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RILA AP Conference
April 30-May 3

June 5-7

GROC 13th Annual Retail Crime Conference

Black Hat USA 2023
August 5-10

GSX 2023
September 11-13

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September 13-15

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In Case You Missed It

April's Moving Ups

14 New Senior LPs - 9 Appointments - 5 Promotions

Ace Hardware promoted Brian Quast, CFI to Loss Prevention Manager - Global Supply Chain & Corporate
Carvana promoted James Kleeberger to Group Manager, Field Safe and Secure
Grainger named Matthew Tracy, CFI Security & Loss Prevention Business Partner
Interface Systems promoted Jeremy Barlow to Director, Installation Support
Integritus Group named John Mattera, CFI Senior Loss Prevention Investigator
ISCPO Appoints Glenn Master as President/Chairman of the Board
Loss Prevention Foundation names Caroline Kochman President
NASP Appoints Renee Sirianni as Executive Director
Protos Security Names Michael Jacobs Chief Operating Officer
Saks OFF 5th promoted Patrick McEvoy to VP, Risk, Fraud & Asset Protection
Signet Jewelers promoted Jennifer Dayss CFI, LPC to Senior Manager Fraud/ORC Investigations
The Monitoring Association Names Keely Daugherty Director of Meetings
Univest named Dan Gilvary CFI, CBRM Vice President, Director of Fraud Risk Management
URBN named John Owad Director of Loss Prevention Logistics

Matthew Tracy, CFI named Security & Loss Prevention Business Partner for Grainger

Before joining Grainger as Security & Loss Prevention Business Partner, Matthew served as Area Asset Protection Manager for Gap. Prior to that, he served as Area Profit Protection Manager for Bed Bath & Beyond. Earlier in his career, he held roles with The Vitamin Shoppe, Kate Spade & Company, Guess, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Congratulations, Matthew!

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







Alarm.com Expands AI Program with Asset Acquisition from Vintra, an AI-based Video Analytics Company


TYSONS, Va.--Alarm.com (Nasdaq: ALRM), the leading platform for the intelligently connected property, today announced the acquisition of substantially all assets of Vintra, a software provider of award-winning AI-powered video analytics for the enterprise commercial market. Integrating Vintra's software capabilities and its experienced science and engineering teams will expand Alarm.com's deep learning program and accelerate deployment of advanced video analytics solutions for the Alarm.com and OpenEye platforms.

Launched in 2016, Vintra's cloud platform transforms data from any video management system into actionable and trusted intelligence that can improve how organizations monitor and search for critical security events. Vintra's AI models can track a range of objects and events, including a specific person, two or four-wheeled vehicles, bags, or a person-down situation. Its re-identification algorithm can track a person of interest across hundreds of cameras in real-time and can search large amounts of video recordings to find video clips of the person of interest within minutes.

Read more in the Vendor Spotlight column below

RILA AP Conference Kicks Off


By Barbara Jones, CEO & Founder, Freeing Returns

The RILA Asset Protection Conference kicked off last night in Denver, CO. A thousand attendees from across the country and globe have gathered. They are eager to discuss LP solutions, collaborate on tackling ORC and share best practices.

This morning, Lisa LaBruno, Senior EVP at RILA welcomed attendees. Then, the CEO of Ulta, David Kimbell spoke on stage with president of RILA, Brian Dodge about Ulta's commitment to its consumers and to asset protection. Then, a powerful trio of leaders from District Attorneys offices spoke about working with the police and retailers to address crime and theft in stores.

My team is welcoming people to our Freeing Returns booth (#609) as part of the Expo. Come say hello! So many great vendors are here to help retailers with solutions.


Stay Tuned This Week for More RILA AP Event Recaps in the D&D Daily

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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

The Science of Stealing: LPRC in the News
Researchers study shoplifting at UF's 'Safer Places Lab'
The need to cut back on retail theft is a worldwide issue. One in four Americans work in retail, and crime aimed at those stores is on the rise. Organized retail crime is up 26%, the latest studies show.

It turns out, retailers across the globe are turning to researchers with the University of Florida to fix the issue. Cory Lowe with UF's Loss Prevention Research Council (or LPRC) walked FOX 35 through what the team calls its Simulation Lab.

That's a 270-degree screen where researchers show off surveillance video submitted by different retail stores that partner with the LPRC. The researchers bring in self-reported former thieves and walk them through different scenarios in stores, getting their input on what they think would work and what wouldn't.

"That's one of the wildest things is like, we have these monitors, and you wouldn't think they would be effective, but every time I bring a self-reported offender into the lab, it freaks them out, because they see their face on that screen, and they make that connection that they are being recorded," explained Lowe.

But you have to be careful - if you overdo it, you might make regular customers uncomfortable. They may believe a store is particularly prone to crime if they see too many security technologies, which may then make them feel unsafe.

The LPRC doesn't stop there, though. Inside the Engagement Lab, they have a couple dozen cameras, each with different analytics, and over 200 product protection solutions they're experimenting with.

That includes new types of tags, new cables, new alarms - anything you can think of, and tons of stuff you haven't thought of yet.

Dr. Reid Hayes is the Director of the LPRC. "There really is nothing else like this in the world," he told FOX 35. That Council has 76 partners all over the globe using its tech.

"I think right now, the main innovation we're excited about is the integrated solutions that we're working on with technology corporations and with multiple law enforcement agencies," said Dr. Hayes.

