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October 18, 2013

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News Brief
Sponsored by WG Security Products, Inc.

Vince Rampulla was promoted Vice President Security and Loss Prevention for Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc. Vince has worked at Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc. since 1998. He has held other security related roles such as Manager of Security, and Senior Manager of Corporate Security/Loss Prevention. Vince earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminology and Law Studies from Marquette University! Congratulations Vince!

New Security Threat for Retailers: Cash Register Skimmers  This new technology, built into standard PS/2 cable connecters that plug into the back of computers so customers can't easily see them, and only an inch long can do some major damage: this little bug "intercepts any data that is sent on that communication channel, whether it's keystrokes or somebody swiping a card through a terminal" according to Brian Krebs, security analyst. This cheap gadget has been on the market for years, and is marketed as 'professional surveillance products.' Nordstrom confirmed that it had found and removed 'unauthorized devices on a small number of cash registers' at their store in Aventura. While their investigation is still ongoing, it's important to remember to review all transactions on accounts and bank statements, and say something if you see someone tampering with a register. (Source

Limited Brands CEO Les Wexner says COACH was ‘seeking easy money’ by becoming a discount outlet  The CEO of Victoria's Secret parent L Brands Inc. blasted Coach on Wednesday for seeking "easy money" by becoming a discount outlet. “Coach became a discount outlet," L Brands CEO Les Wexner said at an analyst meeting in New York. "They cut their own throat. The outlet business is easy money, [but] discounting yourself is the beginning of the end. I can’t find the exception. It’s hard to have a dual identity. Outlet doesn’t build a brand. We don’t milk it." (Source

Urban Outfitters' Co-Founder donates $20 Million to build A College Campus Without Classes, Tests, Or Homework  With help from a $20 million gift, Lehigh University is converting two former Bethlehem Steel buildings on their Mountaintop Campus into invention incubators. The donation came from Scott Belair, a 1969 Lehigh grad and co-founder of Urban Outfitters. Belair, a 1969 graduate and co-founder of Urban Outfitters, has donated $20 million to Lehigh to help transform a series of cavernous former Bethlehem Steel buildings on the Mountaintop Campus into a classroom of the future. He envisions the kind of classroom — with 40-foot ceilings and no dividing walls — where there would be few limits on students' ideas or on the space to develop them. (Source

Starbucks accused of “profiteering” in China
A Chinese state-run newspaper blasted Starbucks for “profiteering” in the mainland raising concerns that the world’s largest café-chain could become the next prominent foreign company to be targeted by state media, after Apple was castigated for poor customer service earlier this year. The news media chastised Starbucks for selling its coffee at a higher price in Beijing than in Hong Kong, London, Tokyo or New York, even though average income in the city was considerably lower. The company was profiting from Chinese consumers’ “blind pursuit” of foreign brands”. (Source

JC Penney announces 8am opening on Thanksgiving  Taking the queue from Macy’s who made the Thanksgiving Day opening announcement earlier this week, JC Penney will follow suit and open its 1100 stores at 8 am on Thanksgiving Day. (Source

Walmart cleared of violating foreign direct investments in India  Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday announced its decision to close its investigation against Walmart saying it didn't find any violations of FDI (foreign direct investment) norms by the American retail giant. The ED was asked by the reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look into allegations that Walmart violated the country's FDI norms by investing money in the retail sector years before the country opened the sector for foreign investors. (Source

Dublin, Ireland host first National Retail Crime Conference  Collaboration not isolation was the message from the inaugural National Retail Crime Conference at the Citywest Conference Centre in Dublin. This message was delivered by representatives of An Garda Siochana, retailers, business representative groups and Retailers against Crime, the Scottish-based crime reporting body. The conference focused on strategies to combat retail crime and provide solutions in areas such as, E-Crime, Shoplifting, Internal Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Goods Lost in Transit (GLIT), Counterfeiting and Contraband. (Source

