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Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) Developed SDS Outdoor With DHS's S&T
DHS: Reimagining Gunshot Detection for Enhanced Community Safety

New portable system employs two methods of detection for increased accuracy and reduced false positives.

New and improved gunshot detection technology will soon make American communities of all sizes safer. The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its industry partner Shooter Detection Systems (SDS) developed SDS Outdoor, a gunshot detection system that builds on existing SDS technology to deliver new capabilities that significantly improve the response and management of outdoor shootings.

Among these new capabilities are portability and ease of system set up at any location, two-source detection-sound and flash-to confirm a gunshot, real-time alerts that provide near-instant situational awareness to law enforcement and emergency medical responders, and enhanced data recording that aids apprehension and conviction of alleged shooters.

Although gunshot detection technology is currently in use, it can only be installed at fixed locations. For outdoor public events, portable gunshot detection technology can add another layer of security to already installed security systems like cameras.

S&T will issue a report of the OFA test findings in June. SDS is now using the first-person feedback collected from the law enforcement officials who participated in the live testing to work on system improvements. The company expects a commercial version of an outdoor solution based on this development effort to be available to law enforcement agencies and first responders nationwide by the end of this year.

Go deeper inside the SDS Outdoor field test in S&T's Tech Speak podcast Shot Detected. dhs.gov

RILA AP Conference Recap

Highlights from Tuesday's Value-Packed Day at RILA AP Conference

By Barbara Jones, CEO & Founder, Freeing Returns

Tuesday at RILA AP Conference was excellent. I began the day with breakfast for women in asset protection. In the general session, Scott Draher from Lowe's and Paul Jackle from Meijer presented on reducing in-store crime. Brian Friedman and Seth Hughes of REI highlighted "first-person cameras" (aka body cams). Hank Jones of Lowe's spoke about how to create a safety culture.

Then, breakout sessions began. I went to hear about how retailers are losing BIPOC customers due to bias in LP policies. Shout-out to the panelists David Brown of Sephora, Karen Osorio of H&M, Jayson Sutton of Burlington and moderator Tshombe Laughman of Open to All for an exceptional session. What was the result of transforming their approach? Better customer experience, fewer incidents of racial bias and higher sales.

The other sessions covered the INFORM Act, CCTV and law enforcement. Then, I went to the Asset Protection Leaders Council meeting.

In the afternoon, Nadine Lajeune of Aldi, Leslie Allen of Footlocker and Jess Pierce of Dick's Sporting Goods spoke on leadership. Later, we heard from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Adam Parks of the Department of Homeland Security.

Between it all, the Expo was busy. My team and I shared with many people about how we can solve total retail loss and return money to your bottom line.

Conversations and networking continued late into the evening.


Recap Sponsored by


Jack L. Hayes International's 35th Annual Retail Theft Survey

Shoplifter & Dishonest Employee Apprehensions and Dollar Recoveries Soared in 2022
as 81% of Surveyed Participants Reported an Increase in Shrink

WESLEY CHAPEL, FL - Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. released today (May 3, 2023) the results of their 35th Annual Retail Theft Survey which reports on over 340,000 shoplifter and dishonest employee apprehensions in 2022 by just 26 large retailers, who recovered over $288 million from these apprehended thieves.

“Eighty-one percent of survey participants reported an increase in shrink in 2022 and this is reflected in their total apprehension and recovery statistics. Total apprehensions increased 45.6% and total recovery dollars from these apprehensions increased 70.5% in 2022. Many retailers returned to making shoplifter apprehensions post pandemic and focused more of their attention on external theft issues in 2022. Our survey revealed shoplifter apprehensions and recovery dollars from those apprehensions increased significantly in 2022, up 50.9% and 90.5% respectively,” said Mark R. Doyle, President of Jack L. Hayes International, Inc. Mr. Doyle added, "Recovery dollars where no shoplifter apprehension was made, but merchandise was recovered, increased 44.1% in 2022.” Mr. Doyle also stated, "On the employee theft side, there was an increase in 2022 in both dishonest employee apprehensions and recovery dollars, 18.0% and 14.7% respectively.”

Highlights from this highly anticipated annual theft survey include:

Participants: 26 large retail companies with 22,182 stores and over $700 billion in retail sales in 2022.

Shrink: 81% of retailers surveyed reported that shrink increased in 2022.

Apprehensions: Participants apprehended 340,488 shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2022, up 45.6% from 2021.

Recovery Dollars: Participants recovered over $288 million from apprehended shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2022, up 70.5% from 2021.

Shoplifters: 295,654 shoplifters were apprehended in 2022, up 50.9%; and over $237 million was recovered from these shoplifters, up 90.5%. Note: Dollars recovered from shoplifters where no apprehension was made ($485 million) increased 44.1% in 2022.

