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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

'Smash & Grabs' & Workplace Safety
Addressing The Rise Of 'Smash And Grab' Crime As Part Of Workplace Safety
A spike in organized retail theft has been making headlines across the country, from San Francisco and Chicago to Minneapolis and others. These attacks are often called "smash and grab" or "flash mob" crimes because they consist of coordinated groups who force their way into a business, grab as much merchandise as possible and escape in waiting vehicles. Even worse, it seems these attackers are willing to use violence against employees, customers or bystanders if they intervene.

So, what can businesses do to protect themselves, their property and, most importantly, their people to address not only this troubling trend, but workplace safety in general?

Prioritize Employee And Customer Safety

The number one tip to remember is simple: No amount of merchandise is worth someone's life. Employees need support from their leadership to understand what to do, and what not to do, in the event of a smash and grab or any other type of attack. With the popularity of these attacks spreading, it is also a possibility that they expand from retail settings to more generic corporate targets. While corporate offices may not think this issue pertains to them, it is important to consider the possibility and remember that employee safety is paramount and represents far more exposure than physical property.

Have A Plan In Place

Panic buttons and mass communication tools are particularly useful in these situations, since the attacks happen so rapidly. Rather than having to call and speak with 911 operators, panic buttons can send law enforcement directly to the scene for a quicker response. Mass notification systems can be set up in advance with templates for different types of emergencies so that if something occurs, relevant stakeholders can be kept up to date with minimal effort and time. Being proactive with these preparations can save companies time in an emergency, which ultimately means less impact on the people and the business.

Strategic Collaboration Is Critical

After many cities saw a decline in property crimes during the first year of the pandemic, those numbers are on the rise again with people returning to public settings. With these smash-and-grab stories making the news, we are likely to continue seeing copycat thieves who try these methods for themselves. Businesses must be prepared for these types of events with strategies for collaboration between security professionals, employees and law enforcement to mitigate damage and keep everyone safe. forbes.com

Retailers Demand Federal Action, Law Enforcement Cooperation
Why has shoplifting been 'out of control' since the pandemic began?

What shoplifting costs retailers and how they are fighting back

CVS spokesman Michael DeAngelis tells Axios that the company has "experienced a 300% increase in retail theft from our stores since the pandemic began." There are a lot of possible contributing factors including a shortage of workers, which leaves more sections of stores unsupervised. Retailers say it is easier to sell stolen stuff online these days because people are shopping online more often.

The retail industry is pressing Congress to pass the INFORM Act, which would require online marketplaces (like Amazon, eBay and Facebook) to verify sellers and provide contact information to buyers.

Attorneys general in states like California, Arizona and New Mexico are setting up anti-shoplifting task forces and looking at stricter laws on bail reform and felony thresholds. District attorneys in cities like Chicago and New York are considering harsher measures against shoplifters.

The cost of shoplifting

A National Retail Federation survey found 75 percent of loss prevention executives at a cross-section of large and mid-sized retail companies said ORC activity had increased in the past year, up from 68 percent last year. The increase comes as many states have raised the threshold of what constitutes a felony, allowing criminals to steal more before being subject to stronger penalties than a misdemeanor.

Retailers are looking for more support from law enforcement, with only 64 percent saying they were satisfied with help received from local police (down from 84 percent last year), 55 percent with state authorities (down from 75 percent) and 50 percent with federal agents (down from 69 percent).

(Organized retail crime) often crosses state lines, and around 70 percent of those surveyed each of the previous three years had said a federal ORC law is needed. Those in favor said a federal law is needed to influence response to major ORC problems not addressed by local police and to allow federal law enforcement to become involved without having to find other laws to fit the issue.

Retailers fight back: poynter.org

Legislation Tackles Online Fencing
Ohio bill seeks to stop criminals selling stolen items online

An Ohio bill aims to stop criminals from stealing items from retail stores and selling them on online marketplaces.

Ohio House Bill 272, which is co-sponsored by former Montgomery County Sheriff and current representative Phil Plummer, R-Butler Twp., requires high-volume online marketplace sellers to identify themselves to the platform in which they are selling. The bill will combat crime and protect consumers, Plummer said.

"There are organized crime rings that do nothing but steal this stuff, then they put it up on the marketplace," Plummer said. "Tools, you name it, they are stealing it."

Plummer said locally, there have been pockets of people from out of state stealing from local stores. People stealing from retailers is part of the reason businesses close and prices go up for honest consumers, he said.

The bill will impact high-volume sellers, Plummer said, so most people will be able to continue to sell their items online as normal.

The Coalition to Protect America's Small Sellers (PASS) is an advocacy coalition that is made up of platforms like eBay and Etsy. It originally was an opponent of the Ohio bill and executive director Chris Lamond said while the bill is a product of compromise, there are still issues with the timeline of requirements. He said PASS is also focused on advocating federal legislation.

The coalition said requiring disclosure of a seller's identifiable information will harm privacy, but also said that bad actors are not welcomed on their websites. The Ohio bill has passed the house and now the Ohio senate is considering it. A senate committee hearing for the bill was held last week.

"This is a problem for a lot of our communities," Plummer said during the hearing. "We have businesses closing down because of constant theft. A for-profit business, they are in it to make money and not to lose their profits through theft where people sell these items online at a discounted rate."