Under Armour opens first store in China

Google Says Its New Mobile PLA Style Will Drive More Traffic To Retailers  Google announced that it is changing the way the mobile PLA (product listing ads) ad unit looks on The update is designed to help shoppers browse and discover merchandise more easily while using their mobile device. “People are increasingly turning to their mobile devices as shopping assistants at home, in stores, and on the go, and constant connectivity is helping shoppers find the products they want, whenever they want,” Google Shopping group product manager Jennifer Liu said in a blog post. (Source

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Retail Crime News
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Gucci wins $144 million in US counterfeit case
Gucci has welcomed a US court's decision to award the global fashion empire $US144.2 million in damages from online sellers of counterfeit merchandise. A list of 155 domain names, sued for selling and promoting counterfeit Gucci merchandise, were ordered to shut down or surrender to Gucci within 30 days. The sites were registered in Britain, Canada, the Cocos Islands, France, Italy, Japan and the US. Gucci president and CEO Patrizio di Marco welcomed the judgment and said the company would continue to fight against counterfeiting across the globe. (Source

Baby's body found in teen's bag at Victoria's Secret  Two 17-year-old girls were stopped for shoplifting at a Manhattan Victoria’s Secret Thursday afternoon, but when the suspicious security guard checked their bags he found what appeared to be a human fetus inside. One girl was hospitalized and the other was being questioned by police, authorities said. The medical examiner’s office was performing an autopsy on the remains. One of the girls admitted she had “a baby in the bag,”. She later told police that she had given birth to a fetus Wednesday and did know who what to do with the remains. Police are also investigating whether the girls had actually shoplifted, or whether they will face criminal charges. (Source

Two Detroit men hit Tiffany in Short Hills mall for $75,000 in merchandise, lead police on chase  Officers from Springfield, Millburn, Summit, Chatham and the Union County Sheriff's K-9 Unit apprehended Michigan pair accused of stealing $75,000 in Tiffany & Co. jewelry from The Mall at Short Hills. According to Millburn Police, a man went into Tiffany & Co. at about 1 p.m. and asked a sales associate to see two engagement rings. Once the man had both rings, he ran out of the store threatening the security guard. (Source

Two Romanian national arrested in Pittsburgh; placed skimming devices on Automated Postal Machines  Two men are accused of putting skimming devices on stamp machines at two Pittsburgh post offices. Television cameras were rolling at the McKnight Road post office when federal agents caught up with the two men this week. Police said the men, Ion Carligeriu and Florin Popescu, took $25,000 from unsuspecting customers. (Source

UK: Two machete waving suspects arrested in Co-Op robbery in Manchester; sentenced to five years  Security cameras captured two men entering a Co-Op in an attempt to steal cigarettes and cash in Manchester. The suspects fled with the money and a basket of cigarettes. The community helped police identify the two suspects who are now facing five years in prison. (Source

New Hampshire Shell gas station clerk says he would pull a gun on store robbers again; terminated for violation of company policy  The robber, who police are still trying to identify, walked into the store about 3 a.m. on Monday, brandished a knife and demanded money. The store clerk, Shannon Cothran, who was carrying a concealed handgun, then retrieved the weapon and aimed it at the robber. The weapon was not fired, and no one was injured before the robber fled the scene. Cothran may have violated a company policy that prohibits workers from carrying firearms on the job, but police said he acted appropriately and was not harmed in the incident. (Source

Shreveport police seek suspects in Advanced Auto Parts armed robbery  Shreveport police are working to identify the men who robbed an Advanced Auto Parts store Tuesday night. At around 8:30 p.m., three men entered the store and demanded the woman clerk to open the registers. She complied, and the men took an undisclosed amount of cash and ran. No one was injured. (Source