Dishonest Employees: 44,834 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2022, up 18.0%; and over $50 million was recovered from these employees in 2022, up 14.7%.

Click here to read the full survey results

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Theft & Violence a Top Topic at RILA AP Conference
EXCLUSIVE: 5 Tips for Solving the Safety Crisis in Grocery

At RILA Asset Protection Conference, food retailers cite theft and violence as the top threats to their business

Food retailers operating in North America today face a slew of hard challenges, from labor shortages to skyrocketing costs to dwindling profit margins. But there is another challenge lurking in the shadows, not being talked about enough in the industry, retailers say. And that is asset protection.

At the 2023 RILA Asset Protection Conference this month in Denver, Colo., retailers such as Kroger, Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree and many others detailed incidents of e-commerce fraud, violence against store workers, self-checkout fraud, habitual criminal offenders taking advantage of an overtaxed under-resourced criminal justice system, rising organized retail crime losses, shrink numbers trending up, civil unrest, active shooter events, persistent unlawful activity on store property, and more events disrupting operations in profound ways. Session after session, grocery retailers said that the No. 1 threat to their business is lack of asset protection.

Chief of staff of the Manhattan district attorney's office, Jordan Stockdale, reported that retail theft has jumped 77% in New York City over the past five years. The CEO of Ulta Beauty, David Kimball, said his stores have seen a 50% increase in violent incidents in the past six months. Several law enforcement officials speaking on various panels at RILA said that retailers are describing the safety climate in retail stores as "total chaos." And Kroger's director of asset protection, Chris Harris, discussed how the expiration of expanded SNAP benefits is going to lead to possibly even more incidents or threats.

“In March, the extra government push for SNAP benefits ran out,” Harris said. "And that means the average individual has roughly $85 less in grocery spend every month. Family of four, that's more than $300 less that they're going to have to spend on groceries. Now, they're still going to buy groceries, but not as much. So if sales go down, that's going to put more pressure on shrink. ... Plus there's the uptick in organized retail crime, in theft activity, there's the decriminalization of minor shoplifting cases. All of that adds complexity, and these are the things that we're concerned about.”

Harris gave three reasons why Kroger has been at the forefront of experimenting with asset protection technology, and deployed a number of AI, machine learning and biometric solutions to help identify and prevent losses via what it now calls its "asset protection ecosystem platform.”  progressivegrocer.com

Shoplifting has never been a bigger issue in Canada
North of the Border ORC is Just as Much of a Problem as in the U.S.

Head of Walmart Canada talks theft, self-checkouts, potential closures

The head of Canada's largest retailer says shoplifting is a serious issue for the company, but they're working on it.

Walmart President and CEO Gonzalo Gebara was in Moncton Monday for the grand opening of a massive new distribution centre that will provide over 40 stores in Atlantic Canada with fresh and frozen groceries.

Shoplifting has never been a bigger issue according to Statistic Canada and the world's largest retailer is not immune.

After a tour of the facility, Gebara spoke to CTV News about theft, security and store closures.

“Security in general is something we pay very close attention to,” said Gebara. "We have been working on internal processes. We have been working on investing in technology. We have been very well connected with the RCC (Retail Council of Canada) and collaborating with everyone so that we can make our stores the safest place for our customers to shop and for our associates to work.”

Some have suggested self-checkouts are part of the problem, but the company insists it has no plans to scale back on the trend to curb theft.

Jim Cormier, the Atlantic director of the RCC, says it's not just a problem with Walmart and it's getting worse for all retailers.

"It's not a victimless crime. It's one of the things we're trying to get across to all government officials, that this is not something that is a write-off on a balance sheet at the end of the day. This is something that has real consequences. Retail workers that have to deal with brazen thefts going on within stores,” said Cormier.

“But we're saying that we need some help with government officials and with policing officials to get together, work in community to try and see if there are solutions that we can work on together,” said Cormier.

Walmart closed four of its eight stores in Chicago, Ill., last month in abrupt fashion.

A lack of profits, theft and security concerns were listed as the retailers reasons for the closures according to media reports.

Gebara was asked if closing stores in Canada is a possibility.

"We're working with all of our resources to make sure that we just improve the general conditions of safety,” said Gebara. "Mostly because we want to stay here for our customers and for our associates and provide them safe places to work.” ctvnews.ca

More Stores Closing in San Francisco Due to "Rampant Criminal Activity"

SF Whole Foods Made 568 911 calls in 13 months before closing
The Real Story Behind Whole Foods Closure

In San Francisco, a Troubled Year at a Whole Foods Market Reflects a City's Woes
Last year, with pandemic lockdowns in the rearview mirror, Whole Foods Market made a bet on a gritty San Francisco neighborhood. The high-end supermarket chain opened a giant flagship store in a part of the city that is home to both tech companies like Twitter and open-air drug dealing.

