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Why networks are our best chance against ORC

While some in the AP/LP industry feel helpless to solve unrelenting loss and harm happening in their stores, with no known perpetrators to blame, there are others who have found the answer to addressing Organized Retail Crime (ORC) in the power of building a connected network of retailers, law enforcement, and retail associations using a Crime Intelligence platform.

We'll examine how networks of retailers, law enforcement, and retail associations that exist today in the United States, Canada, and Australia are using Auror's Crime Intelligence to turn the tide on ORC.

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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Big City Stores Hiring Off-Duty Cops to Stand Guard
NYC Businesses Hire Off-Duty Police to Blunt Uptick in Violent Crime

Similar programs in places like San Francisco, New Orleans have raised concerns around a lack of fairness, potential for fraud

Businesses in New York and other big metro areas are beefing up security in response to an uptick in violent crime - by paying the city's own police force to work at their stores and office buildings.

New York City has long administered its own program for off-duty officers to stand guard outside private businesses - badge, gun and all - and taken a 10% cut of the fees. But after the pandemic hit, spending for the paid detail program shot up to its highest amount in more than a decade.

The money New York derives from the program jumped by nearly 70% to $3.2 million in fiscal year 2021 from four years before, according to data from the city's Independent Budget Office. The additional hours standing watch in front of Manhattan office towers like the General Motors building, Duane Reade pharmacies or Whole Foods supermarkets translated to roughly $32 million in officers' pockets in 2021, given the structure of the fees.

Officers are active, NYPD-trained and uniformed. Unlike private security guards, officers are armed and able to make arrests. They can use the NYPD radio to converse with police stations and call for backup. The city, rather than the businesses, can hold liability if something goes wrong.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., which owns the Duane Reade pharmacy chain, said it hires off-duty uniformed and plain clothes police officers to add an extra layer of protection for customers and employees. Amazon.com Inc.'s Whole Foods Market did not respond to requests for comment and Boston Properties Inc., which owns the GM building, declined to comment.

It's not just New York. Lawmakers in San Francisco, which administers a similar paid detail program, recently approved legislation in December to allow sheriff deputies to work off-duty security shifts after retail thefts and flash-mob style raids rattled San Franciscans. Salesforce.com Inc., Nike Inc. and other businesses in San Francisco have paid officers around $100 an hour to stand guard. bloomberg.com

Another State Looks at Changing Shoplifting Laws
Organized retail crime is a sophisticated business run by thieves
It's called organized retail crime and crime is on the rise. Thefts involving groups of people smashing windows or wheeling loaded shopping carts past security guards are on the rise.

"We've seen organized retail crime grow over the years across all of retail," said Christine Cornell, a spokesperson for Home Depot. Cornell says that these are sophisticated groups of criminals who are creating a business and making a living stealing and reselling stolen items, including items from the Home Depot in Huntsville.

"We certainly have been seeing organized retail crime grow at the Home Depot and we know that it's growing across retail," said Cornell.

The theft rings are well structured but in the state of Alabama most retail theft is considered a petty crime. Currently, the state does not have a specific law that establishes shoplifting as a crime.

"We certainly need increased security like we've been doing in our stores. But we also need the help from lawmakers to make sure that the avenue for which these items get sold is not available to them," said Cornell.

Security experts in Alabama would prefer to deal with these types of mobs the old fashion way: "When you have your flash mobs coming in like that you would be better off to have someone with open carry and security gear where they know you are there and i think that would deter them a lot," said a security expert from Track-N-Trace.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Home Depot and other retail stores have seen a lot of their items in online marketplaces. As part of security measure, Home Depot launched a line of power tools that won't work until they're first scanned and activated at the checkout register.

Retailers in the state of Alabama believe that the shoplifting crime laws in the state need to change. whnt.com

ORC Audit in Seattle
Seattle Councilmembers Announce Audit to Address Organized Retail Crime

Two Seattle City Councilmembers want to try a new approach to stop organized shoplifting rings and it starts by auditing current efforts.

Councilmembers Andrew J. Lewis and Lisa Herbold announced today the City Auditor is beginning work on an audit of organized retail crime (ORC). Since the pandemic, downtown Seattle has been adversely affected by organized retail crime. In response, this audit will examine:

the current state of organized retail crime in Seattle;
emerging practices from other jurisdictions; and,
potential opportunities for the City to better address organized retail crime.

Councilmember Lewis originally requested an audit of the City's retail theft program in March 2020. However, due to the COVID pandemic and workload issues, the City Auditor has been unable to initiate the audit until now.

Organized retail crime is a subset of overall retail theft that involves organized efforts to steal and resell high-value items, often through online marketplaces. During the pandemic, the characteristics of retail crime have shifted, and there is emerging evidence that ORC has increased during the pandemic due, in part, to increased use of online marketplaces for selling stolen goods. Several national retail organizations agree that ORC is more effectively dealt with away from the stores and at the level of the people reselling the stolen goods.

As a part of the exercise, the City Auditor will create an opportunity to engage with local businesses in order to directly learn from their experiences. The goal will be to better protect their businesses through a coordinated plan of action between the City, state, online marketplaces, and other agencies. council.seattle.gov  komonews.com

   RELATED: Seattle businesses fatigued by shoplifting cases, with no end in sight

New ORCA Partners with Law Enforcement in Wisconsin
Organized retail theft; Wisconsin group taking action
Organized retail thefts are increasing across Wisconsin, and law enforcement and businesses are fed up - working together to stop the crime. Law enforcement officers from all over southeastern Wisconsin are sitting down with retailers in an effort to combat crime. Officers say retail thefts have been on the rise for some time.

