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Steve Sturgill, LPC named Manager of Logistics Investigations
for Amazon

Before being named Manager of Logistics Investigations for Amazon, Steve spent nearly nine years with 7-Eleven as a Zone (Regional) Asset Protection Manager, covering eight states. Prior to that, he spent nearly five years with Sears Holdings, first as a Regional Logistics Loss Prevention Manager and then Director, Logistics Loss Prevention. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly 20 years with Target in various AP roles, including Manager, Supply Chain Assets Protection Domestic Operations, Supply Chain Assets Protection Group Leader, and District Assets Protection Team Leader. Congratulations, Steve!

Andre Lawrence promoted to Senior Loss Prevention Manager of Retail & Sales Operations for The RealReal

Andre has been with The RealReal for two years. Before being promoted to Senior Loss Prevention Manager of Retail & Sales Operations, he served as Senior Manager - West Coast Loss Prevention. Before that, he was a West Coast Loss Prevention Manager with the company. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly three years with Bloomingdale's as an Asset Protection Assistant Manager and Loss Prevention Supervisor. He also spent six years with Nordtrom as Loss Prevention Assistant Area Manager and Loss Prevention Agent. Congratulations, Andre!

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


Sensormatic Solutions continues trajectory of innovation

Record year of 60 retail patents filed, with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence leading the way

Johnson Controls today announced that Sensormatic Solutions, its leading global retail solutions portfolio, continues to break ground in innovative technology areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), achieving a record number of 60 patent filings designed to fast forward retail. The journey began with the first Sensormatic brand anti-theft pedestals and tags which were disruptive technologies to an industry that relied on physical security to protect retailers' merchandise. Today, Sensormatic Solutions remains on the forefront of emerging retail technologies with a worldwide patented portfolio of more than 2,500 patents granted and pending applications in a variety of key product categories to help retailers drive better business outcomes.

"As the retail landscape constantly evolves, we remain steadfast in our commitment to solving our retail customers' biggest challenges," said Subramanian Kunchithapatham, vice president, Engineering, Sensormatic Solutions. "To meet their diverse needs, we shifted our focus from pure hardware to a portfolio of smart cloud-based SaaS software, sensors, devices and video technologies, with breakthrough innovations in AI, ML, RFID as EAS, Self-Checkout, Mobile-Checkout, Mobile POS, and more. This shift resulted in a record year of patents filed in fiscal year 2019, across our Inventory Intelligence, Loss Prevention and Traffic Insights solutions." businesswire.com

The Man Who Built Amazon's Delivery Machine

● Amazon's SVP Worldwide Operations has twin challenges:
  ensuring packages arrive on time and keeping workers safe

● Next year he'll add Amazon's brick-and-mortar operations to his plate

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, may dream of a future when quick delivery is largely delegated to drones flying through the skies and robots rolling down sidewalks. But Dave Clark, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations for Amazon, inhabits a messier present, where meeting Bezos's expectations falls mostly to hourly workers who endure long shifts fetching and packing products and driving them to homes. Amazon and Clark insist worker safety is a top priority. Yet Amazon has trailed deaths and injuries in its wake. As soon as the company addresses one problem, a new one emerges.

The toll might make some executives more cautious. Not Bezos and Clark. Grappling with stepped-up competition from Walmart Inc. and Target Corp., Amazon earlier this year committed to deliver millions of products in just one day. Clark must honor that pledge during a holiday shopping season that's almost a week shorter than it was last year, all the while keeping workers safe and customers happy. He's mostly succeeded for the past two decades, during which holiday season sales have soared 30-fold to $144 billion. Still, some observers think that by growing so much so fast, Amazon is courting disaster.

Clark grew up with Amazon, taking his first job there in 1999 and quickly rising through the ranks. His longevity has made him a trusted caretaker of the company's oldest and largest business. Now 47, he's among more than 20 senior executives on Bezos's coveted S-team and next year will take on the added responsibility of running the brick-and-mortar operations, including Whole Foods and the Amazon Go chain of cashierless convenience stores.

Clark has always been mindful of worker safety, according to people who worked with him. When a Pennsylvania newspaper spotlighted Amazon workers enduring brutal heat in an Allentown warehouse in 2011, Clark backed spending $50 million to install air conditioning at facilities around the country, the people said. Amazon was considering less expensive measures, such as cooling warehouses only in the hottest climates.