Security Guard shoots and kills a customer of a Baltimore Subway restaurant Baltimore Police said 35-year-old Frank Harper was killed after he got into an argument with the armed security guard at the restaurant. The two men continued the verbal confrontation and witnesses say that it spilled outside into a fight, and police said that is when the security guard fired his weapon multiple times, striking Harper. Homicide detectives have taken the security guard into custody. (Source

Columbus Police charge 5 suspects in Family Dollar robbery; one suspect shot by police  Columbus police have identified the five people who were arrested on Wednesday night in an armed robbery at an East Side store that ended with a police officer shooting one of them. Marquan Watkins, 17, was shot by a SWAT officer and remains in critical condition. All five are suspected in as many as a dozen other armed robberies around Columbus. (Source

San Diego area police arrest two females in connection with a jewelry store burglary; tried to pawn stolen items  Investigators located several items stolen from a Menifee jewelry store at a Lake Elsinore pawn shop; Jacy Averna, 18, and Christina Schneider, 27, have been arrested. Menifee Police began investigating the case Wednesday when a jewelry store in Menifee was burglarized. According to police, the suspects stole numerous items of jewelry worth thousands of dollars. Several more pieces of jewelry stolen in the burglary were located in their hotel room, as well as stolen items from burglaries committed in the Thousand Palms area. (Source

East Hartford CVS pharmacy robbed at gunpoint  Police say a man approached the pharmacy counter asking for the oxycodone and oxycontin on hand. He then allegedly displayed a handgun tucked into the waist of his pants. No injuries were reported in the robbery. (Source

Two Harrisburg shoplifters busted with a cart of merchandise  Angela Love and Ameka McLaughlin filled a shopping cart with merchandise and tried to leave the Walmart store without paying for anything. The value of the merchandise topped $400. (Source

Sheboygan police seek four men in jewelry burglary  Sheboygan police are seeking four men who were seen breaking into Kisiolek’s Jewelers in downtown Sheboygan Wednesday evening. Officers found that the store had been entered and that a number of jewelry items were missing. Witnesses reported seeing four men enter the business prior to the alarm sounding. (Source

Cheektowaga Police are looking for a man who fought with a security guard before stealing over $250 in groceries from the Wegmans last Sunday morning (Source

Florida man wanted on Retail Theft warrant eludes police by stealing a Sheriff’s patrol car  It took multiple Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies, a helicopter, police dogs and a suspected prostitute to catch a 31-year-old man who hopped into a patrol cruiser while fleeing from the cops, furthering his escape until he crashed. (Source


Canadian Push
Sponsored by Vector Security

Toronto Police and LP officers crack "sophisticated" shoplifting ring  Police are calling this one of the largest "loss-prevention recovery investigations" in North American history; officers seized about $390,000 worth of stolen pants, bras, bottles, toothpaste, and other items that were being sold for a profit out of a house, investigators said on Wednesday. The house was set up like a retail store, with display shelves stocked with stolen items so customers could browse the product. It even had rooms used as storage for the rest of the stock, Detective Bruno Miron said. The thieves used 'fabricated bags' to get the stolen merchandise past the anti-theft gates and out of the stores. Police and some of the retailers' loss prevention teams partnered to identify and eventually arrest the suspects in this crime ring. Toronto residents Thi Loc Doan and The Ha Long were charged with possession of property obtained by crime and possession of stolen goods for the purpose of trafficking. (Source

Sean Sportun named Security Director of the Year  Canadian Security magazine is pleased to announce that Sean Sportun, manager of security and loss prevention for Mac’s Convenience Stores in Central Canada, has been named as the winner of the Security Director of the Year award 2013, sponsored by Anixter Canada. Sportun was selected by the Canadian Security Editorial Advisory Board as this year's winner for his ability to help reduce crime in the stores he oversees and for key projects that have helped to strengthen relationships within the community. Sportun will receive the Security Director of the Year Award at a gala event in Toronto on Oct. 23. The full story on Sportun will be available in the Sept./Oct. issue of Canadian Security magazine. (Source

