cells and most don't ask for payments on the spot like Macy's.

Most of the accused receive letters in the mail demanding payment from a law firm like the one used by Macy's, Palmer, Reifler & Associates, of Orlando, Fla. That firm also represents Home Depot, Wal-Mart and many other stores and sends out about 115,000 letters per month.

We are confident in our clients' training processes and procedures for evaluating and investigating theft matters," attorney Natt Reifler said.

In San Leandro, Calif., Jimin Chen accused Home Depot in a federal lawsuit of abusing the laws by shaking down customers to make an extra profit.

Generally, industry experts say, the laws allowing retailers to hold and fine suspected shoplifters are applied correctly. Retailers do a really good job of identifying where actual theft cases have occurred, and intervening and conducting investigations," said Joseph LaRocca, who runs RetaiLPartners, an industry group aimed at building partnerships between retailers and law enforcement. "There are always exceptions, but by and large, there are few mistakes here." (Source (Source

Univ. of Arkansas researchers develop risk assessment tool for mobile POs with support from RILA  With support from the Retail Industry Leaders Association they identified asset risks associated with these emerging technologies and to gauge consumer attitudes about them. The researchers studied 26 different retail scenarios and found that there is no "one size fits all" system. For retailers, solutions to asset-protection challenges posed by mobile point-of-sale technologies must be highly individualized and tailored to fit the specific needs of each retail business. To address the needs of retailers, the researchers developed a risk-assessment matrix that provides a framework through which stores can find solutions uniquely suited to their business and customers. The retail association representatives said the study is the most comprehensive of any on a retail innovation, and that the matrix is a useful and practical tool available to retailers to help them decide which technology they want to deploy and how to design processes around the technology. The matrix focuses on five risk areas — technology, employee, retailer/store, product and customer risk — within the three main stages of retail transactions — scanning, payment and validation. Validation refers to exit inspections and other control audits to confirm that the person using the technology and smartphone is the same person tied to the account charged. (Source

New coupon scam is costing U.S. companies millions of dollars - and they've told retailers - No More - we're gonna pass the cost to you!  For every coupon successfully counterfeited, it costs the manufacturer $1 million,” U.S. Postal Inspector Roberta Bottoms said. These counterfeit coupons are usually sold on the internet. “Customers went online and were the winning bidder on some Internet auction,” Bottoms said. Once the site had contact information, consumers would be messaged or emailed asking if they would like to buy a large amount of coupons. “The initial online auction was just basically for them to find people that they could sell a large quantity of coupons to at one time,” Bottoms said. Initially, these counterfeits will scan and be accepted at your local retail company but it is costing the manufacturer money and in turn costing the consumer money,” Bottoms said. The Coupon Information Corporation says coupon fraud is costing manufacturers hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Manufacturers say they are forced to pass along these losses by raising the prices of their goods. “The manufacturers have put retail establishments on notice that they will no longer reimburse them,” Bottoms said. Bottom line — no consumer should ever pay for a coupon. (Source

Business Picks Up for Retailers as Holiday Draws Near
Retailers caught a ray of light last week. Shopping picked up, breaking a deep lull that set in after Black Friday. Consumers are sensing that time for gift shopping is running out with Christmas just eight days away, and cold weather, including unusually low temperatures on the West Coast, has sparked sales of coats, sweaters, gloves and scarves. They sounded the most hopeful they’ve been all season, with some offering that they’ll make or top their projection numbers, if just barely. Friday and Sunday were the busiest days, particularly in the Northeast. Saturday, typically among the top four of five largest volume days of the year, was hurt by the snowfall. (Source

Holiday free-for-all is underway
With delivery options shrinking by the day, it is clear there also will be a surge of traffic to physical stores as well since 32 million holiday shoppers had yet to buy anything when survey was conducted between December 2 and December 9. Driven by low prices and value, 45.4% will wrap up their shopping at their favorite department store and 37.4% will head to discount stores. Others will shop at electronics stores (24.1%), clothing and accessory stores (23.6%), grocery stores (15%) and outlet stores (13.7%), according to the survey. (Source

Toys R Us to stay open 87 hours straight from 6 a.m. Saturday through 9 p.m. Christmas Eve