For the first time, the Wisconsin Organized Retail Crime Association (WIORCA) hosted a conference Wednesday at the Kohl's Innovation Center. It allowed police and retailers to network, sharing stories and knowledge about thefts.

"Having all of us together talking about this, sharing our ideas, sharing our struggles, will hopefully get us all together and put some faces to the names, so we can reach out and know who to talk to when we need help," said Caponera.

All parties hope to create a safer environment for employees and customers. They hope to enact stricter laws - like a statute specific to organized retail crimes.

"In general, what we're trying to do is try to stiffen the penalties in terms of felony thresholds and the level of which it's prosecuted," said Telly Knetter, WIORCA president. Knetter said theft costs retailers $720,000 per every $1 billion in sales - a statistic the group hopes to change.

"I want the criminals to know we're banding together because we're tired of dealing with this, and we're going to do what we need to do to eliminate it," Caponera said.

Officials said the increase in organized retail thefts is not just a Wisconsin issue, but happening nationwide. fox6now.com

New York's Crime Surge
From 'Defund' to 'Refund': Will more police flatten a wave of gun violence?
Amid this violence, New York has become a case study for a nation grappling with demands for public safety and calls to reform police. Following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020, racial justice protests gripped the US, and there were widespread calls to defund the police.

But that same year during the pandemic, the United States experienced its greatest annual increase in murder on record, according to FBI data. Homicide rates are still on the rise today. When voters in progressive New York City went to the ballot box in the 2021 mayoral election, they selected a former police captain with a platform of cracking down on crime to restore the city to pre-Covid times.

Mayor Eric Adams has now released his "Blueprint to End Gun Violence," that promises more police in the streets. Mr Adams's plans are not only a test for his new administration, but one for Democrats, for whom policing has become a flashpoint that has divided the party.

Some Democrats worry that this means the era of "tough on crime" policies is back. Councilwoman Kristin Richardson Jordan's office is a stone's throw away from the 32nd precinct, where memorials for two slain officers, Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, have been set up.

But their deaths haven't made her question her belief that the NYPD should one day be abolished. Instead, she's doubled down on her views. Progressive policies, she feels, haven't been given the time and money needed to give them a real shot to work. In her view, the officers' deaths were preventable if the city had invested more in mental health services and reducing poverty. bbc.com

OPINION: Liberal crime policies backfiring due to 'false assumption' about racism


COVID Update

551.3M Vaccinations Given

US: 80.3M Cases - 966.5K Dead - 52.4M Recovered
Worldwide: 430.6M Cases - 5.9M Dead - 359.3M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 346   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 668
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Could the New Variant Lead to Another Surge?
COVID cases falling in US, but experts keeping close eye on new variant
New COVID-19 cases continue to fall in the United States, and more states and communities are rolling back precautions. But experts are carefully monitoring a variant of omicron known as BA.2.

BA.2 is also known as Stealth omicron. The World Health Organization estimates it's about 30% more contagious than the original omicron variant. BA.2 has been detected in 74 countries and 47 U.S. states, but experts are keeping a close eye on Denmark, where it's now responsible for nearly 90% of new COVID cases, as it has fueled a second omicron surge.

Could that happen here? Local 4 News asked Dr. Arnold Monto, the FDA's Vaccine Advisory Panel chair: "The proof of the pudding with these variants is what they do," Monto said. "We have to be aware. We have to be vigilant and do the sequencing, which is going on now. And just be ready." clickondetroit.com

Target Lifts Mask Mandate for All 1,926 Stores & 409K Employees
Target no longer requires employees & customers to wear masks as daily COVID-19 case numbers fall in the US
Target has lifted its mask requirement for employees and customers, the retailer said on its website: "As COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the country, Target will not require our US team members or guests to wear masks, as local regulations allow," the retail chain announced on Monday.

"Target's safety and cleaning measures like offering masks for guests, increasing safety and disinfecting measures, encouraging social distancing and more will remain," Target told Insider in an email.

Target is the seventh-largest retailer in the world by sales, according to the National Retail Federation. It has 1,926 stores in the US and employs about 409,000 people.

Target's dropping of its mask mandate comes as COVID-19 cases fall in the US. The country reported 121,906 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, down 90% from a peak of 1.34 million cases on January 10, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The move comes after Walmart - the largest private employer in the US - lifted its mask requirement for vaccinated employees last week. The move also follows the recent lifting of indoor mask mandates in New York and for vaccinated individuals in California. businessinsider.com

Has COVID Brought Out the Best in Retail?
The Stores Strike Back Again. Again.

Physical retail isn't dead. Boring, unremarkable retail is.

Despite the notion that many legacy retailers would be made increasingly irrelevant by an inexorable shift to all things e-commerce-and that physical stores were therefore growing liabilities-brands like Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and Tractor Supply decided not to store close and cost cut their way to a brighter future.

Instead, they began to see their stores as critically important assets to invest in. They began to more fully realize that a compelling brick-and-mortar presence that was well harmonized in concert with an improved digital offering, could be leveraged to competitive advantage.

In the depths of the Covid crisis, the stores struck back yet again. Many in the media and the self-described "retail futurist" class concluded that such a dramatic and massive shift to online shopping would sound the death knell for many thousands of retail outlets.

While pandemic induced shifts in category spending did force several over-leveraged retailers to seek bankruptcy protection, overall the exact opposite happened. Now, the stores are striking back once again, with well-established and "disruptor" brands alike announcing aggressive store opening plans.

