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ORC 10-6-14




Update: Saks ID Theft Ring, 8 charged now
Prosecutors say an identity theft and fraud ring used shoppers' stolen information to buy over $400,000 worth of designer shoes, handbags and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue's flagship store. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced the case Monday. At least eight people are being charged. Vance says the ringleader obtained Social Security numbers and other personal information for over 20 Saks credit card holders. Prosecutors say the information was provided to four salespeople, who'd use it to look up account numbers and ring up the fraudulent sales of Chanel, Valentino and other designer items. They say other accomplices would allegedly pick up the items, posing as the shoppers. Prosecutors say some items were sold on the black market. Prosecutors credit Saks with initiating the investigation. The D&D Daily first reported this case on September 11, which you can read here (Source

Central Maine organized theft ring busted; $240,000 in cash seized  State and federal authorities said Friday they've busted an organized theft operation involving hundreds of stolen items from Walmart stores in central Maine that were being sold through the online auction site eBay. The investigation started with the Walmart in Palmyra and mushroomed. Police said they seized stolen items from that Walmart store as well as stores in Bangor, Brewer and Ellsworth. Homes and a bank vault were searched Thursday in Bangor, Bucksport and Frankfort that resulted in the seizure of $240,000 in cash. Among the stolen items being sold on eBay were Star War Legos, Crest white strips, Nicorette gum, razor blades, animal flea and tick treatments and a 46-inch TV, police said. Police said information gathered from the searches in Bucksport and Frankfort later led investigators to Bangor, where search warrants were executed at a home and a pawn shop. Police said the organized criminal enterprise was run by a man from his home in Bucksport and a woman from her home in Frankfort. (Source

Federal trial to start for Beaver County, PA man accused in Organized Retail Crime Operation  Jury selection was set to begin today in U.S. District Court for the trial of a Beaver County man accused of paying thieves to shoplift merchandise at area stores, then selling the items at his booth at a popular Ohio flea market. Terry Sempf, 57, of New Brighton, was indicted in 2012 after an investigation by New Brighton police and an Allegheny County sheriff's deputy attached to an FBI task force. Between 2008 and May 2010, Mr. Sempf paid shoplifters to steal from retailers such as Walmart, then transported the items to the Rogers Community Auction in Rogers, Ohio, where he and his wife, Sherri, resold them, according to an FBI affidavit. The investigation began in 2010 when one of the thieves told police she had been stealing for Mr. Sempf for several years and agreed to cooperate. Police then set up a sting by buying numerous items from retailers, which they marked as evidence, and having her deliver them to Mr. Sempf as if she had stolen them. Authorities then traveled to the flea market, one of the largest in this part of the country, and bought the items they recognized being sold at a booth run by Terry and Sherri Sempf. Sherri Sempf has not been charged in the federal case. (Source

Victoria's Secret shoplifter stole $53000 worth of lingerie; 255 fraudulent returns at 37 stores  A US woman who stole $53,000 worth of lingerie from Victoria's Secret shops has handed herself in after police launched a manhunt. Nathilia Hooks, 39, is alleged to have targeted stores with her massive scam for more than a year across Miami, Palm Beach and Orlando. The shoplifter reportedly used screwdrivers to remove anti-theft sensors from clothing and would then return items for refunds on her debit card. But her shady dealings were spotted when loss prevention fraud investigators at Victoria's Secret found multiple returns to her debit card and raised the alarm. Hooks eventually handed herself in after police issued a warrant for her arrest. She has been charged with retail theft, grand theft, organized fraud and money laundering, and was remanded in custody pending her court case. During her initial court hearing, Hooks did not speak but the prosecutor told the judge she pulled her fraudulent return scam at least 255 times over 18 months at 37 stores. (Source

Two N.Y. men accused of retail theft after Best Buy incident in Ferguson Twp, PA Two men were arrested after they allegedly stole electronics from Best Buy in Ferguson Township. Philip Post, 28, and Vito Cascio, 33, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were both charged with retail theft after police said they stole three Sony camcorders and a Canon camera. The items are valued at almost $1,800. According to police, Post stopped at the store's security station and received a flier from a loss prevention associate as Cascio picked up the electronics. Cascio then ran out of the store, sounding the security alarm, and Post followed. The store then alerted police to the theft at 3:30 p.m. (Source

Robbers hit 3 AT&T stores in Orlando, FL

Macedon, NY Police Chief: Heroin to blame for soaring Walmart shoplifting arrests

ORC 10-6-14
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