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March 5, 2013

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News Brief
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Target surprises Canadian retail market with three store openings today  All located west of Toronto, they serve as testing grounds for a phased rollout of the brand across much of the country later this year. Another 21 stores will open this month throughout Ontario. Overall, the company is expected to open between 125 and 135 locations in Canada. After the Ontario rollout, Target will begin moving into provinces in the West and eventually into Quebec. None of those opening dates have been announced. (Source lethbridgeherald.com) (Source cbc.ca)



Judge could stop Martha Stewart products from hitting J.C. Penney stores  New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing told Penney's attorneys on Monday that the chain took a risk by ordering towels, cookware and other products from the company that home diva Martha Stewart founded. In fact, Oing said he could force Penney to stop the products from heading to the shelves this spring even as they come off the docks. "That's the risk your client took," Oing said. "Ultimately, you guys played it out." Oing said even though he understands the financial repercussions, his decision can't be influenced by financial matters. Penney's attorney, argued that a decision to block the department store from selling goods like towels and bedding that don't carry the Martha Stewart label would be devastating because the company doesn't have a substitute. (Source sfgate.com)

Second largest shareholder dumps 10 Million Shares of J.C. Penney stock; JCP falls nearly 10%.  A 10 million share block in troubled retailer JC Penney was sold today by Deutsche Bank's trading desk, according to multiple sources. The asking price of the block owned by Vornado Realty Trust was for a range between $16.40 and $16.60, one source confirmed, valuing the stake between $164 million and $166 million. Bill Ackman's Pershing Square, Vornado Realty Trust and Dodge & Cox were the biggest holders in the stock, each owning more than 20 million shares, according to the latest filings. (Source bloomberg.com)

J.C. Penney color-codes associates for possible termination; you don’t want to be Red.  All associates at JC Penney were evaluated and their associate file to be color coded Red, Yellow or Green. In the event that future cuts are needed at the struggling JC Penney, reds are the first to go. Yellow indicated that you are ‘improve or remove’ and green indicates you are safe for the time. Stores have been instructed to tell associates where they stand in reference to improvements, but most were not told about the color coded system. (Source businessinsider.com)

Identity related crimes are now the main fraud drivers in the UK  UK Fraud Prevention Service CIFAS has released a 58-page report that analyses the frauds recorded by the 270 cross-sector CIFAS Members during 2012. 2012 saw more frauds (248,325) recorded by CIFAS Members than in any previous year (a 5% increase from 2011) with identity related crimes accounting for nearly two-thirds (65%) of all fraud confirmed in 2012. (Source theretailbulletin.com)

Retail like-for-like sales in UK jump 2.7% in February, fastest rate of growth in three years  Figures released by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG represent the largest growth in 3 years for February. Online sales were up 10.9% over February 2012, when they had risen by 9.9%. (Source theretailbulletin.com)

Seven Saudis appeal Crucifixion and Firing Squad for Jewelry store robberies in Saudi Arabia.  One of seven Saudis due to be executed by crucifixion and firing squad for armed robbery, has appealed for help. Speaking over a smuggled mobile phone from his prison cell, Nasser al-Qahtani told The Associated Press from Abha General prison on Monday that he was arrested as part of 23-member ring that stole from jewelry stores. He said they were tortured to confess and had no access to lawyers. They were juveniles at the time of the thefts. The seven received death sentences in 2009, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported then. The main defendant, Sarhan al-Mashayeh, is to be crucified. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islamic Shariah law under which people convicted of murder, rape or armed robbery can be executed, usually by sword. (Source washingtontimes.com)

Fire at Oxford Valley Mall Monday deemed suspicious.  Middletown police and the fire marshal are investigating a suspicious small fire at the Oxford Valley Mall late Monday morning that forced an evacuation. Fire Marshal James McGuire said the fire started shortly before 11 a.m. in a maintenance storage room in the upper level rear of the mall near the Sears store. McGuire described the area where the fire occurred as “hard to get to.” There was no smoke or fire damage to public areas of the mall. The mall was evacuated for a short period of time. The fire was brought under control in 25 minutes, Langhorne Middletown Fire Co. Chief Frank Farry said. (Source go.com)



Six recent Robberies in the Hersey, Pennsylvania area, Police investigating the connections.  Police responded to the GNC store in the Kmart strip mall for a reported robbery. Police have responded to three robberies in the past five days - one at Merele Norman and the other at Vitamin World at the Hershey Outlets. No word on whether the three robberies are connected. The suspect in the GNC robbery threatened the cashier with a hammer, ordered her to open the register and lay on the floor; the suspect grabbed the cash and ran. (Source abc27.com)



Sherman Oaks, Cal. TJ Maxx and AT&T stores hit by burglar; Ventura Boulevard is being targeted.  Seven burglaries have been committed in the last few weeks and police believe all are related. The thief smashes out the front windows of the store and works quickly and gets away on foot. (Source go.com)



