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Facial Recognition's Retail Expansion

NYC Mayor Urges More Facial Recognition Tech Amid Rampant Crime

Using Facial Recognition to Fight NYC Crime & Violence
NYC Mayor Adams says masks are protecting against police, not COVID
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said last week that some store customers who wear masks are more likely trying not to get caught shoplifting than stopping the spread of COVID.

Mayor Eric Adams: "Let's be clear, some of these characters going into stores that are wearing their mask, they're not doing it because they're afraid of the pandemic, they're doing it because they're afraid of the police. We need to stop allowing them to exploit the safety of the pandemic by wearing masks, committing crimes. You saw what happened over the weekend when an innocent store owner was shot and killed. The person had a hazmat suit on and a mask. He wasn't trying to protect himself from the pandemic.

[NYC Mayor Eric Adams], who pushed one of the strictest and longest mask mandates in the country, is now pushing the use of facial recognition technology to reduce rampant crime across the Big Apple. With the help of facial recognition software, he says he hopes to crack down on not only shoplifting but repeat offenders who may be linked to more serious and violent crimes.

Mayor Adams' push for more facial recognition technology comes after a man wearing a hazmat suit fatally shot a deli worker last week. Read more about the "hazmat killer" case below. fism.tv

'Hazmat killer' arrested in fatal shooting of UES deli worker
A man was arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of an Upper East Side deli worker last week, Mayor Eric Adams and police said - after a manhunt for the serial robber in a hazmat suit alleged to be responsible for the killing.

The 39-year-old man, who has three prior arrests, was picked up by members of the NYPD's Regional Fugitive Task Force in the Bronx, police said at a briefing Thursday afternoon. Charges are pending.

Fernando Mateo, of the United Bodegas of America, said part of the problem these days is customers who are masked and hooded.

"We're talking about all those people that hoodie up, that cover their entire face so that the police department cannot identify them when they commit a crime," Mateo said.

In recent days, NYPD brass and Mayor Eric Adams echoed that sentiment, saying customers should drop their masks before entering businesses. audacy.com

Read more about how retailers are using facial recognition tech in the section below

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Stores Using Facial Recognition to Track Repeat Shoplifters
Shoplifting Climbs as In-Store Shopping Returns

Retailers lock up goods, use facial recognition software to track repeat offenders

Retailers say theft is rising as more people shop in stores, cutting into profits that were already under pressure.

Target Corp. said in November that it expected the problem, known in the industry as "shrink," to reduce gross margins for the recently completed fiscal year by more than $600 million. TJX Cos.'s and Macy's Inc. also called out higher shrink rates in recent calls with analysts.

"Theft is growing at a faster rate than sales," said Dean Rosenblum, a senior U.S. retail analyst at Bernstein Research. Mr. Rosenblum said theft is becoming a big enough problem that it's starting to affect margins, which is why retailers are talking about it more frequently.

In an interview, Mr. Gennette said the shift in shoppers returning to stores after a surge in online buying during the pandemic is partly responsible for the uptick. "More theft happens in stores," as opposed to warehouses that fulfill online orders, he said.

He added that a jump in organized retail crime in certain areas of the country is also a factor. "These are crime levels we haven't seen before," Mr. Gennette said.

"Seven years ago, internal theft was the largest category of loss by retailers," said David Johnston, the NRF's vice president of asset protection and retail operations, referring to theft by employees. "Now, it's external theft."

Retailers are combating the problem by adding security guards and cameras to stores, locking up goods and making use of facial recognition software to help identify repeat offenders.

Mr. Gennette said Macy's is using radio frequency identification tags to better track inventory, adding more security personnel to stores and securing high-end brands with locked cables and sensors.

New legislation signed into law by President Biden last year, called the Inform Consumers Act, will make it harder for criminals to resell stolen goods online. The Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023 currently making its way through Congress seeks to pool expertise and provide more tools to prosecute criminals and recover stolen goods. wsj.com

Oregon's ORC Legislation in the News
Retailers & law enforcement urge Oregon lawmakers to address ORC

A pair of bills before the Legislature would put millions toward fighting organized theft and allow prosecutors to seek stiffer penalties.

In Oregon, Safeway/Albertson's complains of losing more than $15 million in Multnomah County stores over the last eight years. Police agencies talk of coordinated efforts to steal large amounts of merchandise, then sell it on the web or via flea markets. Store employees say they can feel unsafe as thieves carry out brazen thefts.

In response, Oregon legislators are considering a package of bills that proponents say would help the state better respond to the problem of organized theft - and more easily ratchet up penalties for people who participate.

The proposals are included in amendments to Senate Bill 318 and Senate Bill 340, which received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Both bills are being touted by members of a sprawling task force that took up the problem of organized theft over the last six months. That group included the Oregon Department of Justice, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and large retailers.

