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Protests & Violence

Minneapolis: City, state leaders detail security plans ahead of Derek Chauvin trial

Multiple agencies, National Guard ready for jury selection on March 8

Thousands of police, sheriffs deputies and Minnesota National Guard members are ready to jump into action during the upcoming trial of the first of four officers charged in the killing of George Floyd.

State and local officials spent the last eight months planning for what Gov. Tim Walz called the "most important trial in the country," in hopes of preventing a repeat of the riots that traumatized residents and burned businesses last summer.

Law enforcement leaders laid out a massive coordinated security plan Wednesday for the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, and said their goals are protecting First Amendment rights and preventing crime and violence.

When people broke into businesses and lit buildings on fire in Minneapolis and St. Paul after Floyd's killing last May, local and state leaders scrambled to pull together law enforcement and decide where to send them. Those leaders vowed Wednesday that
if riots break out again, their response will be different.

"One of the assets that we've had that is different from late May and early June of 2020 is time," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said Wednesday. startribune.com

Fences and barricades have already been going up around Minneapolis'
city hall and courthouse ahead of the Derek Chauvin trial.

Saint Paul, MN: After cuts, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher asks for beefy budget increase to deal with civil unrest
Pushing back against budget cuts and saying he needs more money to keep the peace during the upcoming trial of Derek Chauvin, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher filed notices with the Ramsey County Board asking for nearly $3.6 million.

Fletcher, who sued the board in December over ongoing budget disputes, said the anticipated civil unrest, along with his desire to see budget corrections and amendments to rectify austerity cuts the county made last year, should compel the board to act now. startribune.com

   St. Paul considers banning weapons at protests

D.C. mayor declares gun violence a 'public health crisis,' proposes new solutions

Homicides in D.C. hit a 16-year high in 2020

After an especially bloody year of shootings in the District, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Wednesday formally declared gun violence to be a public health crisis in the city and announced a new "whole-government" approach to combating the scourge, emphasizing more than just police work and prosecutions.

With an initial investment of $15 million and more money to come, said Bowser (D), the city is establishing a "gun violence prevention emergency operations center," to be staffed by the D.C. government's "best and brightest" in the fields of education, job training, mental health counseling, housing and other services.

Linda K. Harllee Harper, a top official with the city's Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, was named director of the new emergency operations center. Appearing with Bowser at a news briefing, Harper said the goal is to attack the root causes of gun violence before it occurs. She said the center will "work one on one with the most impacted residents," focusing on "the circumstances that put people at high risk of engaging in, or being victimized by, violence." washingtonpost.com

Firearm violence in Philadelphia almost doubles after COVID lockdown measures
After the state of Pennsylvania implemented stringent containment measures in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, firearm violence in the city of Philadelphia increased.

A new report from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University showed that measures taken in an effort to stop the spread of the virus compounded inequities and exacerbated problems already prevalent in low-income communities -- some with fatal consequences.

In a Feb. 11 news release, researchers stated that the increase in incidents could be linked back to the enactment of a lockdown and other public health policies, as well as nationwide protests ignited by the Minneapolis Police killing of George Floyd in May of last year. foxnews.com


Utah: Two bills born from last summer's protests proceed in state senate
Two bills on Capitol Hill with links to last summer's protests are moving forward to the Senate floor. While one focuses on protesters who incite violence, another targets police de-escalation and arrest training. The latter received overwhelming support during Wednesday's Senate Judiciary, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice Committee. However, the former saw opposition from organizations like the ACLU of Utah and Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, while garnering support from citizen groups. fox13now.com

Colorado lawmaker proposes new 'rules of engagement' for law enforcement during protests
A Colorado lawmaker, who says the First Amendment is his favorite, has introduced a bill that would limit law enforcement's ability to disperse crowds involved in demonstrations. Under Sen. Jeff Bridges' proposal, police would not be allowed to disperse protesters, unless they were acting in concert to pose an imminent threat to use force or violence to cause personal injury or significant property damage. thedenverchannel.com

Read more in today's Vendor Spotlight below

COVID Update

US: Over 28.4M Cases - 502K Dead - 18.6M Recovered
Worldwide: Over 110M Cases - 2.4M Dead - 85M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 276   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 247
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Newly Reported Cases in U.S. Stay Below 80,000
Hospitalizations at their lowest level since November 10

Newly reported Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. continued to fall, though winter storms that left millions without power were likely creating lags in data reporting in many parts of the country.

The storms have also disrupted vaccinations, with shipments of vaccine delayed and appointments in many places canceled, just as the pace of inoculations across the U.S. had started to pick up.

The U.S. reported nearly 2,500 Covid-19 fatalities for Thursday, bringing the nation's death toll to more than 490,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. wsj.com

Herd Immunity by April?
Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we'd call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?

In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.

Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast. Former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb estimates 250 million doses will have been delivered to some 150 million people by the end of March.

