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The Brick trains staff to fight crime
Retail theft has become increasingly brazen but The Brick has built a successful crime-fighting program that starts with staff. When The Brick first started holding outdoor tent sale events the biggest security concern was overnight theft. "Now they worry about theft in broad daylight. Someone always has to be out there, guarding it, because if you don't, people will drive up and steal a bed," says Heather Murray, vice-president, internal audit and loss prevention for The Brick Group. "I would say that it is more brazen than it ever was." Over 26 years in the business Murray has worked to bring losses due to theft at the national furniture retailer down to 0.05 per cent of sales. The retail industry average is closer to 1.26 per cent of sales, according to data from the Retail Council of Canada. The most important component is customer service, says Murray. Sales associates are told to never chase a suspect. Instead, they are trained to greet customers personally, and in the event that something does go wrong, to try to remember details that will make them a good witness. Reporting every incident - internally or to police - is part of The Brick's crime-fighting strategy. The Brick has had a Crime Busters program since 1984, launched by Murray's predecessor in the job, Tom Dunlop, a former RCMP Sergeant in commercial crime and a founding member of Edmonton Crime Stoppers. The retailer has an internal anonymous hotline for employees to report suspicious activity among co-workers. Merchandising is another important component when it comes to reducing theft. In 2007, Murray launched an internal newspaper called Brick Busters that reports on incidents of fraud and theft. It also describes incidents in which staff stopped or prevented losses. It's an important coaching device, Murray says. It helped staff in a Montreal store recognize a gift-card fraud in progress. A fraudster was attempting to make a purchase using gift cards that had been bought with a stolen credit card in Alberta.

Hundreds of Manitobans accounts drained last weekend - Debit card skimming device found  The debit card scam and spending blitz by fraudsters happened in the late hours Saturday night, and early morning hours Sunday. Winnipeg Police are investigating the card skimming incident.

Canada lags 2 or 3 years behind omni-channel retailing
In Canada, big retailers like Target aren't being nearly as aggressive in their collective shift to offer sales through multiple channels. The Canadian arm of the U.S. department store didn't launch e-commerce sales here when it arrived in early 2013 and Target Canada still doesn't sell online. There's a reason for that of course: Target knows it will still be years before online shopping truly becomes mass market in Canada, according to experts. "Canadian retailers will, in our view, enjoy two or three years of 'lag time' to make the transformation to omni-channel," analysts at Desjardins Securities said in a research note this week. While Canadian retailers have largely eschewed online efforts (until recently), U.S.-based rivals have rushed to fill the void. Amazon has leapt to the head of the pack in online sales in Canada, according to BMO Capital Markets. BMO estimates took in about $1.5 billion in sales last year, a "significantly higher" sum compared to chief rivals,, and - all U.S. companies.

Ikea to open string of smaller stores across Canada

Two Calgary Police Service constables are in charge of a program to reduce organized retail crime  They manage an online network for retailers and police, called Retail C.O.P. (Cameras on Patrol), a web-based interactive program where photographs and video surveillance images of criminals, suspected criminals and criminal activity can be posted to further police investigations. Now pictures of shoplifters can be posted to Retail C.O.P., even after a single incident. That makes it easier to identify people who aren't actually being caught for the first time, but are in fact chronic shoplifters or people who might be working for an organized retail crime group. "We are able to share information with the retail community within minutes of obtaining it, preventing crimes occurring. When crimes do occur, we assist in the identification process, as many of the offenders are known to us," says Critchley. Critchley and Sampson also initiate and implement offender management strategies, working with probation authorities, crown attorneys and internal and external specialty police units in an effort to prevent habitual shoplifters from reoffending.

Toronto cops shoot man cutting his own throat and wrists at Scarborough mall
A knife-wielding man who was cutting himself was shot during a confrontation with police at a busy Scarborough mall Thursday. Police responded to Agincourt Mall, in the north-east end of the city, around 4:45 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about a man who was cutting himself with "a large knife," police said. "We received a call for man wielding a large knife, cutting his own throat and wrists at rear of the mall," Const. David Hopkinson said. "Officers responded and began speaking to the man and then shots were fired. "We can't comment on what prompted the gunfire." The shooting unfolded behind the WalMart near the loading docks. Several area residents reportedly heard up to three gunshots. The victim, believed to be a man in his 40s, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Montreal Man sentenced to Over Five Years in Jail on elaborate Credit Card Fraud 
A 24-year-old Montreal man with no prior record will spend over five years in jail after pleading guilty in an elaborate credit card scam. Nour-El-Dean Mouneimneh is already serving a 4.5 year sentence after pleading guilty to several fraud charges in May. His 17-page record consists only of charges related to this elaborate credit card scam, which was ongoing between November 2013 and March 2014. Mouneimneh and another man obtained stolen credit card information, and then uploaded that information to blank cards. They used the blank cards to buy prepaid credit cards, gift cards, and merchandise from businesses all over Newfoundland, as well as in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. On Thursday, Mouneimneh pleaded guilty to more related charges in the credit scam, as well as to participating in a June riot at HMP which resulted in thousands of dollars of damage to one of the units. He also admitted to uttering threats towards a Correctional Officer. For those offenses, he was sentenced to an additional 13 months in jail. Mouneimneh has been ordered to pay over $2,000 restitution to Sobey's in Corner Brook, and over $4,000 to FIA credit card services, on top of the $17,000 in fines he was ordered to pay back in May.

Attempted robbery at south Calgary jewellery store thwarted by attentive staff, off-duty Alberta Sheriff

Windsor Police arrest shoplifter with assistance from alert citizen

Winnipeg Police seek suspect after armed convenience store robbery

Ontario duo charged with theft after tweeting selfies with stolen liquor

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