Every holiday season, the company hires legions of temporary workers - this year, it's bringing on 200,000 of them, double the number in 2018. These recruits are expected to adapt quickly to a fast pace of lifting heavy boxes and hitting exacting metrics. Mistakes happen. In 2013, a temporary worker was crushed to death in a package-sorting conveyor system in New Jersey. Two years later, federal regulators inspected an Amazon warehouse in New Jersey and later fined the company for failing to report at least 26 work-related illnesses and injuries.

Clark responded swiftly, mandating more thorough reporting of injuries at all Amazon facilities, according to people familiar with the matter. He believed Amazon could address safety issues in its facilities only if it collected more data, the people said. Amazon attributes this more thorough injury reporting to the findings in a recent report by the Center for Investigative Reporting that injury rates in 23 Amazon facilities are more than double the national average for warehouses. Logistics industry insiders say financial incentives such as safety bonuses discourage accurate injury reporting in the industry, making it difficult to find a benchmark. bloomberg.com

From 'Place Your Order' To Your Doorstep: Inside Amazon's Delivery Process
NPR Report Takes an In-Depth Look at Amazon's Safety Record

With its promise of fast and so-called free shipping, and its giant selection, Amazon can be a godsend for the consumer.
But what's behind those low prices and quick delivery? A record of injuries, traffic and parking violations and in a few cases, death.

In response to recent reporting by Reveal and The Atlantic, Amazon said, in part, "injury rates are high because it's aggressive about recording worker injuries and cautious about allowing injured workers to return to work before they're ready."

With Amazon raising the bar on delivery speeds for companies around the country, we dig into working conditions for drivers and warehouse workers behind the world's largest online retailer. the1a.org

Congress agrees on historic deal to fund $25 million in gun violence research
Congress has reached a spending agreement that includes $25 million for gun violence research, the first funding in more than 20 years to study a problem that kills 40,000 people annually. The money will be split evenly between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

"Given violence and suicide have a number of causes, the agreement recommends the CDC take a comprehensive approach to studying these underlying causes and evidence-based methods of prevention of injury,
including crime prevention," the bill states. The same language is repeated in the bill for the NIH. abcnews.com

North Carolina restaurant owner blames closures on employee theft
The owner of a recently closed Morganton hamburger joint is blaming the restaurant's demise on employee theft. The week after the Dec. 3 closure of the local
Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries, along with the chain's locations in Marion and Gastonia, franchise owner Jay Thomas told The McDowell News his restaurants closed indefinitely due to financial troubles brought on by workers stealing.

"We've struggled with employee theft," said Thomas, who also owns the Hwy 55 location in Conover. "In Morganton, it's almost impossible to hire someone who's not going to steal from you."

Thomas told The McDowell News that
some of the workers were stealing from his restaurants at all four locations at one time or another. morganton.com

U.S. sues CVS for fraudulently billing Medicare, Medicaid for invalid prescriptions
CVS Health Corp and its Omnicare unit were sued on Tuesday by the U.S. government, which accused them of fraudulently billing Medicare and other programs for drugs for older and disabled people without valid prescriptions.

The Department of Justice joined whistleblower litigation accusing Omnicare of violating the federal False Claims Act for illegally dispensing drugs to tens of thousands of patients in assisted living facilities, group homes for people with special needs, and other long-term care facilities.

According to a civil complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Omnicare would often assign new numbers to prescriptions after the original prescriptions expired or ran out of refills. The government said this enabled Omnicare to bill Medicare Medicaid, and Tricare, which serves military personnel, for hundreds of thousands of drugs, under what the company internally called "rollover" prescriptions, from 2010 to 2018. reuters.com

McDonald's Not Responsible For How Franchisees Treat Workers, NLRB Rules
McDonald's should not be held responsible for the labor practices of its franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday.

The federal agency, in charge of enforcing U.S. labor law, delivered the latest ruling in a years-long union case that sought to hold the fast food chain liable for the treatment of all workers at both corporate and franchise locations. The agency, also known as NLRB, directed a federal administrative law judge to approve a settlement that had earlier been reached between McDonald's, its franchisees and the workers who had alleged labor-law violations.

