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You picked an interesting time to get involved in Retail Loss Prevention

By Judd Cain, President - North America at Auror

"You picked an interesting time to get involved in Retail Loss Prevention" was the first thing a close friend said when I explained that I had joined Auror. He has a gift for understatement.

Ensuring associate and guest safety during the pandemic has been a huge challenge for the industry, and as usual, retail professionals have risen to meet it. Unfortunately, retailers have just solved for this new normal when along comes an old problem, but on a vastly larger scale: Organized Retail Crime (ORC) and recidivist offending. It's true that AP/LP is more important than ever.

Over the last several weeks I've had the privilege of talking to dozens of people in the industry, including AP/LP practitioners, retail executives, law enforcement officers, and solution providers - an incredible array of experience and wisdom.

Besides being struck by the high level of focus and commitment coming through from everyone I talked to, I was also surprised at how consistent everyone's feedback was about the challenges that confront the industry, and what opportunities we have to deal with them. Reflecting on what I've heard, I think it all fits neatly into the well-used framework of mindset, skillset, and toolset.

Read the full article here

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Illinois AG & Retailers Unveil New 'Organized Retail Crime Act'
Illinois Attorney General targets smash-and-grab crime with new legislation

Illinois AG & the Illinois Retail Merchants Association unveiled a draft bill that would create a new criminal charge - organized retail crime

Recent high-profile smash-and-grab retail crimes have shaken Chicago: Tourists are nervous, stores are doubling down on security and commuters are more wary.

To combat these thefts, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association unveiled a draft bill on Monday that would create a new criminal charge - organized retail crime - and make it easier for prosecutors to investigate and enforce it.

"Our goal is to disrupt the criminal enterprises that engage in organized retail crime, and send the message to the criminal operations that we will identify them and end the destruction they cause to our communities," Raoul said.

The proposed legislation aims to put a stop to retail crimes like recent high-profile incidents on the Magnificent Mile, at Oak Brook Center and in the Gold Coast, as well as raids directed at merchandise in transit.

The legislation, dubbed the Organized Retail Crime Act, would target the biggest offenders - those stealing for profit, not engaging in petty shoplifting. The proposed bill would make it harder for criminals to run from their crimes by allowing county state's attorneys to charge suspects with the whole theft ring, instead of just the part that happened within their respective county. It also allows the attorney general to charge those involved in organized retail crime through a statewide grand jury.

Part of the draft bill mirrors legislation also proposed on a federal level that would add a hurdle for criminals who sell their spoils online, requiring high-volume sellers on online marketplaces to verify their identity.

The bill would also create new jobs specifically dedicated to investigating and prosecuting retail theft in the attorney general's office and in various state attorney's offices, continue a public-private partnership between the attorney general's office and private stakeholders already started by the Organized Retail Crime Task Force and require courts notify victims of organized retail crime at least seven days before court proceedings. chicago.suntimes.com

   More Coverage of Illinois' New ORC Effort

   ● Retail crime rings targeted under new state proposal

   ● Illinois: New move to clamp down on 'flash mob' theft

Governor, AG address expressway shootings, organized retail crime

Progressive DA Backtracks on 'Soft-on-Crime' Policies
Manhattan D.A. Sharpens Crime Positions That Led to Weeks of Backlash

Alvin Bragg clarified policies on robbery and gun possession that had prompted widespread pushback, marring his first month in office.

Taking a tougher stance on the prosecution of gun possession and robbery, the Manhattan district attorney on Friday officially revised several policies that had been fiercely criticized as too lenient, marring his first month in office.

In an email to his staff, he said that the document had been "a source of confusion, rather than clarity," and emphasized that it was up to the office's prosecutors to determine how best to handle individual cases.

In the update, Mr. Bragg formalized revisions to key aspects of the memo, which he had already outlined in recent public appearances:

He said that commercial robberies that involved the use of guns - or even convincing-looking fake guns - would be charged as felonies, as would some robberies committed with other weapons. Mr. Bragg had said earlier that he would only charge robberies as felonies if a defendant had created "a genuine risk of physical harm."

He said that gun possession would be taken seriously and that those "walking the streets with guns" would be prosecuted. "The default in gun cases is a felony prosecution," he said. Gun possession had not been among the crimes Mr. Bragg previously said he would seek incarceration for.

He reiterated that violence against police officers would not be tolerated and that anyone who harmed an officer, or tried to, would be prosecuted - a clarification to his earlier announcement that he would not prosecute the stand-alone charge of resisting arrest. nytimes.com

New Calls to Change NY's Lax Bail Reform Law
NY bail reform push faces blowback from crime victims in emotional protest

DA Alvin Bragg's policies are too lenient, victim's mother said

New York's bail reform push is facing new calls for reform on its own, coming from crime victims who braved a cold, gray Monday morning rain to send prosecutors a pointed message.

