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Kevin Ach, LPC promoted to Senior Vice President - Field Operations for EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants

EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants is a retail property, casualty insurance brokerage and employee benefits consulting company. Kevin joined the firm in 2018 as Vice President of Risk Assurance. Prior to that he spent 12 and a half years with Office Depot, most recently holding the position of Senior Director of Retail Loss Prevention and Safety. Kevin earned his B.S. degree in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the military for four years as an Officer in the US Army's Signal Corps branch. Congratulations, Kevin!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position


Johnson Controls' C●CURE 9000 and victor VMS platforms first to market
with new UL-2610 Certification

New certifications update commercial systems with cybersecurity readiness, cloud requirements

Johnson Controls has announced that its Tyco Software House C•CURE 9000 v2.8 and Tyco American Dynamics victor 5.4.1 are the first platforms to be officially certified as meeting new third-party security standards from UL (Underwriters Laboratories) for on-premise commercial security systems.

UL- 2610, which provides standards for Commercial Premises Security Alarm Units and Systems, updates the requirements for this technology to include cybersecurity provisions and cloud functionality. UL's Commercial Premises Security Alarm Units and Systems tests alarm products and systems against established criteria. This process assesses product software's vulnerabilities, weaknesses and reviews its exposure to exploitation. UL-2610 replaces UL-1076 and UL- 603 and will be mandatory by November 2021. johnsoncontrols.com

Talk About a Security Nightmare
As his senior security executive, how would you deal with this?

Bezo's Phone Hacked
Jeff Bezos hack: Amazon boss's phone 'hacked by Saudi crown prince'

● Investigation suggests Washington Post owner was targeted
   5 months before murder of Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

● Phone allegedly began leaking data shortly after being sent a video file
   from WhatsApp account linked to Prince Mohammed

● Their connection and feud goes back to Bezos' leaked penis selfies
   and the Washington Post columnist murder in Istanbul


The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone "hacked" in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.

Large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos's phone within hours of the infected video file was sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post. The Guardian has no knowledge of what was taken from the phone or how it was used.

The extraordinary revelation that the future king of Saudi Arabia may have had a personal involvement in the targeting of the American founder of Amazon
will send shockwaves from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

A forensic audit of Mr. Bezos' phone by FTI Consulting, a business advisory group based in Washington, found with "medium to high confidence" that the device began leaking data shortly after being sent a video file from the WhatsApp account linked to Prince Mohammed, the person said, as part of an operation that
siphoned information for months.

Bezos hack: UN to address alleged Saudi hacking of Amazon boss's phone
UN investigators are poised to release a statement about the alleged hacking of Jeff Bezos's mobile phone after the Guardian revealed details of a forensic analysis that has implicated a WhatsApp account purportedly owned by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The astonishing disclosure prompted a Democratic lawmaker in the US to urgently demand more information about the malware that was allegedly used to infiltrate Bezos's phone in the 2018 hack of the Amazon founder. theguardian.com

2020 Security Industry Forecast: Prepare Yourself for AI, DIY, More M&A

Two dozen security industry observers explain why the future is bright for those embracing technology, service, business and competitive variables.

Electronic security industry practitioners are braced to boldly ride the momentum of recent times into not just a new year but decade as well. While there are challenges aplenty ranging from technology and competition overload to labor and training shortfalls - with everything from shifting business models to burgeoning markets in between - the ups figure to continue to outstrip the downs.

More than two dozen authorities and analysts from every corner of the security contributing perspective and analysis to the annual, comprehensive SSI Industry Forecast.

Gain mindshare as they open up on a new year set to serve
as the gateway to a decade powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics; cybersecurity; the Internet of things (IoT); Cloud-based solutions; managed services; smart homes, buildings and cities; 5G communications; gun and gunshot detection; and predictive anticrime and counterterrorism tools.

Fredrik Nilsson, V.P. of the Americas, Axis Communications

"As IoT continues to grow at an exponential pace, the sheer diversity of devices connected to the network dictates the need for more comprehensive, proactive cybersecurity. Manufacturers, integrators and users will need to collaborate more closely to ensure that new devices, patches and upgrades to one system don't introduce vulnerabilities in another.

