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Gap Inc. Announces New AP Leadership Team

Chris Nelson has been promoted to Senior Vice President / Head of Asset Protection for Gap Inc.

Chris has been in the Interim Head of Loss Prevention role for Gap Inc. since July. In this role he developed the evolved strategy for the organization including the move to the Asset Protection title to better encompass the breadth, responsibilities, and impact for the team. Prior to that, Chris was the Vice President, LP for the Old Navy Brand within Gap Inc. He spent 10 years at Target, primarily developing and growing their Investigative strategy. Chris is a combat veteran who served in the Army's Military Police Corp in Asia, Africa, and the US.

Chris has implemented a new organizational structure with Centers of Excellence (COEs) to support the evolved AP strategy and Gap Inc.

Gap Inc. Asset Protection Strategy

We enable purpose-led, billion-dollar businesses by
protecting People, Assets, and Brands.

Our Aspirations are to:

The COE concept focuses the expertise and impact of technical functions and sets teams up for success. This new structure created a new leadership team as follows:

Jen Thomason was recently named Vice President / Head of the Old Navy Asset Protection Center of Excellence
Jen is responsible for leading the AP efforts in the Old Navy stores portfolios.

Jerett Sauer has been promoted to Senior Director / Head of our Digital, Data, & Analytics Center of Excellence
Supporting our Digital portfolio building towards the Total Retail Loss platform.
Jerett's background includes Security in global Fulfilment Centers, building the Fraud/Cyber Risk protection program, and leading the Field LP teams for Athleta and Intermix. Prior to joining Gap, he worked for Disney managing fraud in their Direct and Consumer Product business.

Ken Poudrier has been promoted to Senior Director / Head of our Asset Protection Operations Center of Excellence
Responsible for the AP Operations, Learning and Development, Strategy and Finance. For the past 11 years, Ken has been serving as Director of Finance for Asset Protection, HQ Facilities and Services. Ken's a 23-year Gap Inc. vet who supported various areas across the enterprise including Corporate, Real Estate and Gap International Sourcing Finance teams.

Matt O'Keefe will continue to lead as Senior Director / Head of our Global Supply Chain Asset Protection Center of Excellence
Supporting our growing Global Supply Chain and Fulfillment Center portfolio.

Rich Giaquinto will continue to lead as our Senior Director / Head of the Specialty Brands Center of Excellence
Rich is responsible for leading the AP efforts in the Athleta, Gap, and Banana Republic stores portfolios.

The Senior Director / Head of our Global Security and Crisis Management Center of Excellence is currently open and will lead the Crisis Management, Global Security, BCP and Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) teams.

Matt Brenner will continue to lead as Director / Head of the Global Investigations Center of Excellence
Will drive our internal and external investigative efforts and Background Screening Program.

In addition to the COE structure, we have these promotions to announce

Melissa Diaz has been promoted to Director AP Operations
Melissa began her career in stores before spider-webbing into Loss Prevention, holding field positions at the district and region level. Melissa took on leading LP Operations supporting Athleta, Gap and Banana Republic where she led LP programs, reporting & analytics, institutional shrink, LP technology and budgets.

Jacob Myers has been promoted to Director AP Operations-Programs and Safeness
Jacob has been with Gap Inc. for 14 years. He most recently spent two years on the Gap Inc. LP Operations team leading Health & Safety, Predictive Monitoring, Strategic Programs, Communications, Talent Management and Development.

Brit Hehn was promoted to Director, Old Navy AP Operations supporting Jen and the Old Navy team as well as strategy
Brit has spent 19 years with Old Navy, with time as an LP Agent, District LP Manager, and then nine years supporting AP Technology, AP Finance, AP Reporting/Analytics, Institutional Shrink, Awareness/Communications. Most recently Brit also supported the Field LP efforts in Mexico.

Thank you to Nicole Campion of Gap Inc. for submitting this to the D&D Daily

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






Tyco Illustra Flex Camera Range Strengthened With Eight New NDAA-compliant Cameras From Johnson Controls

(MILWAUKEE, April 29, 2021) Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings and architect of the OpenBlue digital platforms, has announced the introduction of eight additions to its popular Tyco Illustra Flex camera series.

With enhanced image processing, improved low-light capability and secure boot protection against cyber-attacks, the new NDAA compliant Illustra Flex Gen3 cameras are designed to provide high performance, cost-effective solutions for virtually any video surveillance application. The Illustra Flex Gen3 is capable of connecting into the Johnson Controls OpenBlue platform, a complete suite of connected solutions for sustainability, new healthy occupant experiences, and safety and security solutions. Read more here

Protests & Violence

Massive Security Price Tag for the Chauvin Trial
National Guard presence during Chauvin trial cost $25M
Expenses topped $25 million for the Minnesota National Guard's deployment of thousands of its members around the Derek Chauvin murder trial, according to newly released invoices.

The Guard submitted its cost calculations in memos to the Minnesota Management and Budget department. Under state law, the Guard is automatically reimbursed when summoned into action and those dollars will come out of the general treasury.

