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John Owad named Director of Loss Prevention Logistics for URBN (Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie Group, Free People & Nuuly)

Before joining URBN as Director of Loss Prevention Logistics, John spent more than eight years with Urban Outfitters as Loss Prevention & Safety Manager, NA Logistics & Navy Yard. Prior to that, he spent two years with Harbor Freight Tools as Distribution Center East Loss Prevention Manager. Earlier in his career, he held loss prevention roles with JCPenney and Sears. Congratulations, John!

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







Stopping ORC with the Tally
"ORC Early Warning System"

"Shouldn't the bad guys be locked up,
not your merchandise?"

Click here to watch the video

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Drug Cartels & Chinese Partners Fueling ORC?
Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa officials examine retail theft's role in drug trade

The illegal fentanyl trade runs through China, Mexico - and, unwittingly, Home Depot.

Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley sat down Thursday with national retail leaders and local, state and federal law enforcement officials in Cedar Rapids for a roundtable discussion about how retail theft is fueling the illicit drug trade.

Grassley was promoting his bipartisan bill working to tackle a sudden rise in Organized Crime Thefts in the U.S. He says it's clear that a growing transnational crime ring is behind the thefts and using stolen goods to funnel money to deadly drug cartel efforts.

Grassley called the shady financial ties and "disturbing link" between organized retail theft and Mexican drug cartels fueling drug overdose deaths in the United States a "rude awakening."

International money launderers are increasingly using stolen products from retail crime rings to move proceeds from U.S.-based drug sales back to cartels in Mexico to fund additional violent criminal activity - such as human trafficking, gun smuggling and narcotics - in Iowa and elsewhere, said Steve Cagen, assistant director of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

It sounds like a dramatic international thriller, but the plot is very real. One executive from Home Depot brought video evidence of the kinds of thefts they are now seeing in their stores. People, often armed, rushing in and grabbing high-value items before rushing out of the store and attacking anyone that gets in their way. "Our law enforcement partners often find these crimes linked to other activities such as drug, gun and even human trafficking," said Scott, VP of Asset Protection with Home Depot.

Glenn and other panelists urged support for legislation to broaden statutes dealing with organized retail theft and give more resources to law enforcement. Glenn said he also would like to see stiffer penalties and a reduction in felony thresholds for retail theft.

Senator Grassley says the thefts themselves are organized by Mexican drug cartels and groups in China using the internet to organize thefts, sell stolen items and launder the money in order to continue their operations. thegazette.com cbs2iowa.com

New Mexico Creates New Crime of 'Organized Retail Crime'
New Mexico Adds Special Penalties for Organized Retail Crime

New Mexico's governor has signed anti-crime bills that aim to curtail coordinated theft at retail stores and block the sale of stolen catalytic converters

New Mexico's governor signed anti-crime bills Thursday that aim to curtail coordinated theft at retail stores and block the sale of stolen catalytic converters that can be sawed out of unattended cars and pickups.

State and local business associations lobbied legislators to create a new category of "organized retail crime" and stiffen penalties for organized theft of store merchandize as retailers struggle to contain losses from coordinated pilfering.

In a statement, Democratic House Speaker Javier Martínez of Albuquerque praised the new legislation and said that organized retail crime also affects the safety retail workers and families as they shop.

House Bill 234 creates the crime of organized retail crime, allowing for the aggregation of multiple retail theft crimes over a period of time to target repeat offenders.

"Retail crime poses a serious threat not just to the livelihood of local business owners, but to the safety of the everyday New Mexicans working behind the counter or shopping for their families," said HB 234 sponsor House Speaker Javier Martínez. "House Bill 234 will be another tool in the toolbox to protect our communities."

"By revamping our shoplifting laws with increased penalties and additional crimes for repeat and violent offenders, we are holding the thieves who endanger the lives of retail shoppers and employees accountable," said HB 234 sponsor Rep. Marian Matthews. This bill becoming law sends the clear message that New Mexico will not tolerate these dangerous crimes." usnews.com  governor.state.nm.us

Cracking Down on Internet Marketplaces Fueling Theft
Anonymity now tougher for shoplifting rings to sell stolen goods online
Organized retail crime is costing American stores a staggering sum of money. In 2021, $94 billion was lost due to shoplifting, according to a national retail security survey.

"Here in Colorado, we think it's approaching a billion dollars. So we have some retail stores that are losing tens of millions of dollars a year," Chris Howes, president of the Colorado Retail Council, said.

Howes is a big supporter of House Bill 22-1099, passed in Colorado, and a similar measure at the federal level, to go after organized crime theft.

"It tries to get at the problem of anonymous sales of stolen goods on the internet," Howes said.

The new measure forces online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace to track people who make 200 transactions in a year that net at least $5,000.

Online sellers have to give their bank account number, government-issued photo identification and tax identification number, along with a working email and phone number.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser created a statewide task force to combat organized retail theft and to curb online sales of stolen goods when the new law went into effect on Jan. 1 this year.

The owner of the Sports Fan in Denver said he hopes the new measure makes a difference.