Manufacturers will also need to provide tools to automate upgrades and patches as well as develop new procedures to ensure customers implement changes throughout their ecosystem in a timely manner. We'll likely see the emergence of a more layered approach to cybersecurity where each layer of hardware and software shields the layer below with additional security features."

Matt Fidler, V.P. Customer Experience, Guardian Protection

"More than ever, customers are knowledgeable about what they should expect from their security and smart home equipment. The ongoing growth of new self-serve providers and the proliferation of customer review websites have helped to create this change and it has had an accompanying negative impact on attrition.

The resulting challenge for us is that we must be able to deliver a quality experience at every point in the journey so that we can be better assured of lifelong customers. It presents an opportunity for us to better listen to our customers at every touchpoint. Proactive calling, actionable surveys, well-trained techs and memorable engagement in every channel from in-home interaction to social media responsiveness, will be the new status quo for keeping attrition under control."

See what other industry experts have to say here: securitysales.com

Loss Prevention's Opportunity to be Heard?

Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers Remarks at the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice Opening Ceremony

The Commission will comprehensively assess the most pressing issues confronting law enforcement today. It will seek to provide substantive and actionable answers to, among other questions, the following:

● How do certain social ills, such as mental illness, substance abuse, and homelessness affect the ability of law enforcement to carry out its duties?

● How can we improve the relationship between the police and the communities they serve.

● What unique issues and criminal threats have resulted from new technologies?

● How can we integrate education, employment, social services, and public-health services to reduce crime and ease the burden on law enforcement?

This does not include all of the commissions questions.

The Commission will principally conduct its study through hearings, panel presentations, field visits, and other public meetings. At these engagements, the Commission will receive valuable insights, counsel, and recommendations from a diverse range of voices: subject matter experts, public officials, private citizens, academia, community organizations, civil-liberties groups, civic leadership, bar associations, and victims' rights organizations.

The Commissioners are police chiefs from big cities and smaller ones, state prosecutors, county sheriffs, members of rural and tribal law enforcement, state public safety officials, federal agents, U.S. Attorneys, and a state attorney general. They have traveled from all over the country to participate in this historic moment. justice.gov

Editor's Note: Through the 30+ ORC Associations and ongoing community relationships the retail Loss Prevention community needs to be heard. Especially with respect to the increased ORC and aggression we're seeing in the stores coupled with the decriminalization efforts from the perspective of the decreasing prosecution rates and public stance a number of elected prosecutors have taken in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia - to merely name those that have been publicized.

But being that this is the
first Presidential Commission appointed since President Johnson's Commission in 1965, it offers a unique opportunity to be heard at a time when the media is covering the ORC problem more so than ever before. And it might help ignite a federal initiative/law. Just a thought and certainly worth the possibility of appointing a retail committee whose objective is to address this group and share retail's story as the 'Silent Victim' of the opioid epidemic.  - Gus Downing


$14 Billion in Weather and Climate Disasters for US Last Year
In 2019, the U.S. experienced 14 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each and totaling approximately $45 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual U.S. climate assessment. 2019 was also the second-wettest year on record behind 1973.

According to NOAA,
at least 44 people died and many more were injured during the course of these disasters that included:

● 1 wildfire event (affecting multiple areas in Alaska and California)
● 2 tropical cyclones (Dorian and Imelda)
● 3 inland floods (affecting the Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers)
● 8 severe storms

U.K. police use of facial recognition tests public's tolerance
The real-time surveillance being tested in Britain is among
the more aggressive uses of facial recognition in Western democracies and raises questions about how the technology will enter people's daily lives. Authorities and companies are eager to use it, but activists warn it threatens human rights.

The British have long become used to video surveillance, with one of the highest densities of CCTV cameras in the world. Cameras have been used in public spaces for decades by security forces fighting threats from the Irish Republican Army and, more recently, domestic terror attacks after Sept. 11, 2001.