Sears to hold first-ever Canadian Thanksgiving Black Friday sale  Sears Canada is getting ready to introduce the first-ever Black Friday sale in Canada to accompany Canadian Thanksgiving in October.Our customers already participate in our Black Friday sale in November so we wanted to give them one that, in a similar style to the U.S., would accompany our own Thanksgiving Holiday. (Source

Chico’s FAS takes White House Black Market to Canada joining the Canadian Push  Chico's FAS’ expansion plans are taking it outside U.S. borders, to Canada. The women's apparel retailer is opening a White House Black Market store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto on Oct. 24, and will follow it up with an opening at Square One, Mississauga on Oct. 29, as well as an opening at Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket on November 12. (Source

Mega Mall to be built outside Calgary

Identity theft operation coming to Peel Region with 18,000 names stolen  A memory card containing names, addresses, birthdates, and marital statuses of over 18,000 people was stolen from a Peel Region employee's car just last week. The information belonged to people who were part of Peel Public Health's Healthy Babies Healthy Children program, and the card also contained information from 46 people who were part of the program earlier. The card was reported missing on September 24, and is believed to have been stolen from an employee's bag inside that person's car. Police are still looking for the card. (Source

West Nipissing Police investigating $80,000 jewelry store robbery  The West Nipissing Police Service is investigating the burglary of a local jewelry store in Sturgeon Falls, on October 8, 2012. The thief made off with assorted jewelry, worth approx. $80,000. Police have received information about the theft, have interviewed Persons of Interest but no charges have been laid at this time. (Source

Retail Fast Facts: September 2013

• Total monthly retail sales changed by 4.8 per cent over the comparable month last year.
• Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 3.5 per cent over the comparable month last year. Read more

Press Release

Sophisticated Stealing: A New Criminal Enterprise

By Farrokh Abadi, President & COO, Merchandise Availability Solutions, Checkpoint Systems

Published in Apparel Magazine, October 16, 2013

Already widely recognized as a growing criminal trend, organized retail crime (ORC) is going global with rising rates of thefts being reported across all geographic regions around the world. As a result, retailers are under greater pressure to complement technology with processes and investigative resources that can help prevent, deter and reduce the impact of the problem.

According to the latest Global Retail Theft Barometer (GRTB), ORC was one of the leading contributors to the estimated $119 billion global retail industry, one of the highest figures ever recorded.

What is Organized Retail Crime?
ORC is commonly identified as groups or gangs of individuals who coordinate their activities to illegally obtain large quantities of desirable retail merchandise through both theft and fraudulent activities. ORC gangs differ from opportunist shoplifters by operating and organizing as a professional business with quotas, revenue plans and managing inventory – often running underground activities as part of a commercial enterprise where they resell or exchange the stolen merchandise for cash or drugs.

In the US, the Organized Retail Crime Act of 2008 defines ORC as the 'acquisition of retail merchandise by illegal means for the purposes of reselling items into the marketplace.’ It is agreed that ORC activities will contain at least one of the following four basic elements:

1. Theft from a retail establishment in quantities that would not be considered 'normal' for personal consumption
2. The resale of large quantities of stolen items
3. Receiving, concealing, transporting and/or disposing stolen items in quantities that again, would not be considered “normal” for personal consumption
4. Coordinating or organizing any activity that contributes to the above offences being committed.

ORC: The scenario today
The scale of the ORC problem is highlighted in the most recent GRTB report, which revealed losses from ORC related theft increased by 13.4 percent globally in 2011.

However, for many regions, ORC is an emerging problem, and this has resulted in difficulties monitoring its growth, as there is no current consensus on what ORC is or how to respond or prosecute it. However, while not all countries directly monitor ORC, there is an abundance of regional data on shoplifting and retail crime, much of which could be attributed to gang-related thefts.

