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Raul O. Aguilar joins Auror as Senior Director of Law Enforcement Partnerships

Criminal investigations senior leader Raul O. Aguilar has joined Auror as Senior Director of Law Enforcement Partnerships.

Prior to joining Auror, Raul served as the Deputy Assistant Director for the Countering Transnational Organized Crime, Financial and Fraud Division for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) - the principal investigative component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Raul will be focused on helping drive better and safer law enforcement outcomes for retailers through Auror's Retail Crime Intelligence platform.

Read the full announcement at auror.co.







Latest edition of Intelligent Network Video: Understanding Modern Video Surveillance Systems released

Intelligent Network Video serves as the quintessential guide for IP video and the surveillance industry.

Amid a new era of technological development, Fredrik Nilsson, VP, Americas, Axis Communications, in conjunction with Taylor & Francis Group's CRC Press, has released the timely third edition of Intelligent Network Video: Understanding Modern Video Surveillance Systems (Intelligent Network Video).

Since the first edition was launched 15 years ago in 2008, technology has advanced at an accelerated pace, profoundly impacting the way we live and work. The latest version of the book traces the trajectory of video surveillance technology from its roots to its current state, while also highlighting its future potential. It offers readers the opportunity to explore what the latest technology has to offer, and to gain further insight into emerging technologies and the direction that surveillance will take us in the years ahead.

Intelligent Network Video, Third Edition, is more comprehensive in every area than the first and second editions and features both thoroughly revised and brand-new chapters. The book takes a deep dive into the areas that are driving video surveillance technology.

Read more here

TalkLP and APEX NYC, A Day to Remember!

January 15, 2024: As the NRF Big Show made its mark on the very wintery Big Apple, APEX Retail and TalkLP helped retail executives stay out of the cold!

Last Monday, APEX Retail kicked off the day with a buffet lunch and a professional development workshop conducted by Julius Thomas, former NFL Pro Bowl athlete and founder of Mastery Development. Julius specializes in helping teams, organizations, companies, and high performers improve mental performance and wellness by leveraging mind and brain science. This session was limited to a small group of executives to encourage openness and vulnerability as Julius dove deep into the brain science of stress inside the high-pressure careers of many Loss Prevention and Asset Protection executives.

Immediately following Julius Thomas' session for retail executive corporate athletes,
TalkLP kicked off its NYC Signature Rooftop Networking Event. Over 120 Retail executives (representing 61 retailers) and 30 top-tier Solutions Providers (representing 16 organizations) attended this high-impact VIP function on the all-glass enclosed rooftop overlooking the legendary nighttime skyline of New York City. Attendees showed up in unison to celebrate as TalkLP presented Gus Downing with TalkLP's Lifetime Achievement Award for all his hard work and contributions that span decades. NAVCO's Angie Barnes was on-hand to accept Gus's award on his behalf.

The event provided exceptional networking opportunities for retailers, including the opportunity to meet and chat with Tarik Sheppard, Deputy Commissioner of Public Information at NYPD.

Tarik Sheppard and Amber Bradley


Attendees networking at TalkLP's
Rooftop Event in NYC

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

New Approach Needed to Fight Retail Crime
Collaboration is key to stemming the tide of retail crime

Fixing America's Growing Retail Crime Epidemic

By Cristian Lopez, CEO, Alto

Despite the growing risk of violent retail crime, there remain conflicting points of view bringing its rise and severity into question. In reality, retail crime and retail crime data are two different things.
The real issue is shopper and employee safety - which is still in jeopardy and presents a threat regardless of whether data shows crime going up or down.

Retail crime threatens employees and communities

Safety threats are becoming more prevalent in retail. These crimes have a
detrimental impact on the retail landscape, and thus, society at large. Safety is a national issue, and violent incidents of ORC should be of growing concern. When you allow quality-of-life crimes to persist, criminals become emboldened.

We need a new approach to retail crime reduction

Increasingly, stores are implementing strategic theft prevention measures to counteract the rising incidents of theft and retail crime. While preventive measures like these may help address the problem temporarily,
they also can disrupt the consumer shopping experience and often make it more difficult for employees to do their jobs.

more tech-driven preventive solutions, such as security cameras, security tags, and alarms, among other technologies, can be more beneficial by enabling additional data about incidents. However, without the right actions and consequences, data is just that: data. These preventive measures need to be taken a step further - aggregating data into incident reports to build a case and an action plan that ensures accountability.

