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Gearing up for NRF PROTECT

New strategies to fight changing threats and identify top priorities

NRF PROTECT is the retail industry's premier event for professionals in loss prevention, asset protection, digital fraud and cyber risk. Created with a cooperative spirit and fueled by opportunities to connect and collaborate, the in-person event helps companies leverage their resources and tackle security threats holistically.

This year's event includes expanded sessions and programs covering the key issues, threats and risks facing the retail industry. Click here to register and read on for important information about NRF PROTECT, June 5-7 in Grapevine, Texas.

Register to attend

You can register as an individual or bring your whole team. Full Conference Passes include access to all keynote sessions, feature sessions, networking programs and the Expo. Retail and law enforcement professionals can also claim a free Expo pass. nrf.com

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Home Depot Guard Mourned by Community After Fatal Shooting
Shooter: Licensed Security Guard With Criminal Past - Was Shoplifter & Shooter

(Update) Pleasanton, CA: Home Depot guard fatally shot by shoplifter; city grieves
A Home Depot employee set to marry this summer was fatally shot when he confronted a suspected shoplifter inside a store on Tuesday, according to authorities.

Blake Mohs, 26, was working at the home-improvement store when he confronted a woman he suspected of shoplifting, according to a release from Pleasanton police. The woman resisted and shot him; he was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

After the shooting, police said, the woman ran to a getaway car and fled along with the driver. After alerts were sent to nearby law-enforcement agencies with a suspect and vehicle description, the pair were detained by Alameda County sheriff's deputies in East Oakland.

The woman was identified Wednesday by Pleasanton police as Benicia Knapps, 32. Knapps, a licensed security guard with a criminal history involving theft, had attempted to steal a phone charger, according to witnesses.

The man and suspected driver is David Guillory, 31, police said. Alameda County jail records showed Guillory in custody Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse, as well as evading and obstructing police.

In a statement Tuesday evening, a Pleasanton police spokesperson said dispatchers received a call around 2:15 p.m. reporting a man bleeding inside the store. Officers responded within minutes, finding the victim and providing aid before first responders took him to a hospital.

Authorities described Mohs as a Tri-Valley resident who planned to get married this summer. He was a well-known member of the community who participated in community youth programs.

Home Depot has long been targeted by thieves seeking to steal some of the high-value equipment and supplies available at the store. In 2019, the retailer began paying police at overtime costs - at least $2.1 million by 2021 - in order to have Oakland officers stand post at its store near High Street. mercurynews.com  sfchronicle.com  dailymail.co.uk

The Brookings Institute Research Report
Released April 3, 2023, Updated April 7th., 2023

Property Crimes - The Leading Driver of Urban America's Crime Surge - Up 34.7% Between 2019 and 2022 in the four city research.

'The geography of crime in four U.S. cities: Perceptions and reality'
New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

Small business owners and major retailers alike described increased property crime downtown as a major barrier to keeping their business open.

Citywide crime increased between 2019 and 2022, driven primarily by property crimes-but downtowns accounted for a very small share of these increases.

Faced with slow-recovering urban cores and predictions of an "urban doom loop," many pundits and urban observers are returning to a playbook not fully deployed since the 1990s-pointing to public safety as the primary cause of a host of complex and interconnected issues, from office closures to public transit budget shortfalls to the broader decline of center cities.

Whether or not crime actually is up in central city business districts, widespread fear of crime-driven in no small part by relentless media coverage-certainly is. This is forcing urban leaders to simultaneously confront rising public safety concerns while grappling with the numerous economic, social, and civic aftershocks of an enormously disruptive three years. Unfortunately, many of these aftershocks-such as emptier streets and vacant storefronts-are the very same issues that negatively impact perceptions of safety in the first place.

As local leaders seek to rebuild safe and vibrant downtowns, they must do so without letting the perceptions and politics of crime drive policy and practice. This research brief aims to equip leaders with the evidence to do just that by: 1) presenting findings from nearly 100 interviews in four large U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Philadelphia) on perceptions of crime; 2) providing spatial analysis of the geography of crime within these four cities; and 3) offering place-specific, forward-looking policy and practice solutions to chart a future in which all residents can feel-and actually be-safe regardless of where they live and work.

Brookings Metro's Future of Downtowns project: This report is part of a larger mixed-methods research project that seeks to understand the future of American urban cores through interviews, spatial data analysis, and direct engagement with local leaders in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Philadelphia. brookings.edu

Editor's Note: For the serious executives. See the data, evidence, influencers, trends, spatial analysis, and the actual numbers that show property crimes is the root driver of this national crime surge, supporting and proving exactly why we need federal ORC legislation. It's really the most definitive and creditable research this writer has seen to date. Describing and defining the current state and data impacting downtown recovery in the nation's four largest cities. It will provide you with valuable information and insight for your C-Suite discussions. -Gus Downing

Continue Reading and See the Numbers

New California Legislation to Fix Prop 47 & Battle Rampant Retail Theft
New bill tackling retail theft in Calif. would hold repeat offenders accountable

The bill also allows those charged with petty theft with prior convictions to participate in a diversion program.

