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LPF Announces Newest Board Members:

PetSmart's Meredith Plaxco & Target's Oscar Arango

(Mooresville, NC - April 21, 2021) The Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) announced the selection of its newest board members to assist in governing and providing strategic direction for the Foundation. Meredith Plaxco, LPC and Oscar Arango have accepted the nominations and have been approved by the LPF board to serve on the Foundation's Board of Directors.

Oscar currently serves as the VP of Asset Protection for Target and Meredith serves as the VP of Loss Prevention & Safety for PetSmart.

"We are excited to have Meredith and Oscar join the Loss Prevention Foundation Board of Directors. The LPF continues to strive for a broad range of industry perspectives from those that are on our board so that we can serve the LP/AP industry in an informed and comprehensive manner," said Terry Sullivan, LPC, President of LPF. "Oscar and Meredith both have a passion for our industry and we appreciate their willingness to serve."

Click here for a complete list of the Loss Prevention Foundation Board Members

ISCPO Welcomes Amazon's Steve Sturgill to Board of Directors

The ISCPO is excited to welcome Amazon's Steve Sturgill to its board of directors. Steve has an extensive background spanning over 30 years. He currently leads a team of Amazon's investigators that focus on losses that occur within the Supply Chain. Prior to his time with Amazon, Steve worked for 7-Eleven Stores, Sears Holdings and Target Stores. Steve has his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has attained his Loss Prevention Certification through the Loss Prevention Foundation. Congratulations, Steve!

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






Today & Tomorrow
IOBSE's 2021 Spring Conference - Hosted Virtually by Microsoft

Rising Above Adversity During Challenging Times

Wednesday, April 21 - Thursday, April 22
10:00AM PT - 2:00PM PT | 1:00PM - 5:00PM ET

Guest Speakers include Carmen Best, former Chief of Police of the Seattle Police Department, Michael D. Armstrong EVP Worldwide TV Licensing Paramount Pictures and many more.

Click here to see the full agenda & click here to register

Protests & Violence

Derek Chauvin Found Guilty on All Counts in George Floyd's Death

Chauvin's Conviction is Historic

Derek Chauvin, convicted of murdering George Floyd, led away in handcuffs

It was a dramatic ending to a case that transfixed the world and became the latest flash point in a raging debate about police brutality against the Black community.

A sheriff's deputy led former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin away in handcuffs Tuesday after jurors convicted him of murdering George Floyd, a dramatic ending to a case that transfixed the world and became the latest flash point in a raging debate about police brutality against the Black community.

The conviction, almost a year after a bystander video captured Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, was the first time in Minnesota history that a white police officer was convicted of killing a Black civilian on the job.

Jurors deliberated for about nine hours and 45 minutes over two days before finding Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Second-degree unintentional murder is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Third-degree murder is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. However, Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for identical presumptive prison terms for both counts, starting at 12½ years for someone with no criminal history.

Second-degree manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $20,000. The count carries a presumptive sentence of four years for someone with no criminal history. startribune.com

'This is the Justice We Were Looking For'
Minneapolis streets erupt in elation over guilty verdicts for Derek Chauvin

Hundreds gathered outside the courthouse to hear the jury's decision.

Just after 4 p.m. Tuesday, a silence fell over the crowd of hundreds who'd gathered outside the razor wire that enclosed a heavily guarded courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. They pushed phones to their ears, trying to hear Judge Peter Cahill read the jury's verdict.

"Guilty!" they roared, all but in real time as Cahill repeated the verdict for the murder and manslaughter charges against ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. As a bailiff handcuffed Chauvin, news of convictions on all counts sent the crowd into a jubilant frenzy: cheering, waving flags, banging on bass drums, singing, hugging and marching through the streets of a downtown that had been mostly cleared out by workers at the news that a verdict had been reached.

Dominic Powell, 33, hopped on the back of a pickup truck and waved a Black Lives Matter flag. "All three! All three!" he shouted. Drivers listening to the news on their radios joined in by blasting their horns in elation.

"George Floyd isn't coming back to life, but this is the justice we were looking for," Jaqui Howard, 25, of Minneapolis, said moments after the verdict. "This is the first time where we feel like we're actually being heard."

"I'm just shaking," said her friend Prisca Diyoka, 26. "It was overwhelming all last summer, processing this. We fought for something. And we got what we fought for."

Mothers brought their young children out to witness the celebration of a historic conviction of a white man who killed an unarmed Black man while on duty.

Celebrations Break Out Nationwide After Cities Prepared for Unrest
Chauvin verdict had cities bracing for unrest. Instead, they got a celebration.

"It feels like a new day in America"

Across America, communities had prepared for the worst. They had put up barriers and called in reinforcements. They had boarded up windows and declared emergencies. They were bracing for Derek Chauvin to be acquitted of George Floyd's murder, for the inevitable protests that would follow, for the strife and conflict and destruction of last year to be replayed this spring.

But when the decision came, he and the others who had gathered outside the Cup Foods store, where Floyd was killed, got something unexpected. As the guilty verdicts on all three counts of murder and manslaughter were announced to the crowd, there were tears of joy, hugs and cheers. Instead of anger and betrayal, Wilder experienced relief, and even some hope.

Nationwide, expected protests over the latest injustice gave way to celebrations that the jury in Minneapolis "did the right thing." Civil rights activists praised the decision, and so did police chiefs. Politicians on either side of the aisle found rare common ground. Mayors dared to exhale.

The Chauvin verdict wasn't enough to heal the country's deepest wounds, all seemed to agree. But at least it wasn't going to inflame them further. washingtonpost.com

   Celebrations, relief follow Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict

   Here's how long Derek Chauvin could spend in prison

   Biden calls Chauvin murder conviction a "step forward" in the march toward justice

New DOJ Investigation Into Minneapolis Policing Practices
Attorney General Merrick Garland announces 'sweeping' probe into law enforcement in Minneapolis

It will be a 'sweeping probe' of the entire department that could result in major changes to policing

Attorney General Merrick Garland is expected to announce that the Justice Department is opening a sweeping investigation into policing practices in Minneapolis a day after a former officer was convicted in the killing of George Floyd.