"There has not been one single wrongful arrest as a result of the use of facial recognition by South Wales Police," Michael said. The force has been deploying the technology about twice a month at big events including rugby games, royal visits and yacht races; it scanned nearly 19,000 faces at a Spice Girls concert in May and identified 15 on a watchlist, including nine incorrectly. Six others were arrested. canadiansecuritymag.com

AI in the court: Are robot judges next?
As in many other industries, AI carries great promise but significant risk for the legal industry. But when it comes to certain court cases, the stakes couldn't be higher.

Even so, AI and automation are already playing a large part in the US legal system. At a conference in Portland, Oregon last week, hosted by the Legal Services Corporation, legal professionals from around the country gathered to collectively pause and consider how they're modernizing their systems -- and to what extent they should be using AI.

At the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California -- the world's largest court -- Gina the Avatar helps residents handle their traffic citations. Gina knows five languages and helps more than 5,000 customers a month. Gina's not true AI -- she's programmed to work down predefined paths. Still, she's laid the groundwork for more sophisticated automation. zdnet.com

ReposiTrak Achieves SOC 1 and 2 Audit Recertification
ReposiTrak, Inc., the industry leader in solutions for
stock replenishment, compliance, sourcing, food safety and risk management in the retail supply chain, announces the successfully completion of the Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 and 2 Type 2 annual audit recertifications, a verification standard defined by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. The move reinforces the company's commitment to security best practices. businesswire.com

SHRM Series Part 2
Workplace Drug Testing: What to Do When Employees Fail
You decided to screen workers for drug use because you want to maintain a safe and productive workplace. But what should you do when workers flunk the test? Should employees be fired, given another chance or referred to an employee assistance program? Employment attorneys say consistency is the key.

"Employers should have strong policies in place addressing whether or under what circumstances they will engage in dialogue with an employee or applicant who fails a drug test," said Jill Vorobiev, an attorney with Reed Smith in Chicago. Policies also should take into account any state laws that may apply to failed drug tests and whether the employer might need to make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities, she said.

Here are some steps employers should consider taking to ensure they respond consistently when employees don't pass a drug screen.

- Include a Medical Review Process
- Determine What Steps to Take
- Reasonable Accommodation
- Disciplinary Action

The number of workers who tested positive for drug use reached a 14-year high in 2018,
and marijuana topped the list of most commonly detected illegal substances,
according to drug-screening company Quest Diagnostics.

This is the Time - January through March - When companies have to make tough decisions:

Lucky's Market closing 32 of its 39 stores, including 20 in FL - See the list

Fairway Market in the Big Apple Denies Chapter 7 Rumors

Southeastern Fast Food Chain Krystal (300 stores) Files Chapter 11


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Travel and Hospitality Industries Create Larger ISAC Sharing Community

Two ISACs come together to strengthen overall consumer-facing industry

The Travel & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) and Retail & Hospitality ISAC (RH-ISAC) announce their agreement to strengthen the travel and hospitality industries by moving the Travel & Hospitality ISAC within the RH-ISAC.

The Travel & Hospitality ISAC, formed in 2018 by Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) at the request of a group of hospitality chief information security officers, is now part of the RH-ISAC community as of January 1, 2020.  

The announcement comes in response to increasing efforts to defend customers, staff, and assets against the constantly evolving threat landscape affecting the global travel and hospitality industries by strengthening collaboration and information sharing within one community.

RH-ISAC is the trusted cybersecurity community for retail, travel, and hospitality organizations. Working with cybersecurity teams, the RH-ISAC seeks to transform the way companies mature capabilities and collaborate to reduce the risk of cybercrime.

For more information, visit www.rhisac.org.

#NRF2020: How Target bolstered its security after retail's biggest breach

Collaborating to fight against cybercrime - The Perfect Case Study

Three chief information security officers (CISOs) took to the stage at NRF in New York on January 13 to discuss collaboration and the skills gap in retail cybersecurity.

Rich Agostino is the senior vice president and CISO at Target Corp, a retailer which, as he points out, "is mentioned in every single talk on cybersecurity in retail".