A proposed bill would hold repeat offenders of organized retail theft in California more accountable and create a diversion program to help stop the cycle.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1708 would allow either a felony or misdemeanor charge for any person who has two or more convictions for theft-related offenses and who is subsequently convicted of petty theft or shoplifting.

The bill also allows those charged with petty theft with prior convictions to participate in a diversion program for substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) held a press conference on Tuesday alongside the League of California Cities, the California Retailers Association, California Police Chiefs Association, and the California District Attorneys Association to push the bill.

"I am introducing Assembly Bill 1708, which is a common sense fix to Proposition 47, to combat rampant retail theft happening throughout the state and our communities," said Muratsuchi.

Prop 47, which was approved by voters in 2014, raised the dollar amount of property stolen to almost $1,000 in order to be charged with a felony. AB 1708 would stiffen the penalty for repeat offenders, no matter the dollar amount.

A report by the National Retail Federation said retail theft accounts for nearly $30 billion in economic loss per year and that many of these incidents can be traced back to repeat offenders.

Muratsuchi's office said California is recognized as a "hot spot" for organized retail crime. The National Retail Foundation notes that three of the top 10 cities for retail crime are in California with Los Angeles taking the top spot. abc7.com

Fighting ORC is Key to Restoring Law & Order in San Francisco
In SF, crime threatens city's future. Here's how we can help people feel safe.

San Francisco won't fully recover from the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic unless city leaders improve the perception and reality surrounding crime.

As we recover from the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco needs resurgent tourism, businesses reopening, residents staying in the city and newcomers moving in. None of this will happen if San Francisco's leadership can't get public safety right.

6 ways SF city leaders can improve public safety

Now, other elected officials such as the mayor and the Board of Supervisors must act to improve public safety. Here are six steps to ensure public safety now:

Tackle organized retail theft. Organized retail theft caused stores like Walgreens and Whole Foods to close in downtown San Francisco. These crimes often turn violent: A supermarket security guard was shot in my district and another security guard in Japantown was killed after an armed encounter. We must take these crimes seriously and keep up the pressure to disrupt these criminal rings that harm our businesses, workers and shoppers

Fully fund our police department through a voter-approved charter amendment for full staffing. Since 2020, there has been a dangerous drop in the number of police officers, begun by $120 million in budget cuts Mayor Breed implemented.

Divert lower priority calls to other agencies and invest in proven strategies that prevent crime in the first place.

Properly address untreated mental health challenges outside of the criminal justice system.

Ensure our 911 dispatch system works.

Prioritize ending hate crimes. usatoday.com

Emboldened Criminals + Fewer Cops = Surging Crime
Op-Ed: Undeterred Criminals Plus Demoralized Cops Equals More Crime
Homicides are, in fact, down in Chicago, but they remain at some of the highest rates since the 1990s, and overall crime spiked by 41 percent between 2021 and 2022. Last weekend alone, mass hooliganism overwhelmed Chicago's downtown while 11 people were killed and 26 wounded in shootings across the city.

Maybe there's a lesson in this, simple and old-fashioned as it may seem. When bad guys walk free and brave cops have to fear for their jobs for doing their jobs, crime tends to go up.

A similar dynamic is playing out in other big cities, too. Police morale is abysmal. One way in which this fact registers is in high levels of voluntary resignations and early retirements, leading to critical staffing shortages. As of mid-March, New Orleans had 944 police officers - down from 1,200 just three years ago, despite increased recruitment efforts. Last year the city registered a 100 percent increase in shootings over 2019. Fewer cops; more crime: Who would have thought?

New Orleans isn't alone. A recent academic analysis found that 11 out of the 14 cities it studied suffered from higher-than-expected losses to their police after the George Floyd protests of 2020, with Seattle losing the highest proportion of its force.

Then there's the other side: The growing sense of impunity among the criminally inclined.

In Chicago, the proportion of crimes reported that resulted in arrest, which stood at nearly 31 percent in 2005, fell to 12.3 percent in 2021, according to an analysis last year by The Chicago Sun-Times. Even that may be an undercount, since fewer crimes in the city are being reported both to and by the police.

In New York, where major crimes rose by 22 percent last year, complaints of shoplifting have nearly doubled over the past five years - while the arrest rate since 2017 fell by almost half.

In other words, lax enforcement when it comes to petty criminality has led to big-time criminality. And the consequence of supposedly "victimless" crimes like shoplifting has created a palpable sense of disorder, menace and fear - each conducive to the anything-goes atmosphere in which crime invariably flourishes. nytimes.com

Businesses & Residents Push Back on Police data - Saying Crimes Go Unreported
Business owners speak out against violent crime in Oakland's Fruitvale district
Frustrated business owners and residents in Oakland's Fruitvale area this week urged city leaders to create a public-safety plan to increase security in the Fruitvale Transit Village and business corridors, where at least three separate shootings occurred in the last month.

The purpose of the meeting, hosted by the nonprofit Unity Council, was for community members to share their experiences with violent crime in the area, suggest solutions and demand more resources from the city.