The LPRC says there are three main ways to reduce retail theft in general: Make it harder for people to steal; make people afraid of the consequences they'll face if they steal; and lessen the reward for selling stolen goods. fox35orlando.com

Store Shoplifting Policies Leave Employees Uneasy
Researchers 'Surprised' by Shoplifting Study Results: 'Let's Just Let People Walk Out with the Goods'
The discussion surrounding the surge in retail crime since the pandemic has centered around the steep losses merchants suffer, and debate over techniques to deter and punish offenders. But very little of the conversation has addressed the well-being of store employees having to interact with criminal suspects.

A study released earlier this month from researchers at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Louisiana State University, Ohio University and Salisbury University, found that shoplifting takes a significant toll on front-line store employees. They found that dealing with deviant customers, which most of the time are shoplifters, lays a heavy burden on store workers, a fourth of whom aren't sure what their company's policy says to do in those situations.

Melanie Lorenz, associate professor of marketing at FAU, and one of three of the four study authors who did their post-grad work at the University of Alabama, was "surprised" to discover that so many employees were unclear about corporate policies stating what to do if they encounter "an angry customer or shoplifting customer."

"This led to an increase in anxiety and, really, a sense of unfairness," she told Sourcing Journal.

The study involved four experiments and one survey among 26 frontline retail employees, who were presented with hypothetical situations and asked about their employer's "guardianship policies" regarding deviant customers. Choices were confined to required (19 percent), authorized (23 percent) and prohibited (30 percent) and the remaining 27 percent did not know their company's policy for dealing with deviant customers. Overall, 83 percent expressed negative feelings about dealing with deviant behavior, compared to 8 percent who had positive feelings toward confronting criminal suspects.

After undergoing the four scenarios, the subjects answered a survey that found 55 percent who want to leave their jobs because of deviant customer behavior and related policies, 17 points above a 38 percent turnover rate (TOI) for the industry.

In conclusion, the study's authors found that management should set expectations for confronting shoplifters and do training early. The study also found that the policy most likely to make employees most proactive about confronting shoplifters is one that authorizes, but does not require, employees to act.

"Empower them. Give them some restrictions and ways so they can serve without actively having to stop [shoplifters]," Lorenz said. "There's this middle ground of, let people engage but only in a passive way, rather than mandating them." sourcingjournal.com

Lawmakers Debate Alabama's New ORC Legislation
Retail theft bill clears Senate committee, stalls in House
Legislation that would make it a Class B felony for two or more people to steal from stores, no matter the value of what is stolen, cleared a Senate committee but was delayed by a House panel Wednesday.

House Bill 288 and Senate Bill 206 also create a new crime of organized theft and increase penalties for retail theft committed by individuals. The companion bills are a priority of district attorneys and retail groups.

In the Senate Judiciary Committee, bill sponsor Sen. Clyde Chambliss heard some concerns from fellow lawmakers about potential unintended consequences of the proposal, but ultimately the bill was advanced to the full Senate.

A few hours later, bill sponsor Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, told the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday that stores are shutting down because of theft losses. And others are passing along the costs to consumers. Stronger penalties are needed to deter thieves, he said.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said that before theft is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a value threshold needs to be put into the law.

Ellie Taylor, president of the Alabama Grocers Association, told the committee that infant formula is the No. 1 item stolen from stores. Stolen and then sold formula is a food safety issue, Taylor said. But harsher penalties for stealing food for babies gave some lawmakers pause on Wednesday.

Committee chairman Rep. Jim Hill, R-Moody, agreed and said he'd like the bill brought back to the committee next week. Treadaway said that if a monetary threshold is added before organized theft becomes a felony, thieves will always stay just under it but steal repeatedly.

"This is a major problem in this country and if we can work on it right and target the individuals we're trying to target - otherwise we're going to have stores closing down all around us," Treadaway said. aldailynews.com

   Anti-shoplifting bill passes Alabama Senate committee

   Law enforcement, business owners support Alabama retail theft bill

Retail Workers Need More Training to Deal with Theft: Survey
Front-Line Retail Workers Feel Unprepared to Address In-Store Theft, Violence
A survey of 1,000 retail and grocery associates by front-line enablement solution provider Axonify has found that many front-line workers lack proper training to deal with theft and frustrated shoppers, leaving the employees without preparation or support to deal with these issues.

Additional findings from Waterloo, Ontario-based Axonify are as follows:

Theft is rising: Amid an uncertain economy, consumers are under pressure to make ends meet, driving many to steal. In fact, half of retail/grocery front-line workers surveyed witnessed a customer stealing or attempting to steal from their store in the last six months. Further, more than a quarter of those workers did nothing in response, because some believed that they lacked the skills to handle the situation (28%).

Hostile customer situations place new pressure on retail employees: Two in five front-line retail workers feel scared going into work because of an increase in volatile customer situations (40%). These range from everyday customer conflicts all the way up to in-store violence.

Retail workers need more training to feel prepared and safe: Although theft is common, 20% of retail/grocery front-line workers feel unprepared to deal with it. This may be because another 21% said that their employers haven't given them the right tools and training to manage and defuse tense customer situations.