Roughly 3,500 Guard members were brought into the Twin Cities at various stages of the Chauvin trial to watch over key buildings and be ready to respond if demonstrations devolved into something more severe. That represents one-quarter of the full Minnesota National Guard.

Ultimately, the Twin Cities experienced relatively little upheaval during the trial and after the Chauvin guilty verdict in the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Guard members are done with the mission and back to their regular lives. Some had to stay on slightly longer to repair and store equipment used during the assignment, a Guard official said.

On Tuesday, the Legislature approved and Gov. Tim Walz signed a separate $7.8 million bill to cover expenses of the Minnesota State Patrol, Department of Natural Resources and two states that sent in law enforcement personnel as part of Operation Safety Net.

The stepped-up presence was designed to avoid a repeat of the civil unrest that led to nights of violence, looting and destruction of businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul after Floyd's death that was caught on video sparked worldwide racial justice protests. mprnews.org

Federal Indictments in the George Floyd Case
Feds plan to indict Chauvin, other three ex-officers on civil rights charges

Ex-cop would face federal charges in two cases; three others just in Floyd case.

With Chauvin's state trial out of the way, federal prosecutors are moving forward with their case. They plan to ask a grand jury to indict Chauvin and the other three ex-officers involved in George Floyd's killing - J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao - on charges of civil rights violations, a source said.

If the grand jury voted to indict, the former officers would face the new civil rights charges on top of the state's cases, meaning all four could be headed toward yet another criminal trial in federal court.

Prosecutors want to indict Chauvin in connection to two cases: for pinning Floyd down by his neck for more than 9 ½ minutes in May 2020, and for the violent arrest of a 14-year-old boy in 2017. In the latter case, Chauvin struck the teen on the head with his flashlight, then grabbed him by the throat and hit him again, according to court documents.

The other three ex-officers would be charged only in connection with Floyd's death. startribune.com

George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
Biden urges Congress to pass police reform by the anniversary of
George Floyd's death
President Joe Biden implored Congress Wednesday to pass a police reform bill by the end of May, which will mark one year since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a former Minneapolis police officer.

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, Biden emphasized the need for accountability for law enforcement officials who abuse authority when engaging with the public. He specifically pointed to the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

"We have to come together to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve, herd out systemic racism in our criminal justice system and enact police reform in George Floyd's name," Biden said. "Let's get it done next month on the first anniversary of George Floyd's death."

The bill proposes a host of reforms to community policing, including bans on discriminatory profiling based on race or religion, mandated use of dashboard cameras and bans on chokeholds, like the one used on Floyd. It passed in the House last month and is pending a Senate vote.

The bill faces pushback from some Republicans with alternate suggestions on policing reforms. But Rep. Joyce Beatty, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said there's room for compromise on the measure in the Senate, noting efforts by Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina to work with lawmakers. usatoday.com

Portland Police Understaffed & Unprepared for 2020 Protests

Report shows Portland PD understaffed, unprepared during historic protests
Portland police officers had an array of reasons why they thought racial justice protests in 2020 were among the largest and most enduring in the city's history: pent up energy from COVID-19 lockdowns, weak condemnation of property destruction from political leaders, the district attorney's decision not to prosecute low level offenses, and restrictions on the use of tear gas.

The bureau's after action review for civil unrest in Portland between May 29 and Nov. 16, 2020 is compiled in three reports totaling 40 pages. The report, obtained by OPB this week, paints a picture of an agency desperately understaffed and struggling to respond to massive demonstrations for which they were unprepared. But it also reveals an organization out of sync with the community they are charged with protecting, and confused by the depth of anger thousands were expressing toward local officers and policing more broadly.

Not mentioned as potential reasons for the massive protests are a laundry list of grievances against the bureau going back decades, including a well-trodden history of over policing communities of color, excessive use of force against people in mental health crises, the 40 people Portland police officers have killed since 2003 or the zero officers who have been indicted for those killings.

The bureau documented more than 6,000 uses of force against protesters through Sept. 30, with squads each reporting six to 12 uses of force per night, according to the after action report. During a typical crowd control event, that would be "at most a couple of uses of force," the document states.

Officers are required to fill out a report for each use of force. The bureau said that system is not well adapted to the high volume of force incidents and prolonged crowd control situations officers dealt with for months. The report also blames fatigue among officers and supervisors for the comparatively low quality of the report narratives and the review process. opb.org

Hundreds of Seattle PD Officers Resign Over 'Anti-Police Climate'

Over 200 Seattle police officers quit amid national protests
The Seattle Police Department said more than 200 officers have left their jobs since last year. The departing officers have cited what they call an anti-police climate in Seattle, City Council policies and disagreements with police department leadership.

Police Chief Adrian Diaz said Tuesday that the department is in what he called a staffing crisis.

Exit interviews reveal that some departing officers retired early and that others left for policing jobs in different cities or private sector jobs. The City Council is considering new cuts of $5.4 million to the police department's budget.