"This new law will allow people to really go through a process of now I'm being held accountable on Facebook Marketplace or whatever. And so this isn't a venue for me to steal and then resell. And so instead, my hope is that they just go get a regular job. Also, we're hiring," Friedman said. kdvr.com

Retail Crime Closures Continue
'Rampant drug use and growing crime' lead to latest store closure in SF

San Francisco Whole Foods closes a year after opening due to crime: report
A recently opened Whole Foods Market in San Francisco closed its doors on Monday over growing crime in the downtown area, according to a report. The popular grocery store chain shuttered its SF flagship location a little more than a year after it opened, citing worker safety concerns, the San Francisco Standard reported.

"We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being," a Whole Foods spokesperson told the local outlet in a statement. "If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location."

The company said rampant drug use and growing crime led to its decision, a city hall source told the Standard. The Whole Foods store had already reduced its hours in October last year after experiencing "high theft" and hostile patrons, a store manager said.

A month later, store managers restricted the use of its bathrooms to customers only after syringes and pipes were found in the restrooms, the publication reported. The city has also been plagued by a lack of foot traffic as many residents are no longer going into offices in the downtown area and are instead working from home.

Countless small businesses have shuttered. San Francisco's District 6 supervisor Matt Dorsey said he was "incredibly disappointed but sadly unsurprised" by the Whole Foods closure.

"Our neighborhood waited a long time for this supermarket, but we're also well aware of problems they've experienced with drug-related retail theft, adjacent drug markets, and the many safety issues related to them," Dorsey said in a statement. nypost.com

America's Gun Violence Epidemic on Display Over Holiday Weekend

146 Mass Shootings in 100 Days of 2023
100 days into 2023, Louisville attack marks nation's 146th mass shooting and 15th mass killing
One hundred days into 2023, there have been 15 mass killings - shootings in which four or more people were killed, not including the shooter - in the U.S., according to a USA TODAY/Associated Press/Northeastern University database tracking the killings.

Louisville, Kentucky, shooting marks 4th public mass killing of 2023

Of the 15 mass killings, four were public shootings, and most of the others were family-related incidents, said James Alan Fox, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston who oversees the USA TODAY database, which goes back to 2006. The killings have left at least 79 people dead and 20 injured, not including the shooters.

146 mass shootings in which four victims injured

The nonprofit Gun Violence Archive tracks all mass shootings, defined as a shooting in which at least four victims are hit by gunfire. There have been 146 mass shootings this year - up 10% over the previous record year of 2021, said Mark Bryant, executive director.

Thousands more killed, injured in gun violence in 2023

Nearly 5,000 people have died from gunfire so far in 2023, and nearly 9,000 have been injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Hundreds of children under age 11 have been killed or injured, along with more than a thousand teens, the database shows.

The archive estimates thousands of people have also died by suicide, as about half of all gun violence deaths in the U.S. each year are deaths by suicide.

That data includes gang-related shootings, domestic violence, shootings at sports games, accidents and more. There have been more than 100 such incidents on school grounds this year, the database shows. usatoday.com

Mass Shooting Deaths Reach Decade-Long High
Over 200 Killed In U.S. Mass Shootings So Far This Year
More than 200 people have been killed in mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, following the deadly attack Monday morning at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky-the most mass shootings and mass shooting deaths at this time in the year in at least a decade.

Monday morning's shooting in Kentucky, which left five people dead including the suspected assailant, brought the number of shooting victims in 2023 mass shootings to 209, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which started tracking gun violence data in 2013 and documents shootings in which at least four people were killed or injured, not including the shooter.

There have so far been 146 mass shootings nationwide this year, surpassing the 130 shootings by this point in 2022 that killed 145 people, as well as the 136 mass shootings resulting in 165 deaths at this time in 2021, according to the GVA.

The shooting in Louisville Monday morning was the deadliest in the U.S. since the killing of six people, including three children, at an elementary school in Nashville late last month, according to the Gun Violence Archive. forbes.com

March marks one of Dallas' deadliest months in years

Police recorded 34 murders, a single-month toll not seen since October 2020.

The city's overall murder count in 2023 is 79 victims, up 23.4% from the same period in 2022, according to police statistics through Saturday. Overall violent crime - which includes murders, robberies and aggravated assaults - is down about 3.6% this year.

Police officials say an uptick in calls for service and staffing shortages have placed more demands on officers. The department has about 3,060 officers, down from around 3,500 to 3,600 officers in 2014, before hundreds left during a pension crisis in 2016-17. dallasnews.com

A list of recent high-profile shootings in the US

Louisville mass shooting: Dem claims shootings 'uniquely American epidemic'



Dollar General Safety Violations Continue to Pile Up
180+ Investigations Have Resulted in More Than $15M in Fines

Blocked Emergency Exits and 'Dangerous' Fire Hazards: Dollar General again found in violation of federal workplace safety standards

The inspection is one of more than 180 investigations where OSHA has found Dollar General to be jeopardizing worker safety, the DOL said.