But the store was soon confronted head-on with many of the problems plaguing the area. People threatened employees with guns, knives and sticks. They flung food, screamed, fought and tried to defecate on the floor, according to records of 568 emergency calls over 13 months, many depicting scenes of mayhem.

Male w/machete is back,” the report on one 911 call states. "Another security guard was just assaulted,” another says. A man with a four-inch knife attacked several security guards, then sprayed store employees with foam from a fire extinguisher, according to a third.

In September, a 30-year-old man died in the bathroom from an overdose of fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, and methamphetamine.

When Whole Foods announced in mid-April that it was closing the store, citing the safety of its employees, many in San Francisco saw it as a representation of some of the city's most intractable problems: property crimes like shoplifting and car break-ins, an entrenched network of dealers selling fentanyl and other illicit drugs and people suffering from untreated mental illness wandering the streets.

The Whole Foods was supposed to cater to tech workers and other professionals, part of a long-term redevelopment plan downtown. But the store fell victim to a grinding decline in the city's center that began with the pandemic and could continue for years as companies vacate offices because of remote work.

Many merchants are worried about a domino effect of commercial failures if office workers are permanently absent for about half of the week, while people using drugs, going through mental crises or living on the street remain more visible than ever.

In the famously liberal city, where Republicans make up just 7 percent of the electorate, moderate Democrats like Mayor Breed are calling for aggressive steps to address public safety concerns while progressive voices decry law-and-order strategies as kneejerk responses that trample on the vulnerable.

One of the next big tests for downtown might be this summer's expected opening of an Ikea store not far from the Whole Foods site.

Police described theft as rampant at Whole Foods, with thieves walking out with armfuls of alcohol, at least at the start. After 250 shopping hand baskets were stolen, the company restocked with 50 more. Those went missing, too. nytimes.com

"Lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity"
Nordstrom closing both downtown San Francisco department stores
Retail giant Nordstrom plans to close its 312,000-square-foot department store at the Westfield San Francisco Centre in August, citing changing dynamics downtown.

The Seattle company will also close its 45,496-square-foot Nordstrom Rack store across the street at 901 Market St. on July 1, ending a 35-year presence in downtown San Francisco. The closures come as both leases approach the end of their current terms with the option for renewal.

"Decisions like this are never easy, and this one has been especially difficult," wrote Jamie Nordstrom, the company's chief stores officer, in a message to impacted employees. "But as many of you know, the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully."

A spokesperson for the Westfield mall and its owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, told me in a statement on Tuesday that the planned Nordstrom closure "underscores the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco."

The spokesperson said the mall owner "has actively engaged with city leaders for many years to express our serious concerns, which are shared by our customers and retailers."

"We have urged the city to find solutions to the key issues and lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity," the spokesperson said. "The current environment is not sustainable for the community, or businesses, and we are hopeful the city will implement the changes that are so urgently needed."

The closure of both stores means Nordstrom will no longer have a direct retail presence in San Francisco.

Office Depot plans to close its large store at 33 Third St. while Anthropologie will soon shutter its longtime home at 880 Market St. this May. bizjournals.com

Latest SF Store Closures Announced

Shoppers Pushed Away By Anti-Theft Measures?
More NC stores locking down items as shoplifting rises
As retailers implement changes to deter thieves in North Carolina, it is slowing down how quickly shoppers can get in and out of a store.

“We're dealing with a serious issue nationally with regards to shoplifting and retail crime,” said David Johnston, Vice President of Asset Protection and Retail Operations for the National Retail Federation.

Walgreens and CVS have begun locking up inventory at some of their locations in Raleigh. The rise in thefts is forcing retailers to lock down items like never before. At a Target in San Francisco, entire aisles have been put behind lock and key.

“Customers who walk into a location and and have to wait a long period of time for employee support, may not go back to that location. They may look at either shopping somewhere else or even shopping online.” cbs17.com

State Lawmakers Continue to Battle ORC
Kansas Senate Bill 174 'Needed to Fight Organized Retail Crime'

Senate Bill 174 extends the scope of Attorney General Kris Kobach's power, something lawmakers have warned against in past months.

Current Kansas law limits the attorney general to prosecuting cases in which the offender was an officer or employee of a city or county. This legislation grants the attorney general concurrent authority with a county or district attorney to prosecute any crimes involving criminal conduct occurring in two or more counties.

Kobach has said this expansion of power is needed to fight organized retail crime, in which criminals steal shopping carts full of goods from big-box stores in multiple counties. It is not clear how much Kansas is affected by such crime. lawrencekstimes.com

Another City Battles Progressive Reforms
This San Antonio charter change means more chaos and crime in city
Proposition A is at the center of their plans. The so-called "Justice Charter" is a political Trojan horse designed to fool naïve liberals with fantasy initiatives to decriminalize marijuana possession and abortion, both illegal measures that will not override Texas law.

