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Protests & Violence

Decriminalization of Shoplifting is Rapidly Accelerating

The impact on retailers called out in WSJ main article

Anticop Movement Wants Road Anarchy Too
The death of Daunte Wright bolsters demands to get police officers out of traffic-law enforcement.

Traffic laws didn't kill Daunte Wright, but critics of the police are using his death to call for an end to their enforcement. Likewise with George Floyd and laws against counterfeiting.

Calls are escalating to take the police out of traffic enforcement and retail theft response.

New York state Attorney General Letitia James has proposed that New York City police cease routine traffic stops. Urban League President Marc Morial told CNN that police departments should "discontinue the discredited broken-windows policing of the 1990s," including traffic enforcement. Instead, the thinking goes, unarmed civilian traffic agents and speeding cameras should enforce the rules of the road. Berkeley, Calif., has already banned officers from making stops for many traffic offenses, and jurisdictions like Lansing, Mich., and the District of Columbia are following suit.

But it is precisely high-crime areas that most need traffic enforcement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an office of the Transportation Department, has a program based on the "nexus of crashes and crime." For decades, research has found that neighborhoods with the highest rates of fatal accidents also have the highest rates of violent crime. And when the police pay inadequate attention to traffic violations, "people feel they may break the law with impunity," according to a 2000 study.

Milwaukee has documented the inverse correlation between car stops and nonfatal shootings, robberies and car thefts. When traffic enforcement declines, those crimes increase, says former Police Chief Edward Flynn. It is a truism of policing that "criminals are bad drivers," Mr. Flynn says. "They don't follow traffic laws or update their vehicle registration. Years ago, I learned that expired inspection stickers were the quickest way to find a warrant fugitive."

As for shoplifting and the use of phony currency, stores are under pressure not to call the police or even to detain offenders. The effective decriminalization of shoplifting in San Francisco unleashed widespread looting, as this page noted last November. In New York and Chicago, gangs of thieves regularly rampage through stores grabbing high-end items, confident in their impunity. The victims of such predation are not only corporations but immigrant small-business owners.

This process of decriminalization has been going on for several years and is rapidly accelerating. Left-wing district attorneys decline to prosecute arrests that are said to have a disparate impact on blacks for crimes including subway fare evasion, trespassing, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, public intoxication and even some gun-possession offenses.

The solution to the rare but tragic police-involved deaths of unarmed civilians is not to get the police out of law enforcement. It is improved tactical and antistress training for officers, combined with an unequivocal message from political and community leaders to anyone who comes in contact with police: Comply with officers' lawful commands, and don't resist arrest. wsj.com

Feds Used Aerial Surveillance Over 15 Cities During 2020 Protests

Government Used Drones, Aircraft to Spy on Black Lives Matter Protests

The flights, revealed in documents obtained by The Intercept, underscore the growing militarization of policing.

The U.S. Marshals Service flew unmanned drones over Washington, D.C., in response to last summer's Black Lives Matter protests, documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act show.

The documents - two brief, heavily redacted emails - indicate the Marshals flew the drones over Washington on June 5 and 7, when nationwide protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's murder were at their height.

The surveillance flights occurred just days after the Trump administration ordered the mobilization of the near entirety of federal law enforcement against Washington's protesters. The aggressive physical crackdown against Black Lives Matter rallies, particularly in Washington, D.C., spurred its own wave of outrage as police beat, chased, and chemically dispersed largely peaceful demonstrators.

Less visible law enforcement responses to the rallies also drew intense criticism, including the use of social media surveillance and, in particular, the use of aerial surveillance over multiple cities by the Air National Guard and Department of Homeland Security.

Government aircraft monitored 15 cities during the protests, according to the New York Times, filming demonstrators in New York, Philadelphia, and Dayton, Ohio; a Predator drone was deployed over Minneapolis.

Matthew Guariglia, a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Intercept that the fact there's a Marshals Service drone program at all is indicative of how thoroughly crime-fighting agencies in the United States now resemble war-fighting forces. theintercept.com

Some Minneapolis Stores to Remain Boarded Up for Months
After Derek Chauvin Verdict, Minneapolis Isn't Taking Down Plywood Just Yet

Businesses in other U.S. cities breathe a sigh of relief after last year's unrest following the murder of George Floyd

Downtown remained largely boarded up the day after a jury found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, whose killing sparked a summer of unrest here and across the country.

Store windows along the retail district in downtown Minneapolis remain so thoroughly covered with plywood that finding the entrance to the few stores that remain open is challenging. The streets Wednesday were generally empty and fencing surrounded some government buildings. There were still national guardsmen in camouflage clustered in groups of four or five trying to keep warm in the 40 degree temperatures.

Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard adjutant general, said troops will be leaving soon.

Some businesses say they plan to keep safety precautions in place for several months. The funeral for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man shot by a police officer earlier this month just outside Minneapolis, is Thursday. The anniversary of Mr. Floyd's murder is next month, and the trial of the three remaining former officers who are charged with aiding and abetting Mr. Chauvin in second-degree murder is scheduled for later this summer.

There is concern in the business community that any of those events-or some unforeseen incident-could spark additional riots, Mr. Weinhagen said.

"The boards will come down, the National Guard will go away," said Roy Gerber, 53. "But nothing will be much different in my lifetime.... Change is slow." wsj.com

Looting Caravan Hits California Stores
Early Morning Looting Caravan Targets Stores In Emeryville, Oakland;
One Suspect Arrested
A roving gang of looters targeted the GameStop and Best Buy stores in Emeryville late Wednesday night, shattering windows, ransacking shelves before fleeing with an unknown amount of merchandise.

Emeryville police said that shortly after midnight a large caravan of 25-30 vehicles arrived at the Best Buy on the Oakland-Emeryville border.

Several people exited the vehicles and tried to enter the locked business by force. After smashing the front windows, they were thwarted in their efforts by metal roll-up style gates installed following looting last year during a night of unrest related to George Floyd's murder.

