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May 7, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Organized Retail Crime cases sees 111% spike in "publically reported cases" in first 4 months of 2013 compared to 2012 - Here are the numbers reported on the Daily:
 

All ORC Cases Reported
January - April

 
  2012* 2013* % Change
Total # of Cases** 122 258 +111.5%
# of Suspects 362 1,258 +247.5%
Dollar Amount $27,839,436 $44,811,612 +61%
 
*Includes U.S. and Canada
**Cases without dollar amounts reported: 2012 (40) and 2013 (100)

 

ORC Cases with Dollar Amounts Reported
January - April
 
  2012 2013 % Change
Total # of Cases** 82 157 +91.4%
# of Suspects 229 889 +288.2%
Dollar Amount $27,839,436 $44,811,612 +61%
Average Dollar Amount Per Suspect $121,570 $50,407 -58.5%
 
*Includes U.S. and Canada

Is this spike a result of better reporting on the part of the newspaper industry, given all the increased coverage over the last year and the increased number of laws around the country? Is it a reflection of the increased attention and efforts on the part of the nation's retailers? Or is it reflective of a national trend? Or is it all of the above. Regardless of the reasons, it's a fact. ORC, from a public reporting prospective, has more than doubled since last year. Are we doing a better job, as an industry of identifying and resolving it? The answer is clearly yes! Congratulations to all the ORC LP executives and their supporting teams - YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Schnucks supermarket credit card data breach skimmers could become "commonplace"  It was only after a credit card company issued a fraudulent activity alert on a handful of credit and debit cards used at the stores that Schnucks started an investigation and quickly ruled out insider theft or faulty POS machines as causes. The St. Louis-based retailer then hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, to pursue the investigation, but even Mandiant's specialists needed about two weeks to find and plug the breach, and then secure the company's systems. Analysts say such delays in finding and closing breaches could grow more common because hackers are getting more sophisticated and the security tools needed to keep them at bay are mostly still in development. The company launched an internal investigation on March 14, hired Mandiant five days later and publicly disclosed the breach on March 30. 16 days! And 2.4 million credit and debit cards used by customers at 100 stores and 96 in-store pharmacies in five Midwestern states. And a class action law suit over the time it took to notify customers has already been filed. What are you doing? (Source computerworld.com)

Integrating Video-Based Loss Prevention Tools into Data Security  The 3rd milepost in the RIS Roadmap Series "Six Steps Toward Tighter PCI and Data Security" report sponsored by Cybersource. This Roadmap provides six steps designed to keep loss prevention executives out of the spotlight’s uncomfortable glare, including new PCI guidelines for handling the complexities of mobile payments, advances in video analytics and the data security advantages of EMV/chip-equipped payment cards. (Source idgenterprise.com)

U.S. Senate passes web sales tax bill 
Senators voted 69 to 27 recently to pass a bill that could lead to a large increase in the number of retailers collecting sales tax. The bill now faces what some experts say will be a tougher vote in the House. (Source internetretailer.com)

E-retail jobs set to grow 25%, 100,000 jobs, over next five years - and LP jobs will grow as well in this arena  Companies are hiring more for web-related jobs, and e-commerce companies in particular will increase their number of employees over the next five years, according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc. U.S. e-commerce companies will hire 100,000 more employees by 2017, increasing staff count by 25% from the current 400,000 to 500,000. Certainly good news for LP job growth. Obviously focused on online fraud and logistics this is the new frontier for LP over the next 10 years and having a deep knowledge of mobile threats, tablet security, and refund processes both online and offline will be a leading necessity. (Source internetretailer.com)

iPads as Cash Registers Are About to Go From Novelty to Norm  Between 2011 and 2012, the number of “mobile point-of-sale” terminals registered by businesses worldwide more than doubled. Researchers do project that the percentage of checkout counters using mobile point-of-sale systems such as those offered by Square, ShopKeep, Intuit and PayPal will jump from fewer than one-fifth last year to nearly half by 2017. (Source wired.com)