"There are thousands of all kinds of criminal elements walking free in our streets," said activist Madeline Brame. "I try not to get too upset, I try not to get too fired up, but I have no choice."

She and other crime victims' families and criminal justice advocates rallied at Manhattan criminal court to protest New York's lax bail reform law, and to put pressure on progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to abandon policies that critics have said are too lenient to criminals.

The New York City Police Department reported that overall crime was up 38% in January 2022 compared to January 2021, and the city has been shocked by the cold-blooded killing of two police officers, allegedly by a convicted felon on probation, as well as several other murders committed by suspects with criminal records or out on bail.

Since the controversy exploded over Bragg's new progressive criminal justice policies, which saw a variety of crimes reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, he has tried to quell the furor. He now has said all armed robberies will be prosecuted as felonies, for example. But, critics said Bragg's apparent change in some areas was not enough.

Critics said bail reform has released dangerous criminals preying on citizens and endangering first responders. foxnews.com

New Seattle Prosecutor Pledges to Be Tough on Crime
Seattle vows quicker charging decisions to deter petty crime
Seattle's elected prosecutor on Monday promised quicker charging decisions to help tackle persistent low-level crime that's plagued businesses downtown.

City Attorney Ann Davison, a Republican who won election in November over progressive former public defender Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, said that her office will make charging decisions on all incoming cases within five business days.

Making charging decisions more quickly will help the city avoid adding to a backlog of about 5,000 cases at the City Attorney's Office, Davison said. Davison's office reviews misdemeanors and more serious crimes are handled by the King County prosecutor.

Like many cities across the country, Seattle has experienced an increase in crime, especially violent crime, amid the pandemic and as the ranks of officers dwindled. With retirements and resignations, the Seattle Police Department is down 350 officers following the 2020 mass protests for racial justice and talk of defunding police.

Davison last November was elected Seattle's first female city attorney after a campaign in which she promised to get tough on low-level crimes. Misdemeanor prosecutions had been reduced throughout the 12-year tenure of her predecessor, Pete Holmes.

Davison's opponent in the election, Thomas-Kennedy, took an opposite approach - saying she would work toward abolishing misdemeanor prosecutions in favor of diverting cases to mental health, addiction or restorative-justice programs.

Some downtown businesses have pleaded for increased attention to crime that has helped drive away customers. q13fox.com

The Ripple Effect of LA's Surging Rail Theft
Scores of guns stolen from trains cause more problems in L.A.
The thefts of the weapons offer a sobering peek into the vulnerability of rail networks that are part of the supply routes that help deliver an untold number of guns to stores and consumers every year. Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times they are investigating whether an argument over the stolen weaponry led to the killing of one man.

"I've got 24 years in LAPD, ex-military, secret clearance and I have to wait 10 days to get a new firearm and these guys are going into these containers with no locks and getting guns," said Capt. German Hurtado, who oversees the LAPD's Hollenbeck Division, where the rail yards are located. "These guns were unguarded, unprotected... God knows how many guns have been stolen that way."

Only a handful of the 82 guns known to have been stolen from trains passing through the Eastside neighborhood have been recovered. Investigators are not yet sure how many other weapons may have been pilfered, Hurtado said.

A gang in L.A.'s Eastside orchestrated the thefts, according to LAPD detectives. Feuding over who would profit from the stolen weaponry taken from the Union Pacific train yards appears to have been behind the killing of a person involved in the thefts, according to multiple law enforcement sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The cargo theft gained national attention earlier this month as images of the debris left on the Union Pacific tracks by thieves went viral. Union Pacific said it runs about 275 miles of tracks in Los Angeles County; since December 2020, an average of 90 containers a day have been burglarized. Most of those have occurred in two rail yards, including Lincoln Heights.

Union Pacific, which has police powers along the tracks, and law enforcement officials have squabbled about who is to blame for the cargo thefts. Police and former employees say Union Pacific has downsized its security forces in recent years amid wider cutbacks, leaving freight vulnerable. The company said it has deployed additional agents to Los Angeles County but has refused to specify how many officers are typically assigned to the area. latimes.com

Activists Call for More Reforms After Police Shooting
No-knock warrants in Minnesota under scrutiny after fatal police shooting
A Minneapolis city council committee held a hearing on no-knock warrants Monday afternoon following the death of Amir Locke, who was fatally shot in an apartment by Minneapolis police officers on Wednesday during the execution of a no-knock warrant.

A no-knock warrant allows the police to enter someone's home without knocking, sometimes without announcing their presence, attorney and criminal justice professor Rachel Moran said at the hearing.

Minneapolis Police Department updated its policy in November 2020, limiting no-knock warrants to "exigent" cases. Minneapolis police officers are required to announce their presence and purpose before entering a home, except for when announcing the officers' presence would create an imminent threat.