Wednesday's announcement comes after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death last May, setting off a wave of relief but also sadness across the country. The Black man's death prompted months of mass protests against policing in the U.S.

The Justice Department is already investigating whether Chauvin and the other officers involved in Floyd's death violated his civil rights. The investigation being announced Wednesday is known as a "pattern or practice" and will be a more sweeping probe of the entire department and may result in major changes to policing there, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person had direct knowledge of the matter but was not authorized to speak publicly about the upcoming announcement, planned for Wednesday morning.

The investigation will examine practices used by police, including the use of force, and whether the department engages in discriminatory practices, according to the person. It will also look into the department's handling of misconduct allegations among other things, the person said. It's unclear whether the years under investigation will begin when Floyd died or before.

The Justice Department had no comment. apnews.com

Ohio police kill knife-wielding Black teenage girl, sparking protests just as the Chauvin verdict came down
A Columbus police officer shot and killed a Black teenage girl on Tuesday afternoon just as a guilty verdict was being handed down in the Derek Chauvin murder case.

Police said the shooting occurred after officers responded to a 911 call about an attempted stabbing. Body camera footage released by police late Tuesday showed officers pulling up to a chaotic scene where three girls appeared to be in the midst of a brawl. Within just a few seconds, as one of the girls involved in the fight can be seen wielding a knife as she lunges toward another girl, an officer yells, "Get down! Get down!" and then fires his weapon several times.

The girl, later identified by family as 15-year-old Makiyah Bryant, can be seen in the footage immediately collapsing as a man yells, "She's just a f***ing kid, man!"

About 100 people gathered in downtown Columbus late Tuesday to protest the shooting. They chanted, "Say her name! Makiyah Bryant!" and "Black Lives Matter!" thedailybeast.com

New York BLM protesters heckle taqueria diners: 'Stay the f--- out of New York'

COVID Update

213M Vaccinations Given

US: 32.5M Cases - 582.5K Dead - 25.1M Recovered
Worldwide: 143.6M Cases - 3M Dead - 122M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 286
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Criminals Cashing in on Counterfeit Vaccines
Pfizer Identifies Fake Covid Shots Abroad as Criminals Exploit Vaccine Demand
Pfizer Inc. says it has identified in Mexico and Poland the first confirmed instances of counterfeit versions of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with BioNTech SE, the latest attempt by criminals trying to exploit the world-wide vaccination campaign.

Vials seized by authorities in separate investigations were tested by the company and confirmed to contain bogus vaccine. The vials recovered in Mexico also had fraudulent labeling, while a substance inside vials in Poland was likely an anti-wrinkle treatment, Pfizer said.

About 80 people at a clinic in Mexico received a fake vaccine going for about $1,000 a dose, though they don't appear to have been physically harmed. The vials, found in beach-style beer coolers, had different lot numbers than those sent to the state, and a wrong expiration date, said Dr. Manuel de la O, the health secretary of Nuevo León state.

Polish authorities said no one there had received the counterfeit vaccine, which was seized at a man's apartment.

The findings are the latest in an effort between law enforcement and drugmakers such as Pfizer, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson to stem criminal activity related to the Covid-19 vaccines. The global rollout of shots has provided criminals a fresh opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

"Everybody on the planet needs it. Many are desperate for it," said Lev Kubiak, Pfizer's world head of security. "We have a very limited supply, a supply that will increase as we ramp up and other companies enter the vaccine space. In the interim, there is a perfect opportunity for criminals."

The U.S., Mexico and other countries have seized and taken down dozens of websites fraudulently claiming to sell shots or an affiliation with vaccine makers such as Moderna and Pfizer, according to government officials and records. The fake, company look-alike websites appeared to be seeking consumers' personal information to be used in identity-fraud schemes, government and industry officials say. wsj.com

Oregon OSHA Fines Lowe's After COVID Inspections

Lowe's stores fined more than $35,000 for violating COVID rules,
Oregon officials say
Two Lowe's Home Improvement stores in Oregon have been fined more than $35,000 for flouting coronavirus mask rules, according to state officials.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health announced Monday that it was fining Lowe's stores in Albany and Redmond $17,500 each, totaling $35,600 in fines, saying they did not ensure all customers wore masks inside the stores.

The department said in a news release it conducted inspections after receiving multiple complaints and determined that supervisors "were fully aware of the requirement to ensure customer use of facial coverings" but "intentionally decided against carrying out their responsibilities."

"It is not enough to leave the protection of employees in the hands of cooperative customers," said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. "As most employers recognize, they must take appropriate steps to ensure that the rules in place are actually followed. When an employer is not prepared to take such steps, we can and will use our enforcement tools to address the issue." thenewstribune.com

More 'Hero Pay' Closures?

Kroger closes five stores in California cities that require 'hero pay'

Los Angeles told retailers and pharmacies they need to pay employees a $5 per hour hazard pay

Grocery store chain Kroger announced that it was shutting down five stores in Southern California after cities approved ordinances requiring retailers to pay a "hero pay."

Kroger closed two stores in Long Beach on Saturday: a Ralphs and Food 4 Less in Long Beach, California. Kroger, which is the largest supermarket chain in the U.S. with nearly 2,800 stores in 35 states, stated that the city-mandated $4 "hero pay" increase was to blame for the store closings.

The closures will impact an estimated 200 workers, according to KTTV-TV. Kroger said that employees of the doomed stores were given the chance to transfer to other locations. The grocery store workers union claims that the transfers could mean long and expensive commutes.