Durkan is cautioning against additional cuts and activists have applauded the reductions. kiro7.com

Protest PTSD?
Brooklyn Center residents near police station fear returning home
They thought living near a police department would make them feel safer, but residents in the apartments across the street from the Brooklyn Center Police Department say clashes with protesters earlier this month after the police shooting of Daunte Wright made them feel more at risk. Now they're asking the city to take action.

At a city meeting Wednesday night with the mayor and city council members, apartment residents said the city has left them high and dry with no protection and no resources to heal from the trauma they've endured.

Many of the residents who live across the street from the police station said their children are traumatized after experiencing night after night of loud flash bangs and pepper spray seeping into their apartments. With groups still gathering outside every night, they are still dealing with noise and security issues.

The residents asked the city to provide support in the form of rental assistance so they can move and mental health support so that their kids especially can work through the fear and anxiety they've developed. fox9.com

Hennepin County board votes against motion condemning use of tear gas, rubber bullets on protesters

Minneapolis, MN: Man sentenced to four years in prison for police station fire at George Floyd protest

COVID Update

235M Vaccinations Given

US: 32.9M Cases - 588.3K Dead - 25.5M Recovered
Worldwide: 150.3M Cases - 3.1M Dead - 127.8M 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: 290
*Red indicates change in total deaths

COVID Cases Continue to Fall as Vaccines Tick Up
Virus cases decline significantly in more than half of U.S. states
over past two weeks
More than half of U.S. states have seen a significant decline in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, as federal health officials suggest that the virus's trajectory is improving. Still, the uneven distribution of vaccinations point to the challenge of persuading reluctant Americans to get vaccinated.

As of Wednesday, the United States was averaging over 52,000 new cases a day, a 26 percent decline from two weeks ago, and comparable to the level of cases reported in mid-October before the deadly winter surge, according to a New York Times database. Since peaking in January, cases, hospitalizations and deaths nationwide have drastically declined.

Over the past two weeks, case numbers have fallen by 15 percent or more in 27 states and the District of Columbia, with drops of 30 percent or more in 14 states. As of Tuesday, Vermont reported a 54 percent decline in the average number of new cases a day, while Michigan, which had one of the nation's most severe recent outbreaks, is now seeing rapid improvement with cases there down 40 percent.

In New York City, which had seen stubbornly high caseloads for months, the second wave is receding a half-year after it started, the city's health commissioner said. nytimes.com

NYC Prepping to Open 'Full Strength' This Summer
New York City plans to fully reopen on July 1, Bill de Blasio says
New York City plans to fully reopen on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. "Our plan is to fully reopen New York City on July 1," de Blasio told MSNBC. "We are ready for stores to open, for business to open, offices, theaters, full strength," he said.

De Blasio cited strong coronavirus vaccination numbers in the city as a reason for the reopening.

As of Wednesday, more than 6.3 million shots had been administered in the city, according to NYC Health. Nearly 2.4 million people there have been fully vaccinated, the agency added.

De Blasio's announcement comes a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that seating in bars in New York City would resume on May 3. businessinsider.com

California Is Reopening Quickly as COVID Fades
L.A.'s remarkable achievement: Rapid economic reopening as COVID fades fast
Los Angeles County is poised to potentially reopen its economy to an extent that would have been unthinkable in the not-too-distant past.

The possible move to the yellow tier - the most lenient of California's four-category color-coded reopening system - could happen next week as the coronavirus continues to recede throughout the region.

It's a remarkable achievement for a county that just three months ago was considered in some corners to be the national epicenter of COVID-19, with hundreds dying each week and hospitals pushed to the brink. It was only about six weeks ago that the county moved out of the state's most restrictive purple tier, in which indoor operations are suspended or severely limited across a host of business sectors.

According to state data released Tuesday, the county's rate of new coronavirus cases, adjusted based on the number of tests performed, had dropped to 1.9 per day per 100,000 people. latimes.com

Pandemic Price Gouging
Bay Area grocery store owner 'flagrantly' price gouged customers at the start of the COVID pandemic
A Bay Area grocery store owner pled guilty last Wednesday to two counts of "flagrant" price gouging after officials found that items in the shop were marked up by up to 300%.

Rajvinder Singh, the 51-year-old owner of Pleasanton grocery store Asia Bazar, formerly known as Apna Bazar, struck a plea bargain with the Alameda County Superior Court - dismissing seven of the nine counts leveled against him in May.

"The law prevents businesses from profiteering during a declared state of emergency," District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said in a statement. "This case marks the first successful prosecution in Alameda County for price gouging in the time of the pandemic."

According to the initial complaints filed last May, at least nine essential items were flagrantly marked up in the matter of days. California law permits businesses to raise prices up to 10 percent following a proclamation or declaration of emergency. sfgate.com

The Rise of 'Hybrid Shoppers'
U.S. grocery shoppers head back to stores as COVID-19 vaccinations rise

Over a third plan to buy food both in-store and online, Inmar survey reveals

U.S. grocery shoppers are gradually returning to in-store purchases as more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines, a new survey from Inmar Intelligence finds.