Collaboration is key to safer, more prosperous communities

By establishing robust partnerships and collaboration with retailers, law enforcement, prosecutors, nonprofit organizations, and government officials, we can drive tangible change. This
concerted effort extends to stores, communities, and courtrooms across the nation, with the goal of reducing crime risks, lowering recidivism rates, expanding community outreach, and boosting employee morale and safety.  chainstoreage.com

Mayors Are Cracking Down on Crime, But Will DAs Prosecute?
Lawmakers strike back - Politicians declare war on shoplifters

Elected officials in both parties have had enough of the rampant crime.

Local and national politicians have had enough of rampant shoplifting, or perhaps they simply realize that the general public has had enough. In
Philadelphia, Cherelle L. Parker, the city's new mayor, appears to be targeting shoplifting, as well as other crimes, by signing an executive order to restore lawfulness in the city.

Parker's executive order
declared a citywide public safety emergency and directed the police department to develop "comprehensive plans" that addressed crime across the city. The executive order directs her new police commissioner, Kevin Bethel, to coordinate with the Managing Director's office and other city departments to develop a plan to hire more police officers, reduce violent crime, as well as reduce quality-of-life crimes, and permanently shut down pervasive open-air drug markets, such as the notorious one in Kensington.

The mayor has also stated that
she will reinstate "stop and frisk," and stated that she was open to the idea of bringing in the National Guard to clean up open-air drug markets.

spoke out against car theft, shoplifting, retail theft and the illegal use of ATVs, which she noted diminishes the quality of life for the city's citizens. But, one has to ask, will Philadelphia District Attorney "Let 'Em Loose Larry" Krasner properly prosecute the crooks that the cops collar?

bill to crack down on looters and thieves was approved with strong bipartisan support and was signed by the governor on December 14, 2023. It creates a first-degree felony offense, which can result in up to 20 years in prison, for thieves who steal $50,000 worth of goods and intend to resell them. The bill would also create the Office of Deputy Attorney General for ORC to pursue the leaders of these criminal rings.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a left-of-center Democrat, has also declared war against shoplifting.  broadandliberty.com

Creating a 'Standalone Offense' for Assaulting Retail Workers
"The amendment would show a clear commitment to making front-line retail workers safer."

UK Government must act on violence against retail workers, says BRC
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has welcomed a proposed amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, tabled by Alex Norris MP, which will
create a standalone offence of "assaulting a retail worker".

In a statement issued on 17 January 2024, BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the "
amendment would show clear support for millions of dedicated retail workers up and down the country".

Retail crime is said to be "soaring", with over 850 incidents of violence and abuse against retail workers every day, double pre-pandemic levels, according to BRC data. Shoplifting has also increased by an average of 27% across ten of the UK's largest cities in the last year.

Dickinson continued: "The rise in incidents comes despite retailers investing
hundreds of millions of pounds in safety measures such as body-worn cameras, more security personnel and CCTV. We cannot stand idle and let another year go by as retail crime continues to rise and retail workers continue to suffer. The current laws simply do not go far enough.

"We call on MPs of all stripes to support this vital amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill. The Protection of Workers Act in
Scotland already provides additional protection to retail workers, so why should our hardworking colleagues south of the border be offered less protection?

"This amendment would show a clear commitment to
making front-line retail workers safer in their place of work. It would also increase the visibility of incidents so that police forces can allocate appropriate resources and ensure they provide an adequate response to incidents."

The amendment would introduce a clause to the Criminal Justice Bill to
make the assault or abuse of a retail worker a specific standalone offence. It would mean each incident is counted specifically in retail (not as part of the broader assault and abuse number). retail-jeweller.com

From Mask Mandates to Mask Bans
Are ski mask bans a crime-fighting solution? Some cities say yes

At least two major U.S. cities recently considered banning ski masks or balaclavas to prevent criminal behavior

Last month,
Philadelphia became the latest city to enact a ban in some public spaces, including parks, schools, day care centers, city-owned buildings and public transit. Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council considered a similar proposal but tabled it amid concerns about racial profiling and doubts over whether it would make a difference.

