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CVS Health Announces Six Promotions - Including Three Directors

CVS announced the promotion of six key leaders in the Asset Protection Department including three new directors, making significant investments in Organized Retail Crime and Analytics.

Ben Dugan CFI promoted to Director of Organized Retail Crime
Dugan joined CVS Health in 2018 and was promoted from his former role as the Senior Manager of ORC. He will be responsible for the oversight of all ORC operations and initiatives across the CVS Health Enterprise.

Kevin Moring promoted to Director of Asset Protection Retail Operations
Moring is a 26-year veteran of CVS and was promoted from his former role as the Senior Manager of Asset Protection Strategy and Operations. He is overseeing the Asset Protection field strategy, high-risk market strategy, and the Market Asset Protection field team for both Front Store and Pharmacy.

Carla Dacosta promoted to Director of Asset Protection Analytics
DaCosta has been with CVS for 18 years and was promoted from her former role as the Senior Manager of Asset Protection Analytics. She will oversee the Analytics strategy and lead the analytics team for both Front Store and Pharmacy.

Terrence Mullen LPC promoted to Senior Manager,
Organized Retail Crime

Mullen joined CVS in 2010 after retiring from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Miami. He is being promoted from his role as a Regional Manager and will cover the South and Western ORC Territories for CVS.

Jose "Joey" Varela LPC promoted to Senior Manager,
Organized Retail Crime

Varela has been with CVS Health for seven years and was promoted from his previous assignment as a Regional ORC Manager. He is retired from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and will be covering the North and Eastern ORC Territories for CVS.

David Halliwell promoted to Regional Asset Protection Manager
Halliwell has been with CVS Health for 26 years and has held positions as a District Asset Protection Leader and Store Manager. He will be supporting the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware markets.

Thanks to Ben Dugan, Director of Organized Retail Crime, for submitting this story to the Daily

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   |   Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position






New Webinar from LPRC & ADT Commercial
aiSolve: Ethical, Informed, and Effective AI in Retail & Loss Prevention

Apr 20, 2021 @ 1:00 p.m. ET

Retail shopping and crime are changing rapidly leading retailers to adopt new technologies at increasing rates. Artificial intelligence and computer vision will continue to play an important role in retail generally and loss prevention specifically. Please join the LPRC as we kickoff our aiSolve initiative on Wednesday, April 20th, 1:00-2:00 PM EDT.

Cory Lowe, Tony D'Onofrio, and Philippe Sawaya will:

● Review the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision (CV) and their relevance to today's retail loss prevention

● Review important concepts and recent developments in AI and CV

● Introduce LPRC's aiSolve initiative and its unprecedented retail video database project

● Highlight Percepta AI video analytics as an example of the innovative solutions that can be developed through collaboration between retailers and LPRC using the aiSolve initiative

Click here to register

TMA Announces Excellence Awards Finalists

Winners to be announced April 15th at virtual awards ceremony

April 6, 2021, McLean, VA - The Monitoring Association (TMA) is pleased to announce the finalists for its 2021 Excellence Awards. This year, the awards competition received a total 39 entries across the four categories. Listed in alphabetical order by company within each category, the finalists are:

Monitoring Center of the Year - Enterprise Level:
1. COPS Monitoring
2. NMC
3. Vivint Smart Home

Monitoring Center of the Year - Small-to-Medium Business Level:
1. Engineered Protection Systems, Inc. (EPS)
2. Universal Atlantic Systems (UAS)
3. Wayne Alarm Systems

Monitoring Center Manager of the Year:
1. Shelley McQuigge, Alarm Systems
2. Jonathan Rainbow, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
3. Josh Sanders, EPS

Monitoring Center Operator of the Year:
1. Diandra Dean, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
2. Latisha Jenkins, UAS
3. Jonathan Spruill, CPI Security

Monitoring Center Support Person of the Year:
1. Deepak Bysani, Affiliated Monitoring, Inc.
2. Michelle Quattrini, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Inc.
3. Nick Salmond, AvantGuard Monitoring


Finalists for 2021 TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology
"Marvel" Award Announced

Winner to be revealed on April 15th during a virtual awards ceremony.

Click here to see the finalists


Protests & Violence

Surveillance Technology Going Too Far?
How US Capitol attack surveillance methods could be used against protesters

The FBI has relied on a variety of technologies to track down rioters - and watchdogs are concerned those technologies could impede protesters exercising their first amendment rights

Over the past months, federal law enforcement has used a wide variety of surveillance technologies to track down rioters who participated in the 6 January attack on the US Capitol building - demonstrating rising surveillance across the nation.

Recent news coverage of the riot has largely focused on facial recognition - and how private citizens and local law enforcement officials have conducted their own facial recognition investigations in an attempt to assist the FBI with the help of social media. But charging documents reveal that the FBI has relied on a variety of other technologies, including license plate readers, police body cameras and cellphone tracking. And civil rights watchdogs like the ACLU are concerned that the same technologies used to surveil the rioters could impede protesters exercising their first amendment rights.

The Capitol riot was an exceptional event - marking the first time in centuries that insurrectionists breached the center of the US federal government. Many of those surveilled and charged belonged to white supremacist groups. But, according to Dave Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit advocating for free speech and digital privacy, the level of surveillance was "overkill".