Under the group's proposed version of SB 318, the state would set aside $5 million to help pay for the cost of cracking down on theft in cities and counties. The bill would also reserve additional money to pay for new positions within the Oregon Department of Justice to help cities and counties analyze and fight organized theft.

Changes proposed to Senate Bill 340, and favored by the state's district attorneys, would alter state law to ensure prosecutors can seek stiffer penalties for people convicted of organized retail theft. Under Oregon law, the crime involves working in concert with another person or people to steal more than $5,000 worth of merchandise within a 90-day period.

A rise in shoplifting has been a hot topic among retailers of late, with national business groups attempting to put hard numbers behind the problem, and stories of brazen thefts where employees or onlookers have occasionally been injured or killed.

And the bill package comes as shoplifting is an increasingly large subject of conversation in Oregon - and particularly Portland. opb.org

Mall of America Reveals 'Layers' of Security Amid Shooting Surge
From K9 officers checking bags and sniffing for guns to a basement command center

Mall of America offers glimpse at security measures following shootings
The Mall of America, like many large corporations and companies, doesn't often like to talk about its layers of security, figuring the fewer people who know, the better the security works. But in light of recent shootings, including a murder just before Christmas, their outlook is changing.

"It's time that we share our story," said Will Bernhjelm, the Mall of America's Vice President of Security. "It's a unique approach to security, and it's not being done this broadly anywhere else."

On Friday, Bernhjelm led reporters on a tour highlighting what he explained were the layers of security, which he likened to individual slices of Swiss cheese. No layer is foolproof, he says, "but with more layers built in, there's less chance all those holes line up at once."

Outside the mall, security officers on bikes patrol the lots and ramps full-time.The Bloomington Police, who have a station in the mall, installed license plate readers on every entrance to mall parking.

There are six K-9 officers working the mall by checking bags or packages left alone and sniffing garbage cans. All of them are trained to detect a long list of explosives.

They plan to add more K-9s that are trained to smell firearms since it's not deemed viable to add metal detectors at the mall's many doors.

The mall has security cameras, some you can clearly see and some that are hidden, and all are watched in a basement command center.

There is a training room in the basement which has never before been shown to the media before. Security officers practiced Krav Maga, a martial art developed by the Israeli Defense Forces. New officers must complete four weeks of training in de-escalation, crisis intervention and medical response, which Bernhjelm says is far beyond the industry standard of 40 hours.

Some officers work undercover, trained on "behavior detection" techniques, trying to spot suspicious activity. They also employ a full-time intelligence analyst, who monitors social media.  fox9.com

Lowe's Turns to Robots to Crack Down on Crime & Boost Security
Security robots - nicknamed 'snitchBOTS' - are at Philly Lowe's stores
Customers at Lowe's stores across Philadelphia have encountered an unexpected sight in the parking lots over the last month - a 5-foot-tall, egg-shaped security robot that makes a cosmic whirring sound as it glides across the pavement. Some have already nicknamed them "snitchBOT."

Four Lowe's stores in Philly are testing the security robots, including locations in South Philly, Northeast Philly, Port Richmond, and West Philadelphia.

The K5 autonomous outdoor security robots, which are manufactured by Knightscope, a security tech company based in the Silicon Valley, are part of a pilot project to "heighten the security and safety of our locations," said Larry Costello, Lowe's senior manager of corporate communications.

Others are being piloted in Washington state, North Carolina, California, and D.C. Costello said locations were selected "based on varying criteria and scenarios" but did not offer further details.

The K5 robot uses 16 microphones and a range of sensors, including lidar and sonar, to detect anomalies and report them in real-time to Lowe's central monitoring team. The robot also has four wide-angle cameras which take 360 degrees of high-definition footage.

Stacy Stephens, executive vice president and chief client officer at Knightscope, said the K5 is not meant to replace human security guards but to provide them with better situational awareness and give companies evidence for criminal prosecutions.

"We're looking for known threats, people to whom you've issued criminal trespass warnings, terminated employees, or domestic abusers," Stephens said. inquirer.com

The Great Debate Over Retail Theft Deterrents
Preventing theft or driving consumers away?

With Retail Theft Rampant, Will New Deterrents at Walmart, CVS and More Drive Consumers Away?
Retail shrink, or company inventory lost to causes other than sales, has risen to an unprecedented level, causing some of the trade's biggest corporations to implement extra in-store anti-theft devices at the risk of losing customers.

Although retail management has identified several types of shrinkage - such as internal/employee theft, operational loss, administrative errors and return fraud - it is organized retail crime (ORC) that accounts for a large part of the problem. This grander, more coordinated type of shoplifting has industry leaders taking tougher security stances and paying plenty for them.

