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LPRC: Humans + AI three times more accurate

Latest research reveals humans assisted by face matching technology more likely to correctly identify a subject's face

ICYMI: Humans assisted by AI face matching technology are three times more likely to correctly identify a subject's face than without AI, according to new research.

The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) provides evidence-based solutions addressing retail loss, safety, and fraud prevention. Dr. Cory Lowe, LPRC senior research scientist, presented his research results October 4, 2022, during the annual IMPACT conference hosted at the University of Florida.

In a presentation titled "Face Off: Examining the Role of AI in Reducing Bias and Improving Decision-Making," Lowe explained how he pitted unaided research participants against those using AI face matching technology. LPRC selected FaceFirst software for the tests. Researchers installed the software in the LPRC lab and conducted the tests independently.

Lowe showed a diverse array of fictional offender faces to 155 research participants; 78 unassisted, 77 assisted. Among the unassisted group, 77 percent misidentified the fictional subjects in a photo lineup just minutes after seeing the fictional subject image. The assisted group got it right 63 percent of the time. "The assisted group did nearly three times better," Lowe said. "There was a 2.7 times improvement in accuracy when assisted by facial recognition."

For context: Humans were only correct on their own 23 percent of the time, even with a small sample of faces they had been shown just minutes earlier. No technology is 100 percent accurate in the wild, but humans alone are demonstrably prone to error. Lowe noted the participants were not told of the AI's accuracy alone (100 percent accurate in this study), so individuals may have discounted the solution's accuracy.

Watch for more details from the LPRC research, including how facial recognition can be used to reduce error and bias, and how it can narrow the LP focus to those individuals who are most likely to offend in retail locations.

FaceFirst considers use of AI with human oversight vital for retailers. Consider the risks of being caught unaware when a known offender enters your store. If you knew there was a proven solution to keep your valued customers and associates safer from violent offenders, would you implement it? The real risk is answering no. FaceFirst's solution is fast, accurate, and ethical-learn more today at facefirst.com.

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Crackdown on Big-Ticket Shoplifters
House approves retail crime bill that could lead to stiffer sentences on 62-3 vote
An attempt to crack down on retail crime by making it easier for New Mexico prosecutors to charge brazen, big-ticket shoplifters with heftier offenses is headed to the Senate.

The House voted 62-3 to approve the bill late Wednesday, though concerns were raised about the bill's drafting - and whether it would be enforced in Albuquerque. But legislators largely agreed on the need to take action in response to a recent trend of shoplifters hitting a string of stores, sometimes while flashing weapons to deter employees from intervening.

"If we don't do something, all of our retail shops are going to be shut down," Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, said at one point during the debate.

The legislation, House Bill 234, has brought together an unlikely coalition that includes Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce and top Albuquerque city leaders.

In its current version, the legislation would create a new organized retail crime offense that could be charged in cases involving the theft of at least $2,500 in merchandise from one or more retailers over the course of a year.

It could also be applied to individuals who receive or possess such stolen merchandise, or to those involved in organizing retail theft rings. If convicted of organized retail crime, offenders could face up to nine years in prison.

During Wednesday's floor debate, Matthews said the bill would plug "gaping holes" in the state's current shoplifting laws and better protect local businesses and state residents alike. abqjournal.com

More Cities Enact Cart-Locking Technology Ordinances
Glendale will require stores to implement anti-theft resources for shopping carts
The city of Glendale is putting new rules on businesses requiring them to secure their shopping carts. City council members voted unanimously last night to require some technology or services to keep shopping carts from leaving store property. "They're disappearing from all these parking lots," Glendale resident Andrea Luna said. "Yeah, something needs to be done."

With the new ordinance, Glendale is following the lead of neighboring cities like Peoria, Avondale, and Phoenix. "It would be nice if they kind of put lock and key on everything," Luna said. "It's just sad that you have to lock everything down now."

The ordinance will go into effect on March 30. Glendale Deputy City Manager Rick St. John says it's a response to an increasing number of shopping carts in unsheltered communities over the last year. "The shopping carts were being taken from retail establishments, and eventually being discarded in public places," St. John said.

These anti-theft resources could mean locks on shopping cart wheel, or it could mean cart retrieval services. If a shopping cart is taken from its business, a person could be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. But St. John says the goal isn't to punish but encourage other options. "We understand that a lot of the reasons that people use shopping carts to move their property around it's a need," he said. "It's not a want. They're not trying to do anything nefarious. They're just trying to survive."

St. John also says the city is not paying for the changes and knows it will cost money for business owners. St. John says any new store owners with shopping carts must include these anti-theft resources starting April 1. Existing stores will have until the beginning of October to transition to new technology or services. azfamily.com

Crime Spreading Like COVID from Big Cities
Crime turned Portland into a 'hollowed out shell.' Its neighbors are trying to keep it from happening to them

Counties near Portland are trying to prevent the crime surge from reaching them

Public safety officials across Oregon have complained of rising crime in their communities, but, according to police data, crime is spiking much more dramatically in Portland than the statewide average.

"Each area has different challenges, but what we're seeing in the metro area is absolutely rising crime," Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton told Fox News.

"What's happening is with our de-carceration and elimination of bail culture, we've got all these people running around," said Kristin Olson, a trial attorney and host of the Rational in Portland podcast. "And it's really scary because we also have this anti-police culture."

Oregon State Police data through November 2022 shows overall crime leveling off in all three counties. But the trend has not been mirrored within Portland city limits where crime increased another 9% last year, according to police data. The City of Roses also set a new homicide record for the second year in a row.

