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TalkLP joins forces with Genetec to create a valuable conversation about workplace violence in retail and the quick-service restaurant environment. Hear from multiple loss prevention executives about the strategies to reduce workplace violence in the full scope of a potential incident - including defining incidents, predicting, training, and then responding post-incident.



LPRC: Humans + AI nearly eight times more accurate

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

Humans using artificial intelligence face matching technology were 7.91 times more likely to correctly identify a subject's face than without AI, according to updated research results.

The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) researches how retailers can effectively prevent retail crime, reduce losses, and improve store safety. Dr. Cory Lowe, LPRC senior research scientist, presented his initial research results October 4, 2022, during the annual IMPACT conference hosted at the University of Florida.

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

Lowe showed a diverse array of fictional offender faces to 155 research participants; 78 who were unassisted, and 77 who were assisted. Among the unassisted group, 76.7 percent misidentified the fictional subjects in a photo lineup just minutes after seeing the fictional subject image. The assisted group got it right 62.9 percent of the time.

However, the preliminary analyses did not tell the full story. When Lowe controlled for other factors (e.g., differences in the order of presentation of the fictional offenders), the assisted group performed nearly eight times better. "The final results revealed there was a 7.91 times improvement in accuracy when participants were assisted by facial recognition," Lowe said. Lowe's preliminary analysis, which did not control for some of these factors, found a 2.7 times accuracy improvement among the AI-aided group.

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

Watch for more details from the LPRC research, including how facial recognition can be used to reduce error and bias; how it can narrow the LP focus to those individuals who are most likely to offend in retail locations; and how the future of these technologies will be determined by their ethical use.

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

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

New York's Effort to Protect Retail Workers Amid Surging Violence
Legislation in New York would would make the assault of a retail worker a Class D felony

Push to protect retail workers against shoplifters
ALBANY, NY -- Experts say more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers every year and only one in 48 shoplifters are caught. Our Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige spoke with experts about proposed legislation to strengthen anti-theft laws and protect retail workers here in New York.

"Because we just feel like we have been abandoned. Cops cannot do anything to arrest these people then... what else can we do?" asked Zori Estevez, a head cashier at City Fresh in Brooklyn. She said as much as she enjoys working with her colleagues, her job has put her in some scary scenarios. "People go in to steal, but they're willing to do whatever they need to do in order to leave with the merchandise, so sometimes we get shoved, we've had instances where knives are pulled out, we've even had people with guns... so it's just like, we're just trying to make a living," said Estevez.

Which is why Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton is sponsoring a bill that would make the assault of a retail worker a Class D felony of assault in the second degree. "We deemed them as essential during the pandemic, and it's time that we treat them as such," she said. Furthermore, the senator said the penalties aren't strong enough. "So people think they can get away with it, it's a slap on the wrist when they do this and frankly it's a slap on the wrist when somebody assaults a retail worker right now as well," said Scarcella-Spanton.

Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowtiz is also sponsoring legislation that would raise the penalties for repeat offenders which he says is common in shoplifting. "So if you're caught, convicted a second time. You're gonna face a tougher penalty and that's really very important because we believe, we hope that that will be an inducement for people not to do this. There's also a third bill that would criminalize those who sell stolen goods on platforms like Facebook marketplace, Instagram or Amazon. news10.com

CVS Shooting Fuels Efforts to Prevent Workplace & Domestic Violence
Domestic violence often spills into public places, including in retail settings

Louisville advocates emphasize efforts to prevent workplace, domestic violence after CVS shooting
After a domestic violence-related shooting inside a downtown Louisville CVS, local advocates re-enforce efforts in place to prevent such violence.

"This shooting occurred in a public place," said Gretchen Hunt, director for the metro's Office for Women. "Domestic violence affects the entire community. It's never just between two individuals."

Education is one strategy. The Office for Women and the Center for Women and Families trains community members, businesses, organization, and criminal justice workers on how to support domestic violence victims.

"We are empowering communities to increase safety," she said. "Businesses should have a plan. If there is a protective order or a photo of this person, they can put it there. They can ask for increased security. I don't know if that would have helped in this instance, but those are things that tend to help."

Awareness is another tool. Advocates encourage bystanders to recognize their role in violence prevention. It can be as simple as saying something when you see something or connecting a possible abuse victim to resources.

Policy is another effort. There are national and state laws in place to support victims of domestic violence. Recently, Louisville passed an ordinance giving metro employees who are victims of abuse or other crimes paid leave.

CVS issued a statement on the incident:

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting incident at our store on W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. and our thoughts are with our colleague and customer. We are grateful that neither individual was critically injured and that police have the suspect in custody. We are cooperating with the police investigation and expect to reopen our store before the end of the day. We're also providing support to our store colleagues, including counseling services." wlky.com

Expanding Workplace Violence Regulations to All Industries in Calif.
California Bill Would Set Workplace Violence Prevention Regulations
Workplace violence is a serious concern for California employers in all industries, but the state's workplace violence prevention regulations are currently applicable only to the healthcare industry. A bill recently introduced in the California legislature would require the state's occupational safety and health regulator to broaden the scope of workplace violence prevention regulations.

