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Steven Bova named Senior Manager Asset Protection for The Walt Disney Company
Before joining The Walt Disney Company as Senior Manager Asset Protection, Steven spent more than four years with Petco as Director, Loss Prevention & Security. Prior to that, he served as Director Asset Protection Safety & Security for Taco Bell. Earlier in his career, he held AP/LP roles with Starbucks and Lord & Taylor. Congratulations, Steven!

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







Strengthen Retail & Law Enforcement Alliances at NRF PROTECT

Experience the NRF Fusion Center at NRF PROTECT, happening June 4-6 in Long Beach, Calif.

What is the NRF Fusion Center?

  • The NRF Fusion Center is the central command center for retailers to connect with law enforcement at the federal, state and local level as well as mall security and organized retail crime associations.

How can you take advantage of it?

  • Connect and Collaborate: Share valuable information, pose questions and foster stronger relationships with colleagues interested in your organization's protection.

  • Strategic Discussions: Get new insights and tools to counter retail theft, fraud, cybersecurity threats and enterprise risk issues.

  • Interactive Demos: Check out K-9 demonstrations by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Experience the NRF Fusion Center for free!

  • Get access to the NRF Fusion Center, 220 solution providers, Exhibitor Big Ideas Sessions and networking events like the NRF PROTECT Opening Party when you register for a Free Expo Pass.


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Retail Crime is Not Decreasing - It's Just Massively Underreported
'An estimated 80 percent of retail theft goes unreported these days'

Opinion: The Left Is Wrong - Retail Crime Is on the Rise
The Left says retail crime is going down. The truth?
Theft has become so pervasive - and ordinary - that retailers have simply stopped reporting it.

In 2023, NRF reported a continued increase in retail shrink caused by crime. The 2023 survey reported $112.1 billion in losses in fiscal year 2022 - up nearly $20 billion from fiscal year 2021. Despite the clearly evidenced rise in violence and organized retail crime,
the Left will tell you that retail crime is going down.

The Council on Criminal Justice data show that - apart from New York City - reports of shoplifting fell 7 percent. Per the report,
San Francisco had among the largest decreases in shoplifting from the first half of 2022 to the first half of 2023.

The fatal flaw in such studies on shoplifting is that
they rely on the number of reports which were made, not on the actual number of incidents which occurred. These studies confirm that reports of shoplifting are decreasing nationally, but they cannot conclude that shoplifting itself is decreasing nationally (although they often do).

According to the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA), which has worked closely with consumers and retail executives to track the rise in shoplifting in California,
an estimated 80 percent of retail theft goes unreported these days. Why is this?

For obvious reasons,
stores don't want to tell their customers - or their potential employees - that violence on their property is on the rise. As Totten surmised, "They're protecting brand. They don't want to tell the parents of the young people that work in their stores that it's risky for them to do so. They don't want to tell their customers that there is risk associated with them shopping there. So, a lot of theft is underreported."

O. H. Skinner, executive director of the Alliance for Consumers, has noted the heavy costs suffered by the consumers in the face of rising, underreported retail crime. In a letter sent out to executives of the top 25 retailers in the U.S., Alliance for Consumers called on retailers to take action. "
When you fail to report theft, robbery, and other crimes, it plays into the hands of the officials who have set our cities ablaze; it empowers those officials to downplay the crime we see all around us as they blithely point to statistics that blatantly underreport what is happening."

faithful reporting of crime by retailers would confirm for all - even Governor Newsom and the New York Times - that retail crime is truly on the rise. Only then might the surge be stopped. nationalreview.com

Businesses Under Siege, Stores Fleeing Big Cities
Some big cities have fewer retail stores now than before COVID

Retailers flee cities as unarmed security, public authorities fail to curb thefts
Businesses have cited the rise of online shopping and declining in-store profits for
pulling out of urban centers from San Francisco to New York. But insiders see a deeper problem in the inability of unarmed security staff to keep employees and merchandise safe, making fewer people want to work or shop in big cities with soft-on-crime policies.

With Walmart and Target both eclipsing $500 million in retail theft losses last year, it's no surprise that the
retail giants have closed stores in cities "where theft has gotten out of control," said Kristin Moss, chief ambassador for DealAid.org, which offers online discounts for more than 10,000 U.S. retailers.

Last year,
safety concerns forced Target to close nine stores in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Ms. Moss pointed to data showing a concentration of Walmart stores with the highest retail losses in cities with the lowest prosecution rates for shoplifting.