ORC in the US
The National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association which represents retailers of all types and sizes from the United States and more than 45 countries around the world, revealed that in 2012 alone, a staggering 96 percent of US retailers had been a victim of ORC activity. It also revealed that 'cargo thefts' had risen by 2.5 percent with 52.1 percent of respondents falling victim to such activities over the past 12 months. The majority of these incidents occurred en route from the distribution centre to the retailer's store, enabling ORC gangs to obtain big shipments of products.

The scope of this problem is further revealed by data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Unified Crime Report, which indicates that ORC is currently resulting in bigger losses than auto theft, burglary and larceny. This highlights the growing problem facing retailers as ORC continues to be favored by many criminals aiming to illegally obtain large quantities of merchandise to fund their operations.

Speaking about the rise of Organized Retail Crime Professor Joshua Bamfield, Director for the Centre of Retail Research has noted that Organized Retail Crime has had an increased impact on retailers in most countries, particularly in the last five years. Earlier in the 2000's, inquiries about ORC carried out by the Centre for Retail Research got little response except in the US, Canada, Latin America, the Netherlands and Italy.

However, by 2011, the growth in retail crime meant that retailers in every continent were experiencing appreciable losses from ORC activity. The latest GRTB survey revealed the impact of ORC was most significant in North America where 58.4 percent of retailers suffered an increase in ORC activity. Europe was also affected, with 41.7 percent of retailers claiming to have experienced increased losses from organized crime. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that ORC could be increasing.

To read more about how organized retail crime groups operate, how retailers can help deter ORC activity in their stores, and the ways retailers and law enforcement can collaborate to help mitigate thefts of this magnitude, please click here.

To read Checkpoint's whitepaper on The Growth of Organized Retail Crime please click here.


eBay News

eBay GAP Investigators Support Leads to Arrest of Store Employee

NANUET – A Spring Valley man is in the Rockland County Jail charged with felony grand larceny for allegedly stealing inventory from Cleats and Sneaks in Nanuet and selling it on the Internet.
Clarkstown Police said Karl Davenport, 25, worked at the store since February. Over a period of time, management noticed missing inventory. An investigation uncovered that Davenport had stolen over $5,000 worth of items and was selling them on eBay. He was arrested at his home on Tuesday and sent to the county jail. The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected, police said.

Read more here.

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ORC News
Sponsored by Protection 1

Miami Man arrested with ‘booster bag’ in Coastland Center Mall Ricardo Antonio Arteaga-Gutierrez was stopped by police and asked about a ‘booster bag’ he was carring in the Coastland Center Mall. Arteaga-Gutierrez, 44, told police he found the bag outside the mall. The officer tested the bag on the anti-theft detectors at three stores, finding that it circumvented two of them. Officers reported he had only $9 and an EBT card in his wallet and could not provide them with a phone number or next of kin. Arteaga-Gutierrez, faces a felony charge of possession of an anti-shoplifting device. He also was trespassed from the mall for a year. (Source

Austintown, Ohio Police investigating three suspects stealing $1000 worth of baby formula from Walmart On Wednesday at 12:30 pm, three white women in their 20s entered the store and took a box from the Halloween candy section. One of them placed the box strategically into the cart and then they went to the baby formula. The women loaded the carts with the formula. They were able to leave the store with most of the formula and fled. (Source

Flint woman arraigned on felony charges for baby formula theft A Flint woman was arraigned Tuesday on felony charges for allegedly stealing dozens of cans of baby formula from two Livingston County stores. Kimberly Kay Genella, 40, is charged in three separate cases with two counts of organized retail crime and one count of first-degree retail fraud for stealing from Meijer and Walmart stores in Hartland Township. (Source

Two Cleveland area men arrested for DVD theft; ties to multiple retailers Two Summit County deputies stopped a DVD theft while witnessing it in progress on Target’s store cameras. The deputies were at the Target in the City of Green following up on an investigation when they witnesses two people taking DVDs on the store's surveillance system. The two were stopped by the deputies as they tried to leave the store. The sheriff's office says further investigation revealed the two individuals had stolen DVDs from another retailer in the area. Both men now face felony theft charges. (Source