Agostino shared the measures taken by Target in wake of that fateful breach.
"We hired hundreds of industry experts in retail, financial services, defence contractors from the government and more than doubled the size of the team. We brought all critical functions of cybersecurity in-house, reducing our reliance on contractors and outsourced services.

launched new capabilities like our cyber-fusion centre, where 24 hours a day, seven days a week we have Target team members looking at, monitoring and defending our company against threats."

In addition,
Target built a strong engineering function and filed for more than 10 patents on security technology which the retailer's engineers have built over the years.

Target believes in
appointing security advocates across the company. "The talent benefit is that you have a wider network of pseudo-cybersecurity folks," explained Agostino.

Collaborating to fight against cybercrime

"One of the most important things we've done though, is to prioritise the concept that security is a team sport. We are all stronger together and our customers are safer when we all work together to fight cybercrime." 

Agostino is not referring to his own team exclusively, but to CISOs and security teams from different retailers coming together to share best practice and advice. He discussed a coalition that Target, Best Buy and others have formed to work together and collaborate with intelligence sharing and talent pipeline development. essentialretail.com

Cloud Adoption & Technology Change Create Gaps in Enterprise Security
Many businesses that are transitioning to public cloud environments, microservices architectures, and 5G networks are creating new blind spots in the attack surface for criminals to leverage, according to a new report from Radware.

Twenty-two percent of surveyed security professionals didn't know if their organizations had been attacked recently, 27% of organizations that were attacked had no idea what their attackers might have been after, and nearly half (46%) were unable to tell if they had experienced an SSL-based distributed denial-of-service attack.

Unsurprisingly, many organizations are experiencing a very high volume of cyberattacks. Nearly one-third of those surveyed said their organizations experience attacks on either a daily or a weekly basis.

"The main takeaway is that as organizations make strategic transformations - in technology, environments, and processes - they inevitably create a lot of cracks and blind spots"
. darkreading.com

CaaS - The Anti-Service is Growing
Crime-as-a-Service offering extends its reach

A prolific phishing and data-stealing hacking campaign has expanded its operation with new attacks that target PayPal accounts - in addition to existing attacks against Apple, Amazon and other accounts.

Dubbed 16Shop, the phishing campaign has been active since November 2018 and typically targets potential victims via malicious links in malicious emails purporting to be from common online accounts. The campaign is sold 'as-a-service' to low level hackers on underground forums. zdnet.com

Microsoft discloses security breach of customer support database
Five servers storing customer support analytics were accidentally exposed online in Dec. 2019.

In a blog post today, the OS maker said that an internal customer support database that was storing anonymized user analytics was accidentally exposed online without proper protections between December 5 and December 31.

The leaky customer support database consisted of a cluster of five Elasticsearch servers, a technology used to simplify search operations, Diachenko told ZDNet today. All five servers stored the same data, appearing to be mirrors of each other.

For these cases, Microsoft said it began notifying impacted customers today, although it also added that it "found no malicious use" of the data. Microsoft blamed the accidental server exposure on misconfigured Azure security rules it deployed on December 5, which it now fixed. zdnet.com

What Retail Can Build on and Get From Cloud in 2020


Increasingly Violent & Erratic Theft Activity in Canada

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) Hosting Special Theft & Safety Roundtable Jan. 31

RCC Sends Detailed Recommendations & Actionable Opportunities Letter
To Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Manitoba

Retail Council of Canada Meeting Follow-up

On behalf of the Retail Council of Canada, our Manitoba members and the 67,000 Manitobans working in our stores, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the productive discussion on the crime challenges facing the retail sector across the province.

As our members expressed,
retail employees are facing increasingly violent and erratic theft activity in their stores, in part due to the rise of Organized Retail Crime, meth issues and helped along by stories highlighting "observe only" security policies designed to safeguard retail workers.