Explaining these "more sophisticated and highly dangerous" crimes to a Senate hearing in Nov. 2021, CVS Health crime and corporate investigations exec Brendan (Ben) Dugan told the committee judiciary that his company has seen ORC increase 300% since the start of the pandemic. Dugan indicated those thefts had resulted in annual losses of more than $200 million for his company.

Retailers Lock Up Product In Response to Increased Theft

More locked product cases and additional security gear have been implemented by Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and others in an attempt to thwart criminals from stealing large quantities of goods and reselling them for profit.

NRF's vice president of asset protection and retail operations, David Johnston, admitted that the rise in lock-and-key measures is "probably not great for the customer experience," but tightened security actions aren't ideal for companies, either.

If the issue grows into a widespread departure of bothered and scared shoppers from stores, retailers will have to come up with more consumer-friendly strategies to battle this level of theft. On a broader level, one might expect the industry to confront ORC through proposed legislation and retail-crime associations. nasdaq.com

Fallout Continues After Walmart's Portland Exodus
Shoplifting unlikely the driving force in Portland Walmart closures, experts say
Retail industry analysts say that rising concerns over theft may have contributed to Walmart's decision last month to shutter its Portland stores. But it's likely not the driving factor.

Theft and other crime, the Walmart watchers said, is surely a concern for the chain. But the impact is rarely enough to close an otherwise successful store without warning, and especially without appeals to local officials for assistance.

"The decision to close down a store is typically linked to sales," said Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail division at GlobalData, a market analysis firm, "which often has nothing to do with thefts or shoplifting."

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a December interview with CNBC's Squawk Box that shoplifting could lead to store closures and price increases, a statement Portland critics have seized on in the wake of closures. oregonlive.com

   RELATED: Walmart's Exodus From Portland Draws Attention to Retail Crime

It's about time: 'Retail Theft Missions' net crooks, cars, and guns

CVS store pulls laundry detergent off shelves amid theft surge



Lowe's Safety Training Makes Headlines After Viral TikTok
Viral TikTok of Lowe's employee screaming for help prompts debate about safety training at the home-improvement chain

Some current and former workers praise the company's practices, while others say they find the training insufficient.

A viral TikTok video showing a now-former Lowe's employee screaming for help while struggling to retrieve a heavy box from a high shelf has sparked a debate among Lowe's employees: Does the home-improvement chain prioritize safety and provide adequate training?

While some questioned the retailer's security practices, many praised them. Some employees told Insider that Lowe's safety trainings are among the best they've seen in the retail industry.

"Without a doubt they put safety at the very forefront of everything they do," a former Lowe's department manager at a store in Tacoma, Washington, said. "I've been in management for over 20 years now and can hands down say that Lowe's has the best core safety values and procedures in place."

The company introduced in 2020 the Lowe's Safety Review, a daily safety inspection store managers use to identify hazards and track corrections, according to its 2021 corporate responsibility report.

Lowe's partially credits that for a decline in significant injuries for three straight years. In 2021, for every 100 employees, there were 5.15 significant injuries, per OSHA data - down from 5.36 in 2020 and 6.37 in 2019.

For comparison, at Lowe's biggest competitor, Home Depot, the significant injury rates were 4.25, 4.03, and 4.89 in 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. businessinsider.com

Retail's 'Great Resignation' Picking Up Steam Again
Why are more retail workers quitting their jobs?
The number of people quitting their jobs throughout the U.S. seems to be dropping off, outside of a few specific industries. One of those is retail, where The Great Resignation appears to be picking back up after a dip.

The rate of retail workers quitting their jobs has been ticking up month-over-month recently and hit 4.1 percent in January, a higher rate of attrition than the pre-pandemic high, according to Business Insider. The last time retail's quitting rate veered into that territory was in April of last year. The rate of quitting outside of retail, conversely, has dropped and is approaching 2.3 percent, the 2019 level.

The other business segment where quitting remains high is restaurants/hospitality, although that sector has seen a steady rate of employees quitting compared to retail's decline followed by a rise. Retail's quitting problem is also unique given that some retailers have, over the last few years, undertaken well-publicized initiatives to boost pay.

The main factors behind The Great Resignation, which began in 2021, have been a matter of debate since the phenomenon was first observed. Some have chalked it up to a spate of early retirements induced by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Some argued that low-wage workers were moving into new, higher-paying positions because of a strong labor market rather than dropping out of the workforce entirely. Others still ascribed it to burnout and anxiety, or from reevaluating their priorities in light of the stress caused by the pandemic. retailwire.com

Retailer Impacted by Silicon Valley Bank Collapse
Camp toy store pleads for help after Silicon Valley Bank collapse
The New York-based privately owned toy store took to social media for help just hours after regulators shut down Silicon Valley Bank on Friday.

"Our bank got shut down by regulators, so we're asking that you RUN, don't walk to our BANKRUN sale," the company posted on its social media accounts with a picture of a girl looking solemn and text reading, "When your bank collapses." The retail company asked customers to purchase items at a 40 percent discount on its online sale.

