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March 5, 2014

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Amazon's War On Germany's $18 Billion Patriarch  The world's second-largest online retailer is losing ground to the cutthroat Web tycoons hell-bent for his customers. No matter. Michael Otto, patriarch of one of Europe's richest families (they own the likes of Crate & Barrel), would rather lose with class than compromise his values. Michael Otto’s family has been as omnipresent in German postwar retail as Wal-Mart, Sears and Target have in the U.S. So what does this 70-year-old patriarch of this $18 billion clan most want to talk about? A factory in Bangladesh. With gusto he describes how he and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus hatched a plan to build a humane clothing factory, where all profits would go back into the community for schools and hospitals. At best, the Otto Group would recoup its initial investment. Human and civilized. That’s the Otto Group, which encompasses 123 companies (including America’s Crate & Barrel) across 20 countries and expects revenue for the fiscal year ending in February to top $16.4 billion. Germans covet jobs with the firm. Its workers have never led a strike against the company, which instructs its managers not to work weekends or holidays. “The increase in burnouts is a problem because people are always on and they are always reacting,” says Otto. “It is so important to relax.” Otto Group also operates the world’s largest mail-order retail operation. But last year, for the first time, Amazon’s sales in Germany ($10.5 billion) eclipsed Otto’s ($9 billion). And the trend lines are far uglier: The Otto Group’s sales are up 17% in Germany since the recession, while Amazon’s have doubled since 2010. (Source forbes.com)

Target Seeks New Chief Information Officer After Breach  The company is searching externally for a new CIO who will guide it through an overhaul of its information-security and compliance structure and practices, Gregg Steinhafel, the Minneapolis-based retailer’s chief executive officer, said today in an e-mailed statement. Promontory Financial Group is serving as an adviser on the revamp. (Source bloomberg.com)

Axis Communications secures Statue of Liberty with "Dream Team" of technology providers  The Statue of Liberty, a longtime symbol of freedom and opportunity, re-opened on July 4, 2013 with a brand new state-of-the-art video surveillance system featuring a Dream Team of nine top technology providers in the world, including Axis. The system, which now features 160 Axis network cameras with HDTV quality video, exceptional nighttime performance and discreet appearance, was a major upgrade to the Park’s old analog system. The current surveillance deployment marks the first time an all-digital surveillance system has been installed at the monument. The system includes a command center that acts as the brains of the system, HDTV-quality and color-at-night surveillance cameras protecting the perimeter and intelligent software that helps pinpoint incidents and push video to the people who need it in real time—and much more. Watch the video and see how it all came together here. (Source multivu.com)

Art.com sued for allegedly stealing information from e-commerce retailer  Gotham City Online, an online seller of discount shoes, has sued Art.com, a company that sells fine art online, for allegedly gaining access to its servers and stealing proprietary information. (Source mercurynews.com)

Facebook in talks to acquire drone maker
Facebook is reportedly looking to acquire Titan Aerospace, which manufactures solar-powered drones that can stay aloft for up to five years. Facebook is interested in using these high-flying drones to blanket parts of the world without Internet access, beginning with Africa. The company would start by building 11,000 of these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). (Source techcrunch.com)

Hackers breach Smucker’s Online Card Processor  Jam and jelly maker Smucker’s last week shuttered its online store, notifying visitors that the site was being retooled because of a security breach that jeopardized customers’ credit card data. Closer examination of the attack suggests that the company was but one of several dozen firms — including at least one credit card processor — hacked last year by the same criminal gang that infiltrated some of the world’s biggest data brokers. Smucker’s alerts Website visitors. As Smucker’s referenced in its FAQ about the breach, the malware that hit this company’s site behaves much like a banking Trojan does on PCs, except it’s designed to steal data from Web server applications. (Source krebsonsecurity.com)