There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life. wsj.com

Vaccination Fear May Impact Your Retailer - More Than You're Anticipating
40% of Americans Unlikely to Get Vaccinated

Workers' Vaccination Fears Pose Business Challenges, SHRM Survey Finds
While many workers in the U.S. are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccination - and many employers plan to encourage them to do so - a significant number of workers say they are unlikely to get vaccinated, according to new research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

If large numbers of workers remain fearful of the vaccine, it could delay business from returning to normal operations.

At the same time, a substantial number of workers believe the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory for everyone who is able to receive it, which could create conflicts with colleagues who won't get vaccinated.

Many companies are encouraging their employees to get the vaccine, but they say they are not going to require workers to get vaccinated before they return to work.

SHRM also found that:

60 percent of workers will probably or definitely get the vaccine once it becomes available to them.

Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of employees who are not planning to get vaccinated would change their minds if their employer offered incentives such as cash bonuses or stipends, paid time off (PTO) or gift cards.

12 percent of employees would be willing to get vaccinated only if they might otherwise lose their job.

Continue Reading: Understanding Employees' Fears - Why Employees Won't Get Vaccinated - Incentives Fearful Employees Say Could Convince Them

Kroger seeks to meet high demand with online vaccine scheduling tool
The Kroger Co. can manage more than 250,000 daily requests for COVID-19 vaccine appointments online. Kroger Health, the health care division of the nation's largest supermarket retailer, is rolling out a new vaccine scheduling platform. The online solution will reflect the amount of vaccine doses confirmed within Kroger's system while allowing customers to check vaccine eligibility and create appointments as availability of the vaccine increases.

Customers will also have the ability to book appointments for both their first and second doses at the same time. Kroger has implemented advanced security measures to deter bot activity within the platform, ensuring maximum appointment availability. The retailer is also streamlining customer access to COVID-19 testing with a new smartphone-based, at-home rapid testing kit. chainstoreage.com

Sam's Club launches touchless employee health screening kiosk for COVID-19
Sam's Club is rolling out an in-house developed, automated health screening kiosk designed to enable a safer, quicker and more reliable COVID-19 screening procedure for employees to its nearly 600 clubs nationwide. The contactless kiosk features patent-pending technology that includes a built-in body temperature scanner, a camera sensor able to verify identity from a distance and a digital health screening questionnaire activated by hand motion. It is 100% touchless. chainstoreage.com

AG Amazon Failed Duty of Care & Retaliated to Silence Workers
NY AG Sues Amazon Over COVID-19 Worker Protections
New York Attorney General Letitia James served a lawsuit against Amazon on Wednesday over the company's alleged failure to provide proper pandemic health and safety measures for employees at two New York City facilities, prompting the e-commerce giant to quickly remove the case to federal court.

James alleged in the suit, which was filed Tuesday, that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon has "repeatedly and persistently" failed to institute reasonable and adequate measures to protect its workers from the spread of the virus at a fulfillment center on Staten Island and a distribution center in Queens.

The company alleged in its notice of removal that the Office of the New York Attorney General intended to "usurp federal regulation of workplace safety, convert nonbinding agency guidance into legally binding requirements, and dictate the day-to-day operations and human resources policies" of the two facilities. law360.com

James alleged that since at least March 2020, Amazon failed to adequately clean and disinfect its facilities when virus-infected workers had been present, failed to notify potential contacts of the infected workers and didn't allow employees to take the necessary time "to engage in hygiene, sanitation, social-distancing, and necessary cleaning practices."

After employees made complaints to management, government agencies and media outlets, the company "took swift retaliatory action to silence workers' complaints," including firing employee Christian Smalls in March and issuing a final written warning to employee Derrick Palmer in April. James said such actions against visible company critics sent a chilling message to other workers. law360.com

A mass-casualty event every day:
Inside the dark winter of Covid-19 in America
Three days in the deadliest month in the Covid pandemic

Behind America's Botched Vaccination Rollout:
Fragmented Communication, Misallocated Supply
The pace of Covid-19 vaccinations is picking up, but distribution sites are still recovering from initial errors in nursing-home plans, limited supplies and a balky flow of information

White House: Pharmacies to get double the vaccine doses weekly - From 1M to 2M

NYC halts 35K COVID-19 vaccine appointments amid weather delays

Coronavirus cases decline in D.C. region as leaders slowly peel back restrictions

Walmart COVID-Related Costs Were $1.1 billion in Q4


Winter Storm: 500K Still Without Power
The Texas power grid is improving.
But days of outages have caused heat, water and food shortages

The widespread power outages in Texas improved overnight even as they caused serious, cascading issues with the state's supply of heating, water, food and medicine.

Power was down for fewer than 500,000 Texas customers as of Thursday -- way down from the over 3 million outages a day earlier, according to Poweroutage.us. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state's power grid, said in a statement Thursday morning it had made "significant progress" restoring power overnight. But the winter storm and ongoing cold were still affecting the system's power generation, and rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days.