Moran, Crump and Storms said that policy changes on no-knock warrants haven't made a significant impact. abcnews.go.com
Ohio city considering automatic license plate readers to crack down on crime


COVID Update

543.6M Vaccinations Given

US: 78.3M Cases - 928.8K Dead - 48.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 398.8M Cases - 5.7M Dead - 318.7M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 346   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 631
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Cases are one-third of the peak 3 weeks ago
Here's where the US stands on other COVID metrics
The Omicron wave of Covid-19 cases has receded significantly in the US over the past few weeks, but more people are dying each day from the contagious illness than died during the peak of the Delta wave last summer.

The mixed metrics on Covid have created a contrasting, roses-and-thorns situation for Americans. Cases are declining and the burden on hospitals is lessening even as more than 2,400 people have died every day over the past seven days.

The US is now averaging just over 290,000 new Covid-19 cases per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. That's a higher daily total than in any previous wave of Covid-19, but it's a steep drop from just a few weeks ago.

Cases now are a third of what they were three weeks ago, when the total peaked at about 800,000 new cases per day. cnn.com

The End of California's Mask Mandate - Feb. 15
California confirms it will end universal indoor mask mandate next week
California's statewide mask mandate, which requires everyone wear face coverings indoors regardless of vaccination status, will be lifted Feb. 15 as anticipated, health officials said Monday, noting that cases have dropped dramatically from the peak of the omicron surge.

It was not immediately clear whether all Bay Area counties would also lift local mask mandates, some of which have been in place for six months. Several counties previously had said they planned to align with the state and ease their mandates right away. Others have hinted that they plan to apply new metrics for removing mandates, likely based around hospitalization rates.

The easing of the state order next week will not apply to K-12 schools, where indoor masking will continue to be required for all students and staff. Face coverings also will still be required on public transportation due to a federal health order, and in certain congregate settings like nursing homes.

Also, people who are not vaccinated will still be required to wear masks indoors in all public settings.

State officials said Monday that they felt confident lifting the mask mandate next week due to improving conditions from the omicron surge, plus the expectation that children under age 5 will soon be eligible for vaccines, and that drugs to treat COVID will be more widely available.

Cases statewide have dropped by more than 60% since the peak of the omicron surge three weeks ago, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID has fallen more than 30%. Deaths were climbing until recently, but appear to have leveled off over the past few days. sfchronicle.com

New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon Also Lifting Mask Mandates
Growing numbers of states saying mask mandates will end in coming weeks
With daily new coronavirus cases declining in every U.S. state over the past week, more states are opting to drop their indoor mask mandates as soon as next month, a glimpse into living with coronavirus.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Monday that the state's indoor mask mandate will expire Feb. 15, as new cases have decreased by 65 percent. Unvaccinated people will still be required to wear masks indoors.

New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware announced plans to drop statewide school mask mandates, while Oregon health officials said the state would drop its indoor mask mandate and school masking order by the end of March.

Infectious disease experts have warned that moving into the endemic phase of the coronavirus is a gradual process and not likely to happen overnight amid leaders hearing the exhausted demands of their constituents and adjusting public health ordinances accordingly. washingtonpost.com

Permanent Panic Buying?
Two Years Into Pandemic, Shoppers Are Still Hoarding

Bulk-buying habit is expected to stick as people eat more at home, supply remains uncertain and inflation rears up. Retailers and producers are shifting operations as a result.

Retailers and analysts predicted that the bulk buying in the early days of the pandemic, when supplies of many goods were constrained, would subside once people returned to work, stores were able to restock and vaccinations became widespread. Instead, Americans continue to stockpile food and household goods.

Many are spending more time at home and remain uncertain about product availability. Some have moved from tight-spaced apartments in cities to more spacious suburban homes, and inflation is spurring a search for savings by buying in bulk.

After more than 20 years of steady but slow sales growth, sales at bulk retailers Costco Wholesale Corp., Walmart Inc.'s Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. rose 26.6% in dollars and 18% in volume during the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter of 2019, according to IRI, far greater than any other type of retail including dollar stores, grocery, drugstores and mass merchants.

The return of bulk shopping is forcing changes at retailers, consumer-products manufacturers and appliance makers. "We thought we'd have a lull in demand because people bought so much initially. But the reality is [consumers] have established a new inventory level," and want more items stocked in their freezers, says Conagra's Mr. Nolan. wsj.com

Unvaxxed Employee Terminations
T-Mobile to terminate employees if not fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Gov. Greg Abbott has declared vaccine mandates illegal in Texas. However, private companies like T-Mobile are enforcing one for COVID-19.

An email sent to T-Mobile employees on January 28, stated workers will have until April 2 to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and obtain a "Magenta Pass." Any employee that does not have proof of vaccination will be terminated.

For call center employees, the deadline to show proof of at least the first dose is February 21 before being put on unpaid leave.