Los Angeles Bans E-Cigarettes in Nearly All Public Places  Los Angeles became the latest city to restrict e-cigarettes after the city council unanimously voted on Tuesday to ban the devices everywhere that conventional cigarettes are prohibited. Citing their concern over the unknown health effects of e-cigarettes, council members banned them in offices, most public parks and even locales that don't admit anyone under 21. Just about the only place left for e-cigarette users, other than their own homes, will be e-cigarette lounges where patrons go to taste different flavors. Thus far, vapers appear to be losing the fight, as New York City, Boston and Chicago have all placed their own big restrictions on vaping in recent months. (Source mashable.com)

Don't miss the 2014 Florida LP Conference on March 12! 
This statewide meeting, convened exclusively for the benefit of Florida's LP Professionals, suppliers and law enforcement personnel, will bring you the tools and tactics you need on such hot topics as Emerging Technology in Asset Protection, Internal Theft Prevention and Detection, Effectively Prosecuting Organized Retail Crime Cases, Workplace Violence/Threat Assessment- Identifying Vulnerability, and Responding to Active Shooter Situations. This conference will take place at the Tampa Marriott Westshore and is FREE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT! For more details, please visit their website.

FMI Asset Protection Conference 2014:
March 9-12, 2014 Jacksonville, FL

What if you had a data breach?
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FMI AP attendees will!

Professional development workshop of preparing your breach response. This workshop will feature a thorough review of privacy liability issues facing retailers. It will also walk attendees through breach response exercises.

Only 3 days until the FMI Asset Protection conference!

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eBay News
 

eBays PROACT Team Partnership with Retailers And Secret Service Leads to Three Arrests In Alleged 4.2 Million Dollar Organized Theft Ring

Three members of a suburban Chicago family are accused of stealing millions of dollars in merchandise during a decade-long “shopping odyssey” and later selling the items on eBay.

Brank Bogdanov, 58; his wife Lela Bogdanov, 52; and their daughter Julia Bogdanov, 34, were arrested by Secret Service agents Tuesday afternoon at a home on Weller Lane in suburban Northbrook, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The trio is accused in a recent string of thefts that began on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, continued two days later at malls in Texas and wound through Louisiana Feb. 20. But officials allege the three are connected to similar instances that have occurred over the last 10 years, and have sold stolen property on eBay for a combined total of $4.2 million.

According to the complaint, loss prevention executives at Barnes and Noble, Inc. and Toys R Us, Inc. recently told Secret Service agents that their stores were experiencing a huge loss in merchandise, including American Girl dolls, Furby robotic toys, Lego blocks, baby monitors and baby carriers.

The retail executives worked with eBay and found that a particular account sold large quantities of the stolen items, matching the quantities reported missing from the stores. Officials traced the account to a person living in a Chicago suburb.

Read more here.

For further information on PROACT, email inquiries to PROACT@eBay.com.

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Loss Prevention News Network
 

"Internal Growth - Positioning Yourself for Promotion"

New Episode
Leadership & Development Series

Jim D'Arcy, VP of Loss Prevention & Food Safety for A&P stores, talks about the keys to success in positioning yourself for internal growth and promotion within a company. Over the last five years, Jim has been promoted four times at A&P. Here he discusses what it means to eat, sleep and breathe a company's culture - and why a lateral move isn't always a move backwards. Filmed January 13, 2014 in NYC.

Watch the interview here.


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Press Releases
 

USS to Premier Latest Loss Prevention and Security Technology at the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Asset Protection Conference

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – February 25, 2014 – Universal Surveillance Systems LLC (USS), the loss prevention and security technology company, will present cutting-edge anti-theft and physical security products and systems at the 2014 Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Asset Protection Conference, March 9-12, in Jacksonville, FL.