Last month, the Los Angeles City Council approved an emergency ordinance to require grocery stores, retailers, and pharmacies with more than 300 employees nationwide, or more than 10 employees on-site, to offer employees an additional $5 per hour in hazard pay during the coronavirus pandemic.

Kroger reacted by planning to close three Los Angeles locations on May 12, citing "hero pay" as the main factor for shuttering the doors. theblaze.com

Vaccine Tipping Point?
US may soon reach a tipping point on Covid-19 vaccine demand.
Here's why that's concerning
As US health officials race to get more Covid-19 shots into arms to control the virus, experts now warn the country will run into another challenge in the next few weeks: vaccine supply will likely outstrip demand.

"While timing may differ by state, we estimate that across the U.S. as a whole we will likely reach a tipping point on vaccine enthusiasm in the next 2 to 4 weeks," the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a new report published Tuesday.

Health officials - including Dr. Anthony Fauci - estimate that somewhere between 70% to 85% of the country needs to be immune to the virus - either through inoculation or previous infection - to suppress is spread.

So far, roughly 40.1% of the population has gotten at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And about 26% of the population is fully vaccinated, that data shows.

A slowing vaccine demand now, experts say, could give dangerous coronavirus variants the opportunity to continue to mutate, spread and set off new surges - and it could delay the country's return to a semblance of normalcy. mercurynews.com

'Vaccine Passport' Bans Gain Traction in Some States
Arizona governor orders 'vaccine passport' ban for the state
Gov. Doug Ducey used his executive powers Monday to prohibit local and regional governments from making "vaccine passports" a requirement for people to enter businesses or get services, calling it an encroachment on the private medical information of Arizona residents.

The Republican governor signed an executive order that also bans state agencies or businesses that contract with state government from requiring the vaccine passports that prove people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it's not mandated in our state - and it never will be," Ducey said in a statement. "Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government."

Businesses that decide they want to require vaccine passports - along with health care providers, child care facilities, schools and universities - are exempted from the ban. apnews.com

A Glimmer of Good News
New U.S. COVID cases fall 0.4% last week, after rising for four weeks
New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell 0.4% last week after rising for four weeks in a row, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

Health experts say new cases have plateaued at a high level as more infectious variants of the virus offset progress made in vaccinations. The country logged nearly 70,000 new cases per day in the week ended April 18, compared with 55,000 new cases a day in March and about 30,000 new cases this time last year.

Michigan continued to lead the states, with nearly twice as many new cases per 100,000 people last week as Rhode Island and New Jersey, the states with the next highest rates of infection based on population. reuters.com

Some states are issuing vaccine passports; here's what you need to know

Yale, Columbia to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for fall

Santa Barbara County among 5 joining orange tier as Calif.'s reopening continues

Footfall in England up by almost 200% as Covid controls ease

Home Depot Faces Boycott Over Georgia Voting Law
Georgia Gov. Kemp throws support behind Home Depot as the chain faces calls for a boycott over its silence on restrictive voting laws
A group of Black religious leaders from more than 1,000 churches in the state on Tuesday called for a boycott of Home Depot following what they see as silence from the home-improvement chain about Georgia's restrictive new voting law.

"We don't believe this is simply a political matter," Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, an organizer of the boycott, told The New York Times on Tuesday. "This is a matter that deals with securing the future of this democracy, and the greatest right in this democracy is the right to vote."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the law last month, pushed back against the boycott, arguing it will hurt jobs on social media.

In a Tuesday press conference, Kemp said Home Depot employees were being unfairly "targeted" and that they "did not ask to be in this political fight." According to the governor, the company employs 30,000 people in the state.

In an emailed statement, a Home Depot spokesperson spoke broadly about the company's stance on election security and voter participation but didn't mention the Georgia law. businessinsider.com

Companies Are Announcing Sustainability Pledges, But More Needs to be Done

The proportion of experts who say progress on sustainable development has been poor has increased from 49% to 54% over the past two years

Even corporate executives are being recognized for their efforts. Green Biz released a study called "20 C-suite sustainability champions for 2021." Companies mentioned include GM, Starbucks and Solvay. Even Barbie is in on the trend with Lisa McKnight; Senior Vice President, Global Head of Barbie; Mattel noted as a champion of the environment.

While all of these are positive moves, there is still work to be done. The SustainAbility Institute of ERM, asked 500 experienced sustainability professionals in 75 countries to evaluate the progress that has been made on sustainable development as measured against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Experts were also asked how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the progress of the goals.

Key findings include the following: Continue Reading

Coming to a Store Near You?
Retail robots coming to these grocery stores
Shelf-scanning robot Tally will be donning a new apron soon. Simbe, the company that makes the robot, announced its first deployment with Save Mart, the largest family owned grocery chain in California, which acquired 132 Albertsons stores in 2006 + has continued growing.

Tally robots will be rolling out to 7 stores across all three Save Mart banners in the Bay Area to bring greater visibility to inventory, streamline operations for store teams and improve the customer experience.

This is an important milestone for a sector that's been fixated on wider adoption and sees a real opportunity in the shadow of COVID-19, despite notable setbacks and some in the industry questioning the value of retail robotics late last year. In November 2020, Walmart killed a large contract with Simbe competitor Bossa Nova, which also makes a robot for inventory auditing and data-driven inventory insights. zdnet.com

Target opening new small store concept in downtown Pittsburgh
Target's new downtown Pittsburgh location will be one of the retailer's small-format stores, designed for urban areas, dense neighborhoods, and college campuses. It will only occupy about 22,000 square feet, roughly one-quarter the size of a traditional suburban Target store. forbes.com

Hammerson exits UK retail parks sector with $459M assets sale to Brookfield

Some companies blame stimulus benefits for hiring struggles

100+ Subway franchisees call on chain's owner to fix the 'nightmare' business

Raley's to convert all stores to new banner

Bob Eddy named CEO at BJ's

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ADT wins 2021 TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology "Marvel" Award

The Marvel Award recognizes monitoring centers for creating and/or using cutting-edge technology and to raise awareness of these new technologies.

