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ORC 6-1-16




Peabody, MA: Ringleader of credit card fraud scheme held on $100K bail; woman has record of similar crimes dating to '90s
Just months after being released from federal prison and still on probation for her role in a massive credit card fraud ring, a former Peabody woman was back in business, prosecutors say, operating an even more sophisticated scheme. Now, Blandine Joseph, 40, of Brooklyn, New York, is back in custody, facing charges that include leading an organized retail crime enterprise and money laundering. On Friday, a Salem Superior Court judge set bail at $100,000 for Joseph, who was arrested on a warrant following a secret indictment handed up in March that also charges her with credit card fraud and other counts. The scheme, police and prosecutors say, targeted stores and banks all over the Northeast, including some at the Northshore Mall. Joseph and others used real credit and debit card numbers, obtained through a variety of methods, to print real-looking cards they could then swipe through a store's credit card machine to make purchases. But they were also allegedly using their smartphones to make some purchases, using services such as Google Wallet or Apple Pay, with the stolen numbers, prosecutors say. The ring would then re-sell the clothing, gift cards and other items purchased with the fraudulent cards. Police displayed nearly 200 credit cards, many of them with the name "Maria Lopez" on them, others blank.

Kansas City: Kansas Woman Admits Stealing between $25k to $100k in Merchandise
A suburban Kansas City woman with a history of shoplifting admitted in court Tuesday that she stole tens of thousands of dollars of clothing and merchandise she was peddling out of her nearly $1 million home. Kelli Bauer, 46 and of Overland Park, Kansas, pleaded guilty in Johnson County to a felony theft count that alleged she stole between $25,000 and $100,000. Bauer also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor theft counts. Sentencing for Bauer, who has been under house arrest as a condition of bond, is scheduled for July 20. Bauer was charged last year after police found stolen merchandise in her home during a search prompted by her Facebook posting for the private sale of more than 1,000 pieces of "high-end" women's clothing. Bauer showed undercover officers clothes - many with tags still on them - hanging on a rack and folded on a bed in an upstairs bedroom, according to court records. Bauer told the officers that she was selling the items because she was a "compulsive shopper" and had lost weight, the court documents said. The officers bought several items, including what Bauer said was a fake Louis Vuitton bag for $50.

Rocky Mount, NC: Kmart Employee busted for theft of over $22,000 of jewelry and assorted items
A Rocky Mount Kmart employee has been charged in connection with more than $22,000 in losses of store merchandise over a roughly 10-month period. Sergeant McNeal Cooper, 20, was arrested and charged with one count of felony larceny by employee. Cooper has been accused of stealing over $21,000 of jewelry and assorted items including clothing, drinks and a cell phone and accessories. Rocky Mount police report the total amount of losses at $22,090.83. Police were contacted Sunday by loss prevention officers at Kmart about an employee they suspected of a series of multiple thefts of items from the store since September 2015.

Mayflower, AR: Lumber One Home Improvement employee busted in $40,000 forgery and theft case
Mayflower Detectives are calling it one of the biggest forgery cases they've ever handled. Tens of thousands of dollars swindled from local business Lumber One Home Improvement, allegedly at the hands of one of its employees. Investigator Gene Chase with Mayflower Police says he's never handled a forgery and theft case of this magnitude, and said it was overwhelming with Lumber One first handed over the stacks of fraudulent receipts. Looking through, he could tell the numbers weren't adding up. The invoices and work orders were proof that at least $40,000 in cash and flooring materials had been stolen from one of Mayflower's biggest businesses, through labor and billing discrepancies. Detective Chase says it was pretty obvious someone was pocketing the excess.

Clinton, CT: (UPDATE) Police Seek Accomplices in Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Store Theft
Clinton Police are investigating a case of organized retail theft that occurred between January and March 2016 at the Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets. According to police an employee was working in conjunction with four to five others posing as customers. The group stole $11,000 worth of merchandise. The employee was employed by the store as a cashier and would void large transactions and then place the merchandise from the voided transactions in customer's bags and allow them to leave. The employee has admitted to the scam but has declined to name her accomplices.

Boardman, OH: Cricket Wireless employee is considered a person of interest in connection with a theft of $2,700 worth of phones from the store's kiosk at the Southern Park Mall
That's the same employee who, after viewing security video, told police that he recognized two of three men who broke into display cases last week and helped themselves to fourteen phones. Boardman Police say they'll compare notes with Niles Detectives who are investigating a similar theft on May 16, when 32 phones were taken from the Cricket Wireless store at the Eastwood Mall.

Port Angeles, WA: Woman charged with 2nd Degree Organized Retail Theft and forgery in $1,100 Credit Card case
A 22-year-old Port Angeles woman was arrested Sunday for investigation of theft and other crimes for allegedly running up charges on a credit card that did not belong to her. The alleged victim told Sequim police that she likely dropped her wallet in the J.C. Penney parking lot April 29. The woman learned that her Walmart Mastercard had been used fraudulently 13 times at six Sequim locations on or about April 29. The fraudulent charges added up to $1,157.35, police said.


ORC 6-1-16
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