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ORC 12-5-14




Skyrocketing numbers of ORC cases since mid-November
In the last few weeks the Daily has highlighted the efforts of major ORC Operations in Florida and Arizona; 'Operation Holiday Heist' in Polk County, Florida, 'Operation Holiday Steals' in Broward County, Florida and 'Operation Fade to Black' in Meza, Arizona teamed Retailers and Law Enforcement together to record 159 arrests. While these high profile operations send a strong message to the communities, they also build the teamwork efforts between retailers and law enforcement, and identify ORC groups and fencing operations, but we at the Daily wanted to take a minute to compile the numbers from the rest of the country. Since mid- November, 57 cases of Organized Retail Crime have been reported in 29 states, 123 arrests and a total of $3,448,959 was reported recovered. Florida leads the way with 8 additional ORC cases reported, New York with 5 and Michigan and Texas at 4. But not every ORC cases happens in the high profile states; Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Utah as well as many others have reported major cases.
Florida - 8 New Hampshire - 2
New York - 5 Utah - 2
Michigan - 4 Pennsylvania - 2
Texas - 4 Ohio - 2
California - 3 Minnesota - 2
Wisconsin - 3 Louisiana - 2
Massachusetts - 2 Additional cases in 16 other states.

This message is not to downplay the importance of high profile Operations, but to focus of ORC skyrocketing numbers across the country. In many companies, Loss Prevention has been tasked to do more with less and it appears that Nationwide the bad guys are not always winning the fight.

Gangs Flying Shoplifters Into Britain - People Trafficking - Modern Slavery
According to a report in the Independent, Eastern European victims of people trafficking are being exploited by criminal gangs to carry out weekends of high-end shoplifting before being returned home on block-booked budget airline flights, in a new trend of modern slavery identified by Scotland Yard. UK-based gang leaders are marshalling groups of up to 20 people brought over from countries such as Poland and Lithuania on cheap flights to target designer shops during trips lasting just a few days, detectives said yesterday. The gangs accept a 20 per cent arrest rate as the cost of a "weekend trafficking" operation that can secure items worth up to 100,000 pounds that are then taken out of the country for resale. Suspected thieves who have given statements have told police that they have been coerced into carrying out crimes out of fear about what would happen to their families if they refused.

The Black Market for Stolen Baby Formula is Booming

Organized crime rings are making millions peddling the most innocuous white powder there is, and the street value is surging. Ubiquitous and with a surging street value, infant nutritional supplements remain one of the most shoplifted items in the U.S., fostering a steady stream of organized crime syndicates that confound law enforcement agencies and retailers across the country. "In the big spectrum of retail crime, infant formula is one of the top items," says Joe LaRocca, formerly of the National Retail Federation, now with RetaiLPartners. "Grocery chains will tell you that formula is targeted so often that in some cases they have locked it up, moved it behind the cash register, strategically put it on the floor, and in some cases they put a limited supply on the shelves. With individual cans going for as much as $10 on the black market, drug addicts and other low-level thieves stalk the aisles of Walmarts and other retail chains looking to swipe Enfamil or Similac, which can sell for as much as $100 in stores. In the last month alone, baby formula bandits have cropped up in California, Michigan, Texas and New Jersey. Some of the more enterprising crooks go to great, and even comic, lengths to turn a tidy profit. One brazen mother-daughter team in Michigan last month allegedly filled garbage cans with baby formula inside the stores they targeted, stealing up to 30 cans at a time. In July, two men dressed in women's clothing were busted at a Rite Aid in Glendale, California, after trying to walk out with their purses full of formula. In July, a Florida sting dubbed "Operation Got Milk" netted at least 23 arrests and toppled a $2 million baby formula syndicate led by a middle-aged woman. Authorities in Oregon stopped a similar scheme in 2010 when they arrested a couple that had traveled up and down the West Coast stealing $2.5 million in baby formula. In recent years, raids in California, Texas and Arizona have disbanded other lucrative rings.