McLean, VA - The Monitoring Association (TMA) and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher Scott Goldfine had the honor of presenting the 2021 TMA/SSI Monitoring Technology "Marvel" Award to Florida-based ADT, LLC virtually this afternoon for its SoSecure app. Leah Page, Vice President, Mobile Security & Strategic Projects, ADT, accepted the award on behalf of winning company.

This award honors innovations in monitoring center technology. It is co-sponsored by TMA and Security Sales & Integration (SSI) and coordinated by the TMA Technology Committee. The purpose of the Marvel Award is to provide recognition for monitoring centers creating and/or using cutting-edge technology and to raise awareness of these new technologies.

SoSecure by ADT is an iOS and Android safety app. It gives customers access to ADT's 24/7 professional monitoring and emergency response with a simple swipe, tap, or voice command on their mobile phone. GPS location, personally identifiable details, and any available contextual data is shared with emergency responders unless the user indicates (with authentication) that the request was an accident. With an estimated 240 million calls made to 911 in the U.S. annually, often with limited location data according to NENA, this can potentially be lifesaving.

ADT also notifies family and friends in case of an emergency, providing added reassurance. SoSecure's core safety features, including sending an SOS alert by sliding a button or via SMS chat, are free for everyone.

Learn more about the innovative technologies that ADT and this year's awards finalists, Acadian Monitoring Services and General Monitoring Services, Inc., have engineered in the August 2021 issue of SSI Magazine.






Another SolarWinds?
Attackers Compromised Code-Checking Vendor's Tool for Two Months

A script used to upload sensitive reports-with access to credentials and datastores-likely sent information on hundreds, possibly thousands, of companies to attackers.

In a software supply-chain attack reminiscent of the SolarWinds compromise, unknown attackers used a vulnerable tool published by code checking firm Codecov for a little over two months to collect sensitive development information from the company's clients.

Codecov, which provides tools and services to check how well software tests are covering code under development, in a statement published on Friday warned that attackers had modified a command-line upload tools to also send sensitive information to the attackers. At-risk data includes credentials, software tokens, and keys-and the data and code that could be accessed with those secrets-as well as the remote repository information.

The firm recommended that clients use a script to create a list of credentials that could be accessed by its software and consider those credentials and secrets compromised.

A breach at a software supplier that could have impacted thousands of client firms puts the attack squarely on the level of the SolarWinds compromise, says Asaf Karas, co-founder and chief technology officer for Vdoo, an Internet-of-Things security platform. darkreading.com

Lessons from SolarWinds & Microsoft Cyber Attacks

White House: Here's what we've learned from tackling the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange server cyber incidents

Partnerships with private companies in dealing with aftermath of cyber attacks "sets precedent for future engagements on significant cyber incidents"

Lessons learned from responses to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange cyber incidents will be used to coordinate action against future cybersecurity and hacking incidents, the White House has said.

Both incidents required the United States to react to cyber attacks by nation-state hacking operations affecting thousands of organisations across the country - Russian intelligence compromised SolarWinds in a supply chain attack, while Chinese operatives targeted Microsoft Exchange.

The campaigns aren't related, but both were able to gain access to a number of networks, with attackers remaining under the radar for a significant period of time before they were discovered.

The US administration convened two Unified Coordination Groups (UCGs) to drive the government response to the SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange incidents. Both are now being stood down due to the increase in security patches being applied to prevent the attacks and a reduction in the number of victims.

But the way they operated and what was learned will be used to guide future responses to additional cyber incidents in future. zdnet.com

Remote & Hybrid Work Driving Attacks?

Attackers Heavily Targeting VPN Vulnerabilities

Threat actors like attacking the technology because they provide a convenient entry point to enterprise networks.

Attacks on virtual private networks, like those this week targeting a trio of known vulnerabilities in Pulse Secure appliances, have intensified in recent months along with the increase in remote and hybrid work environments since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The trend requires organizations to patch VPN and other externally facing devices with the highest priority, says a new report from Digital Shadows.

The report, based on an analysis of vulnerability activity in first quarter of 2021, highlights other threats as well, including increased targeting of remote code execution (RCE) vulnerabilities such as one affecting Oracle WebLogic (CVE-2020-14882) and widespread attacks targeting the ProxyLogon flaws in Microsoft Exchange Server.

"[VPNs] continue to be targeted by a plethora of threat groups, which will almost certainly continue for the remainder of 2021," says Chris Morgan, senior cyber-threat intelligence analyst at Digital Shadows. "VPN devices, in addition to other remote access software, are often prioritized as a useful entry point that can provide threat groups with a stable foothold onto target networks."

The threat intelligence firm's analysis of vulnerability activity in the first quarter of this year shows cyber adversaries are actively targeting VPN vulnerabilities, more so than most other attack avenues, to break into enterprise networks. VPN accesses were among the top three access types listed for sale on cybercriminal forums last quarter, Digital Shadows says. darkreading.com

Cybersecurity only the tip of the iceberg for third-party risk management
Most companies are missing key risks at more than one stage of the vendor risk lifecycle, yet few are expanding their TPRM programs to address these risks, according to Prevalent.

COVID-19 was the biggest event of 2020, increasing organizational focus on third-party risk management for 83% of companies. Yet, only 40% of study respondents report expanding their TPRM programs as a result.

More concerning is that 44% of companies report not actively tracking supply chain risks, which were the primary pandemic-related third-party risk management impact.

More than 50% of respondents indicated the biggest challenge they face in third-party risk management is not having enough pre-contract due diligence to identify potential vendor risks.