For example, charging documents for William Vogel of Pawling, New York, showed that "numerous tipsters" contacted the FBI when they recognized him in Snapchat videos he allegedly posted to his account during the riots.

Despite having video evidence that Vogel participated in the riots, the FBI also tracked his car from his home to the riots using automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). ALPRs use artificial intelligence to log the plate number of each car that passes certain cameras - which can be attached to police cars or fixed locations like street lamps.

ALPR use has been expanding across the nation over the last decade, making it easier for law enforcement agencies to track individual cars from state to state, as they did in Vogel's case. A 2011 survey of 70 law enforcement agencies found that almost three-quarters of agencies already had ALPRs, and that 85% planned to increase their use in the next five years. theguardian.com

Progressive DA's Chink in the Armor

Soft-On-Crime Backlash - Dems Dump One of Their Own Progressives
Philadelphia Democrats decline to endorse a progressive prosecutor
Prosecutors promising easier bail and fewer criminal prosecutions have swept to power in several big cities in recent years, but a backlash may be underway as crime spikes. Witness last week's developments in Philadelphia.

On March 31 the Democratic City Committee voted not to endorse incumbent District Attorney Larry Krasner for May's primary election. He won in 2017 after denouncing the city's police and prosecutors as "both systemically racist" and has spent his time in office touting his efforts "to end mass incarceration" by bringing fewer charges and urging lighter sentences. But Mr. Krasner now faces a primary challenge from Carlos Vega, a former homicide prosecutor whom he fired.

In December 2020, Mr. Krasner filed 525 charges for violent crimes, compared to 757 in December 2017, the month before he took office. The decrease doesn't reflect a safer city; nearly 500 people were murdered in Philadelphia last year, compared to 315 in 2017. Last year saw more than 2,200 shootings, and the vast majority of victims were black. Auto thefts have risen sharply, with some 9,295 vehicles stolen last year compared to 5,694 in 2017. "Victims are an inconvenient truth that Larry ignores," Mr. Vega told Philadelphia Weekly in December. "He never talks about the victims." Mr. Vega says he's running "to make our city safer."

In poor, minority neighborhoods, backlash against Mr. Krasner is building. Philadelphia is a machine-politics city where incumbents generally get an endorsement, but many of the ward leaders who make up Philadelphia's Democratic City Committee feared that backing Mr. Krasner would turn off voters and hurt their preferred judicial candidates. wsj.com

Medical Expert Rebuts Chauvin Defense Team
Breathing expert tells jurors that George Floyd died from lack of oxygen while under Derek Chauvin's knee
A medical expert testified in the Derek Chauvin murder trial that George Floyd died from a lack of oxygen late last spring as the now-fired Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd's neck.

Dr. Martin Tobin, a Chicago physician who has specialized in respiratory and critical care medicine for decades, said he has reviewed much of the evidence and concluded that "Floyd died from a low level of oxygen. This caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a [pulseless electrical activity] arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop."

The testimony was an attempt to discredit defense arguments that Mr. Floyd's drug use contributed to his death. startribune.com nytimes.com

Lawyers in Derek Chauvin's Trial Argue Over George Floyd's Words
Lawyers in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin Wednesday offered warring interpretations of a garbled clip of George Floyd talking about drugs, as they presented alternate theories as to whether Mr. Floyd died of drug use or at the hands of Mr. Chauvin.

In a brief clip of police body-worn camera footage, the defense claims Mr. Floyd says, "I ate too many drugs." The audio has a lot of background noise and it is difficult to make out the words.

A witness for the prosecution said the clip sounded like Mr. Floyd was actually saying, "I ain't do no drugs."

The statement gets to the heart of the two theories of the case. Prosecutors have charged Mr. Chauvin with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter, arguing that his knee placed on Mr. Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes led to his death. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

Eric Nelson, Mr. Chauvin's attorney, has argued that Mr. Floyd died from a combination of a drug overdose and a heart condition. Mr. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty. wsj.com

Rioters Throwing 'Gasoline Bombs' in Ireland
Bus torched, 55 cops injured on fourth night of Northern Ireland protests
A double-decker bus was completely engulfed in flames after being firebombed by rioters near Northern Ireland's "peace wall" - in the fourth night of violence that has injured at least 55 cops, authorities said.

Wild video shared by The Sun shows the red bus slowly crawling through a Belfast street late Wednesday as a crowd of black-clad young men lobbed gasoline bombs at it.

"This is not protest. This is vandalism and attempted murder," First Minister Arlene Foster tweeted along with footage of the bus attack, calling it "an embarrassment to Northern Ireland."

The violence is being blamed on escalating frustration over new post-Brexit trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom. nypost.com

Ghost Guns - Red Flag Legislation - Firearms Tracking Report
Biden targets 'ghost guns,' stabilizing braces in new gun control actions
President Biden announced gun control measures on Thursday that an administration official described as an initial set of actions aimed at addressing all forms of gun violence. The president will detail several initiatives to be achieved through a mix of executive and legislative action, the official told reporters.

Biden will call on the Department of Justice to issue proposed rules to stop the proliferation of so-called "ghost guns" within 30 days. Ghost guns refer to kits that allow the recipient to assemble the firearm using provided parts. These guns do not have commercial serial numbers and are difficult to track.