Three Rochester men apprehended fleeing Walmart with nearly $2000 in merchandise  The men allegedly pushed out a single shopping cart filled with totes that were filled with merchandise. The men were also accused of having stolen merchandise on them. The total value of the merchandise was placed at $1,900. All three are charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. (Source

“Protection 1 is proud to be sponsoring the D-D Daily ORC column to ensure the LP industry gets the information, education and critical data they need to fight this  national epidemic.” Rex Gillette, VP Retail Sales, Protection 1.

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Vendor Spotlight

LP Holiday Preparation Guide

Ensure that your associates are properly prepared for this holiday season.

The fast-paced holiday season can be overwhelming for your associates.

Many losses that occur during the holidays can be prevented if your associates are properly educated, prepared and aware of how to respond to the increase in holiday traffic.

Explain to all associates the financial importance of the holiday season and its impact to your overall profitability.
Educate all associates on specific holiday policies and procedures and make certain that they understand how to react to situations.
Properly train your associates on the tasks and functions that will occur more frequently during the holiday season such as gift card transactions or handling discounts.

Your associates play the greatest role in the prevention of loss within your locations. Ensure that they are properly prepared this holiday season.

 Read More

Ray Esposito
Senior VP, Strategic Initiatives


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Vince Rampulla was promoted Vice President Security and Loss Prevention for Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc.

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14 Tips for Improving Your Relationship With Your Boss  National Boss's Day was this week on Wednesday, and we should all reflect on our relationships with our managers. Some of us are appreciate for all they do, for others, that relationship may need some improvement. If you fall into that second group, here are some tips for making your relationship with your boss one that is strong. (Walk in their shoes)

5 Unexpected Benefits of Opening your Books  Open-book management may be an option to think about when the going gets tough, like this leader's company did. He opened the books to his employees and not only did the company survive, they flourished. (Your team can see their value)

Why You Must Lead Differently as Your Team Grows  Everything changes: your team develops as a unit, and individually, situations that have been presented to you get altered, and when you think you've got it all figured out, that's when it really takes a turn. As things in the workplace change, it's important to keep your team united and focused around a shared purpose. (Use this leadership approach to be a successful team leader)

10 Things Employees Want More Than a Raise  The money is probably a nice bonus, but employees value things more than money. If they are treated right, have their opinions and suggestions heard, and feel less stressed, they don't need the extra money. (10 desires)

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Tip of the Day
Sponsored by Vector Security

"Surviving the Changing of the Guard"

It happens in every organization, every industry, and at every level. A new CEO, a new CFO, a new VP of Operations, a new RVP, a new DM, a new store manager, or even a new VPLP in the vendor world. No one is immune when it comes to the changing of the guard. We're all subservient to it even in our prime when we know we're hitting our stride we're all reduced to the simple phrase - Is he/she going to like what I'm doing and will I make it? The hardest part seems to be the wait. The time between when you know a new leader is coming and no one's been named yet. As we all scurry to find inside info about who the leading candidates are and even some try to load the deck with their referrals, recommendations, or even in some cases their absolute lack of support for certain executives. Take it from me that when they ask for your opinion, if it's about a potential boss, and you've got reservations - suck it up and keep them to yourself. Because by the time they get to you, a subordinate, they've already made up their mind and they are looking to see if you can accept their decision. It's all a test. Especially for the direct reports and for the vendors that service that executive. Regardless of what level we're at a new leader coming in is the ultimate test for all of us. And it's a time that you've simply got to accept and focus on developing a presentation that you can give that new leader that literally blows them away. With your preparation, your attention to detail, your track record, and more importantly your strategy and plan for the future. Because it's not only this new leader who's starting a new job, it's you trying to keep one and hopefully trying to position yourself for the next level.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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