The proposed charter poses a direct threat to the future of public safety in San Antonio. Proposition A expands "cite and release" policies - which immediately put dangerous criminals back on the streets - for a broad range of crimes and creates a woke bureaucratic "Justice Director" position that will be weaponized against the men and women of law enforcement.

Property theft, simple assault, criminal mischief, vandalism, graffiti, voyeurism, aka "peeping toms," and other nefarious crimes suddenly become harder to enforce and prosecute in San Antonio overnight. Prop A puts police officers in an even worse position to keep our streets and communities safe. foxnews.com

Video: Rise in shoplifting losses concerns retailers
The president of the California Retailers' Association is blaming the state for a rise in shoplifting. Revenue losses from theft remain higher than they were half a decade ago. Errol Barnett and Adriana Diaz are joined by David Johnston, vice president of asset protection and retail operations for the National Retail Federation, who breaks down this nationwide issue. yahoo.com

Auburn leaders take action to address recent break-ins, crime impacting business owners

America's unique, enduring gun problem, explained



Importance of Risk Management & Situational Awareness
NRF Blog: How a national security expert makes things 'less bad’

Juliette Kayyem on managing risk and the importance of situational awareness

Kayyem has spent more than three decades in public service. Early on she served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She was Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's homeland security advisor, and more recently served as President Obama's Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security.

We spoke with Kayyem in advance of her upcoming appearances at NRF PROTECT, where she will speak at the Women in LP Luncheon and join CNN analyst Jonathan Wackrow for the closing keynote.

What advice do you offer to women in risk management-types of roles?

I think some of that depends on how old you are and what your level of experience is. The main piece of advice I always give: We can't be perfect, we can only pivot.

Is there similar advice that you offer to the broader audience of individuals managing the risks that retail executives in this field face today?

Bad things are going to happen. Focus attention on the commonalities across those bad things and take action to shore them up ahead of the 'boom.’ Don't have a single point of failure. Be sure you have a plan for communications. Be transparent. Build your situational awareness. Have the capacity to pivot.

What's the one lesson you hope people take away from your latest book, "The Devil Never Sleeps”?

It's the importance of situational awareness. Have you built the capacity to know what's going on in real time? We waste so much time figuring that out. You could have built it ahead of time. The book talks readers through how they can do that.

Read the full Q&A here: nrf.com

"Historic levels of fraudulent activity across the industry as a whole"
Truckstop CEO talks market volatility, fight against FreightTech fraud

Kendra Tucker forms task force to curb rise in double brokering, load board fraud

Truckstop partners with FBI, law enforcement to fight fraud

The transportation industry has seen an uptick in double brokering and fraud over the past few years.

“I think it's probably fair to call it historic levels of fraudulent activity just across the industry as a whole, whether that shows up in load boards, whether that shows up in manual processes and other automated systems in the FreightTech space,” Tucker said. "When we talk to our broker customers, almost 90% of them say that they have experienced fraud in the past three to six months and so it really has been on the rise.”

Complaints about double brokering on Truckstop's platforms have more than doubled over the past two years, Tucker said.

“We take the rise in fraudulent activity so seriously that another thing that we're doing is partnering with the FBI and law enforcement agencies from a variety of states,” she said. "So as they see the rise in fraudulent activity, we are partnering together to exchange information and actually try to hunt the bad guys down and have a whole task force that we've created across our Truckstop team in order to help them manage the fraud.

Fuller asked whether Truckstop plans to "take a more active role in getting rid of some of those carriers" after FreightWaves received reports that "load boards are not policing the activity and haven't been addressing some of the bad actors.”

“It's always our goal to make sure that the users of our products are who they say they are. In fact, it's embedded into the Truckstop platform as a continuous vetting process,” Tucker said. "Carriers are vetted every time they log into our platform, and brokers are vetted very frequently. So not every day but on a monthly to quarterly basis. We're constantly looking at credit scores and FMCSA authority status and we do that continuously for carriers.” freightwaves.com

OSHA Continues Workplace Safety Crackdown
Falls are the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries

OSHA Announces National Emphasis Program to Reduce Workplace Falls

BLS data shows that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, about 13% of all deaths.

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun a National Emphasis Program to prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries and the violation the agency cites most frequently in construction industry inspections.

The emphasis program will focus on reducing fall-related injuries and fatalities for people working at heights in all industries.

The targeted enforcement program is based on historical Bureau of Labor Statistics data and OSHA enforcement history. BLS data shows that of the 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in 2021, 680 were associated with falls from elevations, about 13% of all deaths.

“This national emphasis program aligns all of OSHA's fall protection resources to combat one of the most preventable and significant causes of workplace fatalities,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker, in a statement.

“We're launching this program in concert with the 10th annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and the industry's Safety Week," Parker added. Working together, OSHA and employers in all industries can make lasting changes to improve worker safety and save lives.”

