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Tackling ORC Requires Federal Coordination

RILA welcomes House introduction of the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act


Washington, DC – Yesterday U.S. Representatives Ken Buck (R-CO), Dina Titus (D-NV), Susie Lee (D-NV), and David Joyce (R-OH) introduced the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023 legislation that establishes a coordinated federal response to the growing societal problem of retail theft.

The bipartisan, bicameral Combating Organized Retail Crime Act establishes a Center to Combat Organized Retail Crime at Homeland Security Investigations. The Center will combine expertise from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as retail industry representatives. Coordinating these resources creates a unified government and industry collaboration to fight against the sophisticated criminal rings engaged in retail theft operations.

“Organized retail crime is endangering communities across the country. Brazen and violent criminal actors are putting retail employees and customers in harms way to steal mass quantities of products that then get sold to unsuspecting customers through online marketplaces. And we know the criminal rings use the profits from retail theft to support larger criminal activities such as human trafficking, gun smuggling, narcotics, and terrorism,” said Michael Hanson, senior executive vice president, public affairs at the Retail Industry Leaders Association. “In order to expose and stop these sophisticated criminal rings, we need the federal law enforcement to be coordinated, resourced, and focused on investigating these crimes. This legislation will do just that.” 

Retail theft is pervasive across America and the economic impact of retail crime is profound. Retailers face increased costs for lost products, security and labor, all which can contribute to higher prices for consumers and lower sales. Retailers welcome a cohesive national strategy to help fight against the tide of organized retail crime.

“Retail leaders are thrilled there is bipartisan, bicameral momentum to address this problem and we thank Representatives Buck, Titus, Lee, Budd and Joyce for their commitment to community safety,” said Hanson. “RILA is eager to garner additional support and advance the bill.”

This bill is the House companion to S.140 sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).


International Council of Shopping Centers - ICSC Applauds Combating ORC Act

ICSC applauds this important development and supports enactment of the “Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023” by Congress this year.   ORC Issue Brief    icsc.com

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact


NM Progressives Vote Down ORC Bill

New Mexico House 'Shoplifting-Busting Bills Fails'

Shoplifter-busting bill fails: One of two bills imposing stricter and new criminal charges for people accused of engaging in repeat shoplifting or organized retail crime failed Friday on a 5-4 vote in the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

House Bill 55’s Republican sponsor, Rep. Bill Rehm of Albuquerque, was not pleased with the outcome. 

“The people of Albuquerque should be outraged at what is going on in Santa Fe. These progressives simply do not care about crime in our city,” Rehm said in a news release issued Friday by the House Republican caucus.

“Republican crime bills are repeatedly voted down by Democrats and then reintroduced under a Democratic sponsor. New Mexicans are tired of politicians playing games when it comes to addressing New Mexico’s ongoing crime problems,” he continued.

A separate bill targeting shoplifting and organized retail crimes, House Bill 234, sponsored by Rep. Marian Matthews, D-Albuquerque, is expected to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee.  nmpoliticalreport.com

VA.'s Republican Caucus Says ORC Bill is Among Top Issues in Second Half

Jeff Ryer, press secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus, said top issues in the second half of the session include crime—courts and penalties—as well as consolidation of workforce development programs. A high profile crime bill addresses organized retail theft, with versions in the House and Senate, Ryer said.  emporiaindependentmessenger.com

Nike Closing Stores in North West as Thefts Have Skyrocketed

Nike wants to hire off-duty police as security to keep Portland stores open

Nike wants the city to detail off-duty police officers to provide security at the company’s Northeast Portland community store, which has been mostly closed to the public for months.

In a letter delivered to Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office and other local officials Thursday, Nike said it would cover the cost of the officers, according to a mayoral staffer and a community activist who’d seen the letter.

Although Nike did not release the letter or specify its contents to The Oregonian/OregonLive, the company sent a statement saying: “Because a safe and secure workplace is essential for our employees, consumers, and communities, we have proposed a sustained and coordinated partnership with the City to better protect employees, consumers, and the community surrounding our MLK Community Store.”

The letter says Nike officials were saddened to close the store “and that they want to reopen it,” Herndon said.

Herndon said the sneaker company is asking the city to assign off-duty police officers to provide security at the Nike Community Store on N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Key to the request, he said, is that the off-duty officers would have the authority to arrest shoplifters or others who break the law.