We make a huge mistake when we lose sight of the critical role stores can play in overall brand growth and profitability. In many cases it's not about digital vs. physical. It's about how they work together to deliver a more remarkable customer experience. forbes.com

The D.C. Security Fortress Returns Amid COVID-Trucker Protests
Pentagon approves National Guard deployment ahead of D.C. trucker protest
The Department of Defense approved the deployment of about 700 unarmed D.C. National Guard troops ahead of potential trucker protests timed around next week's State of the Union address, AP reports.

Driving the news: The Capitol riot has left officials wary of miscalculating security risks. The National Guard members will help with traffic control, the Pentagon said. Local and federal agencies are warning of a potential truck convoy aimed at disrupting the event. The demonstration is inspired by Canadian convoys that blocked U.S. border crossings to protest mask and vaccine mandates.

An organizer of one convoy told a local Fox affiliate he plans to drive from Pennsylvania to the Capitol Beltway on Wednesday to choke off D.C. traffic like a "giant boa constrictor."

Fencing will also be reinstalled around the Capitol's grounds as part of ramped-up security ahead of President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, given the potential threat of a truck-convoy protest similar to those in Canada, a new report says.

The Great American Patriot Project, a group of US trucker convoys inspired by the weeks-long demonstrations in Canada, have been forming protests against COVID-19-related restrictions and vaccine mandates in several American cities. The group has encouraged truck drivers to join three convoys to Washington, DC, next month. axios.com nypost.com

NYC Rolling Back Vaccine & Mask Mandates
Mayor Adams plans to soon phase out NYC's indoor vaccine & mask rules
Mayor Adams plans to roll back the city's coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates for indoor settings as infection rates continue to drop across New York.

The mayor didn't give an exact timeline for when he envisions ending the longstanding pandemic precautions, but told reporters at an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn Wednesday that rescinding the "Key to NYC" vaccination requirement for dining and other indoor activities is a top priority for him.

Unprompted, Adams then suggested he's also looking to relax or even outright scrap the city's rules on mask-wearing. Under current city rules, masks must be worn in schools, health care settings, many entertainment venues and while on public transit. The city also recommends that masks be worn in congested public indoor spaces, like grocery stores.

Coronavirus vaccinations, meantime, are mandated for most public indoor activities, like drinking and eating at restaurants and bars.

Other major U.S. cities, including Boston and Philadelphia, recently did away with their indoor vaccine mandates, citing a sharp decline in new infections. nydailynews.com

Another Business Eases Vaccine Mandates
Google will no longer require US employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19
Google is no longer requiring its US-based workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CNBC. However, a policy that requires staffers to be vaccinated to return to the office is still in place, according to The New York Times.

"We're not enforcing vaccination requirements as a condition of employment for US office workers at this time," Google spokesperson Lora Lee Erickson said in a statement to The Verge after we first published this article. "We're continuing to implement our vaccination policy requiring COVID-19 vaccinations or approved accommodations for any individuals accessing our sites."

CNBC also shared details from a memo sent to staff by David Radcliffe, Google's VP of real estate and workplace services. Google is lifting a policy that required anyone entering a Google facility, even vaccinated staffers, to have a negative COVID-19 molecular test.

However, "unvaccinated employees who are approved to enter offices will still need to follow additional protocols, including testing and wearing a mask, Radcliffe's note stated," according to CNBC. theverge.com

Is omicron leading us closer to herd immunity against COVID?


Retail's RFID Expansion
Will RFID Help Loosen Amazon's Grip On Retail?
Amazon can't be happy about Walmart's decision to dramatically expand the use of RFID in its fleet of stores. Here's why.

Retailers typically struggle to maintain an accurate view of the precise inventory holdings of each of their stores. This is a huge problem in some merchandise categories, and less so in others. For companies with large store fleets, this has traditionally been treated as a cost of doing business.

Brick and mortar retailers also struggle to effectively manage - and in some cases even find - the inventory residing in their stores. This too has been shrugged off as a cost of doing business. And let's not forget another chronic drain on profit. Theft of store inventory by organized criminals, petty shoplifters, and dishonest employees.

RFID is already helping Walmart fix these issues in several General Merchandise categories (Apparel, Footwear, Sunglasses, Watches, Jewelry) with more now on their way. Elevating inventory accuracy and visibility benefits Walmart's e-commerce business too, not merely the stores.

Simply put, some longstanding advantages enjoyed by Amazon over Walmart are in the process of being diminished. What will hurt Amazon even more is if other competitors similarly begin leaning harder on RFID. Or in the case of retailers like Kohl's, who are quite late to this party, simply begin leaning.

The Bottom Line: The longer it takes retailers to fix the inventory management issues in their stores, the longer Amazon will keep laughing all the way to the bank. forbes.com

First-Ever 'Just Walk Out' Whole Foods Store
Whole Foods opens first store with Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' technology

The technology allows shoppers to scan into the store and skip the line for the cashier altogether.

Whole Foods Market announced the opening of its first-ever store touting Amazon's Just Walk Out technology in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

The technology from Whole Foods allows shoppers to skip waiting in line for the cash register altogether, although there will also be a self-checkout option for customers as well.

The 21,500-square-foot store is situated in D.C.'s Glover Park neighborhood. Whole Foods Market has announced that the store will carry over 800 local products, garnered through partnerships with 100 local suppliers. The Glover Park store will be staffed with Whole Foods Market employees.

The "Just Walk Out" service requires shoppers to scan in with an in-store code at the store's entry gate. Customers are expected to bag their own groceries as they shop. In-store sensors track these selections and the total cost of the basket. Then shoppers scan out of the store and receive an emailed receipt. Shoppers who wish to opt out of the service can access the store through a gate labeled "pay at register," which allows them to pay via self-checkout. businessinsider.com

Pro-Union Starbucks Workers Get Another Win
Starbucks Strategy for Responding to Union Elections Is Dealt a Setback

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that single Starbucks stores, not multiple locations in an area, were the proper jurisdictions for unionization votes.