Partnering with Genetec, a global leader in IP video surveillance, access control and license plate recognition solutions, USS will showcase the latest innovations to prevent theft and increase security and protection in retail food stores. Featured technologies will include:


 
IP video - State-of-the-art video surveillance to cut installation costs and provide incredible capabilities far beyond analog video. Featured product will be the Scout X400 PVM with multiple, patented tamper alarms to allow secure face-level mounting

 
Access control - Secure property and access to sensitive or restricted areas, well as monitor entry and exits with time stamped access records

 
GPS - Futuristic technology for asset tracking and recovery, and logistic and supply chain security solutions

 
Security device integration systems - Simplifies and streamlines installation and integration of devices from a variety of manufacturers






 
Electronic article surveillance - The latest innovations in EAS technology including:
- Ninja Labels - Prevents ORC by imprinting store logo on package
- Vaults - Largest selection of sizes in the industry
-
 
Mini BoxGuard - Patented technology for maximum throughput and security to protect high value, small boxed merchandise
-
 
Sidewinder - Advanced bottle topper that applies quickly and easily to various shaped and sized bottles with one simple twist

USS offers total security solutions designed to deter theft, prevent loss, increase profitability and enhance customer satisfaction including a complete line of EAS and CCTV products and systems with an outstanding nationwide sales, service and support network.

For additional information, visit www.universaleas.com or call 1-800-488-9097.

 

e-commerce
Sponsored by The Zellman Group
Sponsored Special Report: Staying one step ahead of criminals  Cyber criminals aren't resting. They're constantly finding new ways to defeat retailers' data security and fraud prevention systems—whether they're stealing millions of credit card accounts in one fell swoop, perpetrating fraudulent transactions or finding new vulnerabilities to exploit. That means retailers that let their guard down risk becoming the next high-profile victim of a data breach that shakes consumers' confidence in their brand and costs money. Retailers can stay ahead in the risk management arms race by sharing consumer behavioral data across their various sales channels. Doing so provides retailers a more complete picture of fraud patterns. This capability is especially important for retailers with robust online and offline operations. Retailers can use these tips and guidelines to stay ahead of the criminals, and keep their customers data safe. (Source internetretailer.com)

Identity Fraud: It's Here to Stay
Do not take identity fraud lightly. One of Javelin Strategy and Research's recent studies showed that it's on the rise and consumers should get proper protection before they find themselves victimized. The number of victims has increased astronomically from 500,000 to 13.1 million consumers in 2013 alone, most victims between the ages of 35 and 44. Someone falls victim to identity fraud every two seconds. 44% of all frauds involved online transactions with misused accounts on sites like Amazon and eBay, and email payment accounts. View the full infographic here. (Source pcmag.com)

 

Retail Crime News
Sponsored by Sony

1 hurt in Cleveland-area mall Parking Lot Shooting at The Home Depot  Police near Cleveland say a shooting in a mall parking lot outside a home improvement store left one man injured. North Olmsted police say a 34-year-old man was taken into custody after the shooting just before noon on Tuesday. Media reports say the injured man was able to go inside the nearby Home Depot for help after he was shot. The 34-year-old victim was alert and conscious when he was taken to a hospital. No information was immediately released about a possible motive for the shooting, which occurred near the Great Northern Mall in suburban Cleveland. (Source abc22now.com)

Trio jailed on charges of robbing University Heights, OH TJ Maxx store, hitting security guard with car  Three people, including a woman with an extensive criminal history, are facing first-degree felony charges that accuse them of stealing $1,500 in designer purses from T.J. Maxx and hitting a security guard with their car while trying to flee. The aggravated robbery charge carries a maximum 11-year prison sentence. The theft charges carries a one-year maximum sentence. Johnson, the driver, and Washington are being held in the city jail on $250,000 bond. Switzer is being held on $150,000 bond. They are all scheduled for preliminary hearings on Monday. (Source cleveland.com)