The program establishes guidance for locating and inspecting fall hazards and allows OSHA compliance safety and health officers to open inspections whenever they observe someone working at heights. An outreach component of the program will focus on educating employers about effective ways to keep their workers safe. If a compliance officer determines an inspection is not necessary after entering a worksite and observing work activities, they will provide outreach on fall protection and leave the site.

Learn more about federally required fall protection. ehstoday.com

(Updated) Full list: More than 2,100 stores are closing across the US in 2023

Amazon, Target, & Walmart: Biggest winners from Bed Bath & Beyond's demise?

Aldi details big U.S. expansion plans for 2023

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Data Breach Lawsuits Becoming More & More Common
Companies Increasingly Hit With Data Breach Lawsuits: Law Firm

Lawsuits filed against companies that have suffered a data breach are increasingly common, with action being taken even for incidents affecting less than 1,000 people.

Lawsuits filed against companies that have suffered a data breach are increasingly common, with action being taken more frequently even in cases where the number of impacted individuals is smaller, according to US law firm BakerHostetler.

AdvertisementThe report shows that 45% of incidents were network intrusions, followed by business email compromise (30%) and inadvertent data disclosure (12%). Following initial access, the most common actions were ransomware deployment (28%), data theft (24%), email access (21%), and malware installation (13%).

Earlier this year, a blockchain data company reported seeing a significant drop in the total amount of money received by ransomware groups in 2022 ($457 million) compared to the previous year ($766 million).

However, data collected by BakerHostetler shows that ransomware victims that did pay a ransom in 2022 paid more compared to 2021. The largest ransom demand seen by the firm in 2022 exceeded $90 million (compared to $60 million in 2021), and the largest ransom that was paid in 2022 was more than $8 million (compared to $5.5 million in 2021). The average ransom amount paid last year was roughly $600,000, up from $511,000 in 2021.

In addition to higher ransom demands and increased forensic costs, BakerHostetler found that a bigger percentage of incidents where the impacted organization notified individuals of a data breach resulted in at least one lawsuit. Specifically, the numbers have increased from four lawsuits out of 394 incidents in 2018 to 42 lawsuits filed for 494 incidents in 2022.

Another category of lawsuits has also increased: privacy-related class actions. BakerHostetler is aware of more than 50 lawsuits filed since August 2022 against hospital systems that allegedly shared patient identities and online activities via third-party website analytics tools without the user's knowledge and consent.

The law firm says it's currently defending more than 200 lawsuits related to privacy or data security. securityweek.com

CISO's Guilty Verdict Continues to Reverberate
When CISOs Are Called to Testify in Courtrooms

Unilever CISO Kirsten Davies on Dealing With Legal Risks and Liabilities

The guilty verdict against Joe Sullivan, former chief security officer of Uber, has generated much discussion about CISO accountability for disclosures of breaches. How should CISOs be preparing to deal with this new responsibility? Kirsten Davies, CISO at Unilever, said communication is crucial.

Davies advised CISOs to engage with their stakeholders, the legal department, the HR department and the leadership executive team to make sure they are making holistic decisions for the organization.

"CISOs have different relationships with law enforcement around the world, in different forms of law enforcement as well, but we need to be mindful of who we're talking to in the midst of an incident," Davies said.

Success ultimately boils down to using the available information to make the best possible choice when an organization makes a decision about breach reporting.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2023, Davies also discusses:

• A CISO's legal risks and liabilities;
• How CISOs should negotiate their recruitment terms;
• Communicating with cyber insurance providers and brokers. govinfosecurity.com

$63 Million in New FBI Cybersecurity Funding?
FBI Focuses on Cybersecurity With $90M Budget Request

Never before has cyber been higher on the FBI's list of priorities. Will more money allow the feds to make a greater impact?

The FBI is requesting more than $63 million in new funding to fight cyber threats in 2024.

On April 27, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, regarding his agency's share of President Biden's Fiscal Year 2024 budget request.

On the docket was foreign intelligence threats, violent crime, human trafficking, and more, but the director wasted no time getting to cyber. Barely 20 seconds into his opening statement, he launched into the problem of cyber threats to America, using China as a measuring stick.

"A key part of the Chinese government's multi-pronged strategy to lie, cheat, and steal their way to surpassing us as the global superpower is cyber," Wray told the committee. "To give you a sense of what we're up against, if each one of the FBI's cyber agents and intel analysts focused exclusively on the China threat, Chinese hackers would still outnumber FBI Cyber personnel by at least 50 to 1."

To help even the odds, the FBI request includes an additional 192 positions - 31 special agents, 8 intelligence analysts, and 153 other staff - plus $63.4 million "to enhance cyber information-sharing abilities and increase cyber tools and capacities," according to Wray's statement for the record. In addition, the request includes 4 jobs and an additional $27.2 million "to help protect internal FBI networks."