"By providing retail and grocery workers with the right training and support to manage these challenging conversations, front-line organizations can help improve worker safety and well-being," wrote Alex Kinsella in an Axonify blog post. "This level of training and enablement not only impacts how associates show up to work, but it also ripples across productivity, retention and recruitment, all critical factors in today's labor market." progressivegrocer.com

ORC: A Top Priority of Nationwide AGs
State AGs, Staff Discuss Algorithms & Organized Retail Crime at Symposium
On April 18, 2023, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) held its annual Attorney General Symposium in Philadelphia, PA. State AGs, AG office staff, and private sector attendees gathered to hear from panelists and to discuss the most pressing issues of the times, including those most relevant to businesses-algorithms and organized retail crime (ORC).

Organized Retail Crime Joint Session with Attorney General Alliance

Illinois AG Kwame Raoul moderated the session with panelists from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations component, the National Retail Federation (NRF), and the Georgia AG's office.

The panel began with an explanation of the differences between ORC and shoplifting, and current efforts to combat ORC, with the panelists emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships. The panel cited the recent NRF report on ORC, which retail businesses are encouraged to read. The panelists also discussed legislative responses to ORC, such as the INFORM Consumers Act, which businesses in the online marketplace space will be required to comply with starting June 27, 2023, as well as the recently-introduced Combatting ORC Act.

A key takeaway from the panel was that businesses and government entities alike can collectively raise the profile of ORC issues by emphasizing the differences between ORC and shoplifting in their messaging. Lastly, the panelists stressed the importance of retail businesses collaborating with loss prevention experts to help strengthen efforts to combat ORC. jdsupra.com

Target employee reveals how much is stolen from beauty section in typical day

Auburn business owner fed up with burglaries, area crimes



$17 Million Apple Employee Fraud Scheme
Ex-Apple employee sentenced to 3 years in prison and fined $30 million in penalties for scheme to defraud the company and IRS

Prasad and two others partook in schemes like double billing Apple for parts, defrauding the company of over $17 million.

A former Apple employee was sentenced to three years in prison and hit with over $30 million in financial penalties for a yearslong scheme that involved himself and two others defrauding the company of over $17 million.

Dhirenda Prasad, 55, was charged with several crimes related to the fraud last March, and pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and defraud the US in November. He was sentenced earlier this week to prison time and ordered to pay Apple and the Internal Revenue Service a combined $19 million in restitution, authorities announced Wednesday.

From 2011 through 2018, Prasad - alongside Robert Hansen and Don Baker, who ran companies that sold products to Apple - "exploited his position" as a buyer in the company's supply chain to defraud the company, authorities said.

Hansen, Baker, and Prasad all admitted to their roles in the schemes, authorities said.

Prasad was part of the supply chain team that purchased parts for Apple to use to perform warranty repairs. According to authorities, he conspired with the business owners to steal parts, alter invoices, double bill Apple for components it already received, and charge the company for parts it never actually bought.

Prasad also admitted he evaded paying taxes on his portion of the $17 million the group made from the fraud schemes. Charges of tax evasion and money laundering were dropped at his sentencing after he pleaded guilty in November. businessinsider.com justice.gov

Amazon May Snatch Up Hundreds of Kroger & Albertsons Stores
Would/Should Kroger and Albertsons Sell Hundreds of Stores to Amazon?
Kroger and Albertsons plan to sell between 250 and 300 stores to get approval from the Federal Trade Commission on the proposed merger between the two supermarket giants. Who will buy them if it goes that far?

Business Insider earlier this week reported on a note published by analysts at Bernstein that envisions a scenario where Amazon.com could purchase many, if not all, of the stores that Kroger and Albertsons are looking to offload. The two companies have stores overlapping in several large markets including Chicago, the Pacific Northwest, Phoenix and Southern California.

The article points to comments made by Amazon CEO Andy Jassy about the vital role that grocery plays in his company's future growth plans.

Stores, he said in February on the company's fourth-quarter 2022 earnings call, will be a critical part of the plan because physical locations are required to succeed in perishable categories. Mr. Jassy told analysts that Amazon's online grocery business is strong.

Mr. Jassy also said that Whole Foods, with nearly 500 stores, has made significant strides in growing its profitability. It's Amazon Fresh, Amazon's mass-market grocery concept, where Mr. Jassy sees the greatest upside potential even as his company has temporarily hit pause on opening new locations.

Amazon's big plans for grocery, matched with Kroger and Albertsons' desire to sell, have led to "a very rare opportunity in U.S. retail," according to Bernstein. retailwire.com

Retail's Ongoing Wage War
What Home Depot's billion-dollar pay raise may help prove about workers

Across retail, pay has been going up, with Walmart and Target boosting minimum wages.

Giving pay raises at the same time sales are slumping seems like an incongruous strategy, but Home Depot executives project that it will actually boost the big-box retailer's industry-leading position. "We plan to continue to capture market share," CFO Richard McPhail told analysts during the February earnings call. One reason, he said, is "the unique advantage that our orange-blooded associates give us over our competition," alluding to Home Depot's signature color and the term for its frontline employees.

While Home Depot made a splash with the billion-dollar pay hike, it comes on the heels of similar moves by other major retailers that also espoused the benefits of investing in a well-paid workforce.

A year ago February, Target set a new starting wage range from $15 to $24 an hour for its so-called team members and expanded access to health care benefits, at a cost of $300 million in 2022. In January, Walmart announced it was raising the minimum hourly wage for its store employees to $14 from $12 and up to $19 an hour, establishing an average wage of $17.50 an hour. cnbc.com

Retail Foot Traffic Strongest in the Northeast U.S.
Retail visits fell nationwide In March - but one region outperforms the others
Overall retail visits were down in the first three months of the year compared to a January 2022 baseline, according to foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai's "Retail Foot Traffic Recap - March 2023" report.