The statement comes as freezing temperatures are forecast again for Thursday, extending an already excruciating period. Since last Thursday, 16 Texans have died due to the extreme weather. Nearly 12 million people are facing water disruptions, with boil-water notices, broken pipes and failing systems, state officials said. cnn.com

   Texas retailers argue for priority status during power outages

   Catastrophic winter storm moves east

Large retailers are paying for police protection in Oakland

Walgreens, Target join Home Depot in requesting dedicated officers

In an apparent effort to reduce crime inside and outside their stores, Walgreens and Target are joining Home Depot in paying overtime to Oakland police officers for some protection.

The department, which in 2019 allowed officers to work overtime at Home Depot, agreed. At an hourly overtime rate of $91.43 plus a 15.5% fee the city charges for officers' service, Home Depot has paid out $2.1 million since the arrangement began in March 2019, according to Chambers.

News of the arrangement has been met with a mix of support and skepticism.

"Considering all the robberies we have daily, the assaults on the parking lots - I've been around there when the robberies are occurring inside," Councilman Noel Gallo said, referring to Walgreens' Fruitvale location. He added that the arrangement could help reduce the number of calls to police.

Gallo said having officers stationed at Home Depot has helped. "By having two police officers there in their vehicles, one is patrolling around and one is stationary right at the exit door, it made a big difference. They said it made a dramatic change in their sales, people are coming, and the employees feel safe."

Pamela Drake, the former director of the Lakeshore Business Improvement District and member of the Coalition For Police Accountability, expressed some skepticism about the deal. "This seems like a screwy arrangement," Drake said. "If something happens, which is inevitable, who is going to be liable for that bad response?" siliconvalley.com

Will the new administration be good for security?

Industry divided on impact, although more than half see more spending on security

As with every change in administration, the impact, either good or bad, on the security industry is something that has been hotly debated before, and one that is at the heart of a Security Systems News Poll.

The SolarWinds cyber incident has put additional stress on the urgency to shore up our national cyber defenses, and the new administration has made a number of appointments to bolster national cybersecurity, possibly signaling a renewed focus on both cyber and physical security.

While more than half of news poll respondents (56 percent) said the government will spend more on security/cybersecurity - just 26 percent see no increase with the remaining 18 percent not sure - readers were divided on the overall impact the new administration will have on the security industry, with 30 percent saying the impact will be "mostly positive" and 32 percent saying "mostly negative." Interestingly, 38 percent see "very little impact."

"The divide and unrest caused by improprieties and business as usual by most politicians will fuel nefarious actors," noted one respondent. "It's good to be in security!"

Another reader agreed, adding: "I believe with a divided country and regulations coming from Washington the market for security is going to be higher."

Looking at the new administration's impact on the security M&A market, readers had strong opinions on what this could mean, with 53 percent feeling the M&A market will get tighter, 24 percent seeing the market opening up with higher multiples and the remaining 24 percent expecting very little change. securitysystemsnews.com

ADT Command & Control Smart Home Platform
Reaches 1 Million Installations
ADT has reached a milestone as its award-winning smart home security platform, ADT Command & Control, surpassed 1 million installations this month. This milestone was achieved less than two years after Command & Control's nationwide introduction in 2019 as the successor to ADT Pulse - the first widely adopted smart home security system. More than 3 million ADT customers now enjoy the convenience and peace of mind provided by an ADT interactive smart home security system. adt.com

Walmart U.S. Raising the Associate Average to Above $15 per hour
Walmart Continues to Invest in its Associates & Create Opportunities
Continuing to invest in associates and create opportunities by raising wages for an additional 425,000 frontline associates after raising wages for 165,000 associates last fall. q4cdn.com

Tractor Supply acquires 167-store Orscheln Farm and Home

Joann fabric and crafts retailer files for an IPO

UK: 27,000 retail jobs lost in 2021 so far

Publishing Note: LP Newswire will not be published this week
and will resume publication next Thursday.

Quarterly Results
Jack in the Box Q1 system comp's up 12.5%

Ahold Delhaize USA Q4 U.S. comp's up 11.2%, online sales up 129%, overall sales up 18%

Walmart Q4 U.S. comp's up 8.6%, eCommerce sales up 69%, net sales up 7.9%, total sales up 7.5%
   Sam's Club Q4 comp's up 10.8%, eCommerce up 42%, net sales up 8.1%
   Walmart International Q4 net sales up 5.5%

Walmart FY 2020 U.S. comp's up 8.6%, eCommerce up 79%, net sales up 8.5%, total sales up 6.7%
   Sam's Club comp's up 11.8%, net sales up 8.7%
   Walmart International net sales up 1%