He said that fencing used to imply people selling stolen items out the back of their trunk or at a pawn store, but that's not the case anymore. springfieldnewssun.com

Different State, Same Data - Crime is Surging
Crime is rising in Colorado. This state data shows by how much and where
New statewide data on Colorado's crime rates puts hard numbers to what many in law enforcement have been saying for the past 14 months: Crime in almost all categories started going up before the pandemic and continues to rapidly rise.

Violent crime, which counts homicides, aggravated assaults, sex assaults and robberies, is up 17 percent between 2019 and 2021. Murder is up 47 percent in those two years. Property crime is up 20 percent and auto theft is up 86 percent between 2019 and 2021, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

A one-year analysis done by the FBI between 2019-2020 found Colorado had the fourth-highest increase in all crimes in the country - just below Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Utah.

More statistics, according to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation comparison between the years 2019 and 2021 include:

Juvenile aggravated assault with a firearm is up from 29 percent of all aggravated assaults in 2016 to 44 percent of all aggravated assaults in 2021.

Burglary rates fell between 2016 and 2019 but climbed back up in 2020 and have flattened since.

Identity theft rates have more than doubled from 121 crimes per 100,000 people in 2019 to 396 crimes per 100,000 people. cpr.org

Milwaukee PD: To solve violent crime, "we have to tackle motor vehicle theft problem"


COVID Update

556.2M Vaccinations Given

US: 81.1M Cases - 991.2K Dead - 55.6M Recovered
Worldwide: 453.9M Cases - 6M Dead - 388.2M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 353   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 703
*Red indicates change in total deaths

COVID Double Whammy?
There may be a new COVID variant, Deltacron. Here's what we know about it.
A potential new COVID-19 variant, a combination of the delta and omicron variants - you can call it "deltacron" - has been identified.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the new COVID-19 combination has been detected in France, the Netherlands and Denmark. It's also been found in the U.S., according to a new report soon to be published on research site MedRxiv, and viewed by USA TODAY.

Researchers found two infections involving different versions of deltacron, resulting from the combination of delta and omicron genetic material. Twenty other infections had both the delta and omicron variants, with one case having delta, omicron and Deltacron.

Experts say it's too soon to worry about deltacron. Compared with earlier variants, such as delta and omicron, this new variation - researchers have not adopted the "deltacron" name officially - appears unlikely to spread as easily, said William Lee, the chief science officer at Helix. usatoday.com

Retail Body Cams to Fight COVID-Era Abuse
UK: Body cameras are moving into British retail

The pandemic saw a rise in customers harassing staff

Once used largely in law enforcement, body-worn cameras, or body cams, have become de rigueur for employees who meet the public at their worst: ambulance-drivers, litter-enforcement officers, ticket inspectors and security guards. Now they are coming to retail, where abuse by customers was rising before the pandemic and escalated during lockdowns. According to Usdaw, a shopworkers' union, 90% of workers were verbally abused in 2021 and 65% were threatened with violence, up from 68% and 43%, respectively, in 2019. Customers got angry when shop workers enforced mask mandates, social-distancing or limits on purchases of toilet paper. Delivery workers suffered too. The pandemic boosted online shopping-and rage when orders were late or incomplete.

In law enforcement, body cams protect police from spurious complaints and citizens from abusive officers. In retail, they are largely a deterrent. Threatening to turn one on is often enough to calm an irate customer, says Claire, who used to work as a store manager. Tesco, Britain's largest supermarket chain, says the number of serious violent incidents has fallen by more than a fifth since it equipped staff with body cams during the pandemic.

But critics say bodycams are more invasive than cctv. The camera is closer and the image resolution higher. Body cams record audio, unlike most cctv. Companies could use them to monitor staff. They could dip into footage for marketing analytics, or an employee might share footage of a celebrity customer-both privacy violations, says Robin Hopkins of 11 kbw Chambers, which specialises in commercial law. Abuse of retail staff is a pressing problem, says Sarah Gold of Projects by if, a data firm. But increasing surveillance, and allowing private firms to hold the data, is a high price for customers to pay.

Pandemic restrictions are now being lifted. But companies are emphasising employee well-being more than before covid-19 hit, says Marc Curtis of Fujitsu, an electronics group that sells bodycams for law enforcement and is eyeing the retail sector. Retailers are struggling to lure workers back to the storefront, with Brexit-induced labour shortages an added complication. Body cams may be an invasion of customers' privacy-but the trade-offs have tilted in shopworkers' favour.  economist.com

Another Month of Airplane Mask Mandates
TSA to extend COVID mask mandate for another month
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending its COVID-19 mask mandate until April 18, according to an administration official.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is developing guidance that will ease the nationwide mask mandate on airplanes, buses and other mass transit next month.

"At CDC's recommendation, TSA will extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month, through April 18th," the official told Fox News. foxnews.com

Australia: COVID, floods mean retail workers are abused regularly, unions want the law to better protect them


Russia's Retail Exodus

Putin Panics Amid Russia's Retail & Bank Exodus
Russia considers nationalizing Western businesses that close over Ukraine invasion

Move to preserve jobs reflects growing alarm in Russia as lines form at shops and banks

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday endorsed a plan to nationalize foreign-owned businesses that flee the country over its invasion of Ukraine, reflecting the Kremlin's alarm over job losses and other economic pain the exodus is inflicting.