Nike also expressed in the letter that it wants to explore a similar arrangement at its downtown Portland store, Herndon said.

Nike’s request for police officers to provide security is far from unprecedented. The Portland Police Bureau allows officers and sergeants to work for private entities through its secondary employment program. For years, uniformed police routinely guarded the entrance to Apple’s downtown Portland store. 

The Nike store at 2650 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. has been mostly closed to the public for months, with little indication whether the closure is temporary or permanent. It remains stocked and staffed.

But in recent months Nike officials told Herndon that theft at the store has skyrocketed, hurting the location’s revenue, and that its future is far from certain.

Herndon previously told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the store has had ongoing issues with theft over its nearly 30 years of existence but that Nike officials had told him instances of shoplifting and vandalism have soared since the pandemic.

He said the city would be to blame if it couldn’t control crimes that are impacting business operations. 

The plans for a new store raised more questions about the future of the Nike stores in downtown and Northeast Portland. Nike abruptly closed its downtown Seattle store in January, ahead of the planned opening of a new store in the affluent Seattle suburb of Bellevue.

The shoe company didn’t offer a reason for closing the Seattle store after more than two decades.  oregonlive.com

What’s the matter with Portland? Shootings, theft and other crime test city’s progressive strain

Long hailed as a model of conscientious urban planning and civic engagement, Portland is facing a crisis of confidence. Nearly three years after pandemic lockdowns emptied out the city’s core and protests against police brutality turned a few downtown blocks into a battleground, this city of about 641,000 is dealing with skyrocketing numbers of homeless people, soaring crime and strikingly high levels of public dissatisfaction with what the city is doing about it.

Over the last three years, the number of unhoused people in the metro area has jumped from about 4,000 to at least 6,600. Shootings in the city have tripled. Homicides climbed from 36 in 2019 to 97 last year — a record. Lower-level crimes have spiked too: More than 11,000 vehicles were stolen in 2022, up from 6,500 in 2019.

Fatal drug overdoses nearly doubled between 2019 and 2021 across Multnomah County. The fentanyl epidemic combined with the housing crisis, Mapps said, made for a “scary” situation.

In November, voters passed a measure to overhaul city government and ousted the city’s most outspoken left-wing commissioner, who led a 2020 charge to cut police funds. But they are struggling to agree on how it can return to being the place many once viewed as a liberal utopia.

The shutdowns of 2020 ravaged downtown, hollowing out core sections of the city as businesses closed and offices shifted to remote work. Then for months after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, hard-core protesters converged outside the federal courthouse night after night — setting fires and hurling fireworks at authorities — prompting President Trump to send in federal troops.

“‘Progressive’ means something different now than when it did when I was growing up,” the longtime Democrat said. “Now, when I think of progressive, I think of extremism.”

For City Commissioner Mapps, the status quo is unacceptable. Some recent policies, such as cutting police funds and the state’s decriminalizing hard drugs, he said, have had devastating consequences. But the answer, he argued, was not simply to go back to the old way of doing things as some conservatives suggest.

“Portland has proven abolishing the police doesn’t work,” he said. “Does that mean investing in prevention is a bad idea? No. There have to be carrots and sticks.”

NYC Teens Under 18 responsible for 15 to 20% of robberies & felonious thefts.

Why teenage NYC criminals never seem to see jail time

NYPD’s 2022 crime statistics were grim—especially for New York youths who have increasingly become both the city’s criminals and its victims. By last year’s fourth quarter, one in 10 shooting victims were under 18. And while fewer than five percent of New Yorkers are 15 to 17 years old, according to those latest stats teens under 18 are responsible for roughly 15 to 20% of robberies and felonious thefts. Things are now so bad that the NYPD is expanding its in-school officers program following a string of recent shootings.

A significant obstacle to dealing with escalating youth crime is New York’s “Raise the Age” (RTA) law, which is coming up on its fifth anniversary. 

Before RTA, teens accused of misdemeanors like simple assault were adjudicated in criminal court. Now they go to the far more lenient Family Court. And while teens accused of felonies such as serious assault, robbery and gun possession still have their cases initially heard in the “Youth Part” of criminal court, prosecutors have to fight to keep them there. Here’s why:

Prosecutors can keep these cases in criminal court by proving the defendant caused significant physical injury; displayed a firearm; or unlawfully engaged in sexual conduct. While these may seem reasonable standards, the actual thresholds for meeting them are vague and undefined.