More alarming is that 59% indicate they are not actively assessing third-party risks during the offboarding stage of the vendor lifecycle. Organizations are missing critical risks at multiple stages of the third-party lifecycle. helpnetsecurity.com

Google issues Chrome update patching seven security vulnerabilities

Dept. of Energy Launches Plan to Protect Electric Grid from Cyberattack



RCC Course on Preventing Racial Profiling in Stores

FREE Course for retailers on preventing consumer racial profiling

This training course has been developed to help retailers and businesses in Canada address and prevent consumer racial profiling. The course, "Serving All in Canada," was developed by the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) and Retail Council of Canada.

The online training course only takes about 20 minutes to complete. It is available in both English and French. Participants who complete the program receive a certificate of completion.

Click here to view course

Protests & Violence

More Anti-Lockdown Protests in Canada
20 charges laid after hundreds take part in Hamilton anti-lockdown,
anti-mask protests

'Folks are being held accountable for organizing these kinds of events,' says mayor

Hamilton police and bylaw officers have laid 20 charges following a pair of lockdown protests over the weekend that included hundreds of people. The first protest happened on Saturday near Kenilworth Avenue North and Barton Street East, police say.

"Approximately 300 people in attendance. Police will be in the area for public safety and enforcement. #StayHome," the service tweeted about the event in the Crown Point East neighbourhood just before 3 p.m. that day. On Monday, the service updated the count, saying that more than 400 people had participated.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who chairs the city's police services board, addressed the protests during a board of health meeting Monday, saying officers were there to monitor and "contain them as much as they could."

Police document and track participants and work to identify organizers and charged them after, said the mayor. "Folks are being held accountable for organizing these kinds of events," he said.

Hamilton, along with the rest of Ontario, remains under a stay-at-home order. cbc.ca

Police Departments Suffering From 'Low Morale' Amid Protests

Retired Winnipeg officer starts petition to protect police from hate speech

Criminologist, advocates disagree with petition's premise, say police are not a marginalized group

A retired Winnipeg police officer has launched a petition, now authorized by a member of Parliament, that seeks to expand Canada's hate speech laws to include protections for police.

Stan Tataryn, who served with the Winnipeg Police Service for 35 years, launched a petition that seeks to add "vocation" to the Criminal Code of Canada's definition of identifiable groups, under its section relating to hate crime.

Tataryn started the petition after seeing police officers deal with negative public perception in the wake of the police use-of-force deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn., and Eishia Hudson in Winnipeg.

A WPS officer took his own life last February, in part, because of the pressure and criticism brought on by social movements to reform and defund police services, according to numerous members of the force who spoke with CBC News at the time.

"My message is: police officers, by and large, are good people, but they don't feel that," said Tataryn.

"They're suffering. Morale is low. There's a lot of post-incident trauma there. People should appreciate that and somehow make it known... that we appreciate the job [they] do." cbc.ca

Montreal protesters denounce 8 p.m. curfew as unscientific, harmful to vulnerable

4 people fined $880 each after anti-lockdown protest in Strathroy, Ont.

COVID Update

Canada's Lockdowns Continue
Ontario extends stay-at-home order, tightens enforcement in bid to curb surging COVID-19 variants
Faced with potentially catastrophic COVID-19 modelling projections, Ontario is extending its state of emergency and stay-at-home order effective immediately and implementing tougher public health restrictions in an effort to control the rampant spread of the disease variants.

The government stay-at-home order originally imposed April 8 for four weeks will now continue for at least six weeks, Premier Doug Ford announced in an April 16 news conference.

In addition, Ford announced the closure of all non-essential construction sites effective April 17 at 12:01 a.m. and new limits on shopping at essential retail stores to 25 per cent of capacity - down from 50 per cent. Outdoor gatherings with people outside an individual's household will also be prohibited. As of April 19 at 12:01 a.m., attendance at religious services, weddings and funerals will also be limited to no more than 10 people.

Ford said the government will increase enforcement powers for police and bylaw enforcement officers. Police will have the authority to ask anyone outside their home to explain their reason for leaving home and to provide their address.  thelawyersdaily.ca

Canadians Frustrated as the U.S. Vaccination Effort Soars
Exasperated Canadians watch Americans getting vaccinated faster
After a bumpy start, Canada's vaccination rollout has picked up pace in recent weeks. Still, the sight of the United States - a neighbor with which the country frequently compares itself - awash in vaccines and racing ahead to inoculate the population is fueling frustration.

Ontario, Canada's most-populous province, is also among its hardest-hit. Cases have blown past a January peak. Its intensive care units are under such strain that children's hospitals are admitting adults.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has blamed the current surge in cases and hospitalizations on the federal government, which he says has failed to procure enough vaccines. His lockdown measures, meanwhile, have provoked an angry backlash across the province. Infectious-disease experts accuse him of easing restrictions prematurely, against their advice. washingtonpost.com

COVID's 'Domino Effect' in Canada
Pandemic Hits Wholesalers in Canada as Retailers Struggle
Retailers across the country have felt the tough economic blow that has resulted because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns and mandatory public health measures. But the impact on the industry hasn't been relegated to just the stores. It's had a domino effect with the pandemic causing turmoil and hardship as well for a variety of other industries associated to retail, such as wholesalers.

Lisa Wiseberg, owner of LWS Fashions based in Toronto, is a multi-line sales representative who sells men's and women's clothing to retail stores.

"People have to realize that it's just not the retailers that get hurt in these times," said Wiseberg, who has been in the industry for about 20 years, "because if the retailer isn't open or the retailer isn't selling then the wholesaler is getting just as affected because we're not getting the repeat business or they're not bringing the goods in. They have to hold goods back because there's no business. retail-insider.com

Front-Line Workers in Canada Facing Huge Challenges
Mental Health Resources for Retail Employees
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for retail employees. To assist retailers, RCC has assembled resources that you can use to help support employees.  Check out the resources here

Vaccination slots fill up fast as eligibility lowered to 40 in Ontario

Organized Crime Groups Cashing In?
Higher taxes will lead to more contraband cigarette sales, group says

Contraband cigarettes lucrative for organized crime groups and demand is high in northwestern Ontario

Higher taxes on cigarettes will only push more smokers to the black market, and lead to more money for organized crime groups, the National Coalition Against Contraband Tobacco (NCACT) said.