For some, ski masks are
synonymous with criminal activity. Several cities and states already have blanket bans against masks that conceal one's identity. The banned masks include ski masks, which cover all but one's eyes, nose and mouth; balaclavas, which cover necks and the lower part of one's face; and costume masks that might cover the whole face except the eyes.

While mask bans in some states, such as California and New York, date as far back as the 1800s, most states enacted their bans in the middle of the 20th century.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted some jurisdictions to temporarily suspend their bans, as many residents wore masks to protect themselves from the airborne virus.

Crime and public safety are likely to figure prominently in the upcoming elections. Some experts expect politicians to
implement ski mask bans and other measures to convince voters that they're tough on crime - whether or not there is evidence to support such strategies. mercurynews.com

ORC Unit Arrests Hundreds Over Holiday Season
Knoxville, TN: 425 people arrested or cited over the holiday season for retail crime

The Knox County Sheriff's Office said deputies found around $278,000 of products as well as around 2,900 grams of narcotics.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office released information about retail theft during the 2023 holiday season on Monday. It said deputies
arrested or cited around 425 people over the holiday season.

KCSO said it found around
$278,000 worth of products during the holiday season as well as around 2,900 grams of narcotics. The sheriff's office also said deputies apprehended people from Houston and Miami. In a release, it said those suspects traveled to Knoxville to steal items.

The unit also captured six groups of two or more people who the sheriff's office said stole at least $5,000 worth of items.
One case involved stolen items worth at least $2 million, according to KCSO. It said a group had committed gift card fraud and had more than 800 cloned gift cards.

The sheriff's office's Organized Retail Crime Unit ended its
"Holiday Task Force" operations on Dec. 23, 2023. wbir.com

Target getting backlash over anti-theft measure

Major Changes Coming to Utah Walmart & Target Stores Due to Theft



FBI Preps for Election Year Threats - From Lone Actors to Coordinated Attacks
Chicago's FBI boss preparing for threats in unusual election year that brings Democratic convention to town

Robert W. "Wes" Wheeler Jr. has led the FBI's fourth-largest field office for the past year. His team is prepping for Chicago's DNC and the Republican convention in Milwaukee, 90 miles north.

A year after taking the helm as the
Chicago office's FBI's special agent in charge, Wheeler said he is making in-house changes so his team can more quickly respond to developing threats and crises. He's doing so amid preparations for not only the Democratic convention, but also for the Republican National Convention, set to take place 90 miles to the north in Milwaukee.

It's a recipe for a
broad range of threats, which Wheeler and others are trying to anticipate. The Democratic convention is a national special security event handled primarily by the Secret Service. But Wheeler said the FBI also has a role to play in terms of intelligence and "tactical resolution." He said planning began even before he took charge of Chicago's FBI field office on Jan. 2, 2023. The Chicago Police Department is another crucial player.

Threats could range from
a "lone actor with a sharp object, to a complex, coordinated attack that involves some of the worst weapons of mass destruction that you could have a nightmare about," Wheeler said. Good relationships between the FBI and other law enforcement agencies tend to be the "No. 1 factor in having some success," he said.

Israel-Hamas war is another point of concern for Wheeler. "We have a steady stream of threat information that has picked up since that conflict began, and I don't see that getting any better anytime soon," he said.

Chicago's FBI chief said he has prepared his team to more quickly assess those threats as events play out - and not wait until it's summoned into a situation.
Wheeler leads a team of about 450 agents, with a total staff of about 1,100 people. chicago.suntimes.com

Is 2024 the Year Self-Checkout Lanes Start to Go Extinct?
Some retailers are even bragging about not having self-checkout lanes

Self-checkout 'horror show' may become a thing of the past: reports

Self-checkout is starting to become quite a problem for retailers.

From heightened retail theft to long lines, corporations appear to be rethinking the whole concept of having customers ringing themselves up. Quartz reports how
the "self-checkout kiosk horror show" could very well go extinct in the near future, with many stores across the Untied States reversing course on the process.

This is due to the aforementioned
financial loss thanks to retail theft - for which self-checkout lanes provide ample opportunities for - as well as lines that stretch far beyond where the kiosks are. Major retail giants such as Target and Dollar General are among those taking a good, hard look at the self-checkout situation.