By law, Family Court judges are barred from considering public safety when dealing with adolescents. Conversely, under RTA, criminal court judges are barred from viewing defendants’ Family Court records when making future decisions about where to send a case.

Until “Raise the Age” is amended, New York’s most vulnerable will be terrorized by an unworkable, opaque system that rewards the bad behavior of teens who will never, ever learn any better.  nypost.com

Rise in NYC smoke shop shootings has NYPD on ‘high’ alert: sources

A series of shootings at Big Apple smoke shops has cops beefing up resources to deal with what has become a “citywide problem,”

Police wouldn’t quantify how many incidents have cropped up at city smoke shops, but a source said it seems like there is a robbery “every day,” be it the store or the customers going in and out.

Authorities estimate there are more than 100 of the stores in Midtown alone — and their numbers keep growing.  nypost.com


Violent Weekend in NYC with 20 shootings or stabbings in all five boroughs

PD in Ga.'s second-biggest county, Gwinnett County, hits 26% (249) police officer vacancy rate

Last week's #1 article --

Major grocery chain with hundreds of locations starts closing multiple stores


COVID Update

660.4M Vaccinations Given

US: 104M Cases - 1.1M Dead - 102M Recovered
Worldwide: 677.6M Cases - 6.7M Dead - 650.1M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 362   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 820

Women lost more jobs early in the pandemic. They’re also returning faster

Rising costs, combined with more flexible work arrangements and remote options, are drawing women — and mothers in particular — back into the workforce

The percentage of working-age women in the labor force has nearly recovered from pre-pandemic levels, whereas men still have more ground to make up. When compared to the pandemic low point in April 2020, women’s labor force participation rates are up by 3.4 percentage points, while for men it’s 2.1 percentage points.

Women’s reentry into the labor market marks a reversal compared to most of 2020 and 2021, and eases economists’ fears that steep early pandemic job losses would take a longer-lasting toll on women’s employment.

“Women not only suffered disproportionately from job losses and work displacement early in the pandemic, but they were also most affected by child-care disruptions,” said Julia Pollak, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter.  washingtonpost.com

NYC Shoplifting Complaints Up 45% From 2021 & 275% From Mid-2000's

Retailers busting thieves with facial-recognition tech

Supermarkets and other retailers say they’ve begun using facial-recognition technology for a legitimate purpose: to bust shoplifters.

Grocery stores, drug chains and other mass merchants are increasingly using high-tech innovations — including facial-recognition software, artificial intelligence and even aisle-roving robots — to clamp down on thieves. Some say they have turned up a few surprises.

Moe Issa, who owns four Brooklyn Fare stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn, said well-heeled customers with large diamond rings and Gucci bags are squirreling containers of blueberries into their purses — and said one serial offender turned out to be a mom.

Retailers who are losing thousands of dollars each week to brazen thieves are turning to new technology that can alert staff when their stuff is getting pinched. Retailers say their business is at stake — particularly in New York City where lax law enforcement has helped spur a shoplifting epidemic.

On Friday, an analysis of police data by The Post showed that retail thefts hit record levels for the second year in a row in 2022. Shoplifting complaints surged to more than 63,000 last year — a 45% jump over the roughly 45,000 reported in 2021 and a nearly 275% jump compared to the mid-2000s, the statistics show.

One Bronx-based grocer who has been battling crime in his stores installed facial recognition software in one location within the past month – and says it can identify known thieves even when they try to obscure themselves with face masks and hoodies, he said.

“We have been building a file of repeat offenders and it’s incredibly efficient,” the grocer said.  nypost.com


Carrefour Rolls Out Facial Biometric Payment in UAE

Customers visiting Carrefour’s stores in Deira and Amsaf can now pay for their shopping by simply smiling at a payment terminal instead of reaching for their card or phone, the company said in a press release. It added that consumers can enroll for the service online via the Carrefour mobile app or website.  pymnts.com

NFL Merges Cybersecurity & Physical Security

NFL Sr. VP & CSO Cathy Lanier Speaking About Super Bowl Sunday Security

Lanier says the security world has, no doubt, seen major changes and it takes a constant focus on coordination and logistics to meet modern challenges. She noted the NFL merged its cybersecurity and physical security assets several year ago to take a wholistic approach. 