The case was closely watched because it had
potential implications for a vast array of companies that rely on franchising and contracting for work, such as janitorial services, trucking, construction and warehousing. The NLRB ruling is expected to face an appeal. npr.org

Hopkins, MN: Workers at United Natural Foods warehouse walked out Tuesday, could disrupt Twin Cities groceries
More than 700 workers at United Natural Foods Inc.'s distribution center in Hopkins walked off the job Tuesday, in sympathy with workers who are striking against the company at a similar facility in Indiana.

The move by members of the Teamsters Local 120, if prolonged, will disrupt supplies to dozens of grocery stores in the Twin Cities, including the region's largest grocery chain, Cub Foods, which is also owned by United Natural Foods. Other area groceries that rely on UNFI for most of their products include Lunds & Byerlys, Jerry's, Kowalski's and Coborn's. startribune.com

Google fires fifth activist employee
Another Google employee says she has been fired for labor advocacy after creating a notification that reminded colleagues of their rights to organize, Bloomberg reports. Kathryn Spiers marks the fifth Googler to say they have been terminated for such reasons, following the "Thanksgiving Four" who were let go last month. A Google spokeswoman said the most recent termination was a result of misusing a security and privacy tool to create the pop-up. The search giant is under investigation from the National Labor Relations Board for allegedly discouraging unions. linkedin.com

Female workers are untold victims of waves of store closings
According to data from outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, the retail sector shed around 75,000 jobs in 2019 through November. While much has been reported about the struggles of retail chains as they announce wave after wave of store closings, far less has been written about the outsized impact on women wage earners who often account for the majority of workers laid off when stores close.

Women outnumber men in brick-and-mortar retail jobs at a ratio of 2-1, according to a new report from The Mom Project, a career service for mothers. Although the retail industry is creating jobs, they tend to be focused in traditionally male roles such as warehouse work and delivery services, giving a hiring advantage to men, the report says.

"Women tend to be more representative at the store level and in face-to-face roles, and those are the roles being impacted the most by store closings," says Pam Cohen, president of The Mom Project's MP Labs, its research division, and the author of the report. usatoday.com

FMI Urges Congress to Fix 'Retail Glitch'
The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is joining other retail organizations in denouncing a lack of action by Congress to fix the so-called retail glitch. Andy Harig, vice president, tax, trade, sustainability & policy development for FMI, expressed dissatisfaction that this oversight in the tax code has prevented retailers from implementing operational improvements inside their businesses and facilities, which Congress always intended for grocers to do in the tax reform legislation. progressivegrocer.com

Walmart deploys 'swat teams' that specialize in store remodels
Remodeling stores is a tricky assignment because, in most cases, the chain can't afford to shut down operations or disrupt store traffic too badly. Walmart remodels 500 stores a year, so management is forming "swat teams" of specialized personnel that travel from store to store and work through the process as efficiently as possible. retailwire.com

Super Saturday could be bigger than Black Friday this year
In recent years, the Saturday before Christmas has seen a late surge in shopper traffic. With retailers maintaining deep discounts late into the holiday season, total sales on Super Saturday have edged closer to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which traditionally kicks off the season in November. Many retail consultants and analysts estimate the surge will bump Super Saturday into the biggest shopping day this year.

Craig Johnson, president at retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners, expe
cts people to spend $34 billion this year on Super Saturday. These estimates include in-store and online purchases but exclude sales generated at gas stations, restaurants and automobile dealers. In comparison, Black Friday generated $31.5 billion in sales, he said. retaildive.com

Associate Dir./Dir. LP job for Carvana in Phoenix, AZ removed from website

Hibbett Sports names new CEO

Ulta promotes 4 high-level execs

Best Buy reaches out to holiday procrastinators, extending hours

FedEx says it will 'start lapping' Amazon in 2021


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Retail Cyberattacks Set to Soar 20% in 2019 Holiday Season
A couple of factors this year are making the 2019 holiday shopping season a circus for cybercriminals when it comes to cyberattacks against retail orgs.

As cybercriminals grow more sophisticated and holiday shoppers continue to flock online, researchers warn internet-based retailers could face a 20 percent uptick in cyberattacks this holiday season compared to last year.

In the report titled "Holiday Season Cyber Heists", released Thursday morning and shared with Threatpost, Carbon Black said that cybercrime activity tracked during 2019 is already setting the holiday shopping season for an upward trajectory in malware and ransomware attacks.

