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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Macy's RFID-ORC Efforts Making More Headlines

RFID Technology vs. ORC
Macy's Cranking up RFID Use to Combat Organized Retail Crime
Macy's has cranked up its use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to protect its assets as reports of high-profile retail thefts are increasing across the U.S., according to a report in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday (Feb. 8).

When retailers use RFID tags on their merchandise, they can access real-time information on where and when products are being stolen, Joe Coll, vice president of asset protection, operations and strategy at Macy's, said in the report. RFID tags can also help the company better target its security protocols, he said.

"RFID plays a huge part for us from an investigative standpoint," Coll said Tuesday on a webinar hosted by trade publication RFID Journal.

The National Retail Federation said last year that almost two-thirds (64%) of loss-prevention experts have made organized retail crime - where items are stolen to be resold - more of a priority as the number of incidents have increased. That includes so-called "flash mob" thefts at Nordstrom Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc., Louis Vuitton and other stores.

RFID offers detailed information on the stock-keeping unit, size and color of stolen items that can be given to law enforcement, he said. The tags are often stickers with a metallic overlay attached to an item, said Sandeep Unni, senior director analyst in Gartner's retail industry research practice, per WSJ.

Macy's started using RFID in 2013, collecting data when the chip goes through "smart exits" equipped with sensors, said Coll, allowing the company to access video footage to figure out who took the item and where they took it.

Simon Property Group CEO David Simon points the finger at local officials for failing to act quickly enough to prevent or slow down the organized retail crime trend.

"I don't think it's an industry issue," he said. "I think it's a local jurisdiction issue and it's a nationwide issue." Simon told analysts that his company was doing better than most in fighting the problem, but was still being victimized. pymnts.com

Progressive DAs Driving Crime Spike?
'Rogue' prosecutors driving violent crime surge, not guns: Expert

Progressive district attorneys are turning their cities into "hellholes," according to former prosecutor

Soft-on-crime district attorneys across the country are to blame for a spike in violent crime - not firearms, a former federal prosecutor told Fox News Digital.

"Guns don't commit crimes, neither do knives and hammers, people do," said Charles Stimson, now a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "It's a red herring to focus on guns rather than the harder issue of how to enforce the law fairly and hold criminals accountable."

Across the country homicides were up 30% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to FBI data. The murder rate in 22 major U.S. cities was up 44% in 2021 compared to 2019 and 5% compared to 2020, according to a study from the non-partisan Council on Criminal Justice.

Stimson blamed much of these increases on progressive district attorneys who have weakened consequences for a range of serious crimes in mostly Democratic-run cities.

"It is not true that crime is rising in every big city - it's true that it's rising in cities that have elected rogue prosecutors," Stimson said, specifically highlighting the policies of George Gascón in Los Angeles, Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and others.

They have all argued that most misdemeanors should not be prosecuted, lobbied for lighter sentences for serious felonies and pushed for the elimination of cash bail. The result has been mass shoplifting, open prostitution, drug markets and, in many cases, record numbers of shootings and murders, he said. foxnews.com

NYC's Crime Crisis
74% of NYC Voters Say Crime Is a Serious Problem in the City, an All-Time High

74% of NYC voters now say crime is a "very serious" problem in the city -- in more than two decades of polling, that number had never topped 50%

Nearly three-quarters of New York City voters consider crime in the city a "very serious" problem, according to a new Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday -- the highest percentage in polling dating to the late 1990s.

And it's not just a record, pollsters said -- at 74%, it's fully 24 points higher than the previous high.

Some 43% of NYC voters said they consider the city less safe than other big cities, also an all-time record for the poll and nearly triple the old record. About 65% said they personally worry about becoming the victim of a crime, the highest since the question was first asked in the spring of 1999.

But voters seem to be giving new mayor Eric Adams a pass so far on the surge in violence; 49% approve of his handling of crime, while 35% disapprove. Another 58% said they were very or somewhat confident that Adams could reduce gun violence in the streets. nbcnewyork.com

'No neighborhood is safe,' Crime up in nearly every NYC precinct: latest stats

Sharpton assails NYC's crime spike: 'They're locking up my toothpaste


Securing the Super Bowl: Part II

Behind the Scenes with NFL's Chief Security Officer
'NFL 360': Cathy Lanier shares how she handles security for the NFL

Veteran law enforcement official Cathy Lanier was hired by the NFL in 2016 as Senior Vice President of Security. She previously served as Washington D.C. Chief of Police.

As the league's chief security officer, Lanier supervises all operations and activities of the NFL security department. She oversees coordination with the league office and the 32 clubs and also works with federal, state, and local law entities to ensure the security of the NFL's venues, fans, players, staff and infrastructure. She is also the primary supervisor of investigative programs, event security including the Super Bowl and international games, game integrity programs, and department administration.

In this 8-minute video, learn more about Lanier's background and how she handles security for the NFL. nfl.com

The Federal Security Effort
DHS Partners with State and Local Officials to Secure Super Bowl LVI
February 9, 2022 - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas traveled this week to Los Angeles, California to meet with state and local law enforcement and the National Football League (NFL) to review Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operations to help ensure the safety and security of employees, players, and fans during Super Bowl LVI.  

DHS support for Super Bowl LVI includes more than 500 DHS personnel providing extensive air and maritime security resources; anti-human trafficking prevention and enforcement support; intellectual property enforcement; chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives detection technologies; venue, cyber, and infrastructure security assessments; intelligence analysis and threat assessments; and real-time situational awareness reporting for our partners.

As with past Super Bowls, this event was voluntarily submitted to DHS for a risk assessment. DHS classified this event as a Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) Level 1, meaning that DHS has determined this event to be significant, with national and international importance, and requiring extensive federal support.