“When we look at security around events now it is not just physical security. It’s not just guards, gates and guns like it used to be. We look at threats from a 360-degree perspective. So, it’s the air, the water and the cyber environment,” Lanier says. “It’s just the nature of security these days.” 

Even though it’s the fourth time Arizona has hosted a Super Bowl, Lanier says the security environment for the event is different every year. 

“We don’t just walk in with a template and fill that template. We sit with our all our partners we look at the threats that are out there,” Lanier says. “Then we use the most sophisticated security technology possible to provide a safe and welcoming environment for people."

The federal, state and local security response for Superbowl LVII  included:

  • 1,200 sworn officers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • 2,600 sworn officers from the Phoenix Police Department
  • 600 officials from DHS providing a variety of support resources  * 117 bomb technicians and 104 additional explosive canine handlers
  • Officers from tribal police

Great News For Retail Growth - Except For the Apparel Sector

Store openings outpace closures in 2022: Coresight

  • For the first time since 2016, major US retailers opened more stores than they closed in 2022, according to a recent report from Coresight Research. Retailers opened 5,103 stores last year and closed 2,603 locations, according to the report.
  • Discount stores led openings, with 1,858 stores, while retailers in the apparel sector – clothing, footwear and accessories – closed 750 locations in 2022. That trend is likely to continue as the apparel sector “has led closures yearly since 2016,” the report said.
  • The outlook for store openings and closings in 2023 is similar to last year, with discount stores expected to lead in openings and apparel stores likely to see the most closures. The report projects that 5,200 stores will open this year but 2,800 stores will close. 

Coresight said 10 retailers accounted for 73% of estimated apparel store closures in 2022:

  • Foot Locker, with 187 stores
  • American Eagle Outfitters, with 83 stores
  • The Children’s Place, with 47 stores
  • Gap and Genesco, with 39
  • Olympia Sports, which closed all of its 35 stores and liquidated
  • Burlington Stores and Chico’s with 27 stores
  • H&M with 25 stores      retaildive.com

The Secret to Being a Star at Work Right Now

Today, common sense and manners are often enough to stand out

At a time when ambition is down, cussing is up and managing a Walmart seems too demanding for people to jump at the $200,000 salaries being dangled, a little initiative and a positive attitude can earn you superstar status and sometimes extra pay.

On the “quiet quitting” curve, rising to the top of the class doesn’t necessarily take ingenious ideas or interminable hours. Just ask people who are winning promotions and outstanding-employee awards. I did.

They told me common-sense moves that might once have been considered standard—meeting people in person, doing small favors for colleagues, hitting deadlines even if it means occasional late nights—are now seen as exceptional in the current work climate.

“Some people probably just need a reminder that those things matter,”

Doing extra by showing up

Companies have a renewed appreciation for employees who are willing to do a bit extra, says Scott Hamilton, global managing director of the human resources and compensation consulting practice at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. He says many of his company’s clients are offering spot bonuses and promotions to those who step up, even a little, recognizing that many others are putting their personal lives first and giving less to their jobs. 

Performing tasks that co-workers neglect or grumble about is a time-tested way to get noticed, yet the bar for gold-star work still isn’t as high as it used to be, some standouts acknowledge.  wsj.com

Amazon’s opens it's 31st Go store that coincides with pausing the rollout of its Fresh grocery stores

Bed Bath & Beyond Canada is going out of business - 54 BBB stores & 11 BuyBuy Baby stores

Kroger and Albertsons zero in on 250 to 300 store divestitures amid deal review -sources

Event crashers beware: New York Fashion Week security is on high alert to prevent anyone sneaking in

CVS to close 900 stores through 2024


Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Vice President, Field Asset Protection Burlington Stores, in Burlington, New Jersey

The Vice President of Field Asset Protection is responsible for effectively leading the Asset Protection Team to deliver best in class results and drive positive change through the consistent execution of AP’s primary objectives. Builds great teams by developing leaders as problem solvers and collaborative partners, and by managing performance and potential. Provides strategic and tactical direction and leadership of shortage programs and initiatives. Manages implementation and execution of shortage initiatives in the field and provides feedback to internal business partners that improves processes and practices. Leads the field focus on safe and secure environments, teams and partnerships, theft and fraud, and operational shortage.

Burlington Stores, Inc., headquartered in New Jersey, is a nationally recognized off-price retailer with Fiscal 2021 net sales of $9.3 billion. The Company operated 893 stores as of the end of the third quarter of Fiscal 2022, in 46 states and Puerto Rico, principally under the name Burlington Stores.


