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ORC 11-26-14




Former Subway franchisee gets 18 months in prison for accessing Subway POS devices, loading up gift cards  A California man was sentenced last week for remotely accessing point-of-sale (POS) machines that he sold to Subway restaurant franchises, and loading at least $40,000 onto gift cards – which were later used or sold. Shahin Abdollahi, who operated under the name Sean Holdt, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison with two years supervised release, and also must pay $34,712 in restitution, according to a Department of Justice release. Abdollahi owned and operated Subway restaurant franchises in Southern California for roughly three years beginning in 2005, and during that time gained experience with Subway POS systems and gift cards, according to an indictment filed in March 2013. Most or all of the POS machines were loaded with a remote desktop application known as "LogMeIn," according to the indictment. Beginning in 2011, Abdollahi, along with co-conspirator Jeffrey Wilkinson, used LogMeIn – typically in the early morning hours – to access the POS devices and load up funds onto Subway gift cards, the indictment indicates. In the end, the loads totaled at least $40,000. "Abdollahi and Wilkinson used fraudulently loaded gift cards at Subways in California," according to the indictment. "Wilkinson sold fraudulently loaded Subway gift cards to buyers who were usually in Southern California. He advertised discount gift cards on websites such as eBay and Craigslist and then hand-delivered the fraudulently loaded cards to his buyers." Wilkinson, also of California, pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme in February, and in May was sentenced to six months in prison, according to the release.

'Sweep Week' continues with 4th city wide shoplifting sweep - 'Operation Fade to Black Friday' in Mesa, AZ nets 49 arrests  Mesa police arrested dozens of people, accused of having sticky fingers, during their second annual Operation Fade to Black Friday. "It's the holidays," said Mesa police Det. Steve Berry. "Times are tight for everyone. And, we're all looking for the best deal we can get. And, one of the best ways to do that is to keep the crooks out of the stores." Berry said officers arrested 49 suspected shoplifters, who swiped thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, between Friday, Nov. 21 and Sat., Nov. 22. Three arrests were for organized retail theft, he said. The department is also investigating four other cases of possible organized retail theft, as a result of the operation. The Operation was successful with the teamwork of Law Enforcement and the following retails: Walmart, Target, CVS Pharmacy, Home Depot, JC Penney and Kohl's. "We're looking for all the criminals," said Berry. "And, we're not just looking for the little guy, the big guy - we're looking for them all."

Three suspects arrested for felony theft from Pecanland Mall, Monroe, LA
Police say they arrested 29-year old Clay Smith, 25-year old Tynedria Meneweather, and 21-year old Sharmane L. Jones. Police say all three have been arrested for felony theft and conspiracy in reference to the theft from Champs in the mall. We're told more arrests are expected. Police say it appeared that the crime was well planned and organized. The suspects were seen splitting up and even observed talking with sales associates within the store to possibly distract any suspicions, according to police. Video captured the suspects bagging up over $1,500 in clothing from the store.

Kansas City Area Police expecting rise in Organized Retail Theft
Police in Overland Park say they are expecting an increase in small thefts and organized crime this holiday season. When stores are crowded and operation hours are extended, Oak Park Mall is one of the city's biggest targets for crime this time of year, police say. "While this is a busy shopping season, it is also a busy stealing season," Capt. Bob Kolenda said. "It is because people are using this as a time for crime of opportunity." Kolenda said more undercover cops will be inside the mall, keeping watch for organized criminals that travel in groups stealing merchandise in bulk. He said groups in the past have traveled from as far as California and try to sell the stolen items online. The organized criminals don't typically target individual shoppers. But, police say they should also be on the lookout for thefts that typically occur outside the store. "Shop in a group, conceal your packages, be aware of your surroundings," Kolenda said.

Ulta Beauty $1,000 fragrance heist ends with crash in Corte Madera, CA
Two Richmond residents were arrested Tuesday after a perfume heist in San Rafael led to a police pursuit and crash in Corte Madera. Mikela Sims, 23, was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of robbery, burglary and resisting arrest. Her bail was set at $75,000. Michael Reid, 20, was booked on suspicion of burglary and resisting arrest. His bail was $15,000. The alleged robbery occurred at about 11:30 a.m. at Ulta Beauty, a store on Francisco Boulevard West. A woman and a man entered and the woman grabbed a bag containing more than $1,000 in perfume, the store reported. The woman made threats to employees and then fled in a Pontiac, and the store called 911. A San Rafael police officer happened to be in the area, spotted the Pontiac and initiated the pursuit, Sgt. Raul Aguilar said.

ORC 11-26-14
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