An analysis by J.P. Morgan found
San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Miami had fewer retail businesses in the fourth quarter of 2023 than before the pandemic.

The uptick in merchants pulling out of inner cities comes as
corporate offices have ordered employees not to interfere with thefts, opting to absorb the losses rather than risk the liability of violent confrontations.

Stores nationwide have locked certain merchandise such as Dove soap behind plastic shields, hired unarmed security guards and trained employees to deter theft without violence. The trend has even reached stores that eliminated positions and converted to self-checkout to save money during pandemic labor shortages.

According to a DealAid.org study, businesses that replaced staff with self-checkout terminals faced an increase in retail thefts of up to 50% last year. As a result,
37.1% of retailers increased the size of their loss prevention and asset protection teams, placing additional security and employees near self-checkout terminals to reduce theft.  washingtontimes.com

Stores Refusing to Press Theft Charges - Is It Fueling the Surge?
Why don't more stores press charges against shoplifters?

Store policies not to prosecute for theft 'send the wrong message,' state attorney says

Retailers in Florida lost more than $5.4 billion in revenue to theft in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation. In Georgia, it was more than $2.3 billion.

Despite major losses caused by shoplifting,
many stores have policies that decline to press charges against thieves. State Attorney Melissa Nelson said that's frustrating to her both as a prosecutor and as a citizen.

Nelson said
the state can sometimes choose to prosecute offenders without a victim -- in this case the store -- pressing charges. But their job becomes much more difficult without the store's cooperation.

"And it sends the wrong message," Nelson said. "
It certainly sends the wrong message to law-abiding citizens who are working hard to pay their bills."

According to data from the Loss Prevention Research Council, one of the reasons
retailers are opting for a "hands-off" approach to catching shoplifters is an increase in violence, particularly from those involved in organized retail crime.

More than two-thirds
(67%) of respondents told the LPRC that they were seeing even more violence and aggression.

And the consequences for retail theft go beyond lost revenue. Retailers reported being forced to
close a specific store location (28%), reduce operating hours (45%), or reduce or alter in-store product selection (30%) as a direct result of retail crime, the LPRC said. news4jax.com

Members of Both Political Parties Partner to Fight Theft
'This shouldn't be a partisan issue ... We need to fix these laws'

New York Lawmakers take action against retail crime

Bipartisan bill would increase penalties for repeat shoplifters

Republican state Sen. Jake Ashby joined other local elected officials at Colonie Center Thursday, Feb. 1, to promote the
state legislative action to combat the increase in retail crime. Colonie Center has been suffering from a spike in retail crime after the state implemented criminal justice and bail reforms in 2019.

Ashby and
Assemblyman (Angelo) Santabarbara, a Democrat, sponsored the bill, which would increase criminal penalties against repeat shoplifters and help crack down on repeat offenders of petit larceny.

The Senate Bill S7599, introduced July 12,
amends the penal law in relation to grand larceny in the fourth degree. Santabarbara introduced the Assembly version.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue. I'm all for the investments in education, mental health and addiction treatment and that will make our communities safer," Ashby said. "But what about right now? We need to fix these laws and keep the social fabric of our communities from coming apart."

Jeff Law, General Manager of Colonie Center said he recognizes the
importance of enhancing the penalties of individuals who are involved in illegal theft from retailers as a productive measure to deter those activities and if the shoppers and tenants witness a crime, must contact the proper authorities.

Albany County Sheriff Criag Apple said that
shoplifting is the low hanging fruit and the state needs to immediately address it. Under the current bail laws, even if a person is charged with grand larceny, judges cannot set bail. They have to be released within a few hours, no matter how many cases are open against them. spotlightnews.com

NY's Fight Against Theft Makes More Headlines
Hochul proposes dedicated police forces to deal with retail theft
In response to the growing concern over retail theft in New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced new initiatives aimed at curbing shoplifting. Highlighted in her state of the state address, Governor Hochul's plan includes boosting funding for local and state police forces to establish dedicated teams focused on tackling this issue. Additionally, the governor is advocating for the creation of a tax credit to support businesses that have been adversely affected by theft.

Amid rising incidents of shoplifting, which have impacted both local shops and large retailers, the state is exploring various strategies to address the problem. Senator Jake Ashby has echoed the need for more robust measures, introducing a bill to the senate aimed at increasing penalties for repeat offenders. This legislative effort underscores the urgency of finding effective solutions to protect businesses and maintain public safety.