Small-business owners, youths, longtime residents and community leaders told city officials that they do not feel safe in Fruitvale because of the recent shootings and other crimes they have witnessed. Many people criticized the Police Department for what they described as a slow response to 911 calls.

Last year, Oakland police assigned community resource Officer Ernesto Leyva to patrol Fruitvale in response to an uptick in robberies. About 50 additional officers were deployed in East Oakland this year. In February, the city announced it was sending a team of one sergeant and six officers to patrol different business corridors after businesses expressed concern over robberies.

Rubi Avila, the daughter of the owner of the Churros Mexicanos stand in the Transit Village, said her family business and others were losing customers due to safety concerns. "Customers have got their purses snatched while paying," Avila told The Chronicle. "It's very sad."

Ismael Beltran, the owner of a nearby jewelry store, demanded the city add more security cameras to the area, adding that he's been making that request for at least three years.

"Everybody here is a small business, and we're tired" of the crimes happening every week, he said. sfchronicle.com

Philadelphia's Center City Fashion District Lost a Few Retailers Due to Crime, Vagrancy, and Safety
The move comes amid a larger reshuffling of Center City retail, as brands such as H&M, Wawa, Rite Aid, and Starbucks have retrenched, citing concerns about vagrancy and safety. (There is no indication such matters came into H&M's calculations.)

Officials for the union representing store workers say expiring leases and crime also seem to be factors in Philadelphia. Starbucks and other businesses have had persistent problems with drug users in restrooms, said Paul Levy, president and chief of the Center City District.

Levy said that people using drugs have been occupying restrooms in Center City walk-ins.  inquirer.com

Mall safety is the 'number one priority' in North Jersey. How officials keep shoppers safe
As local police find faster and more efficient ways to respond to shooting incidents in public spaces, mall officials have ramped up their security systems, responses and training.

Dan Kennedy, senior vice president of U.S. security operations at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owners of Garden State Plaza in Paramus, said he stays up at night thinking of worst-case scenarios that could happen at their 25 properties in the United States.

Unibail is an open book when it comes to security. A playbook for "every potential crisis situation" exists, and new ones are created as needed.

"Our goal is for people who visit our properties to see visible security and feel a sense of safety," he said. "They may not know all the behind work, drills and training, but rest assured all of that is in place."

Garden State Plaza has one of the highest security budgets, he said. The mall underwent a massive electronic update, adding cameras to monitor the property around the clock. Training for employees and security at the mall includes what to do in an active shooter situation, fires, power outages, earthquakes and hurricanes.

Every year, all Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield properties undergo a security assessment, and twice a year they conduct active shooter and natural disaster training, Kennedy said. For Garden State Plaza, the security director works closely with Paramus first responders to coordinate training. At least once a month, if not weekly, the general manager and security directors meet with Paramus police to review security plans. northjersey.com

Three More Malls Implement Parental Escort Policies
New Jersey: Under 18? You'll need an adult chaperone on weekend evenings at the Garden State Plaza
Garden State Plaza isn't the first New Jersey mall to implement a policy of this kind. Deptford Mall near Philadelphia has a parental escort policy after 5 p.m. on the weekends for those under 18. American Dream mall in East Rutherford has a parental escort policy for children under age 16 after 4 p.m. northjersey.com

Security Robots. DigiDog. GPS Launchers. Welcome to New York.
Mayor Eric Adams unveiled an array of high-tech security devices that he said the Police Department would use to ensure New Yorkers' safety.

But a year into Mr. Adams's tenure, his public safety agenda remains a work in progress. His first year in office saw a drop in shootings and murders, but an overall rise in major crimes, including burglaries and robberies.

"We are scanning the globe on finding technology that will ensure this city is safe for New Yorkers, visitors and whomever is here in the city," Mr. Adams said. "This is the beginning of a series of rollouts." nytimes.com

45% of San Francisco Residents Surveyed Say They've Had Items Stolen From Them in Past Five Years
A sweeping poll commissioned by The Chronicle drew sobering results: Nearly half of respondents said they were victims of theft in the past five years, while roughly a quarter were physically attacked or threatened. The majority had negative impressions of law enforcement.

It comes at a tense moment, when videos of unchecked shoplifting or unprovoked street violence are ricocheting on social media, and confidence in police and other city leaders is dwindling.

Forty-five percent of people surveyed for the poll said an item was stolen from them within the past five years. Proportionally, Black and mixed-race respondents felt a more severe impact than other groups, with a majority - 54% of Black respondents and 55% of mixed-race respondents - reporting they had suffered theft. Property crime rates were lower for white residents, 43% of whom lost a possession to theft within the time period. sfchronicle.com

41% jump in overdoses in San Francisco in Q1 over LY

Walmart worker jokes he only got a 60-cent raise after catching 373 people shoplifting

Tennessee moves to protect gunmakers from mass shooting lawsuits



Facial Recognition's Global Retail Expansion
Yahoo! Mart Introduces Facial Recognition Payments
Yahoo! Mart, a quick-commerce store operated by Yahoo Japan Corporation, will introduce a self-service point-of-sale (POS) cash register that supports facial recognition payments using PayPay at its Yovogi Uehara store.