In an email to customers sent Friday, CNN reported, co-founder Ben Kaufman said: "Unfortunately, we had most of our company's cash assets at a bank which just collapsed. I'm sure you've heard the news."

Barista union to ask Starbucks shareholders to back labor review
Starbucks Workers United, which represents thousands of U.S. baristas, plans to urge the company's investors to support a shareholder proposal for an independent review of the coffee chain's labor practices

REI Workers In Cleveland Vote To Join Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union
Workers endured an exceptionally harsh union-busting campaign that included an attempt by REI to delay the election entirely, as well as conducting intimidating one on one meetings with workers and managers, and spreading inaccurate and incomplete information

Tuesday Morning wants to close over 250 stores

Five retailers closing down additional stores in March

Ulta to open 25 to 30 stores in 2023

Gopuff makes 100+ more layoffs in latest round of cuts

Last week's #1 article --

More ORC Stings & Jail Time Coming?
Update: Retail theft stings may lead to more jail time with new Oregon Senate bill

Senate Bill 340 would target criminals involved in organized retail theft

A series of retail theft stings are now underway by Salem law enforcement as they try to stop a growing problem that's causing some businesses to close their doors.

In a hearing on Senate Bill 340 in the Judiciary Committee Wednesday, law enforcement officers, grocery store representatives and retail lobbyists testified in support of increasing jail time for criminals involved in organized retail theft.

Retail theft rings involve multiple people who engage in frequent theft, and who often resell the stolen property online.

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton said creating tougher penalties for these rings is only one piece of the solution. koin.com

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What is Retail Crime Intelligence?


Retail teams can no longer rely on traditional case and incident management systems to combat increasing crime and harm in stores. Small groups of people - or networks - actually cause most of the loss in stores. Networks are difficult to defeat, but when they are defeated it is wildly impactful for retail communities.

That's why Auror is pioneering Retail Crime Intelligence, the connected and intuitive way to not only report crime - but to fully close cases and prevent further events. If you want to learn more about Retail Crime Intelligence and how it's being used to address ORC (organized retail crime) around the world, here are some resources to start with.

What is Retail Crime Intelligence?

Retail Crime Intelligence is a software platform that connects people and organizations with timely intel to proactively reduce the impacts of crime in retail stores. It's used by Asset Protection / Loss Prevention departments alongside their store and security teams, law enforcement and trusted partners to identify and prevent the people driving their theft-related loss and harm.

Read more

Retail Crime Intelligence FAQs

Auror helps increase the visibility of crime in stores through the Auror feed, notifications, and dashboard intel. Reported incidents from the stores are immediately available to other team members and nearby stores via the Auror feed and notifications, so they can use that intel to safely prevent further crime. Additionally, intelligence on the people impacting your stores - and when and what they're likely to target - will help you target and prepare more effectively.

Read more







Business Community Pushes for AI Regulation
Chamber of Commerce Says Congress Should Really Do Something About AI

A new U.S. Chamber of Commerce report said if citizens are to benefit from AI like ChatGPT or DALL-E, "people must trust it."

Those pushing for AI regulation have a strange new ally. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest pro-business lobbying group in the country, released a report on generative artificial intelligence Thursday, calling on lawmakers to create some sort of regulation around the ballooning technology.

At the same time, the chamber's report offers very few examples or specifics on where this regulation should go, save for a "risk-based approach" to regulating AI. While this could be the kind of real push lawmakers need to act on forming meaningful regulation, at this point it seems poised to offer more limp regulation that won't actually help some of the people most-impacted by AI development.

The chamber argued that without regulation, we could see harm to both the economy and people.

What are people's main complaints with AI?

There's a question of how major tech companies plan to use websites and users' own data for the purpose of training AI. OpenAI and its founder Sam Altman have promised not to use companies' data when they purchase the new ChatGPT API, but regular users can still expect that any of their information put into the AI prompt will be used for training purposes. Without any kind of digital privacy law, we should only expect users' data will be used to train AI, for good or ill.

The number of tech companies big and small adopting AI has risen exponentially since the start of the year. Microsoft's Bing chatbot has exceeded 100 million daily active users in just over a month since it's been active. And with more companies employing ChatGPT onto their platforms, it's easy to see how the chamber can say AI will be employed in every facet of daily life in a mere decade.

So all-in-all, AI regulation may be needed sooner rather than later. Normally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a relatively strong anti-regulatory stance gizmodo.com

Ransomware Business Costs to Increase 13-Fold
Dismantling the Ransomware Business Model
Every day, coordinated crime groups are developing more advanced skills to attack organizations' networks. The number of ransomware attacks has increased significantly, and it's getting easier for sophisticated cybergangs to access companies' data. As the ransomware business model becomes more refined and organisations are under rising threat, the stakes are high. In fact, ransomware attacks could cost businesses as much as $265 billion per year globally by 2031, compared with only $20 billion in 2021-a 13X increase in 10 years.