While Governor Hochul vetoed a bill last November that sought to establish a task force against organized theft, her current stance signals a proactive approach to legislative changes. The proposed legislation to enhance penalties for assaulting retail workers marks a significant step towards addressing the broader issue of retail crime in New York. These measures represent the state's commitment to safeguarding businesses and ensuring a safe shopping environment for its citizens. fingerlakes1.com

New D.C. Crime Bill Clears First Hurdle
DC Council gives initial approval to sweeping crime bill

The bill before the D.C. Council includes sections on gun crimes, pretrial detention, drug-free zones, carjackings, police pursuits and retail theft

The D.C. Council gave initial approval Tuesday to a
comprehensive crime bill, aiming to reduce homicides, carjackings and other violent crime, especially among young people. The long-awaited first of two votes passed without a controversial provision that would allow police to collect DNA when a person is arrested.

Its provisions would increase penalties for gun crimes. For instance,
firing a gun in public would be a felony. It would make it easier for judges to order pretrial detention for those accused of violent crimes - both adults and juveniles.

Other provisions cover retail theft, as stores lock away merchandise or close for good.
For repeat thieves who may be stealing at a misdemeanor level, after a certain number of arrests or convictions, they could be prosecuted as felons," Mendelson said. nbcwashington.com

Prosecutors Given a New Blueprint for Mass Shooting Cases?
A Mom's Conviction Offers Prosecutors a New Tactic in Mass Shooting Cases

The guilty verdict in Michigan against the mother of a school shooter will reverberate in prosecutors' offices around the country

guilty verdict on Tuesday against the mother of a Michigan teenager who murdered four students in 2021 in the state's deadliest school shooting is likely to ripple across the country's legal landscape as prosecutors find themselves weighing a new way to seek justice in mass shootings.

That's because prosecutors in Michigan had
notably compelling evidence against the mother, Jennifer Crumbley - including text messages and the accounts of a meeting with school officials just hours before the shooting at Oxford High School on Nov. 30, 2021 - that jurors felt proved she should have known the mental state of her son, Ethan Crumbley, who was 15 at the time.

Legal experts who have followed the case say the successful prosecution of Ms. Crumbley, 45,
provides a template for prosecutors around the country to pursue similar cases. nytimes.com

Homicides are up but property crimes are down in Virginia Beach

Waco, TX chief reports 5-year crime decrease during city council meeting

2 Million U.S. Workers Are Victims of Workplace Violence Each Year
Workplace Safety And Well-Being On The Decline In 2024, Study Shows
As you enter 2024, whether back in the office or working remotely,
psychological and physical safety threats continue to emerge. During these turbulent times, psychological safety is the ability to bring your full self to work, take risks and allow yourself to be vulnerable without fear of negative consequences. Given the incidences of cyber threats, coupled with the acts of workplace violence and mass shootings across the country, many employees are not aware of emergency plans for active shooter incidents, cyber attacks or workplace violence.

The team at Traliant surveyed over 1,000 U.S. employees for Fear Factors: A 2024 Employee Survey Report on Workplace Violence, Harassment and Mental Health. They found that mental health is a major area employers need to focus on in 2024. A full
86% of the respondents either strongly or somewhat agreed that employers need to do more to address mental health needs in the workplace. Some of the top contributors were burnout and toxic management practices, in addition to wage stagnation which signals that macroeconomic factors are contributing to employees' mental health concerns.

Workplace Violence

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) found that nearly two million U.S. workers are victims of workplace violence each year. The Traliant report also uncovered concerns around workplace violence and misconduct and harassment. Some of the key findings were:

90% believe other states should adopt workplace violence prevention policies that are similar to California's newly signed law.

Almost one in four have witnessed workplace violence happening to another employee in the last five years, and 12% have been the target of workplace violence themselves.

Currently, only 44% of workers strongly agree that their employers promote a speak-up culture, where employees can report misconduct without fear of retaliation.

How Employers Can Promote Well-Being And Safety

"To close this gap, there needs to be a comprehensive effort made by employers to promote safety across the workplace," Johnson points out. "This includes the obvious physical features such as locks and security badges, but also better training."  forbes.com

The Self-Checkout Evolution Continues Amid Shrink Concerns
Rethinking self-checkout amid the risks of shrink
Concerns about shoplifting and shrink continue to grow. Meanwhile, many retailers are hyper-focused on protecting the customer experience, which can suffer when they rely too heavily on self-checkout systems. Here are three tips for achieving balance in your approach to self-checkout.