In a statement T-Mobile sent to ValleyCentral, the company said: We understand that this is a deeply personal decision for some employees but we believe that taking this step will put us in the best position to protect our T-Mobile community. valleycentral.com

Nationwide Rollout of COVID Test Vending Machines
IBrands Global installs COVID test kit machine in Jersey store
IBrands Global, a supply chain platform and brand collective that recently acquired Vendx, an touchscreen vending machine provider, has deployed its first COVID test kit vending machine at the FindTape retail store in North Brunswick, New Jersey, according to a press release.

With a touchless system, users may scan the machine's QR code and purchase a kit using Apple Pay or credit card. IBrands Global will be alerted when machine stock is running low and refill to capacity.

The company is looking to place additional machines throughout the Tristate area, with plans to roll out additional touchless machines nationwide. retailcustomerexperience.com

Connecticut, New Jersey & Delaware set timelines to end school mask mandates



2022 Store Openings vs. Closures
Colliers: Store openings on pace to surpass closures; vacancy rates down
Houston ranked as the top metro area for retail space (by square feet) under construction (as of the start of 2021).

That's according to a new report from Colliers' fourth-quarter U.S. retail report, which also forecasts that store openings in 2022 will surpass store closures for the first time since 2016.

The national vacancy rate dropped 10 basis points in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter, standing at 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Vacancy rates in the top 10 U.S. metro retail markets varied widely, from 2.8% in Boston to 4.0% in New York to 6.0% in Chicago.

Colliers' fourth-quarter U.S. retail report also revealed that retail space under construction stood at 51.0 million sq. ft. in the fourth quarter and that 21.3 million sq. ft. of retail space was delivered in 2021. The top five metros by sq. ft. under construction in the fourth quarter were Houston (3.9 million sq. ft.); Miami (3.5 million sq. ft.); Dallas-Fort Worth (3.2 million sq. ft.); New York (3.0 million sq. ft.); and Atlanta (2.2 million sq. ft.) chainstoreage.com

2,800 Jobs Cut - Factory Plans Scrapped
Peloton is cutting 20 percent of workforce as CEO steps down
Peloton is replacing its CEO and losing about 2,800 jobs among other cost-cutting measures, according to a press release issued by the company. The job cuts amount to around 20 percent of the former pandemic darling's corporate workforce, but will not affect the company's lauded roster of instructors or fitness content. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Peloton hopes the changes will boost profitability after waning demand for its connected fitness equipment have made it an acquisition target, with Amazon, Nike, and even Apple named as possible suitors. The company, once valued at $50 billion, plunged to around $8 billion last week before takeover rumors began to swirl.

Peloton's other cost-cutting measures include winding down the $400 million factory it was building in Ohio, and a reduction in delivery teams and warehouse space allowing it to cut costs by nearly $1 billion this year. theverge.com

Fortune Publishes List of World's Most Admired Companies
Which Food Retailers Landed on World’s Most Admired Companies List?
Ranking high for the third year in a row on the World’s Most Admired Companies list was Amazon. It scored second place in the overall All Star ranking, while grabbing the No. 1 spot in the Internet Services and Retailing category.

In the General Merchandisers category, Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Costco Wholesales ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively. BJ’s Wholesale Club came in at No. 5.

In the World’s Most Admired Companies' Food and Drugstores category, Publix Super Markets nabbed the No. 1 spot, followed by Walgreens Boots Alliance, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Kroger Co., Ahold Delhaize and Weis Markets Inc.

To see the full list, visit fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/2022. As it has in the past, Fortune collaborated with partner Korn Ferry on this year’s survey of corporate reputations. progressivegrocer.com

Nike Infringement Lawsuit
Nike is the latest company to file suit over NFTs as brands get serious about the marketplace
Nike is getting serious about protecting its brand in the burgeoning NFT marketplace. The shoe and apparel company filed a lawsuit last week against Detroit-based sneaker and apparel exchange StockX, which Nike has accused of selling NFTs that infringe on its trademarks.

A complaint filed by Nike on Feb. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleges that StockX has been selling NFTs that use Nike's trademarks without its authorization or approval.

"Recognizing firsthand the immense value of Nike's brands, StockX has chosen to compete in the NFT market not by taking the time to develop its own intellectual property rights, but rather by blatantly freeriding, almost exclusively, on the back of Nike's famous trademarks and associated goodwill," the filing said. fortune.com

Gap opening four retail stores at its headquarters
The openings come as Gap has closed hundreds of stores nationwide in the last several year.

Mall of America adds its 17th new tenant since the beginning of the year

Starbucks blames store closures, reduced hours on staff shortages from COVID

Papa Johns warns of shorter store hours, temporary store closures during labor shortage

Quarterly Results

Ralph Lauren Q3 North America revenue up 30%, Europe revenue up 47%, Asia revenue up 16%

Columbia Sportswear Q4 net sales up 23%, FY 2021 net sales up 25%

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Some Businesses Have 'Little Choice' But to Pay Ransomware
How the growing Russian ransomware threat is costing companies dearly

With KP Snacks the latest cyber-attack victim, firms must learn to defend themselves against a mounting menace

The cybercriminals behind REvil had mastered a form of extortion orchestrated by seizing control of company computer systems and demanding payment to unlock them. The ramifications of this increasingly common crime stretch from geopolitical tension between Russia and the west, to Britain's looming shortage of Hula Hoops, Skips and Nik Naks.