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo and U.S. chain Victoria's Secret also joined the list by announcing they will temporarily close Russian stores, prompting long lines as shoppers queued for what might be their last chance for months to purchase the goods. Similar lines have formed at Ikea, McDonald's and other departing companies as Russians grow anxious about losing access to consumer products.

During a meeting with government officials Thursday, Putin said Russia must "introduce external management" on departing companies "and then transfer these enterprises to those who want to work," endorsing a legislative proposal that would create a pathway for the government to take over and eventually sell businesses that quit the country.

Putin's remarks are another sign of the economic distress hitting Russia in the wake of unprecedented Western sanctions. The ruble has lost more than 40 percent of its value since the invasion began two weeks ago, prompting Russia's central bank to restrict trade of the currency to try to halt its fall. washingtonpost.com

Russians Flock to Stores Ahead of Mass Retail Exodus
Russian shoppers flock to Victoria's Secret stores to stock up before closures hit

Dozens of western brands are temporarily closing doors in Russia because of the war in Ukraine.

A video shared online this week by Belarusian news site Nexta shows long lines forming outside Victoria's Secret stores as Russians flocked to stock up before closures hit. Nexta is a Poland-based news channel mostly distributed through Telegram and YouTube and known for its reporting critical of the Belarus government and its rigged presidential election in 2020.

The video was published by Nexta on Wednesday, the same day as a note appeared on Victoria's Secret's Russian website informing shoppers that its stores would close from 15.30 p.m. local time that afternoon.

Victoria's Secret is among the major Western brands to be pulling out of Russia as the conflict with Ukraine heightens. While some brands initially resisted closures, experts say it has become increasingly challenging to do business in Russia as logistics companies halt shipments there and sanctions imposed by the US and European countries make it more difficult to process international financial transactions. businessinsider.com

Uniqlo closes its stores in Russia, days after its CEO pledged to keep them open

Burger King pulls support from its Russian locations

Retail's 'Great Resignation'
37% of Retail Workers Don't Feel Heard & Want To Quit as New Nudge Report Reveals 63% of Retailers Investing in Employee Experience in 2022

New report uncovers evolving retail employee expectations and how retail leaders aim to address them amid widespread turnover in retail industry.

Nudge, the leader in frontline employee communication, announces the launch of The Deskless Report: Retail Edition. The report reveals the widespread discontent frontline retail workers are experiencing due to a lack of communications, feedback, engagement, and more. It also examines the ways in which retail leaders and retailers are addressing this discontent going forward amid rampant turnover.

"Retail can't escape the impact of The Great Resignation and corporate leadership is finally catching on," said Jordan Ekers, Co-founder and COO of Nudge. "Turnover and resignations are still on the rise because frontline retail workers want better. Better communications, better feedback, better engagement and a better employee experience. It's time retail leaders listened and it seems that they now are."

Key Findings:

Disconnect between retail workers and head office - 68% of retail workers said feedback is very or extremely important to them, but 37% of workers don't feel heard by their organization.

In 2022 employee experience will be a priority - 63% of retailers plan to invest more budget into overall employee experience next year, 32% plan to invest more into communication and 23% of retailers plan to invest more money into feedback.

The communications and feedback loop is broken - 81% of retail leaders feel they're sending out meaningful, quality communications, while 59% of retail workers said the communications they receive are somewhat to not-at-all useful.

Retail leaders are struggling with turnover - 27% of retail leaders stated turnover was their biggest challenge, with 37% of polled retail workers saying they want to quit their jobs due to a combination of poor management, pay & benefits and poor communication. prnewswire.com

With RFID Gaining Momentum You Might Want to Think About RFID Journal LIVE!
RFID Journal LIVE! at Twenty - May 17-19, 2022, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV

For the past two decades, the annual conference and exhibition has been a key driver of RFID adoption around the world.

Thousands of companies have attended the event during the past two decades, and they've learned from other businesses that have already deployed the technology successfully because we work really hard-and I do man really hard-to get the companies using the technology to come and speak. Not all are willing to share their stories, but many feel obligated to RFID Journal since we provide high-quality articles online and speakers at our events, and they want to give something back.

Each article we publish online, as well as every presentation we offer at RFID Journal LIVE!, touches many people and many companies. It was RFID Journal's stories about Walmart using RFID to track inventory, in fact, that led Airbus's Carlo Nizam to invest in a pilot that led to the global use of RFID at the aircraft maker (see Airbus Continues to Innovate). Carlo then spoke at several events to share Airbus's story with other manufacturers-even its chief competitor, Boeing.

I'm very proud of the role RFID Journal and RFID Journal LIVE! have played in the radio frequency identification industry since 2002. And I hope our team can continue to play this role for another 20 years to come.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal.

Costco & Sam's Club Gas Stations Flooded with Shoppers
Long lines build up outside Costco and Sam's Club gas stations as shoppers load up on cheaper gas amid further price spikes
While gas prices in the US have been rising for some time, the recent spike is driven by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Western sanctions imposed on Russia that made it harder for the country to sell its oil. Russia is one of the world's largest oil producers and the cost of crude oil is closely tied to that of gas.