The Justice Department will be given 60 days to issue a separate rule on stabilizing braces, which can turn a pistol into a more accurate weapon that fires like a rifle. Sixty days will also be provided for the DOJ to develop model "red flag" legislation that would allow friends and family members to identify an individual as a potential danger, thereby temporarily preventing the person from accessing a firearm.

The president will also highlight the steps his administration is taking to invest in community violence interventions and call on the DOJ to issue a firearms trafficking report. foxnews.com

Hate crime suspect took part in Seattle's racial justice protests

COVID Update

171M Vaccinations Given

US: 31.6M Cases - 572.8K Dead - 24.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 133.8M Cases - 2.9M Dead - 107.9M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 282
*Red indicates change in total deaths

New Variant Becomes Most Common Infection
Most U.S. infections now caused by a contagious virus variant, the C.D.C. says.
A highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in Britain has now become the most common source of new infections in the United States, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday - a worrisome development that comes as officials and scientists warn of a possible fourth virus surge.

Federal health officials said in January that the B.1.1.7 variant, which began surging in Britain in December and has since slammed Europe, could become the dominant source of coronavirus infections in the United States, leading to a wrenching increase in cases and deaths.

While new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have declined from their peaks in January, new infections have increased after plateauing. The average number of new cases has reached nearly 65,000 a day, as of Tuesday, concentrated mostly in metro areas in Michigan as well as the New York City region. That's up 19 percent from the figure two weeks ago.

The C.D.C. director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who last week warned that she felt a recurring sense of "impending doom," said on Wednesday that 52 of the agency's 64 jurisdictions - which include states, some major cities and territories - are now reporting cases of "variants of concern," including B.1.1.7. nytimes.com

New Variant Impacting Jobs Market
Workers file 744,000 new jobless claims in troubling sign for COVID recovery
New filings have ticked up for two consecutive weeks after dropping below the pre-coronavirus record of 695,000 in mid-March.

"The biggest reason to temper optimism is a negative turn in the course of the pandemic, including new variants" of the coronavirus, Bloomberg economist Eliza Winger said.

The latest US Department of Labor data came a week after a blowout jobs report that showed the economy adding 916,000 jobs in March. nypost.com

Checking COVID Documents at the Door?
UK retailers join pubs and clubs in rejecting Covid-status certificates
Retailers have joined pubs and clubs in rejecting Covid status certificates, as the prime minister's plan faced growing opposition from business and parliament.

As fashion boutiques, toy shops and other "nonessential" retailers prepare to reopen on high streets next week, the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents thousands of retailers including major chains such as John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, and the New West End Company, which speaks for 600 businesses in central London's main shopping district, have warned that checking documents at the door would not work.

The certificates are intended to mark out people who had a low risk of passing on infection by indicating those who had received a Covid vaccine, a recent negative test result, or antibodies from a natural infection within the last 180 days.

They are similar to the vaccine passports which have been mooted to enable international travel to restart. theguardian.com

UK's Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Retail employers "hiring at close to pre-Covid pace" as lockdown exit nears
Retailers are starting to recruit staff at near pre-Covid levels as non-essential shops in England and Wales prepare to exit lockdown and reopen, new research suggests.

Retail vacancies have increased to within 14 per cent of their pre-pandemic levels, according to jobs site Indeed. Job availabilities in the retail sector plunged during the first nationwide lockdown in spring last year, but have bounced back following the road map to recovery, the report said. retailgazette.co.uk

   U.K. Limits AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine to Over-30s Amid Blood-Clot Concerns

Lockdown Fatigue Overwhelms Canada

Ontario, Canada announces stay-at-home order, closes most retail stores
as COVID cases rise
The Canadian province of Ontario will begin a four week-long stay-at-home order and close in-store shopping for non-essential retailers as of Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday, as the province battles a surge of COVID-19 cases. The move follows last week's shuttering of all indoor and outdoor dining across Canada's most populous province. Hospitals in the province are becoming increasingly stretched, with the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units at the highest point since the pandemic began, according to provincial data.  nationalpost.com

Anger and Frustration as New Lockdowns Expected to Have Devastating Impact on Canadian Businesses
Recent increased lockdown measures and COVID-19 restrictions across different provinces will have a devastating impact on Canadian businesses, according to many experts. And there is growing anger and frustration as many businesses hang by a thread with the threat of closure becoming an increasing reality.

One out of 10 restaurants have already closed permanently in Canada with the exception of Atlantic Canada. retail-insider.com

   Alberta, Canada: Businesses react to Alberta's new restrictions


NY Times Re-Runs France's Ikea Story - Hot Topic in Media Outlets
Ikea's Security Exec. Runs Systemic Espionage Surveillance System on
Employees, Union & Customers

A 'System of Espionage' Reigned at Ikea, a French Prosecutor Charges
The emails surfaced on a USB stick that just mysteriously appeared from an unidentified deliveryman. It held an explosive trove: a cache of startling emails detailing an intricate effort by Ikea executives in France to dig up information on employees, job applicants and even customers.

"Tell me if these people are known to the police," read one executive's message to a private investigator, seeking illicit background checks on hundreds of Ikea job applicants.