Cheesecake Factory Q4 comp's down 19.5%, FY 2020 comp's down 28.2%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director of Asset Protection job posted for Albertsons Companies in Boise, ID
As the Director of Asset Protection, you will be developing and implementing asset protection initiatives that support and protect our stores and Division office teams. Promote the adherence to company policies and procedures. Work closely with the Asset Protection team to conduct regular store inspection checks insuring compliance of all operational processes related to shrink reduction, loss controls and physical security; assist in follow-up action plans or maintenance calls as needed. Assist in the development and implementation of proactive Asset Protection and shrink reduction initiatives and strategies for all stores. linkedin.com

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Scholarships support certification for LP professionals and hopefuls

PITTSBURGH, February 18, 2021 - Loss prevention professionals, as well as those who aspire to work in loss prevention in the United States and Canada, can apply for Vector Security Networks' annual Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) scholarships now through March 31, 2021.

The scholarships provide financial support to loss prevention professionals or hopefuls seeking to obtain LPQ and LPC certifications. Vector Security began awarding the scholarships in 2009 in support of career development and continuing education for professionals in this important and rapidly evolving industry.

More than 284 scholarships totaling $283,795 have been awarded since the program began. The scholarships cover all course and examination fees for LPF's Loss Prevention Qualified (LPQ) or Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) certifications.

A total of 10 LPQ and 10 LPC scholarships will be awarded to U.S.-based professionals, while another five LPC scholarships will be awarded to those based in Canada.

"We are pleased to once again offer Vector Security Networks' LPF scholarships," said Gary Fraser, Vice President of Sales for Vector Security Networks. "As the security needs of multi-site businesses continue to evolve, it's important for loss prevention professionals to stay current on industry trends and solutions. Continuing education and certification in this field will help them meet the challenges of their profession."

Anyone who is currently in the loss prevention industry or has an interest in a career in loss prevention, can apply for an LPQ scholarship. Those applying for the LPC scholarship must meet certain eligibility requirements.

Details can be found at: https://www.vectorsecurity.com/lpf-vs-scholarship.

Applications for either an LPQ or an LPC scholarship can be submitted via the Loss Prevention Foundation website at: https://www.yourlpf.org/page/Vector_Security_Scholarship_2021.





Retailers Navigate Patchwork of Privacy Laws
States Push Data Protection Bills in Lieu of Federal Standards

A growing mosaic of state-level internet privacy proposals in lieu of a nationwide framework could provide new protections for consumers and additional question marks for businesses.

Lawmakers in Virginia are nearing passage of data protection legislation in a rapid-fire legislative session slated to conclude this month. Washington state officials are considering compromises over enforcement of a potential privacy law for the third time. States including New York, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Florida are pushing ahead with similar proposals of their own.

The movement in recent weeks comes as the coronavirus pandemic has pushed daily life further online, privacy experts say, adding to consumer fears of potential abuses. Executives warn the emerging landscape for how companies can collect and use personal data could create headaches for firms that do business across state lines.

"The notion that you can divide up your business to treat consumers in California differently than you do in Washington or Virginia is silly," said Tanya Forsheit, chair of the Privacy & Data Security Group at law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein+Selz PC.

Many businesses have warned of a patchwork of privacy laws since California passed its landmark statute in 2018 and as elected officials in Washington, D.C. have clashed over a federal baseline.

Responding to divergent approaches could be complex for e-commerce, which has surged during the pandemic, said Cy Fenton, chairman of the National Retail Federation's information-technology security council. While online stores sell products to consumers in one state, he said, they often deliver those products to recipients in other states and share data from those transactions with third-party marketers elsewhere. wsj.com

Notorious Underground Marketplace 'Retires'
Darknet Markets Compete to Replace Joker's Stash

Researchers Identify 6 Underground Markets as Potential Successors

Cybercriminal gangs operating darknet stolen payment card marketplaces are scrambling to attract customers from the now-closed Joker's Stash card market, according to the security firms Kela and Flashpoint.

The administrator behind Joker's Stash claims to have officially shut down the operation on Monday. Meanwhile, other criminal gangs offering stolen payment cards for sale have stepped up their promotional efforts.

Among the darknet marketplaces vying to pick up former Joker's Stash customers are Brian's Club, Vclub, Yale Lodge and UniCC, Kela says. Flashpoint's researchers say the Ferum and Trump's Dumps marketplaces are also attempting to build their clientele after the apparent demise of Joker's Stash.

Joker's Stash customers were likely already looking for a new marketplace, says the threat research firm Digital Shadows, due to the site's declining customer service and having its service interrupted by law enforcement officials in December 2020. govinfosecurity.com

Popular Barcode/QR Code Scanner Turned Into Malware Overnight
Owner of app that hijacked millions of devices insists 3rd-party buyer was responsible for malicious update

The owners of a popular barcode scanner application that became a malicious nuisance on millions of devices with one update insist that a third-party buyer was to blame.

