in ORC Series - Coming Wednesday: Scott Sanford, Director of
Investigations & Training for Barnes & Noble, Inc.
In our ongoing series on ORC leaders, this week we'll
be featuring one of the industry's pioneers that's helped lead the
industry in successfully identifying and resolving ORC across a
number of retail channels. With a specific specialization in online
selling of stolen merchandise, Scott has played a critical role in
developing and educating the industry in fighting this growing
threat. Having helped develop a software program designed to
indentify online bad actors, Scott has shown the vision, technical
ability, and investigative expertise that clearly shows his
leadership role in the industry.
Always there to volunteer his time to help educate his colleagues,
Scott has earned the respect of his peers and his story is one that
every aspiring ORC investigator should read. Coming this Wednesday.
Pittsburgh, PA: Luxottica, Senior Manager of Investigations
presented with Heroism Award
A Floyd county native was named a Carnegie Award member this month after he
rescued a man from a burning car on a highway near Orlando in 2014. On December
17, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission awarded one of twenty-four Carnegie Medals
to Martin native Stuart Chaffin. According to the commission Chaffin saved John
K. Kristich from burning on December 22, 2014. The commission states that
Kristich was the driver of a car involved in a highway accident after it
collided with a truck. Both vehicles burst into flames and Kristich remained in
the driver's seat of his badly damaged car as flames issued from its exposed
engine area. The Carnegie award is given in recognition of civilian heroism to
those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting
to save the lives of others. Four of the most recent awarded died in the
performance of their heroic acts. Eighty four people have received the award to
date in 2015 and to 9,821 the total number since the Pittsburgh-based Fund's
inception in 1904.
Stuart Chaffin, was born in 1969 in Martin. Chaffin graduated from Eastern
Kentucky University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Chaffin is a 24-year law
enforcement veteran also served two and a half years as a defense contractor
working domestically and embedded with the U.S. Marines at Camp Leatherneck
Afghanistan. He received two Marine Corp Awards for Meritorious Conduct in
support of missions with Operation Enduring Freedom. Chaffin now lives in St.
Cloud, Fla., and is currently employed as a senior manager of investigations,
organized retail crime and brand enforcement for Luxottica, managing all
domestic and international enforcement activities.
Natick, MA and other towns with Big Malls, Target of Organized Retail Crimes
For Natick, and any community with a large mall, police respond not only to many
shoplifting calls, but incidents that are likely part of organized retail crime
rings. "Natick (and any community with a large mall) is targeted because the
perpetrators, who use rental or stolen vehicles so that they can't be identified
by the registration, are not local and therefore not easily identified through
surveillance video," said Lt. Cara Rossi-Cafarelli of the Natick Police
Department. "Natick is also easily accessible from the Mass. Pike."
Often, said Lt. Rossi-Cafarelli, the stolen goods are sold to a "fence," which
is a word for a person who sells the goods for them. These fences set up
storefronts in cities or sell the hot goods out of cars and vans, or even online
or word-of-mouth. "They usually employee young and/or drug-addicted people to do
the actual stealing, which is the greatest risk of being caught/incarcerated,"
said Lt. Rossi-Cafarelli, "and then pay them enough to support their drug habit.
They will pay for a room or two for these people at the local motels. They steal
for a few days, then travel back to deliver the goods to the fence, who in turn
sells it for a profit."
Natick police have worked with several state and federal agencies to try to
combat this type of theft at the Natick Mall. The department has even secured
grants in order to pay overtime officers to "saturate the mall during what is
believed to be the most likely days/times for this behavior."
FL: Along with holiday thefts, stores see increase in organized shoplifting
Supermarkets across Central Florida were puzzled after more than $50,000 worth
of merchandise vanished from shelves. It wasn't the result of closeout deals or
the green-haired Christmas villain known as the Grinch making off with cartloads
of products from Publix and Winn-Dixie stores. Rather, a posse of Central
Floridians pilfered pricey grocery stock such as Crest White Strips and Gillette
razors from almost 100 stores.
Security camera footage eventually revealed the coordinated thievery, which led
to the arrests of five suspects. The organized shoplifting ring busted in August
is part of a growing trend that has stores on their toes, especially with the
increases of retail theft around the holiday season.
"Crime rates in some regions go up almost double around the holidays and
unfortunately retailers see heightened occurrences of theft, fraud and
shoplifting," said Robert Moraca, vice president for loss prevention for the
National Retail Federation. Moraca said the six-week period from Thanksgiving
till after New Year's Day is when retail thefts go up "exponentially." He said
shoplifting costs retailers $30 billion annually.
Experts say organized crime rings, such as the one in Central Florida that
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said was broken up over the summer, also are
on the rise. A September survey by the National Retail Federation showed 97
percent of retailers contacted believed they were victims of organized retail
crime within the last year. Almost half reported a "significant" increase in
such crimes. "Some studies have shown the average shoplifting event will lead to
a loss of $317, so this isn't little Johnny taking a candy bar anymore," Moraca
said. "This is people going after high-priced items." In response to the trend,
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill in 2013 aimed at strengthening penalties for
organized retail theft. The legislation requires a minimum sentence of 21 months
for those convicted of retail theft totaling more than $50,000.
Warwick, RI: Police arrest man for over Buying over $4,000
in Gift Cards with Fake Credit Card
Warwick Police were called to the Food Court at the Warwick Mall Dec. 8 at 6:27
p.m. for reports of a man buying gift cards from Subway, JC Penny and Foot
Locker using a stolen credit card, arresting him on credit card fraud and
obstructing an officer. In Seino's possession, the officers found three Old Navy
gift cards worth a total of $1,300, and two Subway gift cards, along with three
Visa credit cards bearing the false identity Seino had originally provided.
After obtaining a warrant to search Seino's car, a rental obtained under his
alias, officers found a receipt for $900 from Red Robin, and a $200 Red Robin
gift card. The officers also found receipts from Longhorn Steakhouse totaling
SD: Pair caught attempting to steal over $1,000 of merchandise each from
According to the arrest affidavit, 39-year-old Charity Cash and 33-year-old
Tiffany Davis were seen on Scottsbluff Wal-Mart security cameras filling a cart
full of items and attempting to walk out without paying. A Wal-Mart security
employee observed Cash load merchandise into Wal-Mart bags for two hours. Cash
was stopped with stolen goods totaling $1,044.48. Davis stolen loot totaled
Chinese gang busted in Thailand buying $5 M in Gold with fake credit cards
The five of them were found in possession of 182 fake credit cards, 11 fake
passports and machines for making credit cards. Investigation is ongoing as
police believe there are three more people involved. The gang confessed they
would buy gold and sell it for cash in Thailand. They have been in and out of
the country several times in the last eight months and racked up around $5
million in fraudulent credit card charges.
Jersey City, NJ: Man convicted of shoplifting 14
times charged again
Johnson City, TN: Walmart suspect charged in
felony theft of nearly $1000 in merchandise