Will 90 million in new funding enable the FBI to make a meaningful dent in the worlds of cybercrime and nation-state APTs? darkreading.com

Curbing Employee Misuse of ChatGPT
PrivateGPT Tackles Sensitive Info in ChatGPT Prompts

In an effort to curb employees from entering private data into the AI, ChatGPT is blocked from ingesting more than 50+ types of PII and other sensitive information.

Amidst concerns that employees could be entering sensitive information into the ChatGPT artificial intelligence model, a data privacy vendor has launched a redaction tool aimed at reducing companies' risk from inadvertently exposing customer and employee data.

Private AI's new PrivateGPT platform integrates with OpenAI's high-profile chatbot, automatically redacting 50+ types of personally identifiable information (PII) in real time as users enter ChatGPT prompts.

PrivateGPT sits in the middle of the chat process, stripping out everything from health data and credit-card information to contact data, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers from user prompts, before sending them through to ChatGPT. When ChatGPT responds, PrivateGPT re-populates the PII within the answer, to make the experience more seamless for users, according to a statement this week from PrivateGPT creator Private AI.

"Generative AI will only have a space within our organizations and societies if the right tools exist to make it safe to use," said Patricia Thaine, co-founder and CEO of Private AI, in a statement. "By sharing personal information with third-party organizations, [companies] lose control over how that data is stored and used, putting themselves at serious risk of compliance violations."  darkreading.com

Apple Debuts Its Rapid Response Security Update Approach
The warning signs for security analyst burnout and ways to prevent







Amazon Warehouse Safety Under More Scrutiny
OSHA says Amazon's Castleton facility faces new penalties
Amazon's ALB1 fulfillment center in Rensselaer County is facing new citations from federal regulators who say the company failed to provide medical treatment for traumatic and chronic injuries at the site.

An ongoing investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found at least six employees with head injuries and four with back injuries who did not receive timely, necessary medical care.

OSHA says the injured workers were returned to their jobs and that in many cases their injuries became worse as a result.

OSHA Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Heatlh Doug Parker says the company has shown a "callous disregard for the well-being" of its employees at the Castleton warehouse. Amazon faces more than $15,000 in penalties in the latest round of citations.

The facility was also cited in February for ergonomic violations and in December for recordkeeping violations.

Earlier this year, OSHA cited Amazon's facility in New Windsor. OSHA is says it has 20 open inspections at Amazon locations across the country.

The retailer has 15 days to contest the citations.

Amazon emailed a statement to WAMC in response. Amazon spokeswoman Maureen Lynch Vogel said:

We take the safety and well-being of our employees extremely seriously, and the claims in this citation are just plain wrong so we plan to appeal. Our policy is to encourage anyone who wants or needs outside medical attention to get it immediately, and our on-site clinics are just for first aid - not formal medical diagnosis. Since 2019, we've invested more than $1 billion in safety initiatives and our publicly available data shows that our recordable injury rate and lost time incident rate have dropped by more than 23% and 53% respectively. We also know that there will always be more to do, and we'll continue working to get better every day.” wamc.org

Amazon's Counterfeit Crackdown in the News
Amazon is cracking down on counterfeiters, and a legal expert says consumers should be "cautiously optimistic"

Ecommerce lawyer Robert Freund says Amazon's efforts are promising, but it's nearly impossible to eliminate counterfeits completely.

Amazon released its annual Brand Protection Report in April. The report details Amazon's growing efforts to tackle counterfeit products for sale on the marketplace.

Amazon ranks No. 1 in the Top 1000. The database is Digital Commerce 360's ranking of the largest online retailers in North America by web sales. It also ranks No. 3 in the ranking of top online marketplaces.

The state of counterfeit products on Amazon seems to be improving, Freund says. It's encouraging that Amazon has a clear investment in making the marketplace usable for consumers.

“I think that part of the reason they're [Amazon] so interested in addressing the issue and at least appearing like they're doing everything they can do, in addition to restoring goodwill with sellers, is good publicity. They also face potential liability themselves for allowing counterfeits on their platform, Freund says.

The report from Amazon also shows a decline in counterfeit attempts in 2022 compared to the previous year. According to Amazon, there were 800,000 attempts by bad actors to create seller accounts in 2022. That's down from 2.5 million in 2021, and 6 million in 2020, an 87% decrease over the two year period. digitalcommerce360.com

Addicted to Online Shopping? Us Too-Here Are the 83 Best E-Commerce Stores







Two Dozen Arrested in Major ORC Blitz Operation
Bakersfield, CA: 24 suspects arrested in retail theft "blitz" operation: CHP
California Highway Patrol and the Bakersfield Police Department arrested 24 suspects that allegedly took part in organized retail theft and related crimes, according to a CHP statement. CHP said on Saturday, April 29, CHP's Organized Retail Crime Task Force and BPD's Organized Retail Theft Team conducted the "blitz" operation at the Valley Plaza. A "blitz" operation is described by CHP as a collaborative effort between law enforcement and retail loss prevention professionals, to "identify, deter and prevent rampant theft and loss of merchandise, from local retail locations."