Earlier this month, cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes explored how a trusted, useful barcode and QR code scanner app on Google Play that accounted for over 10 million installs became malware overnight. Having gained a following and acting as innocent software for years, in recent months, users began to complain that their mobile devices were suddenly full of unwanted adverts.

Barcode Scanner was fingered as the culprit and the source of the nuisanceware, tracked as Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.AdQR. The researchers tracked malicious updates as the reason -- with aggressive advert pushing implemented in the app's code. The app's analytics code was also modified and updates were heavily obfuscated. zdnet.com

PCI Secure SLC Program Expands Vendor Eligibility with Version 1.1
Today, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published version 1.1 of the PCI Secure Software Lifecycle (SLC) Standard and its supporting program documentation. The PCI Secure SLC Standard is one of two standards that are part of the PCI Software Security Framework (SSF). It provides security requirements and assessment procedures for software vendors to integrate into their software development lifecycles and to validate that secure lifecycle management practices are in place.

The version 1.1 update to the PCI Secure SLC Program Guide expands program eligibility beyond payment software vendors. The revised eligibility includes software vendors who develop software products for the payment card industry. This expansion of the program enables more vendors to leverage Secure SLC qualification and facilitates broader vendor adoption and participation in the Secure SLC Program. blog.pcisecuritystandards.org

Malware Security Teams' Greatest Weakness: Poor Relationships With Employees
Users' distrust of corporate security teams is exposing businesses to unnecessary vulnerabilities

57% of vulnerabilities in 2020 were classified as critical or high severity






Cannabis Security & Extreme Winter Weather
3 Ways to Deal with Winter in the Cannabis & Hemp Industry
Some areas of the country have recently been hit with a winter cold front and your security equipment may be in trouble. Along with the drop in temperature came winter storms of freezing rain, sleet and snow in some areas. While winter weather often brings these storms, many were caught unprepared for this extreme weather.

Dealing with unexpected weather
For those in the cannabis industry, a winter storm can cause a great deal of damage. For outdoor cannabis cultivators, when crops begin to freeze, the cannabis must be picked immediately or it will be lost. This can lead to unusually large quantities of cannabis in storage. In addition to the added risks caused by increased inventory, winter storms can also cause damage to security and surveillance systems, making it more difficult to protect product.

Check your security equipment
Although outdoor security systems are designed to be water resistant and withstand winter weather, these systems will only function properly if maintenance is conducted regularly. In addition, outdoor security equipment should also be checked after extreme weather like winter snow storms, or high winds.

Leave it to the professionals
Before installing a camera, it would be important to check the device is weather-resistant against snow and ice and it can function properly in freezing temperatures. It's always beneficial to consult with a licensed security professional to ensure qualified technicians install the proper equipment for the business' needs. sapphirerisk.com

Vaccinating Cannabis Store Associates

California medical marijuana retail workers top teachers on vaccine priority list
California has updated its coronavirus vaccine guidelines, placing medical marijuana workers before some teachers, bus drivers, and food and agricultural workers.

As The Orange County Register reported, the decision has generated polarized reactions from educators and those in the medical marijuana industry, with some in the latter group pointing to marijuana's use for medicinal purposes. Educators, however, have criticized the decision, the newspaper noted.

"Cannabis industry employees are included in Phase 1a for medicinal cannabis and Phase 1b Food and Agriculture for growing, production, storage, transport and distribution. Medical cannabis workers should be accommodated as necessary in Phase 1b, Tier 1, by nature of their designations in eligible essential workforce classifications," the updated guidelines read.

The Register noted that some counties have opted not to follow the state's new guidelines.

Cannabis entrepreneur and United Cannabis Business Association President Jerred Kiloh told the newspaper that the 30,000 medical marijuana retail workers service about 300,000 patients and customers a day. thehill.com

America's New Cannabis Hub?
Cheap electricity, 'political stability': Why one Massachusetts city is becoming a cannabis industry hub
Holyoke's open-arms approach to the industry has attracted interest from investors drawn to the low utility rates and former mills ripe for conversion. The state Cannabis Control Commission has already issued around 40 provisional licenses for businesses in Holyoke, the most per capita of any Massachusetts community.

Marrero likened a cannabis retail operation to a liquor store. However, politics and community standards play a part in where the stores can open - mostly away from residential areas. A cannabis manufacturer or grower can serve the overall market, providing raw materials or finished products, Marrero said.

He added Holyoke provides "political stability," where a majority of residents voted in favor of the 2016 referendum legalizing recreational marijuana. Mayor Alex B. Morse championed relaxing the state's marijuana laws and allowing for recreational use. masslive.com

The fastest-growing retailer in the cannabis industry doesn't sell cannabis

Cuomo promises to amend plan to legalize recreational marijuana in NY

Michigan's marijuana industry surpasses Oregon in cannabis jobs

Recreational pot sales have more than doubled since Maine's market launch




Store Owners Pursue Justice as Fraud Grows
Fraudulent online orders present new challenge for business owners
The shipping and billing information for the $350 Garmin watch that a customer ordered online from his bike shop didn't match. That didn't necessarily mean the order was fraudulent, but Phillips, who owns Skinny Wheels bike shop in downtown Salisbury, had been burned enough times to be wary.