Use a store-specific lens

Some stores have stronger incentives to rethink self-checkout than others. That could be because the store has a bigger problem with shrink than other locations in the portfolio, or a higher percentage of regular customers who dislike these systems.

If shrink is getting out of control at a given store, stronger steps might be necessary.
Self-checkout lanes create well-documented opportunities for people to walk out of the store with pilfered merchandise. In addition, higher rates of shoplifting can lead to more confrontations with suspected criminals - an unpleasant experience for all and a potential liability risk for the retailer. At some stores, drastically reducing or eliminating self-checkout might be the best way to go.

Create a 'security box'

Retailers that do decide to remove a few of their self-checkout lanes could consider using the newly available space to create what might be thought of as a "security box." This involves
positioning self-checkout lanes within a self-contained area, with one entrance and one exit. Typically, an employee will stand at the exit to both assist customers and watch what's going on.

Stay open to other tech options

Retailers should stay open to new technology solutions hitting the market. Various companies continue to push the envelope on self-checkout via experiments involving the likes of
biometric-detection, mobile apps, RFID chips and AI-fueled cameras and carts. At some point, the push for innovation could lead to checkout nirvana - an automated approach that truly is headache-free for both shoppers and stores. chainstoreage.com

H&M's new store concept features a secondhand shop-in-shop

How Will Valentine's Day Fare for Retail in 2024?

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Everon Announces 4th & 5th Acquisition Within
24 Hours of Each Other

Everon Acquires Regional Banking Security Integrator, Customized Service Concepts, LLC

Acquisition is the organization's fourth acquisition, expands service capabilities for ATMs and banking institutions across the New England region

Boca Raton, Fla., Feb. 6, 2024 - Everon, also known as ADT Commercial ("ADT Commercial" or the "Company"), a leading security integrator and premier provider of commercial security, fire and life safety in the U.S., announced today the purchase of Customized Service Concepts, LLC (CSC), with locations in New Hampshire and Connecticut. This is the fourth acquisition that Everon has completed since emerging as a standalone organization in October 2023, and its third completed in Q1 2024. With the purchase of CSC, Everon is focused on enhancing its service capabilities for banking and financial institutions in the New England area and across the Northeast.

"Welcoming the CSC team to our organization proves we're delivering on our promise to serve our customers more holistically across markets and particularly in the banking security industry," said Dan Bresingham, Chief Executive Officer. "With CSC's decades-long experience, particularly in the banking and financial sector, we're adding critical expertise to our organization and enhancing the quality and depth of service we can provide across the New England area."

Read more here

Everon Acquires Michigan-Based Riverside Integrated Systems, Inc.

Acquisition marks the fifth acquisition for the growing integrator, expands fire and life safety service capabilities in the Midwest region

Boca Raton, Fla., Feb. 7, 2024 - Everon, also known as ADT Commercial ("ADT Commercial" or the "Company"), a leading security integrator and premier provider of commercial security, fire and life safety in the U.S., announced today the purchase of Riverside Integrated Systems, Inc. based out of Grand Rapids, MI. This is the fifth acquisition that Everon has completed since emerging as a standalone organization in October 2023, and its fourth this year. With the purchase of Riverside Integrated Systems, Inc., Everon continues to deliver on its promise for geographic and service coverage expansion across the U.S.

"This is an exciting time for Everon, and we're proud to welcome Riverside Integrated Systems' talented team and leadership to our rising organization," said Dan Bresingham, Chief Executive Officer. "Joining forces with Riverside - with their extensive history of expertise in the fire and life safety business - greatly extends our service capabilities across the region and helps us to deliver as a single-source provider for our customers."

Read more here







Insider Threat Incident Hits 63,000 Verizon Employees
Verizon Employee Data Exposed in Insider Threat Incident

Tens of thousands of workers are effected by a fellow employee dipping into files that include everything from SSNs and names to union status and compensation data.

About 63,000 Verizon employees have been affected by a breach that
occurred in September 2023 but which wasn't discovered for three months.

In a notice to the Maine attorney general's office, the telecom giant noted that the
breach was caused by an insider threat but that it was an "inadvertent disclosure" rather than a malicious one.

The exposed information includes
names, addresses, Social Security numbers, gender, union affiliations, dates of birth, and compensation information - basically a phisher's social engineering giftbox.