Many of the suspects also had outstanding warrants for their arrest, on multiple charges, including violations of probation and/or parole, theft, possession of controlled substances, vehicle theft, assault, assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, trespassing and vandalism, said CHP. CHP said similar operations will continue to be conducted in Kern County and around California in response to criminal activities related to organized retail theft crime. bakersfieldnow.com

   RELATED: CHP, BPD arrest 24 in joint operation tackling organized retail theft

Stealing Dozens of Firearms to 'Make Some Money'
Brooksville, FL: Four charged after 35 firearms stolen from store
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis announced Monday the arrest of an adult and three juveniles related to the burglary of a gun store. Last Wednesday, deputies said the juveniles and 23-year-old Devonte Smith cased, broke into and burglarized a gun store near downtown Brooksville. "It is very likely one of these weapons could have been used not just to kill another gang member, which we don't want," said Sheriff Nienhuis. "But to kill an innocent adult or police officer." Detectives tracked them down after they were spotted carrying one of the guns shortly after the burglary. They said Smith is a gang member, along with at least two of the fifteen-year-olds. "This is like cash to them," he said of the guns. "If they haven't planned that specifically, very quickly, they would have thought, 'wow, we could make some money off of this and win some favor from other criminals.’" fox13news.com

Bakersfield, CA: Man arrested in connection to 9 separate retail thefts; $11,000 in stolen goods
A man suspected of committing nine separate thefts at a local business has been arrested after Bakersfield police executed a search warrant at his home. On April 28, the Bakersfield Police Department served a search warrant at a residence in the 1500 block of Quartz Hill Road, just east of South H Street. Investigators said, the 22-year-old Bakersfield man was identified as the suspect in nine separate organized retail theft offenses at a local business. According to BPD, the total cost of theft amounted to $11,000 in stolen goods. Officials did not say what the stolen items were. The suspect was transported and booked into the Kern County Jail for organized retail theft, commercial burglary, conspiracy and shoplifting. kget.com

St. Louis, MO: Arrests made in local organized retail theft rings
Arnold Police recently arrested a 52-year-old man suspected of making $6,000 in fraudulent purchases at a Lowe's home improvement store. Store employees notified police on the man's third trip in one day to the same store. "He had this scheme going on where he would represent himself as a business owner of a local business that holds an account through Lowe's,” said Arnold Police Detective Josh Wineinger. As it turns out, the man was already being investigated by agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and was suspected of being involved in an organized theft ring that had stolen a large number of appliances and tools through a variety of fraudulent purchases. kmov.com

Female felons accused of shoplifting $1,600-plus in merchandise heading to circuit court
The cases against two Ohio women accused of stealing more than $1,600 in merchandise from a Bloomfield Township store are bound over to Oakland County Circuit Court for possible trial. Bannister, 24, is charged with organized retail crime and first-degree retail fraud, both felonies, while Barabino, 24, is charged with organized retail fraud and misdemeanor third-degree retail fraud for the alleged April 17 incident. According to police, the two are accused of traveling from Toledo and then shoplifting candles and other merchandise from the Bath and Body Works store on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township. They were arrested after Bloomfield Township police officers spotted their vehicle, pulled them over and reportedly found the stolen merchandise during a search of the car. theoaklandpress.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Bossier City, LA: Gas station clerk & customer killed; BCPD officer, another person shot in mid-morning armed robbery
Two people are dead and a Bossier City police officer and another person are being treated for gunshot wounds sustained during and after an armed robbery Tuesday morning at a gas station on Industrial Drive. The store's clerk and a customer were killed, a source with knowledge of the situation told KTBS. One person is in custody. He was not injured and he's not yet been publicly identified. The police officer was shot multiple times. His injuries are described as moderate. He's being treated at Ochsner LSU Health hospital in Shreveport. Another person who was in the parking lot reportedly was shot in the leg. Officers were called to the scene on a shots fired call. It happened just before 10:30 a.m. in the area where a Valero gas station and Mexican restaurant share a building. A source told KTBS when the gunman entered the store he met resistance of some kind. That's when he opened fire, shooting the clerk and a customer. ktbs.com