Eric Phillips, owner of Skinny Wheels bike shop, continues to work on cutting down fraudulent online orders. After deciding it was at least worth checking out, Phillips called the number listed on the order summary.

A few days later, he received a notification that the order had been disputed by the credit card holder - it was fraud. To add insult to injury, Phillips said the credit card processing company charges him $15 for the ordeal.

Instead of canceling the order himself, Phillips decided to chase it down a rabbit hole in an attempt to catch the fraudster responsible. Although he's been the victim of internet crime before, Phillips has never had the time or energy to pursue justice of his own. He's typically just turned the cases over to local authorities who have yet to catch the culprit.

With Skinny Wheels temporarily closed for renovations, Phillips now had the time to investigate the fraudulent order and delve into an issue currently facing thousands of business owners and individuals across the country.

As online commerce has continued to gain popularity, so has internet fraud. In 2019 alone, individuals and businesses lost $3.5 billion as a result of internet crime, according to a report published by the FBI. While larger online retailers are susceptible to fraud, so are smaller businesses like Skinny Wheels. salisburypost.com
New Technology to Fight Coupon Fraud
Fraud Gains a New Preventive Tool
As e-commerce and digital transactions become ever more mainstream in food retail, new opportunities arise for criminals bent on fraud. A new product launch could help stem such crime, and also point toward the future of fraud prevention in the grocery space.

Inmar Intelligence has launched what it calls the industry's first holistic promotion fraud mitigation solution that combines point of sale (POS)-integrated technology, artificial intelligence, data science and analytics to prevent, detect and remediate coupon fraud. This solution, including its new POS-integrated technology, CNFRM (pronounced confirm), will be available for retailers and manufacturers for free.

Coupon fraud is a critical concern within food and other types retail, costing the industry more than $100 million per year, the company said. Inmar Intelligence's new holistic solution combats this issue with proactive and established counterfeit detection and management process, enabling clients to identify counterfeit coupons, stop payment, track activity and communicate with industry partners to help stop counterfeit coupons before they go viral. progressivegrocer.com

Is in-person shopping a thing of the past, as millions move online?

As Shopify booms, Amazon acquires Selz, startup that helps e-commerce businesses







Foxboro, MA: Foxboro resident recognized for helping nab ORC rings
When police and retailers want to apprehend organized retail crime rings, Foxboro resident Anthony Stevens helps them put the puzzle together. Sifting through police reports and talking to retail loss prevention officials throughout New England, Stevens, who has worked for the Attleboro Police Department as a crime analyst for six years, helps identify roving thieves who experts say can steal $100,000 in merchandise in a single crime spree. The armchair detective was recognized for his work Wednesday with an award from the New England Organized Retail Crime Alliance and the New England State Police Information Network. "It's nice to be recognized but it's something I just like to do," said Stevens, 46.

It's not the only recognition he has received for his expertise. Three years ago, he was given a Commissioner's Commendation for his work with the Boston Regional Intelligence Center fighting organized retail crimes. Boston police said he went above and beyond his duty in helping investigations in Boston and the New England region by amassing the data and convening meetings between law enforcement and retailers. "What we try to do is problem solving. We all want to try to solve the crime," Stevens said of his efforts. He said it's important to spot trends in crime, track criminals and share information in order to apprehend them. A wider regional approach in gathering information can lead to cutting down the crime rate. "You have to know what's going on regionally to know what's going on in your town," Stevens said. Attleboro Police Chief Kyle Heagney called Stevens a "hub of information" for crime not only in Attleboro but the surrounding region. thesunchronicle.com

Vancouver, BC, Canada: 130 arrested, 268 charges recommended in month-long police project targeting prolific shoplifters; Recovered $37K worth of goods
Project Arrow was a success, according to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Today, Feb. 17, police released statistics from the month-long project focusing on downtown shoplifting, announcing they arrested 130 individuals with 268 different criminal charges recommended by police. Project Arrow was created in response to what Inspector Rob Clarke, who's the commanding officer for District 1 (the downtown core), called a "disturbing trend" over recent months.