But there's one other reason that self-checkouts are being reassessed:
Customers just want another human to interact with at the store, especially if they're experiencing issues.

PennLive has also previously reported how companies such as
Trader Joe's stress how they don't have self-checkout lanes as an option, with president, Jon Basalone, admitting on a Trader Joe's podcast how he himself had difficulty navigating one.

Adds he: "We believe in people.
We're not trying to get rid of our crew members for efficiency's sake." bradfordera.com

The Pandemic Seems like a Distance Memory - But Its Retail Impact Continues
5 ways the pandemic is still impacting retail
While many aspects of the retail business have steadily begun to resemble pre-pandemic 2019, there are a few important ways the pandemic continues to affect the industry.

1. The hybrid workplace is changing the retail landscape. Even as offices reopened and companies became stricter about showing up for in-person work, research shows that a hybrid workplace is now the norm for many people in the U.S.

2. E-commerce got a lift. While e-commerce sales have dipped from the peaks during the height of the disease outbreak, many consumers have stuck with the ease of shopping online.

3. Inventory remains a problem. There has been significant recovery from the havoc that the pandemic wreaked on supply chains, though retailers have moved from crisis management to a focus on optimization, according to Kearney's Ehrig.

4. BOPIS endures. Omnichannel fulfillment like curbside or in-store pickup of online orders were crucial for retailers during the peak of the pandemic, and those services are here to stay, experts said.

5. Self-checkout may not. Self-checkout stations proliferated during the height of the pandemic, as retailers sought to address workforce shortages and maximize social distancing. But, as with omnichannel services, retailers are now grappling with the downsides. retaildive.com

Re-Imagining Employee Reviews & Check-Ins
A New Look for Performance Reviews

Regular check-ins are essential for workers, according to multiple recent reports. But workers should also be empowered to establish reviewable goals and how to meet them.

To better stress the idea that
employees are empowered to manage their team relationships and how they meet their goals, the Arbinger report recommends that they manage the check-ins as well. "Employees [should] prepare for, schedule, and conduct the check-in meeting," the report suggests. "Employees [should] rate themselves and their impact on their peers."

Any process that asks a person to justify their contributions to an organization is going to make them feel at least a little defensive-it's part of the reason why lots of workers dislike taking part in them and why leaders dislike administering them.
Reframing it as an employee-led exercise won't entirely remove that sting. But it can validate the point every leader wants to make: That your people are valuable, and that their understanding of the organization's goals contribute to its success. associationsnow.com

Walmart Closes Store No. 8 Innovation Unit
Retail giant closes business unit meant to incubate new ideas as it also tries to curb costs and test technology in other ways

Macy's rejects $5.8B take-private offer

Walmart tech COO says AI will give rise to 'adaptive retail'


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Protos Security Whitepaper

Leveraging Law Enforcement & Security Measures to Combat ORC

Organized retail crime (ORC) poses a significant challenge to law enforcement and society as a whole. While it is well known that financial losses, public safety concerns, and broader societal impacts are all part of these issues, it is challenging to find a solution as crime rates continue to rise. The purpose of this whitepaper is to explore the role of law enforcement in combating organized retail crime. Retailers and consumers alike are negatively affected, which results in billions of dollars in losses each year. In order to effectively address this issue, law enforcement must work collaboratively with retailers and other stakeholders.

We present strategies and recommendations to enhance the fight against ORC, contributing to the protection of businesses and the safety of communities. A number of challenges associated with ORC are outlined, as well as strategies and best practices that retailers should follow to collaborate effectively with law enforcement and other stakeholders. The whitepaper also discusses solutions and strategies to combat this growing problem.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about law enforcement's vital role in creating a safer environment for society and communities while reducing organized retail crime.

Click here to download the whitepaper







At Least 500K Open Positions in Cybersecurity Industry
Biden Seeks to Ease Education Requirements for Cybersecurity Roles
The Biden administration has announced that it is working to
remove four-year college degree requirements for some cybersecurity positions available to federal contractors as part of a push to expand the cybersecurity workforce.