Kohl's pays $409,000 in civil penalties for overcharging customers in Santa Clara County, Calif.  Based on inspections of prices posted on Kohl's store shelves and those charged by store cash registers, the county officials found hundreds of items with inaccurate prices. Kohl's used digitized price meters on the aisles of its stores and sometimes employees would enter inaccurate prices in store computers that showed up on customer receipts at checkout, Lin said. After the investigation started, Kohl's switched from paper tags on items to electronic tags to avoid scanning errors at the register, but inspectors still detected pricing mistakes, according to Lin. The chain, which did not admit wrongdoing in the case, cooperated with the district attorney offices in the investigation, Lin said. (Source mountainview.com)

American Apparel’s CEO Dov Charney speaks out against labor practices of the apparel industry.  Following the disaster in Bangladesh where 622 people were killed in an apparel manufacturing facility, Charney spoke out saying, "The truth of it, and it is important to be said, [is] that the clothes we wear do not have to be at the expense of the lives of others". American Apparel has taken a stand on the issue and has even promoted their ethical labor practices. (Source businessinsider.com)

Dockworkers end 6 week strike at Hong Kong Port; third largest in the world.  Hundreds of dockworkers at the Port of Hong Kong on Monday voted to end a strike that had disrupted operations at the world’s third-largest container port for six weeks. More than 100 ships rerouted their services away from HIT’s terminals during the action, and forwarders experienced delays of up to five days for import shipments and two days on exports. The dockworkers, who are employed by third parties to work HIT’s berths, said they hadn’t received a pay increase in 10 years. (Source businessweek.com)

'Invisible' thread could create counterfeit-proof clothing items  An invisible pattern in fabrics with a special thread visible only under polarized light can help combat counterfeit garments, a Swedish researcher says. Christian Muller of the Chalmers Institute of Technology says he's developed a thread with unique optical properties, made of polyethylene and a dye molecule that absorbs visible light. "The production process itself uncomplicated," he said. "Clothing manufacturers could start using the thread right away to put a signature pattern in their garments." (Source upi.com)

Chesterfield Towne Center, Richmond, VA., getting nailed by shoplifters on shoplifting sprees  A rash of shoplifting cases has local business owners on alert. Police say over the weekend, thieves hit several stores in Chesterfield and Henrico. Investigators say one of the suspects hit three stores in one day. Yesenia Alvarado came to Chesterfield Towne Center hitting J.C. Penny, TJ Maxx and Gymboree. A third female suspect got pretty creative in her approach, using a baby stroller to make off with hundreds of dollars in merchandise. The property manager at Chesterfield Towne Center says there's a "robust security plan" in place and staff actively work with police to nab suspects. (Source nbc12.com)

Jewelry store armed robber standing on the hood of a police cruiser shooting and hitting a police officer crouched behind it several times gets 25 to 30 yrs in prison Three suspects given lengthy sentences for robbing a Woburn jewelry store in 2011. One suspect got into a shoot out with the first arriving officer and after shooting the gun out of his hand stood on top of the police cruiser repeatedly shooting the officer and bragging about it a year later in jail. The officer will never work again but did survive the shooting. (Source bostonglobe.com)

Suspect arrested in Maple Ridge Mall fatal shooting in Vancouver, Canada  A man has been arrested in Metro Vancouver’s latest brazen shooting. Deguire was gunned down in the parking lot of a busy shopping centre in Maple Ridge on April 29. This area has seen a number of shootings and is a concern for police and customers. (Source news1130.com)

Farmington mall shooting sparks fears of gang war 
A recent mall shooting in Farmington, N.M., has sparked increased policing in neighborhoods amid fears of a new gang war. Farmington Police Gang Unit said the shooting at Animas Valley Mall last weekend was gang-related and has caused increased tension among two rival gangs. (Source alamogordonnews.com)

Counterfeit money ring investigation leads to theft charges and apprehension of sex crimes offender
  Jonesboro, AR. police busted a cashier of a grocery store accepting fake $100's from her male accomplice. Upon searching her home they found stolen Wal-Mart merchandise. Wal-Mart video shows the male suspect posing as a Wal-Mart associate and stealing a 70" flat screen TV among other things as well. Another woman was also arrested. (Source kait8.com)