Portland's crime problem can be partially attributed to the 2020 efforts to defund police, according to Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth.

The Portland Police Bureau currently includes 801 sworn members, building back from a low of 773 in September, according to the bureau. The city ranked 48th out of 50 big cities for officers per capita, according to a Willamette Week analysis last fall.

"Why do you think the criminals are out there doing this? Because they know even if the person calls the police, the police aren't going to show," said Kevin Dahlgren, an addiction counselor who chronicles Portland's homeless crisis on Twitter. "Cities that are softer on crime, of course crime is going to go through the roof." foxnews.com

More Active Shooter Training Pops Up Across the Country
Community group hosts active assault community training as mass shootings rise across the United States
The number of mass shootings nationally has been steadily increasing in the past years. Many groups have been organizing community trainings on what to do if one takes place. The West End Improvement Group hosted an active assault community training demonstration to address this issue.

According to the Gun Violence Archive there have already been 93 mass shootings in the United States since the start of the new year, that's more mass shootings than days in 2023.

The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence using police reports, defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people were killed or injured. The number of mass shootings have been steadily rising. From 2014 to 2019, the average was 349 while from 2020 to 2022 alone the average was 649. With rising violence groups have been organizing trainings on what people can do in order to survive.

"You never know where or when something like that is going to happen," said Tom Owens, corporal at Stonycreek Township police department. "The important thing is to educate people on being aware of where they're at, being aware of exit routes no matter where they're at. Whether they're at church, at the mall, a concert, these things can happen anywhere."

Experts warn that anywhere where there's a large gathering a mass shooting can occur. Community leaders like Rose Howarth from the West End Improvement Group are emphasizing the importance of organizing trainings.

The most important thing you can do is always be aware of your surroundings and remember to either run, hide, or fight. If you'd like to organize an assault training in your organization you can contact the Cambria County SERT team or your local police department. wjactv.com

Record-Breaking Number of Mass Shootings
Countless mass shootings and counting, the American reality we live in
The Gun Violence Archive keeps records of gun-related fatalities and injuries in the U.S. in January has seen the highest number of mass shootings on record in the country this year, whereas the average number mass shootings over the last few years during this month has never exceeded 25. But in 2023, 52 mass shootings were reported in January, breaking the previous record of 34 last year.

Over the past month, California, Iowa, and Washington encountered a series of five shootings resulting in 24 casualties. This tragic loss left many families and communities in an empty state of grief and heartbreak.

After California experienced three horrific shootings in the span of 72 hours that took 19 lives, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered some remarks in an ABC News conference: "Only in America do we see this kind of carnage and chaos of gun violence that destroys our communities," Newsom said. "America is No. 1 in gun ownership, and we surpass every developed nation in gun deaths."

According to a White House statement released on Jan. 24, President Joe Biden urged Congress to "act quickly" and pass legislation that would outlaw assault weapons and raise the legal buying age for firearms to 21.

"The scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action," said President Joe Biden. "I once again urge both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver this Assault Weapons Ban to my desk." theprospectordaily.com

Biden Crushes D.C. Criminal Justice Reform Effort
The measure would have ended mandatory minimums and lower penalties for certain crimes

How a criminal justice reform effort collapsed in D.C. - with Biden's help
31 Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote against a congressional bill that would allow Washington, D.C. to revise its criminal code, which the district cannot do without approval from Capitol Hill. The revisions were supposed to end mandatory minimum sentences, lower the maximum number of years people can be sentenced for certain crimes and bring back jury trials for suspects in misdemeanor cases.

Democrats usually support such policies - but not this time. The defections to the GOP side were an astonishing development at a time of stark partisan divisions on social issues like policing and education.

An even bigger surprise came on Thursday, when President Biden indicated that he would not support the revisions to D.C.'s criminal code, which the Senate is preparing to consider. Democrats there have a narrow majority, but at least one of them - Joe Manchin of West Virginia - had been expected to endorse the Republican proposal blocking the revisions.

Still, criminal justice reformers expected that Biden would veto the congressional measure, allowing D.C.'s revisions to stand. yahoo.com

Retail Theft Losses in the News
Target, other companies suffering billions in 'organized retail crime' losses
At Yahoo! Finance Brian Sozzi says, "With all due respect to Walgreens CFO James Kehoe, inventory shrinkage mostly at the hands of organized retail crime is still worth crying over if you are a retailer. Take Target, for example. 'It [inventory shrinkage] was certainly a headwind [last year],' Target CFO Michael Fiddelke told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. 'We know we're not alone in seeing elevated levels of shrink and organized retail crime driving some of that theft.' ... Goods stolen from stores, which contributes to inventory shrinkage, led to $94.5 billion in losses in 2021, up from $90.8 billion in 2020, according to a late 2022 study by the National Retail Federation (NRF). About 32.8% of retailers surveyed called out organized retail crime as becoming 'much more' of a concern in the last five years."  minnpost.com

California grocery store implements anti-theft doors

Drastic times call for drastic measures: America's mass shooting problem


COVID's Lasting Business Impact

Could the COVID Remote Work Shift Pave Way for a Big City Revival?
Forget the 'Death of Downtowns': America could be on the verge of experiencing a Big City Renaissance

America's great cities are in a precarious spot.