In Need of Talent

Coker said the federal government also plans to carry out
a series of hiring sprints this year, which will include recruiting events at places neglected by the federal government in the past, to fill open cybersecurity positions. He said that there are at least half a million open positions in the industry in desperate need of being filled, at a time when IT systems are increasingly being targeted for attack.

Congressional Action

A bipartisan House bill-the
Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Act-was introduced in December 2023. It aims to bolster the nation's cybersecurity workforce by establishing a cybersecurity registered apprenticeship program as well as a pilot program at the Department of Veterans Affairs that would provide cybersecurity training to veterans. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate in July 2023. A separate bipartisan bill to relax educational requirements for federal cyber workers overwhelmingly passed the House in October 2023.

Why You Can't Find a Chief Information Security Officer

Chief information security officer (CISO) is one of the hottest jobs in all of IT and C-level management. This position is vitally needed in light of the increase in cybercrime over the last few years. In response, organizations are raising spending on cybersecurity. But technology solutions are not enough. Cybersecurity requires expert guidance to manage risk and plot a course toward a more secure future. The problem is that such leaders are in short supply.

SHRM Joins the Effort: shrm.org

SEC's New Cyber Disclosure Rule is Creating Confusion
Without clear guidance, SEC's new rule on incident reporting may be detrimental
SEC has instituted a set of guidelines "requiring registrants to disclose material cybersecurity incidents they experience and to disclose on an annual basis material information regarding their cybersecurity risk management, strategy, and governance." These new guidelines went into effect on December 18, 2023, which means 2024 will be an important year for enterprises and how they adhere to current security regulations.
Establishing a reporting infrastructure that sheds light on what, how, and when security incidents are disclosed is important for the industry at large and is a huge step toward having cybersecurity seen as a business-wide issue. However, critical pieces of the SEC's regulations are lacking specificity which leaves companies to their own discretion (and confusion) of what constitutes a "material" incident, and what the full scale of penalties may be for a failure to disclose appropriately.

In 2024, that
ambiguity must be cleared up: without clear guidance, companies may over-disclose information to the point of creating noise that masks truly material incidents.

To counter this, the
SEC needs to engage in proactive dialogues to clarify disclosure requirements, particularly regarding the frequency and extent of details needed. In the absence of such guidance, "regulation by enforcement" could inadvertently become the norm for businesses yet to be exemplified in a legal setting. helpnetsecurity.com

Mobile Account Takeovers on the Rise
New method to safeguard against mobile account takeovers
Most mobiles are now home to a complex ecosystem of interconnected operating software and apps, and as the
connections between online services have increased, so have the possibilities for hackers to exploit the security weaknesses, often with disastrous consequences for their owners.

The researchers developied a new way to model how account access changes as devices, SIM cards, or apps are disconnected from the account ecosystem. Their method, which is based on the formal logic used by mathematicians and philosophers,
captures the choices faced by a hacker who has access to the mobile phone and the PIN.

The published account also details how the researchers tested their approach against claims made in a report by Wall Street Journal, which speculated that
an attack strategy used to access data and bank accounts on an iPhone could be replicated on Android, even though no such attacks were reported.

"The results of our simulations showed the
attack strategies used by iPhone hackers to access Apple Pay could not be used to access Android Pay on Android, due to security features on the Google account. The simulations also suggested a security fix for iPhone - requiring the use of a previous password as well as a pin, a simple choice that most users would welcome," continued Arnaboldi.

Apple has now implemented a fix for this, providing a new layer of protection for iPhone users. helpnetsecurity.com

Using Remote Access Tool to Infiltrate Networks
Ransomware Actor Uses TeamViewer to Gain Initial Access to Networks

Attackers have increasingly leveraged the widely used remote access tool, installed on hundreds of millions of endpoints, to break into victim environments.