The move comes when the retail and distribution sectors face labor shortages and changing user needs and sales patterns due to the declining birthrate, aging population, and ongoing pandemic

Yahoo! Mart, which launched its quick-commerce service in July 2021, is working with Askul and DEMAE-CAN, both members of the Z Holdings Group, to enable customers to pick up products in as little as 15 minutes. In addition, the company aims to improve user convenience by introducing the facial recognition payment system.

To participate in the demonstration, users must register their facial image on a unique website linked to their Yahoo! Japan ID and PayPay account. Customers can then scan the barcode of their product at the self service checkout, select "Face Recognition Payment, and hold up their face for recognition. Upon successful recognition, the payment is completed using the PayPay balance.

Yahoo! Japan plans to use the results of this experiment to develop new services and expand PayPay facial recognition payments to other locations. The company assures users that the facial images registered for recognition and those captured during the authentication process will be kept strictly confidential and will only be used to provide facial recognition and improve its quality with the user's consent. pickool.net

The Retail Impact of Fading Remote Work
Workers returning to offices could mean more trouble for Instacart and other grocery delivery services

Ordering groceries online is losing appeal for busy workers returning in-person to offices.

If you work from home, you're more likely to order groceries online than someone who's commuting to and from work.

That's one of the findings from a recent Morning Consult survey. About 37% of remote workers and 32% of hybrid workers said they did all of their grocery shopping online, Morning Consult reported. But just 19% of employees who reported to an office for the whole week said the same, according to the survey.

Forty percent of in-person workers said that they did "some" of their grocery shopping online. The survey, which was conducted between January and March, surveyed 364 working adults in the US. It asked consumers about their online grocery usage, including both delivery and pick-up orders.

The decline in remote work points to a potential challenge for online grocery services: Before the pandemic, many pitched themselves as time-savers for people who were too busy with work or other obligations to go shopping for food. businessinsider.com

Convenience store sales hit new high in 2022; so do operating costs
Total convenience industry sales totaled $906.1 billion in 2022, of which $302.8 were from in-store sales, according to newly released NACS State of the Industry data for 2022. In-store sales, which rose 9% year-over-year, accounted for 33.4% of industry sales.

Costly New Safety Rule:

NHTSA puts cost of mandatory side underride guards on all new semi-trailers at up to $1.2B

Barnes & Noble plans over 30 new stores; offers two-tier loyalty program

Inside Apple's first store in India, which spans 20,000 square feet

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director of Inventory Control & LP job posted for Hugo Boss in New York, NY
The Director of Inventory Control & Loss Prevention will manage Inventory Control and Loss Prevention team to prevent loss in inventory and loss in other company assets. They will perform, oversee, plan, and direct all aspects of HB USA and Canada inventory control & loss prevention responsibilities, objectives, and initiatives. careers.hugoboss.com

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Once You Put Info on ChatGPT You Can't Retrieve it of Delete It
The New Insider Threat/Risk

Cybersecurity leaders reflect on Samsung, ChatGPT incidents
Earlier this month it was reported by The Economist Korea that there were three incidents of entering Samsung Electronics corporate information into ChatGPT. In one incident an employee entered problematic source code and asked for a solution. Another employee entered program code and requested code optimization. A third employee submitted meeting contents in order to prepare meeting minutes.

After the incidents were discovered, company executives and employees were notified and urged to be careful using ChatGPT because once data is put onto Open AI's external servers it is impossible for Samsung to retrieve or delete it. Samsung Electronics is looking to protective measures to prevent future information leaks. However, if it happens again access to ChatGPT may be blocked.

Cybersecurity leaders weigh in

"This incident isn't actually that surprising. People see ChatGPT as a useful tool, which it is, but forget that anything they share with it is shared with it and also all its users. So any proprietary, or even mildly sensitive, or personal, information needs to be scrubbed from interactions with the bot,"

"While it's possible for companies to safely deploy tools that leverage the GPT engine in ways that replicate ChatGPT, they have to do it on their own instances where the data's not shared outside the organization."

Parkin said the incidents at Samsung are an example of people failing Risk Management 101 by exposing sensitive information on an insecure channel.

"ChatGPT can be great for a lot of things, but people need to stop pretending that it's confidential or secure. It's not," he said. "It's not an evil monster that'll destroy the world, but that doesn't mean it can't do some damage when you feed it information it really shouldn't have."

"The unfortunate downside is that an excited user is often also a less cautious one, and one that is more likely to make privacy and security related mistakes, both personally, and on behalf of their employers."

With that in mind, I think it's wise for security leaders to apply the idea of 'building it like it's broken' and presuming that, at least somewhere inside their organization, incidents like the one at Samsung will take place. In terms of prevention, user awareness training is pretty valuable in these early stages, and I imagine that a fresh look at access controls will be on the radar of many organizations over the coming months."

"As a general rule, if you wouldn't share the content you're typing into ChatGPT with someone who works for your company's direct competitor, then do not share it with ChatGPT." securitymagazine.com

Remote Desktops - Weak Password Rules - Exploiting Common Everyday Issues
Top Cloud Security Risks

Weak credentials, unpatched vulnerabilities, malicious OSS packages causing cloud security risks
Security teams take an average of 145 hours to solve alerts, while 80% of cloud alerts are triggered by just 5% of security rules in most environments.