As the workforce adapts to the pandemic-jumbled future, millions of people across the country are still not going into the office five days a week. In January, 41% of Americans were working from home for some or all of the week. Fewer people commuting into the office means fewer people spending on lunches and happy hours or stopping by retailers in downtown areas. It also means less property- and sales-tax revenue that cities depend on to fund important programs like schools and public transit. Add it all up, and the remote-work shift is costing downtowns a lot of cash. A recent analysis found that the shift to working from home cost the borough of Manhattan over $12 billion a year.

This hollowing out has in turn triggered concerns about an "office apocalypse," the "death of downtown," and an "urban doom loop" that will send major cities into a protracted downward spiral. Comparisons have been made to the decline of Rust Belt cities such as Detroit and Pittsburgh in the 1970s when they failed to pivot in the face of shuttering manufacturing plants. Those cities took decades to recover from the downward spiral as unemployment increased, local rents declined, poverty rates increased, and the tax base shrank.

But this bleak future is not set in stone. Cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago can use the short-term challenges of the remote-work shift to reinvent themselves, enhance their quality of life, and attract footloose residents. The emerging competition between regions triggered by working from home will strengthen the nation, allow cities to reinvigorate themselves for a century to come, and give Americans a larger menu of livable, affordable cities to choose from. Far from being the death knell for cities, the remote-work revolution could pave the way for a new urban boom. businessinsider.com

87% of Job Seekers Want Hybrid or Remote Roles
Research Finds Remote Work Will Continue Post-COVID-19
It's been nearly three years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the beginning of many people working from home. Remote work is going to continue, according to research by Robert Half staffing firm.

"Remote jobs are here to stay. 87% of people considering a job change are interested in hybrid or fully remote options," according to Robert Half recruiting manager Shannon Edlinger.

She says 28% of new job postings this year were advertised as remote. Their research also found work flexibility can lead to greater happiness, with some willing to sacrifice salary for more remote time. moodyonthemarket.com

Going After COVID Fraudsters
White House pitches $1.6 billion plan to combat Covid relief fraud

The proposal aims to provide more resources to investigate and prosecute fraud related to Covid funding while also providing support for victims of identity theft.

The White House on Thursday laid out its plan to target pandemic fraudsters and recapture stolen relief funds distributed under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

A top White House official said the goal was to provide $600 million to investigate and prosecute systemic pandemic fraud, a similar amount to bolster fraud prevention and $400 million to help victims of identity theft.

While at least $2 billion has been recovered so far, according to Government Accountability Office data, some experts have estimated that Covid relief fraud could be more than a quarter of a trillion dollars. The Trump and Biden administrations distributed about $5 trillion in Covid relief funds. nbcnews.com

Watercoolers become return-to-office measure as remote-work debate rages

Remote working and rise of casual workwear is killing the shoeshine economy


Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) Gaining More Support Worldwide
The technology has the potential to 'improve retail staff safety and reduce friction'

Customers prefer facial age estimation for self-checkouts: Yoti global retail report
Facial estimation technology for age-restricted purchases in retail settings is gaining more appeal among customers, according to a global retail report shared by digital identity and age verification firm Yoti.

Yoti says it has been nearly four years since it deployed the technology analyzing face biometric data for self-checkout purposes, and it has been trialed by businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, Estonia, Germany Poland, and Czech Republic.

However, Yoti says insights already obtained from the report indicate that a vast majority of customers who used the technology prefer it, with 70 percent of them saying they would like to use it again to prove their age when buying age-restricted products.

They users interviewed also say they had no problem having their facial images taken. Yoti adds that other key highlights in the global retail report reveal that its technology gives customers a more private way to prove their age and is inclusive for those who do not own or have access to an ID document.

Also, the trials proved that digital age verification has the potential to improve retail staff safety and reduce friction between staff and customers, that retail staff have more time to focus on other tasks including spotting proxy sales and 'walkaways' and that anti-spoofing is key to the success of digital age verification.

"Our age verification technology can help make retail stores safer and give customers privacy-preserving ways to prove their age, without needing to show physical ID to staff. During the Home Office trials, I was particularly happy to see that some of the self-checkouts could successfully estimate over 90 percent of shoppers at the first attempt," says Yoti CEO Robin Tombs in reaction to the report. biometricupdate.com

How the Roe v. Wade Decision is Still Impacting Retail
Walgreens won't distribute abortion pills in some states where they remain legal

The decision is the latest to demonstrate how widely abortion access can vary state to state in a post-Roe America.

The nation's second-largest pharmacy chain confirmed Thursday that it will not dispense abortion pills in several states where they remain legal - acting out of an abundance of caution amid a shifting policy landscape, threats from state officials and pressure from anti-abortion activists.

Nearly two dozen Republican state attorneys general wrote to Walgreens in February, threatening legal action if the company began distributing the drugs, which have become the nation's most popular method for ending a pregnancy.

The company told POLITICO that it has since responded to all the officials, assuring them that they will not dispense abortion pills either by mail or at their brick-and-mortar locations in those states.

The list includes several states where abortion in general, and the medications specifically, remain legal - including Alaska, Iowa, Kansas and Montana. For example, Kansas' law that patients only obtain the pills directly from a physician is blocked in court. politico.com

Global Retail Rankings
Walmart, Amazon, Costco lead largest retailer list
Walmart, Amazon and Costo are the top three largest retailers, respectively, according to a Deloitte Global's "Global Powers of Retailing 2023 Report," that identified the 250 biggest retailers worldwide.

The ranking is based on public data for fiscal year 2021 and analyzes performance across geographies and product sectors, according to a press release. The top 250 retailers achieved a total composite retail growth rate of 8.5% and the top 10 retailers grew by 8% on a composite sales-weighted and currency-adjusted basis.