Further investigation showed the attackers had gained initial access to both endpoints via TeamViewer. The logs pointed to the attacks originating from an endpoint with the same hostname, indicating the same threat actor was behind both incidents. On one of the computers,
the threat actor spent just over seven minutes after gaining initial access via TeamViewer, while on the other, the attacker's session lasted more than 10 minutes. darkreading.com

Battling Misinformation During Election Season
Dissemination of false information, often with the intent to deceive, has become a pervasive issue amplified by artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Attackers can steal NTLM password hashes via calendar invites







Tip #1:

Guard Against Zero-Day Vulnerabilities in Extortion Attacks

Be vigilant against zero-day vulnerabilities, which are software security flaws unknown to the developer, as attackers increasingly exploit them in extortion attacks. These vulnerabilities can target multiple organizations simultaneously, making it crucial to stay proactive in identifying and addressing potential threats before widespread damage occurs. One of the easiest way to stay protected is to make sure your devices are updated regularly.

Watch this space every Tuesday for more of
'Tom's Tek Tips - Cybersecurity Trends'




260M Packages Worth $20B Stolen from Porches in 2022
Florida lawmakers target 'porch pirates' and 'smash-and-grab' retail crimes

Around 260 million packages worth nearly $20 billion were stolen from outside homes across the U.S. in 2022, according to a staff analysis.

Florida bill that spells harsher punishments for so-called "porch pirates," those who nab packages delivered to someone else's door, is under consideration this legislative session.

The bill
(HB 549) aims to discourage would-be package thieves by lowering the threshold for the crime.

Now, it's a third-degree felony to steal property "valued at $100 or more, but less than $750," when taken from a dwelling or just outside one, such as from a porch or stoop. Under this proposal,
accused porch pirates would be charged as felons if they steal a delivery worth as little as $40.

Florida lawmakers have
described porch piracy as an "epidemic" that must be addressed.

"I don't know what other message we could (send)," said Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, a sponsor of the bill. "We do see other areas of the country where
they're saying it's no big deal, it's not a crime and they don't arrest you. We don't want that to happen in Florida."

Around 260 million packages worth nearly $20 billion in total were stolen from outside homes across the U.S. in 2022, according to a staff analysis of the bill. Videos of people stealing packages captured on home cameras like Ring are common on social media.

Even though the measure is co-sponsored by a Democrat, Tallahassee state Rep. Allison Tant, other Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill. They said
package thievery is a problem, but the lower threshold for a felony is too severe, especially for first time offenders. tallahassee.com

California, Texas, Florida & New York Lead the E-Commerce Pack
Report: 9 US states were responsible for half of ecommerce orders in 2023

US ecommerce brands are looking to sell in more countries on more channels, according to a new report.

More than
half of U.S. ecommerce flowed through nine states in 2023. In addition, TikTok became a bigger priority in omnichannel planning for retailers over the past year. That's according to a new report released by the fulfillment software provider ShipBob.

At a high level, the report showed that
the four most populous U.S. states - California, Texas, Florida and New York - were responsible for 35% of the country's ecommerce activity in 2023. Moreover, those states and five more - Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Washington - were the sources of 52% of overall ecommerce activity nationally during the year.

In recapping the activity, ShipBob noted that 83% of ecommerce brands across the board grew their revenue in 2023 year over year. 19% of the same group doubled their revenue over that time period. The report also characterized omnichannel strategies, which were pervasive among 48% of ecommerce brands surveyed.
48% indicated that they were currently selling on three or more different channels. digitalcommerce360.com

Nonstore retail sales, mainly online, grow 7.0% in December

4 worrying trends in tech that are fueling Google and Amazon layoffs





New York: Gang Steals Cars, Merch In East Coast Interstate Theft Scheme
A multi-agency investigation, including the Wappingers Falls Police Department, resulted in six New York men being accused of stealing cars and then using those cars to steal more than a half million dollars worth of merchandise. Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced Thursday a five-count indictment charging six men with interstate transportation of stolen property, interstate transportation of stolen motor vehicle and conspiracy counts. The charges are in connection with a 20-month scheme to steal rental cars from Hertz Global Holdings and other car companies and merchandise from Lowe's Companies Inc. and The Home Depot Inc. Peace said Christopher World, aka "Birdo," 22, of Brooklyn; Lovell Ambrister, aka "Stali," 22, of Bronx, and Hassen Lewis, aka "Fanboy," 22, of Brooklyn, were arrested Thursday, during which a gun with an extended magazine was found. They were scheduled to be arraigned Thursday. Trent Dance, aka "Tre Savv," 21, and Von Vincent, 22, both of Brooklyn, were detained on other charges in Valhalla and Auburn, Cayuga County, respectively. They will be arrested and arraigned at a later date. William Harvin, "Pook," 24, of Brooklyn, is still at large, the Wappingers Falls Police Department said, and is wanted on a violent felony warrant. Peace said the instruction manual for these defendants was simple: commit crimes at every stage and repeat. "
They stole over $300,000 in cars to drive to stores, which they robbed of over $500,000 in merchandise - and replayed this scheme at least 130 times across the East Coast," he said. "Let this serve as a warning: retail theft has real consequences."  patch.com