Quarterly Results

Wed: Kering Q4 Full Yr.

Friday: Hermes

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Webinar Coming Tomorrow

2023 Predictions: Economic, Retail,
Technology and Crime

February 14 | 1:00 p.m. EST

Join this very popular retail innovation leadership series where 2023 Top 100 Retail Influencer and Prosegur Global Retail CEO, Tony D'Onofrio, will lead a lively and data-rich discussion predicting what will happen in 2023. He is joined by two other 2023 Top Retail Influencers: Greg Buzek and Jeff Roster, both leading industry analysts that track closely where retail and technologies will go next.

Topics for this webinar include:

The forecasted economic headwinds and whether a recession is ahead
The latest forecasts and predictions for the retail industry
Technology predictions including the most important technologies for the year and where startups are currently focused
The latest retail crime trends and predictions for 2023

The data and charts on these topics will be shared with attendees.

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.








Banning TikTok in the US ‘should be looked at,’ says Schumer

“We do know there’s Chinese ownership of the company that owns TikTok. And there are some people in the Commerce Committee that are looking into that right now,” Schumer, the Senate majority leader, told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in a Sunday interview. “We’ll see where they come out.”

US lawmakers Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida, and Angus King, an independent from Maine, said Friday they had reintroduced new legislation that aims to ban TikTok from operating in the United States, unless it cut ties to its current owner.

US officials have raised concerns that China could use its laws to pressure TikTok or ByteDance to hand over US user data that could be used for intelligence or disinformation purposes.

Those worries have prompted the US government to ban TikTok from official devices, and more than half of US states have taken similar measures, according to a CNN analysis. cnn.com

Zero trust is moving from hype to reality

Most organizations view zero trust as a top priority when it comes to reducing risk in their environments. However, zero trust at scale across the entire organization is yet to become a reality for many organizations.

Zero trust is a security paradigm that explicitly identifies users and devices and allows them access to operate with minimal friction while still reducing risk. Zero trust requires organizations to think in terms of least privileged access, resource sensitivity and data confidentiality. 

These concepts are not new. Many teams have tried to implement least privileged access controls in the past and experienced challenges as they expanded the scope and increased the granularity of controls.

Zero trust is not immune to these issues. Organizations must plan ahead and invest in people and resources to succeed with zero trust, and not view it as a one time, one size fits all answer to securing their organization.

To initiate zero-trust implementation, organizations can start by defining a strategy and baseline prior to embarking on a wider zero-trust technology implementation. cybersecuritydive.com


Up 61% in Second Half of 2022 & Set to Accelerate

Phishing Surges Ahead, as ChatGPT & AI Loom

AI and phishing-as-a-service (PaaS) kits are making it easier for threat actors to create malicious email campaigns, which continue to target high-volume applications using popular brand names.

Phishing is having a moment, with a massive spike in campaign volumes in the latter half of 2022. In fact, total phishing emails increased by 61% in the second half, according to an analysis this week. That could also be set to accelerate, as the rise of ChatGPT and other new tools are making their mark on the sector too. 

That's according the "Q4 2022 Phishing and Malware Report" from email security firm Vade, published Feb. 9. Phishing volumes increased 36% between the third and fourth quarters, with researchers tracking 278.3 million unique phishing emails in the last three months of the year, according to the report.

Malware volumes overall also increased, 12% quarter for quarter, with Vade detecting 58.9 million emails in the fourth quarter of 2022 that included malware, the researchers found.

Email remains the top channel for distributing phishing and malware, giving hackers a convenient, scalable, and efficient vehicle for exploiting users and compromising accounts, Todd Stansfield, content marketing manager, noted in the report.

"Email threat activity continues to increase, creating the need for organizations of all sizes to fortify their cybersecurity," he wrote.

Facebook remained the top brand in terms of impersonation for the second consecutive quarter.  Followed by Microsoft, PayPal, Google, and Netflix in descending order as the brands that threat actors prefer to impersonate.  