Armed gunman robs the CVS in Atlanta at midnight.  Three employees prepared to close the store as an armed gunman appeared in the store on Martin Luther King Drive. The three associates were robbed as well as the cash register of an undisclosed amount. No one was injured. (Source cbsatlanta.com)

Woman shoplifts $900 worth of merchandise from Gucci in Short Hills Mall in New Jersey.  A woman stole three belts valued at $300 a piece and concealed them in her Louis Vuitton handbag. In an attempt to detain the suspect, an associate locked the door leading to the mall, but the shoplifter unlocked the door and walked out. Police searched the mall but could not find the suspect. (Source patch.com)

Louisiana shoplifter busted in his car with cocaine, Marijuana and hydrocodone.  A simple shoplifting stop turns into a major drug case for a 46 year old Texas man after caught shoplifting at the Dillards store in Bossier City, Louisiana. The man was observed shoplifting men’s clothes, concealing them in a bag a walking quickly out of the store. When police arrived to detain him a search of the car revealed 240 grams of cocaine, 156 grams of marijuana, 18 grams of crack cocaine, 566 hydrocodone tablets along with a small amount of methamphetamine's and heroin. Adam Standley now faces charges of theft along with drug possession and distribution charges. (Source ktbs.com)

Manchester jewelry store burglarized; $30,000 in jewelry and watches taken.  About $30,000 in jewelry was taken in a burglary early Monday morning of Pearson's Jewelers in Manchester, New Hampshire. A burglar alarm sounded at 1:38 a.m., bringing officers to the store where they found the front glass door and two glass display cases shattered. The owner arrived and determined about $30,000 in gold rings, chains and bracelets and assorted watches were stolen from the two display cases. A more specific inventory will be done to determine exactly what is missing. (Source myfoxboston.com)

Spartanburg man charged with impersonating officer; investigates a Family Dollar store robbery.  Allen Makinson, 24, of Spartanburg, has been charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer. Makinson is accused of posing as an officer May 1 to investigate a store robbery last week at the Family Dollar store. The manager says the impersonator walked around and investigated inside the store for over an hour. Makinson has been arrested for impersonating an officer by the real police. (Source goupstate.com)

DNA left behind by a Pharmacy burglar results in arrest in Alabama.  A Flat Rock man is in jail for burglary after DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said DNA evidence linked him to the crime. Carson Conrad Weldon is behind held without bond. He's charged with burglary and probation violation. According to Harris, Weldon's DNA was found from a piece of flesh recovered inside the Fyffe Pharmacy following a burglary Feb. 6. Harris said other suspects are being interviewed and he expects more arrests in the case. (Source wistv.com)

Sherwin-Williams store in Steubenville burglarized Monday morning.  Police are searching for suspects in Steubenville, Ohio who used a pickaxe to break through a wall, then broke into the store’s safe. (Source wtov9.com)

Advanced Auto store front smashed in Monday’s burglary in Miami.  Miami Police are investigating Monday’s burglary of the Advanced Auto Parts store. The suspects smashed out the front doors of the store to gain access, no dollar amount of cash or merchandise stolen has yet been reported. (Source wsvn.com)

Suspected Counterfeiters wanted in 5 states, hit 18 already.  Sophisticated counterfeiters utilizing high tech scanners and printers are able to turn a $5 bill into a $100 bill. One suspect, Jermaine Wells has been arrested in Nebraska following her attempt to return the electronics merchandise she had purchased with counterfeit money for real cash. Wells is believed to have already passed $15,000 in counterfeit bills. (Source wowt.com)

Chinese national sentenced to 16 months smuggling $1 Million of counterfeit cigarettes into the United States.  Lin Xiao Wei was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence. He pleaded guilty in February to one count of causing the sale of counterfeit tobacco products. U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln Almond noted that Wei had entered the United States on a visitor's visa and has no ties to the country, so was deemed him a flight risk. He was arrested in Florida in June 2012 after authorities say he shipped a 20-foot cargo container full of fake Marlboros from China to Miami. (Source wcvb.com)