Oakland police also responded to the scene, but the looters had fled before the officers arrived. The looters then turned their attention to the Game Stop retail store located at 3980 Hollis St. in Emeryville a short distance away.

Once inside the business, store merchandise was stolen. The individuals ran back to the vehicles with the stolen merchandise and fled the scene as marked police units began to arrive.

Emeryville police said one suspect - 18-year-old Jose Lujan of Oakland - was taken into custody without incident. The investigation is ongoing, and investigators are currently seeking the identity of all involved. sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

Police Groups to Push Back on Probes in Talks with Merrick Garland
The groups say they will express concerns over probes like the one into Minneapolis while recognizing that changes are needed

Leaders of the nation's largest law-enforcement organizations and unions said they would air their concerns directly to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday over the Justice Department's broad civil-rights probe into the Minneapolis Police Department.

Some police groups are skeptical of sweeping investigations like the one launched Wednesday in Minneapolis, saying they can unfairly force cities to make costly changes that are burdensome to rank-and-file officers.

The investigation is examining whether Minneapolis police engage in patterns of unconstitutional conduct through excessive force, discrimination and other behavior. Like other so-called pattern-or-practice investigations, it could lead to a legal settlement known as a consent decree, outlining a number of prescribed changes that are then overseen by a federal monitor.

Other law-enforcement leaders said they planned to discuss their other priorities, such as federal grant money for matters such as education, training and body cameras. wsj.com

LA Mayor Pushes for Police Budget Increase As Homicides Surge
'It's a slap in the face': LA activists protest mayor's police budget increase

Families of people killed by Los Angeles police called this week's verdict in Chauvin trial a win, but are pushing forward with demands to defund

Los Angeles activists denounced a budget proposal by the mayor that includes increases to the law enforcement budget, one day after the conviction of Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis fueled renewed scrutiny of police across the US.

Protesters who gathered outside a local police union building near downtown LA on Wednesday celebrated the rare guilty verdict in a police murder case, but also called for systemic changes locally, including the defunding of the LA police department (LAPD).

In the face of intense pressure, LA's mayor, Eric Garcetti, last June agreed to some reductions in LAPD funding. But this week, Garcetti outraged advocates and civil rights groups with his proposed 2021-22 budget, which seeks to allocate $1.76bn for LAPD, a 3% increase.

The mayor's office has cited an uptick in homicides and said the city needed to hire more officers to replace retirees. He has called his proposal a "justice budget" with a number of programs meant to address inequality and increased spending on gang intervention officers. theguardian.com

Anti-Cop Demonstration in NYC

Protesters vandalize Central Park monument and clash with police
Protesters clashed with police in Manhattan on Thursday night after a monument was vandalized by cop-haters in Central Park.

Six people were arrested in Columbus Circle near the USS Maine National Monument, which was defaced with anti-police graffiti, cops said. "ACAB," an acronym for "All Cops are Bastards," and "F-k 12," which means "F-k the police," were spray-painted onto the monument.

The NYPD condemned the vandalism in a social media post. "We respect everyone's right to peacefully protest, but vandalism is not part of peaceful protest," the department wrote on Twitter. nypost.com

Granting Immunity to Motorists Who Drive into Protesters

Oklahoma governor enacts bill that can protect drivers who hit protesters
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law that grants immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while attempting to flee a riot. It also stiffens penalties for people who block roadways in an effort to protest.

The bill is a reaction to an incident in Tulsa that involved a clash on the highway between a driver and demonstrators who had spilled out onto the road. Democrats questioned whether the bill was needed since the driver in the case wasn't charged.

A group protesting the legislation briefly gained entry to the House Chambers inside the State Capitol in Oklahoma City on Wednesday. The session resumed after the protesters left the Capitol building. kxii.com

Civil rights leaders, family, lawmakers push for police reform as they mourn
Daunte Wright
Several lawmakers who attended, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said they were using their voices to call for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The bill, which has already passed the House, seeks to overhaul policing and institute a federal ban on chokeholds and qualified immunity for law enforcement. washingtonpost.com

How protest laws could change in Oregon and states across the country
Lawmakers say they're cracking down on violence, not protests. Critics say the bills would criminalize activities protected by the First Amendment.

Peaceful protesters flood Knoxville streets in response to police shooting

'At least' 100 more to be criminally charged for Capitol insurrection

COVID Update

219M Vaccinations Given

US: 32.6M Cases - 584.2K Dead - 25.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 145.4M Cases - 3M Dead - 123.4M 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: 287
*Red indicates change in total deaths

From Worst to First in California
California Moves to Reopen Businesses, Welcome Customers Back into Stores as Infection Rate Declines
Just a few months ago, California was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Hospitals in Los Angeles were drowning in patients, and ambulances were idling outside with people struggling to breathe, waiting for beds to open.

The death count was staggering - so many that morgues filled and refrigerated trucks were brought in to handle the overflow.

Now as cases spike in other parts of the country, California has gone from worst to first with the lowest infection rate in the U.S. even as it has moved quickly to reopen more businesses with greater customer counts and allow larger gatherings.

A scramble to get COVID-19 vaccinations has given way to an open invite in many places. Where people lined up hours and counties struggled to get doses, there now appears to be a glut of the shots in many locations.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has been allowing businesses and schools to reopen by county based on case levels. At different points in the pandemic, he has faced heavy criticism for being too restrictive, and now some worry he is moving too quickly.

All counties have improved enough to move out of the strictest of four tiers, and 38 of the 58 counties - accounting for 87% of the state's population - now are in the second least-restrictive tier. Newsom said he plans to lift most remaining coronavirus restrictions by June 15. cp24.com

Mass Vaccination Sites Shutting Down Due to 'Lack of Customers'

The U.S. begins closing mass vaccination sites as demand falls
County health departments that a month ago couldn't keep up with vaccine demand have now started closing some of their mass vaccination sites for lack of customers, and some counties are declining vaccine shipments.