From constantly-evolving malware such as Kryptik to island-hopping attacks, retailers are finding themselves constantly at risk. And they're paying the price: Up to 40 percent of surveyed retail organizations said they've already lost revenue as a result of a cyberattack in 2019. threatpost.com

Lessons Learned from 7 Big Breaches in 2019

#6 - Macy's - October 2019
Attackers Love Targeting Vulnerable Web Apps

Breach Details: The names, addresses, phone numbers, payment card details, and other information belonging to an unknown number of people who shopped online at Macy's website were compromised. Members of the Magecart umbrella group placed card-skimming code on the checkout and order pages on the retailer's website to capture payment card and other data that users entered on these pages. The Macy's attack was one of numerous Magecart attacks this year.

Lessons Learned: Poorly secured Web applications continue to pose a major risk for organizations, especially retailers. Several of the most common Web app vulnerabilities, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, broken authentication and session management, and cross-site request forgery have been around for years. Research by Positive Technology showed that one in three Web applications tested in 2018 had extremely poor levels of security with the number of critical flaws in them tripling compared to 2017. "Positive Technologies research shows that in 2018, the majority of attacks on retail (63%) targeted Web services," Galloway said. "Online stores were a favorite target of attacks aimed at data theft - in 70% of cases, payment card information was stolen." darkreading.com

How to test employee cyber competence through pen-testing
Social engineering hacking preys on the vulnerabilities inherent in human psychology, so it's vital for organizations to test employee cyber competence.

Employees post a huge threat to your organization if they're not properly trained and educated on their role and responsibilities when it comes to cybersecurity. To weed out the vulnerable workers that may require some extra learning, your organization can utilize social engineering pen-testing.

Employees are the first line of defense

Your employees are truly the first line of defense to keeping your company safe and secure. Employees need to understand how their personal social media habits and oversharing information online can have a direct correlation to the safety of their companies. With the amount of information shared on platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, hackers can gather information to build trust with the victim or even assume the identity of someone in your social circle.

Make employee training a priority - Test employee cyber competence helpnetsecurity.com

7 Essential Security Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Enterprise's Messaging Platform

WhatsApp Fixes Yet Another Group Chat Security Gap


Are Liquor Stores Overstepping with New Security Measures?
'Zest for making sure bad guys get caught' at Liquor Marts could mean oversharing with police, says privacy expert

Civil liberties group says 'good, rights-respecting policies' don't stem from fear

The expedited rollout of new security measures at Manitoba's Liquor Marts presents the danger that data collected about customers could be misused, or that Indigenous people and marginalized groups may be unfairly targeted, warns a data security expert.

"The theoretical risks are that, in their zest for making sure bad guys get caught, that liquor store employees who are acting from a place of precaution and concern for their customers are going to overshare with police," said Brenda McPhail, who works with the Toronto-based Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

"And the reality is that there are particular kinds of people, particular communities that tend to be targeted for more suspicion by police."

Just over two weeks ago, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries started scanning the ID of customers entering the Tyndall Market Liquor Mart. The Crown corporation said it plans to roll out the controlled entrances at all other Winnipeg locations over the coming weeks and months.

The new security plan, fast-tracked following the Tyndall Market robbery, was already in the works in response to rampant theft at Manitoba's liquor stores. Police say 10 to 20 such thefts are now reported in Winnipeg each day.

But few details have been released around the new screening measures, other than the Crown corporation saying it plans to hold the data gathered for 24 hours and then delete it, unless it's needed for law enforcement purposes.

Without more information, McPhail warns there's no way to know which Liquor Mart employees can access the scanned IDs and when information would be shared with police. cbc.ca

Liquor Mart employees feeling safer with new security measure, union says

Former Superstore security guard says staff routinely flag Indigenous shoppers as suspicious

Amazon Is Helping Police Trap Package Thieves in Canada, Too
'First of its Kind' Partnership in Canada

The tech giant, which has partnered with hundreds of police forces in the U.S., contributed packages and "surveillance technology" to the Prince George RCMP detachment for a package theft sting that led to an arrest.

Tech giant Amazon has partnered with literally hundreds of police forces in the U.S. via its home surveillance subsidiary Ring, in some cases helping to orchestrate package theft sting operations with the goal of getting people arrested.

Now, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Prince George, B.C. has arrested a 37-year-old man using "surveillance technology" provided by Amazon in a package theft sting that involved company-provided boxes and products, and the help of select residents. Amazon "provided packaging, real products and surveillance technology to assist [officers] in identifying and arresting those persons responsible for these types of thefts," a recent press release stated.