The Northeast seems to be seeing higher overall visit numbers: In March, seven of the 10 best-performing states were in the Northeast, Placer.ai. found. (The seven states were Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.). chainstoreage.com

Bed Bath & Beyond store closures will kick off a land grab for fast-growing retailers
That is likely to result in a land grab by retailers and other companies that are looking to expand.
(Update) Gap lays off 1,800 employees amid major restructuring

Last week's #1 article --

Target Store in San Francisco Goes Into Lockdown Mode
San Francisco Target puts entire department on lockdown amid shoplifting crisis
A San Francisco Target store has been putting all of its products on lockdown amid a shoplifting crisis that has crippled retailers in the Golden Gate City. Footage of the store's interior posted to TikTok Thursday showed aisle after aisle of toiletries and cosmetics under lock and key in the megachain.

While it's common for stores to lock up small valuable items like razors, heaps of inexpensive large items like mouthwash, shampoo and lotion were also being kept out of reach of the grubby hands of would-be shoplifters, the clip showed.

The Bay Area has been especially hard hit by a national organized retail crime epidemic that ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading chains such as Walgreens to close five San Francisco stores due to theft.

The National Retail Federation's 2022 retail security survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the second-most hard-hit metropolitan area by theft in 2020 and 2021, only behind Los Angeles.

New York City crept up to third on the list in 2021, outpacing Chicago. nypost.com

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Alarm.com Expands AI Program with Asset Acquisition from Vintra, an AI-based Video Analytics Company


TYSONS, Va.--Alarm.com (Nasdaq: ALRM), the leading platform for the intelligently connected property, today announced the acquisition of substantially all assets of Vintra, a software provider of award-winning AI-powered video analytics for the enterprise commercial market. Integrating Vintra's software capabilities and its experienced science and engineering teams will expand Alarm.com's deep learning program and accelerate deployment of advanced video analytics solutions for the Alarm.com and OpenEye platforms.

Launched in 2016, Vintra's cloud platform transforms data from any video management system into actionable and trusted intelligence that can improve how organizations monitor and search for critical security events. Vintra's AI models can track a range of objects and events, including a specific person, two or four-wheeled vehicles, bags, or a person-down situation. Its re-identification algorithm can track a person of interest across hundreds of cameras in real-time and can search large amounts of video recordings to find video clips of the person of interest within minutes.

"The Vintra team adds to Alarm.com's science and engineering expertise in the field of AI and machine learning, and we're excited to welcome them on board," said Jeff Bedell, Alarm.com's President of Ventures Business and Corporate Strategy. "The acquisition expands the specialization of Alarm.com's AI team and will extend our leadership in this important domain. Our goal is to deploy market-defining video analytics solutions, scale them across the Alarm.com and OpenEye platforms, and open new areas of growth for our service provider and integrator partners."

Alarm.com acquired Vintra's core intellectual property, its research scientists, software engineers, and technical services teams as part of the acquisition. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed at the time of closing.

About Alarm.com

Alarm.com is the leading platform for the intelligently connected property. Millions of consumers and businesses depend on Alarm.com's technology to manage and control their property from anywhere. Our platform integrates with a growing variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices through our apps and interfaces. Our security, video, access control, intelligent automation, energy management, and wellness solutions are available through our network of thousands of professional service providers in North America and around the globe. Alarm.com's common stock is traded on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ALRM. For more information, please visit alarm.com.

Learn more about the Vintra acquisition here







ChatGPT in the Workplace
How to Create the Best ChatGPT Policies

Weigh risk tolerance, set expectations and verify accuracy

HR teams need to ask and answer many questions before setting policies to guide employees' use of OpenAI's ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools, legal experts say.

The content-producing technology is growing more popular by the day, and companies in multiple industries are excited about its prospects while also curious, if not fearful, about where it can lead.

One-third of U.S. workers believe their job will rely more on workplace automation in the next few years, according to a survey of 521 workers conducted by AmeriSpeak Omnibus for SHRM in early April. However, 91 percent said their current job duties haven't been impacted by AI at all.

Meanwhile, a poll of 62 HR leaders in February by consulting firm Gartner found that about half of them were formulating guidance on employees' use of ChatGPT, Bloomberg reported.

John Carrigan, an attorney with Cozen O'Connor in Los Angeles, said employers should consider to what extent their existing policies might already address some of the "new" issues raised by AI.

Employers should instead think about areas where they wouldn't want to see AI used and then set clear guidelines, Carrigan said.

"When deciding how much to allow or limit the use of ChatGPT or similar tools, it makes sense to strategize about the sorts of tasks for which the AI might be used, as well as the strengths and limitations of AI tools for that purpose," he said.

Carrigan added that it's probably also good practice to designate certain point people to oversee AI usage and troubleshoot problems as they may arise.

"This is an area where we expect to see a tremendous change in a fairly short time, both in terms of the capabilities of the technology itself and in legal responses to the use of the technology," he said. "So, employers need to be prepared to be flexible." shrm.org

White House & CISA Push Companies to Step Up Cybersecurity
US cybersecurity officials step up push for companies to adopt secure by design practices

Efforts at CISA and the Department of Energy are both meant to encourage the practice of building in better security protections.