Now that more than half of adults in the United States have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and the country has surpassed 202 million administered doses, demand for shots appears to be slowing in many areas. White House and health officials are comparing the next phase of the vaccination campaign to a get-out-the-vote effort.

The largest vaccination site in Las Vegas, the Cashman Center, will close on May 5 as the list of open appointments grow and the lines to be inoculated have dwindled. Palm Beach County in Florida said on Tuesday that it would shut its three mass vaccination sites. In Galveston County, Texas, a mass drive-through clinic at a county park won't operate after May 1.

"We got about 50 percent of our people vaccinated," he said, "and we recognize that next 25 percent is going to be a lot harder than the first." nytimes.com

Health Officials Concerned
Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Set to Outpace Demand
The nation's supply of Covid-19 vaccines is set to outpace demand in the next two to four weeks, according to a national health nonprofit, as state health officials pivot from managing a flood of interest in the shot to persuading people to get it.

In Texas, Austin-area leaders held a joint meeting last week to workshop how to increase Covid-19 vaccine outreach efforts as 10,000 local immunization appointments went unfilled. In California, the administrator of a Los Angeles Covid Vaccine Hunters Facebook page posted that the hunt is over; doses are plentiful. In Birmingham, Ala., the county health director told reporters Tuesday he is ready to get down on his knees and beg residents to get shots.

As of Thursday, 52% of adults in the U.S. had gotten at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That proportion ranged from 72% in New Hampshire to 39% in Mississippi.

Many people aren't opposed to the vaccine but are either unmotivated to go out of their way for it, or limited by transportation, scheduling or other barriers, Dr. Sell said. wsj.com

456 Grocery COVID-19 Deaths & 91,400 Infections of Exposures
Grocery worker COVID-19 infections, deaths rise: UFCW report
Union applauds chains helping to drive vaccinations for frontline associates

Since March 1, the number of grocery workers infected or exposed to coronavirus has climbed 24%, while deaths from the virus have jumped 30%, UFCW reported Thursday. The union said the upsurge follows store outbreaks at Whole Foods Markets, Costco Wholesale, Trader Joe's and other grocery retail chains across the country.

Among UFCW members nationwide, there have been a total of 456 deaths from COVID-19 and at least 91,400 infections or exposures to the virus among frontline workers. UFCW said its latest estimates include 178 deaths and at least 39,900 infections or exposures among grocery workers; 132 deaths and 22,200 infections or exposures among meatpacking workers; and 50 deaths and 11,700 infections or exposures among food processing workers.

Overall, UFCW represents 1.3 million workers in the grocery store, meatpacking, food processing, health care, retail sectors, among other industries.

UFCW cited The Kroger Co., Aldi, Lidl, Publix Super Markets, Target and Trader Joe's as some of the retailers incentivizing workers to go and get a COVID vaccine.

UFCW added that it also has secured on-site vaccinations for frontline workers at Albertsons Cos. supermarkets, CVS Pharmacy stores, Tyson Foods, Cargill and National Beef, among other U.S. grocery retail and food industry employers. supermarketnews.com

Surveys Nationwide Are Showing Similar Trends
Not much deviation between surveys week after week

U.S. Workers Split on Employers Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination Proof & Management of Unvaccinated Workers
Younger Workers More Excited, Anxious About Returning to Workplace

Employees Expecting a Different Workplace; Want Employers Involved in Safety Protocols
The 2021 Eagle Hill Consulting COVID-19 Vaccines and the Workplace Survey measures employee sentiment about COVID-19 vaccines, returning to the workplace, as well as testing and safety protocols. Read the infographic here.

"Workers remain split on employee vaccine requirements, and we're also seeing differing views on whether workers should provide proof of vaccinations before returning to work," Jezior added. "Another sticky issue for employers is how to handle employees who choose to remain unvaccinated - should they be permitted to interact in-person with colleagues and customers or be given special allowances to work from home?"

"The bottom line for employers - they have to keep the lines of communication open with employees and really listen and respond to their concerns. Employees know their workplace will be different, but managing any type of change is often met with resistance. The stakes are even higher when workplace changes involve employee health and safety," Jezior explained.

Differing Employee Views on Unvaccinated Employees

More than half (55 percent) of workers say non-vaccinated employees should not be given special allowances to work from home.

Close to half of workers (44 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should not be allowed to travel for work.

Many workers (39 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should not be permitted to work in-person with customers.

More than one-third of workers (35 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should not be allowed to work in-person with co-workers.

The vast majority of workers (83 percent) say non-vaccinated employees should be able to stay with their employer.

Employees Have Mixed Views on Returning to the Workplace

Gen Z and Millennials are most excited about returning to workplace, 47 percent and 30 percent, respectively, which is substantially higher than their Gen X (26 percent) and Boomer (15 percent) counterparts.

Yet, younger workers are more concerned about contracting COVID-19 at work - Gen Z at 28 percent, Millennials at 26 percent, Gen X at 23 percent and Boomers at 14 percent.

COVID Testing & Safety Protocols

Regarding social distancing, 84% concur that employers should require or encourage social distancing.
Regarding masks, 81% agree on employers requiring or encouraging mask use. prnewswire.com

Millennial & Gen Z Consumers Top Group For Not Standing in Lines
Long Wait Lines Caused by COVID Occupancy Limits Cost Retailers $100B
Customers are walking out of stores due to long lines caused by COVID-19 occupancy limits, and U.S. retailers are losing substantial revenue.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, 25% of respondents said they are "much more likely" to avoid entering stores or are more likely to walk out of stores without buying anything because of lines for service. An additional 28% of consumers said they were "more likely" to do so. Quidini calculations indicate U.S. retailers are losing a total of $100 billion per annum in immediate lost revenue opportunity as a result.