Walmart led the world's global retailers and JD.com was the fastest-growing top 10 retailer in FY2021, with revenues up by 25.1%. The top 250 retailers achieved a total composite retail growth rate of 8.5% in FY2021.

"While still posing significant challenges, the retail environment became more hospitable in FY2021 compared to the previous year likely due to the partial relaxation of pandemic restrictions and consumers returning to pre-pandemic shopping habits," stated the release. retailcustomerexperience.com

Best Buy to close as many as 30 stores this year

Touting off-mall success, Macy's mulls acceleration of small-store strategy

#BoycottHersheys spreads on Twitter over Women's Day campaign

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GoDaddy Breached Every Year Since 2020
GoDaddy is the 'connecting link' to millions of businesses around the globe

What GoDaddy's Years-Long Breach Means for Millions of Clients

The same "sophisticated" threat actor has pummeled the domain host on an ongoing basis since 2020, making off with customer logins, source code, and more.

For years, the domain registrar and Web hosting company GoDaddy has experienced a cyber barrage of extraordinary scale, it has confirmed - affecting both the company and its many individual and enterprise clients.

As described in its 10K filing for 2022, released Feb. 16, the company has been breached once every year since 2020 by the same set of cyberattackers, with the latest occurring just last December. It's worth also mentioning that the company has been the subject of earlier cyber incursions as well. The consequences to GoDaddy are one thing, but, more notably, the breaches have led to data compromises for more than 1 million of the company's users.

That may well be the key to why the bad guys keep coming back. Because of the nature of its business, GoDaddy is a connecting link to millions of businesses around the world. As Brad Hong, customer success lead at Horizon3ai puts it: "This is the equivalent of your landlord's office being left unlocked, giving a bad actor access to the keys to your house."

GoDaddy's Three-Headed Breach

While the world was coming to grips with COVID-19, thousands of GoDaddy customers had a second problem on their hands. In March 2020, the company discovered that an attacker had compromised the login details for a small number of their employees, as well as 28,000 of their hosting customers.

It was a harbinger of worse things to come. In November 2021, a threat actor got their hands on a password that allowed them access to Managed WordPress, GoDaddy's hosting platform for building and managing WordPress sites. This case touched 1.2 million Managed WordPress customers.

There was yet more. In a statement published alongside its 10K, GoDaddy shared details of yet a third compromise.  darkreading.com

The Remote Work Impact: Businesses at Risk When the Home is Hacked
Hackers Target Young Gamers: How Your Child Can Cause Business Compromise

In the age of remote work, hackers are actively targeting kids, with implications for enterprises.

Even a primitive phishing attack against a kid playing Fortnite could, theoretically, turn into a wider attack not just against the parent but also the parent's workplace.

AdvertisementAn attack that targets a business, through an employee or through an employee's child, may seem like a step too much work when phishing and business email compromise are so much simpler. But, to state the obvious: Children are easy marks, and nearly all of them play video games. That, combined with the proliferation of remote work and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, makes this vector a long-tailed but fruitful one for attackers.

Fuchs puts it bluntly: "The perimeter no longer exists." "We can access work documents on home computers and vice versa," he says, "but it also relates to game usage."

Young children, especially, often play games from their parents' PCs and mobile phones or, if nothing else, their home Wi-Fi. Parents then take their PCs and phones to work, or work remotely from their home network.

Fuchs theorizes that kids "could be playing on their parents' computer and accidentally upload it. This is an easy way for compromises and malicious files to easily infect your corporate cloud." But in most cases, a child need not go that far - attackers can make the jump from home to office on their own.

"In the era of BYOD and remote working," LaRose explains, "attackers often just need to compromise a user's personal computer to get a foothold on a corporate network. Once an attacker has a foothold on a personal device, they can often steal a VPN session or browser session, or simply find a user's corporate credentials stored in their computer." darkreading.com

Washington D.C.'s Cybersecurity Shift Under Biden
Biden's national cybersecurity strategy advocates tech regulation, software liability reform

The strategy represents a shift in how Washington approaches cybersecurity, veering toward a more strictly regulated approach.

The Biden administration's national cybersecurity strategy seeks to impose minimum security standards for critical infrastructure and to shift the responsibility for maintaining the security of computer systems away from consumers and small businesses onto larger software makers.

Released Thursday, the White House's long-awaited strategy for improving the security of computer systems represents a shift in how Washington approaches cybersecurity, veering from the government's long-standing emphasis on information sharing and collaboration toward a more strictly regulated approach.

The strategy calls for critical infrastructure owners and operators to meet minimum security standards, to expose software companies to liability for flaws in their products and for the U.S. to use all elements of its national power to prevent cyberattacks before they happen, an indication that the Biden administration intends to continue U.S. Cyber Command's so-called "defend forward" strategy of seeking out malicious hackers on foreign networks.

The national cybersecurity strategy "fundamentally reimagines America's cyber social contract," Kemba Walden, the acting national cyber director, told reporters in a call Wednesday previewing the strategy. "It will rebalance the responsibility for managing cyber risk onto those who are most able to bear it."

"The biggest, most capable and best positioned actors in our digital ecosystem can and should shoulder a greater share of the burden for managing cyber risk and keeping us all safe," Walden said. cyberscoop.com

Access-as-a-Service Surges
Sale of Stolen Credentials and Initial Access Dominate Dark Web Markets

Access-as-a-service took off in underground markets with more than 775 million credentials for sale and thousands of ads for access-as-a-service.