"[On Sept. 21], a Verizon employee obtained a file containing certain employee personal information without authorization and in violation of company policy," according to a sample letter to victims filed with the Maine attorney general's office. "Promptly after learning of the issue [on Dec. 12], we conducted a review. ... At this time,
we have no evidence that this information has been misused or shared outside of Verizon as a result of this issue."

Verizon - which offers consumer wireless, home Internet, IT consulting, business communications, cybersecurity offerings, and much more - did not immediately respond to Dark Reading's request for more details on the breach.

The service provider said it was reviewing its technical controls to
prevent a repeat of the situation down the line, but Jim Alkove, co-founder and CEO of identity security startup Oleria and former chief trust officer at Salesforce.com, believes that it's equally important to be mindful of security mindset. darkreading.com

Number of Commercial Spyware Vendors Continues to Grow
The fight against commercial spyware misuse is heating up
Though there are organizations out there investigating how commercial spyware is misused to target journalists, human rights defenders and dissidents, the growing market related to the development and sale of this type of software and the exploits used to deploy it is still very much shrouded in mystery.

Advertisement"While prominent [commercial spyware vendors] garner public attention and headlines, there are dozens of others that are less noticed, but play an important role in developing spyware," says Shane Huntley, senior director at Google Threat Analysis Group (TAG).

In a report published on Tuesday, Google TAG named
eleven commercial spyware vendors and their products - some of them more and some less known. (We've all heard about NSO Group and Intellexa, but have your hear about PARS Defense and Wintego Systems?)

Many CVSs operate openly, though they share sensitive details only with their (prospective) customers.

"The number of CSVs around the globe is impossible to count, with
new companies opening each year and existing ones reincorporating under new names. TAG currently tracks approximately 40 CSVs developing and selling exploits and spyware to government customers," the group said.

Apart from commercial surveillance vendors and private sector offensive actors, other actors on the spyware market include vulnerability researchers and
exploit developers, government customers (who buy and use the spyware), and brokers that act as intermediaries between these groups. helpnetsecurity.com

Check Your Printers!
Critical Bugs in Canon Small Office Printers Allow Code Execution, DDoS

A grouping of serious printer bugs, unveiled at last summer's Pwn2Own, were patchless for months, but are finally fixed now.

The company assigned them all "critical" 9.8 out of 10 ratings on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) scale. As explained in a security advisory, they can
allow unauthenticated attackers to remotely perform denial of service (DoS) or arbitrary code execution against any affected printers connected directly to the Internet. They also offer a handy pivot point to burrow deeper into victim networks.

Beyond the obvious step of updating to the latest firmware, Canon is advising its customers to "set a private IP address for the products and create a network environment with a firewall or wired/Wi-Fi router that can restrict network access."

The advice speaks to a larger point: that even if printers are thick and unwieldy, what's manageable is their connectivity.
The best way to protect the printers themselves, meanwhile, is to patch. As Childs recalls, "I can't tell you how many times I've heard of printers that were exploited that were three or four updates behind." darkreading.com

White House ramping up efforts to combat deepfakes

Microsoft: Iran is refining its cyber operations







How much do you know about
cannabis security?

Get your cannabis security education through My Sapphire Training or check out some of our FREE resources to learn more!

Crafted by our expert team, this FREE guide will introduce you to the three phases of opening a cannabis business - providing you with everything you need to know about cannabis security!

Starting with the application, through construction, and into operation, security remains a crucial component of a successful cannabis business.


Improving Cannabis Security While Reducing Burden on Businesses
Thoughts to Improve Security Regulations Across the Nation

Sapphire works with clients all over the country to ensure that their security standards apply best practices and meet compliance requirements. However, several business owners in the cannabis industry alert us to burdensome requirements from regulators.

In this article, we examine common security regulations which may be construed as "burdensome". Then we explain the ramifications of each. Finally, we offer solutions which may be aligned with best practices as well as with regulators' interests.

Excessive Video Retention

In the camera-heavy cannabis industry, we see hundreds of terabytes of storage required to meet regulations.

Most retail and warehouse businesses store video for between 7-30 days. 90 days is common for cannabis businesses (California, Massachusetts, Maryland). Canada still requires one year of retention, while West Virginia and Pennsylvania previously did (now both at 180 days). More retention can double the materials costs for video systems, to say nothing of increased maintenance costs. States like Illinois or Mississippi require off-site cloud storage. Yes, this feature removes reliance on an on-site NVR and makes remote access easier; however, again the price tag jumps dramatically, and onsite bandwidth requirements become a non-negligible calculation.