Respondents' biggest concerns when waiting in lines are contracting COVID-19 at 47%, lack of comfort (35%), lack of certainty and information (34%), wasting time (28%), and disliking waiting in poor weather conditions such as rain or snow (26%). chainstoreage.com

Kroger Taking Heat for Closing Stores Over $4 Hazard Pay Ordinances
'It's devastating': As a Seattle QFC store winds down, neighbors and politicians thank employees, criticize closure
Saturday will be the final day for the QFC in Seattle's Wedgwood neighborhood, and on Thursday afternoon, a somber crowd of soon-to-be former customers and neighbors, along with TV crews and a few political officials, gathered for a bittersweet send off for the store's 51 employees.

Shortly after 3 p.m., around a dozen employees, some with tears in their eyes, filed out the front doors to a round of applause, warm words of thanks and individual checks of $205.88, courtesy of a neighborhood fundraising effort.

A QFC spokesperson said all employees at both locations had been offered positions at other stores. seattletimes.com

EEOC Comes Out With Bold Message
Coronavirus is not a 'get-out-of-jail card' for ADA compliance, EEOC commish says
As the pandemic evolves and the country's response shifts, employers must remember that ADA regs still require individualized assessments.

The coronavirus pandemic does not absolve employers of their Americans with Disabilities Act responsibilities, a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission official told attendees at an April 8 American Bar Association conference.

"There are likely to be significant changes to key underlying assessments in the ADA space, namely what constitutes a direct threat, and what rises to an undue hardship," Andrea Lucas, an EEOC commissioner. hrdive.com

   Michigan among a few states seeing a spike in COVID cases among children

   Covid case numbers continue to decline in Pennsylvania

   Ohio's statewide case rate falls after month of increases

   6 things you must do if you're planning to work remotely permanently

Retail Sales Surge in the UK as COVID Restrictions Ease

UK retail sales jump 5.4% as businesses grow at fastest rate since 2013
The partial reopening of Britain's locked down economy has stimulated the fastest private sector growth in more than seven years, according to a closely watched monthly update of the economy.

Retail sales volumes in the UK jumped 5.4% in March from the previous month, as coronavirus restrictions began to ease. This is up from February's 2.2% growth, and far stronger than the 1.5% gain expected by the City.

Figures just released by the Office for National Statistics showed that compared with March last year, sales were up 1.6%. However, over the three months to March, sales volumes fell 5.8% on the previous three months, due to the latest lockdown.

Some travel and social distancing restrictions were lifted in England at the end of March, leading to higher consumer spending, the ONS said. The strongest growth in March was in clothing stores (up 17.5% on the month), other non-food stores (up 13.4%) and petrol stations (up 11.1%), the first monthly growth since October. theguardian.com

Lockdowns Begin in Germany
Germany to impose 'emergency brake' law across almost entire country to curb Covid infections
Germany's new "emergency brake" rules for areas with high Covid-19 infection rates, intended to curb the spread of the virus, will come into force Saturday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. They will affect almost the entire country.

The controversial new law gives the national government power to impose lockdowns on states for the first time, ending the patchwork of state-by-state measures.

The federally imposed shutdown will affect almost all of Germany, with only a few municipalities having low enough levels of transmission to avoid the restrictions. cnn.com

   Why India's COVID tsunami should concern Americans

Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' Going Full-Size Supermarket
Amazon's automated checkout is coming to full-size supermarkets
Amazon.com is poised to bring its automated checkout technology to full-size supermarkets, a significant milestone in the race to revolutionize how people buy their groceries.

Planning documents for a 34,000 square feet store under construction in Brookfield, Conn., contain all the hallmarks of an Amazon Fresh grocery store and also identify a dozen entry and exit gates as well as ceiling-mounted racks to run wiring to camera arrays, a setup that until now has only appeared in Amazon Go convenience stores.

Amazon appears to have solved a significant technical challenge, creating a grab-and-go system that can handle scores of shoppers at once and cover large supermarkets without being prohibitively expensive to build and operate. The breakthrough, if it works, would catapult Amazon ahead of rivals, which are testing similar camera-based technology developed by various startups. Executives at these companies have acknowledged that they are perhaps a year or two away from installing cashierless systems in full-sized supermarkets.

Widespread adoption of automated checkouts will likely fuel critiques from labor unions that have accused Amazon of seeking to eliminate cashiers, one of the most common jobs in the U.S. The company has said the goal of its Just Walk Out program is shopper convenience, not cutting labor costs. Amazon says it has created thousands of grocery jobs since the launch of the first Fresh store last year.

Amazon has been working for years to streamline its Just Walk Out system, making the gear more cost effective for its own stores as well as appeal to other companies that might license the technology. post-gazette.com

New Product Recall Regulations Coming?

After a child died in a Peloton treadmill accident, US lawmakers push for new product recall powers
A group of US lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill to give US regulators more power to recall products deemed to be dangerous. It follows the news of Peloton's refusal to recall its $4,295 Tread+ treadmill, after reports that a child died and others were injured while using the machine.

Peloton insisted that the machine was safe to use, provided customers follow the instructions and warnings. Critics said US regulators should be able to enforce product recalls, rather than just request them.

A law - Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act - prevents regulators from enforcing recalls and lets manufacturers restrict information released by regulators if there is a problem with a product. The new bill introduced Thursday aims to revoke that section of the law.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, one of the three lawmakers to introduce the new bill, said in a statement Thursday that current laws "allow companies to call the shots on how and when to notify the public about their hazardous products, keeping important safety information from the public."

Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Bobby L. Rush are the other two lawmakers who introduced the bill. Elliot Kaye, a commissioner for the CPSC, said in 2019 that "people die because of Section 6(b). It is that simple."

The new legislation - the Sunshine in Product Safety Act - would revoke Section 6(b) and allow the CPSC "to communicate vital health and safety information about potentially dangerous products to consumers without risking retaliation by the manufacturer," the three lawmakers who put forward the bill said.