This week, KP Snacks wrote to shopowners to warn of supply issues until "the end of March at the earliest" as it "cannot safely process orders or dispatch goods". KP - and fans of its savoury treats - had become the latest victims of a ransomware attack that, as of Friday afternoon, the company was still fighting. Multiple calls to the company went answered.

Depending on the sophistication of the attack, the damage done by a prolonged shutdown, and whether the likes of Mandiant can fix it, there is sometimes little choice but to pay. On top of operational disruption, firms risk regulatory fines if data is leaked, as well as huge damage to their reputations.

Many now have cyber insurance that offers them the option of letting the insurer pick up the tab, albeit while fuelling criticism for potentially fuelling future attacks. Ransomware attacks are on the rise. There were 1,396 in 2020, according to Ransom-DB, which tracks such incidents. The number nearly doubled to 2,699 in 2021, with about 35-40% of cases ending in a ransom payment.

Its deputy director of incident management, Eleanor Fairford, says: "As long as cybercriminals make gains, as long as people pay them, it's a business model that is very lucrative. There's no reason why it should stop."

Some have proposed banning companies from paying ransoms, in theory removing the incentive for such attacks. This, warns Fairford, may just result in companies failing to report attacks or simply going out of business.

The challenges for those trying to stem the tide are manifold. Gangs are anonymous, rebranding, and relocating as quickly as the authorities can find them. theguardian.com

Smaller Ransomware Targets - Bigger Payouts
Ransomware gangs are changing their tactics. That could prove very expensive for some victims

Researchers detail how some ransomware groups are shifting towards smaller targets, but ones where they can still guarantee a significant payday.

AdvertisementThe cost and risk of executing ransomware attacks is going up, making it harder for cyber criminals to carry them out, which could lead to a decline in the number of overall ransomware attacks. But that could mean some ransomware victims end up paying a heavier price.

It's the rise in arrests relating to involvement in ransomware attacks which is cited as the biggest change to the ransomware landscape, with the arrest of several suspected REvil ransomware affiliates in Russia described as the most notable.

According to analysis by Coveware, this move has increased the risk profile of being involved with ransomware attacks, and thus decreases the pool of cyber criminals, because some will decide the potential for being arrested and extradited isn't worth the risk - to the extent that some are quitting.

However, while a decrease in the number of attacks would be a positive overall, it could potentially come with an unwelcome side effect - the cost of ransom demands going up, particularly for less high-profile victims.

According to Coveware, the average ransom payment during the final three months of 2021 was $322,168, more than double the figure of the previous quarter.

This rise comes following what researchers describe as a "tactical shift" towards targeting companies which are large enough to pay significant ransom amounts but are small enough that the attackers don't have to spend a lot of time and effort on preparing and launching the attack. zdnet.com

Geopolitical Tensions Spill into the Cyber Domain
Russian APT Steps Up Malicious Cyber Activity in Ukraine

Actinium/Gameredon's attacks are another reminder of why organizations need to pay additional scrutiny to systems in the region.

A Russia-based advanced persistent threat group that has been active for almost a decade has stepped up malicious cyberattack activity in Ukraine recently in another example of how geopolitical tensions routinely spill over into the cyber domain these days.

For organizations, the attacks are a reminder of why they need to pay close attention to systems located in the region and take measures to contain damage if they are targeted.

Researchers from Microsoft, Symantec, and Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 group last week released separate reports on recent cyber-espionage activity they observed tied to Actinium (aka Gameredon and Shuckworm), a threat actor believed linked to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB).

The attacks are part of a broader set of malicious cyber activity targeting Ukrainian entities that several security researchers have observed in recent months amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The activity - which many believe is being conducted by Russian operatives - has affected a wide range of government and private organizations in Ukraine. It has included ransomware and other forms of destructive attacks, cyber-enabled espionage activity, disinformation campaigns, and false flag operations. darkreading.com

FBI Flash Bulletin
FBI Publishes Indicators of Compromise for LockBit 2.0 Ransomware
The FBI today issued a flash bulletin that details the specific indicators of compromise (IoCs) associated with LockBit 2.0, whose operators offer the ransomware variant via a ransomware-as-a-service model.

LockBit 2.0 moves quickly, mainly because it can automatically encrypt devices in a Windows domain using Active Directory (AD) group policies. The ransomware attackers using LockBit often also threaten to leak stolen victim data on their doxxing site if the victim doesn't pony up with their ransom demands. According to the FBI, LockBit 2.0 is "a heavily obfuscated ransomware application leveraging bitwise operations to decode strings and load required modules to evade detection."