AdvertisementThreat actors are getting more adept at exploiting common, everyday issues in the cloud, including misconfigurations, weak credentials, lack of authentication, unpatched vulnerabilities, and malicious open-source software (OSS) packages. It cited a small set of risky cloud behaviors that are repeatedly observed in organizations, warning that the average time to remediate alerts (roughly six days) provides a lengthy window of opportunity for adversaries to exploit cloud vulnerabilities.

That's according to the Unit 42 Cloud Threat Report, Volume 7.

Excessive cloud permissions, weak authentication, public exposure still prevalent

More than half (53%) of cloud accounts analyzed in last year's research allowed weak password usage and 44% allowed password reuse. This year, Unit 42 found that weak authentication persists. Three-quarters (76%) of organizations don't enforce MFA for console users, 58% don't enforce MFA for root/admin users, and 57% don't enforce symbols in passwords, Unit 42 said.

Publicly exposed cloud resources remain an issue too. Last year, almost two-thirds (62%) of organizations had cloud resources publicly exposed. This year's data found that 73% of organizations have Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) exposed to the public internet, 75% have SSH services exposed, and 41% have database services (e.g., SQL Server, MySQL, Redis) exposed. Further, sensitive data was found to exist in 63% of publicly exposed storage buckets. csoonline.com

Biometrics Inevitably Will Become the Standard For Identity Authentication
58% of Employees Are Open to Abandoning Passwords
To access the unprecedented amounts of data, many companies issue employees multiple logins with passwords. Two-factor authentication tools to protect the integrity of individual accounts are also increasingly being used. However, advancements in biometric technology may make the username and password login system users have become accustomed to obsolete.

In a recent survey of about 2,000 workers by 1Password, over half (58%) said they would be open to trying other ways to log in, including giving up their precious (to some) passwords.

Acceptance of Biometrics and Passkeys

Biometrics for data protection, like face and fingerprint scanning, can eliminate passwords. More than half of respondents (58%) said they already use some biometric technology in the workplace.
Without logins, techniques like biometrics and passkeys - passwords attached to a browser or website application that require no user input - may become more prevalent.

Exposure to this kind of technology also increases the likelihood of employees embracing further advancements in data security. About 87% of those surveyed who use biometric technology in the workplace are already open to using other tools like passkeys. cfo.com

LinkedIn Fights Back Against Surge of Fake Accounts
LinkedIn now allows you to verify your workplace
To combat the surge of fake LinkedIn accounts in recent years, Microsoft has introduced Entra Verified ID, a new feature that allows users to verify their workplace on the business-focused social media platform.

With Entra Verified ID, organizations can create customized digital employee IDs that employees can use to prove their current employment with the firm.

LinkedIn users can access the workplace verification option on their profile, retrieve their digital employee ID, and then share it on their LinkedIn profile.

"Verified ID is built on open standards for decentralized identity, which operates on a 'triangle of trust' model involving three parties: an issuer, a holder, and a verifier. For instance, an organization can act as an issuer by cryptographically signing a digital credential and issuing it to an employee as a digital employee ID," said Joy Chik, President, Identity & Network Access at Microsoft.

"As the credential holder, the employee can decide to share their credential with apps and websites, such as LinkedIn. Then the verifier can cryptographically authenticate that the digital employee ID is genuine and was issued by the place of work the employee claims. This approach represents a more secure, convenient, and trustworthy way to verify digital information at scale." helpnetsecurity.com

5 Reasons to Become an Associate PO
PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) Associate Participating Organizations (APOs) are vital contributors to the mission of helping secure payment data globally. As an APO, you join a growing community of organizations and individuals dedicated to the development, promotion, and ongoing improvement of payment security standards and resources. blog.pcisecuritystandards.org

5 free online cybersecurity resources for small businesses

Popular Fitness Apps Leak Location Data Even When Users Set Privacy Zones







Securing Your Cannabis Business on 4/20
Creating a 420 Security Plan on the Biggest Holiday in the Cannabis Industry
420 is widely regarded as the biggest holiday in the cannabis industry with people throughout the world celebrating their appreciation of the industry. Dispensaries are planning their own in-store events or sales in preparation of customers stocking up on their favorite cannabis products for 420.

In 2018, cannabis sales in Colorado reached $9.1 million for 420, a 128% increase compared to a typical day's sales. This year, dispensary management should expect their own boosts in sales and prepare a 420 security plan.

Managing an Increase in Sales

Dispensary management should ensure that the facility is well-staffed to accommodate the increase in sales. More employees and security personnel should be scheduled to conduct sales, assist customers, and enforce occupancy limits.

Potential criminals look for opportunities that are fast, easy, and low risk. It is much more difficult for a customer to successfully shoplift if an employee is in the sales area greeting and assisting customers. Additionally, a fully-staffed sales area also deters employees from attempting to steal or discount products and increases the likelihood that such an attempt would be caught.

