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ORC 5-13-15




Shoplifting gangs operating on 'industrial scale' - It's a worldwide problem
PROSECUTORS have vowed to smash serious organised crime groups who are using "steal to order" shoplifting to fund their illegal activities. The Crown Office said shoplifting was happening on an "industrial scale", with some groups travelling from overseas to target Scottish retailers. More than 200 people have now been identified as being involved in what prosecutors called "professional shoplifting." Solicitor General Lesley Thomson said specialist prosecutors had worked closely with a dedicated police inquiry team during the past year to dismantle shoplifting groups, who specialise in targeting expensive clothing and designer handbags. An alert system has now been set up to allow the authorities to monitor the activities of the shoplifters, improving the co-ordination of the investigation and prosecution of cases.

Crime Stoppers: Thieves hit 9 Target stores in Alabama and California
Thieves are picking victims from one store and targeting a large retail chain to do their crimes. Investigators accuse the thieves of racking up nearly $20,000 in purchases. Investigators believe the thieves are traveling thousands of miles to get what they want. Investigators don't know if they are dealing with three people or four people. They do know it involves a lot of retails stores in several states. It all starts at the Bed, Bath and Beyond at the Summit Shopping Center. Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office start their investigation with two people who went into the Bed, Bath and Beyond on April 22, 2015. Investigators talked with a customer who accuses the duo of taking her wallet. "It doesn't take long, maybe 10 or 15 seconds. She turns back around, gets an uneasy feeling and realizes her cash wallet was taken," said Sgt. John Pennington. The two people did not shop in the store, but decided to do business elsewhere. "Within a matter of minutes, maybe 15 minutes, they went straight to the target on Highway 280. The male suspect went on to purchase a dozen gift cards at that location totaling $18,000," added Sgt. Pennington. Sgt. Pennington told ABC 33/40 both left the Target store on Highway 280, caught up with a third person and hit Target stores in Decatur, Madison and Huntsville. Pictures from security cameras at those stores play a big part for investigators. "It's became apparent. The pictures look a little bit clearer. This is our cast of characters so to speak. Then it gets a little bit muddied again," added Sgt. Pennington. Investigators accuse the trio of returning south to use the gift cards at Targets in Homewood, Fultondale and Trussville. Sgt. Pennington soon learned about a fourth person. Pictures from two Target stores in California show investigators familiar faces from the Alabama stores.

Two more Georgia men plead guilty in Boise, ID credit card fraud case
Rashine Kale, 38, and Jean Estinville, 26, both of Lawrenceville, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Kale admitted to making 21 purchases from seven different stores using credit cards with stolen account numbers. Boise police found 188 gift cards and pre-paid debit cards in a rental car Kale was using, along with three other cards found in his possession. Estinville made 14 purchases in three stores using six bogus credit cards. Police seized 55 gift cards and pre-paid debit cards from his vehicle, along with a watch he bought with a counterfeit credit card. The two men face up to 20 years each on the conspiracy charges and a mandatory two years on the identity theft counts. Kale is scheduled for sentencing on July 22, with Estinville to appear on Aug. 4. The two men were among 10 Georgia residents arrested by Boise police on Oct. 6 and charged with similar crimes.

UK: London luxury smash-and-grab raid teenage gang jailed  A gang of teenage moped-riding armed robbers have been jailed for a spate of smash and grabs at some of London's most exclusive hotels and shops. Five men aged between 17 and 19 were found guilty of involvement in last summer's robberies, which saw jewellery worth up to £150,000 stolen each time. Kingston Crown Court heard they targeted business including the Dorchester Hotel and Rankins Jewellers. The men were jailed for between three and 10 years each.

Walmart Serial Shoplifter defeats Cable Alarm with a Can of Paint
An Iowa City man was arrested after allegedly pulling off a string of thefts at the Iowa City Wal-Mart that led to the loss of more than $3,000 worth of merchandise. According to police complaints, Shay Leonard Henderson, 44, of Iowa City had stolen or attempted to steal items from the Wal-Mart at 919 Highway 1 West five times in 2015. The known total of items stolen was $3,409.30, according to complaints. Henderson was charged with third-degree theft after being caught Jan. 31. On March 27, Henderson allegedly stole headphones and wine from the Wal-Mart, according to complaints, and then returned April 11 and stole a PlayStation 4 and 10 sets of headphones without being caught. On April 19, Henderson allegedly stole 20 video games, a laptop, beer and a cooler by placing all the items in the cooler and leaving the Wal-Mart without being caught, according to complaints. The stolen laptop was tethered to other computers with a cable that had an alarm on it, according to complaints. Henderson allegedly opened a can of paint and put the alarm inside. When he cut the cable, the alarm could not be heard because it was submerged in paint, according to the complaint. On April 30, Henderson stole three more laptops, according to complaints.

Michigan Couple stole thousands in bottle return scheme
A Pinconning, MI couple accused of using bottle return slips to scam thousands from a local grocery store is a step closer to trial. Tracy Albrecht, the Pinny Food Center store manager, reviewed bottle slip returns and surveillance camera footage. The footage showed LaBean approach a register without a customer or coworker present, open the drawer, take out cash, and put slips inside, Albrecht said. "I discovered there were some slips that looked like they had been cleaned off or looked redeemed that were months old, which was unusual," she testified. Faced with what appeared to be inappropriate conduct, Albrecht notified loss prevention. Later, investigators discovered bottle slips previously stored in a secured part of the building were missing, Albrecht said. The investigation determined that in August and September, Deana LaBean and her husband would come to the store two to three times daily and redeem bottle slips totaling hundreds of dollars, Albrecht said. Via bottle slip returns, the LaBeans stole $2,177.10 in August 2014 and $2,740.10 September 2014, Albrecht testified.

H-E-B apprehends man stealing brisket in multiple Texas stores
An Austin man has been accused of being a serial brisket thief, according to an arrest affidavit. James Cordell Avery, 47, stole $414 worth of brisket from an H-E-B grocery store in Round Rock on Oct. 31, the affidavit said. It said a loss prevention manager saw Avery on surveillance video taking the beef out of the store, load it into a vehicle and leave. A Round Rock police officer said the man seen in the video was similar to Avery's driver's license picture, according to the document. The manager told police that Avery had also been identified shoplifting beef briskets at other H-E-B stores in Pflugerville and Austin, the affidavit said. A Pflugerville police detective also helped the manager identify Avery in a previous theft case, it said. Avery has eight convictions for theft from 2007 to 2013 in Travis, Williamson, Bastrop and San Patricio counties, the affidavit said. He was charged in November with the theft from the Round Rock store. It was not clear why the affidavit was not released until Tuesday.

ORC 5-13-15
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