Several DHS agencies are working with state and local partners and the NFL on a range of initiatives to ensure the safety and security of Super Bowl LVI.  dhs.gov

'Making Sure This Is The Most Safe City In The United States'
Law Enforcement And NFL Tighten Security For Upcoming Super Bowl
On Tuesday, the National Football League coordinated with local state and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety is on top of the minds of authorities with the Super Bowl quickly approaching.

"What you will see is hundreds of officers deployed on game day and this week to secure the campus," said Inglewood Police Department Chief Mark Fronterotta. "And it will be a layered effect of security that will come through all the way as you get to the game."

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas added that his agency will be monitoring "land, sea, air and cyber environments" to ensure those landscapes are also safe and secure. At least 500 members of his department are devoted to safety for the big game, including agents focused on ferreting out cyber threats and preventing human trafficking.

Other federal agencies such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that agency has brought resources from across the country to ensure the safety of attendees and residents.

Federal and local authorities said they will also combat human trafficking and the trafficking of stolen and counterfeit merchandise around SoFi Stadium where many vendors, tourists, and fans will be gathering. newsbreak.com

Authorities: No known threats to Super Bowl or LA region

NFL Website: Super Bowl LVI Security Procedures

Read Part I of the D&D Daily's Super Bowl Security Coverage here

COVID Update

544.7M Vaccinations Given

US: 78.8M Cases - 935.9K Dead - 49.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 404.3M Cases - 5.7M Dead - 324.2M 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: 635
*Red indicates change in total deaths

More Promising Data as Omicron Fades
Covid-19 hospitalizations drop below 100,000 in the US
Covid-19 hospitalizations are dropping quickly in the United States, but a heavy burden persists, and the nation's health care workers are exhausted under the strain.

For the first time in more than a month, there are fewer than 100,000 hospital beds in use for patients with Covid-19 nationwide, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

That's a 38% drop from a few weeks ago, when Covid-19 hospitalizations reached a peak of more than 160,000 beds in use at one time.

Despite the promising trends, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, says it's still too soon to change guidance and loosen Covid-19 prevention restrictions. cnn.com

States Rapidly Dropping Mask Mandates
Statewide mask mandates are lifting in many states as Omicron wanes
From Massachusetts to New York to Illinois, states were rapidly lifting mask mandates as the Omicron wave recedes and governors come under intense pressure from Americans who are exhausted by the pandemic.

Those states and Rhode Island joined a growing list Wednesday that included California and Oregon, places that once enforced strict protocols but are now shifting as case numbers plummet and polling shows bipartisan pandemic fatigue. The moves will step up the pressure on the Biden administration, and in particular on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to offer new guidance to the states on mask wearing and other mitigation measures.

The White House has been quietly meeting with outside health experts to plan a pandemic exit strategy and a transition to a "new normal," but the behind-the-scenes effort is crashing into the public reality of blue-state governors have gotten ahead of President Biden by suddenly abandoning their mask mandates.

The Massachusetts school mask mandate will end on Feb. 28, Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, said. Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, also a Democrat, also announced that her state's move to end its mask-or-vaccination indoor mandate will take effect this week, but has said she needs more time to make a decision on masks in schools.

The governor of Rhode Island, also a Democrat, announced Wednesday that state's indoor mask mandate will end Friday. He also announced plans to lift the masking requirement in schools on March 4 and leave it up to districts afterward.

In California, officials announced Monday that the state will end a universal indoor mask mandate next week, and are reviewing the mask mandate for schools. nytimes.com

Pharmacies Feeling the Pain of Two-Year Pandemic
Angry Customers, More Work and Longer Hours Strain Pharmacists

Pharmacists and technicians, who have played a critical role in administering Covid-19 tests and vaccines, say they are burned out nearly two years into the pandemic.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, pharmacists and technicians across the nation are under intense strain as their jobs shift from filling prescriptions and counseling patients to administering Covid-19 vaccines and tests, handing out masks and dealing with increasingly angry customers.

The situation has been exacerbated by a labor shortage that has squeezed most industries and that has resulted in droves of nurses and caretakers leaving their posts in a pandemic that has pushed them to the brink.

Large retail pharmacy chains have tried to respond, with some reducing store hours, increasing starting wages, offering more breaks and giving out bonuses to retain employees. But customers have felt the impact, with some experiencing disruptions in vaccine appointments, longer lines to pick up prescriptions and frustration over securing masks and at-home virus tests.

The situation is worrying the pharmacy industry. Scott Knoer, the executive vice president and chief executive of the American Pharmacists Association, said inadequate staffing posed serious health risks by increasing the chances that workers make mistakes while filling prescriptions or inoculating patients. A survey released last month from the association found that 74 percent of respondents said they did not think they had sufficient time to safely perform patient care and clinical duties.

Some of the biggest pharmacy chains have hired thousands to deal with the increased workloads, but company representatives say stores are still struggling to fill open positions. nytimes.com

Nike Under Fire for Vaccine Policies
Nike employees are calling out the company's contradicting vaccine policies

While corporate workers are getting the ax for not getting vaccinated, warehouse workers are exempt.

Nike's office workers - unless they receive a religious or medical exemption - must be vaccinated and provide proof to the company. Kerkering is among an unknown number of workers who have been terminated for not complying. In his case, he was fired for refusing to share his vaccination status, which he chooses to keep private.

At the same time, employees in the company's distribution centers, who are in closer contact with one another, aren't required to be vaccinated. Nike also dropped a weekly testing requirement for distribution-center workers two weeks ago, according to current and former employees, an industry source, and a corporate document viewed by Insider.