Northwestern Ontario is already a hotspot for contraband tobacco, with up to 65 per cent of cigarettes sold in the region being contraband, said Gary Grant, NCACT spokesperson.

Grant said a lack of enforcement activity, as well as ease of access, may be contributing to the region's high rates of contraband tobacco. And if the new federal Liberal budget is approved, it would increase taxes on cigarette cartons by $4, which, Grant said, would likely result in more people turning to the black market.

With most contraband cigarette manufacturing in Canada taking place in Ontario, that also means the region is a major corridor for smugglers trying to move the product further west, Grant said.

Organized crime groups are "making huge amounts of money," Grant said, adding it's estimated that Canada loses about $1 billion a year in tax revenue from the sale of contraband cigarettes, while Ontario loses about $750 million. cbc.ca

Canada's E-Commerce Boom
How Pickers, Packers, and Drivers Are More Important to the Brand Experience Than Ever in Canada
Despite the retail industry experiencing a drop in overall sales during the pandemic, online shopping continues to boom globally. This surge has created an entirely new landscape in the retail and transportation and logistics (T&L) sectors and will likely influence new trends far into the future for both.

One trend, however, is already here. As online sales surge, efficiency in the supply chain and reliable last-mile delivery are becoming even more critical to creating a positive shopping experience that consumers expect and now demand.

The increasing demand for online purchasing options has raised expectations for painless and seamless, delivery and return experiences. 38% of those surveyed in a recent SOTI study, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, said that they would look elsewhere if a retailer could not offer delivery in two days or less. Additionally, 63% said they would prefer an automated returns process, and 59% said they view an easy returns process as a major incentive to buy more product from a retailer. These expectations are having a serious influence on how consumers view brands and their loyalty to those brands in the future.

Warehouse Staff and Drivers Are Crucial - Better Technology to Meet Expectations retail-insider.com

Gap's Athleta is competing on Lululemon's home turf with first international stores

Feds to clamp down on credit card swipe fees, payday loans

(Update) Miller 'disgusted' by video of altercation between Indigenous woman and LP officer outside Saskatoon grocery store
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said on Friday that he had seen the video of an altercation involving an Indigenous woman and a loss prevention officer outside a Saskatoon grocery store, saying he was "disgusted" and hoped the "full force" of the law was applied.

Saskatoon Police said they were called to the store last week where officers found a 30-year-old female being detained by a loss prevention officer. Police said an altercation between the two individuals had taken place, resulting in minor injuries to the loss prevention officer. Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), which represents First Nations across the province, says the incident, which was captured on video, is just one instance of violence Indigenous women face. He said it's a symptom of a larger issue in the province. In a post on the store's Facebook page, management indicated they have ended the contract with the third-party security firm in question. While Cameron said that's a good first step, he says the security guard should be fired. cbc.ca globalnews.ca

   'Nothing justifies this level of force,' lawyer says following FreshCo incident

Winnipeg, MB: Canada Post mail carrier stole more than $40K worth of packages
A mail carrier spent a little too much time taking mail rather than delivering it along his Winnipeg route, police say. A 58-year-old Canada Post employee has been charged with the theft of parcels valued at more than $40,000. Canada Post investigators contacted the Winnipeg police in late March after an internal audit found many online orders that were supposed to be delivered along a route in the Kildonan Meadows neighbourhood had gone missing between Jan. 8 and Feb. 11, 2021. The value of the items was estimated at about $10,000.

The stolen merchandise included electronics, makeup and clothing still in their original mailing packages, police said. Most of the items have been returned to the proper owners, police said. The investigation continues and further charges could be laid. cbc.ca

(Update) N.S. shop owner hopeful stolen jewelry will be found after charges laid in $55,000 break-in
A Nova Scotia business owner who lost more than $55,000 worth of jewelry during a recent break-in is holding out hope her stolen merchandise will be recovered now that charges have been laid. Amherst police have since charged two men with break and enter into a business, as well as conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. A third man is charged with possession of stolen property. cbc.ca

New Westminster, BC: Suspect arrested after store security guard threatened
with a knife
One person is in custody after allegedly threatening a store security guard with a knife. New Westminster Police Department officers were called out on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. to a retail store on Boyd Street for a report of a man brandishing a knife at a security guard. The man allegedly brandished a knife when he was stopped by the security guard for trying to leave the store with unpaid merchandise, said a news release from the NWPD. Once police arrived on scene, they located a man matching the suspect description who was in possession of two knives. The suspect was safely taken into custody, police said. newwestrecord.ca

Mississauga, ON: Charges laid after alleged 'hate-motivated crime' at
hardware store
Peel Regional Police say a man and a woman have been charged after a "hate-motivated crime" at a Mississauga hardware store last month. Officers said two suspects got into a verbal argument with two victims over parking. "The argument escalated to the point where the male suspect retrieved a weapon from the trunk of his vehicle and uttered threats towards the victims while using racial slurs targeting the Black community," police said. globalnews.ca

OPP arrest duo after high-end perfume theft at Orangeville Shoppers

Milton, ON: Police investigating armed robbery at pharmacy

Vancouver security guards allegedly bear sprayed twice while chasing liquor thief

London, ON: Police looking for suspect in convenience store robbery

Airdrie RCMP investigating armed robbery at East Lake Petro-Canada

Back-to-back shoplifting incidents at Real Canadian Superstore

OPP issues public appeal in Carleton Place armed robbery

View Canadian Connections Archives






Another Amazon Union Push Coming?
Amazon faces a union fight in Staten Island, where warehouse workers are energized by the failed drive in Alabama

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island have started a union drive.