The RCMP detachment called the Amazon sting partnership the "first of its kind" in Canada, suggesting that the tech giant's reach with police is extending across the border.

The general contours of the RMCP operation in Prince George sound similar to package stings conducted by police in several U.S. cities including Jersey City, NJ, Hayward, CA, Aurora, CO, and more. In places such as Hayward, GPS-bugged packages from Amazon did the trick. In others, such as Aurora, police got Ring cameras as well. vice.com

Gun crime "solve rate" improved under Toronto police's "Project Community Space"
But shooting rates still climbed

Toronto police's "Project Community Space" was a success even if the rate of shootings climbed during the period it was active, a senior police official said Friday, pointing to an increase in the number of "solved" gun crimes during the 15-week blitz. Supt. Steve Watts said gun crime may have increased during the period from Aug. 14 to now, but they did arrest 463 people, representing an increase in the "solve rate" for gun crimes.

The number of arrests made in response to non-fatal shootings was higher than it has ever been. During the project, police increased their presence in high crime areas, participated in a bail compliance initiative and increased their community engagement. An unspecified number of officers were also reassigned to the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force. cp24.com

More Than 100 Lowe's and Rona Stores United to Bring Holiday Cheer to Underprivileged Children
Lowe's Canada is proud to announce that its network of stores collected a record number of new, unopened toys during its annual Toy Drive from November 18 to December 15. For the first time since the campaign was launched in 2010, 35 RONA stores joined forces with Lowe's stores in Canada to collect toys for underprivileged children of all ages in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Thanks to the generosity of Lowe's and RONA customers, Lowe's Canada was able to present the Salvation Army with a total of 8,680 toys. More than 6,200 of those toys were collected in Lowe's and RONA stores in Ontario and will be distributed to families in need throughout the province. newswire.ca

Holiday flash mob hits West Kelowna grocery store
This video was shot at Real Canadian Superstore in West Kelowna on Saturday, Dec. 13. It shows store clerks as well as customers dancing, singing and swaying to a Christmas tune. It was posted on Facebook and had 22,000 views by this afternoon, Dec. 18. infotel.ca

Smith & Wesson Sued by Victims of 2018 Mass Shooting in Toronto

Retailers, consumers both have role to play in preventing gift card fraud: advocacy group

Lululemon Leans Into Men's Apparel as Segment Expands

Health data of millions stolen in cyber attack of Canada's largest health lab company

Hamilton, ON: 3 men robbed Ancaster Rogers store, tied up employee
Hamilton Police are searching for three men who allegedly robbed a Rogers store in Ancaster Monday evening. The men, who police say are all in their 20s, tied up one of the store's employees in the back room before taking several cell phones, tablets and an "undisclosed" amount of cash. Police say all three suspects are between five feet ten inches to six feet two inches and were wearing black hoodies - one with a Boston Bruins hockey team logo. Two wore white gloves. cbc.ca

Thieves targeting prepaid gift cards in new scam, police say


Robberies & Burglaries

C-Store - Thunder Bay, ON - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Mount Pearl, NL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Stettler, AB - Armed Robbery
Rogers - Hamilton, ON - Robbery
Toy Store - Victoria, BC - Burglary

View Canadian Connections Archives



Turning a Battleship: 'One Way' That Works

Mike Lamb, Vice President,
Asset Protection & Safety,
the Kroger Company


The phrase "turning a battleship" could describe the challenge Mike Lamb faced when he joined the Kroger Co. in 2017 as Vice President of Asset Protection & Safety. Restructuring a department is no easy task. But adding the component of centralizing over 20 separate brands adds another dimension that impacts the whole company and requires an element of political maneuvering, sensitivity, sales skill, and confidence. Mike shares how he managed the change and helped move the needle for Kroger.

Episode Sponsored By:

Joe & Amber Play Their Greatest Hits

Quick Take 15

with MCs Joe LaRocca
and Amber Bradley


Joe and Amber reminisce on some of their favorite LPNN topics, advice, and shticks from their Quick Takes over the years - including the "Wayne Hoover" LinkedIn test, travel tips, favorite crime TV shows, and more.




You Might Be Buying Trash on Amazon-Literally

Dumpster divers say it's easy to list discarded toys, electronics and books on the retailer's platform. So we decided to try.