The National Labor Relations Board dealt a blow to Starbucks's legal strategy in response to a growing union campaign on Wednesday, rejecting the company's argument that workers seeking to unionize in a geographic area must vote in a single union election.

In a ruling involving an election in Mesa, Ariz., the board noted the longstanding presumption that a single store is an appropriate unit for a vote - as union supporters have insisted.

Starbucks workers at more than 100 stores nationwide have filed for union elections and workers at two stores in Buffalo have already unionized.

Unions typically prefer smaller elections, which tend to increase their chances of winning, albeit on a smaller scale. Workers United, the union seeking to represent Starbucks employees, has complained that Starbucks has repeatedly resisted store-by-store elections despite gaining little traction on the issue as a way to delay votes and stop the union's momentum. nytimes.com

Curbside Pickup vs. At-Home Delivery
Survey: Most consumers still prefer at-home delivery - especially this group
Retailers are expanding curbside pickup options, but at-home delivery remains king for shoppers. That's according to Pitney Bowes' recent BOXpoll survey in which 64% of consumers, when asked how they want to collect their items, said they prefer home delivery, while just 23% prefer curbside pickup when given a choice between the two options. Twelve percent had no opinion.

The only category for which consumers preferred curbside pickup over home delivery was groceries (44% vs. 39%). In all other categories, no more than 25% of consumers preferred curbside pickup.

Baby boomers have an especially strong preference for home delivery. Almost three-quarters of the demographic (73%) prefer delivery over curbside. Also, there was a 35% difference between those who are much more likely (54%) and those who are somewhat more likely (19%) to choose delivery. chainstoreage.com

Target's Curbside Continues to Evolve
Target to test Starbucks orders, returns with curbside pickup
Target on Wednesday announced that it is rolling out an option for shoppers to add a Starbucks order and make returns through its Drive Up service, according to a company announcement. Pickup time windows and membership fees are not required.

These services will debut in select cities in the fall, with more locations added in 2022. The retailer also expanded its "backup item" function, where shoppers can designate secondary item substitutions for Drive Up and Order Pickup. retaildive.com

Louis Vuitton's owner is reportedly considering buying Ralph Lauren

Shipt Delivery Service Expands Reach With Walgreens, 7-Eleven Partnerships

South Sacramento retailer opens city's first cashless clothing store

Bath & Body Works CEO to Step Down for Health Reasons

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Guardian EdgePro

A security management tool that's simple, effective and mobile

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NY Opens New 'Joint Security Operations Center'
New York state, top cities to unite in fighting cybersecurity threats
New York state is partnering with its six largest cities to open a joint command center meant to foster collaboration in fighting cybersecurity threats, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday.

The Joint Security Operations Center will be housed at the MetroTech Center complex in downtown Brooklyn, where Hochul was joined by New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The mayors of Buffalo, Yonkers, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany are also on board with the effort.

The creation of the center comes as Hochul has tried to put a public focus on the possibility of a cyberattack in New York during a time of geopolitical unrest, with the state and city's transportation systems and power grids serving as potential targets for international hackers.

Hochul said the state moved to open the facility immediately given Russia's potential invasion of Ukraine, saying enemies of the U.S. know they are "attacking the American way of life if you attack New York State and New York City."

"This is the time to do this, because if not now, when?" she said. "We have to be aware of the threats around us."

Hochul said she has not been made aware of any increase in attempted cyberattacks in recent weeks. But the White House had recently warned governors across the country to be alert given the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Hochul said.

The center will be staffed by federal, state and city law enforcement officials, including the New York City Cyber Command, according to Adams' office. Local and county officials will also have access to the center, which will centralize telemetry data used to monitor threats across the state.

"We are so connected to technology that it can disrupt our way of life," Adams said. "And we're talking about a continuous onslaught by those who are attempting to do so." gothamist.com

NSA Hacking Operation?
Chinese Cybersecurity Company Doxes Apparent NSA Hacking Group

A Chinese security firm released a detailed report about what it says is malware created by Equation Group, a hacking group widely believed to be the NSA.

A Chinese cybersecurity company accused the NSA of being behind a hacking tool used for ten years in a report published on Wednesday.

AdvertisementThe report from Pangu Lab delves into malware that its researchers first encountered in 2013 during an investigation into a hack against "a key domestic department." At the time, the researchers couldn't figure out who was behind the hack, but then, thanks to leaked NSA data about the hacking group Equation Group-widely believed to be the NSA-released by the mysterious group Shadow Brokers and by the German magazine Der Spiegel, they connected the dots and realized it was made by the NSA, according to the report.

"The Equation Group is the world's leading cyber-attack group and is generally believed to be affiliated with the National Security Agency of the United States. Judging from the attack tools related to the organization, including Bvp47, Equation group is indeed a first-class hacking group," the report read, referring to the name of the tool the researchers found. "The tool is well-designed, powerful, and widely adapted. Its network attack capability equipped by 0day vulnerabilities was unstoppable, and its data acquisition under covert control was with little effort. The Equation Group is in a dominant position in national-level cyberspace confrontation."

This is not the first time a Chinese cybersecurity company published research on an alleged American intelligence hacking operation. But it's "pretty rare," as Adam Segal, an expert in China's cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations, put it in an email to Motherboard.

