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February 20, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Office Depot agrees to buy Office Max  
Holders of OfficeMax shares will receive 2.69 shares of Office Depot for every OfficeMax share they own. Analysts say that if the deal closes it would likely benefit the largest office supply player Staples Inc. since the combined entity will likely close stores. The deal still has to go through shareholder and regulatory approvals, and office supply mergers have been questioned by regulators in the past. Sounds like Office Depot will win out and Max will disappear. (Source wivb.com)

The Loss Prevention Research Council to set 2013's research priorities this week
Sears Holdings VP Asset Protection Bill Titus and over 20 other leading LP/AP executives representing almost 40 progressive retail chains including Lowes, Home Depot, CVS, Walgreens, Bloomingdales, AutoZone, Pep Boys, eBay, Best Buy, Big Lots, OfficeMax, Nike, Dress barn aligned with over 30 LP solution partners are meeting this week in Atlanta to set the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC)’s 2013 research priorities and to coordinate with the 12 LPRC Working Groups and Action Teams’ leaders.

LPRC working groups include: Supply Chain Protection, Benefit Denial, Predictive Analytics, ORC, FutureLP, Packaging Innovation and Video Analytics, while the vertically aligned LPRC Action Teams include Food/Drug, Department Store/Mass Merchant, Big Box Specialty, Small Box Specialty, Sporting Goods, and Apparel/Footwear. Each group and team works with LPRC scientists to deliver actionable findings each quarter on top of 3-5 overall LPRC projects. For more information on the LPRC visit www.lpresearch.org

Michael Kors leading the way as #1 searched fashion brand.  According to a study conducted by Digital Luxury Group, Michael Kors is beating out Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and Ralph Lauren in online searches. With Michael Kors expanding into new markets such as Brazil and China, global search numbers have been skyrocketing above their competition. (Source businessinsider.com)

U.S. Department Store sales down 21.4% from 2000's peak of $232.5B  Sales at U.S. department stores fell 1.1% in 2012 to $182.8 billion, the 8th consecutive annual decline, and are down 21.4% from the 2000 peak of $232.5 billion. Talk about an industry that consolidated. This sector led the pack in virtually all of retail. But the remaining companies are doing well. (Source retailsails.com)

2012 Identity fraud victims hit 12.6M up more than 1M victims, fraudsters steal $21B  In 2012 identity fraud incidents increased by more than one million victims and fraudsters stole more than $21 billion, the highest amount since 2009. However, down from its highest point in 2004 where it totaled $47 billion. One victim every 3 seconds, 1 in 4 data breach letter recipients became a victim of identity fraud. Amounts stolen are increasing but companies are responding quicker than ever and reducing days of exposure. Small retailers are losing out - Fraud victims are more selective where they shop after an incident, and small businesses were the most dramatically impacted. Data breaches continued to play a significant role in identity fraud. (Source net-security.org)

Even bad press is good press, Burger King's Twitter hack brings 60K+ new followers  Burger King saw a surprising upside after its Twitter account was compromised on Monday: tens of thousands of people began following its account. Those people may have started following the burger chain's feed in hopes of seeing more bizarre and profane messages. But by Monday evening, the company tweeted: "Interesting day here at Burger King, but we're back! Welcome to our new followers. Hope you all stick around!" (Source csoonline.com)

Retail giant Tesco calls the police as online Clubcard accounts compromised Investigating a possible data breach after a number of complaints from Clubcard members who claim to have had their online accounts compromised. Clubcard holders informed moneysavingexpert.com that they have found hundreds of pounds worth of vouchers missing from their accounts, with vouchers being spent miles away from where they live, as well as some claiming that their account details have been changed. This isn't the first time Tesco's security practices have been brought into question. In August last year the UK's Information Commissioner's Office confirmed that it was 'making enquiries' into a number of security concerns that had been raised regarding Tesco's customer facing website. (Source csoonline.com)

30 Armed men masquerading as security guards hit Brazilian warehouse stealing tablets and smartphones  At 11 p.m. on Feb. 16, 30 armed men forced their way into a warehouse in the Sao Paulo-based industrial park Centro Logistico Brasil, stealing an unknown number of tablet computers and smartphones, according to FreightWatch International. The suspects, who gained access to the building by masquerading as security guards, used nine cars and six trucks to make off with the goods. Intruders, who were carrying machine guns, submachine guns and rifles, then bound 10 guards at the entrance to the facility. The entire episode took an estimated three hours. (Source americanshipper.com)

