law enforcement, retailers to combat organized retail crime; form Carolinas
Organized Retail Crime Alliance
Retail theft schemes are increasing in the Carolinas and they're becoming more
sophisticated. According to local law enforcement, current retail theft goes far
beyond shoplifting, involving complex schemes and organized efforts by people
who convert illegally obtained merchandise or cash into financial gain by theft
or fraud. In response, the NC Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) and local law
enforcement agencies announced earlier today at a press conference in Raleigh,
North Carolina, the formation of the Carolinas Organized Retail Crime Alliance (CORCA),
a coalition of law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals in North
and South Carolina aimed at combating the rise of retail theft crime.
"Organized retail crime costs the retail industry nearly $30 billion annually in
the United States," said NCRMA President Andy Ellen. "These losses drive up
costs for retailers which then get passed along to consumers. The new CORCA
Alliance is vitally needed to provide important education and to serve as a
resource link for retailers and law enforcement in the effort to combat this
The CORCA Alliance plans to promote a retail theft database CORCA.org, developed
in partnership with Alan Buck, Bed, Bath and Beyond's area loss prevention
manager, and Detective Shawn Blee with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police
Department. Created nearly two years ago to track theft and criminal activity
impacting businesses on a real-time basis, the site currently has 510 retail and
law enforcement users who are currently posting valuable information about
crimes and criminals and helping to prevent others from being victimized.
plans to work with the retail industry and law enforcement agencies in the
Carolinas to spread the word about the database and encourage new users.
"The Alliance will help us build on the success that CORCA.org has achieved and
help us proactively combat the threat of organized retail crime in the
Carolinas," said Womack. "Since the launch of the database website, we've seen
an increase in retailer-to-retailer communications and an increased focus on
collaboration between retailers and law enforcement," said Womack.
The Alliance is membership based with all law enforcement participation free of
charge. It will meet quarterly to provide insight and oversight of CORCA.org,
plan an Annual Convention, and provide education. NCRMA's professional staff
will provide oversight of all CORCA operations, meeting preparations, planning,
Pittsburgh, PA: 'Shoulder surfing' husband gets prison in $600K Walmart check
scam targeting hundreds
A man who cashed $300,000 worth of counterfeit checks using personal information
stolen by peeking over the shoulders of hundreds of Wal-Mart customers
was sentenced to prison Thursday. Robert MacVittie and his wife lined up behind
customers trying to cash payroll checks at "dozens and dozens" of Wal-Mart
stores in 20 states and recorded them providing their Social Security
numbers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci said at the hearing where
MacVittie received a 34-month sentence. The couple would then use the victims'
identities to create counterfeit checks, which they cashed at other Wal-Marts.
Melucci called MacVittie, 35, and his wife Jennifer, 32, "the Bonnie and
Clyde of counterfeit checks." The MacVitties, formerly of Cranberry
Township, pleaded guilty in September to charges of conspiracy and aggravated
identity theft in a scheme known as "shoulder surfing."
More than 400 people had their identities used on the successfully cashed
counterfeit checks, Melucci said. In all, the MacVitties stole or attempted to
steal the identities of more than 900 people, Melucci said. They failed to cash
more than $600,000 in other counterfeit checks; prosecutors had previously put
that number at $700,000.
Salt Lake, UT: Police bust alleged Sandy check fraud ring, net six wanted
Unified Police discovered an alleged check fraud operation and arrested six
people Wednesday night after receiving a tip that a wanted fugitive may have
been staying in a Sandy home. As officers surrounded the house, they heard noise
coming from a shed on the property. Police say Auger was inside and surrendered.
Cops entered the shed and found check-making equipment inside, according to Lt.
Bell. "In plain view in the shed was a check-making factory where they were
basically manufacturing checks in that shed. They had printers, laptops, the
whole bit," Lt. Bell said. In total, six fugitives were arrested in the bust.
Police say they believe the alleged check-fraud ring may have ties to other
Buy Buy Baby Employee Sold Stolen Baby Strollers, Car Seats on Craig's List
The Port Chester Police Department Detective Bureau was notified on Feb. 4,
2016, by loss prevention from Buy Buy Baby, on an internal investigation they
were conducting on one of its employees and wished to press charges based on
their findings. Police stated through the store's internal investigation,
employee, 29-year old Bronx resident, Leonard Simkins had admitted to stealing
baby strollers and car seats from the store. Police said Simkins, when
confronted by store personnel, allegedly admitted to stealing the merchandise.
In his confession, Simkins alleges he placed the items on Craig's List, over 10
strollers and at least three car seats, and sold the items locally and even
delivered the items to the customers, according to the police report. According
to video evidence provided to police from Buy Buy Baby, the video showed that on
Jan. 11, 2016, Simkins was seen taking two strollers and two car sets, placing
them in a shopping cart and exiting the store without paying for them. Buy Buy
Baby, said police, are still trying to obtain footage from other incidents. The
total value of the merchandise was $2527.36.
FL: Woman's lost wallet results in $2K racked up on credit cards - suspects
could be part of larger ring
Investigators in Brevard County are looking for four suspects who they said
found a woman's wallet and racked up nearly $2,000 on her credit cards. "I was
really hurt knowing that people will take your items for their own personal
gain," said Roxanne Kyle. As she was getting out of her car, her wallet fell
from her lap and onto the ground without her knowing. At first she thought she
may have left her wallet at home, but then about an hour and a half later four
suspects who police say found the wallet went on a shopping spree with Kyle's
credit cards. Rockledge police shared surveillance video from two Walmarts --
the one on Wickham Road in Viera and the one on Clearlake Road in Cocoa. In the
video, four suspects -- one man and three women -- are seeing taking TVs, video
game consoles, and even bedding, before driving off in their white SUV. Because
of their demeanor, Weigel believes the suspects could be part of a larger
shoplifting ring in Central Florida.
Livingston County, MI: 31-year-old Davidson woman pleads guilty to ORC