On Feb. 15, California State Senator Dave Cortese (D-15) introduced Senate Bill 553, which, if enacted, would require the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to adopt regulations requiring any employer not subject to the healthcare regulations to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan as part of the employer's injury and illness prevention plan.

The regulations would need to be consistent with the state's healthcare industry workplace violence prevention standards. The healthcare standard requires a violent incident log, recordkeeping, reporting of violent incidents to Cal/OSHA, a written violence prevention plan, and training. The bill's proposed regulations would cover most employers in California. The current version of the bill does not specify a time period for Cal/OSHA to adopt the regulations.

Cal/OSHA is already working on proposed general industry workplace violence prevention standards. In May 2022, the agency issued a revised discussion draft of a proposed workplace violence prevention regulation applicable to all industries that would require employers to implement measures to prevent and respond to workplace violence. The proposed regulation has not yet been adopted yet. shrm.org

Cities Struggle with Rising Violent Crime & Failed Blue Ribbon Committees
As crime rose, Atlanta failed to spend millions earmarked for violence prevention

City struggles to implement anti-violence task force recommendations

This reality in some neighborhoods, that shootings are an inevitable fabric of life, is what pushed Atlanta in 2021 to create a Mayor's Office of Violence Reduction. It was the top recommendation by the Anti-Violence Advisory Council, a blue-ribbon committee that met that summer to study the rise in violence in the city.

The idea was that the mayor needs a non-law enforcement unit that wakes up every morning focused on strategies to reduce gun violence and help coordinate and provide oversight of various anti-violence initiatives. But the office has struggled in its first year, losing its founding director after just 11 months, and failing to get off the ground a new $5 million anti-violence street outreach program that was supposed to be its first initiative in 2022.

The program, known as Cure Violence, was supposed to be part of an ambitious proposal to invest some $35 million in "violence prevention," a newer concept in the world of crime-fighting, that focuses on strategies outside of law enforcement. But the new city program has yet to start, despite the procurement office putting out a Request for Proposal for the local non-profits back in December 2021.

"This money is just sitting there," said Volkan Topalli a professor of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University, back in November. "It's money that can be used right now today to save lives."

While Atlanta is not unique in experiencing a rise in violent crime during the pandemic, the city has struggled to get a handle on the problem. In 2019, Atlanta registered 99 homicides. By the end of 2021, that number had risen to 161. And by last year - when these new programs were supposed to have gone into effect - Atlanta clocked in 170 homicides. ajc.com

NYC Security & Violence Concerns Grow After New Trump Warning
The former president suggested that violence could follow an indictment

Trump warns of 'potential death & destruction' if charged in hush-money case
Former president Donald Trump warned early Friday of "potential death & destruction" if he is charged in Manhattan in a criminal case related to alleged hush-money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels to conceal an affair.

The post-midnight posting on Truth Social, Trump's social media platform, was his latest - and most explicit - allusion to violence that could follow an indictment stemming from an investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D), whom Trump called a "degenerate psychopath."

Trump wrote: "What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?"

New York City has been taking security precautions after former President Donald Trump announced he may be arrested.

Last week, senior officials from the district attorney's office and the state agency that runs the courts had preliminary discussions to plan for a possible indictment and arraignment. So did officials from the Police Department, which patrols the streets outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse, and the court officers, who handle security inside the Criminal Courts Building, where Mr. Trump would be arraigned.

And on Sunday, more than a dozen senior Police Department officials and two of the mayor's top public safety aides held a virtual meeting to discuss security, staffing and contingency plans in the event of any protests, one person with knowledge of the meeting said. washingtonpost.com cbsnews.com nytimes.com

'Mass Casualty Impact and Recovery' Seminar Series
To Be Ready: Mass casualty impact, recovery preparedness
In 2023, there have already been over 9,200 total gun violence deaths in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. According to the source, there have already been 118 mass shootings and 11 mass murders committed with firearms this year.

The Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) has launched a 9-part Mass Casualty Impact and Recovery virtual seminar series. The program is the result of federal, state, and private sector partnerships aimed at raising awareness and increasing knowledge for companies and organizations about the impact and recovery of an active shooter or other mass casualty events.

While prevention and preparedness are critical to handling active shooter and mass shooting incidents, collaboration across agencies is vital to best handle these incidents. On the county level, CCSO is working with several local fire districts on response planning for active shooter situations. In addition, CCSO is partnering with city and county agencies to provide Active Shooter Preparedness Training. thechronicleonline.com

Mass shootings in Milwaukee: 2 in 2014, 10 in 2022

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Great Falls, MT: Police chief speaks out on violent crime in city



Dollar General Keeps Racking Up OSHA Penalties
The retail chain has been hit with more than $15M in fines since 2017

OSHA Cites Dollar General Again Over Store Safety

National discount retail chain that has racked up more than $15 million in proposed federal penalties for workplace safety in its stores since 2017.