Top U.S. cybersecurity officials have been meeting with industry representatives and tech executives to press the need for companies to adopt secure by design principles that are a core part of the Biden administration's national cybersecurity strategy.

AdvertisementThe push is part of an effort championed by the White House and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency to reduce the number of vulnerabilities in commercial software and shift the burden for maintaining cybersecurity from consumers back to tech vendors.

"Small and medium businesses, local school districts, water utilities, local hospitals, are not going to be successful in managing cybersecurity risk alone if they ever get in the crosshairs of a ransomware gang or an APT actor," said Eric Goldstein on Wednesday during the annual RSA Conference here that brings together government officials and industry executive. "Those who can bear the burden are held accountable for providing services that are safe and secure by design by default."

Jack Cable, a senior technical adviser at CISA, told CyberScoop that CISA held two listening sessions recently with industry partners as well as one with the open-source community. He said the agency plans to build on secure by design principles recently outlined in a white paper the agency published. "This is the first chapter of the story here and we want to work closely with industry and governmental partners with this."

A related and complimentary effort at the Department of Energy's cyber informed engineering program is designed to help industrial organizations apply secure by design strategies to operational technology. "They're very much connected as we really move toward a converged infrastructure future," said Cherri Caddy, deputy assistant national cyber director at the Office of the National Cyber Director, during an RSA panel here on Wednesday. "So how can we shift the liability for software security, for system security onto the makers and away from the end users?" cyberscoop.com

Attackers Can Access Devices 'Even Without an Internet Connection'
Firmware Looms as the Next Frontier for Cybersecurity

Software bugs are ubiquitous, and we're familiar with hardware threats. But what about the gap in the middle?

Last December, researchers discovered a series of five vulnerabilities affecting servers run by more than a dozen major vendors - brand names like Huawei, Qualcomm, Nvidia, AMD, Dell, and HP. The vulnerabilities were nothing to scoff at, either, with CVSS scores ranging from 5.3 (Medium severity) to 9.8 (Critical).

The bugs live in firmware developed by American Megatrends International (AMI) for processors it manufactures known as baseboard management controllers (BMCs). BMCs are chips that sit on motherboards, allowing administrators to monitor and manipulate essentially anything on a machine - from applications and data all the way down to low-level hardware - even without an Internet connection or while the host is turned off (as long as it's receiving power).

"So this is obviously a really interesting place for attackers to be," says Nate Warfield, director of threat research and intelligence for Eclypsium, the firm behind the disclosure. "If they can get into this mini-computer that's always running, they now have remote admin access over whatever they want."

But this discovery was merely a speck on the surface of a much greater problem. In a May 11 presentation at Black Hat Asia, Warfield and Vlad Babkin, security researcher at Eclypsium, are going to argue that AMI's BMC bugs were evidence of something bigger, and more structurally problematic, in firmware security.

"The message is definitely not the vulnerabilities themselves," Babkin states, unequivocally. "It's much, much deeper. Because even if we go ahead and fix these vulnerabilities, it's not going to fix the root issue." darkreading.com

FBI Searches of Americans' Data Dropped 96% in 2022
FBI queries for Americans' digital data drops, yet advocates for surveillance reform remain undeterred

An Office of the Director of National Intelligence report shows that U.S. person queries of Section 702 data declined 96% in 2022.

An intelligence community report released Friday revealed a drastic reduction in the number of warrantless searches related to U.S. citizens or residents that law enforcement agencies the FBI performed last year, dropping 96% from 3.4 million in 2021 to 120,000 in 2022.

Yet the decline in these types of searches, which can hoover up vast amounts of digital information on Americans, remains deeply troubling to privacy and civil liberties advocates who are pushing to reform current surveillance laws.

The drop in searches reflects a number of factors, according to the report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. First, the FBI used a new methodology to calculate the number of searches performed under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which allows intelligence and law enforcement agencies to gather online communications of foreign intelligence targets. The program also sweeps up Americans' data, making it a lucrative source of information for so-called "backdoor" searches by the FBI in investigating U.S. persons. cyberscoop.com

Unlocking the passwordless era

Google Bans Thousands of Play Store Developer Accounts to Block Malware







Scam Products Being Sold on TikTok
TikTok videos produced in China are trying to rip people off with scam products

TikTok has attracted a "cottage industry" of scammers, the FT says, citing dodgy items being hawked.

TikTok may have a global user base of more than 1 billion people, but within its home country of China, the app has given rise to a "cottage industry" of scammers pedaling dubious products to viewers abroad, the Financial Times reported.

The FT's investigation found multiple accounts selling products that appeared to violate the guidelines of TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, including those promoting weight loss teas and coffees, acne medications, and skin whitening products. The FT said in its report that it had flagged 25 products in TikTok's UK marketplace; TikTok said those products have since been removed.

The FT contended that types of scam accounts have survived on TikTok due to the platform's "hands off" approach to regulating content and its algorithms that are designed to allow "any video to gain traction."

"TikTok prioritizes profit over the regulation of goods on its platform," one TikTok senior executive with knowledge of decision-making in ecommerce said in the FT's report.

TikTok, meanwhile, told the FT that it "has strict policies to protect users from fake, fraudulent, or misleading content," including advertisements. It didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

And even if they are taken down, Brems said it's a difficult process. "It's like whack a mole ... there's hundreds of accounts," selling scam items, Brems told the FT. "Most people will not fall for it, but if an account is seen by enough people, eventually some people will buy."  businessinsider.com

Simplifying the Shipping Process
eBay streamlines international shipping for U.S. sellers
eBay is trying to remove complexities and costs from the process of shipping U.S. exports on its platform.