"A model worker has become a radical employee representative overnight," read another. "We need to find out why."

A decade after those emails surfaced, they are at the center of a criminal trial that has riveted public attention in France. Prosecutors are accusing the French arm of Ikea, the Swedish home furnishings giant, and some of its former executives of engineering a "system of espionage" from 2009 to 2012.

The alleged snooping was used to investigate employees and union organizers, check up on workers on medical leave and size up customers seeking refunds for botched orders. A former military operative was hired to execute some of the more clandestine operations.

The case stoked outrage in 2012 after the emails were leaked to the French news media, and Ikea promptly fired several executives in its French unit, including its chief executive.

Paméla Tabardel, the deputy public prosecutor of Versailles, near Ikea France's headquarters in Plaisir, is seeking a fine of 2 million euros ($2.35 million) against Ikea France, prison terms of at least a year for two former company officials and a private investigator, and fines for some store managers and police officers. In all, 15 people are charged. A verdict from a panel of judges is scheduled for June 15.

Ikea's lawyer, Emmanuel Daoud, denied that systemwide surveillance had been carried out at Ikea's stores in France, more than two dozen at the time, and demanded that the charges against the company be dropped. He argued that any privacy violations had been the work of a single person, Jean-François Paris, the French unit's head of risk management (Security) who Mr. Daoud said had acted "alone" without the knowledge of top Ikea executives.

Mr. Paris testified that Ikea France executives had been aware of and supported the activity. "This was not a personal step, but a system put in place at the request of the management of Ikea," he said, accusing the company of "cowardice" for pinning the blame on him. nytimes.com

People Are Back and Even Stronger Online
The digital evolution is moving even faster

Interesting Footnote About People Trends
Last March and April a number of executives mentioned how they saw a slight drop in business email openings and a huge increase in their social media impressions.

With LinkedIn driving increases as much as 400% in some groups, profiles, and postings while business emails saw a slight decrease. But nothing to compare to the social media increases.

Quite logical response when you consider furloughing millions and closing thousands of stores. With no need and maybe even some hostility, people may have shunned corporate emails and significantly increased their social media engagement for a number of reasons. Find a job, stay connected, talk with friends and colleagues, network, and keep tabs on what's going on. Fact is we saw the same swing in numbers.

However now, business emails engagement has picked right back up and even stronger than pre-pandemic numbers by ten to twenty percent and even stretched to as high as twenty-five percent.

And while social media impressions have slightly plateaued they're still stronger then their per-pandemic numbers, as well.

So while everyone is reporting this strong online usage and growth on the consumer side the same holds true on the business side for emails and social media usage and growth.

Just our observations. - Gus Downing

Retailer Fights COVID & Gives Back to the Community
Raley's Releases First-Ever Impact Report

Report details the company's extensive initiatives to positively impact their people, communities and planet

As detailed in the report, Raley's efforts and initiatives in 2020 were aimed at nourishing their purpose, people, communities and the planet. Highlights of Raley's inaugural Impact Report include:

Responding to COVID-19:

● Invested more than $60 million in enhanced safety protections.
● Hired and trained over 9,000 new team members.
● Provided more than $15 million to team members through appreciation pay and bonuses.
● Donated $200,000 to purchase devices and internet access to allow students in low-income districts

Community Investment:

● Raised over $9 million, the equivalent of 6,482,118 meals, for food banks
● Donated over $1 million in funds to causes and organizations to empower current and future generations
● Issued $700,000 in Extra Credit grants to 48 schools for programs that promote nutrition education

Sustainable and Responsible Operations:

● Diverted over 70% of all waste companywide from landfills.
● Donated 4.8 million pounds of food via Raley's food rescue program.
● Continued commitment to and focus on ethical supply chain practices. businesswire.com

Are Your Stores Ready?
Forecasters expect another overactive hurricane season with 17 named storms
After last year's record-breaking hurricane season, forecasters are expecting another overactive season. Colorado State University (CSU) released its 2021 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on Thursday morning and is predicting another above-average season this year.

CSU is calling for 17 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). Each of these numbers is above the typical season average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. cnn.com

Online deliveries from EU divebomb 50% as Brexit stops shoppers buying abroad
Online deliveries from the EU to the UK have divebombed by more than 50 per cent since January as Brexit regulations stop shoppers from buying abroad. In the first quarter of 2021 ecommerce deliveries from across the channel dropped by more than a half compared to the final quarter of 2020, according to new research from shipping platform Sendcloud.

Separate research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) supported Sendcloud's figures, showing that the value of imports from the EU dropped by £6.6 billion in January, the biggest fall on record. chargedretail.co.uk

A large chunk of the retail investing crowd got their start during the pandemic,
Schwab survey shows

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director of Security job posted for United Protective Services in Houston, TX
The Director of Security assigned to a Downtown Office Building, directs and coordinates activities relating to the protection, safeguarding and security of company and client assets, employees, invitees and others. The Director will ensure that established goals and objectives are accomplished with prescribed priorities, time limitations and with fiscal responsibilities. indeed.com

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Four Ransomware Gangs Form a Cartel for 'Media Attention'
Did 4 Major Ransomware Groups Truly Form a Cartel?

An analysis of well-known extortion groups and their cryptocurrency transactions reveals the answer.