Last year an estimated $200 million was shoplifted from Manitoba stores, a cost borne by Manitoba brick and mortar retailers and shoppers, and all of Manitobans through lost taxes. However, it's the human cost that is of paramount concern to our members, as our
workforce rightfully expresses anxiety as they witness or hear about violent retail crime featuring guns, machetes, clubs, bear spray and a range of other dangerous weapons. Read Full Letter

RCC hosting theft and safety roundtable in January
Retail owners and their employees in Winnipeg have been facing increasingly violent and erratic theft activity in their stores. Last year, an estimated $200 million was shoplifted from Manitoba stores, which increases costs for both retailers and shoppers, and ultimately all Manitobans through lost taxes. Retail Council of Canada continues to work very diligently to address the theft and safety issues our Retailers are facing in Winnipeg today. With that goal, RCC is collaborating with key stakeholders in the province to find solutions to the rising theft, including leading a coalition of business associations hosting a Manitoba Retail Crime Round Table on January 31, 2020. retailcouncil.org

Halifax: 'End racial profiling': Protesters rally where woman was arrested;
Mother of 2 says she was assaulted by Police after Walmart workers profiled her

More than 100 people gathered outside the Mumford Road Walmart in Halifax on Friday in temperatures hovering near -20 C to protest what they are calling a case of police brutality and racial profiling against a Halifax woman. The protest started at 5 p.m. and lasted just over an hour. About 30 protesters eventually made their way into the Walmart store for a peaceful demonstration that included marching and chanting in support of Santina Rao.

On Wednesday, Rao was accused of attempting to steal lettuce, lemons and grapefruit by Walmart employees. Rao spoke with The Signal at her home before Friday's protest. She said that when police arrived at the store on Wednesday, they didn't search her belongings even though she offered. She said she's confused about how quick things escalated. signalhfx.ca

Cargo theft surges across the Greater Toronto Area - Police struggling to stop it

Cargo Theft Up 247% in 3 Years - Higher Than Entire U.S.

Last week's deadly incident - in which a stolen tractor trailer, filled with boxes of meat, hit two vehicles before ramming into an Esso gas station in Mississauga - was just one of potentially hundreds of cargo theft incidents the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) could see in the new year, according to police.

"I can't really specify why it's going up as drastic as it is," said Det. Paul Allen with Peel Regional Police's cargo theft unit.

New numbers provided to Global News by Peel police show a
sharp rise in reported tractor-trailer thefts in the past five years. In 2015, Peel police fielded calls for a total of 98 reported cargo thefts. It also received a total of 175 reports of stolen tractors and 59 stolen trailers without any cargo. By 2018, that number had soared to 341 reported cargo thefts (Up 247% from 2015), 261 stolen tractors and 86 empty stolen trailers.

"The GTA is the hotbed of cargo crime in Canada," said Marco Beghetto with the Ontario Trucking Association.
"There were more goods stolen in Canada than all of the U.S. in 2018," he said, referring to the trucking advocacy group's numbers. "Peel Region comes only behind California as the highest jurisdiction for cargo crime." globalnews.ca

Calgary, AB: Province cracking down on liquor thefts;
Working group looks at ID-scanning

It's a worsening problem in the province, and the government wants to put a cork in it. Liquor thefts are on the rise, especially in Edmonton, and the United Conservative Party is establishing a working group to find some solutions. "It's leading to millions of dollars of theft of product, but also public safety is the big concern here," said Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer during a press conference at a liquor store in Edmonton. The numbers from the provincial capital are quite staggering. Police responded to more than 9,500 liquor store thefts in 2019, an average of 26 per day. That's about three times as much as 2018 when police were called to 3,273 incidents. In Calgary, it is also an emerging problem - but not entirely on the level as our northern neighbours. Statistics from Calgary police show they responded to 2,490 thefts in 2019, with the worst month being September when there were 297 separate thefts. 660citynews.com

As final Zellers stores close, former employees swap memories, memorabilia
Zellers is pulling the plug on its final two stores in Ontario this month, but Richard Hall doesn't want it to die. He's rounded up a museum-worthy haul of Zellers memorabilia in his dining room, spilling into his kitchen. There's flashy branded buttons, bathroom key chains, even a fire extinguisher from one of the doomed department stores. His wife calls it hoarding. He calls it collecting. Hall spent 35 years employed by Zellers, working at 11 different stores. Today, he relies on his memorabilia to reminisce. The last two Zellers locations in Etobicoke, Ont., and Ottawa will close on Jan. 26, according to Hudson's Bay Co., the retailer's parent company. cbc.ca