Peloton did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the new bill. In a previous comment, a spokesperson told Insider that "a recall has never been warranted." businessinsider.com

Retail Must be Ready for 'Normalization'

Retailers' next challenge: Bringing consistency to the frontline
Since March 2020, retailers have operated in crisis mode. Some retail chain locations were more prepared technologically and physically to quickly offer longer store hours, BOPIS, or curbside pickup than others. Various grocery stores in the same chain and the same city were better able to keep supplies like paper goods in stock than other ones.

Retailers, especially grocers, can't assume that their pandemic-induced sales boost they've enjoyed will continue as people return to offices and restaurants.

This means that retailers need to ensure they are front and center in their customers' minds as life finally begins to normalize and consumers have more options. Retailers in all segments must have a strategic approach to ensure consistent experiences for customers and employees, regardless of the store location or shopping channel used.

With so many changes coming out of the retail space, retailers and their frontline employees must be agile. They must have training methods that work in this fast-moving environment. What's more, those training methods must ensure frontline employees feel engaged, appreciated, and prepared to adjust, perform their roles while providing an outstanding customer experience. chainstoreage.com

Three Questions You'll Need to Answer When Planning Hybrid Conferences
Hybrid conferences may be the next big thing in meetings, but because they involve face-to-face and virtual participants, they come with their own unique set of planning challenges.

Planning a conference that includes both in-person and virtual components is no easy feat and requires meeting professionals to consider additional logistics and possibly new technology solutions. Here are three questions to answer during the early stages of planning.

How do we staff a hybrid conference? Hybrid meetings will require even more staffing adjustments to make sure attendees have a worthwhile experience.

Do we need different marketing strategies? Registration numbers for virtual conferences increase dramatically the week before and even past the event's start date. To maximize your online audience increase your marketing efforts the week before the event.

How do we facilitate connections between in-person and virtual participants? Some ways that organizers have overcome this challenge: putting a screen onstage to allow remote attendees to take part in a presentation and ask questions, hiring a virtual emcee to who collects questions and comments from the remote audience, and handing out tablets to in-person attendees to allow them to have one-on-one chats with virtual participants. associationsnow.com

Retail Impact of $15 Minimum Wage
Chipotle will raise prices by 2-3% if a $15 minimum wage passes
Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would require Chipotle to increase its menu prices, but the move would be "manageable," the company's chief financial officer said.

For customers, this could mean an additional charge of about $0.20 to $0.35 per meal, as the average person spends about $11 on a burrito or other meal at Chipotle.

Other restaurant chains, including Waffle House, have discussed the impact of higher wages and an increase in prices on their menus.

Restaurants have been forced to hike prices in the past in response to increases in the minimum wage at the state level. Executives at The Cheesecake Factory and Texas Roadhouse told Insider's Kate Taylor they have raised menu prices in the past because of state minimum-wage increases. businessinsider.com

Tractor Supply to Open 80 New TSC & 10 New Petsense Stores in 2021
& Remodel 150 to 200 Stores

Victoria's Secret owner wants to sell the lingerie brand in $2B deal

NYC rents are in free fall, now reaching record lows

Quarterly Results
Tractor Supply Q1 comp's up 38%, e-commerce up 'triple digit percentage', net sales up 42.5%

Sketchers Q1 DTC comp's up 10.2% (up 25.7% domestically - down 27.4% internationally), DTC e-commerce sales up 143%, DTC sales up 18.1%, total sales up 15%

Canada's Metro Q2 comp's up 5.5%, sales up 5.1%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director of Security job posted for Jushi in Las Vegas, NV
The Director of Security manages a staff of security guards who are responsible for patrolling and inspecting the organization's property against diversion, theft, fire, vandalism, and terrorism, as well as ensuring the safety of personnel and visitors while on or about the organization's premises. We identify, evaluate, and acquire U.S.-based cannabis operations within each state to vertically integrate, produce, and distribute medical-grade cannabis formulations in the United States, offering patients and customers premium, high-grade cannabis and related products. indeed.com

Director of Security Technology (Remote) job posted for Jushi
The Director of Security Technology develops and implements technology, supporting infrastructure, and disaster recovery programs in accordance with company standards. Creates functional strategies and specific objectives, along with developing budgets, policies, and procedures to support the functional infrastructure. This position will travel to these states: CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, NV, OH, PA, VA. indeed.com

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(Swansboro, NC - April 22, 2021)
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If you would like more information about this product or to learn how PPS can create a custom solution for your loss prevention needs, please contact Tim Gates by phone at 888-542-3065 or 252-362-1232 or using our online form.

PPS, a veteran-owned and operated company, will work and guide their customers with excellent, trustworthy advice. PPS provides rapid, complete, custom, and technologically advanced loss prevention solutions for our customers.






Warning About China's Growing Cyber Threat
China could 'control the global operating system' of tech, warns UK spy chief
The West must continue investing in and developing cyber defences or risk falling behind in a world where innovations around the use of technology aren't necessarily driven by allies.

The director of the UK's intelligence and cyber agency GCHQ Jeremy Fleming said the country is now a global cyber power - but retaining that status in a fast-changing world is far from guaranteed, especially as China and Russia look to spread competing values and project cyber strength via the use of technology.

"New technology is enabling life online. Cybersecurity is an increasingly strategic issue that needs a whole-nation approach. The rules are changing in ways not always controlled by government," said Fleming.

"And without action, it is increasingly clear that the key technologies on which we will rely for our future prosperity and security won't be shaped and controlled by the West. We are now facing a moment of reckoning," he added.

Fleming made the comments while delivering this year's Imperial College Vincent Briscoe Annual Security Lecture and warned that elements of the global digital environment are at threat from authoritarian regimes and, if left unchecked, that could threaten the design and freedom of the internet as states with "illiberal values" look to mould cyber space in their own image. zdnet.com

Attackers Disguised as Remote Workers

Supernova Malware Actors Masqueraded as Remote Workers to Access
Breached Network

China-based Spiral group is believed to be behind year-long attack, which exploited a flaw in SolarWinds Orion technology to drop a Web shell.