The FBI bulletin also includes specific steps organizations can take to minimize their vulnerability to an attack by the ransomware, including the usual key defenses, such as employing multifactor and strong authentication, updating software, using network segmentation, restricting user privileges to admin accounts, running a host-based firewall that limits connects to admin shares, ensuring offline data backups, and other best practices. darkreading.com

Log4j: Getting From Stopgap Remedies to Long-Term Solutions







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Grocery E-Commerce Surges
Walmart, Amazon lead as consumers' online grocers of choice

Nearly three-quarters of shoppers say they're e-grocery users, Chicory survey finds

Walmart stands well ahead of Amazon as consumers' main destination for online grocery shopping, according to new research from CPG/grocery digital commerce platform Chicory.

Of more than 1,000 U.S. adults polled in January, over 35% named Walmart as the retailer they use most often to buy groceries online, the third annual Chicory Online Grocery Usership Survey found. E-tail giant Amazon finished a distant second, cited by about 23% of respondents as their most-used online grocer. Third-party online grocery provider Instacart was the only other company to reach double digits, named by 10% of survey participants.

Also cited by consumers as top online grocery destinations were Target (9%), Kroger (7%), Albertsons/Safeway (3%), Stop & Shop/Giant Food (2%) and Target's Shipt delivery subsidiary (1%). About another 8% of respondents named other retailers. (*Note: Percentages are approximate.)

"Walmart and Amazon come in as the top online grocery retailers for the third year in a row," New York-based Chicory stated in the study. "Instacart, notably, held its position at No. 3. Considering Instacart has no brick-and-mortar locations, and is solely focused on grocery delivery, its place at No. 3 is impressive and reflective of the overall rise in popularity of digital grocery solutions."

As of January, 72% of shoppers surveyed by Chicory said they purchased groceries online in the past 90 days. That percentage reflects increased e-grocery use since before the pandemic, as just over 70% of consumers bought groceries online in the previous 60 days as of January 2021 and more than 50% did so as of January 2020. supermarketnews.com
Amazon-Peloton Buyout Deal?
Amazon, other potential buyers are courting a possible Peloton deal, per WSJ

Amazon is exploring a possible deal with Peloton, The Wall Street Journal reported.

After a rough month of tumbling shares and internal company struggles, Peloton's stock surged more than 30% on Friday after The Wall Street Journal reported several potential buyers, including Amazon, are eyeing a possible deal.

The publication reported that Amazon has spoken to advisors about a potential acquisition, though an arrangement is neither guaranteed nor imminent. Peloton is working with its own advisors as well, according to The Journal report.

Other possible buyers are also looking at acquiring the exercise-equipment creator, whose market value plummeted from nearly $50 billion last year to a current value of around $8 billion.

Other suitors could include Nike, Apple or private equity firms, the Financial Times said. businessinsider.com retaildive.com

Made-To-Order Online Shopping Is Here, But It's Just One Piece Of Retail's Sustainability Puzzle







"Operation Secret Shopper"
Escambia County, FL: State Law Enforcement Charges Two In Escambia Retail Theft Ring
Investigators with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) targeted organized retail theft rings in Escambia County as part of "Operation Secret Shopper," leading to the arrests of two people. OALE collaborated with a national retailer to identify several members of theft rings known to conceal Romex electrical wire rolls in shopping carts and pass all points of sale without paying for the items. The thieves are known to sell stolen wire directly to the public or to area metal recyclers. Law enforcement investigators used direct surveillance techniques to observe Scott Hollingsworth and two other suspects steal wire rolls and lighting valued at $2,461.42 from a local retail store. Following day, OALE law enforcement investigators observed Patrick Callahan steal wire rolls and a rug valued at $1,006.56 from a local retail store. Scott Mariane Hollingsworth, 39, was charged with felony grand theft, using or possessing the identification of another person, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Warrants are also being sought for Hollingsworth's accomplices. Patrick Michael Callahan, 62, was charged with felony grand theft, and possession of a controlled substance. Both suspects remained in the Escambia County Jail Sunday morning. Romex wire is electrical cable used to wire circuits for wall outlets, lights and more. northescambia.com

Dallas, TX: Suspect steals $100,000 worth of western clothing, boots, hats and belts
Investigators are asking for the public's help identifying someone who stole more than $100,000 of western clothing and materials, according to the Dallas Police Department. On Jan.15, around 1:20 a.m., a suspect broke into the Gomez Western Wear store located in the 1600 block of S. Buckner Boulevard in Dallas. This is just east of Umphress Park. The suspect took an assortment of clothing, boots, hats, and belts valued at over $100,000, according to police. The Dallas Police Department is asking for help identifying the burglary suspect seen in images taken from surveillance video. wfaa.com