Managing an Increase in Customers

With the increase in sales comes an increase in customers - and a greater risk of becoming the victim of theft or diversion. The dispensary faces some of the greatest risks during busy shopping times when potential criminals take advantage of the chaos in the store. Dispensaries are at risk from both external theft from customers and internal theft from the dispensary's own employees.

When the dispensary is at its busiest, customers may take advantage of all the activity and use it as an opportunity to shoplift. Similarly, employees may attempt to steal or discount cannabis for themselves or others. The best way to deter theft and diversion is to remove the opportunity. To prevent potential criminals from exploiting the business, dispensary managements should set occupancy limits for the facility as part of their 420 security plan.

Creating a 420 Security Plan: sapphirerisk.com

Fighting the Black Pot Market
California is changing how it goes after illegal cannabis farms

Here's what California counties had the most illegal cannabis plants in 2022

AdvertisementIt's been five years since recreational cannabis sales began in California. Many have played by the rules, but the illegal growth and sale of the plant continue to undermine those obeying the laws.

Since its establishment in 1983, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) has had more than 110 law enforcement agencies involved, making it one of the largest law enforcement task forces in the U.S. But things are changing.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced CAMP seized nearly 1 million illegally cultivated cannabis plants and more than 200,000 pounds of illegally processed cannabis. Bonta also announced that the Department of Justice will be phasing out CAMP in favor of a year-round multi-agency program, Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis (EPIC).

The EPIC program focuses on the investigation and prosecution of civil and criminal cases relating to illicit cannabis cultivation with a focus on environmental and economic harms and labor exploitation.

Beginning in 2022, EPIC transitioned the Department of Justice's 30-year seasonal eradication program into a year-round task force.

EPIC works in close coordination with DOJ's Cannabis Control Section, Special Prosecutions Section and Tax Recovery and Underground Economy Task Force to build investigations and prosecute civil and criminal cases. mercurynews.com

Barring Employers from Discriminating Against Pot-Using Employees
Marijuana law presents new challenges for California bosses

It bars businesses from penalizing or firing workers who use cannabis on their own time

A law barring California businesses from penalizing or firing employees who use marijuana on their own time could present challenges for employers while workers are on the clock, a Sacramento attorney said.

Assembly Bill 2188, set to take effect Jan. 1., prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are found to have traces of cannabis in their hair, blood, urine or other bodily fluids by a test that detects only whether an employee has consumed cannabis in recent weeks.

"You have to be able to test for current impairment - THC. And that's still being fine-tuned by the pharmaceutical companies," said Shelline Bennett, a labor and employment attorney with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. "If someone is impaired during work, the only legal evidence we can currently use is a witness."

And what if an employee is on a remote or hybrid work schedule?

"If someone is working from home it would be a lot easier for them to potentially smoke marijuana," Bennett said. "This isn't on the radar for most employers yet, partly because of the delay in implementation." mercurynews.com

Cannabis Companies Look to '4/20' to Light up Sales
From cannabis-infused flowers to edible weed gummies, marijuana companies are pulling out all the stops as they eye bumper sales on April 20 - a day referred to as "4/20" in weed culture.

Industry insiders expect highest single-day sales ever for the cannabis sector on Thursday even as the industry faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers in the United States. usnews.com

Cannabis retail sales to surpass $33.5B in 2023, topping chocolate, eggs and craft beer

Three Tips for Improving the Resource Use Efficiency of Your Cultivation Business




Amazon Battles Counterfeits in the Retail Industry
Amazon Announces Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange to Help Eliminate Counterfeits Across the Retail Industry

Private sector partnership makes shopping safer and protects U.S. consumers, brands, and rights owners from counterfeiters

Amazon today announced the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange (ACX), an industry collaboration designed to make it safer to shop online and more difficult for counterfeiters to move among different stores to attempt to sell their counterfeit goods.

ACX allows participating stores to share information about confirmed counterfeiters who attempted to use their services to try to sell counterfeit products. By sharing information about these counterfeiters, ACX participants can identify and stop perpetrators more quickly than they would in the absence of this collaborative data sharing. In accordance with industry standards and best practices, an independent third party provides anonymized access for participants to share and receive information.

ACX has enabled regular information sharing and participants use this information in their ongoing efforts to detect and address counterfeiting, improve their individual risk evaluation systems, and make more robust referrals to law enforcement so bad actors can be held accountable. Through ACX, Amazon has already detected hundreds of matching accounts where the same counterfeiter tried to create selling accounts on Amazon and at least one other store operator. The power of ACX comes from the fact that as soon as one of the participating stores catches a counterfeiter and shares the account information through the exchange, all the other stores participating in ACX can know about that counterfeiter and can stop them even more quickly in their store. Each participant makes its own independent decisions about whether and how to use the information in ACX.

"We want our customers to have confidence in their shopping experience and for brands to know they are protected from counterfeits," said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon's vice president of Selling Partner Services. "As we laid out in our blueprint for private and public sector partnership to stop counterfeiters, we think it is critical to share information about confirmed counterfeiters to help the entire industry stop these criminals earlier. By leading the way in creating an industry-wide solution to share information about known counterfeiters, we are excited to have helped improve the industry's collective ability to fight counterfeit crime, providing consumers and rights owners with greater peace of mind."