Members of an advanced persistent threat (APT) group, masquerading as teleworking employees with legitimate credentials, accessed a US organization's network and planted a backdoor called Supernova on its SolarWinds Orion server for conducting reconnaissance, domain mapping, and data theft.

AdvertisementThe attackers had access to the network for nearly one year, from March 2020 to February 2021, before they were discovered and blocked, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said Thursday in a report summarizing the findings of its investigation into the incident.

The report is the latest involving SolarWinds and its Orion network management server technology. However, the Supernova tool and the APT group behind it are separate from the group that used legitimate Orion software updates to distribute malware dubbed Sunburst to 18,000 organizations around the world. Last week the US government formally attributed that widely reported attack - described by many as one of the most sophisticated ever - to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, SVR.

CISA's malware analysis report, which includes indicators of compromise and mitigation recommendations, did not attribute the Supernova attack to any specific group or country. However, others such as Secureworks that have investigated similar intrusions lately have ascribed Supernova and its operators to Spiral, a believed China-based threat group. Only a small handful of organizations are known to have been infected with Supernova, so far at least. darkreading.com

The Biometric Threat Boom
COVID-19 creates a boom in biometric adoption
COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to digital, creating a boom in biometric adoption. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents said that their company has increased the prioritization of technology that supports remote onboarding and authentication due to the pandemic. To this end, 45 percent said that their use of biometrics has grown in response to COVID-19.

All survey respondents agreed that customer and user experience is "very important" or "important" to their organization, and 73 percent believe that biometrics are beneficial in this regard. When asked about the benefits of deploying biometrics, "convenience/usability" was tied with "security" for the top spot.

Of the 55 percent of respondents who said that their company is using biometrics today, 69 percent use the technology for authentication, 75 percent use it for identity verification (identity proofing), and 31 percent for fraud detection.

However, biometric deployment isn't without challenges

Today, 40 percent of participants believe that biometric spoofing represents a high or very high threat. When asked about how high they feel the threat will be in two years, that percentage increased to 54 percent.

Subsequently, over 90 percent of respondents said that liveness detection is very important or important in combating biometric spoofing attacks. helpnetsecurity.com

Marijuana is becoming more accepted. Will cybersecurity employers play along?
As more states legalize recreational use, employers in the public and private sector may need to change how they hire for cybersecurity.

Former FBI Director James Comey foresaw a hiring dilemma, hinging on the legality of marijuana and the perception of workers who partake.

"I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," he told The Wall Street Journal in 2014.

He was questioned during a congressional FBI oversight hearing the same week. "Do you understand that that could be interpreted as one more example of leadership in America dismissing the seriousness of marijuana use and that could undermine our ability to convince young people not to go down a dangerous path?" then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, said.

Comey was criticizing a longstanding drug policy in the FBI, which requires applicants to be marijuana-free for at least three years prior to employment with the agency, regardless of whether it's legal in an applicant's state.

In response to Sessions, Comey said, "I am determined not to lose my sense of humor, but unfortunately, there I was trying to be both serious and funny." hrdive.com

Ransomware is growing at an alarming rate, warns GCHQ chief

Improving the Vulnerability Reporting Process With 5 Steps




Advantages of Amazon's Surveillance Cameras
Some Amazon delivery drivers say new surveillance cameras in their trucks can offer protection, despite concerns over constant monitoring
Some Amazon delivery drivers are chafing at a new camera system that watches them inside their vans. But the driver-facing cameras are becoming more common across the industry - and drivers also say there are some key advantages to the new monitoring system.

Insider spoke with five drivers who described what it's like working under the watchful eye of the cameras. They said they felt "micromanaged" and slowed down by the cameras, which ding them for infractions like speeding or distracted driving.

But workers also highlighted several benefits, saying the cameras encourage safer driving and could protect them - as well as protect Amazon and the companies it hires to make package deliveries - in cases of traffic accidents or other dangerous situations. Many of the drivers asked that their names be withheld for fear that their jobs would be affected, but Insider verified their identities.

A representative for Amazon told Insider that the cameras are used to keep "drivers and the communities where we deliver safe."

"Don't believe the self-interested critics who claim these cameras are intended for anything other than safety," a representative said in a statement.

The camera system, called Driveri, was created by a transportation company called Netradyne, which uses artificial intelligence to monitor drivers.

Amazon told Insider that it saw improvements in driver safety during a pilot test of the Netradyne cameras from April to October 2020: Accidents decreased 48%, stop-sign violations decreased 20%, incidents of workers driving without a seatbelt decreased 60%, and distracted driving decreased 45%. businessinsider.com

E-Commerce Boom Clashing with Environmental Goals
Amazon, FedEx, and UPS have grand goals to slash emissions
 - but the e-commerce boom makes them much harder to reach
As the imperative to stop and reverse global temperature rise gains mind share in the corporate world, emissions from transportation are the fastest growing, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. And America's largest logistics companies are to a large extent culpable, thanks to one major trend.

"E-commerce has skyrocketed during the pandemic, and as a result put more polluting trucks on our roads and in our neighborhoods," Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director at the Environmental Defense Fund, told Insider via email. "Fleets and transport dependent brands have a responsibility to ensure that zero-emission trucks deliver both climate and health benefits - especially in the communities that have been hardest hit by air pollution."

In 2021, a major company without a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is relatively rare. Without one, companies risk appearing ignorant to the real threat of climate change. businessinsider.com

Tractor Supply Sees Triple-Digit Online Sales Growth

P&G puts 50% e-commerce jump down to 'strength of brands'




$5M Father-Daughter ORC Operation
Atlanta, GA: Father, Daughter plead guilty in $5 million Shoplifting scheme
For years, they paid professional shoplifters to target pharmacies and big box stores across metro Atlanta and then sold the stolen items on popular websites. Now, an Atlanta man and his daughter face federal prison time after pleading guilty in the elaborate multi-million dollar scheme, prosecutors said Thursday. Robert Whitley, 70, and Noni Whitley, 46, sold more than $5 million worth of stolen merchandise between January 2011 and November 2019, authorities said.