The hits just keep coming for Dollar General, the national discount retail chain that has racked up more than $15 million in proposed federal penalties for workplace safety in its stores since 2017.

Most recently, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace safety inspectors alerted by the concerns of the West Chester Township Fire Department in Ohio, discovered exit routes, doors and fire extinguishers blocked at a Dollar General store in Cincinnati.

"Fast access to fire extinguishers and exit doors and the routes to them are a matter of life and death in an emergency, and yet, despite millions in fines and safety violations at more than 180 locations, Dollar General continues to repeatedly ignore these conditions and risk the safety of their employees," said Ken Montgomery, OSHA area director in Cincinnati.

In September and November 2022, OSHA inspectors found exit routes throughout the store and a storeroom emergency exit and fire extinguishers blocked by stacks of merchandise and rolling containers. The unsafely stacked merchandise also exposed workers to the risk of being struck by falling boxes.

OSHA cited the store's operator - DolGen Midwest LLC - for three repeated safety violations and proposed penalties of $254,478. The findings and penalties continue the history of willful, repeat and serious workplace safety violations by parent companies, Dollar General Corp. and Dolgencorp LLC, identified in more than 180 inspections nationwide. Dollar General Corp. is included in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program. facilitiesnet.com

'Woke Store Closures'?
Starbucks Store Closures Drive Shareholders to Request Oversight of Woke Policies
Today, shareholder activists from the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project (FEP) will follow their August lawsuit against Starbucks' racist civil rights violations by presenting a proposal to all Starbucks shareholders asking them to demand answers regarding the coffee giant's political agenda.

The proposal, if approved by Starbucks shareholders, seeks to compel the company's board of directors to create a committee on corporate sustainability to review and question the impact of the company's political and social commitments in order to determine if and how they undermine profitability and growth.

Following allegations of racism at a Philadelphia Starbucks in 2018, the company conducted an organization-wide "racial-bias education" program that resulted in Starbucks attempting to have its baristas lead a national conversation about race. Doubling down on its wokeness, the company subsequently introduced a "Third Place policy" that invited non-customers to use Starbucks facilities regardless of the uses to which they put those facilities.

"Since instituting this Third Place policy, store managers have complained of assaults, theft and drug use in stores," said FEP Director Scott Shepard. "This has had cascading negative effects on company sustainability. Employees must clean up drug users' needles and other dangerous artifacts. They must deal with, and try to work around, often disruptive and dangerous non-customers who have settled in at Starbucks shops. Customers are driven to safer and cleaner places to buy overpriced coffee."

Last summer, Starbucks announced it would be closing 16 stores due to safety concerns.

Changing company policy to now permit individual stores to make their own decisions as to whether to have an open bathroom policy is an important first step in addressing the decisions that led to the safety concerns experienced in the first place. nationalcenter.org

The Starbucks Union Battle Heats Up
What does it mean for other union fights at other companies?

Inside the battle for the first union contract at Starbucks

One of the most high-profile union campaigns in decades unveiled proposals Wednesday that could raise standards for low-wage workers around the country, but it's not clear whether a contract is within reach

Scores of union Starbucks baristas from across the Pacific Northwest descended on a hotel in Seattle on Wednesday to unveil to Starbucks lawyers a set of proposals that they had been researching and debating for more than six months.

A $20 an hour starting wage nationwide. A 37-hour week guarantee for full-time employees. A 100 percent employer-covered health-care plan for full- and part-time workers. Credit card tipping at all stores.

The session lasted close to four hours - much longer than any of the roughly 90 previous bargaining sessions held since last October - though workers did not get a chance to share all of their demands with management before Starbucks' lawyers packed up to leave.

The demands from Starbucks Workers United come at a moment of heightened attention to working conditions at the coffee mega-chain. Workers at about 100 stores in 40 cities nationwide went on strike on Wednesday to make a point to the company's new chief executive, Laxman Narasimhan, who started this week. Founder Howard Schultz stepped down as leader of the company on Monday, two weeks earlier than expected, though he still plans to testify before Congress next week about its labor practices. washingtonpost.com

The Employer vs. Employee Battle Over Remote Work Continues
Why Bosses Who Praised Remote Work Sour on Productivity From Home

Trim the travel budget, reduce head count and...crack down on remote work?

Companies trying to run leaner and more efficiently in a cooling economy are deploying familiar strategies from past downturns. (See ya, catered lunches.) Some are also taking new aim at their employees' work-from-home arrangements.

The latest back-to-office push reflects bosses' renewed sense of control and their concern that employees' at-home productivity is falling to unaffordable levels.

"There's a lightning-in-a-bottle effect that rallies people together," says Allan Jones, founder and chief executive of Bambee, a human-resources software and consulting firm in Los Angeles. "But lightning strikes and then it dissipates."

Mr. Jones says he and most executives in his professional network have concluded that the initial success of remote work is unsustainable.  He says he recently told his roughly 175-person staff that he's tempted to require five in-person days a week but will preserve two remote days and add a third in the summer if the team's output doesn't lag behind. wsj.com

Amazon: The Front Line of the Remote Work Battle
Amazon's HR chief rejects petition against new return-to-office policy signed by roughly 30,000 employees

Roughly 30,000 Amazon employees signed the petition protesting the new RTO mandate.