Loehmann's goes belly up—again - Closing its 39 stores

Gift card sales in 2013 to top $118 billion

Staten Island mall shames shoplifters with display tech

FREE StopORC Webinar - Featuring Denny Dansak Covering
“Law Enforcement’s Involvement in ORC Investigations”

Date: December 19, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM PST

StopORC will feature Dennis Dansak, corporate manager of the organized retail crime division at the Kroger Co., in its FREE webinar Thursday. In his presentation titled "Law Enforcement’s Involvement in ORC Investigations,” Dansak will cover how to get law enforcement involved; the benefits for law enforcement; and the ways ORC intertwines with other types of crime such as RICO and money laundering. StopORC webinars are interactive, so during the webinar participants have the opportunity to ask Dansak questions as well as participate in the monthly ORC webinar poll. The webinar is open to qualified professionals involved in combating Organized Retail Crime.

Click here to register for this FREE webinar.





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MO. Total
Jan 66 $18,930,910
Feb 52 $200,662,400
Mar 62 $4,961,800
Apr 70 $5,856,050
May 78 $4,034,114
Jun 75 $219,695,478
Jul 87 $3,853,854
Aug 98 $10,824,090
Sep 74 $5,305,376
Oct 89 $218,415,844
Total 751 $692,539,916


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MO. 2012 2013 %ñò
Jan 316 385 21.8%ñ
Feb 410 310 24.4%ò
Mar 332 294 11.4%ò
Apr 307 377 22.8%ñ
May 342 385 12.6%ñ
Jun 330 320 3.03%ò
Jul 355 306 13.8%ò
Aug 425 326 23.3%ò
Sep 375 304 18.9%ò
Oct 464 306 34.1%ò
Nov 337 246 27%ò
Dec 265    
Total 3993 3559 10.8%ò



The Library of Loss Prevention - Search data now...

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LPNN - Loss Prevention News Network

Trade Associations, Conferences & Events

New England ORC Symposium & Tradeshow - Joe LaRocca, Part 2

In this three part series, Joe LaRocca, Senior Advisor for RetaiLPartners, addresses what organized retail crime means today, how large it is becoming, how and who it is impacting, and the emerging technology that retailers are seeing more often because of this epidemic. He provides the audience with very interesting facts about ORC and how to combat it.

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Short Hills, NJ mall might consider security changes after fatal carjacking, manager says  Michael J. McAvinue, the General Manager of the upscale shopping center said mall officials might consider making changes to its security plan in the aftermath of Sunday night's fatal carjacking. The Mall at Short Hills uses an outside contractor, International Protection Corporation, to provide security for the inside and outside of the mall, McAvinue said. International Protection Corporation, based in Illinois, is a large firm that provides security to malls and shopping centers around the country. (Source

Everett, Wash., police say they've broken up 26 member 'prolific identity theft ring'  Police say they have nabbed the ring leaders in what they call a "prolific check forgery ring." Everett police have been building a case against Kenneth Beaman since January. Detectives believe Beaman and his girlfriend, Karey Hinkson, have bilked Snohomish County residents out of more than $200,000. Police say Beaman's girlfriend tried to cash checks at the victim's bank. The bank got suspicious and called the cops. A police report says Beaman also forged checks at an O'Reilly's Auto Parts. The judge set Beaman's bail at $170,000 on Monday because cops say the couple are serial thieves who have been repeatedly busted for identity theft. (Source

Suspect shot by Pine Bluff, AR police during Family Dollar robbery dies
The incident took place on Dec. 6, which is when 23-year-old Samuel Freeman was shot after he allegedly pointed a gun at police outside of a Family Dollar store. Police said Monday that Freeman died from his wounds. (Source

Bristol, RI Man, 22, Faces Charges of Mail, Credit Card Fraud in $25,000 fraudulent purchases 

Wal-Mart worker steals $2,000 worth of cell phones in Bethlehem Township, PA

Security guard slashed by shoplifter at Kingsgate Mall in Vancouver

Helzberg Diamonds hit with a smash and grab in Oak Brook, IL

Zales in Greensboro, NC hit by a distraction theft for over $75,000

Zales in Phoenix, AZ hit by a Grab and Run; merchandise valued at over $8000

Madison Police searching for 2 women in credit card fraud case; hit Target for $2500

Clerk Pepper-Sprayed In Palos Hills, IL Store Robbery

Never mind: Robber wasn't getting enough cash so he leaves store empty-handed

Weis Market shooter arrested in Laurel, MD; suspect disarmed a store security guard

SUV Crashes Through Cohasset, MA Hardware Store

Burlington Police Holding Directed Patrols to Crack Down on Holiday Time Crimes

FBI federally charges two Chicago area men with robberies of AT&T stores in Norridge and LaPorte, IL.