Dollar General has again been found in violation of federal workplace safety regulations for "willfully exposing" staff to fire hazards at a Pennsylvania store, the Department of Labor said Friday.

Investigators found "dangerous safety hazards," including blocked emergency exit routes and electrical panels, at a Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, store during a November inspection that was sparked by a complaint made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The hazards were similar to violations found at other stores operated by the discounter throughout the U.S., and the inspection is one of more than 180 investigations in which OSHA has found Dollar General to be jeopardizing worker safety, the DOL said.

The company, which operates roughly 18,000 stores across the country and employs more than 150,000 workers, has been fined $15 million for safety violations since 2017 and "continues to defy federal workplace safety requirements" despite repeated penalties, the agency said.

"Exposing employees to these hazards can be dangerous, especially in an emergency," OSHA Area Director Mary Reynolds said in a statement. "Dollar General Corp. has a substantial history of the same violations and hazards found at stores all around the U.S. They must end their repeated failures to correct these violations before an emergency turns tragic."

Just last week, OSHA said Dollar General was in settlement talks with federal regulators after the retailer was labeled a "severe violator" of workplace safety rules. Dollar General was the first company to be added to the "severe violators" list last fall after OSHA expanded the reach of one of its longstanding safety enforcement programs. cnbc.com  retaildive.com

RFID's Retail Expansion Continues
The tech is becoming a top priority for retailers in 2023 and 2024

Uniqlo's Parent Company Bets Big on Tiny RFID Chips

Next-generation self-checkout machines are part of a broader effort to improve the supply chain with radio technology, Fast Retailing CIO Takahiro Tambara says

At Uniqlo's Fifth Avenue store in New York, shoppers can checkout simply by placing their goods in gleaming bins of automated stations. Unlike the self-checkout process at many stores, customers of the casual apparel retailer don't need to scan individual items or look up prices on a screen-they can simply drop their items in a bin and pay.

This next-generation process is powered by radio frequency identification readers inside the checkout machines, which automatically read hidden RFID chips embedded in price tags.

Mr. Tambara said the self-checkout machines are part of a broader effort to improve Uniqlo's supply chain with RFID. All Fast Retailing brands, including Theory and Helmut Lang, began embedding RFID chips into their price tags in 2017-allowing the retailer to track individual items from its factories to warehouses and inside stores. That data is critical for Uniqlo in improving the accuracy of inventory in stores, adjusting production based on demand, and getting more visibility into its supply chain, the company said.

Newer and cheaper RFID chips, reader hardware, and software are enabling retailers such as Uniqlo to implement the technology at lower cost and with more precision, said Praveen Adhi, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. who leads the consulting firm's retail-operations practice in the Americas. The cost of RFID tags has fallen from as high as 60 cents a tag a few decades ago to about 4 cents a tag, and reader hardware has improved in range and accuracy, he said.

Uniqlo said that RFID has resulted in "significant reduction in out-of-stock" items on the sales floor, and that it has contributed to "reducing lost opportunities and improving customer satisfaction."

While the most common use case for RFID is improving inventory management, the use of RFID at self-checkout machines is gaining traction as more apparel retailers explore ways to apply the technology once their merchandise has been tagged. For the majority of apparel brands, implementing RFID "will be on their 2023 or 2024 agenda," Mr. Adhi said.  wsj.com

'Stop the Merger': Kroger-Albertsons Merger Protests
Workers nationwide protest proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger

Employees at dozens of stores run by the retailers participated last week in a nationwide effort to call on regulators to block the planned deal.

Local unions under the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) hosted protests last week across the U.S. against the proposed Kroger-Albertsons merger under a coordinated effort led by Stop the Merger, a group of more than 100 organizations opposing the merger.

Last Monday, Stop the Merger said grocery store workers from seven UFCW unions, which represent over 100,000 Kroger and Albertsons workers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., would hold actions in front of stores during the week.

Workers at 34 stores under the Kroger and Albertsons banners across Washington, West Virginia, California, Virginia and Washington, D.C. participated in the protests, per Stop the Merger's website. Stop the Merger said in an email it gave away 5,000 "Stop the Merger" reusable grocery bags to shoppers in front of 65 King Soopers and Safeway stores in the Denver metro area on Friday.

The Stop the Merger group, which is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to block the deal from moving forward, claims that the merger would create a monopoly in many areas across the country, including Colorado and Wyoming, job loss for grocery workers, higher food prices and financial hardship for farmers and suppliers. grocerydive.com

'Fair Chance Act' Would Ban Most Employer Background Checks
California bill would ban most criminal background checks

Fair chance laws seek to reduce the barriers that formerly incarcerated individuals encounter trying to get a job.

A California bill under consideration in the state senate would ban most private employers from seeking a background check into a job candidate's conviction history.

If enacted, the Fair Chance Act of 2023 (SB 809) would allow employers to seek a job applicant's conviction history report only in three circumstances: federal or state law or federal regulation requires an employer to obtain the information; federal or state law prohibits an individual with a particular conviction history from holding the position sought, regardless of whether the conviction has been expunged, sealed or dismissed; or federal or state law prohibits an applicant with that particular conviction from being hired. In addition, SB 809 would prohibit employers from rejecting an applicant because of their conviction history without first conducting an individualized assessment as to whether their conviction history has a "direct and adverse" relationship to the job.