Five current and former office employees who spoke with Insider criticized the company for its stance, which they found especially baffling given that Nike's office workforce remains remote. Nike's situation illustrates how difficult it's become for corporate America to figure out enforcing vaccination policies. businessinsider.com

COVID's Long-Term Impact on Prisons
Breaking point: What is the future of COVID and incarceration?

Two years of COVID has broken down prisoners and carceral systems. Advocates have called for decarceration as a long-term solution.

Incarcerated people have been acutely impacted by the highs and lows of the pandemic. Not only must they cope with the fear of getting ill and dying, or suffering from long-term COVID symptoms, but the pandemic has meant periodically losing much of the few freedoms they still have, such as outdoor recreation time and family calls and visits.

One study using mortality records from the Florida State Department of Corrections found that COVID-19 led to a four-year decline in life expectancy in Florida's prison population. The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) has reported that 57 incarcerated people have died of COVID in North Carolina's prisons.

Public officials who have declared COVID endemic are "basically admitting that prisons are going to be more dangerous in terms of health risks than they've been before," Bertram said.

The way prisons have handled COVID thus far is likely to have a lasting effect on incarcerated people. Some people who contracted COVID while they were incarcerated will experience long COVID, but even if they didn't get sick, the pandemic "absolutely makes it worse in terms of just the trauma of prison," Finholt said. northcarolinahealthnews.org

OSHA Presses on with COVID Vaccine Mandate
Despite the Supreme Court's recent ruling, OSHA plans to press on with vaccine mandate regulations.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will lift indoor mask mandate on Feb. 28

Minneapolis and St. Paul lift vaccine-or-test mandate for restaurants, bars

Boston winds down proof-of-vaccine mandate

Biden administration cautious about easing masking & other COVID measures


Q&A with Tony D'Onofrio
Prosegur's Tony D'Onofrio On The Future Of Retail

David Liu interviews Tony D'Onofrio, Global Retail Influencer & Prosegur's CEO & Managing Director, Global Retail Business Unit

Tony D'Onofrio is the global CEO of Prosegur's Global Retail Business, where he regularly engages with the world's largest retailers to provide innovative and holistic security solutions. Tony is consistently listed as a Top Global Retail Influencer and publishes on multiple global platforms. His career has extended decades and includes executive roles in both security and information technologies companies.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to the retail security industry?

Ioften tell audiences that I was probably was born in a retail store. My first real job during high school and university was working in a retail store for nine years. In that environment I was exposed to running multiple departments across the entire store and learned retail operations from the ground up. Following this in-store experience, I transitioned to working with technology companies on both traditional IT and security for improving store operations in a career that I have enjoyed every single second.

The Pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. One of them is the increased use of e-commerce solutions for retail. From your perspective, how are large retail outlets adapting to the new realities created by the pandemic?

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation trends that were already underway by 5 to 10 years according to McKinsey. Retailers that were investing heavily in omnichannel experiences prior to the pandemic thrived and will emerge stronger out of the pandemic. New services extending retail into the parking lot are here to stay.

E-commerce is just another channel. Pure play online retailers including Amazon are aggressively opening physical stores. Turns out the most profitable place for retailers was and remains the physical store. Online commerce adds substantial logistics costs and without free shipping limits engagement with consumers. Physical stores are now becoming micro-fulfillment centers for e-commerce, bringing shipping capabilities closer to the consumer, and reducing logistic costs.

The new reality is that you need both e-commerce and physical stores to drive a more profitable harmonized across channels future of retail. Read complete interview here

$1.5 Million Apple Fraud Scheme
iPhone counterfeiting case highlights risks of supply/support chain manipulation

The conspirators returned fake iPhones with legitimate IMEI numbers to Apple for warranty replacements, which they then sold.

The sentencing of Haiteng Wu on February 2, 2022, for his participation in a three-plus-year conspiracy to defraud Apple out of just over $1.5 million shines the light on criminals who operate in the margins of warranty fulfillment of consumer products, such as the iPhone. All in, the criminals were able to garner 2,500 new iPhones for subsequent resale and had attempted to acquire 600 more but failed due to Apple quality control rejecting the warranty submission.

Wu and other conspirators received shipments of inauthentic iPhones from Hong Kong. Those phones contained spoofed IMEI numbers and serial numbers that corresponded with authentic in-warranty iPhones. The conspirators then returned the inauthentic phones to Apple, claiming that the phones were legitimate, in-warranty phones, all in an effort to receive authentic replacement iPhones from Apple. The fraudulently obtained authentic iPhones were then shipped back to conspirators overseas, including in Hong Kong.

CISO brand protection takeaway

Brand protection involves counterfeit detection as well as identification of the support infrastructure required to manipulate company processes, such as warranty fulfillment. This case highlights the need to protect the key components of the fulfillment process - in this instance IMEI and serial numbers, which were key to Wu's criminal success.

What the court proceedings in this instance don't reveal to us is how the co-conspirators were able to acquire active the IMEI and serial numbers of those known iPhones. Were they acquired by deduction by Wu or via an as yet unidentified insider? csoonline.com

Modernizing Security Training
Online security officer training proposal clears House committee

The measure is an effort to 'modernize' the security training and certification process.

The certification of security officers in Florida could soon become an online process under a bill OK'd Monday by a House committee. State law currently requires aspiring security officers - armed and unarmed - to undergo an in-person training course before certification.

The proposal (HB 1233), however, would shift unarmed training online. Armed courses, meanwhile, may feature at most 21 hours of online instruction. The rest of the training, including the firearm portion, would remain in-person.

Fine's proposal comes after Florida permitted aspiring officers to acquire their certification online amid the early stages of the pandemic. The measure would revive the online option and "modernize" the process, Fine said.