AdvertisementDespite this, the concern many companies are expressing isn't quite enough to balance the risk they're exposed to. This trend of cybersecurity apathy means that only 15% of IT leaders are currently prepared to face a ransomware attack. Business leaders must understand that all organizations are potential targets for cybercriminals. The question is not if a business will face an attack but when.

As long as businesses pay, ransomware remains a profitable industry and this vicious cycle will only continue. Companies must react and focus on developing defence strategies to stop cybercriminals in their tracks.

Understanding the Ransomware Business Model

Ransomware has become a very lucrative industry, offering full-time jobs to thousands of individuals around the world. People are hired to conduct reconnaissance and ensure attacks are perfectly coordinated to leave businesses no other choice than spend millions to protect their own and their customers' data, financials and reputations.

Changing the Apathetic Mindset

Organizations must implement preventative measures to defend themselves against these increasingly prolific attacks. While many believe cybercriminals only target large-scale or well-known brands, this is a misconception. All businesses, regardless of their size, are vulnerable. securityboulevard.com

Is a Reinvention of Security Automation Coming?
AI-Powered 'BlackMamba' Keylogging Attack Evades Modern EDR Security

Researchers warn that polymorphic malware created with ChatGPT and other LLMs will force a reinvention of security automation.

A proof-of-concept, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven cyberattack that changes its code on the fly can slip past the latest automated security-detection technology, demonstrating the potential for creating undetectable malware.

Researchers from HYAS Labs demonstrated the proof-of-concept attack, which they call BlackMamba, which exploits a large language model (LLM) - the technology on which ChatGPT is based - to synthesize a polymorphic keylogger functionality on the fly. The attack is "truly polymorphic" in that every time BlackMamba executes, it resynthesizes its keylogging capability, the researchers wrote.

The BlackMamba attack, outlined in a blog post, demonstrates how AI can allow the malware to dynamically modify benign code at runtime without any command-and-control (C2) infrastructure, allowing it to slip past current automated security systems that are attuned to look out for this type of behavior to detect attacks.

"Traditional security solutions like endpoint detection and response (EDR) leverage multi-layer, data intelligence systems to combat some of today's most sophisticated threats, and most automated controls claim to prevent novel or irregular behavior patterns," the HYAS Labs researchers wrote. "But in practice, this is very rarely the case." darkreading.com

Facebook Business Accounts Targeted
ChatGPT Browser Extension Hijacks Facebook Business Accounts

Between March 3 and March 9, at least 2,000 people a day downloaded the malicious "Quick access to ChatGPT" Chrome extension from the Google Play app store.

A threat actor may have compromised thousands of Facebook accounts - including business accounts - via a sophisticated fake Chrome ChatGPT browser extension which, until earlier this week, was available on Google's official Chrome Store.

According to an analysis this week from Guardio, the malicious "Quick access to Chat GPT" extension promised users a quick way to interact with the hugely popular AI chatbot. In reality, it also surreptitiously harvested a wide range of information from the browser, stole cookies of all authorized active sessions, and installed a backdoor that gave the malware author super-admin permissions to the user's Facebook account.

The Quick access to ChatGPT browser extension is just one example of the many ways in which threat actors have been trying to leverage the enormous public interest in ChatGPT to distribute malware and infiltrate systems. One example is an adversary who set up a fake ChatGPT landing page, where users tricked into "signing up" only ended up downloading a Trojan called Fobo. Others have reported a sharp increase in ChatGPT themed phishing emails in recent months, and the growing use of fake ChatGPT apps to spread Windows and Android malware. darkreading.com

Microsoft to boost protection against malicious OneNote documents

Legal Industry Faces Double Jeopardy as a Favorite Cybercrime Target







The Story Behind a $10M Employee Amazon Scheme
Sentencing for those involved was scheduled for last week

How Two Former Employees Scammed Amazon Out Of $10 Million

Two former Amazon employees pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud against the company.

As an operations manager at an Amazon facility in Smyrna, Georgia, Kayricka Wortham, 31, was responsible for supervising workers, managing productivity, and making sure all the day's operations ran smoothly. She could oversee how orders got sorted and packed into the familiar smirking box, and coordinate with delivery service partners, or DSPs-third-party delivery companies that Amazon contracts to drive for it. Everything in the warehouse could pass through her hands.

Wortham's position-a lucrative one, at that, which can pay up to $100,000 a year-carries a lot of authority. But the United States Attorney's Office alleges that Wortham abused that authority, and that in fact she, in combination with two other defendants, conspired to defraud Amazon of over $10 million-charges to which she and one of her co-defendants pleaded guilty in November.