This report may be a sign that Chinese cybersecurity companies are starting to follow the example of their Western counterparts and do more attribution. It could be "a shifting strategy to become more name and shame as the US government has employed," Robert Lee, a former NSA analyst and founder of cybersecurity company Dragos, told Motherboard in an online chat. vice.com

CISA Issues Warning Over Russian Malware
New Malware Framework Used by Russian 'Sandworm' Hacking Team

Russian hacking team appears to have swapped its VPNFilter malware platform for the so-called Cyclops Blink malware framework.

The infamous Sandworm, aka Voodoo Bear, hacking team tied to the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate's Russian (GRU's) Main Centre for Special Technologies (GTsST) has changed up its malware infrastructure, according to an advisory issued today from the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the FBI.

Sandworm has a vast resume of destructive attacks: the BlackEnergy attack on Ukraine's power systems in 2015, the Industroyer attack against Ukraine in 2016, the NotPetya destructive data-wiping attacks in 2017, distribution denial-of-service attacks against the nation of Georgia in 2019, and disruptive attacks against the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2018.

The so-called Cyclops Blink modular malware framework has been in action by Sandworm since at least June 2019, according to the agencies. Cyclops Blink is typically injected via a malicious firmware update once the victim's network has been infiltrated. The malware replaces the group's VPNFilter infrastructure, which was disrupted by the Justice Department in May 2018. darkreading.com

89% of Orgs Not Securing Data Sufficiently
How to keep pace with rising data protection demands
The disconnect between business expectations and IT's ability to deliver has never been more impactful, according to a Veeam report, which found that 89% of organizations are not protecting data sufficiently.

The report found that 88% of IT leaders expect data protection budgets to rise at a higher rate than broader IT spending as data becomes more critical to business success and the challenges of protecting it grow in complexity. More than two-thirds are turning to cloud-based services to protect essential data. helpnetsecurity.com

New Data-Wiping Malware Discovered on Systems in Ukraine




Securing Your Cannabis Store
Video Surveillance for Cannabis Businesses
Regardless of license type, all cannabis businesses will need a video surveillance system. Like other industries, one of the main goals of the video surveillance system in a cannabis business is loss prevention. Individuals are less likely to steal when they know they are being recorded, and if they do attempt to steal, they are more likely to be caught.

Businesses are more protected from potential theft, diversion, and losses when they implement proper video monitoring systems and other compliant security devices.

Though every cannabis business needs a video surveillance system, the needs of each business may differ. Based on the design, location, and function of the facility, the business may require increased storage capacity, specialty devices, or advanced monitoring services.

Surveillance Cameras

While security cameras differ greatly in their quality, price, and abilities, the goals of a basic video surveillance system remain the same:

Reduce and prevent internal/external theft
Assist with inventory management
Track employee progress/optimize performance
Analyze customer shopping patterns/improve business operations
Investigate an incident after it has occurred

For cannabis businesses, basic video surveillance systems are composed of similar devices: cameras, video management systems, display monitors, and storage devices like an ENVR. Though these systems are primarily reactive in nature, video surveillance technology is advancing to become more proactive.

Most states/localities have required policies and laws for cannabis businesses. These laws typically mandate video surveillance systems, and may even require recording in a specific resolution or frames per second. Requirements regulating the length of time that a cannabis business must store video recordings is also common and the duration varies by state. sapphirerisk.com

'Expert Witness Report' After Cannabis Robberies
Security Expert Witnesses in the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis businesses, especially dispensaries, are considered high-risk businesses due to the high value of the cannabis products on-site and large volume of cash. Like any high-risk businesses, cannabis businesses can be at an increased risk of incidents on the property that may result in litigation. This may
include robberies, burglaries, injuries, or other incidents that occur on the premises of the business, whether or not the incident was caused or worsened by the business. When this occurs, businesses should consult with cannabis security professionals with experience serving as security expert witnesses to evaluate security and add credibility to their case.

What Do Security Expert Witnesses Do?

While proactive security is always the best way to protect people and assets, businesses may still find themselves in need of a security expert to consult or testify on their behalf. Should the business incur a lawsuit, this security professional may be tasked with drafting an Expert Witness Report to aid in strengthening their case. The Expert Witness Report is a legal document which states the security professional's expert opinion on the case based on their relevant education and experience. This opinion considers the facts of the case, security standards and best practices, and applicable law. While drafting their expert opinion, security professionals may conduct site visits to assess physical security, interview witnesses and/or other involved parties, and watch video surveillance footage, as well as review police department files and reports of the incident.

Security expert witnesses may also be asked to testify during trial on behalf of their client. When this occurs, security expert witnesses may be asked to defend their position stated in the Expert Witness Report, so it is crucial that the document is factual and compliant. If the Expert Witness Report is inaccurate or noncompliant, the security expert witness could be barred from testifying altogether.

What Topics Do Security Expert Witnesses Cover? - Needs in the Cannabis Industry sapphirerisk.com

Black Market Marijuana Raids
Law enforcement officers conduct massive raid of black market marijuana, issue arrest warrants
Oklahoma drug enforcement officers conducted a massive raid of nine marijuana grow operations across the state early Tuesday, targeting criminal organizations that are believed to have transported black market cannabis out of state.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics led the multi-agency operation with more than 200 state, federal and local law enforcement officers executing search warrants and arrest warrants. OBN said this raid is the largest marijuana-related bust in Oklahoma history, a move cracking down on an industry that has exploded in the state since medical cannabis was legalized in 2018. Now, the state boasts more retail dispensaries than any other state in the country, and a surplus of supply grown within Oklahoma borders. The conditions have led to increased black-market sales and fraudulent business structures, OBN officials said.

Woodward says the investigation identified brokers moving millions of dollars in marijuana from multiple Oklahoma farms onto black markets in states including, but not limited to, California, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana and Texas.