"The IPR Center applauds the foundational efforts made by the Anti-Counterfeiting Exchange, and we're pleased to have been a part of its creation," said James Mancuso, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. "This is an opening salvo in a much larger battle against counterfeiters and criminal organizations, and the effort will need even greater participation, from all industries and sectors, to reach its full potential. We look forward to supporting this momentous effort with all of the tools that the IPR Center brings to bear." amazon2022tf.q4web.com

Sorting Through Fake Reviews
Why we usually can't tell when a review is fake
Researchers have found that more than 99 percent of consumers read reviews online before they shop, and nearly three quarters of consumers say they've left an online review for a local business in the past year. Not only do we read a lot of reviews before we purchase anything these days, we also believe them: 49 percent of consumers say they trust reviews as much as they do personal recommendations from friends and family members. And younger people are particularly fond of reviews: 91 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds say they trust online reviews every bit as much as they do personal recommendations.

"Overall, negative reviews are less common than positive ones. So, that's why we pay more attention to them. So it's a totally different processing of positive versus negative information. But when a negative (review) is fake, we get fooled by it."

When asked why they thought a bad review was trustworthy, participants revealed that they assumed that a negative diatribe about a company would be more truthful than a glowing endorsement. They didn't fully account for the possibility that the reviewer might want to harm the business. npr.org

Amazon lays off some employees in its advertising unit

Is technology enhancing the online shopping experience?







Coachella, CA: Pair Suspected of Stealing $30,000 of Diesel Fuel Free From Jail
Two men accused of stealing about $30,000 worth of diesel fuel in Coachella were free from jail on $30,000 bail bonds Wednesday. Anthony Aguilar Franco of Indio was released from jail Wednesday and 40-year-old Gerardo Morales Baldenegro of Mecca was released Tuesday, according to inmate records. Deputies responded at around 11:20 a.m. Sunday to the 48000 block of Avenue 48 to a report of diesel fuel theft, according to Sgt. Thomas Anderson of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. Anderson said video surveillance cameras captured portions of approximately $30,000 worth of diesel fuel being stolen over a two-week period.  nbcpalmsprings.com

Newman, GA: 'Beauty Bandits' Steal Dyson Hair Products Worth $1,600, Lead Police On High Speed Chase
Georgia thieves targeted a local Ulta Beauty store and made a beeline towards the popular Dyson hairstyling tools. The pair grabbed three products, valued at $1,600, before walking out of the popular beauty store and dashing to an awaiting getaway car. Newnan Police shared Ulta Beauty surveillance video of Jessica Meister and Joseph Martinelli confidently walking into the Ulta store in Newnan, Georgia on Saturday and walking straight toward the Dyson hairstyling tool display in the middle of the store. Seconds later, the pair was seen on the surveillance video strolling out of the store as alarms blared, carrying the expensive hair stying tools. As the alarms began ringing, employees quickly called local authorities to report the brazen theft. Despite dashing off in their getaway car, the Coweta Sheriff's Office was patrolling the interstate and quickly spotted the car sporting Maryland license plates.  globeecho.com

Organized retail crime blamed for surge in shoplifting at Tanger Outlets in Riverhead
Riverhead police logged more than 200 reports of shoplifting at the Tanger Outlets mall in the past year, according to data obtained through public records requests. The Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store at Tanger Outlets logged the most 911 calls for shoplifting - 39 in one year - followed by the UGG store, with 24, and H&M, with 16 calls, according to police records from March 18, 2022, to March 18, 2023. In all, 222 such calls from 50 different Tanger stores were made during this period.  riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com

Pueblo, CO: Reward offered in firearm theft from Pueblo sporting goods store

Odessa, TX: OPD looking for $600 Home Depot theft suspect

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Shootings & Deaths

Raleigh, NC: Owner of convenience store charged with murder of 27-year-old Mark Garrity Jr
It has been two weeks since 27-year-old Mark Garrity Jr. was stabbed to death at a downtown convenience store and now police have the 60-year-old owner in custody and have charged him with murder. On April 6, at Taz's Convenience Store in downtown an employee told ABC11 the owner, Taiseer Zarka, accused Garrity of shoplifting and asked him to open his bag. When he refused they allegedly got into a fight that left Garrity stabbed multiple times. He died at the hospital.  abc11.com

Ventura County, CA: A terrifying rampage ends with a teen's death
 In the span of an hour Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement officials say, a 24-year-old Westlake High School alumnus went on a deadly rampage across southern Ventura County, killing a 15-year-old, injuring five and endangering several others in a sequence of assaults that officials have been able to describe only as senseless. Austin Eis traveled more than 30 miles to three locations, leaving a trail of bloodshed and mayhem, officials with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and Simi Valley Police Department said Wednesday. He first entered a Simi Valley Walmart, where he pepper-sprayed a male employee, seemingly without provocation, then stabbed him, according to Cmdr. Ritchie Lew, a spokesperson for the Simi Valley police. The assailant then physically assaulted a second employee and attempted to drag her away, police said. When other employees tried to intervene, Lew said, the attacker lunged at them with a knife before running from the store.  latimes.com