This week, gas prices spiked again after the Biden administration said it would ban imports of Russian oil in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

As of Thursday, the average cost for a gallon of gas in the US was $4.32, according to AAA Gas Prices, an 84 cent increase from a month before. businessinsider.com

Southeastern Grocers to continue store expansion in Florida

Spending momentum rebounds in February, fueled by older Americans

Quarterly Results

Ulta Beauty Q4 comp's up 21.4%, net sales up 24.1%, FY 21 comp's up 37.9%, net sales up 40.3% (Leader of the pack)

Burlington Stores Q4 comp's up 6%, net sales up 18%, FY 21 comp's up 15%, total sales up 28%

Weis Markets Q4 comp's up 6.9%, net sales up 8%. FY 21 comp's up 1.7%, net sales up 2.7%

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American Businesses at Risk of Russian Cyberattacks
Jobs report: US lacks cybersecurity experts as threat of Russian attack looms
Russia says it's deciding how to respond to the United States cutting off their energy imports, accusing the U.S. of declaring "economic war."

Now, top U.S. intelligence officials warn that cyberattacks could be coming for American businesses and critical infrastructure and the latest jobs numbers show the private sector may not be able to handle the threat.

"We're very, very focused on ransomware actors," Gen. Paul Nakason with the National Security Agency.

U.S. intelligence says Russia may use malware to retaliate against the West for imposing crippling economic sanctions. For months, the Biden administration has been urging companies to be on alert and the Federal Bureau of Investigation says its agents are ready to assist the private sector if they get hit.

"They can have a technically trained agent at the doorstep of any company that's victimized within about an hour anywhere in the country," FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

But companies are struggling to hire cybersecurity professionals to protect them in the first place. Experts say this is where the labor shortage may become a national security issue.

According to the labor analytics firm EMSI Burning Glass, for every 10 open cybersecurity jobs, there are fewer than seven qualified people looking for work.

"With the recent geopolitical tensions, we're seeing evidence that that demand growth is ramping up even further," said Will Markow, the Vice President of Applied Research with EMSI.

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday indicates the labor shortage - across all sectors - isn't improving. komonews.com

SEC Proposes Requiring Firms to Report Cyberattacks Within Four Days

Regulator offers rule that would mandate reporting of ransomware incidents and data breaches

WASHINGTON-Federal regulators are considering a requirement that publicly traded companies disclose data breaches and other significant cybersecurity incidents within four days, as they seek to strengthen financial markets' resilience to online attacks.

In addition to reporting major cybersecurity events within four days after uncovering them, companies would be required to provide periodic updates about previous incidents. They would also have to report when "a series of previously undisclosed, individually immaterial cybersecurity events has become material in the aggregate."

Annual reports would also have to outline a firm's policies for identifying and managing cybersecurity risks, and say whether any member of its board of directors has expertise in cybersecurity.

The SEC will solicit comments on the proposal for at least 60 days before deciding whether to issue a final rule. wsj.com

Should CISOs stop using Russian security and tech products?

Using Russian-made security and tech products presents a moral dilemma and real risks for organizations.

AdvertisementThe Ukraine-Russia conflict has raised the question of whether organizations should stop using Russian-made security and tech products and the risks of continuing to do so in the current situation. CSO spoke with security leaders, researchers, and analysts about this significant issue and the implications for CISOs, businesses, and the wider sector.

Ending use of Russian security and tech products

"From a moral standpoint, CISOs should absolutely stop using Russian-made security and technology products. However, from a security-related standpoint, it's much murkier," says Shawn Smith, researcher and director of infrastructure at nVisium. "There is always conflict in the world, and while you should always evaluate backups in situations like this, the products created by Russians aren't any less secure now than they were a month ago."

Dominic Grunden, CISO of UnionDigital Bank, strongly supports stopping use of Russian-made products and services.

For Peter Lowe, principal security researcher at DNSFilter, the biggest reason why CISOs should switch away from Russian-made security products as soon as possible is because of the growing number of companies withdrawing from Russia right now - including major internet backbones cutting off access.

Risks of using Russian security and tech products

With regard to the risks of continuing to use Russian-made products, there are important factors to consider, Grunden says. "Using Russian made security and tech products can potentially allow Russia to access our companies, customers, and data, and potentially use it for malicious purpose. Under current Russian legislation, company and customer data is not protected and Russia has laws on national security and cybersecurity which provide the Russian government a legal basis to compel technology companies operating in Russia to cooperate with Russian security services." The real threat is for Russia to exploit discovered vulnerabilities within organizations or access them through a backdoor, Grunden warns. csoonline.com

Big Time BEC Fish Caught in Quebec
Former Canadian Government Employee Extradited to US
Faces Charges for Dozens of Ransomware Attacks Resulting in Payment of Tens of Millions of Dollars in Ransoms

Approximately $28,151,582 in Cryptocurrency Seized

Tampa, FL - A Canadian man was extradited yesterday (May 9th, 2022) from Canada to the United States on an indictment returned in the Middle District of Florida that charges him with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, and transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer arising from his alleged participation in a sophisticated form of ransomware known as NetWalker. NetWalker ransomware has targeted dozens of victims all over the world, including companies, municipalities, hospitals, law enforcement, emergency services, school districts, colleges, and universities.