$170,000 lawsuit filed by Edmonton man pepper-sprayed outside supermarket

Bose to Shutter Canadian Stores Amid Brick-and-Mortar Retail Retreat

Mississauga's Square One Shopping Centre to Become the Largest Mixed-Use Development in Canadian History

Smart lockers for online purchases coming to Vancouver transit stations

Scarborough, Ont.: Police say boy shot at Gas Station has died
Toronto homicide detectives are investigating after a young male was fatally shot in broad daylight near a gas station in Scarborough Monday afternoon. Officers were dispatched to the Markham and Ellesmere roads area at around 3:10 p.m. after receiving multiple calls about the sound of gunshots in the area. A victim, described by police as a boy, was then located with apparent injuries on scene at the southwest corner of the intersection. He was rushed to hospital via emergency run with critical injuries. A few hours later, police confirmed that he died of his injuries. "Our officers arrived on scene within minutes and unfortunately located a young male victim with gunshot wounds," Const. Alex Li told CP24. One male was taken into custody in connection with the shooting within about 20 minutes after the incident, police said. bayview-news.com

Peterborough, Ont: Police investigate after more than $100,000 in meat stolen from butcher shops
Provincial police are investigating after they say more than $100,000 in meat was stolen from two butcher shops in the Peterborough, Ont., area. Police say the thefts took place in two separate incidents roughly a week apart, with the latest occurring over the weekend. They say the first break-in happened overnight between Jan. 11 and 12, when three male suspects forced open a loading dock door at a shop in Selwyn Township. Investigators say the group made off with meat products - including steaks, chickens, and other similar items - valued around $25,000, driving away in an older model Ford Ranger. The second incident took place early Sunday morning in Otonabee-South Monaghan Township, and resulted in the theft of roughly $80,000 in meat along with four butcher knives. nationalpost.com

Surrey Mounties looking for two suspects in $28,000 stolen credit card fraud
Surrey Mounties are trying to identify the two suspects in connection with an investigation into stolen credit cards used to commit $28,000 in fraudulent transactions in Surrey, Burnaby and Coquitlam. Elenore Sturko's corporation said the investigation was launched on August 14 after police received a report that multiple credit cards had been stolen from a married couple. themediatimes.com

Surrey Mounties capture 'significant' cargo of stolen mail

Nanaimo RCMP: Clerk bruised, traumatized after Armed Robbery at Quarterway Liquor Store

Smithers B.C: RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown lingerie store

Suspects wanted for 10 break and enters in one night in rural Saskatchewan

Windsor, Ont: Food and tools among items stolen from Ontario foodbank

Robberies & Burglaries

C-Store - Shell Lake, Sask - Burglary
C-Store - Leask, Sask - Burglary
Gas Station - Calgary, AB - Robbery
Gas Station - Princeton, B.C.- Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Prince George - Armed Robbery
Liquor - Nanaimo, BC - Armed Robbery
Pharmacy - Leask, Sask - Burglary
Post Office - Shell Lake, Sask - Burglary
Post Office - Rabbit Lake, Sask - Burglary
Post Office - Blaine Lake, Sask - Burglary
Post Office - Hafford, Sask - Burglary
7-Eleven - Namaimo, BC - Armed Robbery


View Canadian Connections Archives




Kount Named a Leading Provider of eCommerce Fraud Prevention Solutions
in 2020 Frost & Sullivan Report

Kount, the leading provider of AI-driven fraud prevention, announced it has ranked as a leader for growth and innovation in the new 2020 Frost & Sullivan eCommerce Fraud Prevention Radar Report. The report placed Kount first among solutions that go beyond chargeback guarantees in the U.S. eCommerce market. The Frost Radar delivers analysis of fraud prevention providers across growth strategy and track record, as well as their ability to develop innovative solutions that are globally applicable and aligned with mega trends and customers' changing needs.