Just about anyone can open a store on Amazon.com and sell just about anything. Just ask the dumpster divers. These are among the dedicated cadre of sellers on Amazon who say they sort through other people's rejects, including directly from the trash, clean them up and list them on Amazon.com's platform. Many post their hunting accounts on YouTube.

They are an elusive lot. Many The Wall Street Journal contacted wouldn't give details about their listings, said they stopped selling dumpster finds or no longer listed them as new, didn't respond to inquiries or stopped communicating. Some said they feared Amazon would close their stores.

The Journal set up a store on Amazon to see if it could list some of its salvaged goods for sale as new. It turned out to be easy.

Amazon's stated rules didn't explicitly prohibit items salvaged from the trash when the Journal disclosed the existence of its store to the company last month. The rules required that most goods be new and noted that sellers could offer used books and electronics, among other things, if they identified them as such.

Late last week, Amazon said it updated its policy to explicitly prohibit selling items taken from the trash, adding to its list of unacceptable items any "intended for destruction or disposal or otherwise designated as unsellable by the manufacturer or a supplier, vendor, or retailer." wsj.com

Technology helping identify fake products becoming more popular
If you're doing any of your holiday shopping online, buyers beware. There are thousands of counterfeit products online, even at trusted websites. From cellphones to designer handbags, sales of counterfeit goods have exploded online.

According to the Better Business Bureau, it costs manufacturers and retailers $250 billion a year. An increasing number of companies are turning to technology to counter counterfeits.

"If someone purchases it online, you can scan whether it's real or not," said Auburn University RFID Lab Director Justin Patton. Patton is referring to radio identification tags. He says Radio-Frequency Identification Tags give each individual product a unique serial number.

"If you think about shoes for example, every single pair of shoes, even in each shoe, can have its own serial number that's unique from all the other shoes like it. With that RFID tag, it carries that data and it's very hard for somebody to copy it and create the same identity that it has on there," said Patton.

Studies have found that 1 in 4 people has bought something online that turned out to be counterfeit. With RFID tags Patton says you can simply scan a product to see if it's a knock-off. wsfa.com

Amazon Blocks Sellers From Using FedEx Ground for Prime Shipments

Returns and fraud - two key issues for e-commerce in 2020


Star Wars ORC
Murfreesboro, AL: Operation Toy Soldier Shoplifting Ring Busted
Murfreesboro Police and authorities in Alabama have dismantled a shoplifting ring where fraudulent UPC bar codes were used to purchase Star Wars theme toys and other action figures for pennies on the dollar, throughout the Southeast and reselling them online. Madison Alabama Police Department officers arrested James Adkins, 36, , and a co-conspirator, Daniel Germany, 44, for Theft of Property in the Fourth Degree, Dec. 10. Adkins was also charged with Theft of Property in the Third Degree. Adkins and Germany are accused of going to a Walmart store in Madison, Alabama and replacing bar codes on toys with fraudulent ones, for a much lower price. They would make the purchases at self-checkout registers. The two are accused of similar crimes in other parts of Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

The Alabama investigation led to a search warrant being executed at Adkins' Murfreesboro home, Dec. 13. Adkins' wife, Staff Sergeant Taylor Melvin, was arrested and charged locally for Theft and Criminal Simulation. The couple was operating The 7 Towers, an online eBay business, out of the home which also served as a distribution center. Detectives confiscated more than 6,600 toys believed to be valued between $750,000 to $1 million. According to detectives, a lot of the items were purchased using homemade bar codes. Computers, label printing material and business documents were also seized. rutherfordsource.com

Aspen, CO: Wife of former SkiCo exec pleads guilty to $2M theft
Kerri Johnson, 48, pleaded guilty in Pitkin County District Court to class 4 felony theft. Unlike Derek Johnson, 52 whose guilt of felony theft could net between four and 12 years, Kerri Johnson does not face a prison sentence, but rather probation with open conditions and possible jail time, in addition to the $250,000 restitution . The single count of theft is significantly diminished from the initial charges against her: class 2 felony theft of more than $1 million - which carries a presumptive penalty range between eight and 24 years in prison and felony burglary, cybercrime and conspiracy. Her husband co-founded D&E Ski and Snowboard Shops in 1993 before selling the company to SkiCo in 2001, where he would stay on as the managing director of retail and rental equipment for 17 years. Between 2010 and 2018, he siphoned high-performance skis and snowboards off the company's retired demo rack to a storage unit . From there, the couple would sell the stolen equipment on eBay, which Kerri Johnson oversaw, according to police. aspendailynews.com