According to court documents, Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins, 34, of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, from April through December 2020, conspired to and did intentionally damage a protected computer and transmit a ransom demand in connection with doing so. The indictment also alleges that the United States intends to forfeit more than $27 million, which is alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offenses. The defendant will make his initial appearance today in federal court in Tampa before U.S. Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed.

Pursuant to a request submitted by U.S. authorities, Canadian law enforcement officers arrested Vachon-Desjardins in Gatineau, Quebec, on Jan. 27, 2021, and executed a search warrant at Vachon-Desjardins's home in Gatineau. During the search, officers discovered and seized 719 Bitcoin, valued at approximately $28,151,582 as of today's date, and $790,000 in Canadian currency. justice.gov

Sodinokibi/REvil Ransomware Defendant Extradited to United States & Arraigned
in Texas
A man charged with conducting ransomware attacks against multiple victims, including the July 2021 attack against Kaseya, made his initial appearance and was arraigned today in the Northern District of Texas.

According to an August 2021 indictment, Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 22, accessed the internal computer networks of several victim companies and deployed Sodinokibi/REvil ransomware to encrypt the data on the computers of victim companies.

"Just eight months after committing his alleged ransomware attack on Kaseya from overseas, this defendant has arrived in a Dallas courtroom to face justice," said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. "When we are attacked, we will work with our partners here and abroad to go after cybercriminals, wherever they may be."

Vasinskyi, a Ukrainian national with ties to a ransomware group linked to Russia-based actors, was taken into custody in Poland where he remained held by authorities pending proceedings in connection with his requested extradition to the United States, pursuant to the extradition treaty between the United States and the Republic of Poland. Vasinskyi was transported to Dallas by U.S. law enforcement authorities where he arrived on March 3. He made his initial court appearance and was arraigned today in the Northern District of Texas. justice.gov

Microsoft: There's a critical shortage of women in cybersecurity

Biden signs executive order on digital assets, including security measures







Amazon Says Nyet to Russia
Amazon halts sales in Russia amid Ukraine invasion
Amazon has suspended shipments of retail products to customers in Russia and Belarus following the former's invasion of Ukraine. Additionally, Amazon said in a company post it will not accept new customers to its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit or third-party sellers to its online retail platform who are based in Russia or Belarus.

The company also suspended Russian access to Prime Video and stopped taking new orders for New World, the only video game Amazon sells directly in Russia.

A host of brands, retailers, restaurants and other major corporations have recently cut off or sold out of their business in Russia. The moves are a broad response of Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine and wage a bloody battle within the country - which within roughly two weeks has already led to hundreds, and potentially thousands, of civilian deaths and mass emigration.

The pullbacks by companies such as Amazon are voluntary and go beyond the sanctions applied by Western countries in an effort to isolate Putin and Russia. Some, such as Uniqlo and McDonald's, faced pressure from consumers prior to halting their business in Russia.

Among others, Nike, Apple, H&M Group, Ikea and Under Armour have paused sales and shipments in Russia, or closed stores, or all of the above, while off-pricer TJX Cos. said it exited its minority stake in Russian retailer Familia "in support of the people of Ukraine."

Amazon is among the highest-profile corporations to halt business in Russia. It's not clear how much in sales the e-commerce giant does in Russia. Amazon makes no mention of the country in its 10-K, nor did Russia come up in the company's most recent earnings call in February, as tensions over Ukraine were mounting. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for details about the size of its business in Russia. retaildive.com

Amazon Gives $5 Million in Ukraine Aid
Amazon expresses 'horror and concern' over war in Ukraine as it offers $5M to aid organizations
Amazon doesn't have any direct operations in Ukraine, but as the country suffers under the ongoing invasion by Russia, the tech giant is stepping in to provide support to humanitarian organizations on the ground.

In a blog post Monday, Amazon said it would contribute $5 million to such groups as UNICEF, UNHCR, World Food Program, Red Cross, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, and Save the Children.

"Like many of you around the world, we're watching what's happening in Ukraine with horror, concern, and heavy hearts," the company's post said.

As it hears from employees who want to help, the company also says it will match up to $5 million in additional donations from workers to those organizations. Customers can also pitch in via Amazon.com, as donation buttons are being added to the homepages of Amazon websites in the U.S., U.K., Poland, and Germany. Amazon is also waiving its fees for payment processing.

Amazon said its support extends to employees in neighboring Poland, who have been given additional time off to take care of themselves and their families. Amazon is also working with Ukrainian nationals to expedite immigration work visas if they've relocated.

Amazon often utilizes its global logistics expertise to aid in natural disaster response and relief around the world. geekwire.com

Amazon Delivery Companies Are Being Crushed by Debt







2 women get 30 and 37 months respectively for committing $1.2M in food stamp fraud following ICE HSI, federal partner investigation
Ureno, Rioja and other co-conspirators exchanged SNAP benefits for cash by using a point-of-sale device at a local meat market Rioja owned. Additionally, authorities discovered Ureno and co-conspirators conducted fraudulent transactions at Sam's Wholesale Club. The investigation discovered 715 fraudulent transactions that were linked to 83 unique SNAP benefit recipients which conspirators redeemed for cash or food. Ureno's fraudulent purchases totaled to approximately 49.1 tons of American cheese slices, 22.3 tons of pinto beans, 1.6 tons of Folgers coffee, 1.4 tons of instant mashed potatoes and over 5,000 gallons of mayonnaise which she would sell to a partner and transport to Mexico. Between September 2014 and August 2019, both Rioja and Ureno conducted approximately $1.2 million in fraudulent transactions. ice.gov

Texas Man Gets 1 yr & 1 Day Prison for $103k Defrauding National On-line Retailers
DENVER - The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado announces that Adam George Redmon, age 38, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for mail fraud that victimized at least eleven national retailers and financial institutions.