The cybercrime economy centered around access to compromised systems, services, and networks has grown dramatically in the past year - with a sixfold increase in the number of credentials stolen via malware and offered for sale.

With cyberattackers using information-stealing malware to gather credentials, the expansion of access-as-a-service offerings has blossomed in the criminal underground with thousands of advertisements offering would-be cybercriminals access to compromised systems, according to findings in Recorded Future's newly published annual report.

In addition, the collection of data, use of stolen accounts, and phishing are among the top 10 most-discussed tactics in cybercriminals forums, according to the report. darkreading.com

CISOs Are Stressed Out and It's Putting Companies at Risk

Attackers increasingly using transfer.sh to host malicious code






Is OSHA's Amazon Crackdown Working? Employees Say 'No'
'They're more concerned about profit': OSHA, DoJ take on Amazon's grueling working conditions

The federal workplace safety agency has issued citations against the company at multiple warehouses for various violations

The US's top workplace safety regulator and the justice department are pressuring Amazon to explain safety practices that have led to injury rates for warehouse workers that are on average close to twice as high as the company's competitors and in one case five times higher.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) issued citations against Amazon at six warehouses in December 2022, January 2023 and February 2023 over unsafe working conditions, ergonomic hazards and failure to properly report injuries.

A seventh warehouse in Colorado Springs, Colorado, DCS3, was cited in February 2023 for exposing workers to ergonomic hazards. There are currently dozens of Amazon warehouses with open Osha investigations around the US.

A judge extended the six-month investigation limitation period for three of the warehouses for Amazon to comply with subpoenas as it had not provided all documents demanded as part of the investigation.

A worker in the packing department at BOI2 in Nampa, Idaho, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said they have yet to see any changes since the Osha citations were issued.

"I'm not surprised they found violations in the warehouse. Management is pushing production goals on the workers all hours and safety very much seems to be an afterthought," they said.

Amazon has faced scrutiny from government officials, labor groups and workers over high injury rates for the past several years. From 2017 to 2021, Amazon's warehouse injury rates were significantly higher than injury rates of warehouse workers overall. Amazon workers have reported several issues after sustaining injuries on the job, from being forced back to work to being denied workers' compensation and struggling to obtain proper medical care. theguardian.com

The Amazon Slowdown Continues
Amazon Pauses Work on 2nd Headquarters in Virginia

The company has been struggling with weak growth and has recently expanded its cost-cutting plans.

Amazon has paused construction on its second headquarters in Virginia, a move that comes as the company tries to cut costs amid slower growth and tighter profit margins.

The delay was confirmed on Friday by Amazon’s real estate chief, John Schoettler. “We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs,” he said in a statement.

The pause will affect PenPlace, the second stage of the construction in Virginia. Construction on Amazon’s Met Park campus is nearing completion and is scheduled to open for employees in June. The construction delay was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

Last month, Andy Jassy, the company’s chief executive, wrote in a letter to employees that most staff would be expected to return to the office three days a week starting on May 1. nytimes.com

Amazon driver shares viral TikTok of the company's AI system that tracks her movements

Warning: illegal and dangerous electric heaters for sale on Amazon and eBay







Phoenix, AZ: 3,200 cans of baby formula, cloned SNAP benefit cards seized in Valley organized retail theft bust
Thousands of cans of baby formula, cloned food assistance cards and skimming devices were all seized after a 6-month investigation into organized retail theft, according to state and local officials. In a news conference Thursday, Attorney General Kris Mayes said more than 2,700 individual victims lost more than $1.2 million in stolen SNAP benefits in the theft ring, and the following was seized:

3,200 cans of baby formula
• more than 1,200 cloned Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards
• skimming devices
• equipment used to manufacture fraudulent EBT cards

Mayes was joined by representatives from the Arizona Retailers Association, which includes Kroger, Walmart and Target, along with representatives from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Gilbert Police Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Those participating in organized retail theft are on notice that in Arizona, their organizations will be disrupted, they will be apprehended, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Mayes said. "Organized retail theft and fraud harms all of us, from the victims themselves to regular Arizonans facing increased prices that result from theft. I want to thank our state agency and law enforcement partners, as well as our retail partners, for their support and work on this investigation."  12news.com

Glendale, CA: SoCal man allegedly stole $50,000 in Home Depot armed robbery
A man was arrested after allegedly stealing $50,000 from a Home Depot store in Glendale last week. The suspect was identified as Raymundo Bretado, 47, from Rancho Cucamonga by the Glendale Police Department. On Feb. 21, officers responded to reports of an armed robbery at a Home Depot located on the 5000 block of San Fernando Road. Police say Bretado entered the store within the first opening hour and immediately began searching for the store's manager. After locating the manager, Bretado lifted his shirt to reveal a firearm while ordering the victim to open the store's vault, police said. Bretado then loaded a Home Depot bucket with about $50,000 in cash before walking out through an emergency exit door.  ktla.com