California and Georgia are among several states that permit online training for unarmed security officers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It worked quite well," Fine told committee members. "This would simply allow us to continue with what we saw work during the COVID-19 pandemic." floridapolitics.com

Valentine's Day Retail Spending - 2nd Highest On Record
NRF: Americans to Spend $23.9 Billion on Valentine's Day This Year
Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $23.9 billion this year, up from $21.8 billion in 2021 and the second-highest year on record, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

More than half (53 percent) of U.S. consumers plan to celebrate the holiday in 2022, up from 52 percent in 2021. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of those celebrating indicate it is important to do so given the current state of the pandemic.

According to the survey, shoppers expect to spend an average of $175.41 per person on Valentine's Day gifts, up from $164.76 in 2021. The increase comes as many intend to spend more on significant others or spouses. nrf.com

Bulk Gift Cards Risk Expands?
Kroger and Blackhawk Team on Mastercard and Visa Bulk Prepaid Cards
The Kroger Co. has expanded its longtime partnership with worldwide branded payments provider Blackhawk Network to offer Mastercard and Visa bulk prepaid cards through Blackhawk's software-as-a-service-based Velocity B2B end-to-end gift card services. The new offering will help Kroger ramp up its growth in the B2B gift card space by giving businesses an effective way to reward or incentivize employees, and providing further options for organizations that want to help those in need.

Suitable for businesses and charities, Kroger's Mastercard and Visa prepaid cards can be used where Mastercard and Visa are accepted, in store or online. Once an organization is approved, ordering is easy and customizable. Available gift card denominations range from $20 to $500, and the cards can be delivered to recipients when and how companies want, anywhere in the United states. The gift cards are issued by the U.S. Bank National Association in accordance with a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. or Mastercard International, and can be used only in the United States. progressivegrocer.com

Whittling Away at the Edges
Aldi to open 150 Stores in 2022
Small box German retailers Aldi and Lidl whittling away at the edges. They disrupted the UK's grocery industry.

Prices climbed 7.5% in January compared with last year, continuing inflation's fastest pace in 40 years

Consumer Confidence Remains High Despite Pandemic Uncertainty

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Retail Predictions 2022:
The End of Business as Usual

Register Now to Watch On-Demand

Not that long ago we were speaking about the "retail apocalypse" - the end of physical stores and retail moving entirely online. The pandemic that followed became a 5 to 10 year accelerator of digital transformation trends that were already underway in all industries including retail.

Fast forward to 2022, what will the new year bring to the retail industry? What are the key trends the pandemic has accelerated? From store operations to loss preventions what will be most important in 2022? What were the key lessons learned from the just completed holiday season? What is the post pandemic future of the retail industry?

Join our panel for this lively data infused discussion of the recent past and how it is setting up the future of retail starting in 2022.

Tony D'Onofrio is recognized as a global influencer in retail, security and emerging technologies, and he regularly engages with the world's largest retailers.

Greg Buzek, President IHL Services (Retail Research Group)

Jeff Roster, Advisory Council Member at George Mason University Center of Retail Transformation (former Gartner Retail Analyst)

At the end of the webinar, our sponsor, Prosegur Security, will award five LPF scholarships to attendees by random drawing.

This webinar is presented by the Loss Prevention Foundation in partnership with Prosegur Security and qualifies for 1 continuing education unit (CEU) towards your LPC recertification or CFI recertification.






'Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act'
Mich. Senator introduces cybersecurity bill package citing Russian threat

The bill package would require the owners of critical infrastructure to report to the government if they experience a substantial cyber-attack

As technology advances governments adapt and, in the age of the internet, cybersecurity has become a focus for one senator from Michigan.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has introduced a legislative package designed to combat ongoing cybersecurity threats against critical infrastructure and the federal government.

In a press release, Peters said the package was of particular importance in the face of potential cyber-attacks sponsored by the Russian government in retaliation for U.S. support in Ukraine.

The legislation combines language from three bills Peters had previously authored and advanced out of his committee. They are the Cyber Incident Reporting Act, the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2021, and the Federal Secure Cloud Improvement and Jobs Act.

The combined bill, now known as the 'Strengthening American Cybersecurity Act,' would require the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to report to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) if they experience a substantial cyber-attack or make ransomware payments. In addition, it expands the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) relating to federal agencies use of cloud-based technologies.

"Cyber-attacks against federal networks and critical infrastructure companies - including oil pipelines, meatpacking centers, and wastewater treatment plants - have disrupted lives and livelihoods across the country," said Senator Peters. "It is clear that, as our nation continues to counter cyber threats and support Ukraine, we need to pass this legislation to provide additional tools to address possible cyber-attacks from adversaries, including the Russian government." uppermichiganssource.com

Employees Should Take Center Stage in Cybersecurity Strategies
Why security strategies need a new perspective
After a stream of ransomware campaigns, data leaks, and attacks on critical infrastructure, businesses understand their digitization strategy needs to be complemented by a well-designed cybersecurity strategy. But, confronted with a complex and confusing threat landscape and an equally multi-faceted security vendor landscape, many are uncertain what their security strategy should look like.

AdvertisementIn the current debate, one essential factor is often overlooked: the people most relevant for your security strategy may not even work for your company yet (and no, I'm not talking about those incredibly hard-to-find security professionals.)

Many cybersecurity discussions focus on specific threats: ransomware, intellectual property theft, or any of the numerous digital holes allowing threat actors to break into company networks and wreak havoc. A second, equally prevalent strand of debate focuses on individual components of the environment that need protection: a company's business-critical core applications, its email and collaboration infrastructure, the cloud services it uses, its website and e-commerce applications, or - in the manufacturing industry - the increasingly internet-connected manufacturing plants with their often insufficient mechanisms for securing operational technology (OT) infrastructure.

