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ORC 9-26-11





2011 Archives

5th Annual New England Organized Retail Crime Symposium and Trade Show
DCU Center Worcester, MA, September 21, 2011

Recap by Kevin M. Plante
 US Retail Loss Prevention Operations – Staples/
          Chairman, Retailers Association of MA Loss Prevention Committee

More than 330 Loss Prevention, Law Enforcement and political figures came to the DCU Center in Worcester, MA, for the 5th Annual New England Organized Retail Crime Symposium and Trade Show. Twenty vendors filled the trade show area showing everything from surveillance equipment to background screening programs – merchandise protection items to radios – access control items to point of sale safeguarding systems.

Hosted by the Retail Associations of the six New England states, the event was planned and coordinated by the Loss Prevention Committee board of the Retailers Association of MA. The board consists of Kevin Plante of Staples
(Chair), Brendan Fitzgerald of BJ's Wholesale Club, RJ Gaites of Target, Shannon Lenahan of Wegman's, Jason Adams of Gap, Inc., and Andrea Shea and Ryan Kearney, both of The Retailers Association of MA. Plante also served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Joe LaRocca, Senior Advisor of Asset Protection for the National Retail Federation, opened the session with a review of the present and the future of our industry. Joe talked about flash mobs and preparedness for any emergency in a retail environment and touched upon some of the technological advances that will change how LP conducts business in the future.

Next, Paul Jones and Dave DiSilva from eBay Global Asset Protection put on a presentation about how eBay is continuing to refine and redefine its exception reporting tools to ensure eBay is as free of negative elements as possible. eBay has a vested interest in customer satisfaction and knows its customers consist of people who buy and sell on their site, but also retailers, loss prevention professionals and law enforcement personnel.

Leaders of the retail associations for the New England states gave us an overview of what legislative efforts they've undertaken in the past year as well as the status of those campaigns. Each New England state is taking a proactive and aggressive stance against Organized Retail Crime with varying success. In the end, it was asked of each participant in the conference to help in any way they can to push forward efforts to legislate against ORC and add stiffer penalties to those that participate in it.

Walter Palmer, President of PCG Solutions, provided conference participants with a perspective of professional balance. Working hard is important, but with increased focus on planning and constant learning and self-development cycles, loss prevention professionals can do more with less at a much more productive level.
Members of the Tilton, NH police department (Chief Robert Cormier, Detective Mathew Dawson and Detective Nathan Buffington) discussed their recent case involving three out-of-state convicted felons who were traveling all over the central and eastern states engaging in identity fraud and counterfeiting of checks. This trio was identified by a vacationing, yet always vigilant loss prevention professional (Michael DeMeo of Kohl's) shopping in NH, who reported the activity to Tilton PD. What started as an investigation into possible fraudulent credit card usage grew into a counterfeit check case when detectives found volumes of fraudulent identifications, a printer using banking industry standard magnetic ink and thousands in cash and merchandise. It was also uncovered that these suspects cashed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bogus payroll checks. Secret Service is still investigating with the Tilton Police, but it is believed this case will value upwards of $1 million.

To wrap up the day, Lisa LaBruno, VP of Loss Prevention and Legal Affairs from Retail Industry Leaders Association, talked about the legal risks associated with conducting an ORC investigation. Topics like motor vehicle surveillance and privacy issues were covered in this well-received presentation. Lisa is a huge proponent of investigations, but definitely gave people "food for thought" with regards to doing the investigation in a way that will limit the liability to the company you work for as well as your own, personal liability.

The day was wrapped up with "thank you's" to all the New England state retail associations and our premier sponsor, Target, as well as our other generous sponsors RILA, BJ's Wholesale Club, TJX Companies, NRF, Macy's, CVS and Wegmans. We also held raffles sponsored by the RAM LP Committee, Verint and Kenwood.










Cleveland, OH news ran a great story on ORC over the weekend with interviews from Joe LaRocca and other executives and with video footage showing examples of professional boosters.  Great Story!  (Source


The ORC ring leader we reported on Friday in South Jersey, Frank Zaveckas, was arrested He had been on the lose and had assaulted an LP officer in a Kmart store on Aug. 12th, he was located Friday actually in the Burlington County jail and was served.  One of his accomplices was also arrested with one additional one still on the lose.  (Source


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