"This initiative was established in response to growing crime in the area," says Clarke in a press release. "Last year in the downtown core, VPD saw a 260 per cent increase in shoplifting incidents involving weapons such as bear spray, knives, needles, and guns, when compared to the previous year." 2020 saw a drop in property crime he added in a press conference, but there was an increase in violent shoplifting. The initiative focused on that aspect, and prolific offenders. During Project Arrow police also returned $37,000 in stolen items and collected 35 weapons, which ranged from bear spray to uncapped dirty syringes. Police worked with loss prevention officers and security guards. bc.ctvnews.ca

Pittsburgh, PA: Couple accused of walking out of area Walmart stores with stolen televisions
A Duquesne woman is accused of stealing high-end televisions from area Walmart stores, worth more than $5,500. According to police, Chasity Gervasoni was caught on surveillance cameras walking out of a store in Richland Township with a television set she allegedly did not purchase. Channel 11 created a map of the stores police say the couple targeted. The locations include Cranberry Township and Pittsburgh Mills. wpxi.com

Wilton, NY: Repeat Offender arrested for stealing nearly $1,500 from Wilton Target
A Scotia man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing nearly $1,500 in merchandise last month from a local Target, which had obtained a no-trespass order against him last year for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars in merchandise. Eugene F. Wachtel, 54, stole $1,449 worth of merchandise from the Route 50 Target store on Jan. 23, state police said. He was charged with third-degree burglary, a felony. Wachtel was arrested last year in connection to several larcenies in Wilton, including stealing $488 worth of merchandise from the same Target, as well as $523 in merchandise from the Wilton Walmart and $124 from a nearby by Hannaford, according to police. At the time, Wachtel was also arrested on multiple counts of drug possession and driving without a license. poststar.com

Racine, WI: Woman reportedly known as 'Thieving Margie' facing 11 court cases
A 57-year-old Racine woman, Margie Jean Phillips, is facing dozens of criminal charges in 11 separate court cases in Racine and Milwaukee counties, according to online court records. Most of the charges against Phillips are in connection with thefts and attempted thefts of alcohol from several area grocery stores. Phillips is reportedly banned from multiple grocery stores, including a Pick 'n Save in West Allis and the Festival Foods in Mount Pleasant. According to police, she is known to some as "Thieving Margie."  journaltimes.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Modesto, CA: Food truck owner shot to death in airport neighborhood;
13-year-old arrested
A Salida man died at a Modesto hospital after being shot in his food truck in the airport neighborhood Tuesday night, police reported. Officers arrested a suspect, a 13-year-old boy, during a traffic stop about four hours later, the Modesto Police Department said. modbee.com

Fort Pierce, FL: One person found dead after fire in motorcycle store
Fort Pierce Police are continuing their investigation after one person was found dead inside a local motorcycle store after a fire that started around 9 a.m. The call came after someone saw smoke coming from Fast Franks Cycle Concepts. Once the fire was out, a body was found inside the business. Officials are still working to identify the person found and notify their family. wpbf.com



Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Seattle, WA: 2 burglary suspects arrested in big police response at Westwood Village
Seattle Police have captured a suspected burglar who was holed up in the Westwood Village shopping area in West Seattle. Officers raced to Westwood Village around 5:30 a.m. after a burglar alarm sounded. They found that two people had broken into stores in the village, and managed to capture one of the suspects. However, the second suspect escaped and police spent hours attempting to find him. Officers later found the man at the West Seattle Target and took him into custody. komonews.com

Avon Lake, OH: Jeweler swindled out of $20,000 merchandise
with fake credit card
Peter & Co. Jewelers believes it was swindled out of $20,000 in merchandise by a customer using a fake credit card, according to a police report. Officers were called to the family-owned jewelry store Friday by a complainant who said a person had been at the business the previous day. The jeweler reported a 24-inch diamond eternity necklace as stolen. Police identified one suspect as a 30-year-old Cleveland man. A second suspect was listed as unknown on the police report.  chroniclet.com

Hinesville, GA: $10,000 reward offered after Pawn Shop gun thefts
A $10,000 reward is being offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry. The reward is offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the burglary and theft of firearms from the Mega Pawn in Hinesville. coastalcourier.com

Maplewood, MO: Female Shoplifter pepper-sprayed Walmart LP officers

Lafayette, LA: Police arrest two suspects for looting more than $1k from Acadiana Mall

New Haven, CT: Man sentenced to 8 years in prison for $145,000 credit card fraud



Las Vegas, NV: Target Arsonist claims voices in her head told her to set fires
Las Vegas police have arrested a homeless woman for setting a fire on Feb. 15 inside of a Target store on Rainbow Boulevard. Angela Marie Russo, 42, reportedly poured lighter fluid on several items in a shopping cart in the electronics section and set it on fire. The fire was quickly extinguished by store employees. Russo was covered in soot and holding a black lighter when police arrived. Russo reportedly told a police officer that she was trying to burn the business down. She also said that voices inside of her head told her to start fires and if she was not sent to prison, she would do it again. This is not the first time Russo has been arrested for starting a fire. According to court records, she was arrested for arson and attempted murder in May of 2010. She was also arrested for arson and cruelty to animals in January 2012 and burglary and arson in July 2017. In each case, there were extensive questions about Russo's mental competency. She was sentenced to probation for the 2010 case and sentenced to time in prison for both the 2012 and 2017 cases. ktnv.com