Bristol, CT Man Faces Charges of Mail, Credit Card Fraud; totaling $25,000

Delaware State Police investigating a $2000 credit card fraud at Brandywine Shopping Center

Northbrook, IL arrest 3 suspected shoplifter with over $1000 in merchandise

Smash-and-grab robberies hit over 15 downtown Albany, Oregon shops

3 Smash and grab burglaries reported in Bradenton, Florida

Rhode Island man arrested in connection to 10 pharmacy robberies; police recovered over 1600 pills and $8000 in cash

Middle Tennessee State University Wide Receiver arrested for shoplifting from Walmart

Piedmont Drug store Suspect Sought In Greensboro, N.C. Drug Store Robbery
Walgreens Chicago $275K bail for suspect after staffers thwart armed robbery
Walgreens Fort Collins, CO armed robbery by two suspects Sunday night
Helzberg Diamonds armed robbery in Oak Brook, ILL. Saturday evening
CVS armed robbery in Monroe, NY Sunday night
$100,000 bail for Weymouth, Randolph armed robbery spree suspect
San Antonio robbery spree suspects in custody
Long Johns Silver robbery in Huntsville, Al. Monday morning
Cumberland Farms – Armed Robbery- Manchester, NH - suspect arrested following second robbery
CVS – Robbery - Amherst County, Virginia – similar to robbery in Lynchburg on Sunday
Dollar General - Armed Robbery - Newport, NC – Two employees robbed in parking lot after closing
Dollar General – Armed Robbery- Lawton, OK – suspect believed to have robbed Family Dollar also
Family Dollar – Armed Robbery – Lawton, OK – suspect believed to have robbed Dollar General too
Radio Shack – Armed Robbery – Fort Wayne, IN – Two armed masked suspects; no injuries
Reed’s Pharmacy –Armed Robbery – Martinsburg, WV – no injuries reported
Speedway- Armed Robbery- Upper Arlington, OH- suspect armed with a shotgun; no injuries
Stop-n-Go – Robbery – Andalusia, AL – store employee assaulted and robbed at closing
Walmart – Shoplifting/ Robbery – Erie, PA – 2 suspects assaulted an LP agent
Walgreen’s – Armed Robbery- Knoxville, KY – suspect armed with a knife; no injuries
7-Eleven – Armed Robbery- Philadelphia, PA – Employee shot, customer assaulted; 4 suspects fled




Boise Idaho Police Department wins national award
for efforts in reducing ORC

Boise's ORC Interdiction Team helps reduce retail loss to fraud and theft by 41%

This fall, the Boise Idaho Police Department was awarded the 2013 International Association of Chiefs of Police and Cisco Community Police Award for cities with a population of 100,001 to 250,000 residents. The Boise Police Department earned the distinction, in part, because of the work of its Organized Retail Crime Interdiction Team.

Formed by BPD in 2005, the team has helped reduce retail loss to fraud and theft by 41 percent in Boise compared to national rates. Through strategic partnerships with retailers such as Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Walmart and many others, the department team was able to implement a sophisticated prevention solution that is now being held up by other law enforcement agencies as a national model for successful community policing practices. BPD was honored at the IACP’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia on October 20. To read the full IACP press release, click here. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful initiative. It's partnerships like yours that show the great results that can come when Loss Prevention collaborates with Law Enforcement, working together to achieve one common goal.