Update - Online ad for Canada Goose jackets leads police to parka theft suspects arrest in Winnipeg - Actual Smash & Grab posted on Daily  An online ad offering Canada Goose jackets for sale and publication of suspect photos have led to the arrest of four people. More than 40 Canada Goose jackets worth more than $15,000 were stolen from an outdoor clothing store in the 2000 block of Corydon Avenue on Nov. 16. Thieves got into the business by smashing the front window, police said. A 35-year-old man was arrested after an online ad offering Canada Goose jackets for sale led police to a business in the 700 block of Selkirk Avenue where the parkas had been taken. The man was charged with possession of property obtained by crime. After police made surveillance photos of two women public on Monday, a 29-year-old woman was arrested and also charged with possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000. Police then searched a suite in the 500 block of Young Street at about 2 p.m. Tuesday and charged another man and woman in connection with the crime.

ORC Duo arrested for counterfeit credit cards, prescription fraud, skimming, distribution of drugs, stolen identities - over 100 charges  Vincent Leo, 37, was arraigned in Essex Superior Court on dozens of charges. The schemes involved fraudulent prescriptions, thousands of oxycodone tablets and numerous counterfeit credit cards, and compromised more than 50 identities, according to the AG's office. According to authorities, Leo was involved in a credit card fraud scheme with Deana Vitale, who used a skimming device at Copper House Tavern in Waltham to capture customers' credit card information. Vitale then allegedly gave the device to Leo, who used the information to create fraudulent credit cards in those customers' names. "We allege that this defendant ran various sophisticated schemes involving fake prescriptions, the distribution of drugs, stolen identities and counterfeit credit cards," Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement. "This lengthy and extensive investigation has led to more than 100 charges in connection with his illegal activities."

ORC male duo arrested targeting major retailers throughout Florida with counterfeit checks  The two men had extensive criminal histories and had amassed more than 45 arrests with 107 criminal charges between the two of them; mostly for fraud and identity theft related crimes. The suspects also indicated that they had intended on shopping in Lee County. A search of the vehicle revealed a large amount of counterfeit checks containing the banking information of unsuspecting victims. These checks were made by the suspects with legitimate bank routing numbers belonging to victims of identity theft. The suspects both had fraudulent driver's licenses matching the names on the checks. The licenses had their photographs on them. The suspects had failed to mention that they were planning on shopping using other people's banking information when they were stopped. In total, 21 counterfeit checks were recovered saving local retailers tens of thousands of dollars in losses as well as the victims whose account numbers were used. The investigation revealed that the suspects were operating throughout Florida targeting major retail establishments. The investigation revealed the driver, Terrance Haines of Bradenton, and passenger Dontrell Warren of Tampa were traveling from the Tampa to Fort Myers when they were stopped.

ORC Duo arrested hitting Sam's Club multiple times in Panama City, FL
29 year old, Anthony Keith Council, 33 year old, Javier Vargas Vazquez and 33 year old, Jessica L. Garrett, all of Panama City, were arrested for hitting Sam's Club on two days and charged with felony retail theft, possession of stolen property, and another separate burglary.

Possible theft ring hits Ada, OK Walmart
Authorities are investigating the theft of nearly a dozen Apple iPads from a local department store  Ada police were called to Wal-Mart in Ada Wednesday morning. The Loss Prevention officer "stated two males used keys to enter a locked case in electronics, while two other males kept other associates busy who came near the area." "He stated there have been numerous reports of the same thing happening in more Wal-Mart stores around the state of Oklahoma," Reid said

Surveillance cameras capture ORC trio stealing thousands of dollars in designer frames from Suburban Opticians in University Place, Wash. "Organized shoplifting really does seem to be on the rise," said Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer. "People coming in groups and teams and distracting people or shoplifting all at the same time and getting in and out before anybody realizes what's happened." Surveillance cameras caught the three coming in and gave investigators a good look at their faces. After seven minutes, the team walked out with at least half a dozen frames priced as high as $500 each. Investigators say the items will probably be sold online to unsuspecting shoppers looking for a bargain.

ORC female duo hit Macy's CityPlace in West Palm Beach for $2,600 in Michael Kors purses

$10K in drones stolen during store burglary in Las Vegas

ORC 12-5-14
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