Oak Brook, IL: Woman arrested during smash-and-grab robbery near Chicago
Bond was set at $50,000 Sunday for a Chicago woman accused of stealing more than $17,000 worth of merchandise from the Neiman Marcus store in Oak Brook. Terri Collins, 21, of the 100 block of West 110th Street, appeared in Bond Court yesterday morning where Judge Leah Bendik has been charged with one count of burglary and one count of retail theft, according to DuPage County State's Attorney's Office news release. On Feb. 5, at approximately 2:54 p.m., Collins, along with several other individuals, entered the store and met up with two males who were already in the store. Collins and the individuals with whom she entered the store, along with the two males who were previously in the store, allegedly went to a coat section of the store. Collins and the others cut the security wires off numerous Monclear coats and ran toward the store's exit. As Collins and the other individuals attempted to leave the store, a loss prevention officer knocked the items out of Collins' hands, including coats and a pair of wire cutters. She was detained at the scene while all the other individuals were able to flee prior to the arrival of Oak Brook police. Additional coats were found outside the store. shawlocal.com

Exton, PA: $10K in Merchandise Taken From Ulta Beauty
The West Whiteland Township Police Department states that thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen from the Ulta Beauty store, located at 131 E. Swedesford Road in Exton, on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Authorities say that the two pictured suspects took roughly $10,000 worth of makeup before fleeing the store. West Whiteland Police are investigating. mychesco.com

Plymouth Township, PA: Police Looking For $2000 Ulta Beauty Store Theft Suspects
Local police are asking for the public's help in identifying two individuals who were caught on video stealing around $2,000 worth of merchandise from the Ulta Beauty Store on Chemical Road in Plymouth Meeting last month. patch.com

Bannock County, ID: Man who pleaded guilty to Home Depot thefts gets probation
A man who pleaded guilty to a string of thefts at a local Home Depot store has been sentenced to probation. Micael Wayne Roden, 61, was sentenced to five years of felony probation by 6th District Judge Javier Gabiola at a hearing Thursday. A two- to seven-year prison sentence was suspended, and a 120-day discretionary prison sentence was attached to the probation. Roden was arrested in June after store loss-prevention officers reported a string of about 28 thefts spanning about a year. Along with the probation, Roden has been ordered to pay $4,944.22 in fines. eastidahonews.com

Suffolk County, NY: Man Accused Of Stealing $350 In Items From Long Island Dick's Sporting Goods Store

Dallas, TX: Police searching for person suspected of stealing more than $100,00 of Western Apparel

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Shootings & Deaths

Richland, WA: One dead, one employee critically wounded after shooting at Fred Meyer
Authorities are searching for a man who opened fire Monday at a grocery store in Washington state, killing one person and injuring another. The suspect in the shooting at a Fred Meyer store in Richland was described as a middle-aged white man with a handgun. He fled the store after the shooting, though it was not known he left by foot or in a vehicle, Richland police Commander Chris Lee said. Police said Monday afternoon they had identified the suspect but didn't release the person's name. The suspect has had contact with law enforcement in the past, police said. Dispatchers received a call reporting yelling and possible gunshots in the store at 11:03 a.m. The first officers responding arrived just one minute later, police said. Richland interim Police Chief Brigit Clary said responding officers found the two victims in close proximity to one another in the store and said although life-saving measures were tried, one had already died. The other, a store employee, was taken to a hospital, she said. He had undergone surgery and was listed in critical condition, police said Monday afternoon. nypost.com

UPDATE: Richland, WA: Alleged Washington state grocery gunman Aaron Christopher Kelly arrested
A 39-year-old man has been arrested in the shooting inside a Washington state grocery store that left a customer dead and an employee critically injured, officials said. Aaron Christopher Kelly was taken into custody "without incident" Monday night on Interstate 90 between Sprague and the city of Spokane, Richland police said. The suspect was taken to the Benton County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder, according to police. He was accused of opening fire at a Fred Meyer store in Richland, killing customer Justin Krumbah, 38, and critically wounding an unidentified employee, NBC News reported. Richland Police Cmdr. Chris Lee said Kelly and Krumbah had a conversation at the store earlier but it was not known what they talked about, CNN reported. "We don't know what the cause was," Lee said. "We don't know if it was specifically intentional or targeted toward any one person." Police don't know whether Kelly knew the customer, Lee added. nypost.com

Fayetteville, NC: 1 arrested, another still sought in clothing shop owner slaying
A South Carolina man has been jailed and a second person is still being sought in the January slaying of a Yadkin Road shop owner. Rasheem Lopez Grant, 28, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and conspiracy in the Jan. 4 shooting death of Eddie Saez, according to a Fayetteville Police Department news release. Saez, 34, was gunned down about 3 p.m. in his clothing store, Southern City Swag Boutique, at 4621 Yadkin Road. Grant was arrested in Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 14 with help from the U.S. Marshals and Columbia Police Department, the release said. He was brought from South Carolina on Friday and booked into the Cumberland County jail, jail records show. fayobserver.com

Las Vegas, NV: Death penalty sought in Las Vegas convenience store killing
Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for a man accused of fatally wounding a 36-year-old and opening fire on three others in a random shooting at a Las Vegas convenience store in November. Jesus Javier Uribe, 22, was charged with murder with a deadly weapon, three counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, burglary of a business while in possession of a firearm, two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, and 20 counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure. Prosecutors on Friday filed a notice of intent to seek capital punishment in the case, court records show.