A collection of ransomware groups that banded together to create a "cartel" rarely collaborate and don't share profits, suggesting that concerns over a sprawling cybercriminal organization are overblown, according to Analyst1.

The four cybercriminal groups - Twisted Spider, Viking Spider, Wizard Spider, and the Lockbit Gang - announced at different times throughout summer 2020 that they would be working together but gave few other details. By November, when Twisted Spider - also known as the Maze group - closed down, it denied there had ever been a cartel.

In a nearly 60-page report, Jon DiMaggio, a former contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and now chief security strategist at threat intelligence firm Analyst1, investigated whether the groups had actually joined forces. While he documented their sharing of data breach information, cross-posting of data, and sharing of techniques, he never saw any revenue sharing or coordination between the groups, he says.

"If you go look up what a cartel is ... the one driving theme is when these organizations work together and share profits with one another," DiMaggio says. "What I did not ever see, even one time, is one gang paying another gang. At the end of the day, they can call themselves a cartel, but I don't think they are a cartel."

To some extent, the cartel announcement appeared to be ransomware gangs trying to garner media attention. All four groups appeared to reach out to journalists and even made public statements. In particular, if a company refused to pay, Twisted Spider issued press releases criticizing companies, and Viking Spider - which infected victims with Ragnar Locker - used Facebook ads and a "wall of shame."  darkreading.com

IT Security Budgets Spiraling Out of Control?
IT security budgets to increase over the next 12 months

IT security budgets are spiralling out of control as organizations adapt to the everywhere workplace, an Ivanti survey reveals.

92% of CISOs highlighted the need to deploy additional security measures to better enable and secure employees as they work from anywhere as the primary budget growth driver. 80% of CISOs also pinpointed the need to replace passwords with more secure forms of authentication.

IT security budgets increase to include more UEM and biometrics
The study, which polled 400 CISOs across EMEA, found that the average IT security budget last year was over €64 million, and 81% expect this to increase over the next 12 months. When pressed on the specific software solutions they plan to invest in during the next year, unified endpoint management (UEM) and biometric authentication solutions came out on top.

Growth in phishing attacks

70% of CISOs claimed that their organization's reliance on biometric authentication to enable remote access to business data would increase, with 24% saying it would significantly increase. The heightened focus on biometric authentication is likely due to the significant growth in phishing attacks.

CISOs need to ensure they have full visibility into all devices

Nigel Seddon, VP EMEA West, Ivanti said: "The emergence of the everywhere workplace has led to an explosion of remote devices attempting to gain access to corporate resources. This new distributed work landscape has created a huge headache for CISOs worldwide as the influx of devices has provided cybercriminals with multiple new vectors to try and exploit. helpnetsecurity.com

Cybercriminals Targeting Digital Channels

More Shopping Done Online Exposes New Cybersecurity Risks

As shoppers flocked to digital venues to make their purchases in 2020, cybercriminals took aim and exposed the mounting vulnerabilities of e-commerce channels.

As shoppers flocked to digital venues to make their purchases in 2020, cybercriminals took aim and exposed the mounting vulnerabilities of e-commerce channels. In 2020, more than $1 trillion was lost to cyber crime, according to a recent report from Sift, a digital trust and safety company focused on fraud prevention.

With store closings and stay-at-home orders, online spending nearly doubled as online traffic rose 50%-70%. As the volume of e-commerce transactions grew, fraudsters seized on shopper behaviors and drove up attempted fraudulent purchases by 69% in 2020 compared to the prior year. Even worse, cybercriminals appeared to team up in 2020, increasing the complexity and reach of the fraud economy.

Fraudsters tend to follow the money, which means they also upped their attacks on mobile shopping, which was estimated to reach $284 billion last year, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market. "Well over" 50% of the fraud attempted in 2020 was over mobile devices, the report noted, increasing 11% from 2019.

Interestingly, fraudsters spent stolen money on an array of goods, including attempting to spend $5 million on watches and $5,000 on gift cards. The fraudiest type of payments in 2020 included gift cards and store credit. retailleader.com

People are the weakest link in data breaches, but can they be held accountable?
In the people-process-technology triad, human error is the top reason for breaches, accounting for 70% of successful attacks, a Cyberinc survey reveals. The next biggest cause is vulnerability management through patches and upgrades, accounting for just 14% of successful attacks.

Securing remote users is top priority

The report also shows that more than 60% of respondents said that securing remote users is their top security priority in 2021, and roughly three-fourths of individuals indicated that their organization is unable to keep up with the increasing volume of cyber alerts. At the same time, only one in six respondents expressed confidence in their organization's current security investments.

A recent report shows that despite a 10% increase in security spending, the number of breaches in 2020 set a record, hitting a level greater than the previous 15 years combined. Additionally, IBM's recent report states that the average total cost of a data breach was $3.86M in 2020.