Amazon's top HR executive formally rejected an internal petition signed by roughly 30,000 employees over the company's new return-to-office policy.

Beth Galetti, Amazon's SVP of People Experience and Technology, shared the message, obtained by Insider, on Wednesday with the organizing group behind the petition. Galetti wrote that the petition was shared with CEO Andy Jassy's leadership team last week and that the company still intends to move forward with its RTO plan, which requires most corporate employees to come into the office three times a week starting in May.

"Given the large size of our workforce and our wide range of businesses and customers, we recognize this transition may take time, but we are confident it will result in long-term benefits to increasing our ability to deliver for our customers, bolstering our culture, and growing and developing employees," Galetti wrote in her message, seen by Insider. businessinsider.com

Easter Spending Expected to Reach Record $24 Billion
Consumers plan to spend a collective $24 billion on Easter this year, up from $20.8 billion in 2022 and the previous record high of $21.7 billion in 2020, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Eighty-one percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday and spend an average of $192.01, the highest figure on record. nrf.com

Walmart Is Planning Even More Store Closures In April

Ollie's Bargain Outlet to open 45 new stores in 2023

DoorDash adds Victoria's Secret, Party City to its non-food options
United Natural Foods retail CEO resigns amid executive reshuffle

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TikTok CEO Faces a Grilling in Congressional Hearing
TikTok CEO in the hot seat: Takeaways from his first appearance before Congress
In his first appearance before Congress on Thursday, TikTok CEO Shou Chew was grilled by lawmakers who expressed deep skepticism about his company's attempts to protect US user data and ease concerns about its ties to China.

The hearing, which lasted for more than five hours, kicked off with calls from a lawmaker to ban the app in the United States and remained combative throughout. It offered a vivid display of the bipartisan push to crack down on the popular short-form video app and the company's uphill battle to improve relations with Washington.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, opened Thursday's hearing by telling Shou: "Your platform should be banned."

"I expect today you'll say anything to avoid this outcome," she continued. "We aren't buying it. In fact, when you celebrate the 150 million American users on TikTok, it emphasizes the urgency for Congress to act. That is 150 million Americans that the [Chinese Communist Party] can collect sensitive information on."

Chew, who until recently kept a low profile compared to other tech CEOs, used his testimony to stress TikTok's independence from China and play up its US ties. "TikTok itself is not available in mainland China, we're headquartered in Los Angeles and Singapore, and we have 7,000 employees in the U.S. today," he said in his opening remarks.

"Still, we have heard important concerns about the potential for unwanted foreign access to US data and potential manipulation of the TikTok US ecosystem," Chew said. "Our approach has never been to dismiss or trivialize any of these concerns. We have addressed them with real action."

Chew's moment in the hot seat comes as some lawmakers are renewing calls for the app to be banned in the United States due to perceived national security concerns because of its ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance. TikTok acknowledged to CNN last week that federal officials are demanding the app's Chinese owners sell their stake in the social media platform, or risk facing a US ban of the app. A number of countries, including the US, have already instituted a ban of the app on government devices due to the security concerns. cnn.com

Cybercriminals Target Unsecure Storage Devices
Epidemic of Insecure Storage, Backup Devices Is a Windfall for Cybercriminals

Enterprise storage devices have 14 security weaknesses on average, putting them at risk of compromise by cyberattackers and especially ransomware attacks.

Companies in every industry continue to leave backup and storage platforms unsecured, with more than a dozen issues, including insecure network settings and unaddressed CVEs, affecting the average device. That leaves these repositories - often the first line of protection in the event of a ransomware attack - as sitting ducks for cybercriminals.

AdvertisementThat's according to a data analysis published on March 22 by storage security firm Continuity Software, which found that the average device had 14 security risks, including three critical issues, which are considered those capable of allowing a significant compromise. The top three risks affecting companies' storage systems are insecure network settings, unaddressed vulnerabilities, and lax access privileges.

Overall, the data suggests that even companies with significant security maturity may not give their backup systems as much scrutiny as other systems, the Continuity report stated. The statistics are concerning given that network-attached storage, cloud storage, and backup devices are increasingly coming under attack. In 2021, threat groups targeted a flaw in certain network-attached storage systems made by Western Digital, such as the MyBook and other devices common in smaller businesses, taking advantage of the devices lack of support due to the products reaching their end of life. Attackers have also targeted large enterprises with a ransomware attack known as Deadbolt, which targets QNAP network-attacked storage, as well as other ransomware campaigns over the last few years.

Continuity's "2023 State of Storage and Backup Security Report" also found that the lack of security surrounding storage networks and backup servers affects most companies, across all industries. darkreading.com

Scammers Exploiting Popularity of ChatGPT
Fake ChatGPT for Google extension hijacks Facebook accounts
A new Chrome extension promising to augment users' Google searches with ChatGPT also leads to hijacked Facebook accounts, Guardio Labs researchers have found. While this specific trick isn't new, this time around the extension also worked as advertised.