Quarterly Same Store Sales Results

Weis Markets Q1 up 0.8% with sales up 3.2%
 

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Vendor Booths and Sponsorships Available for 7th Annual

New England ORC Symposium and Trade Show Sept 19

On Thursday, September 19, 2013 the New England State Retail Associations will be jointly hosting the 7th Annual New England Organized Retail Crime (NEORC) Trade Show & Symposium at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Raising awareness and bringing people together to discuss this escalating problem is a necessary step in fighting organized retail crime. Organized crime not only affects a retailer’s bottom line, it also affects the safety and security of their employees and customers. For the past six years, this conference has successfully brought together over 250 retailers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and policy makers together to discuss and further expose this important issue.

We are actively looking for vendors for the trade show portion of our show. For information on being a vendor, please contact Andi Shea of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts at 617-523-1900 or AShea@retailersma.org.

More vendor information can be found here:

Also, we cannot this event without help from our sponsors. We keep registration very inexpensive for retailers and free for law enforcement, because of the generosity of our sponsors.

NEORC Symposium sponsorship levels for 2013 are:
 

Platinum Sponsor ($5,000)
 
•  Unlimited free attendees
•  Acknowledgement from the podium during the speaking program
•  Premier listing of company name on event materials & signage
•  Will receive event materials including attendee list

Gold Sponsor ($2,500)
•  10 Free Attendees
•  Prominent listing of company name on event materials & signage
•  Will receive event materials including attendee list

Silver Sponsor ($1,000)
•  5 Free Attendees
•  List of company’s name on event materials & signage
•  Will receive event materials including attendee list

We hope that you will consider participating this year. For further details on sponsorship please contact Andi Shea at 617.523.1900 no later than May 31, 2013.

Thank you in advance for your help!

 

ORC News
 
NYC identity theft ring started in North Texas with skimmers  The New York gang that was busted a few weeks ago got their credit card numbers from skimmers they had placed in gas pumps in Mesquite, TX. The thieves turned personal information into fake credit and debit cards with good numbers and distributed them in other states for use. Many of the victims tied back to Mesquite, TX. and the suspects stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the victims. With one called in from a Best Buy store in PA. (Source myfoxfw.com)

ID thief had spotting scope and video camera pointing at gas station from hotel room - with skimming device on a pump  Postal inspectors got a tip to search a hotel room after a suspect was arrested with several stolen cards. We opened the door and there was a spotting scope with a video camera pointed out the window," said Taylor. The camera was pointing at a gas station where the suspect in custody had placed a skimming device on a pump. He recorded 40 hours worth of transactions and he was also logging pin numbers as he was watching his victims," said Taylor. The suspect had all the magnetic strip information on each credit card along with the numbers - the perfect storm for ID theft. (Source wowt.com)

Three women arrested hitting Kohl's in North Andover & may be involved in organized shoplifting ring  North Andover police are investigating whether the three defendants, who are expected to be arraigned in Lawrence District Court today, may be involved with an organized shoplifting ring, according to Lt. Charles Gray. Charged with larceny over $250 and conpiracy to commit larceny are: Yris Lantigua Garcia, 52, of 53 Lexington St., Lawrence, Beatriz Caceres, 30, of 17 Washington St., Lawrence, Katerine Duran, 24, of 11 Lawrence St., Lawrence. The investigation is ongoing. (Source eagletribune.com)

Baby formula ORC thief using unsuspecting mom as getaway driver gets one year in prison  Parrish Williams was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to stealing $700 worth of baby formula from Wal-Mart on two occasions and using his unsuspecting mother as his getaway driver in Attleboro, Mass. The mother was not charged. Police say he then got in a car driven by his mother, and told her to "take off." (Source wcvb.com)

Five arrested in Arkansas ORC ring involved in theft and counterfeiting.  Five people were arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas in connection with counterfeiting $100 bills and felony theft of merchandise from Walmart. One of the suspects dressed as a Walmart associate and was able to steal a 70 inch television. Additional electronics merchandise was recovered from the suspect’s home. The counterfeit money had been passed at grocery stores in the area. (Source kait8.com)