Connecticut Dunkin' Donuts Clerk Threw Coffee At Robber's Face.  A man attempting to rob a Dunkin' Donuts on First Avenue fled after a clerk threw hot coffee in his face. The robbery attempt took place Saturday around 11:06 p.m. The suspect went through the drive-thru and asked a clerk to change a $100 bill. The clerk refused, and the suspect said he was robbing the business. He attempted to climb through the window but fled when the clerk threw hot coffee in his face. (Source wfsb.com)



Two Papa John’s employees locked in a freezer during a robbery in Houston.   Friendswood police are investigating an armed robbery of the Papa John’s Pizza on Sunday night. When officers arrived they set up a perimeter around the store because the employees were locked inside a walk-in freezer and they did not know if the suspect was still inside. One of the employees managed to escape and ran next door to the Whataburger to call 9-1-1. When no movement was observed inside the store, officers entered and freed the two employees who were locked inside the freezer. They were not injured. A police K-9 arrived and got a positive track that abruptly ended at the back of the building. (Source click2houston.com)



Suspect gets away with a $70,000 ring from Freehold, NJ mall.  A $70,000 ring was stolen from a jewelry store in Freehold Raceway Mall last week, and police say they are searching for the man who did it. A man asked to see a 2.68 carat, white gold ring at Giorgio's Fine Jewelry at 3:15pm on Thursday. After the employee took it out of the case, the man grabbed it and ran away. (Source news12.com)



Two Yuba City, CA women busted at Walmart attempting to leave through the Tire Department with over 300 items.  Two mothers with their children were apprehended trying to leave the Walmart store through the Tire Department exit with two shopping carts filled with merchandise. Everything from fishing lures to DVD’s were inside the carts; totaling $1,780. Both mothers were arrested on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (Source plumaslakelife.com)

Police release video of E. Germantown, PA grocery store burglary.  Three hooded juveniles are believed to be responsible for the theft of SEPTA bus tokens and 40 cartons of cigarettes, along with other items and cash. Video surveillance cameras were able to capture one of the suspect’s faces. (Source newsworks.org)



Thieves use bear spray to rob Vancouver Apple Store.  Police are looking for three suspects who used bear spray to rob the Apple Store at a Vancouver mall. About 40 people were in the store at the Oakridge Mall around 7 p.m. when three men burst in and discharged the spray before making off with an unknown quantity of Apple devices. Police were unable to track down the suspects but did find some of the stolen items discarded by the thieves on their way out. Five people were treated at the scene for exposure to the bear spray. (Source nationalpost.com)

Burglars raid the Apple Store in Turin, Italy for a second time; stealing $50,000 in merchandise.  No peace for the Apple Store in Italy: the biggest Apple store in Italy suffered the second theft just 4 months after opening. The first sting occurred last December at a little less than a month from the official opening, with an estimated damage of about $65,000. (Source leggo.it)

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eBay News
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eBay Investigation leads to burglary suspect and heroin stash

WEST ROCKHILL — A 33-year-old Gilbertsville man is charged with four counts of burglary and related offenses after allegedly stealing more than $28,000 worth of figurines and collectibles from a business between July and August, police said. 56 items were taken during burglaries on July 31 and Aug. 4, 9 and 26, police said. Police were notified that the items were located on eBay which led to the suspect. When the suspect was arrested earlier this month at his home, officers found he allegedly possessed more than 50 used heroin packets, according to police. He was taken to county prison on $100,000 bail. Click here to read the full article.

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ORC News
 



Foreign National Convicted in Multi-Million-Dollar,
Multi-State Criminal Operation

HOUSTON—Sameh Khaled Danhach, also known by many other aliases, has been convicted of all six counts as related to the interstate transportation of stolen goods and obstruction of justice. The evidence demonstrated he was a high-ranking fence involved in a multi-million-dollar, multi-state criminal enterprise where he received stolen over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, baby formula, health and beauty supplies, and shampoo for later re-packaging and shipping. This criminal enterprise, among other things, engaged in using “boosters,” primarily undocumented Central Americans, to steal over-the-counter medication and baby formula.

The scope of this criminal enterprise ranged from April 2008 to February 2012.

Danhach owned and operated Houston-located SKD Trading Inc. and Lifetime Wholesale Inc., both shell companies operated under several other names used to facilitate their illegal activity. He hired undocumented aliens from Central and South America to travel throughout the United States to steal the OTC, beauty products, and baby formula from major retail chain stores such as Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. He facilitated this interstate travel by renting cars for the boosters and by paying the boosters in cash for the stolen merchandise.

To avoid detection by law enforcement, the undocumented aliens would ship the stolen merchandise to Danhach using fraudulent FedEx accounts in his shell company names. As a result of the fraudulent accounts, FedEx suffered a loss of $540,000. A representative from FedEx testified at trial about the sophistication of Danhach’s scheme stating that Danhach and others set up approximately 29 accounts using various names, company names, and addresses without paying for any of the shipments.

Once the stolen merchandise arrived at Danhach’s Houston warehouse, he had his “employees” remove any retail store identifying labels and security features. Danhach would then have the stolen products repackaged and then re-sold to wholesalers across the nation.