A group of workers at the tech giant's warehouse in Staten Island, New York, announced Monday they were starting a union movement. It comes after a failed union vote at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.

The Staten Island group calls itself the Amazon Labor Union (ALU). It is working with The Congress of Essential Workers (TCOEW), a labor-activism group founded by former Amazon worker Chris Smalls.

The union push in Alabama was affiliated with the Retail, Wholesale, an Department Workers Union (RWDSU), but the Staten Island workers want to establish an independent union.

One Staten Island worker, Derrick Palmer, told Truthout that even though the Alabama vote failed, it was still "historic."

"We all wanted the union push to be successful in Alabama, especially with the odds being totally against them, being that Alabama is a nonunion state," he said.

"But the fact that they had the opportunity to vote as a facility was historic ... We have to take the bruises and pick it up where they left off. If anything it started a movement. It's going to be like a domino effect." businessinsider.com

Borderlands: Rural areas the next e-commerce frontier?
The pandemic accelerated e-commerce growth across most countries during 2020, when lockdown policies restricted much in-store retail shopping.

Cities around the world saw a huge increase in online shopping, with companies like Amazon and Walmart reporting gains in users and revenue by as much as 79%.

The next frontier for e-commerce is regional cities and rural areas, according to Mark Stanton, general manager at PowerFleet for supply chain.

"COVID accelerated what was going to happen in e-commerce; some people say it accelerated by five years or 10 years what was already going to happen," Stanton told FreightWaves. "Mixed into that is the migration of a lot of people out of the largest cities, whether it's New York or Los Angeles, Detroit, moving to smaller or more rural areas, whether that's in Texas, Florida or elsewhere around the country."

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based PowerFleet provides telematics and fleet management software.

Stanton said the e-commerce shift to smaller, regional areas could disrupt supply chains that are not prepared. freightwaves.com

Russian e-commerce giant Wildberries launches sales in US




Kennewick, WA: Would be Mall Burglars nailed with evidence in their car
Two men are in custody after an attempted early Tuesday morning break-in at the Columbia Center Mall. Around 1AM mall security contacted the two leaving the back door of the Concept store at the mall. They confronted them, but the two were far enough away they were able to flee to a red Honda sedan and leave the parking lot. But, not before the security personnel were able to get their license plate and descriptions. Kennewick officers had been called, and upon arrival found the back door to the store had indeed been forced open. To make sure no other suspects were inside, a K-9 was used to clear the building and surrounding area inside the mall.

Then as the investigation proceeded later Tuesday, officers were led to Columbia Park around 11:30AM. There, they found a vehicle matching the description given by the security workers. Two men were taken into custody after officers found merchandise from the store in their vehicle. They were identified as 32 year old James Guetter and 25 year old Baraka Asaba. Both are now in the Benton County jail on 2nd Degree Burglary charges, and Asaba was found to have two outstanding unrelated felony warrants. Thanks to the efforts of the security guards, KPD was able to rapidly identify and locate the suspects. So a word to the wise (would be burglars): it's possible nighttime security officers don't have arrest authority, but they'll get your description, your vehicle make and model, your plates and more. These two found that out. newstalk870.am

Lincoln, NE: Employee accused of $8,400 theft from Lincoln grocery store
A 28-year-old Lincoln man is accused of felony theft for allegedly giving away thousands of dollars worth of alcohol and cigarettes at the grocery store where he worked. Lincoln police say the investigation into Dalton Kellogg began March 31, when a store director at Super Saver reported he'd noticed discrepancies after reviewing transaction logs, then watched surveillance videos that confirmed the theft. The store director said it added up to a loss of more than $8,400 over the past four years. Police believe Kellogg began the thefts to pay off a drug debt after he became addicted to opioids in 2017. Then, when he got clean in 2018, he allegedly continued the thefts because his former dealers threatened to kill him or harm his family if he didn't give alcohol and cigarettes to them free or for a discounted price, according to police records. journalstar.com

Grand Rapids, MI: Police investigate AT&T store robbery
Police are investigating a cellphone store robbery on Grand Rapids' northeast side Tuesday, they said. It happened around 2 p.m. at the At&T store on the East Beltline near Knapp Street. Police say several suspects went into the store, took cellphones and ran out. The amount of items they got away with was not disclosed. It's unknown if anyone was hurt. woodtv.com

Tipp City, OH: Police investigating $2,300 Menards Theft

Beloit, WI: Man accused of stealing over $1,600 in liquor from Grocery Store

Odessa, TX: Two men wanted in connection to $700 iPad theft from Walmart

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Shootings & Deaths

West Hempstead, Nassau County, NY: 1 killed, 2 wounded in shooting at Long Island grocery store; Employee in custody
The Stop & Shop supermarket on Cherry Valley Road in West Hempstead remains a crime scene this morning, after an employee opened fire, killing one person and wounding two others. 31-year-old Gabriel Dewitt Wilson, who authorities say has a history of mental illness, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. He will be arraigned later this morning. It was Tuesday at about 11:20 a.m. when police say Wilson walked into supermarket filled with customers, went upstairs to the office and started shooting. Witnesses heard six shots.