In terms of targets threat actors continued to find value in campaigns targeting productivity applications, for which they have a wide pool of corporate users and are most likely to find success, the researchers found. Microsoft 365, which has more than 345 million users, and Google Workspace, the second-most popular productivity suite, continued to be the top targets for phishers in the second half of 2022, according to Vade.  darkreading.com


Australia Bans Hikvision & Dahua Cameras From Defense Sites

Australia's Department of Defense will rip out cameras made by Chinese manufacturers Hikvision and Dahua while the government considers whether to ban their use across all federal agencies. govinfosecurity.com






Advanced AI-based Market Place Compliance Solution Prevents Counterfeit & Illegal Goods

eBay Acquires 3PM Shield to Bring Advanced Marketplace Compliance Technology In-House

3PM Shield's monitoring technology will simplify policy compliance for sellers, and keep eBay a trusted marketplace

This further enhances eBay's world-class monitoring solutions with new technologies designed to prevent the sale of counterfeit items, unsafe products and illegal goods.

Bringing 3PM Shield to eBay is part of eBay's ongoing commitment to provide sellers and buyers with a safe and trusted platform enabled by technology. 3PM Shield enhances eBay's ability to address suspicious or harmful seller behavior, and potentially problematic items.  prnewswire.com


How marketplaces are evolving

In a sign of the changing world of retailers, marketplaces have become a popular addition to a company’s standard business model, with the likes of Hudson’s Bay, Urban Outfitters, Walmart and, most recently, Macy’s all launching their own marketplaces in recent years. 

For those players, a marketplace is an add-on that opens up an additional revenue stream. For brands, the proliferation of marketplaces leaves them with a host of additional sales channels to consider. In fact, a whole new breed of brands is now arising that launch on Shopify and Amazon before expanding into other channels.

Traditional marketplace operators like Amazon, Etsy and eBay are facing changes and challenges of their own. Sellers on eBay earlier this year protested an increase in fees on the platform. Others are increasingly looking for their own methods of authenticating items.

As marketplaces evolve, these issues and others are looming over the space. For example, who is responsible when things go awry? Does a marketplace like Amazon or Tmall have an obligation to police counterfeits? What corporate processes or government regulations will emerge in the space? Here are some of the trends and news items we’re keeping an eye on in the space.

Trendline Report - requires registration


The Rapid Rise of Digital Shopping & Payments

Digital Wallet Use Surges Online but Lags for in-Store Purchases

The return to physical retail was perhaps the bigger story of 2022, but the rising number of consumers shopping online and paying with digital wallets are trends to watch as those numbers climb.

PYMNTS recorded the growth of eCommerce in “Digital Economy Payments: The Ascent of Digital Wallets,” the latest in our monthly report series chronicling the rapid rise of digital shopping and payments, with a sample of close to 2,800 consumers saying they broke out the smartphone more often at the checkout to use a digital wallet in the fourth quarter of 2022.

As much as grocery shopping is moving online, and with it the battle of the retail titans vying for bigger pieces of the action, non-grocery retail goods dwarfed online food shopping in Q4 2022, clocking in at $1.1 trillion according to our sample, compared to $182 billion spent on groceries.

How We Paid

Credit cards (40.5%) and debit cards (22.8%) remained the preferred payment methods for most consumers, though the impact of digital wallets is becoming more apparent in our tallies.

For example, the study states that while “38% of consumers used debit cards for their last in-store purchase, just 23% used them online. Digital wallets are responsible for this gap, as they collectively represent a much higher share of online spending than in-store spending.”

Specific examples include PayPal at 13.5% of total consumer online retail spend compared to just 2.7% in-store. “Apple Pay reached 4.3% of the total amount spent on online purchases, and Google Pay took 2.5%. Usage of these payment methods dropped by 50% for in-store transactions, at 1.9% and 0.8%, respectively,” per the study.  pymnts.com


Two Amazon Marketplace Sellers and Four Companies Plead Guilty to Price Fixing DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs

On Feb. 10 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Bruce Fish of Hayfield, Minnesota, along with BDF Enterprises, Inc., a corporate entity owned by Fish, admitted to participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs sold on the Amazon marketplace. Victor Btesh of Brooklyn, New York, and three New York corporate entities of which Btesh is the sole or majority owner, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy on Feb. 9.

According to the plea agreements, Btesh and Fish, along with their four corporate entities, agreed with co-conspirators to raise and maintain the prices of DVDs and Blu-Rays sold in Amazon marketplace storefronts, resulting in those products being sold at collusive and noncompetitive prices.