Tigard, OR: Detectives arrest Organized Retail Theft Suspect
Detectives with the Tigard Police Department made a significant arrest involving a woman from the Seattle area who is linked to organized retail theft. The woman, 28-year-old Schama Lynce-Goree from Federal Way, Washington, is known to investigators and loss prevention employees for repeated retail theft and fraud in Oregon and Washington. She is known to steal merchandise, then fraudulently return it for gift cards that can be sold for cash. On Tuesday, February 28th, detectives were notified that Lynce-Goree tried to fraudulently return stolen merchandise at Lululemon stores in Portland, Clackamas and Tigard. After she left the Tigard store, detectives pulled her over at a nearby gas station where she was arrested and charged with first-degree theft x3. Investigators recovered approximately $10,000 in stolen merchandise, $2,200 in fraudulently gained gift cards and a replica handgun from her car. Her passenger, Sean'Janae Phillips, age 24, was also charged with first-degree theft. Investigators believe Lynce-Goree robbed the same Tigard location a few days earlier on Sunday, February 26th. In that case, it's believed she stole more than $7,000 in merchandise and threatened a store clerk. She's facing a third-degree robbery charge for that case. Since December, loss prevention employees and investigators have tied Lynce-Goree to more than $40,000 in losses from Lululemon stores in Oregon and Washington. Detectives with the Tigard Police Commercial Crimes Unit work primarily on crimes affecting the business community, including organized retail theft, shoplifting and robbery.  tigard-or.gov

C-Store Fencing Operation
Hartford, CT: Convenience store resold items stolen from CVS, Walmart and other retailers
State police arrested two people as part of an investigation into organized retail theft. Kashif M. Khalifa, 55, of Tolland, and 26-year-old Homesh Pulipati of New Haven were both charged after investigators learned that Smokey's convenience store on Main Street in Hartford repeatedly purchased stolen items that were brought to the store by shoplifters. The store would then resell them on its own shelves. A search and seizure warrant was executed on Wednesday at the store, troopers said. It followed a three-month investigation. The complaint was originally brought to investigators by CVS after it was suspected that a significant amount of stolen merchandise from its store was being resold at Smokey's. During the investigation, state police said stolen product was routinely seen being brought to Smokey's for resale. During the search, numerous products bearing store tags from CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Stop and Shop, and other nearby retailers were identified. An estimated $3,000 in merchandise was recovered at the scene. The investigation and search warrant resulted in the arrest of the store's owner, Khalifa, and Pulipati, an employee. Khalifa was charged with accessory to organized retail theft.  wfsb.com

Orange County, NY: 4 men from NYC arrested for AT&T robbery in Monroe
Police say four men from New York City were arrested for robbing an AT&T store in Orange County and threatening the clerk with a gun. The clerk tells News 12 that he was closing the store on Route 17M in Monroe when a group of masked men rushed in and pushed him around while demanding cash and merchandise. Police say the group got away with more than $50,000 in cash and merchandise that they forced Raymond to get from the safe. bronx.news12.com

Brighton, MI: Update: Defendants in Ulta Beauty store robbery bound over for trial
The five suspects arrested following a January robbery at the Ulta Beauty store in Green Oak Township during which shots where shots were fired have been bound over for trial. Court records show Shanel Webster, 29; Tirezah Scott, 50; Laronda Chase, 25; Kari Williams, 27, and Joya Williams, 36, each waived their preliminary exams, sending their cases to Livingston County Circuit Court for trial. All face felony counts of Organized Retail Crime and Retail Fraud, while several others are also charged with more serious counts of Assaulting a Police Officer and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. Green Oak Township Police say that at approximately 8 p.m on January 12, officers responded to a report of multiple suspects who entered the Ulta Beauty store at the Village Place Mall and were filling a bag with merchandise. As officers arrived, including Michigan State Police from the Brighton Post, at least one suspect fled with the merchandise on foot and was pursued, while the remainder tried to flee in separate vehicles. MSP says one trooper was attempting to take the suspect that ran into custody, when a vehicle involved drove directly at the trooper. "The trooper fired his weapon at the vehicle," stated a release. "Vehicle was struck but not the suspect driver. Vehicle fled the scene but was stopped after colliding with a building. All suspects taken into custody. No injuries to anyone involved."  mikeandjonpodcast.com

Maple Ridge, BC, Canada: Nine shoplifters arrested during blitz in Pitt Meadows; Ridge Meadows RCMP community response unit focuses on retail theft

Uniondale, NY: California Fugitive Caught Trying To Steal From Saks Off 5th

Ocala, FL: Homeless man with two prior theft convictions was arrested at a Walmart, accused of stealing electronics and hygiene items

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Shootings & Deaths

Baton Rouge, LA: Update: 'Wild, wild west' shooting at Baton Rouge store started with chance encounter, prosecutors say
The shootout that killed a 17-year-old in front of a Baton Rouge grocery store in October was sparked by a chance encounter between two groups of youths already at odds with each other, prosecutors said Thursday. Two teenagers accused of the killing pleaded not guilty to murder in Baton Rouge state court. District Judge William Jorden set bond at $300,000 each for Germany Brown and Kenneth Forbes, both 17, after they were arraigned on their respective charges. He ordered both to appear in court for another hearing before being released if their bond is posted. That's where the judge said he intends to set the conditions of their release. Brown and Forbes were both charged with second-degree murder stemming from an Oct. 10 shooting at the Terrace Grocery, a small convenience store in the 1400 block of Terrace Avenue - a few blocks west of Perkins Road. Dedrick Wagner was killed by three gunmen, two of whom were identified as Brown and Forbes, Baton Rouge Police homicide detective Russell Williams testified Thursday. The other suspect remains at large, the detective said. theadvocate.com

Bronx, NY: Customer shot in the head at Bronx gas station; suspect on the loose
An early Friday morning shooting at a gas station in Mount Hope sent one man to the hospital, police say. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old victim was shot in the head at the Gulf gas station on Webster Avenue just before 1 a.m. He was rushed to St. Barnabas Hospital where he is in stable condition. It's unclear what led up to the act of violence. There is no word on the location of the suspect. bronx.news12.com