The e-commerce giant now offers a service called eBay International Shipping (eIS), which is intended to open up global access to eBay's U.S. inventory. eIS is designed to reduce fees, handle customs and compliance, and manage tracking and returns, at no extra cost to U.S. sellers.

In 2022, eBay says cross-border trade drove roughly one-fifth of its gross merchandise value (GMV), despite less than half of its inventory in its three largest markets (including the U.S.) being eligible for export. chainstoreage.com

An Amazon union just won a $30 an hour contract
What happens next depends on Amazon, the workers, and the interpretation of US labor law.

Westroads Mall takes on a new role: bridging e-commerce with brick & mortar







Traveling ORC Gang Targeted 70 Home Depot Stores
Member of traveling crime ring accused of stealing from over 70 Home Depots throughout Florida, Illinois
Miami-Dade police arrested a man Thursday who they described as a member of a traveling organized crime ring after they said he was responsible for stealing from over 70 Home Depot stores in Florida and Illinois.

Detectives said a corporate investigator began to investigate an organized retail crew that began conducting fraudulent orders, fraudulent refunds, rollouts of merchandise with and without paperwork and thefts of items at Home Depot stores throughout Florida, starting in September 2020.

According to an arrest report, Yusser Echemendia Rodriguez, 38, was identified as one of the suspects in the organized retail crew. Police said he was responsible for over 70 thefts and "thousands of dollars" in losses to Home Depot throughout their stores in Florida and Nevada.

According to his arrest report, Rodriguez became known for switching barcodes and walking out of the stores before driving out with merchandise that he did not pay for. Rodriguez is currently out on bond and is facing one count of organized scheme to defraud, 10 counts of petty theft with over two previous convictions and one count of retail theft with a prior conviction. local10.com

Theft Ring Targeted 60 Walmart Stores in Multiple States
Hilltown Township, PA: Son involved in father-son retail theft ring arrested in Philadelphia; father still wanted by police
A 24-year-old man who officials say is part of a broad retail theft ring with his father was arrested in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Jahmir Mitchell was arrested on multiple outstanding warrants, including one dating back to 2018. Jahmir's father, 42-year-old Jamaal Mitchell, is still wanted by the police. Authorities say the duo, along with other yet-to-be-identified accomplices, stole nearly almost $1,000 in electronics from a Walmart in Tilden Township. The same group hit the same store years prior in 2018, police say. "Approximately $10,000 of Apple products were stolen," said Cataldi. Authorities believe the same group is responsible for targeting close to 60 Walmarts and Sam's Clubs in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 6abc.com

ORC Investigation Pays Off
Riverside County, CA: Inland Empire Organized Retail Theft Arrest
n late 2022, deputies assigned to the Eastvale Special Enforcement Team (SET) began investigating a grand theft from a business located in the 12000 block of Limonite Avenue, Eastvale. The suspect, unknown at the time, walked into the store and grabbed as many items as she could and left the store with approximately $1,000 worth of product without paying. For several months, SET deputies tracked retail thefts and identified the unknown suspect to commit several grand thefts throughout the Inland Empire.

Through various means, SET deputies identified the suspect as Gardenia Herrera, 31-year-old resident of Perris. On March 5, 2023, Eastvale SET deputies located and arrested Herrera in Perris. Herrera was subsequently convicted and is serving a 4-year sentence. Eastvale SET deputies continued this investigation working jointly with local agencies and retail loss prevention members. Several suspects linked to organized retail thefts throughout the Inland Empire were identified including Veronica Damian Estrada, a 39-year-old resident of Moreno Valley.

On April 26, 2023, Eastvale SET deputies arrested Estrada in Moreno Valley and located several thousand dollars worth of stolen items in her vehicle. Deputies served a search warrant at Estrada's residence and located thousands of stolen retail items estimated at $40,000 dollars in retail value. Estrada was subsequently booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center for several felony charges related to organized retail theft. riversidesheriff.org

Theft Ring Suspects Faking Overdoses to Avoid Arrest?
Retail theft ring suspects may have avoided arrest with fake overdoses -- or not
Tumwater police made an attempt to bust up what they called a large retail theft ring on Thursday afternoon when two suspects started showing signs of overdosing. But police allege it could have been a ruse to get out the arrest.

On the way to the Nisqually Jail to book the two suspects, Kolb said the two suspects started showing the same signs of distress at the same time. Officers had not seen the two take any narcotics, nor did they say they took any, Kolb said.

Kolb said the transporting officer pulled over and requested medical assistance for the suspects. She said the suspects were let go, issued citations and transported to the hospital. Kolb said police are unsure exactly what the medical event was, and they will never know, either.