"I was in the store in the produce department, minding my business, doing my weekly shopping, and I heard what sounded like gun shots, but I never thought that anything like that would happen in the store, so I assumed it was something that just fell over in the service area," one shopper said. When it was over, a 49-year-old store manager was dead and another man and woman in offices upstairs wounded. The suspect then fled the scene. Tips from the public led police to him three hours later in an apartment complex about a mile from the supermarket. "The suspect tried to flee down the first floor and was apprehended by Hempstead and Bureau of Special Operations in the police department," Nassau Police commissioner Patrick Ryder said. He was taken into custody without incident. A gun was recovered. Wilson was employed as a cart handler at the Stop & Shop. abc7ny.com

Salt Lake City, UT: 15 years old accused of shooting, killing C-Store employee could face more charges, state says
The 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting an Ogden grocer in February could face additional charges based on further investigation of the gun police believe he used, a prosecutor said Tuesday. "We won't know one way or the other until the investigation is complete," Deputy Weber County attorney Letitia Toombs said in Ogden's 2nd District Juvenile Court. The boy is accused of walking into the Super Grocery convenience store, 675 N. Monroe Blvd., and shooting 65-year-old Satnam Singh. Prosecutors allege the teenager said, 'this is a stickup' before firing four times, striking Singh twice just before midnight on Feb. 28. Weber County Attorney Chris Allred has said the evidence points to a robbery that turned deadly but not a hate crime. The office is also waiting on a medical examiner's report. Defense attorney Ron Nichols said Tuesday the prospect of further potential charges was new to him but he has received other sorts of evidence from the state. ksl.com

Colorado Springs, CO: Pueblo Robbery Suspect Chase Ends In Shooting On I-25 In Colorado Springs
A Police officer is on leave this morning after shooting a suspect. And as of this morning, we don't know how that man is doing. Colorado State Patrol says it happened yesterday at about 5:30 on northbound I-25 near the academy exit. Several law enforcement agencies were chasing a vehicle involved in a robbery investigation in Pueblo. State patrol used stop sticks to try to end that chase. And once it was over, a Fountain police officer fired a weapon, hitting the suspect. The man was taken to the hospital, and a passenger was taken into custody. news.yahoo.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Pittsburgh, PA: Three brothers plead guilty to attempted gun shop burglaries during George Floyd protests
Three brothers from Spring Hill have all admitted in federal court that they conspired to break into gun dealerships on the night of widespread protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Jerquay, Jamir and Jerwahn Atkins, all in their 20s, pleaded guilty this week and last week to conspiracy in relation to attempted burglaries in Moon and Bethel Park. A federal grand jury indicted all three in September. Two accused accomplices, Haliston Este and Jasmine Greenlee, were charged separately. Greenlee was the first to plead, admitting in October to being the getaway driver. The case against Mr. Este is pending.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the group tried to break into Allegheny Arms in Bethel Park on the night of May 30 and National Armory in Moon on May 31. They weren't able to steal any guns, but agents said the attempts were related to several other break-ins at businesses across the region on the night of May 30 and early morning of May 31 at a time of widespread protests in the Pittsburgh region and around the country over the death of Floyd.

The U.S. attorney's office said the gang tried to use a crowbar to smash their way into Allegheny Arms but the alarm went off and they fled. Greenlee then drove them to National Armory, where they again tried to use a crowbar but were again thwarted. ATF and local police said the same group later broke into a Verizon store in Mt. Lebanon and another Verizon store in Green Tree. Allegheny County detectives and Pittsburgh police arrested the Atkins brothers on June 5. Jerwahn Atkins pleaded guilty to conspiracy on Friday, Jerquay on Monday and Jamir on Tuesday, all before U.S. District Judge W. Scott Hardy The judge set sentencing for all in August. post-gazette.com

Rockford, IL: Man charged after May 30 unrest, jewelry store burglary
Almost 11 months after a protest an unrest in Rockford, police are searching for a Rockford man who they say broke into a jewelry store that night. Protesters and police clashed on the lawn of Rockford Police District 1 on May 30, 2020. After, police say multiple people broke into storefronts in the Forest City, one of them was Clodius & Co. Jewelers. Police also responded to several reports of looting to businesses throughout the city, including calls for service to Levels Clothing Store on Auburn Street and Cricket Wireless, also on Auburn Street. Police say five people broke into Clodius & Co. near the corner of Mulford and East State Street around 11:15 that night and stole jewelry from cases inside the store. Now, police say they identified Marcus Dandridge as one of the men inside. Dandridge is charged with burglary, police are still looking for him. wrex.com

Madison, MS: Mississippi officer dragged by vehicle fleeing traffic stop
A Mississippi police officer was injured after being dragged along the highway during a traffic stop. Jackson news sources report that a Madison police officer was conducting a traffic stop on Highway 463 between Highland Colony Parkway and Interstate 55. The vehicle was suspected of being involved in a previous felony shoplifting incident. During the traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle reportedly drove off while dragging the officer with the vehicle. The officer was able to free himself as the vehicle turned onto the nearby I-55 onramp. Other officers pursued the vehicle. The chase ended in Ridgeland when the vehicle slammed into a concrete guard rail, causing two police vehicles to crash. The driver was taken into custody. magnoliastatelive.com

Elizabeth City Man Gets More Than 13 Years in Prison for String of Armed Robberies

Silver Springs, MD: Suspect accused of smash and grab burglaries at 2 businesses

Virginia Beach, VA: Man pleads guilty in string of robberies around Shore Drive

Fresno, CA: Chinatown bike shop broken into for third time

Theft of catalytic converters now a felony in Indiana




AT&T - Grand Rapids, MI - Robbery
Auto Parts - Tehama County - Burglary
Bikes - Fresno, CA - Burglary
C-Store - Buellton, CA - Robbery
CVS - Wyandotte, MI - Armed Robbery
Clothing - Silver Springs, MD - Burglary
Dollar General - Tehama County, CA - Robbery
Gas Station - South Canaan, PA - Burglary
Gas Station - Decatur, AL - Robbery
Grocery - Silver Springs, MD - Burglary
Jewelry - Brooklyn, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Denton, TX - Robbery
Mall - Kennewick, WA - Burglary
Restaurant- Pueblo, CO - Armed Robbery (Dairy Queen)
Walmart - Odessa, TX - Robbery


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

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


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