"Kount has been noted for its strong growth and innovation performance in our analysis. The company has a proven track record and is solely focused on fraud protection, enabling agility in innovation," said Vikrant Gandhi, Industry Director, Information & Communications Technologies, Frost & Sullivan. "Kount has experienced rapid growth across many verticals, leading to its favorable positioning along the growth index. Recently introduced innovations, such as advanced AI and the Friendly Fraud Prevention Solution featuring the Visa Merchant Purchase Inquiry (VMPI) program help strengthen the company's long-term growth outlook." paymentsjournal.com

Amazon's Free Returns Expansion: What Other Retailers Need to Know
Amazon created an online shopping culture where consumers expect free and convenient returns. In the past few years, the e-commerce giant has introduced in-person returns at more than 18,000 physical drop-offs such as Kohl's and UPS - 5,800 of which are package-free. And recently the retailer expanded its popular free returns policy to include millions of products not previously eligible.

This policy change comes at the peak holiday time with an estimated $100 billion in merchandise to be returned between Thanksgiving and the end of January. While the expansion of free returns on Amazon will undoubtedly lead to an increase in returns volume, the retailer has amassed unmatched logistics prowess. Instead of being overwhelmed by returns, Amazon further elevates the customer experience.

This is good news for Amazon - and consumers. Because of its scale and sophistication, Amazon can handle a high volume of returns. But for other retailers trying to keep up, it's not a simple matter of flipping a free returns switch: Retailers need to weigh the benefit of an enhanced customer experience with the cost of managing free returns.

Returns Can Close the Sale - The Hidden Problem of Returns - The Bottom Line, and the Long Game wwd.com

UPS CEO: E-commerce over the holidays picked up faster than we thought




Knoxville, TN: Update:
KCSO: Organized Retail Crime Holiday Task Force arrested more than 300 people

The Knox County Sheriff's Office released its final statistics Tuesday regarding its Organized Retail Crime Holiday Task Force and what success it had in stopping alleged thieves during the holiday shopping season.

According to KCSO, its
task force recovered around $170,000 in stolen property and arrested 325 people. The task force operated from Nov. 13 through Dec. 22 with around 20-25 officers participating, KCSO said. KCSO also saying that its Organized Retail Crime Unit operates year-round in assisting the state with Food Stamp Fraud cases as well as state and federal authorities in cases that result in lost tax revenue; they investigate various other white collar crimes.

"In most cases the ORC Unit investigates theft and fraud, but many of the cases we see are accompanied by illegal drug activity. Our Organized Retail Crime Unit is just another way for us to take drugs off our streets," Sheriff Tom Spangle said in Tuesday's release.

KCSO also saying people can continue to leave tips about local crime year-round. wate.com

Editor's Note: The Daily would like to thank the Knox County Sheriff's Department for their continued support.

Youngstown, OH: 1,700 pills, money taken during robbery of CVS Pharmacy
Youngstown police are investigating the robbery of a pharmacy in which pills were stolen. Reports said a man dressed in all black with a nylon mask over his face and a female accomplice took money and over 1,700 Oxycodone pills. A report on the robbery did not say how the pills were taken. A couple of minutes after police were called, police spotted a man walked who was wearing black clothing similar to the clothing the robber at the pharmacy was wearing. An officer asked the man, Willie Wilkins, 51, if he had a gun. Reports said Wilkins told the officer he had a gun but he did not have a concealed carry permit. Police then searched him and found a loaded 9mm handgun, reports said. Perkins was arrested on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, a fifth degree felony, and booked into the Mahoning County jail. He has not been charged with the robbery. wkbn.com

Raleigh, NC: 2 thieves take $200K in merchandise from mall jewelry store

Houston, TX: Man accused of stealing $1,100 worth of lingerie and adult toys from a Katz Boutique

Bridgewater, NJ: Two Arrested for Theft of Almost $900 Worth of Electronics from Target

Bridgewater, NJ: Man arrested for theft of $588 of merchandise from The Home Depot