Madison, TN: Suspects burglarize delivery vehicles outside Madison warehouse, shoot Amazon driver
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying two alleged burglars. The crime happened Wednesday afternoon at 5 p.m. in a warehouse parking lot on Myatt Drive. Police say two masked men burglarized vehicles at the Amazon warehouse. A delivery driver spotted the men and attempted to intervene when he saw his work vehicle's window had been broken out, but one of the suspects fired a shot at the man. The delivery driver sustained a graze wound to his wrist and is expected to be okay. In addition to the shooting victim's vehicle, three others were also broken into.  wkrn.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Wichita Falls, TX: Customer stabbed after intervening in disturbance at gas station
A man Wichita Falls Police said got into an argument with a store clerk then stabbed a customer who tried to intervene is in custody. 27-year-old Alejandro Villanueva is charged with aggravated assault with his bond set at $100,000. When WFPD officers arrived at the 7-Eleven at 2012 Grant just after 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, March 1, they said the victim was holding napkins and applying pressure to a bleeding wound in her neck. She told them she was buying items when Villanueva came in the store and began arguing with the clerk. The victim and a witness said Villanueva left, then came back and began arguing with the clerk again. The witness said he left a second time, and returned once more and began yelling at the clerk. The witness said the customer stepped in and told Villanueva to leave, and he began to yell at her. The customer said she told him if he did not calm down and stop confronting the clerk and leave, she would go get her gun in her car.  cw39.com

Meriden, CT: Panhandler Arrested After Assaulting Store Manager in Meriden
A CTown Supermarkets manager was assaulted by an apparent panhandler in Meriden on Monday, police said. The police department said they were called to the supermarket on Colony Street for a reported assault. Responding officers learned that the store manager asked a panhandler to leave after getting several complaints from customers. The panhandler refused to leave and physically assaulted the store manager in the parking lot. Police said the panhandler used a box cutter type razor to cut the manager several times. Officers took the razor and the panhandler was arrested. The manager's condition isn't known at this time. According to police, the panhandler was wanted out of Newington for an unrelated matter. He faces charges including first-degree criminal trespass, assault and disorderly conduct. He's being held on a $100,000 bond. nbcconnecticut.com

Tampa, FL: After viral video, Hudson man sues Hernando County deputy, Walmart for false arrest
The man at the center of a viral video of an arrest at a Spring Hill Walmart is pushing back. Tony Nguyen of Hudson said he's suing Walmart, a loss prevention officer and the Hernando County deputy who arrested him. The lawsuit calls for more than $10 million over claims of racial profiling and false arrest. Plaintiffs said authorities were looking to arrest Cody Vondelinde, another man of Asian descent but thought he was Nguyen during a visit in November. They're suing Hernando County Deputy Michael McNeeley and Walmart Loss Prevention Officer David Pettigrew. "It never should have happened and that's why we're here," Harry Daniels, a civil rights attorney representing Nguyen, explained.

The video taken by Nguyen's girlfriend has garnered more than 800,000 views on his YouTube channel. Plaintiffs state through the 911 audio, Pettigrew warned Vondelinde was aggressive and likely armed. The plaintiffs state Nguyen was never asked for his identification. The lawsuit claims it wasn't until they reached jail that Nguyen's identity was confirmed. Plaintiffs also claim in their lawsuit that Nguyen wasn't cleared right away. Instead, authorities used a 2013 incident in which Nguyen had been trespassed due to shoplifting at the same Walmart to keep him detained. While plaintiffs note the warning from 2013 violated Walmart's trespassing policy, they argue McNeeley originally arrested Nguyen for "reasonable suspicious of trespassing opposed to probable cause." The plaintiffs said charges were later dropped.  wtsp.com

Seattle, WA: Serial Armed Robbery suspect may be tied to 50 cases in western Washington
King County investigators say they arrested a suspected serial armed robber by comparing the man's clothing to what he wore at a casino he visited before several crimes. Allen Mekto is charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. The 22-year-old was booked into King County jail, where he is being held on $280,000 bail. Using facial recognition, investigators said they determined the same man had been at the casino at least five other times. In each instance, they say his face was clearly visible on security video, and that he presented proper identification each time. According to court papers, police then identified Mekto as the person who they believe carried out the robbery. Scanning through security footage from Jan. 20, police said Mekto wore an outfit to the casino that matched the clothing worn by a suspect in a robbery at an Issaquah cigar store hours earlier. That same day, investigators believe Mekto also wore the same clothing while robbing a dry cleaning business in Bellevue. According to court documents, Mekto has a lengthy criminal history, including 18 prior convictions for offenses such as theft, burglary and possession of stolen property.  komonews.com

Kearny, NJ: Newark teen at Kearny Walmart busted for possession of hollow-point bullets & high-capacity mag
Officers Alvaro Goncalves, Pedro Pina, Jonathan Lima, Mina Ekladious and Sgt. Jack Grimm were dispatched to Walmart to assist Newark police detectives in arresting a man armed with a gun. Newark Detectives M. Aziz and N. Hargrove happened to be in the store's loss-prevention office investigating an unrelated case from their city when a Walmart employee reported a male customer had repeatedly lifted his shirt to adjust the handle of a gun in his waistband. The detectives confronted the male customer, who turned out to be a 16-year-old Newark boy. They seized from him a purple CPX-2 9 mm handgun, an extended ammunition magazine, eight 9 mm jacketed bullets and three 9 mm hollow point bullets. Det. Anthony Nunez charged the youth under juvenile delinquency with unlawful possession of a firearm and two counts of possession of prohibited weapons (for hollow point ammunition and a high-capacity ammunition magazine). He was ordered held at a county juvenile detention center. Nasir L. Davis, 18, of Newark, was accompanying the juvenile at the time of his gun arrest. Davis was wanted on $1,250 of Newark traffic warrants and on a $750 Lodi traffic warrant and was taken into custody. Both jurisdictions later granted Davis a release with a new court date.  theobserver.com