"Defendant Wortham used her position as an Operations Manager at Amazon to steal more than $9 million from the company," reads the charging document filed in the Northern District Court of Georgia. "Working with co-conspirators, Defendant Wortham created fake vendors and submitted more than $10 million in fictitious invoices for those vendors, causing Amazon to transfer approximately $9.4 million to bank accounts controlled by her and her co-conspirators."

Wortham's co-conspirators, according to prosecutors, were her partner Brittany Hudson, 37, who owned one of the DSPs that contracted with the warehouse, and Demetrius Hines, 35, a loss prevention lead at multiple warehouses around Georgia, including Wortham's. Hines was responsible for "preventing loss and protecting people, products, and information at Amazon," the document reads.

Beginning around January of 2022, Wortham would apply to become a vendor, approve her own or her co-conspirators' applications from within-which she would have had the authority to do in her position, the document states-and then approve invoices paid to her vendor bank account from within, the prosecutors allege. "These invoices falsely represented that the fake vendors had provided goods and services to Amazon, when in fact they had not," the document reads. vice.com

China's Uncertain Post-COVID Economy Hits Online Sales
JD.com's Sales Rise 7% As Covid Saps Chinese Online Shopping
China's second-largest online retailer said Thursday revenue rose 7% from October to December, down from 23% growth a year earlier. It and larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. have grappled with weak consumption sentiment since the world's No. 2 economy buckled under the weight of China's rigid Covid control measures. JD's US-traded shares slid as much as 9.6% to $42.45 in New York, the lowest since November.

China's exports and imports continued to decline in the first two months of 2023, clouding the outlook for an economy gradually recovering from the Covid years and waves of infection. Economists expect consumption to be the main driver of GDP this year, but the data showed a slowdown in urbanization and a rise in inequality in 2022, two trends which could slow private spending. Alibaba had reported a mere 2.1% rise in quarterly revenue in 2022's final three months, underscoring the economic uncertainty that's prevailed even after China abolished Covid restrictions in December. finance.yahoo.com

Etsy warns sellers of delay in processing payments due to Silicon Valley Bank collapse

Walmart is Closing The Gap With Amazon Prime






College girl racked up $547K in fraudulent purchases while working at Burlington Mall
A local college student is under arrest for racking up over $500,000 worth of fraudulent charges in a credit card scheme she had been running since February, authorities allege. Ariel Foster, 19, of Boston, was charged with larceny over $1,200. Burlington Police say during the month of February, Foster was using an elaborate credit card scheme at her place of work in the Burlington Mall, Lovisa, to fund lavish purchases. Lovisa is a jewelry store. On three separate dates, Foster would scan items from the store and increase their price, according to officials. The cost of the expensive item was then allegedly refunded to her credit card, where investigators found 8 transactions for a total company loss of $547,187. Police say between February 2 and February 22, Foster bought a $35,000 Tesla, made nearly $6,000 worth of transactions to Delta Airlines, bought almost $5,000 worth of Louis Vuitton purchases and spent more than $20,000 for a hotel in Maui, Hawaii using this credit card scheme. After serving a subpoena to Foster's financial institutions, authorities found these expensive refund transactions stemming from Lovisa America LLC. A search warrant was executed on her dorm room at Lasell University on Wednesday where she was taken into custody without incident.  yahoo.com

Los Angeles County, CA: Baldwin Park police bust department store theft ring
Five adults were arrested last week as part of an organized retail theft operation in Los Angeles County. Baldwin Park police served search warrants at a residence at an undisclosed location on Thursday and Friday which led to the recovery of several items of stolen merchandise and a firearm. Police say the arrests were made in connection with a string of department store thefts that have taken place in Baldwin Park and throughout Los Angeles County. Although not specifying which recent thefts the group was linked to, police said all five adults are likely to face charges for grand theft and conspiracy to commit a crime. The Baldwin Park Police Department's Detective Bureau was tasked with investigating the recent thefts. Photos posted to the Police Department's social media pages showed a large police presence at a residence, and a vehicle full of what is believed to be stolen merchandise. The investigation is ongoing.  ktla.com

North Coventry Township, PA: North Coventry Township PD attempting to ID theft suspects
The North Coventry Township Police Department is attempting to identify the two attached females. On 03/09/2023 the females selected miscellaneous over-the-counter medication and beauty products sold by Giant Food Store and left without offering payment. The total amount of merchandise taken was $4050.82.  chester.crimewatchpa.com

Montoursville, PA: Shopper allegedly steals more than $3,000 from store
A 30-year-old woman with a history of stealing was allegedly caught taking more than $3,000 in groceries over a three-month period. A crime investigator for Weis Markets immediately recognized Kelly Laniece Bront Fry on surveillance tapes at the store on North Loyalsock Avenue, police say. She had previously stolen "a massive amount" of merchandise from a different Weis store, the employee told Montoursville Officer Bill Hagemeyer. Surveillance tapes reportedly showed Fry came into the North Loyalsock Avenue store 13 times between Oct. 28 to Jan. 24 and walked out each time with hundreds of dollars worth of stolen goods totaling $3,231 northcentralpa.com