The father-daughter duo reportedly operated out of a southwest Atlanta warehouse, paying shoplifters cash for trash bags filled with over-the-counter prescription drugs, shaving razors and beauty products. They ran two seemingly legitimate businesses and also sold the stolen merchandise at discounted rates on popular websites such as the Amazon, Walmart and Sears marketplaces, acting U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine said in a news release.

The drugs and cosmetics were stolen from retail chains and supermarkets across the metro area, including CVS, Kroger, Publix, Target and Walgreens, officials said. "Robert and Noni Whitley operated a well-organized criminal enterprise disguised as an apparently legitimate small business," Erskine said, calling the operation "retail theft on a massive scale."

"We will continue to work with retailers and manufacturers to combat organized retail crime that is made easier and more lucrative by the ease by which stolen product can be sold online," he added.

Investigators said the two sold the stolen items for cheap through the businesses Closeout Express and Essential Daily Discounts, which were owned by the elder Whitley. Noni Whitley worked with her father and helped operate and manage the organized retail crime operation, authorities said. Closeout Express mainly sold the stolen retail products online at its own websites and through several e-commerce platforms, typically below retail and even wholesale prices. The duo also sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stolen products through Essential Daily Discounts' website.

The operation was shut down in late 2019 when federal agents raided the Closeout Express warehouse and several homes connected to the Whitleys. Investigators said the locations had been used to sort, store and "process" the stolen items by removing store information and any anti-theft devices that were left on the packages. During the raids, agents recovered more than $1 million in stolen merchandise.

"For more than eight years, the Whitleys profited off the backs of legitimate retailers by encouraging theft of their products for resale online," FBI Atlanta Special Agent Chris Hacker said. Robert Whitley pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property and his daughter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, prosecutors said. Their sentencing hearings will be held July 28 in federal court. ajc.com

St Louis, MO: Police raid building looking for stolen goods
Burglary detectives launched a raid Thursday searching for stolen stuff in north St. Louis City. If something was recently stolen from your home or garage, police may have recovered it. Officers and detectives surrounded an old building at the corner of N. Broadway and Howard, about six blocks north of The Landing. They spent hours removing all sorts of items. Lawn equipment was found. Cars were towed, including a Mercedes, and car parts like catalytic converters were confiscated. Even a camper was removed. Tons of tools were taken from the building.

In the past, the burglary unit put on display stolen items recovered from other investigations so people could claim their property. We don't know if that will happen in this case. This operation was being led by the burglary squad in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's Third District. Multiple people were arrested but not in relation to the raid. Those people apprehended had outstanding warrants for other alleged crimes. fox2now.com

Savoy, IL: $5K of sports cards stolen in Savoy business burglary

Cookeville, TN: Liquor Store Employee charged with $24,000 theft

Rome, GA: Woman stole $12,000 worth of furniture from Badcock Furniture

Monroe, LA: Two couples arrested, accused of stealing several hundreds of gallons of gas from a local business

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Shootings & Deaths

Colorado Springs, CO: Suspect dies after police shooting outside gas station
A suspect who ran away from police in a stolen car was shot by an officer when he approached a gas station in Colorado Springs armed with a rifle Thursday morning. An update from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at about 5 p.m. Thursday reported that the suspect died from his injuries. According to police, an officer tried to pull over a stolen vehicle in the parking lot behind a Quality Inn & Suites on Garden of the Gods Road when the suspect took off and then got stuck on a curb. This happened at about 6:30 a.m. CSPD says the suspect, who hasn't been identified yet, then got out of his car with an AR-15 style rifle pointed against his chin. Police say he began walking toward the Phillips 66 gas station and started walking toward a person filling their car up with gas. Officers say they gave him commands to drop the weapon, and one officer fired a Taser stun gun when the suspect approached the innocent bystander. CSPD reported that the stun gun "was unsuccessful" and an officer used his rifle to shoot the suspect "at least one time." krdo.com

Update: Macon, GA: Man arrested in convenience store shooting death
Bibb deputies have arrested a man wanted in a shooting death at an east Macon convenience store that happened earlier this week. According to a release from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, 21-year-old Christian Desmond Williams was arrested Thursday in the murder of 27-year-old Gregory Watkins. Watkins was shot and killed at the Chevron at 584 Emery Highway Sunday night. 13wmaz.com

Update: Portland, OR: 16-year-old faces murder charge in deadly convenience store shooting in North Portland
Investigators have identified a 16-year-old suspect in a deadly North Portland convenience store shooting that happened last month. Portland Police detectives arrested the teen suspect in the homicide of the Michael Arrington, 53, in SE Portland on Wednesday. katu.com

Hattiesburg, MS: Man sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder of beloved Grocer
A suspect who pleaded guilty to the capital murder of a beloved Hattiesburg grocery store owner earlier this month was sentenced to life in prison Thursday. Christopher "Fat Boy" Tyce, 28, will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility for parole after being sentenced by Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich. Tyce pleaded guilty to his role in the murder of 59-year-old Lisa Nguyen on April 8.
Nguyen's husband and one of their daughters made emotional statements to Tyce and the court before Helfrich delivered his sentence. They shared what a wonderful wife and mother Nguyen had been. Tyce offered statements of regret and was then remanded back into custody where he will serve his sentence in the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Nguyen was the owner of Steelman Grocery in Hattiesburg. She was shot during an armed robbery inside the store on July 20, 2019. wlox.com