Cybersecurity is not the average employee's job

These statistics underscore the importance of putting in place new processes and technologies to protect organizations from a problem that will likely persist, given that cybersecurity is not the average employee's job. helpnetsecurity.com

DHS S&T Expands Pilot of Cybersecurity Tech for Emergency Communications Centers
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is expanding pilot testing of a technology to improve the cybersecurity defenses of the nation's emergency communications infrastructure.  dhs.gov




Security & Surveillance are Key to Cannabis Compliance
Top 5 Compliance Infractions To Guard Against
Ah, compliance. The cannabis industry's favorite word. Remaining compliant is a headache, no doubt about it. The industry is unlike any other, and our processes are far from typical. Compliance, while frustrating at times, keeps products safe for consumers. Products intended for human consumption must be produced with certain standards in place.

Certain parts of the supply chain are more susceptible to lapses. We're going to highlight the top five areas that see the most infractions.

Security and Surveillance
Security is a primary concern within the cannabis industry. Security is required by state and local law when operating a cannabis business. Cameras are one of the most important safety measures required. A common compliance infraction is not retaining the proper history of video. Various governments require different time periods.

It's important to ensure there are no obstructions in the footage, like ceiling fans, air ducts or other pieces of equipment. Obstructions = fines. Take the extra steps to make sure there is a clear shot of the room and install overlapping fields of view to guarantee the best angles.

Dealing with Expired Product
Expiring product costs brands unnecessary money and the cannabis industry is no exception. Cannabinoids themselves won't really expire, though they do degrade over time. Cannabinoids aren't the only ingredients in many cannabis products. Edibles, for example, often have dairy in them - which will absolutely expire. Spoiled dairy is nobody's friend.

Documenting SOPs - Purchase Limits - Consumer Delivery Documentation cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

Warning to Marijuana Establishments

Scamming Activities Targeting Marijuana Licensees
This bulletin applies to licensed Marijuana Establishments and Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers ("licensees"). This notice is to inform licensees about potential scams and fraud.

The Cannabis Control Commission ("Commission") has received reports of individuals ("scammers") contacting licensees in Massachusetts and impersonating owners, managers, or executives by phone or text message. In these calls or texts, the scammers disclose pertinent information about licensed businesses to gain agents' trust.

The scammers may relay a message regarding a pending inspection (e.g. by the Commission, a fire department, etc.). To prepare for the inspection, the scammers request photos of the licensees' bank deposits, secure storage areas, and safety equipment. Additionally, the scammers request agents to deliver cash from their employer to a location off-premises, or deposit funds to a cryptocurrency account.

Reports of intended scams or fraud have been reported in other jurisdictions outside Massachusetts, all sharing many of these same attributes. As a result of these incidents, licensees may consider encouraging agent awareness of how intended scams or fraud are executed-and how to avoid them. sapphirerisk.com

'We're going to move forward, period'
Congress ready to change marijuana laws - even if Biden isn't
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a strong advocate of marijuana legalization, is ready to move ahead with major changes to federal laws prohibiting the use, sale and production of cannabis products - with or without the support of President Joe Biden.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden - a leading Democratic proponent of tough drug laws during his long Senate career - was the only leading Democratic primary candidate to oppose federal legalization of the plant, saying more study is needed. While the president supports legalizing the drug for medical use and the decriminalization of possession, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week, Biden's "position has not changed" on full legalization since the campaign.

Schumer told Politico he respects Biden's desire for more study on the subject, but he said "we will move forward" even if the president's view stays the same. usatoday.com

Virginia Becomes 16th State to Legalize Cannabis
It's official: Virginia legalizes marijuana possession starting this summer
The Virginia General Assembly gave final approval to a bill to legalize simple possession of marijuana and limited home growth beginning July 1, 2021, three years sooner than initially planned.

The accelerated timeline won a majority in the House and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) broke a 20-20 tie in the Senate on Wednesday during a session dedicated to the consideration of Gov. Ralph Northam's budget and bill amendments.

The vote makes Virginia the first state in the South to green light recreational cannabis and the 16th state overall, including D.C. wric.com

Florida Lawmakers Holding Out Hope For Recreational Marijuana This Session

Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee

Two-thirds of Louisiana voters support legalizing marijuana




From Malls to Warehouses
Amazon has converted as many as 25 malls into distribution centers
Amazon started buying up failed malls and turning them into warehouses and distribution centers long before the pandemic sent e-commerce purchasing sky-high.

Last summer, the mammoth online company began talking to Simon about installing mini-DCs inside some of its closed Sears and Penney's stores. But, according to NBC News, Amazon has turned some 25 malls to fulfillment stations between 2016 and 2019.

In just the last four months, said the report, Amazon went on a shopping spree, getting approvals to install distribution centers at malls in Baton Rouge, Knoxville, Tenn., and Worcester, Mass.

Amazon took advantage of the falloff of business at malls during the pandemic to snare valuable space at a time when availability of industrial real estate is low and rental prices are high. chainstoreage.com

Google's Anti-Amazon Strategy

Google Aims to Be the Anti-Amazon of E-Commerce. It Has a Long Way to Go.

Google presents itself to independent sellers as cheaper and less restrictive. But it is not clear whether it can change people's habits of going straight to Amazon.

Google tried to copy Amazon's playbook to become the shopping hub of the internet, with little success. Now it is trying something different: the anti-Amazon strategy.

Google is trying to present itself as a cheaper and less restrictive option for independent sellers. And it is focused on driving traffic to sellers' sites, not selling its own version of products, as Amazon does.