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that has become hugely popular very quickly. To use it, people must set up a free account, and they can then upgrade to a paid version to access better features.

To avoid paying for additional features or when looking for a (currently non-existent) desktop or mobile ChatGPT app, users can fall for scams promising to offer exactly what they are looking for, free of charge.

In this case, when searching for ChatGPT via Google Search, users are served with a malicious sponsored ad that first redirects them to a fake ChatGPT for Google landing page, and then to the malicious extension on the official Chrome Store. helpnetsecurity.com

The Rise of QR Code Scams
Threat actors are experimenting with QR codes
The rise of QR scan scams: Since October 2022, HP has seen almost daily QR code "scan scam" campaigns. These scams trick users into scanning QR codes from their PCs using their mobile devices - potentially to take advantage of weaker phishing protection and detection on such devices. QR codes direct users to malicious websites asking for credit and debit card details. Examples in Q4 included phishing campaigns masquerading as parcel delivery companies seeking payment.

38% rise in malicious PDF attachments: Recent attacks use embedded images that link to encrypted malicious ZIP files, bypassing web gateway scanners. The PDF instructions contain a password that the user is tricked into entering to unpack a ZIP file, deploying QakBot or IcedID malware to gain unauthorized access to systems, which are used as beachheads to deploy ransomware.

42% of malware was delivered inside archive files like ZIP, RAR, and IMG: The popularity of archives has risen 20% since Q1 2022, as threat actors switch to scripts to run their payloads. This is compared to 38% of malware delivered through Office files such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. helpnetsecurity.com

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Following Amazon's Lead
Walmart lays off hundreds of workers at e-commerce facilities

Walmart plans layoffs at five e-commerce fulfillment warehouses, per Reuters.

Walmart is laying off hundreds of employees at e-commerce facilities across the country, as the big-box giant and other retailers brace for a tougher year ahead.

Walmart, the nation's largest private employer, is shrinking its workforce as many retailers plan on roughly flat or declining sales. Inflation and the shift back to services is taking a bite out of sales of goods, particularly after a pandemic-fueled spending boom.

Workers at warehouses in Pedricktown, New Jersey; Fort Worth, Texas; Chino, California; Davenport, Florida; and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, were given 90 days to find jobs at other company locations, a spokesperson told Reuters.

The layoffs come as Walmart has increasingly touted warehouse automation, including its "next-generation fulfillment center." The layoffs also highlight consumers' shifting shopping habits. While e-commerce grew rapidly during the pandemic, that growth has tapered off, forcing companies to shift resources. Although Walmart noted it had seen 17% growth year-over-year growth in e-commerce in the fourth quarter.

Walmart's e-commerce rival, Amazon, announced 9,000 job cuts on Monday, following 18,000 layoffs in January. Amazon has also closed, cancelled and delayed the opening of new warehouses, as some online sales shifted back to stores. Another competitor, Target, plans to cut up to $3 billion in total costs over the next three years, but CFO Michael Fiddelke said at a February investor day that the company is "not backing away from investments in our team and guest experience." cnbc.com   businessinsider.com

Talk About a Dedicated Amazon Delivery Driver
Amazon driver delivers package during police standoff, hands to SWAT member
An Amazon driver went above and beyond the call of duty after fearlessly dropping off a package in the middle of an active police standoff. The dangerous delivery transpired last month but has amassed 6.7 million views since then as viewers praise the courier's dedication.

"When you're about your business...nothing will get in your way," reads the caption to the video of the dramatic drop-off, which occurred last month in Cary, North Carolina. SWAT team members were reportedly engaged in a nearly 24-hour standoff with an armed suspect.

Despite the dangerous situation, the Amazon courier wasn't about to be deterred from his parcel-delivering pilgrimage. In the ludicrous clip, the unnamed driver in a blue Amazon vest strolls nonchalantly along a street lined with flashing police cars as officers look on incredulously.

"In the midst of a standoff, he's going to deliver his package," muses the videographer as the driver swaggers through the police perimeter.

The courier gets momentarily stopped from entering the heavily patrolled property, only to casually hand the package to a SWAT team member, who heads towards the apartment with it in tow.

The steel-nerved driver then gets out his phone, presumably to check off the order, before snapping a picture of the epic spectacle. The clip concludes with the lone delivery hero walking away from the scene of the crime.

The circumstances surrounding the delivery have not yet been released. However, it is suspected that the intended Amazon recipient was either locked in or locked out of their apartment, per police protocol established during the standoff, the Daily Mail reported.

Needless to say, viewers admired the courier's courage with one gawker writing, "Now that's what you call AMAZON PRIME." nypost.com

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South American Organized Theft Ring Hitting California
Hitting Grocery Stores & Other Retailers, Targeting Elderly Shoppers Across Southern Calif.

Theft ring targeting elderly at grocery stores, markets: LASD
Authorities said an organized criminal ring from South America may be responsible for a recent string of thefts at grocery stores and retailers across Southern California.