A third aspect tends to come into play only as an afterthought: the employees. When they are mentioned in the security debate, it tends to be either as targets for social engineering campaigns, as "dumb users" clicking on malicious links that open doors for threat actors, or as malevolent insiders exfiltrating sensitive data. Rarely, however, are employees given the full weight they deserve in security discussions: the pivotal role around which all other aspects need to revolve. It is employees, after all, who work with all these business-critical applications and sensitive data pools, and they are the people who drive every company's business. In security strategies, employees need to take center stage, instead of being relegated to the wings.

What is now called the "new normal" of flexible remote work will soon be the "well-established normal". The whole digital workforce, not just highly skilled individuals, will expect to be able to work flexibly, remotely, in accordance with their individual needs, and securely. helpnetsecurity.com

Microsoft Ramping Up Cybersecurity Efforts
Report: Microsoft in talks to buy cybersecurity giant
Microsoft is in talks to buy Mandiant, a Reston, Va.-based cybersecurity firm with a $4.4 billion market cap, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Not only isn't Big Tech pumping the brakes on multi-billion dollar acquisitions in the Biden era, it's ramping up. This would be Microsoft's second major play of the year, following its agreement to buy Activision Blizzard, and comes amidst reports that Amazon is kicking Peloton's tires (after already signing papers on MGM).

History: Mandiant was a VC-backed company bought in 2013 by FireEye, with founder and CEO Kevin Mandia taking over the combined operation. In 2020 it garnered attention for discovering the SolarWinds cyberattack, and last year it sold off FireEye's products (and name) to Symphony Technology Group for $1.2 billion.

The bottom line: "Adding Mandiant would build up Microsoft's arsenal of products for protecting clients and responding to cybersecurity threats. The software giant bought two smaller cybersecurity companies last year, and said last month that it had amassed $15 billion in security software sales in 2021, up almost 45% from a year earlier." axios.com

Collaboration is Key
Why cybersecurity and anti-fraud teams need to collaborate
Today's criminals have identified this vulnerability and now combine tactics that would typically be handled by the different departments. Criminals will leverage AI to perfect fraudulent credit applications while leveraging cybersecurity tactics to conduct fraud at scale.

To combat cyber fraud, financial institutions need to take a more considered approach than simply saying, "The two of you need to talk." Criminals have done their homework and understand the weaknesses of current detection systems.

Internal cyber and anti-fraud teams need greater education on the problem. They need to understand their adversaries - from the criminal organizations that use automated tools to harvest millions of dollars from SIF accounts, to the small-time criminals who think they're smarter than the system. helpnetsecurity.com

Threat Actors Revive 20-Year-Old Tactic in Microsoft 365 Phishing Attacks




Cannabis Security Floor Plans
Best Practices for Security Floor Plan Design
Security floor plans are an essential component for many cannabis business applications prior to build-out. For cannabis retail, processing, and cultivation facilities, a well-designed cannabis floor plan communicates that the applicant has reviewed every angle for which a business must protect itself from threats.

Utilizing a cannabis floor plan allows cannabis businesses to identify elements that may benefit or hinder security. Doing so creates a multi-faceted approach to security by not only considering necessary equipment, but also the importance of having a proper building layout.

Best Practices

The first step in secure cannabis floor plan design is choosing and securing a commercial real estate location to lease or buy for a cannabis business. This will ultimately determine the base of a cannabis floor plan, providing hardline factors that will have to be taken into consideration, such as number of entrances or windows. Dramatically altering a property's floor plan severely impacts timelines, so a good amount of consideration needs to be given to the property's permanent components.

Next, consider the layout of these permanent building components along with rooms required of a cannabis facility, taking into account any local and state regulations. Position public restrooms near entrances and away from cannabis areas. Flower rooms in cultivation facilities and other areas where cannabis is stored or handled should be free of windows to ensure that cannabis is not visible from the outside. Each room should be thoughtfully planned out to coincide with the existing layout, levels of access, and required security.

Common Errors

Keeping in mind the principal of concentric circles of protection, placing secure storage areas on exterior walls is a common error when crafting a cannabis floor plan. Placing a vault near a receiving door or along an exterior wall leaves high-value assets more susceptible to theft and/or diversion. The same principal should be applied to sensitive areas, including cannabis packing areas and areas where sensitive data may be stored. Indicating levels of access on a cannabis floor plan based on public, restricted, and limited access helps identify areas that require additional protections.

Lastly, failing to work with a professional security consultant regarding cannabis floor planning negatively impacts a cannabis business, as well as not hiring an architect with experience in the cannabis industry. Cannabis security floor plans created without consulting professionals may not meet regulatory requirements. sapphirerisk.com

Another Step Forward for Retail Cannabis
World's first airport cannabis store one step closer to reality in Prince George

Air Canada, WestJet, regional airlines opposed to cannabis sales at Prince George Airport

Prince George city council gave preliminary approval for the world's first airport cannabis retailer, despite opposition from Canada's two largest airlines.

City council voted in favour of granting third reading to a bylaw to allow Copilot Cannabis to develop a cannabis retail store at the Prince George Airport, following a public hearing on Monday. Final approval of the rezoning will be withheld until the B.C. Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch grants approval for the cannabis license.

"This is a first, we're setting an example right now," Coun. Terri McConnachie said. "We have the opportunity to be the wind beneath these wings, or to say no. I am disappointed with the lack of engagement... (but) I am going to support this application."