In the last year, Google eliminated fees for merchants and allowed sellers to list their wares in its search results for free. It is also trying to make it easier for small, independent shops to upload their inventory of products to appear in search results and buy ads on Google by teaming up with Shopify, which powers online stores for 1.7 million merchants who sell directly to consumers.

But like Google's many attempts during its two-decade quest to compete with Amazon, this one shows little sign of working. Google has nothing as alluring as the $295 billion that passed through Amazon's third-party marketplace in 2020. The amount of goods people buy on Google is "very small" by comparison - probably around $1 billion, said Juozas Kaziukenas, the founder of Marketplace Pulse, a research company.

Amazon is a fixture in the lives of many Americans. It has usurped Google as the starting point for shoppers and has become equally essential for marketers. Amazon's global advertising business grew 30 percent to $17.6 billion in 2020, trailing only Google and Facebook in the United States.

But as the pandemic has forced many stores to go online, it has created a new opening for Google to woo sellers who feel uneasy about building their businesses on Amazon. nytimes.com

Amazon's NYC Takeover
'Last Mile' Amazon and UPS Hubs Raise Concerns in Brooklyn Enclave
Some residents say they have managed to coexist with a variety of large commercial footprints but have concerns about two future neighbors. Amazon. com Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc. both have plans for package-and-delivery hubs in the area to keep up with skyrocketing e-commerce demand. Other package-distribution sites in the area could be on the way, according to local elected officials.

"Industry is not something we are afraid of in Red Hook, but the last-mile delivery is a whole other issue," said City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood and is a longtime resident. "There's real terror about what could happen here."

Last-mile delivery is the crucial final step in getting packages from a distribution center, where goods come in, to the customer. With the explosion of online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic, and increased demand for same-day or even two-hour delivery services, the placement of delivery hubs closer to the millions of homes they serve in New York City has become a key competitive edge in e-commerce.

Some residents said fleets of trucks and sprinter vans coming in and out will increase congestion on the neighborhood's narrow roads, many of which are in disrepair. Surrounded by water on three sides and bordered by an often-clogged expressway, Red Hook has only a few ways for trucks to enter the neighborhood. wsj.com

Online Shopping Surge During Pandemic Reached $900B

Best Buy Starts $200-a-Year Membership to Rival Amazon, Walmart




London, Ontario, Canada: 'Project Magnet': Woman charged in string of retail thefts, $100K in stolen goods recovered
A London woman is one of three people charged following an investigation by Stratford police that led to the recovery of more than $100,000 in goods stolen from Southwestern Ontario retail stores. Stratford police announced the result of an investigation they called Project Magnet on Wednesday. The probe began after a person was arrested and charged for a retail theft in Stratford. Investigators determined the person routinely travelled to municipalities where goods were stolen from retail stores, including Shoppers Drug Mart, Indigo, Best Buy, SportChek, HomeSense and Staples.

The person would steal an average of six days a week and target six to 10 stores a day, travelling up to 600 miles a day to reach different retail stores with similar product, police said. The stolen merchandise was sold to other people at various locations.

Investigators seized a vehicle and searched homes in Oakville and London, finding stolen goods valued at more than $100,000, police said. A 50-year-old London woman, and a 44-year-old man and 42-year-old woman, both from Oakville, are jointly charged with numerous offences. lfpress.com

Macon, GA: BCSO needs helping identifying, locating theft suspect
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office is asking for your help to identify a person of interest in connection to a burglary. The incident happened at the Beauty Queen 98 Cents Store on Gray Highway. Investigators say a man used a U-Haul van to ram the front door and break into the business. The suspect was caught on surveillance video damaging several display cases, taking wigs, and cash. 41nbc.com

Melbourne, Australia: Police find $50k baby formula secret stash
Police have arrested three people after uncovering about $50,000 worth of allegedly stolen baby formula and vitamins at two Melbourne properties. Officers executed search warrants in Abbotsford and a second property in Hawthorn East about 11.30am on Tuesday. They discovered baby formula and vitamins with an estimated value of $50,000. Police also found $10,000 worth of wine and a large quantity of cash. A 37-year-old man from South Melbourne was charged with seven counts of theft and commit indictable offence while on bail. A 44-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman, both from Hawthorn East, were released pending summons. qt.com.au

Norwalk, CT: Former Store Worker At SoNo Collection Accused Of ID Theft

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Shootings & Deaths

Murder-for-Hire Plot
Austin, TX: Two men plead guilty in murder-for-hire plot that left well-known Austin jeweler dead
A man accused of planning his father's death in a murder-for-hire plot to get insurance money has pleaded guilty, according to the Travis County District Attorney's office. Nicholas Shaughnessy and Aerion Smith have both taken responsibility for the death of Theodore Shaughnessy, Nicholas' father, in March of 2018. The elder Shaughnessy was the owner of a Central Austin jewelry store, Gallerie Jewelers, while his son was the sole beneficiary of a $2 million life insurance policy. The murder-for-hire plot was orchestrated by Nicholas, prosecutors said, in order to collect on the policy in the event of his parents' death. foxsanantonio.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Berry Hill, TN: C-Store clerk falls from speeding getaway car
Berry Hill Police are on the lookout for a man who was a shoplifting suspect one moment and an aggravated assault suspect the next. The crime occurred Sunday, March 21 at a convenience store on the 700 block of Thompson Lane. A suspect grabbed a carton of cigarettes and got into a white car. Surveillance video shows the 26-year-old store clerk chase after the suspect and lean into the window of the moving car to confront the thief. The video then shows the white car racing out of the parking lot.