Det. Angela Lopez with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is one of the detectives on the case, and said she believes the duo is part of a group known to law enforcement.

"It's called the South American theft group," Lopez said. "The suspects come from Chile or Colombia. This is something they're notorious for as far as wallet snatches out of purses at markets. And they prey on mostly elderly. It's happening everywhere, all throughout Southern California."

Lopez said that given information she's gotten from other law enforcement agencies, these crimes are happening all throughout Southern California. Lopez said some of the best things you can do are to not leave your purse unattended and to make sure it's always zipped up and on your body.

Signs warning of these thefts have popped up at stores like Trader Joe's in Calabasas. Other stores like the Russell Ranch Road Target had security. But, despite robberies happening at least twice at the Westlake Village Costco where Christel Pascucci was victimized, no security was found when FOX 11 reporters went into the store.

The thefts themselves are misdemeanors, but each time a stolen credit car is swiped - even if the transaction is declined - it's felony identity theft.

The LASD said it plans to issue a bulletin on this case in a warning to the public by as early as Monday. foxla.com

Hayward, CA: Home Depot worker arrested for stealing merchandise as part of retail theft scheme
California Highway Patrol investigators have arrested a Hayward Home Depot worker suspected of stealing merchandise from the store as part of an organized retail theft scheme, the CHP announced Thursday. The CHP Golden Gate Division said in a Facebook post its Organized Retail Crime Task Force was contacted by the store's loss prevention investigators on March 1 about several thefts committed by a store employee while working after hours. The store investigators also provided the CHP task force with surveillance video of the employee and the vehicle used in several of the incidents, the CHP said. Home Depot estimated the loss from the stolen merchandise in excess of $300,000. On Tuesday, CHP investigators arrested the unidentified employee at the Home Depot on the 21000 block of Hesperian Blvd. Other CHP units served a search warrant at the employee's home in Patterson, Stanislaus County where some 600 stolen items were recovered with an estimated value of $80,000. Investigators also seized nearly $90,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from the sale of the stolen goods. The employee was booked into the Alameda County Jail on charges of organized retail crime, grand theft, possession of stolen property, and conspiracy.  cbsnews.com

Los Angeles County, CA: Pickup truck smashes into Tujunga store, $1M worth of collectibles stolen
If you love collectibles, you'll really feel for a Tujunga shop owner known for his Pokémon and sports trading card collections. In a brazen break-in, his store, Kaptain Fish Collectibles was burglarized. On Sunday, three men in a white truck plowed through the front of the store in reverse busting through a gate and a glass window storefront to steal high-end items. Sevan Mazakian is a co-owner of the shop that opened a little over a year ago. His gut feeling is that "someone had walked in the store before, they knew where to go." Among the items taken trading cards, comic books and cases of items worth $1 million. One of the stolen items include a high-end Tom Brady trading cards, worth about $20,000.  foxla.com

Nassau County, NY: Thieves Nab $136K Worth Of Jewelry From Roosevelt Field Mall
Police are asking for help after a group of thieves made off with over $136,000 worth of jewelry from a Long Island shopping mall. The theft occurred at around 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in East Garden City, at the Ethan Jordan Jewelers in Roosevelt Field Mall, according to Nassau County Police. Detectives said five suspects walked into the store and two females began selecting various items from the store displays. The group then distracted an employee while the two females concealed $136,630 worth of merchandise and left without paying.  dailyvoice.com

Manhattan Beach, CA: Seven arrested in Manhattan Beach jewelry store smash-and-grab robbery
Around 6 p.m. Wednesday, Pasha Fine Jewelry, downtown Manhattan Beach was hit and about an hour and a half later, Manhattan Beach Police caught up with the suspects. "Multiple suspects entered the jewelry store, used hammers to break display cases, and fled the store with miscellaneous merchandise," police said. "The suspects entered awaiting vehicles and fled the scene southbound in an alley. Multiple suspects were armed with what appeared to be handguns. No shots were fired." At about 7:25 p.m. Wednesday, Manhattan Beach officers attempted to stop a vehicle believed connected with the crime. "The driver failed to yield and a pursuit was initiated," police said. "The pursuit ended in the city of Los Angeles, and five adult suspects were arrested. Jewelry from the robbery was located within the vehicle." In a separate traffic stop shortly afterward, two 17-year-old suspects were taken into custody. Jewelry and other items taken in the crime were in this vehicle as well. cbsnews.com

Walnut Creek, CA: Suspects cased downtown Walnut Creek mall for a year before brazen $92,000 Rolex smash and grab
A 20-year-old Vallejo man has been charged in connection with a 2022 smash-and-grab robbery in a Walnut Creek mall where three suspects made off with $92,285 worth of Rolex watches. The charges filed March 2 include one count of second-degree robbery, one count of grand theft and one count of burglary. Police arrested another suspect last year, a 19-year-old Vallejo man, and are still working to identify a third suspect in the June 18, 2022 incident. A judge issued a warrant for the 20-year-old man's arrest on March 6. Jail and court records indicate he has not yet been arrested or appeared in court. Last week, 19-year-old Jamonni Simon pleaded no contest to second-degree burglary in connection with the same incident. He was sentenced to 180 days on house arrest and two years probation, records show.