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Shootings & Deaths

Philadelphia, PA: Gunman Kills Man, Injures 2 in Parking Lot Outside Philly Target Store
One man was killed while two others were injured in a triple shooting in the parking lot outside a popular Target store in Philadelphia's Wynnefield Heights neighborhood near City Avenue Tuesday night. An unidentified gunman opened fire in the parking lot at 4000 Monument Road around 8:55 p.m. Tuesday, Philadelphia police said. Witnesses said they heard at least eight gunshots. A 31-year-old man was shot multiple times in the back, a 23-year-old man was shot multiple times in the shoulder and a third man was shot at least once in the face. nbcphiladelphia.com

Travis County Search for Gas Station murder suspect ended with help from sharp-eyed Austin man
The all-night search for a Travis County murder suspect ended on Tuesday with the help of an Iraq War veteran. Travis County Sheriff's Deputies searched for hours for a man accused of murdering his ex's new boyfriend. But Tuesday morning an arrest was made after deputies got some help from a sharp-eyed Austin man. "This morning when I went to the restaurant to get tacos that's when I noticed the gentlemen was in the store," said Albert Navejar. Navejar says the man looked suspicious so he asked the woman at the register a few questions. "She told me he was there a couple of hours and she was nervous," said Navejar. Navejar knew about a shooting on Monday night at the Valero Gas Station. He'd also seen a photo of the suspect that was released by the Travis County Sheriff's Office during the search. cbsaustin.com

Hendersonville, NC: Two arrested for first degree attempted murder after shooting at C-store
After one person was shot during a verbal altercation in the parking lot of Norm's Minit Mart along Dana Road on January 18th, officers have announced an arrest in the investigation. The victim was transported for the injuries sustained, but later was released from the hospital. Hendersonville Police Department obtained an attempted first degree murder arrest warrant for two suspects, Jose Guerra and Javier Riley. foxcarolina.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Menifee, CA: Rampage, Drugged Crash At Walgreens
A drugged driver was arrested Tuesday for smashing his vehicle through the doors of Walgreens in Menifee, then going on a rampage inside the store, breaking whatever he could find, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department reported. Preston Quine of Menifee was booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of driving under the influence of controlled substances, driving on a suspended license and felony vandalism. patch.com

Robertson County, TN: Man was arrested in connection with Robberies at the Advanced Auto Parts and Dollar General Store in Springfield

McDowell County, WV: Woman faces 60 years for Armed Robberies of Dollar General and Marathon station

Columbus, OH: Man arrested after stealing from Columbus Walmart while carrying a concealed handgun

Elyria, OH: Man flees Target after assaulting Loss Prevention officer


Dallas, TX: Cell Phone Store Robbers Sentenced to Combine 51 Years in Federal Prison
Two men convicted of committing violent robberies at cell phone stores across North Texas have been sentenced to a combined 51 years in federal prison. During the Armed Robbery spree, the two suspects stole nearly $100,000 of inventory and severely injured one store employee. justice.gov

Denver, CO: Former Aspen Skiing Company executive gets 6 years for stealing, reselling merchandise

Baltimore County, MD: Man gets 8 years in Federal Prison for Gun store Burglary in Halethorpe

Charlotte, NC: Two sentenced to 15+ years for McDonald' s and Wendy's Armed Robberies



Boost - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Erie, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
CVS - Staten Island, NY - Armed Robbery
CVS - Youngstown, OH - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Dighton, KS - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Perry Township, OH - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Fresno, CA - Robbery/ Assault
Jewelry - Charlotte, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - North Olmstead, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Oxford, AL - Robbery
Jewelry - Tempe, AZ - Robbery
Liquor - Miami, FL - Burglary
Marijuana - Oklahoma City, OK - Burglary
Marijuana - Chicago, IL - Burglary
Restaurant - Suffolk County, NY - Armed Robbery (Pizza Hut)
Restaurant - Suffolk County, NY - Armed Robbery (Domino's)
Restaurant - Springfield, MA - Robbery/ Assault
Restaurant - Waynesboro, GA - Burglary (Inside job)
Walgreens - Menifee, CA - Burglary
7-Eleven - Suffolk County, NY - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Waterbury, CT - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Chesapeake, VA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click to enlarge map


None to report.


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