Once fully vaccinated, 27% of consumers said they plan to do most of their grocery shopping at stores, while 38% will do so both in-store and online, Inmar said Tuesday.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Inmar noted that food shoppers already have been coming back to physical stores. The survey revealed that 33% of U.S. consumers are now buying their groceries in stores, with 48% of respondents remaining as hybrid shoppers making brick-and-mortar and online purchases, indicating a "steady return to normalcy" and a higher level of comfort with in-store shopping, according to Inmar.

Americans also are eager to return to dining out. As more restaurants and bars start reopening, 85% of consumers said they plan to eat out more often, including indoor or outdoor dining, Inmar said. supermarketnews.com

Pill to treat COVID-19 could be available year's end, Pfizer CEO says
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC on Tuesday that the drugmaker is working to introduce an experimental drug to treat the disease at its onset by year-end. Pfizer in March began an early-stage clinical trial of a new antiviral therapy for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 573,000 Americans.

Should clinical trials prove successful and the Food and Drug Administration approves the drug, it could be available across the nation later in 2021, Bourla said. cbsnews.com

Michigan will ease specific COVID restrictions as 4 vaccination goals are reached

Non-essential retail to return in May as Ireland begins to lift COVID restrictions

$150 Million Chipotle Lawsuit
Chipotle Is Sued by New York City Over Scheduling Practices

The city seeks $150 million in relief for employees, accusing the fast-food giant of "complete disregard" of a law governing workweeks.

New York City on Wednesday sued the fast-food giant Chipotle Mexican Grill over what it says are hundreds of thousands of violations of a fair scheduling law at several dozen stores.

Workers are owed over $150 million in relief for the violations, according to the complaint, and financial penalties could far exceed that amount, making it the largest action the city has brought under the law.

The suit cites violations of the so-called Fair Workweek Law that include changing employees' schedules without sufficient notice or extra pay; requiring employees to work consecutive shifts without sufficient time off or extra pay; and failure to offer workers additional shifts before hiring new employees to fill them.

The allegations cover the period from November 2017, when the law took effect, to September 2019, when the city filed an initial suit involving a handful of Chipotle stores. The new complaint, filed by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, said that Chipotle had made some attempt to comply with the law since 2019, but that violations were continuing.

"Since we first filed our case against Chipotle, we have unfortunately learned that those initial charges were just the tip of the iceberg," the department's commissioner, Lorelei Salas, said in a statement. nytimes.com

Publix Store Security Officer Cleared in Tasing Incident

Officer who shocked woman with Taser in front of children at Publix acted appropriately, police review says

The incident sparked a $50,000 lawsuit against Publix

An officer, whose use of a Taser on a woman in a Publix parking lot sparked a lawsuit, acted appropriately, according to an internal review by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

An Internal Affairs report obtained by First Coast News says Jacksonville Sheriff's Officer Kevin Munger "had the required probable cause" to arrest Tawanda Crowell in February 2020 and that she was "arrested without violence."

According to a report, Crowell was hit with a stun gun in a car with three children in February 2020 after a store employee suspected her of stealing from the Publix on 103rd Street.

Munger, who was working off duty as store security, followed her to her car and asked to see her receipt. Crowell allegedly refused, accusing Munger of racial profiling. She also declined to provide her ID, but offered to return to the store with Munger to watch the store's surveillance footage, which she said would prove her point, a report says.

Munger declined to return to the store and eventually used his stun gun on her. A video shows her blouse being ripped off during the takedown. She was arrested, though the State Attorney's Office later dropped the charges. Crowell did eventually produce the receipt that proved she did not steal any items. She later told police she was afraid to give Munger her receipt for fear he might destroy it.

The suit claims the store failed to properly train Munger and seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for physical and mental trauma. firstcoastnews.com

Retailers Plan Price Increases
Diapers, Cereal and, Yes, Toilet Paper Are Going to Get More Expensive

Retailers used to absorb much of the cost of goods when suppliers raised prices. Now, the difference is being passed on to shoppers.

These price increases reflect what some economists are calling a major shift in the way companies have responded to demand during the pandemic.

Before the virus hit, retailers often absorbed the cost when suppliers raised prices on goods, because stiff competition forced retailers to keep prices stable. The pandemic changed that.

It created chaos and confusion in global shipping markets, leading to shortages and price increases that have cascaded from factories to ports to stores to consumers. When the pandemic hit, Americans' shopping habits shifted rapidly - with people spending money on treadmills and office furniture instead of going out to eat in restaurants and seeing movies at theaters.

This, in turn, put enormous pressure on factories in China to produce these goods and ship them across the Pacific in containers. But the demand for shipping outstripped the availability of containers in Asia, yielding shortages that resulted in higher shipping costs.