Over the course of a three-year period, Redmon repeatedly engaged in mail fraud by falsely telling victim-retailers that he failed to receive purchases he made online. By doing so, Redmon was able to obtain ill-gotten gains totaling over $103,000 in the form of refunds, reshipments, and store credits from the victims. Redmon's purchases included gift cards, furniture, home goods, and clothing apparel. In order to conceal the nature of his misconduct, Redmon engaged in various efforts to conceal his true identity from the victims: justice.gov

Virginia Man Gets 1Yr 1 Day Prison for Defrauding Apple For $1M
WASHINGTON - Teang Liu, 38, of Alexandria, Virginia, a citizen of the People's Republic of China, was sentenced today to 12 months and a day in prison for participating in a conspiracy to defraud Apple Inc. out of more than $1 million.

Liu moved to the United States in 2011. In 2014, he obtained his master's degree in finance from George Washington University. From at least June 2016 to at least June 2018, he actively participated in a conspiracy to defraud Apple. Liu was recruited to join the conspiracy by Haiteng Wu. Wu also recruited Jiahong Cai, Wu's wife, to participate in the scheme. Like Liu, Wu and Cai are citizens of the People's Republic of China.

As part of the scheme, conspirators received shipments of inauthentic iPhones from Hong Kong. Those phones contained spoofed IMEI numbers and serial numbers that corresponded with authentic in-warranty iPhones. The conspirators then returned the inauthentic phones to Apple, claiming that the phones were legitimate, in-warranty phones, all in an effort to receive authentic replacement iPhones from Apple. The fraudulently obtained authentic iPhones were then shipped back to conspirators overseas, including in Hong Kong.

Liu's particular role in the conspiracy included opening dozens of commercial mail agency mailboxes -- mostly at UPS Stores -- using fake identification cards that Wu provided to him, returning fraudulent phones to Apple retail stores, and traveling to the Rocky Mountains and Florida to facilitate the fraud.

The conspirators acknowledged successfully defrauding Apple out of nearly $1 million and intending to defraud the company out of even more money. justice.gov

Lehigh County, PA: Police investigating 3rd Ulta Beauty store heist in 3 months
The latest may be linked to a Kohl's perfume robbery on the same day. Police are investigating the third heist of a Lehigh County Ulta Beauty store in just over three months. Police believe the robbers in the latest theft March 2 hit the store after stealing thousands of dollars worth of perfume from a Northampton County store that evening. Shortly after 5 p.m. March 2, three masked men entered Kohl's in the 3000 block of Nazareth Road in Lower Nazareth Township, Colonial Regional police Detective Gary Hammer said. The men approached a Sephora display, removed "$5,000 worth of high-end perfumes" and left the store, Hammer said, adding that they didn't show any weapons or hurt anyone. Police believe the men then robbed the Ulta Beauty in the 900 block of Airport Center Road in Hanover Township, Lehigh County. State police at Bethlehem, who are investigating that robbery, said it is still under investigation and have not released any details. Robbers previously committed two thefts in less than two months at the Hamilton Crossings Ulta Beauty store in Lower Macungie Township. In those cases, groups of men grabbed $40,000 worth of merchandise in under 40 seconds Nov. 29 and $3,000 worth of merchandise in under two minutes Jan. 16, stuffing the items into trash bags in both instances. mcall.com

Melrose Park, IL: Four Thieves smash car into Gun store, steal firearms
Some thieves in Melrose Park were so determined to steal firearms early Wednesday that they smashed a stolen car right through the front of a gun shop. As CBS 2's Sabrina Franza reported, sources said it is not just a matter of whether guns were stolen at Suburban Sporting Goods Guns & Ammo, at 2306 W. North Ave. in Melrose Park, but how many were stolen - and not just during this specific break-in. Neighbors and sources who work for the Village of Melrose Park said they have all witnessed thefts happen many times at the gun shop - and each and every single time in recent history, the thefts have been caught on camera. "A car went right through the parking lot and went straight into it," said the manager of a nearby pawn shop. Suburban Sporting Goods was locked and loaded - filled with firearms with no staff inside - when a stolen black Nissan Altima slammed into the shop at 2:42 a.m. Wednesday. "A couple of minutes after, you see three guys running straight inside," the pawn shop manager said. Surveillance video was captured from a pawn shop, located next door.  cbsnews.com

Monroe, MI: Police search for jewelry store thief who stole $20K and 30K engagement rings
The Monroe Police Department responded to Carroll Ochs Jewelers after their hold-up alarm was triggered after a man stole two engagement rings valued at $20,000 to $30,000 each. The incident took place at 2:39 p.m. Wednesday (March 3) on North Telegraph Road. Officers Reaume and Proost were first on the scene. They determined that a man had stolen the items. The officers spoke to witnesses and reviewed the store's surveillance video, which showed the man reached over and violently grabbed the rings out of the jewelry clerk's hand, causing minor cuts and bruises. clickondetroit.com