Colorado Springs, CO: 2 detained after shooting at The Citadel mall
A shooting at The Citadel mall Thursday evening left one person injured, police said. At about 6:30 p.m. police were called to the mall on the east side of the city near N. Academy Boulevard and Galley Road. When they arrived, they found one person with a gunshot wound, police said. The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to recover. Officers detained two people and said they believe everyone involved in the incident has been accounted for. Police and security personnel said the mall was closed while investigators collected evidence and interviewed potential witnesses. gazette.com

Update: Golden, CO: Man accused of shooting off-duty detective during Arvada gas station robbery convicted on several charges
Samuel McConnell, 45, faces anywhere from 10 to 49 years in prison, according to prosecutors. A Jefferson County jury has found a man accused of shooting and wounding an off-duty detective during the robbery of an Arvada gas station guilty on several charges, according to a release from the First Judicial District Attorney's Office. Samuel McConnell, 45, was convicted on charges including second degree assault, aggravated robbery, reckless endangerment and child abuse, according to the release. McConnell was acquitted on the more serious charges of attempted first degree murder and first degree assault, the release said. Prosecutors said on the morning of Dec. 18, 2019, McConnell walked into the Circle K armed with a gun and wearing a mask and demanded money from the store clerk. 9news.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

St Louis, MO: Burglar targeting car washes in Missouri and Illinois
Car wash owners from mid-Missouri to Hannibal/Quincy to St. Louis County and Southern Illinois report 40 or more thefts in the past two months. Most cases feature a man in a rental truck. Police report one case in Fulton, Mo., 10 days ago, and one on Watson Road in St. Louis County just Monday night. In both cases, the suspect was in a Budget rental truck and broke into pay stations. fox2now.com

Volusia County, FL: Man receives life in prison after leading police on chase following 7-Eleven Armed Robbery in Ormond Beach
Darryl Duffy, of Palatka, was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison plus 15 years, following his conviction on March 31. Duffy's criminal history included nine prior felony convictions, according to the State Attorney's Office, and he was sentenced as a prison release re-offender because he had committed the robbery within three years of his previous sentence. clickorlando.com

Hutchinson, MN: Masked men rob Target
Police are investigating a robbery that was reported Wednesday night at the Target store on Highway 15 South. Police say the call came in just before 10pm. Employees stated three males had taken several cash deposit bags from an employee closing out the cash registers. Employees described the suspects as three African American males with dark complexions wearing hooded sweatshirts. The suspects fled the store and left in a dark colored sedan. No weapons were involved. willmarradio.com

Tukwila, WA: Man detained after allegedly brandishing ax in shoplifting incident

Cottonwood Heights, UT: Federal parolee arrested in string of armed robberies




Best Buy - Emeryville, CA - Burglary
Boost - Dearborn Heights, MI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Spotsylvania County, VA - Robbery
CVS - Fayetteville, NC - Armed Robbery
GameStop - Emeryville, CA - Burglary
Car Wash - St Louis, MO - Burglary
Collectables - Savoy, IL - Burglary
Dollar General - Talladega, AL - Armed Robbery
Electronics - Dover, DE - Burglary
Family Dollar -Orleans, VT - Burglary
Hardware - San Francisco, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Grandville, MI - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Lynnwood, WA - Robbery
Jewelry - Sherman, TX - Robbery
Restaurant - Mercer County, NJ - Robbery
Restaurant - Bismarck, ND - Robbery
Restaurant - Staten Island, NY - Robbery
Target - Hutchinson, MN- Robbery
Walgreens - San Francisco, CA - Burglary
Walmart - Waterloo, NY, - Burglary


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


Weekly Totals:
• 69 robberies
• 30 burglaries
• 2 shootings
• 3 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


Division Asset Protection - Herald Square & NYC
Brooklyn, NY - posted April 14
As Senior Director, Asset Protection you will serve as subject matter expert in the following areas: shortage, fraud, investigations, legal compliance, and training. Create and implement AP strategies in partnership with VP, Asset Protection. Manage, direct, & deploy District Managers of Investigations (DMIs) to support districts & stores...

Regional Asset Protection Manager
Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and Houston - posted April 22
Victra is the leading exclusive, premium retailer for Verizon with a mission of connecting technology to life in the most trusting and profitable way. As the Regional Asset Protection Manager, you will be very logical, efficient, orderly, and organized in always safeguarding our company assets from losses due to theft or fraud...

Area Loss Prevention Manager
Sacramento, CA - posted April 20
Our Area Loss Prevention Managers ensure safe and secure stores through the objective identification of loss and risk opportunities. Our Area Loss Prevention Managers plan and prioritize to provide an optimal customer experience to their portfolio of stores. They thrive on supporting and building high performance teams that execute with excellence...

Corporate Security Manager
Calabasas, CA - posted April 6
The Corporate Security Manager will, among other things, (a) be responsible for ensuring a safe and secure environment for our employees, vendors, and visitors, (b) develop, manage, execute and continuously improve corporate security processes and protocols, and (c) lead a team of security specialists at our corporate offices...

Regional Asset Protection Manager
Roanoke or Richmond, VA - posted March 16
To provide support for loss prevention and safety for restaurants in assigned regions and protect the assets of the company by leveraging partnerships at all levels of the company and utilizing existing Asset Protection and Restaurant Operating systems and processes...

Regional LP & Safety Manager
Denver, CO
- posted Feb. 9
The Regional Loss Prevention & Safety Manager implements Risk Management and Loss Prevention objectives within assigned region. The position will provide assistance and training to the field operations teams to address specific Risk Management and Loss Prevention issues within an assigned span of control.  Read job description here

Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Rockaway, NJ
- posted Feb. 4
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage and safety compliance for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs and reporting...


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Holding people accountable can be a difficult task made even more difficult if those people don't even hold themselves accountable for their own performance or actions. Rationalizing, minimizing, deflecting - some people are just incredibly difficult to develop and lead. But then again, isn't that the key to being good leaders. Learning how to manage and lead is a life-long process that's tested every day you go to work. With human nature being to take the path of least resistance, the manager has to be there making sure no one does.

Just a Thought,

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