The bill would also expand the number of employment practices deemed unlawful, including ending an interview, rejecting an application or otherwise terminating the application process based on conviction history information the applicant provides or the employer learns from another source. SB 809's proposed changes "would more or less upend the ordinary hiring process for just about every employer in California," Littler attorneys Alice Wang and Rod M. Fliegel wrote in a March 27 post. hrdive.com

McDonald's to lay off hundreds as burger giant restructures company, source says

McDonald's is closing its field offices in the U.S. as it moves to a national model

Shoe City files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Quarterly Results

Albertson's Q4 identical sales up 5.6%, digital up 16%, FY identical sales up 6.9%, digital up 28%

Car Max Q4 net revenue down 25.6%, Retail used units down 12.6%, FY net revenue down 6.9%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director I of Security job posted for Southern Glazer's in Aurora, CO
The Dir I, Security will provide a secure environment by developing physical and technical security programs. The Dir I, Security will implement security programs and procedures to protect company personnel, property and reputation. The Dir I, Security will ensure that security procedures are properly executed by employees. The Dir I, Security will conduct internal and external investigations to resolve theft, workplace violence and misconduct at company facilities. recruiting.southernglazers.com

Director, Data Security job posted for RingCentral in Belmont, CA
As part of the RingCentral CISO team, you will work across the organization to ensure data security is built into our products and business using modern practices and disciplines. This role can be located at any of our US-based corporate offices (Belmont CA, Denver CO, Dallas TX, Charlotte NC.) As the Director, Data Security you will be responsible for the identification, classification, protection and recovery of our most critical data assets. ringcentral.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com

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Saks Fifth Avenue & More Hit by Ransomware Attacks
March ransomware disclosures spike behind Clop attacks

The Clop ransomware gang claimed responsibility for several disclosed ransomware attacks on major enterprises

The Clop ransomware group was busy last month, claiming responsibility for attacks against several prominent companies such as Rubrik, Saks Fifth Avenue and Procter & Gamble.

While the number of attacks increased slightly from February to March, which saw 22 total disclosures and confirmed attacks, many of the victims were related to Clop ransomware attacks that exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Fortra's GoAnywhere managed file transfer software.

First observed in 2019, the Russian-linked ransomware group has been known for double extortion tactics that it used in an attack against German-based Software AG in 2020. Unlike past activity, the group did not appear to deploy ransomware or encrypt data in the GoAnywhere attacks, which highlights an evolution in ransomware extortion tactics. Instead, operators behind Clop relied on its public data leak site to pressure victims into paying.

Hatch Bank and Rubrik were two of the first victims to confirm that they suffered a ransomware attack earlier last month related to the Fortra GoAnywhere zero-day vulnerability. The cybersecurity vendor's disclosure came right after Clop added Rubrik to its extortion site.

Since then, many more high-profile companies disclosed attacks stemming from the Fortra zero-day flaw. While none of the victims reported that its data or systems had been encrypted, the attacks led to the thefts of sensitive data. Other victims that have issued public disclosures include Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, U.S. Wellness, Blue Shield of California, Saks Fifth Avenue and Procter & Gamble. However, threat researchers have reviewed Clop's data leak site, which shows many more big-name victims.

The LockBit ransomware group also took credit for a March 6 attack against Staples-owned office wholesale distributor Essendant. In a security incident statement, which has been continually updated, Essendant said an investigation determined that the outage resulted from a ransomware attack that disrupted certain systems and operations. techtarget.com

ChatGPT & Other AI Regulations Coming?
Fears grow over possible use of AI to commit crimes

Biden Administration Weighs Possible Rules for AI Tools Like ChatGPT

Fears grow over the potential use of artificial intelligence to commit crimes and spread falsehoods

AdvertisementThe Biden administration has begun examining whether checks need to be placed on artificial-intelligence tools such as ChatGPT, amid growing concerns that the technology could be used to discriminate or spread harmful information.

In a first step toward potential regulation, the Commerce Department on Tuesday put out a formal public request for comment on what it called accountability measures, including whether potentially risky new AI models should go through a certification process before they are released.

The administration's action comes amid a boom in the use of artificial-intelligence tools that can quickly generate humanlike writing, images, videos and more. ChatGPT, the chatbot from Microsoft Corp. startup OpenAI, has been estimated by some analysts to have reached 100 million users faster than any consumer app in history.

"It is amazing to see what these tools can do even in their relative infancy," said Alan Davidson, who leads the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commerce Department agency that put out the request for comment. "We know that we need to put some guardrails in place to make sure that they are being used responsibly."

The comments, which will be accepted over the next 60 days, will be used to help formulate advice to U.S. policy makers about how to approach AI, Mr. Davidson said. He added that his agency's legal mandate involves advising the president on tech policy, rather than writing or enforcing regulations. wsj.com

'Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit'
Microsoft leads effort to disrupt illicit use of Cobalt Strike, a dangerous hacking tool in the wrong hands

The action against illicit versions of legitimate Cobalt Strike applications represents the culmination of a year-long investigation.

Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, cybersecurity firm Fortra and the Health Information Sharing & Analysis Center announced legal action Thursday to seize domains related to criminal activity involving cracked copies of the security testing application Cobalt Strike, which has become a favorite tool for cybercriminals to carry out attacks around the world.

Cobalt Strike, an adversary emulation tool that information security professionals use to evaluate network and system defenses to enable better security, like other legitimate hacking tools, is regularly abused by cybercriminals as part of attacks ranging from financially motived cybercrime to high-end state-aligned attacks.

Fortra, the maker of Cobalt Strike, works to prevent Cobalt Strike getting into the hands malicious hackers, but manipulated versions of the software have inevitably proliferated online. Thursday's action attempts to disrupt the use of these cracked, older versions of Cobalt Strike that cybercriminals widely use to carry out attacks, especially to deploy ransomware.

"If you identify their preferred method of attack and make it no longer usable that's a good thing," said Amy Hogan-Burney, Microsoft's general manager for cybersecurity policy and protection.

The court order names a range of entities and groups the companies allege misuse their technologies, including the LockBit and Conti ransomware groups and a series of cybercrime operations tracked by Microsoft under various designations. In a 223-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York, the companies detail known IP addresses associated with the criminal activity, along with the range of domain names utilized by the criminal groups. cyberscoop.com

Selling App-Takeover Tools & Malicious Wares on the Dark Web
Apps for Sale: Cybercriminals Sell Android Hacks for Up to $20K a Pop

The marketplace for malicious Google Play applications and app-takeover tools is thriving, thanks to novel hacking techniques and lax enterprise security.

Cybercriminals are finding ways around the official Google Play app store's security, developing tools for trojanizing existing Android applications and selling their malicious wares for up to $20,000 a piece on cybercrime markets.

In an April 10 blog post, researchers from Kaspersky published the results of a broad study of nine of the most popular Dark Web forums. Tracking activity from 2019 and 2023, they found a thriving marketplace of buyers and sellers trading access to app developer accounts, botnets, and malicious Android applications, sometimes for thousands of dollars at a time.

In some cases, particularly useful wares - like source code that can burrow you into an existing cryptocurrency or dating app on Google Play - are going for multiple thousands of dollars.

"It's an infinite cat and mouse game," Kaspersky researcher Georgy Kucherin says of Google's app security. "The attackers find a way to bypass security scanners. Then the people developing the security scanners deploy patches to ensure that doesn't happen again. Then the attackers find new flaws. And it goes on and on." darkreading.com

FBI says you should avoid public USB stations if you don't want malware on your phone

Pair of Apple Zero-Days Under Active Exploit; Patch & Update Accordingly







Do You Use Two-Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication, a secondary authentication method for logging into email, social media, banking or corporate accounts, is an easy way to protect your accounts. When you log in from an unrecognized computer or mobile device, the service provider sends a text message to your cell phone. This ensures no one can access your account with only your password. While this is not foolproof, it is an easy way to add a layer of security to your accounts.




Amazon's Stalling Union Effort
'War of attrition': why union victories for US workers at Amazon have stalled

A year after a 'historic' victory in Staten Island, New York, hope for a wave of union victories is looking less momentous

A year ago, Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York won a "historic" victory - overcoming a multimillion-dollar campaign by the multibillion-dollar corporation to win the right to organize Amazon's first-ever union.

A year on from that victory - which labor leaders had hoped would trigger a wave of union victories - is looking less momentous and another union election win at Amazon has remained elusive.

The company has continued to aggressively oppose unionization and organizing efforts at its warehouses. Critics charge US laws and issues at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency charged with enforcing US labor law, have stymied progress for the new labor movement.

And in the meantime, the Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has suffered from internal strife and disagreements over future strategies and tactics. The Staten Island win made a star of the ALU president, Chris Smalls, who Amazon's management had personally denigrated. Since then several union leaders have resigned in protest over Smalls' focus on traveling and public appearances and raised concerns that rushing union elections at other sites had come at the cost of focusing on the first union contract fight at JFK8.

Even the victory at the JFK8 warehouse in Staten Island still faces issues. Amazon appealed and delayed accepting the election results at JFK8, and has yet to begin bargaining with the Amazon Labor Union.

In the last year, Amazon has opposed and fought subsequent union elections and union organizing campaigns at other sites and continues to fight charges of unfair labor practices filed by workers involved in these campaigns. Charges have ranged from worker firings to workplace access for workers organizing.

The company spent over $14.2m on anti-union consultants in 2022. theguardian.com

Amazon Backs Away from Free Returns
Amazon Starts Charging for Some UPS Store Returns in Cost-Cutting Move
Amazon has instituted a new fee for some returns at UPS Stores in order to compensate for return costs, per a new report.