C-Store - Lakeland, FL - Robbery
C-Store - Newark, NJ - Burglary
C-Store - Arlington County, VA - Burglary
Dollar General - Columbus, OH - Robbery
Dollar General - Claymont, DE - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Florence, SC - Robbery
Liquor - Barstow, CA - Burglary
Lowes - South Windsor, CT - Robbery
Mall - Lafayette, LA - Burglary
Pharmacy - Omaha, NE - Armed Robbery
Pharmacy - West Seattle, WA - Armed Robbery
Pharmacy - High Springs, FL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Bronx, NY - Burglary (Taco Bell)
Restaurant - Madison, WI - Robbery
Restaurant - Indianapolis, IN - Armed Robbery
Rite Aid - Sedro- Woolley, WA - Robbery
Target - Seattle, WA - Burglary
Walmart - Maplewood, MO - Robbery
7-Eleven - Brick, NJ - Robbery
7-Eleven - Winchester, VA - Robbery


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

Click to enlarge map



Tim Medeiros named Regional Asset Protection Manager for BJ's Wholesale Club

Joseph Piscioneri named Senior Asset Protection Operations Analyst
for Dollar General

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Featured Job Spotlights


Regional Manager LP, Audit & Firearms Compliance
IL, WI, MN, IA, ND, SD, NE, OK, MO & KS - posted Feb. 12
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets

Regional LP & Safety Manager
Denver, CO
- posted Feb. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention & Safety Manager implements Risk Management and Loss Prevention objectives within assigned region. The position will provide assistance and training to the field operations teams to address specific Risk Management and Loss Prevention issues within an assigned span of control.  Read job description here

Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Rockaway, NJ
- posted Feb. 4
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage and safety compliance for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs and reporting...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Raleigh, NC - posted Dec. 14
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

Leader, Asset & Profit Protection
San Fran/Chicago/NY/West Palm Beach - posted Dec. 14
As the leader of the Data/Analytics & Investigations strategy, you should have strong analytical/investigation skills, the drive to innovate, and the ability to build strong partnerships to lead through the influence of others. They will be personable, open to learning, collaborating with others...

Customer Success Specialists
Multiple Locations - posted Oct. 9
The role of the Customer Success Specialist is to engage, empower, and excite our community. As a Customer Success Specialist, your primary responsibility is to ensure both retailers and law enforcement, who make up our community, have great experiences and achieve real crime reduction outcomes from using our platform.
Apply Here


Sales Representatives
NuTech National - posted Oct. 13
NuTech National, an established and rapidly growing 40+ year electronic security company is expanding our National Sales Team. Seeking motivated, driven and successful sales reps to expand our national retail and governmental vertical markets. Top pay, benefits and signing bonus available. Please apply to melissa@nutechnational.com



Latest Top Jobs

Vice President, Loss Prevention
San Francisco, CA
The Vice President of Loss Prevention reports to the Company's General Counsel and is responsible for leading the organization's global asset protection and security efforts. You will collaborate effectively across the Company.  linkedin.com

Executive Director, Asset Protection
Rosemead, CA
The Executive Director, AP is responsible for the company's AP function, protecting the company's integrity, people, processes, and assets from harm and loss. This position serves as the subject matter expert on a broad range of security standards and disciplines.  pandarg.referrals.selectminds.com

Senior Director, Loss Prevention
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The Senior Director of Loss Prevention is responsible for setting and championing the Loss Prevention strategy for the enterprise, including retail stores, distribution centers, corporate offices and quality assurance labs.  sjobs.brassring.com

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Responsible for developing and implementing department strategies and integrating efforts with division and company strategies, emphasizing product availability, inventory productivity, and cost productivity.  jobs.walgreens.com

Senior Manager, Asset Protection
Atlanta, GA
The Sr Manager Asset Protection is responsible for ensuring that Asset Protection programs are fully implemented and are being executed per expectations within assigned distribution centers.  careers.homedepot.com


BJ's Wholesale Regional AP Rollout - 8 New Positions
The Regional AP Manager oversees AP, security, theft, fraud, investigations, and related procedures within the field. The RAPM supports and continuously interacts with club management to analyze shrink, identify profitability gaps and address issues related to protecting company assets.
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"Something just told me it was the wrong thing to do -- it didn't feel right -- I didn't have a good feeling about it." The subconscious is a very strong silent partner we all have and oftentimes it speaks to us in these phrases. The problem becomes when we over-think things and muffle the most powerful partner we have -- our own minds. Or we allow our closest confidant, our closest friend, or even at times our mentor to change or alter our true feelings. Coming to the right decision with any big issue is difficult and certainly we need the input of our trusted inner circle, and our spouse, but at the end of the day you're the one living with the consequence of your decision and you alone are responsible for it. When the bird on your shoulder is talking, make sure you listen because most mistakes are made when that voice has been muffled.

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