It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk  The college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement, albeit an expensive one, for getting even the lowest-level job. More broadly, because so many people are going to college now, those who do not graduate are often assumed to be unambitious or less capable. (Source nytimes.com)

NYC Taxis Victim of Counterfeit Car Parts Ring  The FBI announced Tuesday it busted a replacement car parts counterfeit ring, which sold fake items made in China and Saudi Arabia labeled as well-known brands. Raids were carried out in New Jersey and Queens. Many taxi operators purchased the counterfeit parts and many cabs are likely still driving around with them, officials said. Many city limousines also purchased the counterfeit goods. The three alleged perpetrators were arrested at their homes on Tuesday morning, the FBI said. (Source theepochtimes.com)

Adobe's anti-piracy group busts counterfeiter living lavish life style selling pirated software online  Postal inspectors began tracking the suspect after thousands of complaints came into Adobe's anti-piracy group. They went undercover, setting up internet profiles on ebay to buy the bogus software and test it for authenticity. They quickly realized the suspect was making a fortune. Went from a virtually zero in July of 2005. It spiked up in January 2006 to approximately $45,000 of sales per month and it is able to provide a lavish lifestyle. (Source winknews.com)

Two Gunmen Steal Approx. $4M in Diamonds from a De Beers Store in Paris.   
Paris news agencies are reporting that two armed men robbed the De Beers boutique located at Le Printemps Haussmann of $4 million in diamonds and jewelry. The robbery took place about 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Both men brandished handguns during the crime, they may have been wearing wigs and carried semi-automatic weapons and wore bullet-proof vests. The robbers allegedly forced a saleswoman to open the diamonds cases; they grabbed the stones and jewelry and fled the store through a rear exit. Police reported that employees remained calm during the ordeal and that no one was injured. (Source idexonline.com)

"I Couldn't Stop Shoplifting..." 
It's how compulsive shop lifters describe their addiction because in their mind, it’s harmless – no one is dying. However, store owners say that couldn’t be further from the truth. (Source wowt.com)

Armed robber shot, killed by Sacramento store employee  An employee of a cell phone store that has been robbed multiple times shot and killed a suspected armed robber Sunday afternoon and officials say the shooting appears to be justified. (Source news10.net)

Two Home Depot Loss Prevention agents attacked with a bat by shoplifters in San Carlos, Cal.  Two Loss Prevention agents at The Home Depot store were clubbed Sunday when they confronted two men who tried to steal about $2,000 in power tools. The suspects hit the agents with a "small wooden bat" in the parking lot. Neither agent was seriously hurt and the would-be thieves got away. (Source smdailyjournal.com)

CVS robber shot and killed by Police this morning in Fort Wayne, IN.  Fort Wayne police say officers chasing a man suspected of robbing a pharmacy fatally shot the man after noticing he was armed. Officers sent to the pharmacy about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday saw a man matching the description of the robbery suspect running from the store and ran after him. Officers fired at the man when they noticed during the chase that he was armed. The man was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics. (Source indiananewscenter.com)

Rolex thief in Baltimore sentenced to 11 years in prison.  Reginald D. Dargan, 21 was sentenced last week in Federal Court for the armed robbery of a jewelry store in the Columbia Mall in 2011. Dargan and two other armed suspects stole 35 men's Rolex watches valued at $275,475, no one was injured. The case was investigated by the FBI, Baltimore Police, and the Howard County Police. The other suspects in the case, both age 22, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme and were sentenced to more than 7 years and to more than 13 years in prison, respectively. (Source jewlryne.ws)

Washington man, off his meds, brings a sword into a Starbucks; 100mph police chase.  A Lynnwood man who was arrested after reportedly bringing a sword into an Edmonds Starbucks on Sunday has a history of mental illness, according to court papers. His family told police that the man, 30, has bipolar disorder and was not taking his medication. He was arrested for investigation of first-degree burglary and attempting to elude police after the incident. The man reportedly had been making unwelcome advances toward one of the employees at a Starbucks. On Sunday, the store manager told the man to leave. The suspect complied, and then came back into the store wielding a medieval-style sword. (Source kval.com)

Senior LP executives - We'd like to hear from you  We are conducting an informal survey in regards to the traditional retail LP model to see how LP jobs have incorporated any components of the IT security. If you are a senior Loss Prevention executive in retail and have any IT security responsibilities we'd like to hear from you and find out exactly what they are. Involvement may include but not limited to: mobile and tablet roll-outs, privacy issues, and internal threat analysis. Email Gus confidentially at gusd@downing-downing.com. Thank you.