A criminal violation of the Sherman Act carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $1 million criminal fine for individuals, and a $100 million fine for corporations. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.  justice.gov


Google, Amex roll out anti-fraud tool







Flash Mob Robs Chanel Store in NW DC; Police Search for 10-15 Suspects

Washington, DC: Flash Mob Robs Chanel Store in NW DC; Police Search for 10-15 Suspects. D.C. police are investigating a group robbery at a Chanel store in Northwest, after they say 10-15 men and/or teenagers stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. The felony theft by flash mob was reported at around 2:40 p.m. at the store at 955 I Street NW, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. The suspects were around 17-25 years old and wearing black masks and dark clothing during the robbery. The getaway cars were a White Infiniti vehicle following a Black Acura SUV, police said. Authorities said no injuries were reported and no weapons were involved. nbcwashington.com


Burglars steal $52K in handbags, shoes from SoHo Givenchy store: police

New York, NY: Burglars steal $52K in handbags, shoes from SoHo Givenchy store. Thieves nabbed shoes and handbags worth $52,000 from the Soho Givenchy store Saturday morning, police said. Three men and a woman used a hammer to smash the door window of the two-story boutique at 94 Greene St. at 7:30 a.m. The store security alarm was not activated at the time of the break-in, and the entrance grate was not down, sources told the New York Post. audacy.com


Eight people face felony charges for organized Apple theft operation

San Francisco, CA: Eight people face felony charges for organized Apple theft operation. Eight people are facing felony charges for their alleged involvement in a theft scheme targeting Apple stores and stealing about $1 million in electronic products, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Thursday. In their organized operation, the suspects stole approximately $1 million worth of expensive electronic products from locations across California, including stores in the Bay Area's Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco counties, alleged Bonta. At a press conference held in the California Highway Patrol's San Francisco office, Bonta said the suspects would enter Apple stores, hold back employees and customers, steal products, which they would likely later resell for a profit, and flee within seconds or minutes. A 2022 investigation from California Highway Patrol's organized retail crime task force and partnering agencies revealed that suspects would steal thousands of dollars' worth of iPhones, iPads and other high-value items at each retail location. The incidents were far from petty theft or shoplifting, but an organized scheme, said Bonta. pleasantonweekly.com


Monroe, LA: Woman accused of stealing over $1K worth of alcohol from convenience store



Charlotte, NC: Dodge Charger stolen from Charlotte Dealership, 4 cars total.



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Shootings & Deaths

Man fatally shot inside Manhattan smoke shop as gun violence erupts in NYC.

New York, NY: A man was fatally shot inside a smoke shop in Manhattan on Saturday evening, police said. Authorities found Alfred Johnson, 42, with gunshot wounds to the neck and torso inside the smoke shop at 2 West 125th St., near Fifth Avenue, in Harlem just after 8 p.m., according to the NYPD. The victim died at the hospital, police said. Police are looking for two suspects who fled the scene in a blue SUV, according to an NYPD spokesman. It remained unclear what prompted the shooting. Surveillance video shows several people, including dog trainers walking dogs, run when the shots rang out. Ozziel Pacheco said he and his brother, along with two women, hid behind the stairs of brownstone before he called 911. pix11.com

One person dead, and 5 people injured, following shooting at C-Store.

Louisville, MS: The Louisville Police Department is investigating a shooting that left one person dead and 5 people hurt. The shooting happened at approximately 2:39 p.m. Sunday, February 12. Louisville Police Chief Sean Holdiness says the shooting happened in the parking lot of the Blackwell store on the intersection of Jones Avenue and John C Stennis Drive. Chief Holdiness tells WTVA that there are suspects in custody, with some believed to be minors. wtva.com

SWAT officers shoot, kill man in Home Depot parking lot.

Grove City, OH: Police in Ohio say SWAT officers attempting to serve a warrant in a Columbus suburb over the weekend shot and killed a man in a shopping center parking lot. Sgt. David Scarpitti of the Columbus Division of Police said officers were seeking a man wanted on a rape warrant when they encountered the suspect Saturday night in the parking lot of a Home Depot store in Grove City. Scarpitti said the officers fired their weapons shortly before 8:30 p.m. Saturday, striking the man. Details of what led up to the shooting were not disclosed. He was taken to Grant Medical Center and pronounced dead about a half-hour later. stamfordadvocate.com

Victim shot and killed inside a local Smoke shop.