The raids netted an estimated 100,000 plants and over 2,000 pounds of processed marijuana, according to OBN. The agency also will file asset forfeiture cases against multiple vehicles, bank accounts, cash, equipment and at least eight of the properties involved. Woodward said those arrested in this operation face a variety of charges, including aggravated trafficking and aggravated manufacturing. oklahoman.com

Cannabis Job Posting
Director of Security job posted for Mint Cannabis in Tempe, AZ

Security Technologies for the Cannabis Industry: 2022

Poll: 75% of Floridians 'supportive' of legalized pot







Fake Amazon Review Lawsuit
Amazon sues two companies that allegedly help fill the site with fake reviews

Third-party sellers allegedly paid the companies, AppSally and Rebatest, for product reviews, with the hope that it would juice their products' ranking

Amazon on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against two companies that allegedly acted as fake-review brokers.

The lawsuits filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle accuse the companies, AppSally and Rebatest, of fostering fake reviews on Amazon's online marketplace. The companies allegedly connected third-party sellers with consumers who would leave a positive review of their product, in exchange for free products or payments.

The case represents Amazon's latest effort to root out fake reviews on its sprawling third-party marketplace. The marketplace now accounts for more than half of e-commerce sales and has helped the company bring in record revenue. But fake reviews have proven to be a particularly thorny issue for Amazon as the marketplace has grown to include millions of third-party merchants.

Amazon said in a statement the lawsuit seeks "to shut down two major fake-review brokers" that it claims "helped mislead shoppers by having their members try to post fake reviews in stores" like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Etsy. The statement added that AppSally and Rebatest say they have more than 900,000 users "willing to write fake reviews."

AppSally and Rebatest have been in operation since 2018, according to court filings. The complaint alleges AppSally orchestrated a scheme wherein sellers would pay the company a fee, in some cases as little as $25, to receive "verified reviews." cnbc.com

Predicting Online Customer Behavior
How Walmart's Indian IT team used AI to predict customer preferences

Walmart Global Tech India developed applications to improve customer satisfaction and employee efficiency during the pandemic.

Online orders skyrocketed at Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, when the pandemic hit, making more work for in-store employees. At the same time, demand for certain products led to frequent stock outages.

While Walmart's ordering app allowed customers to indicate their preferred substitutes for out-of-stock products, customers usually skipped this step. This forced the Walmart employees who pick and pack items on behalf of the customer to make the decision themselves.

As a result, dissatisfied customers returned one in ten substitute items, leaving Walmart to refund the full amount of the product and pick up the cost of restocking.

To reduce the number of returns and the accompanying losses, and to improve customer experience, the company's innovation hub, Walmart Global Tech India (WGTI), rolled out an AI system to learn customers' preferences. It uses data to predict consumer behaviour, preferences, and needs.

"The AI-driven system learns individual preferences of every customer over a period of time and gives the pickers hints to what the customer likes if a particular item is not available," says Rohit Kaila, WGTI's vice president of US tech. cio.com

Plans indicate Amazon warehouse coming to Vancouver, Wash.







Update: Manteca, CA: Police Recover $5000+ Worth Of Stolen Items
The Manteca Police Department arrested two people after recovering thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise. On Feb. 21st, 27-year-old Tyres McGhee and 39-year-old Corryn Graves grabbed two Kohls carts and gathered merchandise valued at $3,176, and started to push the carts out of the Manteca location. Kohls Loss Prevention recognized them from their prior theft attempts and quickly contacted Manteca Police.

The suspects were arrested without incident by an officer while trying to run to their vehicle. Police discovered an additional $2000 worth of Big Lots and Harbor Freight stolen merchandise inside the vehicle. Both suspects admitted to being involved with organized retail theft for the past year between Manteca and the bay area targeting Kohls, JCPenney, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and Ross multiple times a week. The suspects are in custody at the San Joaquin County for multiple felony charges. sacramento.cbslocal.com

Hammond, LA: Ulta Beauty store robbed twice 15 minutes apart, Police search for suspects
The Hammond Police Department is investigating two thefts that happened on Tuesday at an Ulta Beauty in Hammond. According to police, the Ulta Beauty on Hammond Square Drive was robbed twice on the same day. The first theft occurred at 1:40 p.m. The suspect allegedly filled a bag with $2,927 worth of men's and women's fragrances. The police say the individual left the store without paying in a black Honda Sedan or Accord. The suspect was seen wearing blue scrubs, having long curly hair, and tattoos on both hands. The second theft happened 15 minutes later at 1:55 p.m. Two people entered Ulta Beauty and filled a bag with $783 dollars worth of women's and men's fragrances. The suspects left the store and were seen getting into a black Hyundai SUV. brproud.com

Akron, OH: Robbers attack Dollar General clerk, run her over with shopping cart
A worker trying to stop two women stealing two shopping carts full of items from a Dollar General ended up being kicked in the head several times and run over by a shopping cart, police say. The incident occurred at about 9:35 a.m. Monday at the Dollar General on the 500 block of East Exchange Street near downtown. The 46-year-old victim tells police the two women entered the store and loaded two carts, then attempted to leave the store. It's unclear if the clerk suffered injuries in the attack. Police say Monday's robbery is similar to an incident that occurred Sunday at a Walgreens on the 1100 block of South Arlington Street. The Walgreens manager attempted to stop two people from leaving with carts full of unpaid items and was scratched and spit on by a suspect. cleveland.com