According to the Information, the Seattle-based tech giant is instituted a charge if return options at Whole Foods, Kohl's or Amazon Fresh locations are closer or just as far than a UPS Store return location. The charge is aimed at "deterring customers from using UPS when they have lots of other choices, presumably as a way of reducing the cost of returns for Amazon." The new fee for returns at UPS stores also adds to existing charges for delivery driver pick up of returns.

Returns have been an expensive headache for e-commerce companies after they skyrocketed during pandemic lockdown and have remained stubbornly high. Amazon's UPS fee, along with a new "frequently returned" warning on some items that The Information first reported last month, are part of a push to reduce returns-related expenses as Amazon cuts costs more broadly. theinformation.com seekingalpha.com

FTC Approves Final Order against The Bountiful Company in First Case Alleging Hijacking of Online Product Reviews on Amazon

Arkansas House passes bill requiring social media platforms to verify users' ages and seek parental consent for minors






Tallahassee, FL: Attorney General Moody, Sheriff Judd and FDLE Shut Down Organized Retail Theft Ring Spanning 16 Counties
Attorney General Ashley Moody, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shut down a major organized retail theft operation that spanned 16 counties. An investigation by Attorney General Moody's Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Polk County Sheriff's Office and FDLE found that an organized retail crime ring caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to Home Depot. Attorney General Moody's Statewide Prosecutors are charging six defendants with felony counts of grand theft.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, "The suspects in this case went to great lengths and long distances to execute this elaborate construction rental scheme-stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in heavy construction equipment. They thought they were being clever by using stolen identities and smashing the GPS trackers on the equipment, but it wasn't enough to outsmart Sheriff Judd's deputies, FDLE and my Statewide Prosecutors."

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, "We appreciate the hard work and cooperation from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Attorney General Ashley Moody's Office of Statewide Prosecution-because of the multi-county theft and fraud that occurred in this case, we could not have held these thieves accountable without their state-wide resources. Retail theft is a serious problem in Florida. It drives up the cost of goods and we all suffer through higher prices. These brazen thieves made a living systematically stealing. They made the mistake of stealing in Polk County-our detectives are among the best in the nation investigating organized retail theft. We will absolutely hold them accountable and put their butts in jail and then prison."

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass said, "Organized retail theft has real-life impacts on our hard-working citizens who pay more for goods because of theft. I appreciate FDLE's Orlando Regional Operations Center special agents and analysts that worked to recover a portion of the stolen property. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, in partnership with Attorney General Moody's Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Polk County Sheriff's Office, will continue to fight these crimes."  einnews.com

Chicago, IL: Police Bust Illegal Pharmaceutical Fencing Ring, Recover $1.3 Million in Goods
The Chicago Police Department's Organized Retail Crime Task Force recently announced the conclusion of a 13-month investigation that focused on the illegal fencing of stolen pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter merchandise. Four offenders have been charged, and more than $1.3 million worth of products have been recovered. The investigation was the result of the collaboration between the CPD, led by the Organized Retail Crime Task Force, the United States Marshals Service Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, private retail investigators, The Cook County Regional Organized Crime Task Force & Illinois Department of Revenue. The investigation revealed that the pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products were stolen from various retail stores and later sold for cash profit to individuals who would then resell and ship approximately $2 million worth of stolen merchandise out-of-state each month. All four offenders are facing felony theft charges, and three of them have also been charged with felony continuing financial crimes enterprise. One of the offenders also faces felony narcotics charges. The Chicago Police Department's Organized Retail Crime Task Force has been working diligently since its launch about 15 months ago. Since then, the task force has cleared more than 200 cases with arrests and recovered more than $4 million in stolen merchandise. countryherald.com

Coconut Creek, FL: Act over for 'magician' stealing jewelry from South Florida Kohl's stores
A man was put behind bars after police accused him of distracting workers at South Florida Kohl's stores and swapping pricey jewelry for fakes. Angelo Strano, 43, is suspected of targeting other Kohl's stores in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Using a distraction method, he would ask for expensive items at the jewelry counter in each store and swap those items with fake ones, police said. They said he would then walk out of the store with the real jewelry. In March, Coconut Creek police arrested Strano after they said he tried to target the chain store's location there. Police spokesperson Scotty Leamon said Strano would use sleight-of-hand to steal from stores, likening him to a "magician." Strano, who was out on bond as of Monday, has a lengthy criminal history.  local10.com

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Macy's, North Face Robberies Highlight Aggressive Shoplifting Epidemic
Violent encounters between increasingly aggressive shoplifters and loss prevention staff at retail stores continue to be a problem, as was evidenced last week in an incident at a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-area Macy's. Shortly after 11 p.m., last Tuesday, police responded to reports of shoplifters fleeing after having ransacked items in the store and when approached by Macy's staff, allegedly pepper-sprayed the employee before fleeing to the parking lot, according to WPLG TV in Fort Lauderdale. According to Broward County court records, police began following a 2019 white Lexus in a chase that picked up speed after cops turned on sirens. The Lexus then crashed into a 2016 Kia Soul, resulting in minor injuries suffered by its occupants. The driver, Armani Green, 21, and a 17-year-old minor fled the Lexus on foot, according to police reports. Green gave himself up in a canal just off the road, while the minor ran into a line of shrubs in an attempt to hide before the responding officer's K9 partner subdued the suspect. The minor was taken to the hospital and cleared for injuries resulting from the dog bite before both were processed at the Lauderhill PD. According to media reports, there was a third person in the vehicle who was not charged.  yahoo.com