Harlem, NY: Dramatic surveillance footage captures the aftermath of a fatal shooting at a Harlem smoke shop — showing the victim stumbling across the street and collapsing into a pool of blood.

The video, obtained by The Post, shows two people running out of the Level Up Exotics smoke shop before the victim staggers out and crosses 125th Street after being shot in the torso and neck at around 10 p.m. Saturday. The mortally wounded man appears to plead for help, but passerby can be seen turning away from him. He is seen falling to the sidewalk outside a local Shake Shack, then getting to his feet unsteadily before he disappears around the corner. Sources said he collapsed about 50 yards down Fifth Avenue, where he bled out on the sidewalk and was later pronounced dead. nypost.com

Deadly shooting at a McDonald’s in Sumter.

Sumter, SC: One teen is dead after a shooting at a McDonalds in Sumter County. According to the Sumter County Coroner, 14-year-old Jacob Russ was shot and killed at the McDonalds at 101 North Lafayette Drive. Investigators say it happened on Sunday, February 12th around 3:45 p.m. Russ was pronounced dead on scene, according to investigators. The Sumter Police Department and the Sumter County Coroner’s Office are investigating. abccolumbia.com

Armed Robbery suspect shot and killed by Police following a crash during Police pursuit.

Orange County, CA: A driver is dead after leading police on a pursuit in Orange County. The incident began as the suspect pointed a gun at a cashier at a Jamba Juice and demanded money. The chash began when the robbery suspect refused to stop for Police. nbclosangeles.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Man brutally stabbed in neck, body, hand outside Brooklyn deli, suspect sought.

Brooklyn, NY: A man was repeatedly knifed, including in the neck, outside a Brooklyn deli over the weekend, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition, police said. The NYPD released images Monday of the suspect they’re searching for in the brutal stabbing around 9:40 p.m. Saturday. The 29-year-old victim was stabbed during an argument in front of Deli and Grocery Inc. at 3302 Church Ave. in East Flatbush.

During the dispute, the suspect whipped out a knife and stabbed the victim in his neck, torso and right hand before fleeing down New York Avenue, police said. EMS transported the victim with critical injuries to NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, where his condition was stabilized. audacy.com

Shots fires into local restaurant in the West Ridge area.

Chicago, IL: A shooting sent people running for cover in the West Ridge neighborhood. According to Chicago police, The victims were driving in the 2700 block of West Peterson Avenue around 10:30 p.m. when someone inside another car started shooting. Two men, 20 and 21 years old, were hospitalized in fair condition. As the shots were fired, people in Pride Sushi and Thai, a nearby restaurant, started ducking for cover and running away. There's even a bullet hole on the front window of the restaurant. cbsnews.com

Man lit Target store fire, causing over $11M in damage.

Riverside County, CA: A man in Riverside County, California, was arrested on Wednesday after police say he lit a fire inside a Target store that caused over $11 million dollars in damage.

The suspect was identified by the Riverside County Fire Department and CAL FIRE as Abel Arizmendi. On Jan. 22, fire crews responded to the Target in the 30000 block of Haun Road in Menifee around 7:30 a.m. When authorities arrived, they discovered a fire had been set in the men’s clothing department. The suspect had already fled the scene. Investigators later tracked down Arizmendi at his home where he was taken into custody. He was arrested on nine charges, including arson, robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle. wpri.com

Vallejo, CA: Burglars cause $8K in damages at Vallejo deli, got away with $50.


Tallahassee, FL: Florida man charged for conducting six armed robberies over span of one week




Auto – Charlotte, NC – Burglary
C-Store - Los Angeles, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store – Chesterfield, VA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Pico Rivera, CA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Monroe, LA – Robbery
C-Store – Wood County, WI – Burglary
Clothing – Washing, DC - Robbery
Gaming – Richmond, VA – Robbery
Gas Station – Fargo, ND – Robbery
Gas Station – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Grocery – Evansville, IN – Armed Robbery
Grocery – Douglas County, OR – Armed Robbery
Handbags – New York, NY – Burglary
Jewelry – LaGrange, GA - Robbery
Motel – Nash County, NC - Armed Robbery
Motel – Long Island, NY – Armed Robbery
Pharmacy – Pawtucket, RI – Robbery
Restaurant – Brooklyn, NY - Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Rochester, NY – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Orange County, CA – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Vallejo, CA – Burglary
Tobacco – Greene County, VA – Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 16 robberies
• 6 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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