Charlotte, NC: Owner Of A Local Gun Store Says Suspects Rammed Two Stolen Cars Into His Business During An Attempted Robbery
Would-be thieves targeted Watchdog Tactical in North Charlotte. The owner of the gun store, Chris Lawhorne, says he got a call from his alarm company around 11 pm Monday. "I understand with the business I'm in, and I understand that criminals do, you know, want to try to get guns however way," says Lawhorne. He rushed to his business off Old Statesville Road and found the entrance glass door shattered. He says surveillance video shows young people ram two stolen cars into his store and then take off. Lawhorne says that the guns were locked up in safes, so the suspects didn't get away with any firearms. wccbcharlotte.com

Lancaster, PA: $1,200 in clothes stolen from Under Armour outlet store
Police in Lancaster County are looking for three women who allegedly stole more than $1,200 worth of merchandise. East Lampeter Township Police say at approximately 5:05 p.m. on Feb. 21, the group of women entered the Under Armour outlet store at Tanger Outlets on Lincoln Hwy East. Each female took a reusable store bag, filling them with clothing, and grabbed more clothing in their arms before fleeing the store.  abc27.com

Warrington, PA: 4 Arrested In Target Theft
Four men stand accused of stealing crafting and cutting machines from Target on Friday, Warrington police announced in a news release. The 401 Easton Rd store called the Warrington Township Police Department just before 11 a.m., saying four men were seen taking several Cricut machines from the shelves and leaving without paying. A loss prevention officer "was assaulted" when he tried to stop the men and they were able to leave, Warrington police said. Officers arrested four Philadelphia men. Police said Target loss prevention positively identified the men. All four were arraigned on robbery and retail theft charges and sent to Bucks County Correctional Facility, police said. patch.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Green Bay, WI: Update: 15-year-old boy charged as adult with homicide in Feb. 18 shooting outside Walgreens
A 15-year-old boy faces the possibility of life in prison after being charged in the fatal shooting Friday on the west side of Green Bay. Jeremiah Robinson, 15, of Milwaukee is charged as an adult with first-degree homicide in the death of a 31-year-old Green Bay man who was shot multiple times in the back outside the Walgreens on W. Mason St. The victim died Friday at Aurora BayCare Medical Center on the city's far east side, after people he knew drove him to the hospital. Police gave the following account in the criminal complaint: Officers said Robinson was inside the Walgreens with a friend he knew as "John" when a man confronted John about money the man claimed John owed him. John and the man argued for about 30 seconds. Robinson and the friend left the store and the third man followed the pair outside the store. greenbaypressgazette.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Medford, NY: Man waved what appeared to be a handgun at Target employees who tried to stop him from stealing merchandise
A homeless man armed with what appeared to be a handgun was charged Wednesday in connection with robbing Target in Medford, Suffolk police said. John Hicks stole merchandise from Target on Horseblock Road just before 3 p.m., and when he was approached by employees trying to stop him, "he pulled what appeared to be a handgun" and ran away, according to police. Sixth Precinct Patrol officers responded, and found Hicks about five minutes later on the North Service Road of the Long Island Expressway behind Sam's Club, said police, adding that he was charged with second-degree robbery. patch.com

Hinsdale, IL: Businesses band together against retail theft; store manager stops robbery attempt
Businesses in Hinsdale have banded together in a show of strength in the face of retail crime. One stopped an attempted robbery, police said, before it could even start. "It's very dangerous, I mean what if they were armed. I mean it's just crazy the way it happened. Very quick," said witness Xiomara Soto. Soto said she saw the entire thwarted robbery attempt unfold at the Marcus store in downtown Hinsdale, just across the street from the bagel shop where she works.

"They tried to walk in but very quickly one of the girls from inside she stopped right in front of the door. And I just saw her nodding her head shaking it 'no,'" she said. A group of men exited a white Ford Edge they had backed into an alley behind the store, according to Hinsdale police. "They all had ski masks so you can only see their eyes," Soto said. But a quick acting employee inside the store locked the ski mask wearing group inside the foyer, police said. A few minutes later, they left the way they came and drove off empty handed. The rest of the block was locked down within minutes, according to J.McLaughlin store manager Andrea Kaspar. Kaspar, who is also on the Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce Board, said after a spike in retail crime in the fall, she and other store managers created their own neighborhood watch. abc7chicago.com

Chicago, IL: Security guard prevents smash-and-grab at high-end jewelry store
A security guard at a high-end jewelry store in Chicago thwarted a smash-and-grab robbery attempt on Tuesday afternoon, according to reports. During the middle of the afternoon, three men wearing ski-masks stepped out of a white sedan and entered a Chicago-area jewelry store, Marshall Pierce & Company, according to Chicago Police Department spokesperson Kellie Bartoli. Upon entering the store, the suspects made their way to a watch case. One of the offenders then pulled a hammer out of his jacket, but an armed security guard for the store managed to intervene before the suspect could break the glass case. The unnamed security guard ordered the men to the ground, but they did not comply and ran off, fleeing in their white sedan. The suspect's hammer was later found on the ground outside the store, and is now in police custody, authorities say. wcti12.com

San Jose, CA: Serial burglar broke into 55 businesses
A man who allegedly went on a year-long burglary crime spree has been identified and arrested, the San Jose Police Department announced Wednesday. Andrew Deanda burglarized more than 35 small businesses in San Jose, according to police. Over in Milpitas, he is accused of burglarizing at least 20 businesses. Investigators said the serial burglar used the same pattern: smashing glass windows of a businesses, grabbing cash registers, and then fleeing the scene in stolen vehicles. The crime spree stretched from February of 2021 to February 2022. kron4.com