Crete, IL: Burglars hit a Family owned Hardware store, stealing $50K worth of merchandise
Surveillance video shows thieves robbing a family-owned south suburban store and stealing $50,000 worth of merchandise. Kaj Moyer, the major of Shorewood Home and Auto in Crete said the suspects stole valuable items from the store. The store has been targeted twice in the last two months, and possibly by the same group of people. On Nov. 5 the thieves stole a combination of 22 chain and concrete saws and four generators. On Dec. 7 they broke through the window and again took 22 chain and concrete saws and two generators. wgntv.com

Bloomington, IL: Three wanted for $26,000 theft of iPhones from Walmart
Police are asking for the public's help to identify three people involved in a retail theft. Bloomington Police said the suspects stole over $26,000 in iphones from the Walmart Supercenter. The theft happened last Friday, according to BPD. Authorities are describing the suspects as a black male and two black females, all between the ages of 20 and 30. wjbc.com

Portland, OR: Man says he stole $10K in merchandise from Ulta Beauty stores to 'feed heroin habit'
26-year-old man is facing theft charges after he allegedly stole more than $10,000 worth of merchandise from local beauty stores. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said James Bernard Hobbs-Fletcher has been charged with first-degree aggravated theft and organized retail theft. According to court documents, the thefts occurred in the Portland area between Nov. 12 and Dec. 1. kptv.com

Springfield Township, PA: Baby Formula thieves wanted after tossing infant at security guard during getaway
Police said what started as a shoplifting spree turned into something much more serious. The Springfield Township Police Department in Delaware County is searching for a man and a woman caught in the act of stealing baby formula from Target at 1200 Baltimore Pike. While trying to get away from store security, the man threw his baby strapped into a car seat at security staff, police said Investigators have released images of the man and woman who allegedly attempted to walk out of the Target store with a shopping cart and backpack filled with formula. 6abc.com

Shenandoah, TX: High-speed chase leads to 4 New York men being charged with organized crime at Home Depot

Treasure Island, FL: Man accused of stealing more than $1K of cologne from Walgreens

Spokane Valley, WA: Two Macy's shoplifters charged with Organized Theft in $1K spree

Alameda, CA: Police recovered over $1K in stolen merchandise, along with bolt cutters, burglary tools, and drug paraphernalia

Dalton, LA: Police searching for three suspects in $900 shoplifting spree

Cumberland, KY: Two arrested in multi-store Dollar General refund fraud

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Shootings & Deaths

Tulsa, OK: Armed Robber shot and killed by Police inside QuikTrip store
Tulsa Police said officers received a call around 2:20 a.m. to the QuikTrip (QT) on Southwest Boulevard. A security guard at the QT told officers the man had walked into the store with a gun and pointed it at him. The guard confronted the man and got into an altercation with him. According to the spokesperson, they went back and forth before officers arrived. Then, officers surrounded the suspect who remained armed. kjrh.com

Las Vegas, NV: Armored truck hits, kills 87-year-old outside WinCo Foods
An elderly man was struck and killed in the north Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday afternoon. The incident happened about 1:53 p.m. in front of the WinCo Foods at 6101 N. Decatur Blvd. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department responded to the scene. LVMPD Traffic Capt. Jason Letkiewicz said an armored truck was stopped in front of the store for the passenger to go in and get something. When the passenger returned, Letkiewicz said the truck drove eastbound in the parking lot and came in contact with an 87-year-old man who was using a store-provided motorized cart. fox5vegas.com

Anchorage, AK: Police seek person of interest in Mountain View Holiday gas station homicide
Anchorage police are looking for Tierre Eady, 43, as a person of interest who may have information about a Monday morning homicide at a Gas station on Mountain View Drive. APD officers responded to the gas station after reports of shots fired after 10 a.m. When they arrived, police say officers found a man who had life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. ktva.com

Atlanta, GA: Woman killed after boyfriend attempts robbery at gas station; shooter sought
A 22-year-old woman was killed at a west Georgia gas station after her boyfriend snatched another man's jewelry from his neck. The man began shooting at Da'Jai Green and her boyfriend, identified by LaGrange police as 21-year-old Deangelo Finley, after Finley raced back to their car Sunday night and tried to drive away. Green was hit once. Green died on her way to the hospital. ajc.com