Memphis, TN: Four Thieves make off with thousands in merchandise in East Memphis vape shop Burglary
Surveillance video shows the exact moments four burglars backed a car into a Memphis vape shop and stole thousands of dollar's worth of merchandise. "We're out here working hard and stuff trying to feed our family. It's not right what they are doing," Manny Ali, the manager of Hello Hookah and Vape shop on Getwell Rd. said. Ali was in for a shock Saturday morning when he came to work to find his business broken into. "It happens a lot in Memphis, I know a lot of stores it's happened to," he said. The latest business targeted by burglars has only been open for a few months.  fox13memphis.com

Green Oak Township, MI: 2 arrested in Brighton Costco cognac theft, believed to be linked to other alcohol robberies
Two suspects believed to be linked to a string of liquor thefts in southeastern Michigan were arrested Thursday in Livingston County after attempting to steal high-end brandy from a retailer. Green Oak Township Police officers encountered three people at the Costco store, at about 1:45 p.m. Thursday. When police arrived, three people fled on foot with merchandise before getting into a vehicle and attempting to leave the scene before being stopped by officers, police said in a press release. Police found nine bottles of Remy Martin brandy worth $671.91. Officers determined that one of the suspects assaulted a Costco employee when confronted about the theft, the release said. Officers determined that two of the suspects were involved in a similar incident at the store on Monday, in which $701.88 worth of alcohol was stolen. They are also suspected of thefts at several other similar stores in southeastern Michigan, police said.  thebharatexpressnews.com

Tacoma, WA: Tacoma police looking for alleged Victoria's Secret retail thief
Tacoma police are looking for an alleged Victoria's Secret retail thief, said the Tacoma Police Department on Friday. On Feb. 28, a woman is believed to have stolen $2,000 worth of merchandise from Victoria's Secret in the Tacoma Mall. People can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of this woman.   kiro7.com

Memphis, TN: Suspect steals from GameStop near Austin Peay Highway
Memphis Police Department is investigating a shoplifting incident that took place at a Game Stop near Austin Peay Highway on Tuesday afternoon. On March 7 roughly around 4:00 p.m., MPD officers responded to a call regarding a theft at a Game Stop on 3854 Austin Peay Highway. Officers were informed that a male suspect grabbed two PlayStation gaming systems and ran out of the front door. The suspect was accompanied by a juvenile, according to police.  actionnews5.com

Hampstead, NH: $250,000 worth of vehicles stolen from dealership in Hampstead

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Shootings & Deaths

Fridley, MN: Man identified as victim in shooting outside Cub Foods
The man fatally shot Thursday morning outside a Cub Foods in Fridley has been identified by the Hennepin County medical examiner. Devon Michael Adams, 27, of Hugo, was found shot in the chest in the store's parking lot at Interstate 694 and University Avenue shortly after 11 a.m. The Anoka County sheriff's office said bystanders, law enforcement and paramedics provided first aid before Adams was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff's office, medical examiner's office and the Fridley Police Department are investigating the shooting.  yahoo.com

Philadelphia, PA: Police investigate the fatal shooting of a man outside a West Philadelphia convenience store
A man was shot multiple times and killed on a West Philadelphia street, outside of a convenience store and police are searching for a suspect. Officials say the shooting happened Saturday night, just after 8:30 p.m., near the intersection of North 52nd and Haverford Avenue, in West Philadelphia.  fox29.com

Montgomery County, MD: Woman shot outside Westfield Wheaton Mall
woman was taken to the hospital after being shot outside Westfield Wheaton Mall Saturday morning, according to Montgomery County Police. Police say the woman was shot after the suspect attempted to car jack her. Fourth District officers from Montgomery County Police Department responded to a call of a shooting in the 111600 block of Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton, Maryland, around 11 a.m. When officers arrived, they found a woman who had been shot, officials said. She was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The identity of the victim is unknown at this time; this includes her age and name. Police say the shooting happened outside of the Target and Costco parking lot at Wheaton mall. A man was taken into custody, police said. His identity was not immediately released.  wusa9.com

Redondo Beach, CA: 1 hospitalized after shooting at South Bay Galleria
Police are investigating after shots rang out at a Redondo Beach mall as crowds of shoppers enjoyed their Saturday afternoon. One person was hospitalized after the shooting. The victim was identified only as a male by Redondo Beach police. Officers responded to reports of shots fired inside the South Bay Galleria mall on the 1800 block of Hawthorne Boulevard around 2:19 p.m. When police arrived, they found the victim had been shot in the foot. The shooting happened near the east side entrance doors, authorities said. The suspect is described as a young male who fled the scene on foot before entering a dark-colored vehicle and driving away, police said. It's unclear what initially prompted the shooting, officers said.  ktla.com