"Because they were released at the scene with citations and transferred to the hospital, we no longer have contact with them because they're no longer in custody," Kolb said. "HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws don't allow us to follow up or determine what the medical assessment was." news.yahoo.com

Employees Busted for Theft Scheme
5 Miami County auto part store employees charged for alleged role in theft scheme
Five O'Reilly Auto Parts employees were arrested after a fraud investigation was launched in West Milton. The employees are said to have worked at the O'Reilly Auto Parts located at South Miami Street, according to court documents. Three of the employees appeared in Miami County Municipal Court Wednesday afternoon on charges including forgery and theft. The employees are accused of knowingly filing O'Reilly return and exchange documentation incorrectly, according to court documents. More than $10,000 in car parts is said to be obtained "by deception", court documents allege. news.yahoo.com

North Olmsted, OH: Teens accused in smash-and-grab; $7K in goods stolen from cell phone store
Police are working hard to track down all the suspects involved in a smash-and-grab theft at Wireless Express in North Olmsted. The three suspects broke in at 12:58 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26, and quickly moved to smash the glass counter to steal smartphones and vape pens. Police have identified the suspects, noting that all three are juveniles reported as runaways who have been missing since April 6. "They're trying to survive on the streets on their own," North Olmsted Police Department Detective Lt. Dan Barrett said. "They're stealing items so they can sell online to their friends, whoever responds. They get cash, and this way they can continue to stay on the street on their own and survive." Wireless Express said $3,000 to $4,000 in damage was caused to the store, and more than $7,000 worth of items was stolen. The owner wants the suspects held accountable for their actions, the damage paid for and the items returned or paid for. fox8.com

Arizona serial thief accused of shoplifting Victoria's Secret stores 17 times: police
Flores stole underwear, bras and pants at the Victoria's Secret locations between October 2022 and March 2023. Flores is also suspected of robbing Target stores in South Phoenix.

North Coventry, PA: Police Want Man In Alleged $4,400 IPhone Theft

Hinckley man charged in retail theft string at Sycamore Menards, DeKalb Walmart

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Shootings & Deaths

San Francisco, CA: Security Guard Arrested After Deadly Shooting at Walgreens
A private security guard has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 24-year-old woman at a Walgreens in San Francisco, police said Friday. The shooting happened at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Walgreens on Market Street, near Fourth Street. Responding officers found the victim, identified by the medical examiner's office as Chynna Brown of San Francisco, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, police said. Friends of Brown said she was walking out of the store when she was shot. Brown was transported to the hospital, but she did not survive, police said. Authorities identified security guard Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, 33, as the suspect. He was booked into San Francisco County Jail on a homicide charge, police said. Citing a preliminary investigation, police said a theft occurred during the incident but didn't provide further information. nbcbayarea.com

Nashville, TN: One dead, one injured in shooting near Broadway gas station; security guard fired at suspect who was allegedly attacking him
Investigations are underway after a fatal shooting near a gas station on Broadway early Saturday morning. Metro Police responded to the parking lot at 1101 Broadway just before 3:00 a.m. Officials say 47-year-old James Flaherty died at the scene as a result of his injuries. Homicide detectives are investigating a self-defense claim following the shooting. The investigation says 33-year-old Isaac Thurman was working as a security guard at the gas station. Thurman reports that Flaherty and another man were in a physical confrontation. Thurman tells police that when he tried to intervene, Flaherty allegedly attacked Thurman, who then fired at Flaherty. Police say their investigation remains open and the detectives are working with the District Attorney's Office. newschannel5.com

Norcross, GA: Witnesses to deadly shooting at Gwinnett County strip mall Friday night speak
One man is dead, another is wounded after a deadly shooting at a strip mall along Indian Trail Lilburn Road near Norcross on Friday night. Police say they are searching for two men in connection to the shooting that happened right outside a Discover Wings restaurant. The man who was shot and killed at the strip mall has been identified as 22-year-old Jerrett Mitchell of Lawrenceville. The man who was shot and killed at the strip mall has been identified as 22-year-old Jerrett Mitchell of Lawrenceville. People who work in the area told FOX 5 the whole scene was terrifying. "I heard people screaming, and then a couple of pops," the eyewitness asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation. "I heard glass breaking, and then I heard the rest of the shots." fox5atlanta.com

Atlanta, GA: Security guard charged after shooting customer trying to buy jeans at Greerbriar Mall, police say
A security guard is now facing charges in connection to a shooting at the Greerbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta. Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes first reported on the shooting live Wednesday on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m. Fernandes learned that a man was shot twice inside a retail store at the mall just before 3:30 p.m. after an argument. On Thursday, police announced they have charged the guard, identified as 27-year-old Diquan Carter, with aggravated assault and theft-by-receiving charges. The victim entered the store to purchase a pair of jeans. The owner instructed the employee to open a door that let the victim into a private room. When the employee started to open the door, the owner said the victim pushed on the door to make it open faster. Carter told the victim not to push on the door and the two began arguing. The owner told police that the argument stopped for a moment, but started again when the man told the guard to "come see about me." That is when the owner and employee said Carter shot the victim. The owner said he did not think the victim posed any threat and that he wasn't armed. He wasn't sure why the guard shot the victim. wsbtv.com

Flagler Beach, FL: Robbery suspect fleeing police shot 8 times by store clerk
A robbery suspect leading Florida police on a high speed chase was shot 8 times by a convenience store clerk as he was attempting to carjack him. In a Facebook post, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office says that Qwinntavus Kwame Jordan walked into a Shell gas station in Flagler Beach and "alluded to having a firearm" which allowed him to walk out of the store with $90 in cash. Police located Jordan's car on I-95 and began pursuing him until reaching the Florida-Georgia line where authorities in Georgia took over the chase and spike stripped Jordan's car at which point he began fleeing on foot. According to the Facebook post, Jordan then "entered a nearby convenience store, brandished a firearm, and demanded the clerk's car keys." Jordan got into the vehicle and started to flee but crashed the vehicle through the front of the store and then "exited the vehicle and chased the clerk and a customer through the store and a struggle ensued." "The clerk, who was now armed, shot the suspect approximately 8 times according to Georgia authorities," police said. foxnews.com