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eBay PROACT Investigators Uncover Million Dollar Ring -
Leads to Federal Indictment

eBay Investigators using exception reports identified a fraud ring operating out of a Pawn Shop in North Charleston North Carolina. The pawn shop was first identified by eBay investigators in 2011 and brought to the attention of North Charleston Police without a resolution. In 2012 eBay investigators presented the case to USSS who quickly secured a federal indictment. The federal indictment claims the owner of Patriot Pawn on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston, recruited people to steal merchandise from stores to sell on eBay. The North Charleston pawnshop was the hub of an Internet theft ring, according to a federal indictment filed this week. The owner of Patriot Pawn Shop recruited people to go into stores and steal specific items, including vacuum cleaners, calculators and computer software, according to the indictment. The items then were taken to the pawnshop, where a former North Charleston police officer and others bought them for less than they were worth and sold them on eBay for a profit, according to the indictment. The former North Charleston police officer retired in September 2012. Click here to read full article.

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Canadian Push
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Toronto Police Service: News Release

Man, 41, and woman, 40, face 16 charges in theft investigation,
Woman, 44, sought,
Photograph of woman released

Broadcast time: 17:12
Monday, February 18, 2013

32 Division
416-808-3200


Between Saturday, February 16, 2013 and Sunday, February 17, 2013, officers from 32 Division Community Response Unit and the Major Crime Unit conducted an investigation into an organized crime group that allegedly committed thefts from various retail stores throughout the GTA.

On Sunday, February 17, 2013, 32 Division officers, in connection with officers from the Loss Prevention Units from various retail stores, arrested two men in connection with a theft investigation.

It is alleged that:

- the accused walked into retail stores in Toronto

- the accused selected a quantity of clothing and concealed the clothing in a handmade "booster" bag and walked out of the stores without paying

It is further alleged that:

- on Sunday, February 17, 2013, police seized a quantity of stolen property from a home in the Keele Street/Hwy 401 area

- the stolen property is valued at $4,300

Khiem Trieu, 41, of Toronto, has been charged with:

1) Fail to comply Recognizance
2) Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Stolen Goods Over
3) Possession Property obtained by Crime
4) eight counts of Theft under
5) Fail to comply Undertaking

Phuong Hoang, 40, of Toronto, has been charged with:

1) Fail to comply Undertaking
2) Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Stolen Goods Over
3) Possession Property obtained by Crime
4) Theft under

Khanh Pham, 44, of Toronto, is wanted for:

1) Theft Under
2) Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking in Stolen Goods Over

She is described as 5'7", 115 lbs., brown eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-3200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

Vector Security

ORC News
 

Identity Theft ORC Ring Hitting St. Louis, MO Furniture Dealer, and potentially others


By David Groh
Corporate Risk and Loss Prevention Manager
Weekends Only, Inc.



Weekends Only Furniture Inc., a St. Louis, MO based Furniture retailer, has been the target of an ORC ring of identity thieves. The perpetrators were starting with our on-line pre-approval process for financing as their means to utilize the stolen identities. There are many levels it appears with this operation.

The first step they used was to have an individual come into the store and select the product for purchase. They would then take the list of items and leave without making any purchase, stating they would come back later. Next, they would send in another individual later in that same day, usually closer to closing time, to use the pre-approved financing application to purchase the items previously selected. They would tear off the top of our form that would show which sales associate they worked with and the original name given to the sales associate. The had very good (brand new is a clue here) Driver’s Licenses to match the account. They would then send a couple of other individuals, usually in a rented U-Haul truck, to come pick up the furniture almost immediately.