Memphis, TN: Shooting reported at Orange Mound McDonald's
Police say a shooting was reported early Monday at a McDonald's near Airways and Lamar. The restaurant was roped off with crime scene tape and surrounded by police vehicles Monday morning. A forensics vehicle was on the scene. The fire department said they were called around 3 a.m.  wreg.com

Broken Arrow, OK: Man injured after shooting self in leg inside fitting room
Broken Arrow Police say one man is hurt after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Officers say they were called to a store near New Orleans and Elm around 1 p.m. on Saturday. They say a man had been changing in a dressing room when his gun went off and hit him. Police say he went to a hospital and should be OK.  newson6.com

Austin, TX: Six juveniles arrested in series of aggravated robberies; 22 victims, and in several of the incidents shots were fired

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Spring, TX: Going Cashless: Gringo's Tex-Mex restaurant burglarized at multiple locations
A popular Houston-area Tex-Mex restaurant has been targeted by thieves, again. Gringo's Mexican Kitchen said its I-45 location in Spring was burglarized early Saturday morning. Surveillance video appears to show a man busting through an office window, climbing through the glass, sawing through the safe and taking the cash. The video is almost identical to a recent break-in at their Cypress location. "We firmly believe these are the same people based upon our camera footage. They were in and out of our restaurant in 7 minutes," said Mckeon. She said they are planning to go cashless at the restaurant starting Monday. A change they were also forced to make at the Cypress location.  khou.com

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA: Suspects sought in break-ins at 7 restaurants
Authorities in Orange County are searching for two suspects who broke into seven restaurants in the Rancho Santa Margarita area. The incidents took place Saturday between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The suspects used power tools to access locked safes and stole safes that were not properly anchored to the ground, the department said. It's not known exactly what the suspected burglars got away with.  abc7.com

Hyattsville, MD: Security Guard charged with impersonating a Police Officer at Mall of of Prince George's
A Maryland security guard was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, according to Hyattsville Police. Robert Muschette Jr., 53, was stopped by officers in the parking lot at the Mall of Prince George's on Thursday night around 11:25 p.m. According to investigators, he had blue and red emergency lights on in the dashboard of his dark green Ford Explorer. Police say Muschette Jr. first identified himself as "DC police" but later said he was a "special police officer" for a security agency. Inside his SUV, officers recovered a loaded handgun that was visible in the passenger's seat. Muschette also had a police-style badge, ballistic vest, ammunition, handcuffs, and apparel including hats that said "police" on them.  wusa9.com

Frederick, MD: Person Robs Ulta, Pepper Sprays Store
Sheriff's deputies are searching for the person who robbed an Ulta Beauty in Frederick, Maryland, and then sprayed pepper spray inside the store on Sunday. Authorities found several people at the store in the Frederick Crossing shopping center in the 7300 block of Guilford Drive overcome by a chemical irritant. Medics were called to the scene, as were hazmat units from the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services. The Sheriff's office is investigating. More information about potential injuries or why the person responsible would pepper spray the area after the robbery was not immediately provided.  nbcwashington.com

Oakland, CA: 4 arrested in connection with spree of Oakland robberies, carjackings

Harrisonburg, VA: HPD Investigates Armed Robbery At Target Parking Lot



• Auto - Hampstead, NH - Burglary
• C-Store - Chesterfield, VA - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Grand Forks, SD - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Brentwood, NH - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Red Bluff, CA - Robbery
• Clothing - Tacoma, WA - Robbery
• GameStop - Seattle, WA - Armed Robbery
• GameStop - Memphis, TN - Robbery
• Gas Station - Gig Harbor, WA - Armed Robbery
• Gas Station - Glendale, AZ - Robbery
• Grocery - Greensboro, NC - Armed Robbery
• Grocery - North Coventry Township, PA - Robbery
• Grocery - Boston, MA - Armed Robbery
• Grocery - Stillwater, OK - Robbery
• Hotel - Burlington, VT - Robbery
• Jewelry - Concord, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Warsaw, IN - Burglary
Liquor - Green Oak Township, MI - Robbery
• Liquor - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery
• Macy's - Santa Clarita County, CA - Robbery
• Restaurant - Graham, NC - Robbery
• Restaurant - Spring, TX - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary / 1 of 7
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Restaurant - Orange County, CA - Burglary
• Shoes - Suffolk County, NY - Robbery
• Ulta - Frederick, MD - Armed Robbery
• Vape - Memphis, TN - Burglary 


Daily Totals:
• 21 robberies
• 11 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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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...

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-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...

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