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February 14, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Woman accused of shoplifting sues store for false imprisonment. The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of damages for physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses, punitive damages, interest and court costs.  (Source

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer robbed by machete-wielding intruder
. Justice Breyer, wife Joanna and guests were confronted by the robber around Thursday evening in the home Breyer owns on the Caribbean island of Nevis. The machete-wielding intruder took about $1,000 in cash and no one was hurt.  (Source

U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in January, highest level in past 10 months. General-merchandise stores reported a 2% increase in January sales to lead the way, while sales at department stores climbed 1.0%. Internet sales dropped 1.1%, the largest drop in the past 3 years.  (Source

China may be the new target for global hackers. In December, it was reported that possibly 40 million user passwords had been hacked from a popular opinion forum, then a retail site. The Chinese government launched an investigation that found 26 databases had been breached estimating a total of 278 million usernames and passwords were at risk.  (Source

Thieves target high-end cell phones in Indianapolis mall break in. Police are investigating the theft of $23,000 worth of cell phones from a Verizon kiosk at Circle Centre Mall in downtown Indianapolis. The report notes 56 phones were taken but it appeared the thieves left all of the lower end phones.  (Source

Man accused of $25,000 laundry detergent theft. A Minnesota man has been arrested and charged with stealing $6,000 worth of laundry detergent. 'Tide' was the brand of choice for this thief; loss prevention believes that this suspect may have been responsible for the theft of nearly $25,000 of cleaning product over the past 15 months.  (Source

Cheeses Bandits caught in a trap. Two thieves seem to have a thing for very large cans of processed cheese. The missing cheese cans, weighing in at 2.2 pounds became a target for video surveillance and security and it didnít take long to trap the suspects.  (Source

Long Beach Police and Merchants team up to focus on crime. Long Beach Police Detective Division Cmdr. Eric Ledesma is focused on the increase in crime statistics for 2011; 18.8 percent spike in commercial burglaries, a 14.8 percent jump in grand theft and a 10.5 percent increase in property crimes citywide. Local Businesses and Police have teamed together to share information and even surveillance video to target organized retail crime. Joseph LaRocca, Senior Adviser of Asset Protection for the National Retail Federation, stated that "Property crime is rising across the country because of the down economy and the growing number of professional criminals." LaRocca further stated "We hear a lot about the economy and in almost every shoplifter case, somebody will come up with a rationalization -- I lost my job, whatever. But the reality is that people are stealing for greed, not need." On Thursday, the Police and Loss Prevention professionals from around the country will be welcome to share ideas, the Los Angeles Area Organized Retail Crime Association will host a conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center, over 900 law enforcement and retail professionals are scheduled to attend.  (Source
Submitted by Art Silva

The stigma of being unemployed

With a national unemployment rate around 8.3 percent right now and the last three years averaging 9.3 percent, itís not a secret that a lot of lives have been affected in recent years. Up until two weeks ago those numbers, while staggering, didnít have the same meaning they have today as I sit here as part of that statistic. In fact until very recently, I had a very difficult time admitting to myself or anyone else that I am currently unemployed. I sugarcoated that word all I could so that I could feel better, but the reality is I am right now one of the 8.3 percent of people looking for a job and I am unemployed.

I write this today not for sympathy but to "pay it forward" since I feel so fortunate to have a very supportive group of colleagues who have shared their experiences with when I needed it. So while I donít wish it upon anyone else, the reality is that there will be more that are affected and if that day should come, I hope my experience can be of some help to you, a loved one, or a colleague. I donít pretend to be an expert and donít have all the answers but just as we have done with the Thought Challenges, I hope to get you thinking about how you might react or how someone you know might be feeling.

The biggest challenge for me personally was that I hadnít anticipated just how much being unemployed would affect me psychologically. I didnít realize how much value I put on myself as a person based on my ability to contribute to my job. The fact was, I had specifically considered this scenario as my former company was divesting and in my head I was fully prepared to take advantage of the time off and enjoy all the things I couldnít do before. On paper, I knew I should understand that I was not defined by my job, my title, or the fact I was working. But in real life, it was very hard to suddenly go from 100 to 0 in such a short time and not feel like my value as a person has diminished.

I hope you wonít ever be part of one of these statistics, but just as I have shared some of the high points that got me to where I am, I also wanted to share my experiences on the other side in the hopes of getting people thinking about how they view unemployment and whether there really is a stigma attached to it. Over the next few weeks I will be writing a few more articles about managing change, dealing with unemployment, and what I have learned from my situation. I also welcome hearing from anyone else who wants to share their experience or perspective.


Doug Marker
Vice President
LP, Risk and Audit
Michael Stores, Inc.

Coming in February
Kelly Gorman
Vice President LP



Richard C. Hollinger, PhD



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NRF 2011 ORC Survey

Executive Summary
Full Report 

Effective Crowd Management Guidelines

Education Awareness on Personal Safety
Full Report

Return Fraud Survey
Full Report

Asset Protection Conference

March 11-14, 2012
Hyatt Regency
New Orleans, LA


2012 Retail
Loss Prevention

September 12, 2012
International Centre


Watch for our article the day after each event!