Our suggestion is to cap video retention at 45 days, which is sufficient for most investigations. As cloud storage technology develops, it may become more affordable, but for now, it annihilates security budgets for several years forward without clear ROI. Perhaps an emphasis on motion-activated recording instead of continuous recording would increase ROI for cloud storage.

Secondary Alarm Systems

Requiring two alarm systems with two separate monitoring companies creates an installation expense AND a recurring (monthly) expense. Redundancy can be achieved within one alarm system, or better yet, one can spend that money on proactive video monitoring or better door hardware. UL 681-standard alarm systems are much tougher to beat than those with minimum capabilities. Generators and battery backups can solve the power-outage problem. Overnight private security patrol/response teams are ideal too, when available.

Fencing Materials

A solution of 6-foot fencing with screening and possibly barbed/razor wire will enhance barrier security. Emphasis on CPTED generally produces strong ROI. Either of these will hopefully assuage those who want above-standard fencing. sapphirerisk.com

Federal Gov Taking 'Biggest Step Toward Weed Legalization in 100 Years'
What to know about the federal government's big changes to marijuana rules coming soon
Whenever it happens, rescheduling marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act - which
regulates what drugs are considered illegal and just how illegal they are - would be the biggest step the federal government has taken toward marijuana legalization since it was first outlawed nearly 100 years ago.

AdvertisementIt's the cap of a nearly 15-month process that began in October 2022, when President Joe Bidden tasked the Department of Health and Human Services with reviewing how marijuana is scheduled. In August, the department formally recommended rescheduling the drug, formally filing its recommendations with the Drug Enforcement Administration, which has the final say.

But when the HHS released documentation concerning its rationale for rescheduling, it sparked a renewed debate:
Does rescheduling marijuana go far enough?

What does rescheduling marijuana actually mean?

Currently, cannabis is a Schedule I drug which means the federal government determines there's no medicinal value. Other Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD and ecstasy. In 2022, Biden recommended that cannabis be rescheduled as a Schedule III substance, like ketamine, testosterone, anabolic steroids or Tylenol with codeine. cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

One State Seeing Massive Success in Legal Pot Sales
Massachusetts breaks record for marijuana sales, for the 6th year in a row
set a new record for marijuana purchases in 2023, with December capping the year off as the best-ever sales month, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) said in a press release Tuesday.

Adult-use marijuana establishments in
the state grossed more than $1.56 billion in sales last year, surpassing total gross sales in 2022 by $78 million and marking the sixth consecutive year of record-setting growth for the industry since the first legal sales of the substance began in 2018, the CCC said. cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

Judge rejects a claim that New York's marijuana licensing cheats out-of-state applicants

Two years after legalising it, Thailand set to ban recreational cannabis use




BNPL Fueling Chargebacks & Other Challenges?
Half of Merchants Offering Installment Plans See Increased Chargebacks as Primary Pain Point
Split-payment plans, or installment plans as they are more popularly called, have gained momentum in the consumer commerce space in recent years. These plans - not only general-purpose card plans but also split-payment plans that use merchant or store cards and buy now, pay later
(BNPL) - have become increasingly popular as customers look for more convenient and flexible payment choices.

While merchants largely recognized the advantages of offering split payment plans, the data revealed that might have
faced various challenges when implementing these options.

Half of surveyed merchants reported that
general-purpose card installment plans led to increased chargebacks, directly impacting their costs. Similarly, other split-payment alternatives, including merchant or store card plans and BNPL options, also contributed to additional chargebacks, albeit less prominently, with rates of 20% and 13%, respectively.

Difficulties integrating different systems was another challenge for 50% of merchants offering general-purpose card installment plans. Fewer merchants reported this problem with merchant or store card plans and BNPL, at 40% and 19%, respectively.

40% of merchants highlighted the complex payment-receiving process and slow processing associated with merchant or store card installment plans, whereas merchants offering BNPL cited challenges of measuring return on investment as their primary concern.

As consumers continue to embrace flexible payment solutions, the study suggested that "proactive data utilization - especially in apparel, where more than
70% of retailers report customers have used installment plans in the last 12 months - will enable firms to anticipate and meet evolving consumer needs effectively." pymnts.com

More Layoffs & Cost-Cutting at Amazon
Amazon is chopping hundreds of jobs at its One Medical and Pharmacy units as part of a new cost-cutting mandate

One Medical and Amazon Pharmacy are laying off hundreds of employees.