On June 18, 2022, three men, two of them wearing masks, used hammers to smash display cases and steal five Rolex watches from the Macy's on Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. As the police investigation progressed, authorities determined that three men, including Simon, went to the nearby Nordstrom in May 2021 and asked a security employee how many guards were typically on duty and whether they were fast runners. A week later, Simon allegedly entered the Nordstom with two other men, tried on a Rolex watch and ran out of the store. Security guards chased him and got the watch back, but the three suspects escaped, police say.  mercurynews.com

Clackamas County, OR: Martin Castaway sentenced to 6 years in prison after large-scale retail-theft spree
A man responsible for a series of large-scale retail thefts in Clackamas County and the Portland area was sentenced to 72 months in prison last week after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated theft and one count of organized retail theft. Martin Duane Castaway, 41, of Portland, pled guilty to the charges on Thursday, March 16 in Clackamas County Circuit Court. He will serve his six-year sentence with the Oregon Department of Corrections. Castaway had multiple prior property-related convictions, making him eligible for Repeat Property Offender Status pursuant to ORS 137.717.

Castaway was arrested in Portland on Jan. 25, 2023 with help from the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force (PNVOTF) and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) -- following an extensive investigation by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Property Crimes Unit working with the Clackamas County DA's Office.

Throughout much of 2022 and early into 2023, Martin Duane Castaway was engaged in organized retail theft along with several other suspects -- targeting numerous Fred Meyer and Dick's Sporting Goods locations throughout the Portland area. Castaway and other subjects in the retail-theft ring would enter retailers, damage store anti-theft systems, and leave the stores within minutes carrying large quantities of stolen merchandise.

Castaway was identified in many of these incidents thanks to his distinctive appearance; a booking photo is linked above. He is responsible for over $30,000 in losses between Fred Meyer and Dick's Sporting Goods locations alone. clackamas.us

Memphis, TN: Woman, child leave Walmart with $1K in Hoverboards
Police are looking for a woman and juvenile who walked into the Walmart on North Germantown Parkway Tuesday night and walked out with 16 hoverboards. The hoverboards are valued at $1,100.

Memphis, TN: Suspects steal identities of AT&T account holders, buy nearly $10,000 of Apple products

Gastonia, NC: 3 men attempt to sell $4,000 worth of stolen Marvel comic books, action figures, police say

Renton, WA: Police looking for two robbery suspects who assaulted store employees

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Shootings & Deaths

Farmington, NM: 1 killed, 1 wounded in shooting at Animas Valley Mall
A person was killed and another was wounded in a shooting Thursday outside the Animas Valley Mall in Farmington. Around 11:25 a.m., Farmington police responded to the mall to investigate a shooting. Upon further investigation, they found it was "an isolated, targeted incident" outside of the mall. No suspects are in custody at this time.  kob.com

St. Robert, MO: Two dead after Hidden Valley Plaza strip mall shooting
Police are investigating after finding two people dead outside a strip mall in St. Robert. According to a press release from the St. Robert Police Department, officers responded to a reported car crash and disturbance outside the Hidden Valley Plaza just before 10 a.m. Upon arrival, officers found a 29-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman deceased. The Pulaski County Coroner's Office has confirmed to KOLR10 that a shooting occurred. SRPD says there is no further threat to the public at this time and it is investigating in conjunction with the Department of the Army Criminal Investigation Division.  ozarksfirst.com

Pittsburg, CA: Police search for 2 suspects in deadly shooting at c-store
Two suspects are being sought after by authorities after a fatal shooting Wednesday night, the Pittsburg Police Department (PPD) announced in a Facebook post. The shooting happened at E-Z Stop Convenience Food on the 1000 block of Power Avenue around 9 p.m. Pittsburg residents Gregory Rossignon, 37, and Jessica Russo, 34, were identified as suspects in the shooting that left the store clerk dead. The victim was identified as 44-year-old Abdul Raouf.  kron4.com

Phoenix, AZ: Man in critical condition after being shot at Family Dollar
A man is fighting for his life after he was shot at a Phoenix dollar store on Wednesday night. Police say around 8 p.m., officers arrived at a Family Dollar near 68th Avenue and Indian School Road and found the man shot. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Investigators say another man was detained at the store in connection to the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.  azfamily.com

La Salle, IL: 65-year old man hospitalized after shooting at LaSalle restaurant
A 65-year old man was shot in the leg at Mickey's Massive Burrito restaurant in LaSalle. Police Chief Mike Smudzinski says the man was first taken to St. Margaret's Health Spring Valley and then later flown to another hospital for further treatment. The shooting happened around 11am Wednesday morning. Smudzinski also says a 63-year old man was interview at the LaSalle Police station but was later released. There is no threat to the public. The incident remains under investigation by LaSalle police and the LaSalle County State's Attorney's Office. 1430wcmy.com