Los Angeles Area
ORC Association

3rd Annual
2012 Conference

February 16, 2012
LA Convention Center

2012 International Organization of Black Security Executives

Spring Conference
April 18-20
Chicago, IL

Click here
for more details.


Police are looking for help to identify 3 Kansas, Best Buy thieves. The thieves stole numerous items from an Overland Park Best Buy valued at more than $7,000. Police claim that there are actually five people involved in the very organized thefts. With each member executing very specific tasks in the theft, police say they are able to successfully take such a large amount of merchandise. (Source

Macy's ORC Case: 'illdevilinc''

Organized Retail Crime is traditionally made up of two groups, the booster and the fence. In the past, the fence has operated "stores" out of their homes, flea markets, or street corners. However, eFencing has been on the rise in recent years. With the popularity and anonymity of online auction sites, such as eBay and Craigslist, e-fencing has become an attractive quality in fencing stolen merchandise. Another bonus to eFencing is that you can ask more for the stolen merchandise. Typically these sites will ask 70% of the retail value for stolen items vs. 30% for traditional brick and mortar locations. The Macyís ORC team has been actively investigating different fencing locations including eFencing sites.

Macyís sells private brands which are exclusive to Macyís. While researching one of the high shortage private brands, International Concepts or INC, being sold on eBay, an investigation was initiated into an eBay account selling INC merchandise in excess of $110,000. This seller used the user id "illdevilinc."  Using their access to eBay's Proact system, Macy's East Coast ORC Manager was able to obtain sellerís personal information in order to further the investigation.  It was determined that the seller lived in San Leandro, Calif.  The listed seller was a 19-year-old male.  The ORC team utilized Macyís investigative systems to ensure he wasnít an associate or had not been apprehended in the past.  They also utilized internet public searches and social media to research the seller.  It was determined that the male subject lived with three other people, assumed to be his mother and grandparents.  It was determined that surveillance was the next step in the case.

The West Coast ORC Manager traveled to the suspectís home residence to conduct surveillance on the sellerís residence.

During surveillance, two female subjects were observed leaving the residence. They were followed to the Macyís store located in San Leandro. The East ORC Manager notified the store of the womenís presence and observation was begun utilizing the storeís CCTV system. The women were observed entering the INC department and immediately began selecting multiple pieces of INC merchandise. One suspect entered a fitting room with large amounts of INC, while the other brought her more merchandise.  Store LP assisted in the fitting room surveillance. After an hour, both suspects departed the store. Multiple pieces of INC clothing were missing and unaccounted for from the fitting room. The ORC Manager followed the women back to the residence. At this time, it was determined that the eBay seller was the Mother of the person listed on the eBay account. The ORC Manager performed several observations over the course of two months with the same results. 

The ORC Manager monitored the sellerís eBay site and verified that items missing during surveillance were being posted for sale on the site.

The West ORC Manager then conducted a controlled undercover purchase of several INC items from the sellers eBay site.  When the packages arrived on the East Coast, they were able to confirm that the items they purchased were indeed the same items the suspect was observed selecting and entering the fitting room with.  The packaging also confirmed the sellerís address, and name of the suspect under surveillance. Further investigation revealed that this suspect had been arrested for shoplifting on several other occasions at multiple retailers. 

In partnership with local law enforcement, detectives from the San Leandro County Police Department were contacted and presented with the evidence from the surveillance and purchases.  A short time later, Detectives from San Leandro County PD and the two ORC Managers executed a search warrant on the sellersí residence. Over 200 pieces of stolen Macyís private brand merchandise was recovered totaling over $10,000. Based on admission, the suspect listed these items at 30%-35% off the retail value. The total case value based on the admission and recovery is estimated $300,000 dollars.  Suspect was arrested and is pending trial.

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Adam Strickler was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for the Burlington Coat Factory.
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Are Successful People Nice? We all recognize the importance of tuning into social and emotional factors in the work place. But many popular depictions of the work place (Mad Men and Wall Street for example) impress that in business, only the strong survive. But emotional intelligence implies that successful leaders should be nice. So which one is it? (Measure your 'Big Five')

Personality Test Take this free personality test and find out more about who you are and you strengths. This personality test measures the Big Five personality factors and can provide you with valuable information for your career path. (Answer all 92 statements)
The Danger of Being Too Nice at Work If you're a nice person, you probably think that being nice works to your advantage in the office. After all, how could it be any other way? However, what nice people may not realize is that they're too nice, and that being too nice can seriously stymie their career growth and success. (Don't finish last)

The Must-Have Leadership Skill
Technical skills and self-mastery alone allow you to be an outstanding individual contributor. But to lead, you need an additional interpersonal skill set. (It's all about social intelligence)

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One of your primary objectives in any negotiation should be to show a positive, upbeat and an enthusiastic approach to the entire process regardless of the offer. Always wait for the details before accepting any offer because the devil may be in the details. Remember the hardest thing to negotiate is the benefits because of precedent setting company standards. If you prepared the employer before the offer with a written (emailed) list of your entire current package in detail, it can make it easier to discuss when it counts the most.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing


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