Jersey City, NJ: Pawnshop Owner linked to Jersey City shooter denied bail on gun charges
A federal judge denied bail Monday to a New Jersey pawnshop operator arrested on weapons charges after his phone number and address were found in the pocket of one of the Jersey City shooters. While the exact connection, if any, between Ahmed A-Hady and the pair who led last week's deadly rampage remains unclear, a judge ruled he posed a danger after police found a cache of firearms and ammunition at his home and store. A-Hady, as a convicted felon, was barred from possessing the guns, authorities said. Federal authorities searched the pawnshop, Buy N Sell City, as well as A-Hady's nearby home after finding a handwritten note with his phone number and an address in the back pocket of David Anderson, who police have identified as one of the two shooters in the attack that killed a Jersey City cop and three bystanders in a kosher market. usatoday.com

Birmingham, AL: Shooting Leaves 1 woman killed, 1 man Injured following dispute outside C-Store

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Columbus, GA: Mentally ill man tried to steal child, cut shoppers at Walmart
A man with a knife disrupted holiday shopping at a Georgia Walmart over the weekend. The man, who police have not named, caused a panic in the store, assaulting Christmas shoppers. Witnesses say he tried to grab a small child but was unsuccessful. Shoppers chased him out of the store and into the parking lot, where he pulled out a hunting knife. Witnesses say he was yelling and threatening to cut people. Fortunately, no one was injured. One witness, who did not wish to be named, said the man was mentally ill. According to Columbus, Ga. Police Chief Ricky Boren, the man was taken into custody. wjcl.com

Charlotte, NC: Hundreds of weapons belonging to G4S security guards reported lost, stolen nationwide
G4S security guards patrol Charlotte's light rail, transit center and other big businesses, but an investigation found the company's guards are losing guns or having them stolen at an alarming rate. USA Today reporters found out 600 weapons belonging to G4S were reported lost or stolen since 2009. They dug through thousands of police reports around the country. wsoctv.com

Santa Clarita Valley, CA: Eight arrested in 'Operation Safe Shop' crackdown on store crime
Acting on the success of similar crackdowns this past year, local sheriff's deputies targeted the safety of Santa Clarita Valley stores when they put Operation Safe Shop into action Friday. The specially assembled team of deputies from the SCV Sheriff's Station focused the latest operation on stores at the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall. Detective Michelle O'Brien of the station's Burglary Team, who also serves as the liaison for the SCV Sheriff's Business Alliance, organized the special enforcement operation. By the time the operation concluded at 10 p.m., seven individuals were arrested, ranging in age from 16 to 49 years old. One adult was arrested on more than $200,000 in warrants. signalscv.com

Huntersville, NC: Huntersville Police Department is cracking down on holiday shoplifters with a new initiative called "Operation Fill Santa's Naughty List"

Hammond, IN: Detroit man pleads guilty in $1M Northwest Indiana jewelry store heist

Ventura County , CA: Man convicted of 4 Gas station Robberies

Baltimore, MD: Two Men Plead Guilty To Federal Robbery Charge For A String Of 2018 Video Game Store Robberies

Charles City, IA: Kmart employee arrested for theft of $6,000 in cash and merchandise

Greenwood County, SC: Former Family Dollar employee faces charges in $2,400 theft case

Miami, FL: The Rise and Fall of an All-Star Crew of Jewel Thieves

Sierra Vista, AZ: Three charged with stealing from Toys for Tots

Bainbridge, GA: Three Suspects arrested for stealing trampolines from Walmart

UK: England: Seven arrested after $650,000 Asian Gold Burglaries in Chatham, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Thames Valley





Daily Totals:
• 23 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map


Mike Franco, CFI
named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Skechers

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It's all in the prep! What an understatement. Preparation is the footer to all successful programs, trips, interviews, rollouts, virtually everything. Quite frankly, it's also the lack thereof that leads to most failures. One cannot over prepare for anything you do, but the key is, once prepped, having the faith in yourself to pull it off. There's an imaginary line you cross when you get close to the time you have to perform where you've got to put down the prep and relax right before the game starts so to speak and just rely on your memory and instincts to kick into gear. It's almost like you need time to let your brain take a break right before the gun sounds so you can allow your focus to take hold and your instincts to take over. Prep-Focus-Perform, what a rhythm!

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