New York, NY: Suspects targeting NYC Uber, Lyft drivers netted $30K in months-long robbery spree

Martinez, CA: Man Charged In Robbery Of Postal Worker, Mail Truck Theft

Edmonds, WA: Thieves crash minivan into Edmonds cannabis shop in smash-and-grab attempt

Plainview, NY: Four Ferraris Stolen From New York Dealership in Smash and Grab

Somerset, KY: Gone In (Less Than) 60 Seconds: Thieves Nab Six Challenger Hellcats from Dealer Lot

Bayonne, NJ: Shoplifter torched pile of clothes at Walmart in bid to steal TV

Bronx, NY: Mother and daughters beat up Bronx cashier; supermarket offers $2.5k reward for info



Auto - Somerset, KY - Burglary
Auto - Plainview, NY - Burglary
Beauty - Parma, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Riley County, KS - Burglary
C-Store - Brighton, NY - Burglary
Cellphone - Orange County, NY - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Warren, MI - Robbery
Gas Station - Elburn, IL - Burglary
Gas Station - Bronx, NY - Armed Robbery / Cust wounded
Grocery - Charlotte, NC - Robbery
Guns - McAlester, TX - Robbery
Hardware - Glendale, CA - Robbery
Hardware - Nassau County, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Manchester, NH - Armed Robbery
• Jewelry - Gastonia, NC - Robbery
• Jewelry - Lake Grove, NY - Burglary
Liquor - Wichita, KS - Armed Robbery
Marijuana - Edmonds, WA - Burglary
Restaurant - Brooklyn, NY - Robbery
Restaurant - Wonder Lake, IL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Wilmington, DE - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 7 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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An Industry Obligation - Staffing 'Best in Class' Teams

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Retail Partnership Manager
Denver, CO - posted February 22
The Retail Partnerships Manager will play a key role within Auror's North American team; taking ownership of some of our key customers. The role is a great fit for someone who seeks variety and is great at relationship building. You will be seen as a thought leader and trusted advisor for both our customers and the industry alike...

Regional Distribution Asset Protection Specialist
Landover, MD - posted February 24
This role is responsible for leading asset protection initiatives and investigating matters pertaining to inventory shrink, policy violations, unauthorized access, fraud, and theft within assigned distribution center(s) - Landover MD, Severn MD, Bluefield VA, Norfolk VA, Lumberton NC...

Corporate Risk Manager
Charlotte or Raleigh, NC - posted February 14
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: Proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries whether they are to our employees, third parties or customers valuables. They include cash in transit, auto losses or injuries; Report all incidents, claims and losses which may expose the company to financial losses whether they are covered by insurance or not...

Director of Asset Protection & Safety
Mount Horeb, WI - posted January 27
The Director of Asset Protection and Safety is responsible for developing strategies, supporting initiatives, and creating a vibrant culture relating to all aspects of asset protection and safety throughout the organization. As the expert strategist and leader of asset protection and safety, this role applies broad knowledge and seasoned experience to address risks...

Loss Prevention Analyst
Ashburn, VA - posted February 21
This position pays $67,725 - $75,000 per year:
The LP Analyst protects the company's assets from internal theft by using investigative resources (i.e., exception-based reporting (EBR), micros reporting, inventory reporting, CCTV, etc.). The primary responsibility of the LP Analyst is to identify potential loss prevention issues such as employee theft in SSP America's operation across North America...

Manager of Asset Protection (Corporate and DC)
North Kingstown, RI - posted February 17
The Manager of Asset Protection - Corporate and Distribution Center ("DC") role at Ocean State Job Lot ("OSJL" and "Company") will have overall responsibility for the ongoing safety and security of all operations throughout the corporate office and supply chain...

Field Loss Prevention Manager
Phoenix, AZ - posted February 2
As a Field Loss Prevention Manager (FLPM) you will coordinate Loss Prevention and Safety Programs intended to protect Staples assets and ensure a safe work environment within Staples Retail locations. FLPM's are depended on to be an expert in auditing, investigating, and training...

Business Continuity Planning Manager
Jacksonville, FL - posted January 26
Responsible for developing, implementing and managing the company's Business Continuity (BCP) and Life Safety Programs to include but not limited to emergency response, disaster recovery and site preparedness plans for critical business functions across the organization. In addition, the position will develop and lead testing requirements to ensure these programs are effective and can be executed in the event of a disaster/crisis...

Region Asset Protection Manager (Ft. Lauderdale)
Fort Lauderdale, FL - posted January 18
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...

Region Asset Protection Manager-St Augustine and Daytona Beach Market
Jacksonville, FL - posted January 18
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...

Region Asset Protection Manager: Fresco y Mas Banner
Hialeah, FL - posted January 18
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...


Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - posted December 9
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the physical security, safety compliance and reduction of shrinkage for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs for all PCHI locations...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Boston - Framingham, MA - posted December 2
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...

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