Coun. Cori Ramsay said the city's role is to determine if a cannabis store is an appropriate land use at an airport. Cannabis licensing and rules around cannabis consumption and air travel are provincial and federal responsibilities. delta-optimist.com

New Workplace Cannabis Bill
Colorado employers would no longer be able to fire their workers for using cannabis if a new bill passes
Colorado employers would be prohibited from denying employment to or firing workers because of their off-the-clock cannabis use - either medical or recreational - under a measure introduced last week at the statehouse.

House Bill 1152 would also require employers to let their workers consume medical marijuana while on the job. The legislation would include exceptions for workers whose jobs are in dangerous fields or require fine motor skills, such as positions involving the use of heavy machinery. cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

Sen. Schumer plans to pass legislation that decriminalizes marijuana on a federal level

Republican-backed push to legalize weed in Pennsylvania gets underway with hearing

Marijuana is still illegal to sell in Virginia, but that's not stopping retailers







Amazon's Hidden Tax Bills
Amazon Has Received $4.7 Billion in Subsidies Globally, Watchdog Says

The report highlights how little is known about the cost of Amazon's expansion to taxpayers around the planet.

Amazon has received at least $4.7 billion in tax breaks globally during the past 10 years for warehouses, data centers, offices, call centers, and film production projects, according to a new report by a watchdog group and a global labor federation.

While the vast majority of these tax breaks-$4.1 billion-are for projects in the United States, the new report tallies, for the first time, subsidies Amazon has received beyond US borders, where Amazon has aggressively built out its Amazon Prime and data center network in recent years.

Among the $600 million in tax breaks received beyond the US borders are $15.6 million for an Amazon warehouse in Leipzig, Germany; $10.44 million for a Amazon warehouse in Fife, Scotland; $5.1 million for a warehouse in Asturias, Spain; $1.3 million for a warehouse near Lyon, France; $2.3 million for a call center in Edinburgh, Scotland; roughly $262 million for an Amazon Web Services data center in Montreal, Quebec; and roughly $180 million for an Amazon Web Services data center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

But that $600 million is only the tip of the iceberg of Amazon's tax breaks outside of the United States, the authors of the new report say. The authors identified 407 Amazon facilities in 13 countries "where evidence exists or there is reason to believe that Amazon has received public monies for its projects," where full data is not available because of weak disclosure laws and practices.

"Because of poor disclosure practices in these countries, the costs of most such deals are hidden: the total is undoubtedly significantly higher," the researchers write. Among the countries where the report's authors found evidence or "reasons to believe" that Amazon is located are Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom. vice.com

How Shopify Is Bringing Online Retailers Into the Future

The e-commerce company is rolling out easy-to-use 3-D and augmented reality tools.

Shopify is betting on augmented reality becoming business as usual for online retailers.

The e-commerce platform now allows its online merchants to launch 3-D and augmented reality versions of their products directly on their websites. According to retail publication Charged, merchants can convert their entire product offerings into 3-D and A.R. models on their websites. Shopify is partnering with the U.K.-based A.R. platform Poplar Studio to offer the service through an app that costs businesses $49 per month.

Shopify already offered some 3-D and A.R. features, but the experience was fragmented and required multiple apps. The new platform allows retailers to access all the features in a single app. inc.com

Amazon expands its virtual health care service nationwide







New ORC Task Force Busts Home Depot Theft Crew
Home Depot shoplifting operation nets 17 arrests
An operation targeting those who steal from Albuquerque hardware stores netted more than a dozen arrests over the first weekend of February.

The two-day operation, conducted by the newly founded Organized Retail Crime Task Force, had undercover and uniformed officers near Home Depot stores as employees and security relayed information of thefts in progress to police.

Attorney General Hector Balderas' office said in a statement that the operation targeted "dangerous criminals that continue to disrupt families in our communities."

"New Mexico families deserve to shop safely," Balderas said in the statement.

There were 17 arrests made during the operation, including eight felony arrests and six misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor arrests. Court records show they also recovered three stolen vehicles, and cleared unrelated felony and misdemeanor arrests.

Many of those arrested had faced similar charges in the past and at least two of the men arrested were found with fentanyl. Those caught shoplifting were trying to steal between $39 and $1,500 in merchandise. abqjournal.com

Bronx, New York, Woman Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Fraudulently Obtaining Over $200,000 Worth of iPhones
Rosanna Lucrecia Cruel Blanco, 39, of Bronx, New York, from December 2017 to January 2020, Blanco and her conspirators devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain replacement cellular phones from an insurance company – Company 1 – by assuming the identities of wireless customers and filing false claims under Company 1’s handset insurance program. The handsets were predominantly Apple iPhones with a value of approximately $700 to $1,000 per handset.

Based on the false claims and the fake identifications, Company 1 shipped the replacement cellular telephones via UPS or FedEx to the new contact names and addresses provided by Blanco and her conspirators. The shipped Apple iPhones were then picked up by Blanco and her conspirators. More than 100 replacement cellular telephones were shipped to Blanco and her conspirators and total losses exceeded $200,000. justice.gov

Ocala, FL: Sneaker thieves accused of stealing up to $18,000 worth of shoes from Paddock Mall
Ocala police are looking for at least three alleged thieves caught sneaking around and stealing about $18,000 worth of merchandise from an athletic store in the Paddock Mall. According to investigators, the incident occurred on Jan. 27 when the three alleged thieves used ladders to climb the roof of the mall and cut a hole in the ceiling above the store to enter. While inside, the thieves stole multiple exclusive brand-name sneakers at a total value of $18,000. Some of the shoes stolen were Air Jordan Retro 5 and 6, Nike Dunk, and Adidas Yeezy 700," the department said. Investigators described all three individuals, including the two pictured above, as wearing dark-colored clothing, hooded sweatshirts or jackets, masks and gloves. The individuals were each wearing different shoes, including leather-type sneakers with brown laces, multi-colored sneakers and black sneakers. The person wearing brown laces also had "a towel or rag hanging from his back pocket," according to police. Before the theft, a small, box-style U-Haul truck was seen circling the mall parking lot before it was parked in an unlit area with a man laying across the driver's seat, officers said. clickorlando.com