Whether the increased prices will stick, or eventually come down, is a topic of debate among economists. Some predict that prices will normalize within one to two years, as the economy continues to gain steam, the job market improves and those who lost jobs during the pandemic increasingly return to work. nytimes.com

Consumer Spending & Stimulus Checks Boost Economy
U.S. Economy Grew Robustly in First Quarter

GDP grew 6.4% in the first quarter as the government distributed Covid-19 stimulus checks and consumers stepped up spending

U.S. gross domestic product rose at a 6.4% annual rate in the first quarter, expanding a consumer-led rebound from the pandemic. The U.S. economy appears to have expanded rapidly in the first quarter, extending what economists project will be a robust, consumer-led recovery from the pandemic this year.

In the first quarter as more people received a Covid-19 vaccine, states and cities lifted business restrictions, and stimulus payments landed in bank accounts. Consumer confidence rose in April to the highest level in 14 months, the Conference Board said Tuesday. wsj.com

BJ's cutting HQ office space to address hybrid work reality
BJ's Warehouse Club is relocating to a new 190,000-square-foot headquarters building that is about two-thirds the size of its former base of operations. "The new office space in Marlborough will feature a modern design and an open floor plan, creating a more collaborative work environment for team members," the company said. "Additionally, the new space will be equipped with the technology infrastructure needed to effectively support hybrid work." retailwire.com

Weekly jobless claims fall to new post-lockdowns low

Marco's Pizza pipeline robust with 200-plus locations in development

L.L. Bean to expand footprint in U.S., Canada; resume 24/7 hours at flagship

Debenhams confirms locations of 52 store closures as part of liquidation

Walmart increases funding access for minority-owned suppliers

Florida is set to make 'alcohol to-go' drinks permanent

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Over Five Million Units of Prosegur's New
Wonder Glide Tag Sold in the First Quarter

The asset protection community is embracing Wonder Glide, Prosegur's new EAS solution that features a hidden, retractable pin that always stays with the tag.

The tag's unique construction enables one-handed application and removal, but more importantly, there is less chance of an injury by customers or employees stepping on loose pins in the store.

Further extending the Wonder Glide's versatility, the tag can be used with a lanyard or a pin, reducing the need to purchase multiple tag variants for different uses.

The data sheet for the Wonder Glide tag is available at Prosegur's website, and the video of this new tag in action can be viewed on YouTube.






Remote Work Security Threats
How to Secure Employees' Home Wi-Fi Networks

Businesses must ensure their remote workers' Wi-Fi networks don't risk exposing business data or secrets due to fixable vulnerabilities.

Even prior to the pandemic, the number of employees who work remotely has been rising continuously. In fact, 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be working remotely by 2025. While allowing staff to work remotely gives greater flexibility to corporations, it also comes with cybersecurity risks. It is becoming increasingly paramount for companies to ensure their employees' home Wi-Fi networks are secure.

Home Offices Are Easy Targets for Cybercriminals
Today's hybrid work-from-home scenario demands that chief information security officers (CISOs) look at home Wi-Fi access and IT infrastructure as part of the entire enterprise security ecosystem. This is to ensure that the networks employees use are secure whether they are in or out of the office. Otherwise, they could be at a real risk of being vulnerable to hackers.

Security Risks for Using Unsecured Wi-Fi at Home
A major security risk associated with remote work is wardriving: stealing Wi-Fi credentials from unsecured networks while driving past people's homes and offices. Once the hacker steals the Wi-Fi password, they move on to spoofing the network's Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). Next, the network's traffic is sent to the hacker, and that person is fully equipped to access corporate data and wreak havoc.

Prioritize Wi-Fi Security for Remote Work
As the world continues to adjust to whatever the new normal might be, it's important for organizations to continue prioritizing security companywide, whether employees are back in the office or still at home. Working from home appears to be here to stay, with nearly 90% of those who have been able to work at home not wanting to go back to the office full time. It's imperative to take the necessary steps toward securing home and office networks and make sure employees work from home safely without putting their organizations at risk of an attack. darkreading.com

Impersonating Delivery Services to Steal Credit Card & Bank Info
FluBot Malware's Rapid Spread May Soon Hit US Phones

The FluBot Android malware has spread throughout several European countries through an SMS package delivery scam.

A type of Android malware known as FluBot has been spreading through multiple European countries and may soon land on smartphones in the United States, security researchers warn.

The operators behind FluBot initially targeted devices in Spain, which made up the majority of attacks when the malware was detected late last year. Now, its campaigns have expanded to affect Android phones in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland, Proofpoint researchers learned through the company's own data and open source intelligence.
FluBot's English-language campaign, which has almost entirely targeted phones in the UK, has used more than 700 unique domains. The UK campaign started with messages from Germany; these were quickly replaced with messages from UK senders. The German-language messages were turned off once the UK messages were established, indicating a conscious effort to spread FluBot from country to country. Soon, researchers believe it may spread to the US as well.

A FluBot infection starts with the victim receiving an SMS message impersonating a delivery service; for example, FedEx, DHL, and Correos. The messages vary, but stick with the delivery theme. Some English-language texts have said, "Delivery date is 24/04. Follow the journey at," or "Hi. We have (1) package pending on your name. Schedule delivery now:"

Each malicious message contains a link. If clicked, the victim is prompted to download a mobile app designed with the delivery service's logo as its icon. The app uses legitimate-looking APK files that contain FluBot encrypted and embedded inside, researchers said in a blog post. After the app is installed, the victim is prompted to provide FluBot with full access to their device.