Employee of Will Jewelers in Fort Wayne, IN accussed of stealing $190,000 worth of jewelry  A jewelry store employee allegedly stole dozens of items from the store she worked at and sometimes she would leave work, pawn the goods and return to her job. Jessica Ann Lombrana, 28, of Huntertown is facing multiple counts of theft in connection with the case. On January 21, a woman affiliated with Will Jewelers contacted Fort Wayne police and told them she believed an employee had been stealing jewelry from one of their stores for quite some time according to court documents filed Tuesday morning. Will Jewelers believes $146,800 worth of items were stolen and then pawned and another $40,000 worth of inventory is still missing. Using the Leads Online database, detectives were able to determine Lombrana had an extensive history with the Cash America pawn shop dating to January of 2013. (Source wane.com)

Sheriff's Office seizes $160,000 of counterfeit merchandise from Murfreesboro, NJ business  More than $160,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise was seized from a Murfreesboro business after an investigation by private investigators and Rutherford County Sheriff’s detectives. Merchandise was seized from Crazy C’s Liquidation on West College Street after a search warrant was served at the store. Merchandise recovered included North Face jackets, gloves and beanies, Dr. Dre Beats headphones and Under Armour clothing. (Source dnj.com)

Man arrested after shots fired inside Walgreens in Houston  Police arrested a man who fired off several rounds inside an east Houston drug store. The armed man shot several times about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday into the ceiling of the Walgreens store in the 500 block of Maxey. Although the incident was initially reported as a possible robbery, the man issued no demands to employees or customers. Houston police said he looked around then began shooting into the ceiling. There were no reports of injuries, police said. The man was taken into custody by HPD officers. He has not been identified and will likely be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, police said. (Source chron.com)

Teens Wanted in Flash Mob Robbery of the True Religion store in Georgetown. D.C  Police are working to identify about a dozen teens wanted for setting up a "flash mob"-style robbery at a high-end jeans store in Georgetown two weeks ago. Surveillance videos shows the teens entering the True Religion Brand Jeans store on M Street just before 6:30 p.m., carrying bags. The teens then stuffed more than a thousand dollars worth of the jeans (the average price tag is around $120 per pair) into their bags and ran out of the store. (Source nbcwashington.com)

Kohl’s Theft suspects caught while fleeing Hendersonville, TN Police  Hendersonville police caught a homeless couple wanted in several other cities Monday after they allegedly stole merchandise from a local store and caused a traffic accident while fleeing from police. Stephen D. Pyles, 40, and Ashley P. Caruthers, 27, face drug and theft charges after police say they took merchandise from Kohl’s on Monday. According to Police, Kohl’s contacted the police, who saw the couple get into a car. When they tried to stop the couple, the two fled police and became involved in a car accident. Police caught Caruthers as she exited the vehicle at the wreck scene. Police say Pyles fled the vehicle on foot and was caught a short time later. Police say they recovered the stolen merchandise. (Source tennessean.com)

London Police hunt gang of six who fled on mopeds after attempting smash-and-grab raid on Christian Dior store  Six raiders fled on mopeds after failing to break into a Christian Dior shop in central London this morning. Police were called at 12.15am to the store in Conduit Street, central London, but arrived before the suspects gained entry to the shop. The group smashed the store's glass and damaged the shutters of the door before hopping on their bikes and riding off. (Source dailymail.co.uk)

Rocky Mount, NC Police seek suspect in Harris Teeter $500 grocery theft attempt  Rocky Mount Police are searching for a man after his efforts to steal more than $500 in meat from a grocery store were thwarted by a loss prevention officer. Authorities said an employee at Harris Teeter called police about a man who loaded a shopping cart with food and walked out the door without paying. The employee reportedly confronted the man, who abandoned the cart, ran and jumped in a car then fled the scene. (Source rockymounttelegram.com)

Killer of Merrillville, IN convenience store clerk gets 80 years

Newly found bullet could be linked to infamous Comic store killing in Detroit, 20 years ago

Great Escapes employee in Manalapan, NJ busted for theft of nearly $1000 in merchandise

Peeble’s employee charged with theft of nearly $2000 in merchandise in Elkins, WV