Seattle, WA: Man shot while trying to stop C-store robbery; police searching for female shooter
Seattle police are asking for the public's help in finding a woman they say shot a man at a convenience store in the Rainier Valley on April 7. Police said the woman has been described as white or Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, with black hair. Dontae Myrick was at the convenience store when he said the woman pulled out a gun and tried to rob the store. He tried to stop the woman and get the gun away from her but she shot him. The woman ran off after the shooting and police still haven't found her. Luckily, Myrick's nephew, Jermaine Hawkins, recorded everything on his cell phone. Myrick has been recovering there for more than two weeks.  kiro7.com

Garden City, GA: Man injured in shooting outside of Food Lion
A man was shot outside of a Food Lion in Garden City on Wednesday night. According to the Garden City Police Department, the shooting happened just after 7 p.m. outside of Food Lion on the 100 block of Minus Avenue. A man was shot in the shoulder and has non-life threatening injuries, according to police. Garden City Police are continuing to investigate.  wtoc.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Menomonie, WI: Menomonie Walmart placed on temporary lockdown after incident
The Walmart in Menomonie was placed on a temporary lockdown Tuesday after reports of a person waving a knife at customers. According to a post from the Menomonie Police Department, they were called to the store around 2:55 p.m. Walmart was placed on a temporary lockdown as police worked to resolve the situation. Police say two people were arrested and face several charges stemming from the situation. Nobody was hurt during the incident. Police say there is no threat to the public.  wqow.com

Kokomo, IN: South American thieves busted in Kokomo for stealing from old women's purses
More thieves tied to a South American theft group have been busted in Kokomo after reportedly stealing wallets out of old women's purses while they were out shopping. According to the Kokomo Police Department, three women who authorities determined were from Chile were arrested on Monday in connection to the robberies. They face charges of theft, fraud and racketeering.  fox59.com

Monroe, LA: Man accused of robbing convenience store with a firearm; returns to the store to apologize
Officials of the Monroe Police Department were informed that 27-year-old Ronald L. Washington III allegedly robbed a Circle K convenience store on April 7, 2023. Police were advised that Washington returned to the convenience store on April 19, 2023, to purchase a pack of cigarettes and he apologized to the store employee for committing the robbery days prior. According to the affidavit, the store clerk gave officers a description of Washington and his vehicle. Monroe Police managed to make contact with the suspect on Siddon Street and he was placed under arrest. Authorities took a photo of Washington and the store clerk was able to identify Washington as the suspect who allegedly committed the robbery and apologized for the incident. He was transported to the Ouachita Correctional Center where he was booked for Armed Robbery and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  cenlanow.com

Los Angeles County, CA: Man Accused in Commercial Robbery Fails to Appear in Court, Warrant Issued
A 40-year-old man accused with two others of stealing more than $14,800 from a retail business in Palm Desert within a six-month period failed to appear in court Wednesday and had a warrant issued for his arrest. Jose Angel Perez, 40, was arrested Jan. 4, 2022, with Sarah Alexandria Cantu, 34, Phillipe Gonzalez, 36, and Devon Montoya, 26, when deputies responded to a report of grand theft at a retail store in the 72-300 block of Highway 111 at 7:19 p.m., according to Lt. Chris Willison of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.  mynewsla.com

King County, WA: Overnight string of 7-Eleven armed robberies under investigation

Prince George's County, VA: Serial armed robbery suspect connected to 7 cases

Richmond, VA: Police see spike in people stealing from Va. ABC stores

Canon City, CO: Walgreens employee alerts Police of suspicious images of children

Thomson, GA: Walmart and Sam's Club Team up with Law Enforcement to Host Drug Take Back Event



Auto - Rochester, NY - Burglary
C-Store - Auburn, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Renton, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Federal Way, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery / employee wounded
C-Store - Mahoning County, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Monroe, LA - Armed Robbery
Clothing - Tulsa, OK - Robbery
Guns - Pueblo, CO - Burglary
Hardware - Odessa, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Stockton, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Newport News, VA - Robbery
Jewelry - Henderson, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Las Vegas, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - Texas City, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Houma, LA - Burglary
Pharmacy - Brooklyn, NY - Burglary
Restaurant - Birmingham, AL - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Akron, OH - Burglary
Restaurant - Akron, OH - Burglary
Tobacco - Rochester, NY - Burglary
Walmart - Floyd County, GA - Robbery
Ulta - Newman, GA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 15 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Competition is a good thing because it's what has made America so strong. Whether it's competition between companies or between executives, it has a tendency to bring out the best in most people and in most organizations. It leads to innovation, invention, growth and it instills a sense of competition in everything we do that tends to motivate and challenge people to reach beyond their own self-definitions of what they can do or can't do. Without it, progress, which is slow to begin with, would be stifled but, with it, you have inspiration and purpose. The whole key is how you compete in the open market, whether as a company or as an executive, reflecting professional standards and a code of ethics is critical even when your competition isn't. The #1 rule should always be never speak ill of the competition because in actuality it's more of a reflection of who you are and not who they are.

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