With these permissions, both versions of FluBot in use can act as spyware, an SMS spammer, and credit card and banking-credential stealer. It can also intercept text messages and USSD messages from the telecom operator; open pages on a victim's browser, disable Google Play Protect; and uninstall apps as directed by the command-and-control (C2) server. darkreading.com

Q1 2021 ransomware trends: Most attacks involved threat to leak stolen data
The vast majority of ransomware attacks now include the theft of corporate data, Coveware says, but victims of data exfiltration extortion have very little to gain by paying a cyber criminal.

The stolen data has likely been held by multiple parties and not secured, and victimized organizations can't be sure that it has been destroyed and not traded, sold, misplaced, or held for a future extortion attempt, they explained.

Also, the data may be published before a victim can respond to an extortion attempt, and the threat actors may not provide complete records of what was taken even if the victim pays up. helpnetsecurity.com

74% of Financial Institutions See Spike in COVID-Related Threats




Security Measures Thwart Cannabis Shop Break-In
Video shows half-ton truck ramming into the door of a cannabis facility several times before thieves decide to give up

Entry denied: Security company uses failed break-in attempt to tout prowess of its multi-point lock

In a savvy marketing move, New York City-based Securitech apparently felt it had no better proof of the effectiveness of its multi-point lock than to show surveillance video of wannabe thieves trying to break into a cannabis facility by using a truck to ram the device several times before leaving empty-handed.

Securitech recently released the video, which showed the failed burglary attempt at an unidentified cannabis facility somewhere in Colorado.

The would-be thieves used what looks like a half-ton truck to slam into the rear of the facility eight times, with one of the suspects even directing the driver exactly where to make contact with the door. What appears to be the same man later tried kicking the door to see if it would give (eliciting a Really? from Securitech) and even later pulling on the handle to see if it would open.

The almost two-minute-long video shows "the door was damaged, but the Trident lock stayed secured and in place, preventing any entry," reports the company. The devices is said to be a self-locking multi-point deadbolt system that secures the door to the frame at five different points. leaderpost.com

Fired for Legal Medical Marijuana Use

Florida Medical Marijuana Legislation Stalls As Public Employees Are Fired
For Legal Use
Legislation to protect Florida public employees like Enright has stalled this session, leaving a disconnect between restrictive federal laws and permissive local laws. Democratic representatives proposed House Bill 335 to prohibit employers from taking action against qualified medical marijuana patients, was referred to four subcommittees in February and hasn't been heard since.

Under current laws, agencies that receive federal funding, such as school systems, default to national laws that don't allow medical marijuana use.

Enright isn't alone in her termination. In March, the city of West Palm Beach fired its deputy chief of information technology after testing positive for marijuana during a spot test. In September 2020, a high school administrator in Marion County was fired after a failed drug test.

Both used marijuana for medical purposes. Neither said they were high on the job.

Employees taking a drug test have 24-48 hours to provide a valid explanation for why opioids are in their system. This is not the case for marijuana because it is nationally considered a Schedule 1 drug, defined as having "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Other Schedule 1 drugs include heroin, LSD, ecstasy and peyote. wuft.org

California Poised for Rapid Expansion of Cannabis Market
Following a sweep of victories in the 2020 elections, the cannabis industry in California is about to add multiple new cannabis businesses. The majority of the 35 reported cities/counties voted in favor of cannabis measures on the ballot, issuing in a wave of California cannabis expansion in 2021.

Although a majority of the approved ballot measures are for cannabis-related taxes, this is oftentimes an indicator that additional cannabis regulations are coming in the future. In all likelihood, the next few years will see the rapid expansion of cannabis markets across the state.

Increasing Access to Cannabis
Aside from approving cannabis-related tax measures, the voters also paved the way for the opening of a multitude of new cannabis businesses in California. Many of these businesses will soon be opening in areas where access to legal cannabis was previously scarce.

California Cannabis Consolidation
New markets may not be the only change coming to the California cannabis industry in 2021. This year may also see the consolidation of the main three agencies that oversee cannabis regulation. While the Bureau of Cannabis Control currently oversees most cannabis businesses, the Department of Food and Agriculture has jurisdiction over cultivation, and the Department of Public Health oversees cannabis manufacturing.

The Future of California Cannabis
Illicit cannabis outsold legal cannabis in 2019 by an estimated $5 billion. As access to cannabis increases, the legal cannabis market in California will grow and is expected to surpass illicit sales by 2024. It is estimated that California will generate as much as $8 billion in recreational cannabis and $240 million in medicinal cannabis sales by 2024. sapphirerisk.com

Legal Marijuana May Not Be NYC's Retail Real Estate Savior

Legal pot bill moving in MN House despite Senate GOP opposition

Marijuana bill passes House in Montana

Is Hemp the Solution to Mask Pollution?