Sarasota, FL: Two women arrested for shoplifting, using child as lookout
Two Sarasota women were arrested for shoplifting at the Port Charlotte Town Center and Charlotte County Sheriff's Officials say the two women used a child as a lookout. The incident occurred back in February. According to Charlotte County Sheriff's officials, Gloria and Ericka Hill of Sarasota are facing charges of theft and Gloria is facing an additional charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Officials say that the pair were stuffing clothing into bags they stole from behind the register. Ericka Hill is also accused of pepper spraying a Dillard's loss prevention officer while fleeing. The pair and the child were pulled over by a Charlotte County Sheriff's deputy near the mall. Detectives uncovered about $750 worth of stolen merchandise from JcPenney inside the suspects' vehicle. Dillard's loss prevention was able to get back its concealed property which was valued at $2,401.51. mysuncoast.com

Cape Coral, FL: Police search for thieves in $3200 Walgreens thefts

Staten Island, NY: NYPD seek tips in Wire / Cable thefts from Home Depot

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Shootings & Deaths

Jackson, MS: Police looking for a person of interest in Gas Station homicide
Jackson police have made one arrest and are working to identify a second person in connection with the city's latest homicide. Police say the person of interest was at Fast Fill gas and convenience store Wednesday night when Chaz Porter was shot. Porter later died at the hospital, police said. He was shot just before 11 p.m. while in the parking lot of the store on Northside Drive. Evidence gathered at the scene revealed Porter was the victim of an attempted robbery, police said. wapt.com

Update: 'Smiling shooter' in murder spree at Sonic drive-in pleads guilty and asks for death penalty, prosecutor says
A suspect accused of going on a deadly shooting spree at a Sonic drive-in in Nebraska has pleaded guilty and wishes to be executed, prosecutors say. Roberto Silva, 24, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and several other crimes in November 2020, after he allegedly opened fire at a Sonic restaurant in Bellevue, killing two employees and wounding two others. On Monday, Mr Silva suddenly changed his plea to guilty to all 15 charges, according to the Sarpy County Attorney's Office. In a letter to the prosecutors, he also asked to be put to death. "He stated, basically, in my words, that he wants to be executed," County Attorney Lee Polikov told the Omaha World-Herald.

Mr Polikov has not released the letter because prosecutors have not yet submitted it as evidence. But one line from it was revealed in court on Monday. "It is my understanding that you don't have a motive for my actions in [the Sonic shooting case]," Mr Silva wrote, according to prosecutors. "My intention and motive was to kill the witnesses involved in [the Sonic identity theft case] to conceal the commission of that crime." A week before the shooting, Mr Silva had used another customer's Sonic app to order $57 worth of food, including 11 burgers and 12 corndogs. He was charged with identity theft over the incident. independent.co.uk

Update: Oklahoma City, OK: Officials identify victims in deadly customer, 7-Eleven clerk altercation
The Oklahoma City Police Department has positively identified the two patrons shot at a 7-Eleven during an altercation with the store clerk on the city's southwest side Saturday evening. Officials say officers were called to the 7-Eleven on SW 29th St. around 10 p.m. Saturday. According to the report, 43-year-old Victor Pappan and an employee of the store became involved in an altercation with one another, resulting in Pappan being shot to death. Authorities say another customer of the store, 22-year-old Alexis Stevens, was struck by a stray round in the hip. She was transported to an area hospital and treated for a non-life-threatening injury. kfor.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Ann Arbor, MI: Five Guys employees forced into freezer at gunpoint during Armed Robbery
Three Five Guys burger shop employees were forced into a freezer at gunpoint during an armed robbery in Ann Arbor late Wednesday night, police say. Police were called at 11:16 p.m. March 9, to the burger establishment, at 3601 Washtenaw Ave. in the Arborland shopping center, for a reported armed robbery that had just occurred, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department. mlive.com

Fort Myers, FL: Two wanted for $3,500 credit card fraud at Best Buy
Two people are wanted for charging more than $3,500 on a stolen credit card at a Best Buy store on South Cleveland Avenue Monday, authorities said. Authorities are trying to identify the duo pictured who used the stolen card on March 7, according to Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. nbc-2.com

Staten Island, NY: Clerk at CVS threatened with knife in evening robbery

Bloomington, IL: Man pleads guilty to gun store burglary; 25 weapons stolen

Omaha, NE: Four suspects in string of Omaha, Lincoln robberies hit with federal charges

Mason City, IA: Man to stand trial for robbing four Cerro Gordo County gas station

Baltimore, MD: Serial Robbers Plead Guilty to Federal Charges Related to a Series of At Least Nine Armed Commercial Robberies

Mill Valley, CA: Marin armed robbery case snares 4 Bay Area suspects

Syracuse, NY: Woman Pleads Guilty to Armed Robbery; facing 7 years to life


Cargo Theft

Cargo theft activity dipped but remained high in 2021
Cargo theft recording firm CargoNet recorded 1,285 supply chain risk events across the United States and Canada in 2021, a 15% decrease in activity year-over-year. Fifty-five percent of events involved theft of at least one heavy commercial motor vehicle, which includes semi-tractors, semi-trailers, or intermodal chassis or container. Fifty-four percent of events involved theft of cargo or attempted theft of cargo. The average cargo value per cargo theft was $172,340, for an estimated total of $57.90 million in cargo stolen across the United States and Canada in this analysis period.
California remains the top state for reported cargo thefts with CargoNet recording a 13% increase year-over-year. This comes as no surprise to experts, as California continues to struggle with an increase of sophisticated attacks on shipments of computer components across the Bay Area and Southern California.
Texas recorded the second-most activity and saw a year-over-year decrease in theft activity of 15%. Florida rounds out the top three states with a slight increase of 6% and continues to see a shift from Miami-Dade into Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough and surrounding counties.