Another video from a business over 100 yards down the road shows the white car speeding down the road at upwards of 30 to 40 miles per hour. The video shows the clerk falling off the moving car and then rolling three to four times across the hard asphalt. The car managed to get away and the clerk was left dazed and confused in front of a restaurant packed with diners. Amazingly, the clerk who preferred not to be identified was not seriously injured. When police arrived, the shaken store clerk said, "They stole a carton of cigs. I tried to get it back from them, and I held on to the side of the car and they sped off and I went rolling." wkrn.com

Dallas, TX: SWAT Called To Rescue Assault Victim Held Hostage
At Convenience Store
A convenience store manager, who was assaulted and held hostage, had to rescued by a Dallas police SWAT team just after midnight on April 7. The incident happened on South Westmoreland Road. Police say when officers arrived witnesses told them that a man, later identified as 30-year-old Deandre Levels, had come into the store and caused a 'disturbance' with several customers. Witnesses said at some point Levels got into a fistfight with a clerk working at the store. The employee an into a back office space, where Levels allegedly followed, trapped him in the space and continued with the assault. Police say the store clerk was stabbed several times. A SWAT team was called in and after making entry was able to get the clerk to safety and arrest Levels. dfw.cbslocal.com

Louisville, KY: Suspicious suitcase left by man at Jeffersontown Kroger prompts evacuation
The discovery of a suspicious package at the Kroger in Jeffersontown prompted the store to be evacuated around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Jeffersontown Police Department Det. Chris Morris confirmed the package was found at the Stony Brook Kroger on Taylorsville Road; store employees called the department after finding a travel suitcase with wheels in the middle of an aisle. Morris said a man was seen on surveillance video wheeling the suitcase while shopping with a cart. He left the piece of luggage in the aisle before walking away with the cart and leaving the store. The Louisville Metro Police Department Bomb Squad and ATF investigators were called to the store to aid Jeffersontown PD officers in the investigation. Morris said an LMPD bomb robot was initially sent into the store to survey the area; a larger bot was sent in to retrieve the suitcase around 5:15 p.m. It was determined the suspect who left the suitcase could have been homeless, Morris said, as what was found inside the luggage were tarps, blankets, and jackets. Morris said detectives are reviewing footage to try to identify the man; it is unlikely he will face criminal charges. wave3.com

Minneapolis, MN: Illinois Man Pleads Guilty To Arson Of Cell Phone Store
According to the defendant's guilty plea and documents filed with the court, on May 28, 2020, Maatthew Lee Rupert, a resident of Galesburg, Illinois, posted messages on his Facebook account referencing the public protests occurring in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd, including one that stated, "I'm going to Minneapolis tomorrow who coming only goons I'm renting hotel rooms." On May 29, 2020, RUPERT posted a self-recorded cell phone video to his Facebook account indicating that he was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In his Facebook Live video, RUPERT announced that he came "to riot," and is depicted encouraging violence against law enforcement officers, actively damaging property, breaking into buildings, and looting businesses. A sentencing date will be scheduled at a later time. justice.gov

Butler, CO: Store Loss Prevention at Liberty Center narrowly avoids car
as suspect flees
The Butler County Sheriff's released video of a pair of people they are looking for after they almost ran a man over. The security guard is fine but barely avoided serious injury as the car that almost hit him did deal some damage to nearby vehicles. fox19.com

San Mateo, CA: Officer Walks In On Armed Robbery at 7-Eleven; 2 Arrested

Atlantic City, NJ: Clothing Store Clerk Charged With Reporting Fake Robbery

Quincy, MA: Men Arrested for Lewis County Thefts, Burglaries

McDonough, GA: Shaquille O'Neal Pays for Stranger's Engagement Ring at Georgia Jewelry Store



Fresno, CA: Man arraigned on charges of Credit Card Skimming, faces a 33-count indictment for bank fraud and credit card fraud
According to court documents, Arman Mkhitaryan, 33 of Glendale, installed credit card skimming devices at Fresno area gas stations and stole individuals' credit card information. Talbert said he then used that information to create counterfeit credit cards and purchase more than $160,000 in postage stamps via self-service kiosks at U.S. Post Offices, according to acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. If convicted of bank fraud, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. If convicted of credit card fraud, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  yourcentralvalley.com




Auto - Jonesboro, AR - Burglary
Beauty Supply - Macon, GA - Burglary
Clothing - Atlantic City, NJ - Robbery
Dollar General - Edcouch, TX - Robbery
Guns - Debary, FL - Burglary
Jewelry - Santa Cruz, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Burglary
Jewelry - Gilbert, AZ - Robbery
Restaurant - La Mesa, CA - Armed Robbery (Denny's)
Restaurant - Lubbock, TX - Burglary
Restaurant - Campbell, CA - Burglary
Spa - Niles, IL - Robbery
Thrift - Polk County, FL - Burglary
Toy - Draper, UT - Burglary
7-Eleven - San Mateo, CA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 6 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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