Amazon Union Vote Redo?
US labor board to hold hearing on whether to redo Amazon union election based on evidence submitted by union
The National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday said evidence submitted by the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union concerning Amazon's conduct during a union vote in Bessemer, Alabama, justified holding a hearing to review the evidence and determine whether to redo the election.

"The evidence submitted by the union in support of its objections could be grounds for overturning the election if introduced at a hearing," the NLRB said.

The NLRB's ruling clears the way for a hearing, which it plans to hold on May 7, where it will review the RWDSU's evidence. If the NLRB finds Amazon illegally interfered in the election, it can void the results and re-run the election.

Amazon has denied any wrongdoing.

The RWDSU, the union which Amazon's employees voted on whether to join, failed to secure enough votes from Amazon warehouse workers to form a union in a highly publicized election earlier this month. businessinsider.com

It All Starts with Amazon

Study: Most product searches begin on Amazon

New analysis reveals that a majority of shopper journeys begin on Amazon, regardless of where they end.

According to the "Amazon Advertising Report" from online selling platform Jungle Scout, 74% of U.S. consumers begin their product searches on the Amazon.com site. More than half (56%) of consumers say that if they were only able to buy products from a single store, it would be Amazon. In other good news for Amazon (and online retail in general), close to four in 10 (37%) U.S. consumers say that while overall spending may be lower than normal, their online spending has been increasing.

Analyzing Amazon's ad revenue growth, JungleScout finds it is accelerating. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Amazon's ad revenue reached $7.95 billion, up 66% over the previous year. Three-quarters of third-party sellers on Amazon use at least one type of Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, while one-third (34%) plan to spend more on strategic advertising than in past years.

In addition, the study uncovers that Amazon ad spend is shifting from sponsored product ads to sponsored display and brand ads, which see an increased ROI. chainstoreage.com

Amazon plans to raise wages for 500,000 workers




Multi-State ORC Ring
Detroit, MI: Social-Media Posts Leads FBI To Alleged Diamond Theft Ring
Based In Detroit
Their modus operandi was smash and grab - an organized crew of diamond bandits who terrorized jewelers across the country, the FBI says. They pulled off more than 30 heists in 11 states, records show, though the FBI eventually caught up with the main culprits - all from Detroit - with some help from social media. The feds found an Instagram account with a peculiar handle, "doitfor_diamond," which one suspect says was named after his deceased sister Diamond. But the feds say multiple smash-and-grab members also used this Instagram account - and it helped them connect the dots. In a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court this week, the FBI detailed how a local group coordinated a string of robberies that targeted Jared jewelry stores in Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and New Hampshire.

According to the FBI, the robbers used sledgehammers to bust the glass display cases, then made off with diamonds and other jewelry by the bag-load. Typically, the FBI says, two groups would drive to the robbery location from Detroit in two separate vehicles: one in a "clean" car that was either properly registered or lawfully rented, and one in a "burner," or stolen, vehicle that could be immediately ditched after the robberies. After abandoning the stolen car, the crew would travel back to Detroit in the clean vehicle. It was a lucrative scheme, records show. The feds seized more than $1.5 million in diamonds during their investigation, though the probe is ongoing. To date, 10 Detroit men have been charged in the scheme, including three new suspects: Antonio Jones, Deshawn Bates and Chance Reed. freep.com

Milford, CT: Jewelry store has 'well north of' $100,000 worth of merchandise stolen
Several southern Connecticut police departments are collaborating after multiple jewelry store burglaries that all occurred in the overnight hours from Sunday into Monday, including Valentine's Diamond Center, on Boston Post Road, in Milford The store's front window, to the left of the front door, was smashed and 10 display cases were demolished and looted. The owner, Mark Valentine, told FOX61 that fortunately customers items that they had been working on were stored in a vault. And Milford Police said they had to have just missed the crooks. "Surveillance showed there was at least three most likely four parties involved," said Officer Michael DeVito. "So, there was two that entered the store. A third was right outside the store, probably like a lookout and then when they left the premises, they did so abruptly in a dark colored sedan." fox61.com

Lincoln, NE: Man steals $22,000 worth of cigarettes from gas stations
since Oct. 2020
Officers with the Lincoln Police Department arrested a man they believe has stolen more than $22,000 worth of cigarettes in convenience store burglaries. According to LPD, since October 21, 2020 officers have responded to several convenience store burglaries. Investigators analyzed security video in each case and were able to determine it was the same man who was seen breaking windows to get inside and steal cigarettes and alcohol. LPD identified that man as 52-year-old Jerome Simmons of Lincoln. On Tuesday, around 2 a.m., while officers were conducting surveillance of Simmons, they saw him drive to the Casey's at 12th and Charleston Streets. 1011now.com