Allen Park, MI: Home Depot thief ditches stolen merchandise in dumpster
A woman accused of stealing several items at Home Depot was able to leave the store with the stolen merchandise, but she didn't get far. The store at 3163 Fairlane Drive, reported the incident to police at around 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Upon arrival, a dispatcher informed officers that the suspect took off with the items and ran across the parking lot. While searching the area, police found a woman directly behind US-Mattress. While speaking with police, she reportedly said "OK - I need to say something. I threw everything in the dumpster." At that point, police placed her in handcuffs. The officer found a bag with the stolen items, along with a gray jacket she was wearing, inside the dumpster behind US-Mattress. A Milwaukee jig saw and multi-tool, along with two Husky six-piece wrench sets and a low-profile ratchet, were returned to the store. thenewsherald.com

Midland, TX: Couple steals 10K in goods from Walmart
The Midland Police Department is asking for help from the community to identify a man and woman accused of theft. According to a Facebook post, on January 14, the couple pictured below used a stolen credit card to buy more than $10,000 worth of goods from Walmart. Because the pair used a stolen card police have launched a fraud investigation. nation.lk

Montgomery, AL: High-heel wearing robbery suspect caught
Montgomery police have made an arrest in a robbery that happened at an area store Friday. According to Central Alabama Crime Stoppers, 38-year-old Torey Carnell Huffman is charged with first-degree robbery. The incident happened around 5:50 p.m. at The Home Depot. Police say the suspect was wearing a curly wig, red jacket, black shirt, black tights, red bag, red tube socks and black high heels when he pointed a handgun, made threats, and walked out of the business without paying for the items in his cart. Security photos show what appear to be several outdoor tools in the shopping cart. Huffman was taken into custody and placed in the Montgomery County Detention Center. He is being held on $45,000 bail. wbrc.com

Lexington, SC: Four accused of stealing TVs from Walmart, police needs public's help identifying

Menomonee Falls, WI: Target theft, $600+ worth of video games stolen

Winter Haven, FL: Florida woman throws tantrum after being caught stealing at Walmart

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Shootings & Deaths

Philadelphia, PA: Man, 19, shot multiple times, killed while standing at takeout restaurant
Philadelphia police are investigating a shooting homicide inside a Mantua business that killed a 19-year-old man. The shooting happened on the 3700 block of Wallace Street Wednesday, a little after 9 p.m., inside a Chinese takeout restaurant. Officials say responding officers found the teen suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside the store when they arrived. Police say the victim was in the takeout area by himself when three males pulled up in a four-door sedan and got out of the vehicle, approaching the restaurant's doorway. Once in the doorway, police say the suspects produced firearms and fired at the victim as many as 19 times with two different firearms.  fox29.com

Memphis, TN: Shooting leaves one dead near convenience store
Someone was shot and killed overnight near a convenience store in South Memphis. The shooting happened at McLemore and Mississippi Boulevard near the Friend's Food Market. According to Memphis Fire officials, a call about the shooting came in at midnight. Two nearby cars were also shot up. fox13memphis.com

Charlotte, NC: Lowe's security guard chases down accused shoplifter, fires shots in parking lot
A Lowe's security guard chased down two shoplifting suspects and fired shots into the suspects' car as they were trying to get away Tuesday afternoon, a witness told Channel 9′s John Paul. Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene at the Whitehall Commons Shopping Center on South Tryon Street at around 12:30 p.m., where a heavy police presence could be seen. We also saw officers putting up crime scene tape between Lowe's and the Walmart next door. "She emptied her clip. I heard at least five shots. I've seen her let off," the witness said. "I was kind of traumatic. She was shooting at the car. I don' know what she was shooting at because I didn't see one bullet hit. She was shooting at the car. The car kept going. He was driving." According to a police report from the incident, two suspects were accused of putting tools and display items in a cart and leaving without paying. The suspects were confronted by the security guard, who was assaulted before the suspects fled the scene. wsoctv.com

Philadelphia, PA: Police searching for men who shot at bystander more than 50 times at Old City gas station
Philadelphia police officers are searching for four men they say fired multiple guns at a person at a gas station late last month. The incident happened at the Lukoil gas station market located on 600 N Delaware Avenue at 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 22, according to police. The person they were allegedly shooting at was inside his vehicle. Police say the four suspects shot at least 54 rounds of ammunition, but no injuries were reported.  fox29.com

DeKalb County, GA: Man critical after shooting at Stone Mountain gas station

Scottsboro, AL: One injured in shooting at local restaurant


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Oologah, OK: Terrifying Dispensary Armed Robbery caught on camera
A victim was pistol whipped and zip tied and an armed robbery at the Pipe Dreams dispensary in Oologah off of Highway 169 on Feb. 5. Trenton Treat says the entire situation was terrifying, it all started Saturday evening when he was working. "I was sitting at the desk - getting ready to close - it happened at 8:55 - 5 mins to close," Treat said. "I looked up at the camera and saw somebody come in." Treat was zip tied with his hands behind his back and with a huge gash in his head from the robbers pistol. "He told me do not move or I will kill you," he said. "I most certainly I think I was going die." Treat knew that he had to call for help. "I thought I gotta get up off the floor - get to a phone and call 911,″ he said. He managed to call 911 with his iPhone while his hands were still zip tied behind his back using the mirror in the bathroom to see the numbers. The robbers had left by then and Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton showed up moments later. krmg.com