Prosecutors accused Uribe of killing Curtis Abraham during an act of terrorism, according to court documents. Uribe was wearing tactical gear on Nov. 4 when authorities said he shot Abraham and fired about 20 rounds at the Short Line Express Market, 7730 Jones Blvd. Uribe then walked into the store and shot at a man who ducked out of the way, authorities have said. He also fired at a female clerk and Abraham's girlfriend, who had ran into the back of the store after hearing the spray of bullets outside, according to Uribe's arrest report. Uribe had "no known connection" with Abraham or any of the people he shot at, according to Friday's notice authored by prosecutor Binu Palal. reviewjournal.com

High Point, NC: Man murdered after being gunned down near ATM at C-Store

Utica, NY: Man charged with murder after shooting at Fastrac


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Albuquerque, NM: Smith's Grocery Loss Prevention confronts two armed men
The Albuquerque Police Department has released surveillance footage of a Smith's security guard facing off with two armed suspects over a case of beer. As the surveillance video starts, a security guard is seen pinning a man to the ground. They are wrestling for more than a minute as shoppers gather around, filming the fight on their phones. As the fight continues, it appears the suspect attempts to pull out a gun, but one bystander steps in and kicks the firearm away. A security guard picks up the gun and the suspect runs away. But a short time later, the suspect comes back in the store demanding they return his gun, and this time he's not alone. Another masked man walks in waving a black handgun. Security backs away but the fight continues in the store. Two-on-one, the security guard continues to fight back - even taking a few hits. Eventually, all of the suspects leave the store in what police describe as a white Kia. kob.com

Magee, MS: Restaurant owner says employee caught stealing supplies, selling to other establishments
The owner of Berry's Seafood and Catfish House in Magee is offering reward money over an employee's alleged theft. Carroll Berry posted a message to Facebook describing the incident where the employee was caught amid suspicious behavior. Berry says he noticed a large cooler and boxes in the back of an employee's truck one morning. He looked inside the cooler to find 60 pounds of filets and a 23 pound roast and contacted Magee police. Berry says the employee was arrested and his truck was searched. In total, $1,200 worth of food was found that had been stolen from the restaurant. Berry says they looked back at older footage and found more than $2,000 worth of merchandise also being stolen. Berry says they believe the food is being sold around the country to other restaurants. wlbt.com

Augusta, GA: Man pleads guilty to robbery and kidnapping charges in the 2018 holdup of Verizon store

Cincinnati, OH: Wendy's employee assaulted by 2 female suspects; upset by the way the Wendy's employee handed them their food in the drive-thru

San Bernardino, CA: Man believed to be linked to multiple Armed Robberies arrested

Deer Park, NY: Woman Robbed Of $3,100 LV Bag After Being Followed From Mall To Suffolk County Home

UK, Wales: Shoplifter who listed $500 of items for sale on Facebook handed suspended sentence

UK, Gloucester: Fleeing thief told TK Maxx staff he had a knife




C-Store - Reno, NV - Burglary
C-Store - Akron, OH - Burglary
C-Store - Berkeley, CA - Burglary
C-Store - Panama City, FL - Burglary
Clothing - Evansville, IN - Burglary
Clothing - Dallas, TX - Burglary
Gas Station - Lind, WA - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Albuquerque, NM - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Augusta, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Tulalip, WA - Robbery
Jewelry - Sandusky, OH - Robbery
Jewelry - Portland, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Edison, NJ - Robbery
Nieman Marcus - Oak Brook, IL - Robbery
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Restaurant - New York, NY - Robbery
Restaurant - Nottingham, MD - Burglary
Walgreens - Rockford, IL - Burglary
Walmart - Egg Harbor, NJ - Robbery
7-Eleven - Anderson, SC - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Portsmouth, VA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 13 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Loss Prevention Auditor
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Asset Protection Specialist
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Region Asset Protection Manager-South Florida Region (Bi-lingual Required)
Doral, FL - posted December 21
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...

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Regional Loss Prevention and Safety Specialist
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Safety Director (Retail Background Preferred)
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Corporate Risk Manager
Fort Myers, Miami, Tampa FL - posted October 5
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: A proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries, whether to our employees, third parties, or customer's valuables. They include but are not limited to cash in transit, auto losses, or injuries...

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