Ashland, VA Police investigating credit card fraud, larceny

Police search for "Stun Gun Robber" robber in Tampa & St. Pete

Woman left baby in vehicle during robbery of pharmacy in Lyons, CO

Walmart thief nabbed by Post Falls, ID Police

Robberies and Burglaries

 

ORC News
 

Three Northbrook Family Members Charged With Transporting
Stolen Property Following Multi-State “Shopping” Spree

CHICAGO — Three members of a suburban Northbrook family were arrested and charged with interstate transportation of stolen property following a purported shopping odyssey that started on Feb. 17 in Oklahoma, continued two days later at malls in Texas, and wound through Louisiana on Feb. 20, before they returned to Northbrook the next day. The defendants, together with a cooperating individual who acted as their “fence,” and others sold merchandise with a retail value of $7.1 million for a combined total of $4.2 million through their eBay online merchant accounts over the last decade, according to a federal criminal complaint announced today.

The defendants, BRANKO BOGDANOV, 58; his wife, LELA BOGDANOV, 52; and their daughter, JULIA BOGDANOV, 34, were arrested by Secret Service agents yesterday afternoon at their residence on Weller Lane in Northbrook. They were each charged with interstate transportation of stolen property in a criminal complaint that was filed in U.S. District Court. All three are scheduled to appear at 11 a.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Mason.

According to the complaint affidavit, loss prevention executives at Barnes and Noble, Inc., and Toys R Us, Inc., recently told Secret Service agents that their stores had sustained a huge loss in merchandise, including American Girl dolls, Furby robotic toys, Lego blocks, baby monitors, and baby carriers. With eBay’s assistance, the retail executives further determined that a particular eBay account sold large quantities of these specific items and that the amount of merchandise sold often matched the quantities of the same item stolen from one of their stores.

Representatives of Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us, and eBay provided substantial assistance to law enforcement in the investigation.

The store officials further obtained information identifying the owner of the eBay account, who resides in a Chicago suburb. They learned that the individual, who is now cooperating with law enforcement, sold $3.4 million in merchandise, with an estimated retail value of $6 million, over the past 10 years, and that the cooperating individual (CI) had purchased the merchandise from a man the CI knew as “Franko Kalath,” an alias linked to Branko Bogdanov.

Secret Service agents corroborated information from the store and eBay officials, and the CI provided them with extensive hand-written notes and receipts indicating a vast variety of items that the CI allegedly purchased from Branko Bogdanov, including toys, electronic equipment, baby supplies, and kitchenware. Agents also seized from the CI numerous items that the CI had purchased from the individual known as “Franko Kalath,” all of which appeared to be new and in their original packaging.

Further investigation revealed that Bogdanov family members share a single PayPal account and that together they had sold $692,278 in merchandise through their individual eBay accounts. Many of the items sold were similar to the items sold by the CI, the complaint alleges.

As background, the complaint affidavit details additional thefts from Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us, and other retailers that occurred between October and December 2012 in Pikesville, Md., Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Murfreesboro, Tenn., where either telephone records, video surveillance, or both allegedly show the Bogdanovs were at or near at the time and date of specific retail thefts.

On Feb. 19, surveillance followed the defendants from store to store at or near the Woodlands and Willowbrook malls in the vicinity of The Woodlands, Tex., north of Houston. During a traffic stop by Houston police, the Bogdanovs gave officers numerous items from their vehicle, and those items later matched merchandise that various stores confirmed were stolen that day, according to the complaint.

The surveillance continued the following day through Louisiana, where additional merchandise was stolen at stores in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, resulting in another traffic stop that night on northbound I-55 near Canton, Miss. The trio arrived back in Northbrook in Feb. 21. A few days later, the CI received messages from “Franko Kalath” with photos showing an array of merchandise that was available for sale, the charges allege.