ORC a worldwide problem - and it's a big problem in Australia & they're shipping goods overseas as well - their recent "Operation Lightfingers" busted 98 suspects  International criminal groups are targeting Australian stores this Christmas, using runners to buy goods with fake gift cards and then ship the stolen items overseas to be sold. Police said shoplifters had become “highly sophisticated”, stealing millions of dollars worth of retail goods with the fake cards and vouchers. Some of the criminal groups employ runners who will steal goods and ship them overseas, he said. Other gift cards are bought online using fake credit cards.  (Source

Seattle South Precinct Anti-Crime Team bust ORC retail theft ring - fencing operation  A South Seattle business owner was arrested on Friday for knowingly buying and reselling stolen items inside his store. On 12-13-2013, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the South Precinct (ACT) Anti- Crime Team served an arrest/search warrant on a store in the 7600 block of Rainier Avenue South. The search warrant followed a 6-month long undercover investigation by South ACT concerning the purchase and resell of stolen items from area Safeway and QFC stores. During the 6-month long investigation, officers worked undercover posing as boosters; selling various items to the 44-year-old man and his wife. Information gathered during the course of this investigation, provided investigators with probably cause to believe that the store owner and his wife were knowingly buying stolen items for pennies on the dollar and then using those stolen items to stock the shelves of their business. The items were then resold to customers at retail price. (Source

4 Stores- 5 convenience store employees charged with reselling items stolen from Kroger, Publix in Huntsville, AL  Investigators partnered with Kroger and Publix grocery stores for several months, investigating convenience stores that police say bought merchandise stolen from Kroger and Publix. According to police, this detail, combined with previous operations, resulted in a reduction of retail thefts for the two grocery stores. (Source

Jefferson County, TX Sheriff seeking a serial shoplifter facing 8 felony theft charges; believed to be connected to a shoplifting ring

“Protection 1 is proud to be sponsoring the D-D Daily ORC column to ensure the LP industry gets the information, education and critical data they need to fight this national epidemic.”
Rex Gillette, VP Retail Sales, Protection 1.

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Vice President LP Confidential United States Downing & Downing
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Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only
View two months of postings here

Job Opening




AP Manager Home Depot Salt Lake City, UT Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Vallejo, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Concord, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Brentwood, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot San Ramon, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Colma, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot San Leandro, CA Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Totowa, NJ Home Depot
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Store AP Manager Home Depot Bayshore, NJ Home Depot
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Store AP Manager Home Depot East Meadow, NY Home Depot
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AP Manager Home Depot Flushing, NY Home Depot
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Store AP Manager Home Depot Denver, CO Home Depot
Store AP Manager Home Depot Glendale, CO Home Depot
AP Manager in Training Walmart Quincy, WV Wal-Mart
AP Manager in Training Walmart South Bend, IN Wal-Mart
AP Manager in Training Walmart Quinlan, TX Wal-Mart
AP Manager in Training Walmart Terrell, TX Wal-Mart
LP Manager Sears Las Vegas, NV Sears Holdings Corp
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Mobile, AL Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Portland, ME Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Kansas City, MO Lowe's


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Change Reaction: What Leaders Need to Know  Helping your employees to transition smoothly to a new change needs to be carefully assessed. You need to make sure you are staying aware of how your employees may react to this new change, as this change looks differently to them than it may to you. Use these tips when making a change to make it easier. (Four ways they may respond)

8 Ways Using Humor Will Make You a Better Boss  Laughter could be that powerful tool you've been looking for to improve your leadership skills! Humor can not only make everyone happy, but it also gets them energized and can help your team come together as a unit. It's still the best medicine for whatever may be dragging you down! (Use laughs to get you to the top)


7 Things Every Great Boss Should Do
The success of your organization is built on a pyramid. If your employees performance is high, then chances are it will snake up the chain and your organization will do well! However, your employees performance largely depends on your commitment to inspire them to perform well. Make sure you're doing these things every day to ensure success. (Give recognition)

4 Ways to Assert Yourself (Effectively)
There are many qualities that can define leadership and certainly there are leaders of many different personalities, but being assertive is a quality you should have, and should perform the right way. Being aware of your own assertiveness style is only step one, follow these other tips to assert yourself effectively. (Know your team)

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Selecting the companies you want to work for is harder than you think. It may not be the obvious list when you take into consideration geography, organizational structure, and success of the retailer, growth plans and growth opportunities for your own career. Do some research on each company and open your mind to the small companies. They have just as many opportunities as the rest. They're harder to get in and communicate with, but if it's done right, you may be surprised. One executive years ago sent a letter to a company president who didn't have an LP program and made some bold commitments. He went on to build a very successful LP program there. Be aggressive!

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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