Atlanta, GA: Phipps Plaza Saks Fifth Avenue smash-and-grab: $90,000 in watches gone in seconds

San Paulo, CA: 2 accused of robbing man of $45K Rolex watch outside San Pablo jewelry store

Macon, GA: Burglars at Howard's Pawn and Jewelry take around 60 firearms

North Greenbush, NY: Mother and her child are arrested, charged with theft from Ulta Beauty

Utica, NY: Lewis County man accused of stealing nearly $1,800 worth of merchandise from north Utica Walmart

Albany, NY: Vermont man accused of multiple shoplifting cases totaling over $1,000 at Lowe's

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Shootings & Deaths

Kent, WA: Renton man, 38, dies two days after fight at Home Depot in Kent
Kent Police are reporting that on Monday, April 3, 2023 at about 5:25 p.m., Officers were dispatched to the Home Depot Store on the East Hill of Kent in regards to a security guard fighting with a robbery suspect. Dispatch noted that the suspect had been tased by security personnel but was continuing to fight. Two Kent Police Officers arrived about 3 minutes after the call was dispatched. Upon arrival, they observed a lone security officer on the ground with the suspect. The security officer was attempting to place the suspect's hands into handcuffs. The Officers assisted with handcuffing, then placed the suspect, a 38-year-old Renton man, in an upright seated recovery position. The suspect was seated leaning against an Officer for observation. The Officers noticed that the suspect was beginning to turn pale, so they immediately called for medical aid. They also located evidence that the suspect might have consumed narcotics and was exhibiting signs of a drug overdose. They administered Narcan and continued to monitor the male. At one point the male's pulse stopped, and they immediately began CPR and lifesaving efforts.

Puget Sound Fire and Medics arrived and continued CPR for about 40 minutes. The male regained a pulse and was transported to a hospital for additional care. Tragically, the man passed away at the hospital on April 5, 2023. Although Kent Officers did not use force on the deceased male, Police Chief Rafael Padilla requested that the Valley Independent Investigation Team (VIIT) be called in to conduct the death investigation. VIIT investigators did respond to the scene and are conducting the investigation. "The death of the male in this incident is tragic. My condolences go out to the male's family." Chief Padilla said. "The information we have at this point indicates that our officers did all they could to save the male. Performing CPR and other lifesaving medical aid is traumatic and takes an emotional toll on our officers. I want to thank our officers for their valiant efforts to save the man's life."  kentreporter.com

New York, NY: Police are searching for the gunman seen on camera fatally shooting a man inside a Harlem smoke shop
It happened at around 8 p.m. Sunday at a store near the corner of 125th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard. Surveillance video shows nine people inside the shop, including a man in a dark jacket with an FDNY logo talking to a man in a tan or yellow jacket. The victim turns around and walks away, and that's when the man in a dark jacket shoots him.  abc7ny.com

Lafayette, LA: Police officer shoots, kills man at club; State Police investigating
State police are investigating a shooting in which a Lafayette police officer shot and killed someone while working security at a night club. According to Louisiana State Police, the Lafayette Police Department responded to a night club on Johnston Street later Sunday night, shortly before 11 p.m.. An officer working security detail at the club reportedly shot a man, who was taken to a hospital where he later died. LSP did not say why the officer shot the man.  wbrz.com

Contra Costa County, CA: Update: Man Faces Felony Charges For Alleged Killing Of Convenience Store Clerk
A man said to be involved in the March 22 killing of a convenience store clerk is facing a four-count felony complaint, announced the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office on Friday. Gregory Rossignon, 37, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of fatally shooting 44-year-old Abdul Raouf at the E-Z Stop Convenience Food shop on Power Avenue in Pittsburg. He faces felony charges of murder, discharging a firearm with gross negligence, dissuading a witness by force or threats and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The murder charge has an enhancement for the intentional discharge of a weapon, and a special allegation related to Rossignon's previous felony convictions.  sfgate.com

Seattle, WA: Customer shot while trying to stop robbery suspect at Seattle convenience store
A clerk said a woman pulled a gun on him when he was trying to prevent merchandise from being stolen. A customer confronted the suspect who was trying to escape, and the customer was shot. A family member took the victim to a nearby hospital. That person suffered life-threatening injuries q13fox.com

Charleston, SC: Man killed in shooting outside Pubix in West Ashley

Richmond, VA: Police identify man shot and killed after grocery store fight

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Xenia, OH: Suspect accused of running over Cashier at Gas Station, stealing lottery tickets
At around 3 p.m. Sunday, Xenia officers and medics were called to the Maharaja FoodMart on West Second Street to reports of a person hit by a car. When officers arrived on the scene they found someone laying in the parking lot, bleeding from their head with tire tread marks on their forehead, according to a police report. A witness described the suspect to police and said that they saw the car suspected to be involved drive away from the scene and pull into a Bridges of Hope. An officer found the suspect, identified as Charlsteven Jones, in the bathroom of the building and took them into custody. Police said "Gopal" is at Miami Valley Hospital with hip trauma, broken ribs and torn ligaments in his right leg.  whio.com