Chicago, IL: Organized Retail Burglary Ring Allegedly Led by Newly Arrived Illegal Aliens
The Chicago suburb of Oak Brook has been beset with an increase in retail theft and burglaries over the last year, and police say the leading culprits have been recently arrived illegal border crossers who have filtered out to the suburb from Chicago. The Oak Brook Police Department reports that 47 recently arrived illegal aliens have been arrested in connection with retail thefts and home and car burglaries just since October and more than 175 since last year, according to Newsbreak. Officials of the suburb - which is only about 25 minutes west of downtown Chicago and only minutes south of O'Hare International Airport where hundreds of illegals have been sheltering for months - noted that the thieves often use bags lined with sheets of tinfoil in an attempt to thwart store anti-theft protection devices at entrances, the New York Post reported. As far back as 2021 the Oak Brook Police Department reported a gang of about 14 individuals entering stores and stealing all they could carry. 

Nashville, TN: Serial shoplifter arrested trying to steal from Green Hills mall
A serial shoplifter has been arrested after trying to steal sunglasses worth nearly $1,500 from a store inside The Mall at Green Hills. Metro Police reported 56-year-old Donzel Watson tried to steal the sunglasses from the Nordstrom on Saturday. The pair of sunglasses was worth $1,495, police add.
A warrant was issued for Watson back in October for stealing more than $10,000 worth of merchandise from the Louis Vuitton store in September. The warrant was issued for six others regarding thefts at the Green Hills mall. Thefts have spiked in recent months at Green Hills mall, prompting calls to impose more deterrents for shoplifters. The most recent theft before Watson's took place on Jan. 10. During this crime, shoplifters targeted Zara inside the mall. Watson is also accused of stealing by 20 others including from Louis Vuitton, Home Depot and Lowes stores over a period of several months fox17.com

Coshocton County, OH: Illegal Chinese immigrant indicted on 309 charges related to gift card theft scheme
A Chinese man who entered the country illegally four months ago has been indicted by a Coshocton County grand jury on 309 felony charges related to a gift card counterfeiting scheme. Ming Xue, 32, of Hunan, Fujian, was indicted on 308 counts of counterfeiting, all fourth-degree felonies. The final charge was a second-degree felony of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. "This man was clearly on a nefarious mission to rip off as many Ohio consumers as possible," said Ohio Attorney General David Yost in a press release. "Hats off to the deputies who followed their instincts and got him off the streets before he could inflict more harm." Xue was observed hiding unloaded gift cards on his body and was detained by the store's loss prevention employees. Xue handed over several gift cards from his pockets to officers. Deputies later found Xue's vehicle in the parking lot with the engine running. Deputies noticed several open boxes full of gift cards inside. Xue is suspected of participating in a scheme with others in which they stole unloaded gift cards, altered them and placed them back into display racks. When consumers purchased the altered gift cards, they then allegedly stole the cash placed on the cards. 

North Bend, WA: Glass shattered, shoes strewn in North Bend outlet store burglary

Dalton, GA: Men caught on camera stealing $1.5K in merchandise from Georgia Walmart

North Platte, NE: Woman accused of stealing over $1000 of items from Gary's Super Foods appears in court

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Shootings & Deaths

Houston, TX: Update: Suspect turns himself in, charged with murdering gas station clerk over a bag of chips
A 17-year-old has been charged with murder after Humble police say he killed a gas station clerk over a bag of chips. The deadly shooting happened on Friday at the Sunoco off I-59 near the Eastex Fwy in Humble. Mario Young, 17, appeared in court Monday charged with murder after turning himself into the authorities. He's now being held in Harris County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Authorities say Young is a high school student at Humble ISD who used to work part-time at Subway. Young will be charged as an adult. He has no prior criminal history. Young and another teen turned themselves in to detectives for questioning Sunday with the help of community activist Quanell X. Quannell said he was contacted by Young, who is claiming self-defense. "
They did say to me that they believe, in their mind, it was self-defense. They believe the store clerk had a gun, and he pulled his gun first," Quannell said.  fox26houston.com