Webster, NY: Additional charges announced in Jewelry store robbery spree; $40,000 worth of jewelry from 8 different stores
Additional charges against the three men accused of robbing at least eight area jewelry stores were announced Wednesday. Jaquan Simpson, Zeaquan Walker, and Kashmiere Coats are accused of stealing more than $14,000 in jewelry from Charisma Jewelers.. They're also charged with a Jan. 15 robbery at the Marketplace Mall and a Jan. 26 robbery in Pittsford. Wednesday, the Webster Police Department charged the men with third degree grand larceny for the Kay Jewelers robbery that happened on Jan. 24. Police say they stole more than $12,000 in jewelry. Police were able to recover the stolen jewelry at a pawn shop in Rochester. In total, the three are believed to have stolen about $40,000 worth of jewelry. Police say about $24,000 worth of it has been recovered, mostly from local pawn shops. They are in the Monroe County Jail pending arraignments on charges levied against them by several jurisdictions. whec.com

Jasper, AL: Walmart Shoplifting suspect steals car with dog inside, rams police car during chase
One person was taken into custody after leading police on a brief chase in a stolen vehicle Tuesday afternoon in Jasper. The Jasper Police Department said the incident began when officers responded to a Walmart location after a suspected shoplifter was reportedly running from security personnel at the store. Police said the person stole a truck from the parking lot with the car owner's dog still inside. The stolen vehicle struck a police vehicle head-on and officers pursued the truck on Highway 78 before it crashed into a ravine on Firetower Road in Argo. Police said the person fled on foot and was apprehended a short distance away. One officer and the suspect were both checked by medical personnel, but suffered no major injuries. The dog was also recovered unharmed. abc3340.com

$1M Painting Vandalised After 'Bored' Security Guard Draws Eyes On Faceless Figures
On his first day at work, a 'bored' security guard decided to draw eyes on a valuable modern art painting worth a whopping $1 million (£740,000). The 'Three Figures' painting by Anna Leporskaya was defaced at the Yeltsin Centre, located in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Sverdlovsk Oblast region in west-central Russia on 7 December 2021. The 'bored' 60-year-old security guard allegedly drew eyes with a ballpoint pen on the faces of two of the three figures in the painting during an exhibition called 'The World as Non-Objectivity. The Birth of a New Art'. The unnamed guard was reportedly from a private security company and has since been fired. The damage to the painting has been estimated at RUB 250,000 (GBP 2,470). It is unclear how much the painting is worth, but it was insured with the Alfa insurance company for RUB 74.9 million (GBP 740,000). It has been reported that the company is paying for the restoration. ladbible.com

Mobile, AL: Gas station clerk says he used hatchet after shoplifter attacked him, wife

Atlanta, GA: Lenox Square Mall shopper held at gunpoint during walk to car

Gassville, AR: Man facing 13 felonies for theft, using stolen credit cards

Shamokin Dam, PA: Damage from accidental Long John Silver's fire estimated to be $10,000



Lawrenceville, GA: Couple arrested in $16 million counterfeit bust
Police announced two arrests in a large-scale investigation into the sale of counterfeit merchandise. According to a release, the Gwinnett Police Department Special Investigation Section Vice unit seized more than 9,000 counterfeit items from the Lawrenceville business Real Moda. Police said they started investigating in September 2021 with the assistance of the US Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigation. As a result, 31-year-old Jessica Llama and 33-year-old Melvin Rene Jacinto Cortez were arrested and charged with possession and sale of goods bearing a counterfeit trademark. Investigators said they made two seizures, first uncovering $1,066,207 worth of counterfeit luxury items. The release states the investigation led them to Real Moda in Lawrenceville, where they uncovered an additional $15,800,000 worth of counterfeit merchandise. Police described the items as "Luxury goods such as counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci handbags, Rolex watches, Chanel and Versace sunglasses." Investigators said they were shipped from Mexico, stored in several locations in Gwinnett County, then sold on Facebook. fox5atlanta.com




Beauty - Jackson, MS - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Onslow County, NC - Robbery
C-Store - Batesville, MS - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Mobile, AL - Robbery
Grocery - Los Angeles, CA - Burglary
Hardware - Montgomery, AL - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Cambridge, MA - Burglary
Jewelry - Gastonia, NC - Burglary
Jewelry - Ridgeland, MS - Robbery
Jewelry - Portland, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Houston, TX - Burglary
Jewelry - Westminster, CO - Robbery
Marijuana - Oologah, OK - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Philadelphia, PA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Corpus Christi, TX - Robbery
Restaurant - Corpus Christi, TX - Robbery
Restaurant - Magee, MS - Burglary
Restaurant - New Port Richey, FL - Burglary
Restaurant - East Cobb, GA - Burglary
Shoes - Ocala, Fl - Burglary
Target - Menomonee Falls, WI - Robbery
Walmart - Jasper, AL - Robbery
7-Eleven - Abilene, TX - Robbery


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

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Active listening is absolutely critical if you really expect to influence change or modify behavior. You've got to hear what they're saying before you can plan or expect to do virtually anything. And hearing what they're saying is not simply hearing the words it's all about hearing the meaning and the intentions behind the words. Because words have a tendency to hide the true meanings and beliefs. As truth is often cloaked in humor so is meaning hidden in words. With the number one obstacle being one's self hearing is often drown out by how we want others to view us. So if you can leave your self at the door so to speak you can then begin to focus on hearing what they're saying.

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