Knoxville, TN: Man accidentally shot at Maryville gun store
The Maryville Police Department is investigating how a man ended up accidentally shooting himself at a local gun store and range. The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday at Gunny's Firearms and Indoor Range on Broadway in Maryville. Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp said the shooting appeared accidental. A manager told WBIR the man was trying to side holster a gun and shot himself in the hand accidentally. wbir.com

Columbus, OH: Man dead after shooting in at United Dairy Farmer store in west Columbus

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Tampa, FL: Guards' 'Heroic Acts' Stop Gunman in Devil Mask at Strip Club
A gunshot was fired into the front door of Tampa's Mons Venus strip club early Sunday morning after security guards encountered a man who was wielding a gun and wearing a "red and black devil mask" as he tried to get inside, police said. The incident occurred about 1:15 a.m. according to a news release issued on Tuesday afternoon by Tampa police. Police said Michael Rudman, 44, arrived at the club in a silver pickup. He got out of the truck while wearing the devil mask. He also had the words "kill" and "darkk one" on his arms, police said in the news release. Rudman approached the club with a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other, police said. A security guard at the club saw him, "engaged the suspect and knocked the weapon out of his hand," the news release states. Video shows the guard then picking up the gun and pointing it at Rudman, who rushed at him. A round discharged from the gun during the confrontation and hit the door. No one inside the club was hurt. A total of three security guards were involved in the confrontation; one suffered minor injuries, police said.  officer.com

Stamford, CT: Man sentenced to 7 years for Barnes & Noble Robbery
A 38-year-old Norwalk man was sentenced to three years in jail followed by special parole after he pleaded guilty to robbing a Stamford Barnes & Noble in 2021. Judge Kevin Randolph sentenced Michael Larocco to three years in jail and seven years of special parole, in accordance with an agreement with state prosecutors, during a disposition hearing at state Superior Court in Stamford on Wednesday afternoon.  stamfordadvocate.com

Bucks County, PA: Man Who Had 17 Active Retail Theft Cases Across Region Sentenced to Jail Time
A Philadelphia man with a criminal history of 15 prior retail theft convictions has settled most of his 17 active retail theft cases following plea agreements with prosecutors in Bucks and Montgomery counties. Joshua Burden, 43, has been sentenced to 2 to 4 years in county jail after pleading guilty to multiple counts of retail theft across Montgomery County. Burden was also sentenced to 2½ to 6 years in county jail after pleading guilty to multiple counts of retail theft across Bucks County, including incidents in Falls, Middletown, and Upper Makefield townships.  levittownnow.com

Milford, CT: 2 teens arrested in false movie theater bomb threat
Two teens were arrested in connection to a non-credible bomb threat at the movie theater in Milford's Connecticut Post Mall, according to police. Police were called to the Cinemark Movie Theater at the mall around 1:30 p.m. on March 3 on a report of a person on the phone reporting he was standing outside the movie theater with a bomb. There was a heavy police presence at the scene as officers cleared the parking lot and movie theater, police said. Officers deemed the call to be a hoax and that there was no viable threat. The investigation revealed two suspects involved: Christian Cuomo, 18, and Tyvon Torres, 19, both of Wallingford. Both turned themselves into Milford police this week.  fox61.com

Boardman, OH: Man accused of stealing $700 Mojave Clown Ball Python snake from local pet store; upset he was earlier denied financing on a $3,000 snake



• Auto - Norwich, CT - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Round Rock, TX - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Hingham, MA - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Belfast, ME - Robbery
• C-Store - Roswell, NM - Armed Robbery
• C-Store - Cleveland, OH - Robbery
• C-Store - Fort Dodge, IA - Robbery
• C-Store - Dubois, PA - Robbery
• Cellphone - Macon, GA - Burglary (3x in 2 wks)
• Cellphone - Columbus, OH - Armed Robbery
• Cellphone - Chicago, IL - Robbery
• Clothing - Renton, WA - Robbery
• Collectables - Los Angeles County, CA - Burglary
• Grocery - Los Angeles, CA - Robbery
• Grocery - Waterbury, VT - Robbery
• Jewelry - Manhattan Beach, CA - Robbery
• Jewelry - Nassau County, NY - Robbery
• Jewelry - Daytona Beach, FL - Robbery
• Jewelry -Madison, WI - Robbery
• Jewelry -San Antonio, TX - Robbery
• Jewelry -Tucson, AZ - Robbery
• Liquor - Wichita, KS - Burglary
• Pets - Boardman, OH - Robbery
• Restaurant - Cleveland, OH - Armed Robbery (Burger King)
• Restaurant - Olive Branch, MS - Armed Robbery
• Restaurant - Los Angeles, CA - Armed Robbery
• Restaurant - Pueblo, CO - Armed Robbery
• Sport - Eden Prairie, MN - Robbery
• Target - Redlands, CA - Robbery
• Walmart - Shelton, CT - Robbery
• Walmart - Memphis, TN - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 28 robberies
• 3 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 91 robberies
• 33 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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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
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