The complaint describes repeated instances of Lela Bogdanov wearing a long black skirt that appeared larger and fuller when she exited various retail stores than when she entered. The dress, which was seized shortly after she was arrested, has a blue lining capable of containing multiple rectangular objects, and was allegedly used to cart hidden merchandise from stores. At times, surveillance showed items protruding from the skirt when she exited stores, often accompanied by various diversions instigated by one of more of the family members, according to the complaint.

Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The arrests and charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Frank Benedetto, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the U.S. Secret Service. Numerous local police departments are also assisting in the investigation.

The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Renato Mariotti.

The public is reminded that a complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Marion County, Ohio Sheriff’s Department working in conjunction with Retail task force; Kroger, Walmart, Meijers and Kohl’s sharing information and strategies  Loss prevention workers at several corporate chains are working behind the scenes to snuff out shoplifting and organized retail crime in the county. Steve Shepard, organized retail crime investigator with Kroger, said increased communication between local stores has led to the Marion Organized Retail Crime Task Force to better track suspects who are “taking products specifically to resell for profit.” The task force shares information between competing chains in hopes of reducing the overall retail theft problem. Some of the info shared includes photos of suspects and trends to watch out for. The task force was formed between Kroger and other businesses, including Meijer, Walmart and Kohl’s, which are the top three in shoplifting attempts reported in 2013. Employees at each chain started talking about habitual shoplifters in their stores in the Marion area, leading to the group effort. (Source marionstar.com)

Five Suspects in $8000 theft from Walmart, chase due in Winona, MN court  Five Minneapolis residents are to appear in Winona County District Court this week after allegedly stealing more than $8,000 worth of electronics from the Walmart in Winona and leading authorities on a car chase that saw them nearly reach Stewartville on Interstate 90. The five were charged Feb. 21 with one felony count each of aiding and abetting theft — take property without consent before Winona County District. (Source postbulletin.com)

Bibb County Sheriff's office looking for $20,000 fur-coat shoplifters in Macon, GA  The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is still looking for three people who allegedly shoplifted a $20,000 fur coat from a downtown Macon store in December. According to a news release, it happened Dec. 30 at the Barnes Fur store on 807 Cherry St. The trio, one man and two women, reportedly posed as shoppers and tried on several fur coats. Store owners discovered the mahogany fur coat missing several days later. Surveillance video shows that the man placed the fur coat under his trench coat, and then the three left the store quickly. (Source 13wmaz.com)

Virginia Beach Detectives seeking the identity of 2 Walmart area shoplifters  On Sunday, February 16, a man and woman entered the Wal-Mart at 657 Phoenix Drive between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to J.C. Cason with the Virginia Beach Police. The suspects tried to shoplift several items by hiding them in a plastic tote bag, but when they tried to leave the store, they were confronted by store employees. (Source wavy.com)

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The Surprising Productivity Secrets Hidden in Your Clothes  It's true, you can dress for success! What you decide to wear to work each day has more meaning than just how others perceive you; it could make you better at your job! These Northwestern University researchers found out that certain clothing can influence the wearer's psychological processes. (What you wear affects your focus)

Feeling Burned Out? The One Change that Could Fix Everything  The way you view work has everything to do with how your body and brain react to it. If you view work as a stressful obligation, you won't want to wake up every day. If you view it as a game, however, you find it more rewarding and you enjoy it more. (Make your own fun)

How to Increase Productivity, Motivation and Engagement from Your Top Employees  You may be trying your hardest to get your employees more engaged and feeling motivated in their work, but there may be more going on than just their lack of enthusiasm. Their real problem could be their lack of authority or decision making. Use these six steps to get everyone on the right path, and feeling empowered. (Remove rules)

Why Your Willpower Can't Stop You From Putting Things Off  Thinking about putting that big project off, even for just one more second? Holding off on that paperwork until tomorrow? Even if it's just a thought in your head, your willpower isn't strong enough to make you do something you don't want to do. Find a way around that willpower, and use this plan. (If this, then that)

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