Amazon's healthcare units, including One Medical and Amazon Pharmacy, are
conducting fresh layoffs as part of a broader cost-cutting campaign, Business Insider has learned.

layoffs will impact "few hundred roles," Amazon's spokesperson confirmed in an email to BI.

One person said roughly 115 positions may be eliminated. Another estimated up to 400 employees could lose their jobs. The company had planned to announce the layoffs before February 1, but had delayed it due to Amazon's recent earnings report and other internal issues, they said. businessinsider.com

Snap To Cut 10% of Its Workforce Across the Globe

Communication key to delivering an online shopping experience consumers crave





Gwinnett County, GA: Nearly $1M in stolen construction supplies found in raid at Buford home
Gwinnett County police have arrested four people after officers say they found nearly $1 million in stolen construction equipment and supplies at a Buford home. Officials say they discovered the massive amount of stolen goods while serving a search warrant at the home on the 4200 block of Tuggle Road on Monday. According to investigators, police wanted to search the home after connecting to multiple narcotics and property crimes. While performing the search, officers say they found numerous pills believed to be Schedule 1 and 2 narcotics and a pile of stolen pieces of construction equipment in the home's two garages. Authorities say they found residential flooring, doors, windows, electrical wire, lights, fans, tools, hardware, and appliances believed to have been taken from local Home Depots, Lowes stores, and construction sites. Investigators arrested and charged 60-year-old Bobby Mosley, 41-year-old Charles Mosley, 48-year-old Estuesta Fortuna Rogelio Jr., 50-year-old and Regina Crane with VGCSA possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Additional charges may be coming as the investigation continues. "It may take more than a week to have a complete inventory of everything that was stored at the residence," the Gwinnett County Police Department told FOX 5.  fox5atlanta.com

San Jose, CA: Police arrest duo linked to over 70 retail thefts
San Jose police have arrested two men in connection with dozens of organized retail thefts across the city, the department announced Wednesday. Jaime Flores, 46, and Thomas Sapiniso, 37, are accused of committing over 70 such crimes and making off with more than $75,000 in stolen merchandise, police said. Police said the suspects stole items from various stores, including Target, NIKE, REI, Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods. Flores was arrested on Dec. 16 following a grand theft at Westgate Mall, police said. He was later booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail. On Jan. 31, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Sapinoso, who was already in custody at the jail following an arrest for an unrelated incident, police said. 

Sacramento, CA: Police arrest man accused of $30K jewelry theft from store on Arden Way
The Sacramento Police Department arrested a man accused of destroying a glass jewelry case and stealing about $30,000 worth of jewels. Officers were called Thursday to the 1700 block of Arden Way after getting a report of a theft at a business, the Police Department said in a social media post. Investigators said about $30,000 worth of merchandise was taken from the store in the Point West neighborhood, at a shopping center near Arden Fair mall. The suspect, a 27-year-old Sacramento man, was arrested after police saw him leave his home and get into a car the day after the theft. Police said officers found about $25,000 worth of jewels with their prices tags still on them. The suspect is being held with bail set at $500,000 and faces felony charges of grand theft charge and vandalism. 

Spokane, OR: Shoplifting Call Leads to Multiple Felony Arrests on Spokane South Hill
On Monday, at around 3:30 pm, Spokane Police Officers were dispatched to the Target store on South Regal Street following a theft report. According to loss prevention employees who contacted 911,
several suspects had exited the store with two shopping carts of stolen goods valued at nearly $2,000. One of the carts was discovered abandoned in the parking lot while the suspects fled the scene in an RV, taking the other cart of stolen merchandise with them. Officers quickly located the suspect vehicle near 57th and Palouse Highway. The RV was found to have multiple occupants, including the theft suspects. Utilizing video footage from the theft, police were able to positively identify the three individuals involved in the crime. 37-year-old Michael D. Stead, 23-year-old Monica M. Boggess, and 33-year-old Cassandra L. Graves were arrested on charges of second-degree theft and booked into the Spokane County Jail. The police successfully recovered the stolen items from the RV and returned them to the Target store bigcountrynewsconnection.com

Bloomfield, NJ: Police Nab East Orange Serial Shoplifter for Stealing Nearly $1K in Merchandise in a week from two CVS stores