We have been working with multiple St. Louis area law enforcement and have arrested a couple of individuals involved at the lower levels of the scheme. Based on conversations with Law Enforcement, Weekends Only is not the only target in the St. Louis area. As a potential stop gap, Weekends Only has since turned off the ability for individuals to get pre-approval for financing on-line and customers would have to come in to the store to get pre-approval. We believe the individuals stealing the identity most likely will not want to be seen on cameras, etc. To this point we believe it has worked.

Dave can be contacted at dgroh@weekendsonly.com or 314-750-5936

 

Yardsellr.com shuts down, but new Okanjo.com is an upstart in the online resale market.  Okanjo Partners based in Milwaukee has over $1 million in merchandise posted by online sellers. This will give the ORC investigators another alternative to finding those “new with tag” items for resale. From a quick look at the site, several ORC suspects may have already found it. (Source jsonline.com)

Victoria’s Secret in Gastonia, North Carolina hit for $2500 in merchandise. 
Police are investigating the theft of 200 pairs of ladies underwear valued at $2500 from the Victoria’s Secret store in the Westfield Eastfield Mall. The theft occurred between 6:30 and 7:30pm. No suspect’s description was available. (Source wcnc.com)

Identity theft ringleader who hit Walmarts nationwide to be sentenced today  
The man identified by New Hampshire investigators as the ringleader of a nationwide identity theft and check counterfeiting ring is facing up to nine years in prison when sentenced in federal court. Investigators say he and his co-conspirator cashed more than $370,000 in bogus payroll checks at Walmarts nationwide for three years before being apprehended at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Tilton in 2011. (Source boston.com)
 


Organized Retail Crime:
Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State

The Food Marketing Institute has released a report containing Organized Retail Crime: Estimated Lost Sales Tax Revenue by State. Over the next several days the Daily will publish these figures. Stay tuned to see your state estimate! Click here to view.

For more information on organized retail crime, visit FMI's issue page.
 

Reporting ORC news increases awareness -
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Vendor Spotlight
Universal Surveillance Systems



New Ninja Label from USS Deters
Organized Retail Crime
Product Theft


Imprints Store Logo on Merchandise Box When Removed

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – February 19, 2013 Universal Surveillance Systems LLC (USS), the architects of loss prevention technology, has introduced the new Ninja Label built with unique dual technology to help prevent shoplifting and organized retail crime (ORC) theft. Equipped with effective electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology and backed with heavy duty adhesive, the very visible label imprints an extremely hard to remove color store logo on the merchandise box if peeled off, making sale of the stolen item more difficult and helping to trace its origin if subsequently recovered.

“The innovative Ninja Label meets the critical need for an effective loss prevention solution specifically designed to stop ORC and the resale of stolen goods at swap meets, flea markets and online sites while offering exceptional in-store EAS protection,” said USS President and CEO Adel Sayegh. “If a thief peels a Ninja Label from a merchandise box, a nearly impenetrable color store logo is left behind, significantly decreasing the thief’s ability to sell the item and providing an easy way to identify where it was stolen. The innovative Ninja Label is perfect for a wide variety of retail environments because of its unique, effective dual technology theft protection and deterrence.”

Compatible with all 8.2 MHz RF EAS systems, the highly visible 1.3” Ninja Label quickly attaches via a strong adhesive backing and is easily deactivated by store staff for operational efficiency. Its rugged construction assures a high pick rate, and its high visibility provides a significant theft deterrent.

For more information, visit http://new.universaleas.com/portfolio-view/uss-ninja-label/ or call 1-800-488-9097.


Contact:

Scott Richardson
Corporate Communications Manager
Universal Surveillance Systems
800-488-9097

 

Thought Challenge
 

Thought Challenge Review



"Culture"


by Matt McGarrigle
Loss Prevention Lead
Sears Ontario, Canada

as published on November 19, 2012

Today in the world of retail we break down shrinkage into groups (External, internal, administrative errors and vendor theft/fraud. We as a group have always been chasing the ultimate goal of reducing the shrinkage in our stores while driving sales to increase profits. If I would suggest that the root cause for each of the above categories on the success or failure relies on the "culture" of your organization would you agree?