Cargo thieves continued to show a strong preference for electronics shipments, which saw a significant 34% increase year-over-year. Specifically, CargoNet has noted increased targeting of consumer electronics shipments - particularly computers and accessories.

Household items were the second-most stolen commodity but dropped compared to 2020. Household cleaning supplies saw a major decrease from 2020, which CargoNet mostly attributed to the increase in demand for cleaning supplies and household paper products particularly at the start of the pandemic.
In contrast, food and beverage thefts dropped 35%, because supply chain partners reported fewer pilferages of these products. overdriveonline.com



C-Store - San Antonio, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Dauphin County, PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Mason City, IA - Robbery
C-Store - Clear Lake, IA - Robbery
C-Store - Salt Lake City, UT - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Mill Valley, CA - Armed Robbery
CVS - Staten Island, NY - Armed Robbery
Discount - Killeen, TX - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Winston-Salem, NC - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Pittsburgh, PA - Armed Robbery
Guns - Peoria, IL - Burglary
Guns - Melrose Park, IL - Burglary
Jewelry - Monroe, MI - Robbery
Laundry - Fort Myers, FL - Robbery
Restaurant - Ann Arbor, MI - Armed Robbery (Five Guys)
Restaurant - Tacoma, WA - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Inwood, NY - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - Nassau County, NY - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - Fresno, CA - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - San Diego, CA - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Tewksbury, MA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 19 robberies
• 2 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 95 robberies
• 28 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map





None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


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Loss Prevention Supervisor
Asheville, NC - posted March 10
This position will act as the expert Loss prevention subject matter expert for this building. Loss Prevention Site Lead is to safeguard associates, equipment, and the assets of the organization as well as independently assess the environment, recommend and/or execute appropriate actions in a timely manner to mitigate risks...

Assoc. Manager. Asset Protection
Plano, TX - posted March 10
This role's primary focus will be to serve as the lead for Executive Protection, Major Events Security, and assist with Travel Security programs worldwide. In addition, this position will play a primary role in executing safety, security, and loss prevention programs and policies for all corporate-owned locations...

Area Loss Prevention Manager
Virginia & Maryland - posted March 9
Our Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure stores through the objective identification of loss and risk opportunities. Our Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide an optimal customer experience to their portfolio of stores. They thrive on supporting and building high performance teams that execute with excellence...

Loss Prevention Security Investigator
San Bernardino, CA - posted March 8
Protecting of Company property against theft. Detection, apprehension, detention and/or arrest of shoplifters. Internal investigations and investigations of crimes against the Company. Detect and apprehend shoplifters. Conduct internal theft, ORC and Corporate investigations. Prepare thorough and concise investigative reports...

Regional Fraud Investigator
Dallas, TX - posted March 8
Regional Fraud Investigation Managers are responsible for in total, the receipt of reports of losses of assets, consisting of money and or merchandise causing losses to Signet Jewelers Inc. The position further entails the investigation, determinations of loss causes, individuals responsible for such losses if warranted...

Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Sugar Land, TX - posted March 7
The position will be responsible for: -Internal theft investigations -External theft investigations -Major cash shortage investigations -Fraudulent transaction investigations -Missing inventory investigations -Reviewing stores for physical security improvements -Liaison with local Police Depts. and make court appearances...

Corporate Risk Manager
New Orleans, LA, Memphis, TN, or Jackson, MS - March 9
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...

Loss Prevention Supervisor
West Jefferson, OH - posted March 7
Provides leadership to the LP staff which includes but not limited to performance development, direction on daily duties, and meeting department goals. Supervises Loss Prevention programs and process in the Distribution Center (DC) and partners with DC Management team to ensure physical security, product, equipment and employees meet LP requirements...

Retail Asset Protection Associate
Medford, MA; Brockton, MA; Waterbury, CT;
East Springfield, MA
- posted March 7
The Asset Protection Greeter role is responsible for greeting all customers as they enter the store, ensuring that customers see the Company's commitment to provide a safe and secure shopping environment, as well as deterring theft, shoplifting, or other dishonest activities...

Loss Prevention Specialists (Store Detective)
Boston, MA - posted March 7
Detect and respond to external theft and fraud by working undercover within the store(s) you are assigned to. Working as a team with store management and associates in combating loss in the store(s). Developing and analyzing external theft trends, utilizing information in company reports and information gathered from store management and associates... 

Asset Protection Lead
Brooklyn, NY - posted February 25
You are charged with identification and mitigation of external theft and fraud trends within a specific market and group of stores. This role will conduct investigations focusing on Habitual Offenders, high impact external theft/fraud incidents through the use of company technology (CCTV, Incident Reporting, Data Analysis)...

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...

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