Hillsborough, NC: Police seek 3 female suspects in Felony larceny at Walmart


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Shootings & Deaths

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Deadly shooting at Lauderhill shopping plaza
An investigation is underway after a deadly shooting in the parking lot of a Lauderhill strip mall. According to Lauderhill police, they received a call about the shooting at the shopping plaza in the 4500 block of N University Drive around 3:30 a.m. When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot multiple times. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center where he died. Police said shortly they received word that a man had arrived at Florida Medical Center with a gunshot injury that was non-life threatening. Investigators are now trying to determine what led to the shooting.  cbsnews.com

Cleveland, OH: Police searching for 3 suspects wanted for Sunoco gas station fatal shooting
The Cleveland Division of Police is asking for the public's help in identifying three people suspected in the fatal shooting of a man at a Sunoco gas station last month. The incident happened at around 8 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Sunoco in the 3300 block of East 93rd Street. Investigators believe the suspects met with 32-year-old Tyrone Hipps Jr. in order to conduct a deal. During the encounter, police say the suspects shot Hipps, who was pronounced dead at the scene.  wkyc.com

Fayetteville, NC: Police shoot CVS robbery suspect during chase along train tracks
Fayetteville police officers shot a robbery suspect during a chase along train tracks. It all started Tuesday afternoon at the CVS on Ramsey Street when a man with a gun took money from the store. When officers arrived, they were told a GPS tracker was placed in the money the man had stolen. Officers ran after the man, who was still carrying the gun used during the robbery. Officers caught up with the robber on the train tracks at Moore Street and Mechanic Street. That is when police officers shot at the suspect. "Our officers did discharge their weapon, and of course as the investigation goes forward then of course that will be the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation), if they make determination that something else occurred during that time frame," Major Christopher Joyce said. The man, who has not yet been identified, was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center to be treated for his injuries. Fayetteville Police Department said officers recovered a gun at the scene.  abc11.com

Cave Creek, AZ: Update: 2 arrested after shots fired at Cave Creek Walmart
Two people have been arrested after shots were fired at a Walmart in Cave Creek last month, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said. The shooting happened at 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 at the store near Cave Creek Road and the Carefree Highway. No one was hurt in the shooting. MCSO says 19-year-old Aidan Eggers fired the gunshots. Two days after the shooting, Eggers was arrested at his home. Two guns were found inside the home, one of which was reported stolen.  fox10phoenix.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Charleston, WV: 7-Eleven will no longer blast Opera music
According to a spokesperson with the City of Charleston Police Department, the 7/11 store on Washington Street is still playing opera music. The department says they did not receive complaints regarding the East End store, and may check the store tomorrow to see if the music is causing disturbances. Neighbors living next to the Bigley Avenue 7/11 which was also heard playing opera music said the music was especially loud at night when residents were going to bed.  wowktv.com

Atlanta, GA: 2 teens accused of robbing store clerk connected to 7 robberies across two Metro Atlanta counties

Colorado Springs, CO: Police investigating overnight robbery spree across city; Circle K's and 7-Eleven

New York, NY: 4 indicted in Manhattan night club Credit Card theft ring that swiped at least $420K

Lincoln, NE: Police, bomb squad investigate suspicious package at UPS Store in north Lincoln; officials say package is non-hazardous

Seattle, WA: Flatbed truck crash into south Seattle pot shop before thieves steal ATM



Auto - Snellville, GA - Burglary
Beauty - Chesterton, IN - Burglary
C-Store - Roxbury, MA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Atlanta, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Atlanta, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Toledo, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Green Township, PA - Burglary
C-Store - Canton, OH - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Colorado Springs, CO - Armed Robbery
CBD - Asheville, NC - Armed Robbery
CVS - Fayetteville, NC - Armed Robbery /Susp shot
Guns - Georgetown County, ND - Burglary
Guns - Atlus, OK - Burglary
Jewelry - New York, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Victorville, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Elizabeth City, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Gilbert, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Huntsville, AL - Robbery
Liquor - Escambia County, CA - Burglary
Liquor - Salem, CT - Robbery
Liquor - Paducah, KY - Armed Robbery
Liquor - Fresno, CA - Burglary
Marijuana - Seattle, WA - Burglary
Motorcycle - Scottsdale, AZ - Burglary
Restaurant - Chesterton, IN - Burglary
Tobacco - Durham, NC - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Hillsborough, NC - Robbery                                          


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 10 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click map to enlarge






None to report.

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