Allen Park, MI: Police seek help finding shoplifter who threatened to stab Home Depot employee
Allen Park police are looking for a shoplifter who threatened to stab a store employee after being confronted about the attempted theft. The incident occurred at about 5 p.m. April 25 at Home Depot, 3163 Fairlane Drive. A store loss prevention employee told police that he stopped the suspect in the entry/exit vestibule and recovered close to $1,700 in stolen merchandise. He instructed the thief to return to the store. But the man had other ideas. He pulled out a black pocket knife and threatened the employee saying "If you touch me, I swear to God I will stab you." He then fled the store in a black Ford Fusion. Among the more than a dozen items he had placed in his cart and did not pay for were eight Ring doorbells, five Wyze video doorbells, four Wyze cameras, a Wyze outdoor camera, as well as several tools. thenewsherald.com

Delta, B.C. Canada: Police recover more than $400,000 in stolen goods
Cooperation between several police agencies has led to the recovery of more than $400,000 of stolen goods. Delta Police pieced together a recent theft of two trucks from one area of Delta, with the theft of two trailers from another area, then worked with other Metro Vancouver police agencies to successfully recover nearly all the stolen merchandise. DPD were called April 19 about the theft of two tractor trailer trucks from a business located in Tilbury. Together, the trucks were valued at $75,000. delta-optimist.com

New Canaan, CT: Four hooded suspects stole $25K worth of Jewelry

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Shootings & Deaths

Houston, TX: Teen shot his stepfather in the head during birthday party at Restaurant
A teenager shot and killed his stepfather at a restaurant in the Alief area on Wednesday evening, Houston police said. The shooting was reported around 6 p.m. at the Hong Kong City Mall shopping center. Investigators said it appeared the 16-year-old shot his stepfather in the head during a family birthday party at the restaurant. The restaurant was said to be "at capacity" at the time, but no other injuries were reported. After the shooting, the teenage suspect allegedly ran away and left the business. A security guard flagged down a passing police officer, who then caught up with the teen and took him into custody.  khou.com

Macon, GA: Another convenience store shooting leaves man dead in the parking lot
Another shooting at a Macon convenience store has left one man dead. This one happened about 2 a.m. Thursday, the Macon-Bibb County Coroner's Office told WMAZ, at the Circle K on Zebulon Road. Police were responding to a call about a person shot when they found Brandon Washington, 23, lying outside of his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Bibb County sheriffs are looking for two people wanted in connection with the shooting.  ajc.com

Indianola, MS: Two charged in killing of Mississippi Jewelry store owner
Two men have been arrested in the death of a Mississippi merchant killed during a robbery last week, authorities said. Jamie Iverson was killed last Friday at her downtown Indianola store, Paul's Jewelry. She and her husband, Rodney, have owned and operated the business for more than 20 years, authorities said. Kenterius Wright, 19, and his brother, 20-year-old Daqarius Wright, were each arrested on a charge of capital murder in connection with the case, Police Chief Earnest Gilson told WLBT-TV on Wednesday. magnoliastatelive.com

Bessemer, AL: 19-year-old charged in fatal weekend shooting outside c-store
Nar'Darrius Anton Christian is charged with murder in the Sunday-night slaying of Christopher Kasean Jackson, known by many in the community as OG Chris. Jackson was shot outside the Stop N Go on Bessemer's Dartmouth Avenue. His death came less than 16 hours after he had posted on Facebook asking someone to take him to church. al.com

Durban, South Africa: Police release more details on Durban Jewelry
store shoot-out
Authorities say they are investigating cases of robbery, attempted murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm after a jewelry store at the Pavillion shopping centre in Westville was targeted. An employee has told police they were in the store when three men entered last night. Police spokesperson, Thembeka Mbele says they were held at gunpoint and the suspects assaulted them. She says they demanded the keys to the safe and took a bag with jewelry. "The security guards who were performing their duties noticed what was happening and confronted the suspects. A shootout ensued between the guards and the suspects." "A civilian was shot in the crossfire, he sustained a gunshot wound to his right knee and was taken hospital for medical attention. One employee sustained assault wounds on the body and face. The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of jewelry.  ecr.co.za

Shreveport, LA: Man wanted in fatal shooting over place in line at Shreveport convenience store arrested

Tallahassee, FL: Man arrested in February fatal stabbing at Time Saver Convenience Store


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Kansas City, MO: Overland Park Man pleaded guilty in 5 Kansas City business robberies: CVS, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint among victims

Knox County, KY: Man accused of fighting with Liquor Store clerk over mask indicted for robbery

Moorhead, MN: Walmart Loss Prevention associate helped crack racist graffiti case

Albany, GA: Arrest clears smash-and-grab robbery at Family Dollar Store



C-Store - Akron, OH - Robbery
C-Store - Tuolumne County, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Las Vegas, NV - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Springfield, OH - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Indianola, MS - Armed Robbery Owner Killed
Jewelry - New Canaan, CT - Robbery
Jewelry - Peekskill, NY - Burglary
Jewelry - Albuquerque, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Stockton, CA - Burglary
Jewelry - Mesa, AZ - Robbery
Restaurant - Tulsa, OK - Burglary (KFC)
Restaurant - Tulsa, OK - Burglary ( Church's)
Walgreens - Louisa, KY - Armed Robbery
Walgreens - Benton Township, MI - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 10 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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