Chattanooga police make arrests in shooting/pursuit at Hamilton Place Mall
Chattanooga police say three people have been arrested in connection to a drive-by shooting near Hamilton Place Mall on Saturday. CPD Police were notified of a shots fired call just after 5 p.m. Officers working in the area, quickly responded and located a black Infiniti fleeing the scene. A pursuit of the vehicle began. During the pursuit, the suspect driver, a juvenile struck two vehicles but no one was injured. The juvenile and his passenger Anthony Douglas were both taken into custody at 4100 Jersey Pike. local3news.com

Davenport, IA: Accused gang members sentenced, including in NorthPark Mall shooting
A federal judge this week sentenced three Davenport men identified as members of the Savage Life Boys street gang to more than 34 years in prison, total. In January 2017, Ruiz and Culbreath chased a person associated with a rival gang through the NorthPark Mall parking lot. During the chase, Ruiz shot at the victim. qctimes.com

(Update) Houston man sentenced to 50 years for 'senseless murder' of father at c-store
A Houston man was sentenced to 50 years for shooting a man in the back of the head at a convenience store on Bissonnet in 2021.

(Update) Glendale, AZ: Deadly shooting suspect in store for less than minute

Man found guilty of murder in shooting outside Jackson party store

Community calls for police transparency after Colorado Springs mall shooting

Shooting at business near SF's Westfield Mall sends person to hospital; suspect detained

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Chicago, IL: Shoplifter stabs Loop Target employee, leading to store closure
A Loop Target store employee was stabbed Saturday morning while confronting a shoplifter, prompting the downtown store to close for the day. The company said it was grateful the employee's injuries were not life-threatening but said the "unfortunate incident" was part of an increase in theft impacting retailers. The 25-year-old worker confronted a man he thought was shoplifting around 9 a.m. inside the store at 1 S. State St., according to Chicago police. The suspect pulled a knife from his waistband and swiped at the employee's arms, police said. The injured worker was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition. Officers arrested the suspected shoplifter, police said. No charges have been filed as of Sunday morning, police said. chicago.suntimes.com

Salem, OR: Man lights fire in Target toy aisle as diversion while he steals merchandise
Police in Oregon are searching for a man they say lit a fire inside a Target store as a diversion to steal merchandise. In a Facebook post, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said it received a report of a fire being intentionally set in the toy aisle of a Salem, Oregon Target on April 22. "Deputies learned this was done as a diversion by a suspect who stole merchandise and then fled out the back of the store," the post stated. It is believed that the suspect entered the store at 1:25 p.m. and started the fire at approximately 1:33 p.m. before fleeing out the back door at 1:39 p.m. The Marion County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to find the suspect. nypost.com

Naples, FL: Former employee accused of breaking into and stealing money from store
A woman is accused of breaking into a retail store in Naples on Monday, April 3, hiding her identity by holding an umbrella while taking money from the business. According to the Naples Police Department, Dawn McClearly, 53, was identified as the suspect who broke into the store on Fifth Avunue South in Naples. McClearly used to work at the store she is accused of breaking into. McClearly is facing burglary of a structure and grand theft charges. winknews.com

Sharonville, OH: Man accused of pistol-whipping McDonald's manager indicted on 18 felony charges

Houston, TX: Man punches store employee, knocks over stand while stealing bottle of alcohol

Beaumont transient reportedly threatened store staff with hatchet, police say

Woman found in Coraopolis McDonald's cooler with gun arrested, charged, police say



C-Store - Houston, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Flagler Beach, FL - Robbery / Shooting
C-Store - Washington Twp., PA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Hollywood, MD - Armed Robbery
Cellphone Store - North Olmsted, OH - Robbery
Cellphone Store - Boston, MA - Armed Robbery
Family Dollar - Detroit, MI - Armed Robbery
Game Store - Lizella, GA - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Mobile, AL - Armed Robbery
Jewelry/Watches - Madison, CT - Armed Robbery
Liquor - Long Island, NY - Armed Robbery
Pharmacy - Silver Spring, MD - Armed Robbery (CVS)
Pharmacy - San Francisco, CA - Robbery / Suspect shot & killed
Restaurant - Sharonville, OH - Armed Robbery (McDonald's)
Restaurant - Greenville County, SC - Armed Robbery
Target - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery / Employee Stabbed
Unidentified Business - Naples, FL - Burglary
Walmart - Reading, PA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 1 burglary
• 2 shootings
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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The Director of Asset Protection and Safety is responsible for developing strategies, supporting initiatives, and creating a vibrant culture relating to all aspects of asset protection and safety throughout the organization. As the expert strategist and leader of asset protection and safety, this role applies broad knowledge and seasoned experience to address risks...

Loss Prevention Analyst
Ashburn, VA - posted February 21
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The LP Analyst protects the company's assets from internal theft by using investigative resources (i.e., exception-based reporting (EBR), micros reporting, inventory reporting, CCTV, etc.). The primary responsibility of the LP Analyst is to identify potential loss prevention issues such as employee theft in SSP America's operation across North America...

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Jacksonville, FL - posted January 18
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Region Asset Protection Manager: Fresco y Mas Banner
Hialeah, FL - posted January 18
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