Beverly Hills, CA: COVID Testing Site Hit By Burglars
A COVID-19 testing site in Beverly Hills was allegedly burglarized Wednesday morning. The burglary occurred at the 911 COVID Testing site on Santa Monica Boulevard. A safe with between $4,000 and $5,000 in cash was stolen from the site according to Steve Farzam, the COO for 911 COVID. Farzam said a burglary alarm at the site was triggered at around 3 a.m. Beverly Hills police also confirmed a burglary alarm was activated at the site. Farzam said security cameras at the site were disabled and that a safe was stolen. There was no immediate description of the suspects. losangeles.cbslocal.com

Pittsburgh, PA: Three overnight armed robberies in Pittsburgh are likely connected

St. Louis, MO: Man charged with robbing multiple QuikTrip stores



C-Store - Janesville, WI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Madison, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chesapeake, MA - Robbery
C-Store - Miramar, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Glendale, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Glendale, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Suffolk, VA - Robbery
C-Store - Pittsburgh, PA - Robbery
CVS - Duluth, MN - Armed Robbery
Clothing - Byron Township, MI - Burglary
Clothing - Lancaster, PA - Robbery
Clothing - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Collectables - Chico, CA - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Akron, OH - Robbery
Dollar General - Kinston, NC - Robbery
Dollar General - Beaufort, SC - Armed Robbery
Family Dollar - Pittsburgh, PA - Robbery
Grocery - Hinsdale, IL - Robbery
Grocery - Hinsdale, IL - Robbery
Guns - Charlotte, NC - Burglary
Gun - Clarksville, TN - Burglary
Jewelry - Warren, MI - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Honolulu, HI - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Keizer, OR - Robbery
Jewelry - Wheaton, MD - Robbery
Jewelry - Spokane, WA - Robbery
Pharmacy - Union County, NJ - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Glendale, CA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Brownsburg, IN - Armed Robbery (Dunkin)
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Burglary
T-Mobile - Waterford Township, MI - Armed Robbery
Target - Bucks County, PA - Robbery
Walgreens - Akron, OH - Robbery
7-Eleven - Sarasota County, TX - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 30 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


Help Your Colleagues By Referring the Best

Refer the Best & Build the Best

Regional Asset Protection & Safety Manager
Chicago, IL - posted February 23
Responsible for ensuring application of EHS, occupational safety, and loss prevention programs and policies at the store, region, and cross-regional levels. Works to ensure education, communication, and understanding of safety and loss prevention policies, including how safety and asset protection contributes to profitability and business success...

Regional Asset Protection Manager
Indiana - posted February 22
This role is to lead the Asset Protection business partner model for the two regions of retail stores and serves as a strategic partner to regional operations leadership. The role is responsible for leading a team of market and store asset protection personnel responsible for ensuring the safety of people, the security of assets, compliance with internal and regulatory standards and the prevention of shrink...

Loss Prevention & Safety Business Partner
Sparks, NV - posted February 18
The Loss Prevention and Safety Business Partner (LPSBP) is responsible for effectively delivering on operational objectives and KPI performance across Assets Protection, Associate Safety, Physical Security, and Investigations, in an assigned DC of responsibility, in partnership with the facility leadership and home office team...

Loss Prevention Manager
Moonachie, NJ - posted February 16
The Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for supporting the day-to-day operations of our retail locations. This role is responsible for the implementation and coordination of all Loss Prevention best practices. This includes training for store teams to ensure understanding and compliance of physical security, inventory and loss control...

Loss Prevention Auditor
Rialto, CA - posted February 1
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...

Asset Protection Specialist
Portland, OR - posted January 26
The Asset Protection Specialist is responsible for protecting the assets and teammates of Under Armour at the Portland office. Essential Duties & Responsibilities - Development and implementation of policies and procedures focused on maximizing physical security, access control, safety, emergency response, investigations, and minimizing theft and fraud...

District Asset Protection Manager
Denver, CO - posted January 21
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture; Oversees AP Programs by providing leadership and guidance to Asset Protection teams and General Managers on methods to successfully execute programs in stores...

Regional Asset Protection Manager
Central US Remote (Dallas, Chicago, or Houston)
- posted January 6
The successful candidate will be responsible for the management of the Asset Protection function in their assigned area. Guide the implementation and training of Asset Protection programs, enforcement of policies and procedures, auditing, investigations and directing of shrink reduction efforts...

Region Asset Protection Manager-South Florida Region (Bi-lingual Required)
Doral, FL - posted December 21
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...


Regional Loss Prevention and Safety Specialist
New York, NY - posted November 29
You will act as a coach, trainer, mentor, and enforcer to support the risk management program at Legends. Responsibilities can include, but are not limited to: Identify, develop, and implement improved loss prevention and safety measurements with risk management team; Conduct internal audits that have a focus on loss prevention, personal safety, and food safety, and help the team to effectively execute against company standards and requirements

Safety Director (Retail Background Preferred)
Jacksonville, FL - posted November 3
This role is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing purpose-directed occupational safety and health programs designed to minimize the frequency and severity of customer and associate accidents, while complying with applicable regulatory requirements. This leader is the subject matter expert on all safety matters

Corporate Risk Manager
Fort Myers, Miami, Tampa FL - posted October 5
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: A proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries, whether to our employees, third parties, or customer's valuables. They include but are not limited to cash in transit, auto losses, or injuries...

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Every executive has an agenda out of absolute necessity and in the normal course of doing business. Agendas, in essence, drive performance and results. However, it's the hidden agendas that one must be on the look out for because those are the ones that do the most damage to executives and companies. And while many tend not to acknowledge them, they do exist, and finding them is the key. Dealing with them and managing them is extremely difficult and oftentimes one finds his or herself managing the after effect and not even seeing them until it's too late. Just remember one thing - If you know the stripes on a Zebra you can ride the Zebra and, if you don't know the stripes, the Zebra will ride you.

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