A search warrant was executed on March 1, 2012, at Danhach’s Houston warehouse, at which time agents seized criminal ledgers maintained by Danhach. The ledgers specifically showed the stolen merchandise coming into the warehouse, the retail labels on the stolen merchandise being removed, and the stolen merchandise being repackaged and shipped back out of the warehouse. At the time of the search, Danhach instructed his co-conspirator to hide a video recording from the warehouse’s security cameras in the warehouse’s ceiling.

Several cooperating witnesses testified on behalf of the United States, including one of his boosters, who admitted that between August 2011 and February 2012, he traveled around the Houston area and the state in cars rented by Danhach, stealing OTC medication and beauty supplies from Walmarts. In a six-month-period, the witness admitted he was responsible for stealing more than $230,000 worth of merchandise from Walmart.

United States District Court Judge Sim Lake, who presided over the trial has set sentencing for April 25, 2013. Danhach faces up to five years for the one count of conspiracy to transport stolen merchandise in interstate commerce as well as up to 10 years in as to each of the three convictions for transporting stolen merchandise. Danhach further faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for each of the two obstruction of justice counts. All charges also include a possible $250,000 fine. Danhach could also face the loss of his legal permanent residence status and deportation from the United States.

He will remain in custody pending his sentencing hearing.

This matter was investigated by the FBI, Houston Police Department-Major Offenders Division, and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, with the cooperation of CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Mead Johnson, and Abbott Nutrition. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kebharu Smith, Joe Magliolo and Albert Ratliff (Source fbi.gov)

Houston Near Top Of Organized Retail Crime In US  Joe Williams from the Texas Retailers Association. He estimates that in Texas, the retail value of items stolen by professional shoplifters, or “boosters,” falls between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. The National Retail Federation has listed Houston in the top 10 cities for organized retail crimes for each of the last three years. Lee Bland, VP of LP for Stage Stores believes Houston is a hotbed for theft because it is so close to the Mexican border. (Source kuhf.com)

Stop N Save baby formula ORC thief busted in Edwardsville, ILL.  Police searched a woman’s car recently and found 24 cans of baby formula that they suspect she had stolen from area stores. The woman, 30-year-old Suzanne E. Rainbolt, of Fairview Heights, reportedly confessed to Edwardsville police she had stolen the Enfamil formula from several Shop ‘N Save stores. (Source theintelligencer.com)

Bowie, Texas Police investigate ORC ring accused of stealing $7000 from Walmart.  Two suspects have been arrested and warrants are issued for two others for the thefts that occurred between December and January from the Bowie Walmart. Police believe the group acted together to steal $7000 worth of televisions and computer and will be charged with Organized Criminal Activity. (Source bowienewsinc.com)

Pennsylvania State Police are looking for a woman who stole $16,000 worth of toothbrushes from Kohl’s.  According to Police, Beate Proeller created fraudulent price tags and placed them over the original price tags on 200 electric toothbrushes, then purchased the products. Proeller was charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property. (Source go.com)

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Vendor Spotlight
Universal Surveillance Systems



Scott St. Clair Named Universal Surveillance Systems
Southeast Regional Sales Director

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – March 5, 2013Universal Surveillance Systems LLC (USS), the architects of loss prevention solutions, has promoted Scott St. Clair to Regional Sales Director. With over 15 years of hands on loss prevention (LP) experience in the retail sector, St. Clair will oversee sales activities of USS LP solutions including their electronic article surveillance (EAS) and closed-circuit television (CCTV) products, systems and service in the southeastern United States.

St. Clair, who joined USS in 2011, has held senior loss prevention and theft investigation positions at Belk, Kmart Corporation and Lowe’s where he successfully formulated, improved and managed LP programs for stores in multiple states.

“Scott has garnered an outstanding reputation as an expert in loss prevention and combatting organized retail crime, or ORC, as well as being a consummate problem solver who thinks out of the box in solving the most difficult LP issues,” said Adel Sayegh USS President and CEO. “As USS introduces new innovative products that will pose major obstacles to retail thieves and in particular ORC, Scott will be key in assuring LP professionals in the southeast have the tools they need to combat inventory shrink and grow their ROI.”

For more information on USS and its products and services, visit www.new.universaleas.com or call 1-800-488-9097.

Contact:

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

 

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What feedback do you listen to and what do you dismiss?  In this video Lucy Zhang, software Engineer for Facebook, talks about when to listen to the advice you're given, and when not to. (Take it as a grain of salt)

5 Things You Should Say Today Here are five things you should say -- today -- to people you work with. They're small things, but they can completely change someone's day. Years from now, you don't want to regret the things you didn't say to the employees who worked for you and to the employers you worked for. (#5 may be hard to say)

5 Things Remarkable Bosses Never Do  What you don't do can sometimes make a bigger impact than what you do. Here are five things great bosses never do. (Are you guilty?)

8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers. They possess easily-defined, but hard to find, qualities. A few hit the next level. Here are eight qualities of remarkable employees. (Do these sound like your employees?)

 

Tip of the Day
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Professionalism or the lack thereof is a reflection of a person's inner self. How an executive presents themselves and talks about their former jobs, bosses and colleagues is a real indication of how they'll talk tomorrow about who they're working with today. And while it's human nature to be interested in the gossip, it's usually the wolf in sheep's clothing and the one who has the need to rationalize that has the most to say.

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