Upper Marlboro, MD: Police shoot Gas Station burglary suspect who allegedly dragged officer while fleeing
An attempted gas station burglary ends in gunfire and a police pursuit. It happened overnight Sunday on Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro. That's where Prince George's County Police were dispatched for a burglary in progress. Arriving officers discovered a van backed into the front of the gas station. Police say the same type van was used in another burglary just an hour prior. As police were about to go inside to investigate, two men came running outside of the store and into the van which turned out to be stolen from a church. One officer tried pulling the driver away, yet they were still able to put the van in drive and take-off all while dragging the officer in the process.  wmar2news.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Memphis, TN: Amazon semi-trailer ransacked outside Memphis distribution center
Memphis Police are searching for suspects who ransacked Amazon trucks near an Amazon distribution center overnight. A little after midnight Monday, officers responded to a prowler call at the Amazon Distribution Center on East Holmes Road. Security told police that a brown truck parked beside semi-trailers that were parked on the street. Four suspects got out of the car and broke into some of the semi-trucks. MPD found one of the trucks with its seal broken near Getwell Road. The driver said he did not know his truck had been broken into. WREG was in the area and noticed several yellow containers filled with an assortment of items spread out on the ground. Amazon Security and Loss Prevention was busy Monday morning sorting and gathering up the merchandise. Memphis Police say they do not have any video surveillance of the incident and were not able to get fingerprints. This is at least the second time an Amazon truck has been targeted in Memphis. Last week, a driver who was jackknifed on an icy Holmes Road said he had to fend off several people trying to break in. Counce isn't surprised that thieves are taking advantage of the extreme winter weather.  wreg.com

Newark, NK: DOJ: Pharmacy Exec. Sentenced to Three Years for $32M Health Care Fraud
A former president of a pharmacy business was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for his role in a health care kickback conspiracy involving prescriptions for Medicare and TRICARE beneficiaries, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced today. Elan Yaish, 54, of Israel, previously pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas to an information charging him with conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback statute. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: From September 2017 to around December 2020, Yaish participated in operating pharmacies, including Apogee Bio-Pharm LLC, in Edison, New Jersey. Yaish and others agreed to engage in a scheme to pay marketing companies to direct prescriptions for expensive medications to the pharmacies.  justice.gov

Los Angeles County, CA: Small businesses in LA County becoming targets of rampant thefts
Small businesses have been repeated targets in a string of break-ins and robberies in LA County. In Eagle Rock alone, more than 10 businesses have been victims of burglaries, forcing business owners to pay out of pocket to replace stolen and damaged property. Hype Kingdom, a sneaker store in Bellflower, was broken into on Jan. 21 by a group of 15 individuals who stole more than 500 items after driving through the store's security gates.  nbclosangeles.com

Chicago, IL: West Side robbery spree of Uber drivers prompts more calls for rideshare driver safety measures



Auto - Mobile, AL - Burglary
Auto - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Auto - Winston-Salem, NC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Paragould, AR - Robbery
C-Store - Los Angeles County, CA - Robbery
C-Store - Windsor Locks, CT - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Uniondale, NY - Robbery
C-Store - Kennett, MO - Armed Robbery
Clothing - North Bend, WA - Burglary
Dollar - Flint, MI - Armed Robbery
Dollar - New Castle, PA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Upper Marlboro, MD - Armed Robbery
Grocery - North Plate, NE - Robbery
Grocery - Benicia, CA - Robbery
Grocery - Philadelphia, PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Odessa, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Mebane, NC- Robbery
Jewelry - San Francisco, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Lansing, MI- Armed Robbery
Jewelry - San Francisco, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Aurora, CO - Robbery
Restaurant - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Belmont, NC - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Winston-Salem, NC - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Dalton, GA - Robbery                                  


Daily Totals:
• 23 robberies
• 3 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click map to enlarge




None to report.

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