Three men plead guilty to stealing 41 guns from a store in Fife, Washington.  A total of 4 men had been arrested, yesterday three plead guilty to the theft of 41 weapons from the Sportco store in Fife, Washington back in 2011. The fourth man is facing 45 felony counts is scheduled to go to trial this week. Prosecutors contend Sun and Bunta broke into the store during the early-morning hours of Dec. 17, smashed opened glass display cases and made off with 39 pistols and two rifles. One of the 41 stolen weapons later was used in a robbery in Wenatchee. (Source thenewstribune.com)

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Vendor Spotlight
 

Checkpoint Systems Scales up RFID Project With Leading European Apparel Retailer C&A to Reduce Out of Stocks

RFID Project Ensures That What C&A Customers Look for Is Available for Purchase

MADRID, SPAIN, and THOROFARE, NJ — May. 7, 2013 -- Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (NYSE:CKP), a leading global supplier of shrink management, merchandise visibility and apparel labeling solutions for the retail industry, today announced that it is scaling up its Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) project with leading apparel retailer C&A from five to 25 stores.

As part of the C&A project in Germany, Checkpoint is providing RF/RFID antennas, point of sale RFID solution, software and consulting services.

The aim of the project is to ensure that the merchandise is available on C&A store shelves in the right color, size and fit so consumers can always find the item they want when they are ready to buy. Implementing RFID in store means that retailers are more effectively and efficiently able to manage inventory and enhance loss prevention efforts.

C&A selected Checkpoint for the RFID project to analyze processes and procedures for store deliveries, replenishment and inventories. C&A already implemented source tagging with Checkpoint for RF EAS several years ago, as a stepping stone for a potential RFID deployment.

“C&A chose Checkpoint’s software solution to improve inventory replenishment and to ensure on-shelf availability for products such as women’s jeans or lingerie. The objective is to improve the movement of merchandise from the supply chain to the store and from the back room to the sales floor inside the store,” commented Joachim Wilkens, Supply Chain Development, C&A Group. “We have already noticed a clear reduction in out of stocks and increase in the availability of items on store shelves for purchase by our customers where the Checkpoint RFID solution has been installed.”

Checkpoint’s OAT Foundation Suite software provides real-time accurate inventory visibility in the receiving area, in the back room and on the sales floor. On a day-to-day basis, this means that C&A store employees are able to cycle count with a Motorola handheld RFID reader, equipped with the Checkpoint Merchandise Visibility software, allowing employees to maintain accurate perpetual inventory. As a result, C&A knows exactly how much merchandise it has left in store, in which part of the store, and if it has to re-order items. The software’s integrated reporting facility includes sales, stock and replenishment data for the apparel retailer to get real time and full visibility of its merchandise and sales.

Checkpoint’s RF/RFID exit door solutions for C&A deliver loss prevention and inventory visibility benefits, and have been specially designed with aesthetics that fit in perfectly within the apparel retail environment. Either discreetly attached to the ceiling or installed on each side of the doors at C&A, the solution enhances loss prevention integrity as the antennas will only alarm if an item that has not been paid for moves through the store's exit doors.

At the point of sale in stores equipped with the RFID reader solution, employees can place several items onto the counter simultaneously, where they are automatically read and processed during the transaction. This reduces the risk of an employee forgetting to scan an item. The RF/RFID labels can then easily be deactivated by Checkpoint’s high-performance deactivation solution, enabling consumers to walk out of the store without setting off alarms.

According to Per Levin, President, Shrink Management and Merchandise Visibility Solutions, Checkpoint Systems, “As apparel retailers and brand owners increasingly adopt RFID-based solutions, they are looking for scalable, deployable and operational solutions -- and we’re proud to announce that our long-term partnership with C&A is extending to RFID solutions to reduce out of stocks and increase customer satisfaction.”

Contact:
GCC, Inc. (for Checkpoint)
George Cohen, 617-325-0011
george@gccpr.com

 

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