San Antonio, TX: SAPD looking to identify person of interest in armed shoplifting incident
San Antonio police are looking for the public's help in identifying a man accused of stealing from a Southwest Side hardware store at gunpoint. The crime happened at about 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 28. San Antonio police said the man was captured on surveillance video shoplifting. He allegedly displayed a handgun during the commission of the crime ksat.com

Anoka County, MN: Man charged after armed standoff with Blaine police following Walmart robbery
A man who rammed police vehicles and reportedly took a hostage during an armed standoff was charged in Anoka County court on Monday. Richard Shane Daily II, 35, has been charged with aggravated robbery and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. Police say they found Daily the day after he was caught shoplifting from a Walmart. In that incident, he displayed a gun and made threats when he was stopped by the store's loss prevention staff. Several agencies then went to arrest him in the parking lot of a business in Anoka. Officers say he then began ramming police vehicles with his own, and authorities boxed the vehicle in. Police then learned that Daily's girlfriend was in the vehicle. Daily was reportedly holding a gun, said he had a hostage and re fused to cooperate. He was arrested after an hours-long standoff. Neither any of the officers, nor the woman in Daily's vehicle, were injured. Daily was taken to jail after being treated at the hospital for minor injuries.  kstp.com

Ventura, CA: Man arrested for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon Saturday night at Von's
A 26-year-old man was arrested Saturday night for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon after being confronted by a loss prevention agent at Vons. Around 9:28 p.m. on Apr. 8, Ventura Police Department's Command Center received multiple calls of someone threatening people with a knife including a loss prevention agent at Vons who also reported a robbery. keyt.com

Cheyenne, WY: Police Warn Of National Theft Scheme Being Seen Locally
Cheyenne Police say they are investigating a series of "distraction thefts" targeting local residents. At least 30 such incidents have occurred in Cheyenne since 2021, according to a news release. The thieves are targeting wallets, and what they are doing with the contents of the wallets is under investigation. The local cases reflect a recent national trend.  kgab.com

El Paso, TX: Woman accused of shoplifting, assaulting employee at O'Reilly's Auto Parts

Atlanta, GA: Police want to identify man accused of cashing fraudulent check, stealing almost $16K

Hudson Falls, NY: Police recover 14 handguns in Hudson Falls burglary

Joliet, IL: Felony Arrest At Joliet Walmart Leads To Violent Behavior; Assault on Police Officer

Glendale, WI: Police chase; fleeing shoplifter hits another vehicle

Waipahu, HI: Smash-and-grabs hit 6 Waipahu stores in 1 go

Evergreen, CO: Dog bites Home Depot customer in face, leaves victim 'severely injured'



Auto - Laguna Beach, CA - Burglary
Auto - El Paso, TX - Robbery
Auto - Memphis, TN - Burglary
C-Store - Seattle, WA - Armed Robbery / Customer Shot
C-Store - Nitro, WV - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Hopkinsville, KY - Robbery
C-Store - Fort Smith, AR - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Jacksonville, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Panama City, FL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Xenia, OH - Robbery / Cashier injured
C-Store - Evansville, IN - Robbery
C-Store - Honolulu, HI - Robbery
C-Store - Columbia, SC - Burglary
C-Store - Severn, MD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Utica , NY - Burglary
C-Store - Bristol, VT - Burglary
Department - Atlanta, GA - Robbery
Dollar - Miami, FL - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Ventura, CA - Armed Robbery
Guns - Youngstown, OH - Burglary
Hardware - San Antonio, TX - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - San Pablo, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Jacksonville, FL - Robbery
Jewelry - Kahului, HI - Robbery
Jewelry - Temecula, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Bensalem PA - Robbery
Jewelry - North Attleboro, MA- Robbery
Jewelry - Valdosta, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Memphis, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Morrisville, NC - Robbery
Jewelry - Cartersville, - Robbery
Jewelry - Whitehall PA - Robbery
Liquor - Memphis, TN - Robbery
Liquor - Northampton County, PA - Robbery
Pawn - Macon, GA - Burglary
Restaurant - Waipahu, HI - Burglary
Restaurant - Waipahu, HI - Burglary
Restaurant - Kingston, ID - Burglary
TJ Maxx - Radnor, PA - Robbery
Tobacco - Wilkes-Barre, PA - Burglary
Tobacco - Waltham, MA - Burglary
Ulta - North Greenbush, NY - Robbery
Walmart - Blaine, MN - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Joliet, IL -Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 34 robberies
• 12 burglaries
• 2 shooting
• 0 killeds

Click to enlarge map



Devin Conroy, LPC promoted to District Loss Prevention Manager
for Dick's Sporting Goods

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