Culture within the organization is the heartbeat of any success or failure. It's the willingness of everyone making a positive impact towards success and unfortunately it's also the direct link to failure. If you apply a positive culture towards shrink reduction you address each category at the root cause. Your associates are your number one driving force and if the associates are engaged in that type of culture then they will take ownership in the business. They are your foundation for LP programs. Think of it this way, how would your associates prevent external shrink if you have an internal problem? They won't identify or correct administrative errors or vendor issues because of poor engagement.

Obtaining that positive culture takes a total effort from everyone in the organization starting with your leaders. Associates are not going to buy into the "Do as I say" and "Not as I do" method. Leading by example is the only way. I recently read discussions about paying associates higher wages to prevent internal theft, I disagree. It's like giving an incentive reward asking "please don't steal from me". Paying higher wages because their worth it absolutely. Communication will always be an important key to educate and promote any program you're trying to implement and a big part of that communication is obtaining feedback from the associates. Granted some will challenge just because of change and others will face roadblocks. Find out who or what is creating the roadblock and correct it. Have your corporate policies and job descriptions in place and stick to them. Allowing terms like up to the store managers discretion will only change your culture in a negative way creating poor engagement among associates if the policies only apply sometimes. Remember corporate not store specific policies.

Technology today allows us in so many ways to perform our task without personal contact and yet the most important element we ask from our associates in retail is providing excellent personal customer service with customers, That's what benefits both sales and loss prevention programs is great customer service that we can only obtain from a positive culture.

Positive or negative culture starts with one person, will you be the one? And which one will you be?

Just a thought

 

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Manager, Security
Macy's Logistics
Goodyear, AZ
Macy's
Loss Prevention Supervisor
Gap
South Jersey District
Gap
Loss Prevention Mgr
Bloomingdale's
Orlando, FL
Bloomingdale's
Loss Prevention Mgr
Sally Beauty
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Loss Prevention Mgr
Sears
El Paso, TX
Sears Holdings Corp
Investigations Analyst
Corporate
Middleburgh Heights, OH
Sears Holdings Corp
Area LP Manager
Family Dollar
Minneapolis, MN
Family Dollar
Director, Security Risk Info & Analysis
Target
Minneapolis, MN
Target
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety
Lowe's
Akron, OH
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Asset Protection Mgr
Sam's Club
Warwick, RI
Wal-Mart
Asset Protection Mgr
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Seekonk, MA
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Asset Protection Mgr
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Market AP Manager
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Overeating on the Job  Between coworker birthday cakes, shared holiday-party leftovers, staff meetings with Danishes and pizza-fueled late-night work sessions, it's easy to blow your diet while on the job. But it doesn't have to be. (Temptations)

How to Eat Better at Work Food brings out our animal nature. And when we homo sapiens find ourselves in the artificial environment of the workplace, complete with its stresses, catered temptations, psychosocial dramas, smelly refrigerators and, yes, vending machines, we are animals who eat badly more often than not. (Eating habits)

Is Your Job Causing You to Put on Pounds? While your job can't be blamed directly for your putting on the pounds, the potent combo of too much work stress, too little sleep and not enough physical activity can lead to weight gain. (No flab)

Fit Fitness Into Your Workday For those of us who spend long days at our workstations, sitting nearly motionless under fluorescent lights while we stare at computer screens, fitness can seem like nothing more than a pipe dream. How do you squeeze substantial physical activity into a job that squeezes most of the air out of your day? (There is hope)

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Tip of the Day
Sponsored by Vector Security

Managing Change

Yeah right. Most of the time it manages you and you merely hold on for dear life hoping that you survive the change coming right at you. There's volumes written about managing the change process, so if you're looking for the academic answer it's out there and it's important to study it and understand the stages one goes through. But when faced with the reality of it, academic responses often times are like plays written on a chalk board. They're great in design but when faced with execution we all make mistakes. And making a mistake during a change process can be deadly.

The one rule that seems to be the common thread in all of the literature and with all of the executives who lead or teach the processes is that in order to truly manage it or survive it, one must embrace it, support it, and even profess your loyalty to it. Because it's a time when everything is being questioned and all things are being changed. And corporate America is looking for those who support it and those that don't. So its critical that when faced with change, you look like the person leading it and you act like the person who thought of it.

From one who survived a few,

Gus Downing


Gus Downing

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