(Update) T-Mobile employee dies after armed robbery, shooting at Baltimore store
A man died after being shot Sunday in an armed robbery at his workplace, a T-Mobile store in Canton, Baltimore Police said. Officers responded Sunday afternoon to the T-Mobile Store in the 2500 block of Boston Street, where they found the 23-year-old employee inside with a gunshot wound. Fabian Alberto Sanchez Gonzalez was taken to a hospital for treatment and died Monday, according to police. Police said two unidentified males entered the store, announced a robbery, and one of the suspects shot the employee. The suspects then demanded the belonging of several customers before leaving the store on foot. T-Mobile commented on the incident Monday, saying, "This is a horrible situation that occurred at one of our third-party retailers. Our thoughts are with the employee who was involved. We will do what we can to support the ongoing investigation." cbsnews.com

Antioch, CA: Man shot to death in convenience store parking lot
Antioch police are searching for two suspects wanted in connection with the shooting death of a 31-year-old man Monday night in a convenience store parking lot. Officers responded to a 7:41 p.m. report of a single-car collision in a parking lot at 2700 Hillcrest Ave. The address reported matches the location of a 7-Eleven store. Witnesses reported seeing two people running from the vehicle. Upon arrival, officers found a man with at least one gunshot wound sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle. Paramedics responded and provided treatment but the man died at the scene. In a news release early Tuesday, police said evidence at the scene indicates the shooting appears to have taken place inside the vehicle. The suspects remain at large. kron4.com

Santa Fe, NM: Police investigating fatal shooting near home improvement store
Police are investigating the fatal shooting early Sunday of a 21-year-old Santa Fe man near Lowe's Home Improvement. At about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, patrol officers arrived to find a man with at least one gunshot wound. The man, whose identity has not yet been released by police, was pronounced dead at the scene. Surveillance footage showed several people in the parking lot when the shooting occurred, Ortiz said. Ortiz said police "can't tell" from the footage how many people were there. "We know that several vehicles were parked in the parking lot and left before law enforcement arrived,” he said. santafenewmexican.com

Aurora, CO: 4 arrested after shooting outside Southlands Mall in Aurora
Four people, including a minor, were arrested Sunday night following a shooting at the Southlands shopping mall and a police chase. Just before 10 p.m. Sunday, Aurora Police were called to the 6100 block of South Aurora Parkway at the mall about a shooting. When officers arrived, they located several shell casings in the parking lot. At least one store was placed on lockdown, but officers confirmed no one was injured in the shooting. According to APD, moments after officers lost sight of the car, the vehicle allegedly crashed into another car causing the victim's vehicle to roll. APD did not provide information on the status of the victim. kdvr.com

Columbus, GA: Police investigate after shots fired in Peachtree Mall in Columbus
There is currently a heavy law enforcement presence at Peachtree Mall in Columbus after shots were fired. According to officials, the shooting occurred from an armed robbery inside SB Jewelry Company in the mall. Authorities say no injuries have been reported. The suspect(s) have not yet been caught or arrested - and Columbus officers say there is no active shooter. wtvm.com

Memphis, TN: Police give more information on suspect in deadly c-store shooting

College Station, TX: Man sentenced to 45 years for murder in grocery store parking lot
Springfield, MO: Man sentenced to life for shooting death of gun store employee

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

7-Eleven Armed Robbery Spree
Washington, DC: Police search for suspect and vehicle in string of 7-Eleven robberies
D.C. police are looking for the person involved in a string of armed robberies at 7-Eleven stores in the District, according to a release from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

Police said around 4 a.m. Sunday, a person entered a 7-Eleven in the 7400 block of Georgia Avenue, Northwest. The person displayed a firearm and demanded money from the cash register and property from the employee before fleeing the scene, according to authorities.

Then, on Monday at 10:08 a.m., a person went into another 7-Eleven store in the 700 block of H Street, Northeast. The person pulled out a gun, demanded money from the cash register and property from one of the employees before fleeing the scene.

Ten minutes later, at 10:18 a.m., a person entered a 7-Eleven in the 1300 block of 2nd Street, Northeast. The suspect showed a gun and demanded money from the cash register before once again fleeing. wjla.com

Lombard, IL: $12K in cash, product stolen from west suburban liquor store
Surveillance video captured a burglary at a west suburban liquor store on Tuesday morning. Thieves broke into a Lombard store by smashing through the front window. It happened after just after 3 a.m. at Famous Liquors on East Roosevelt. Video shows the suspects taking items from the store. The store's owner told ABC7 that the thieves got away with more than $12,000 in liquor and cash. abc7chicago.com

Claremont, NH: Man charged with armed robbery, falsifying physical evidence
A New Hampshire man is charged with armed robbery and falsifying physical evidence. Police say James Oberfeldt, 39, of Claremont, is accused of demanding money from the cashier at Pleasant Mobil at knifepoint. Police say it happened early Sunday morning. They say Oberfeldt stole the cashier's phone and the landline phone along with a few bucks before fleeing the store. He is being held at the Sullivan County Jail. wcax.com



Auto Parts - Willimantic, CT - Burglary
C-Store - Lancaster County, PA - Robbery
C-Store - San Antonio, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Florence, OR - Burglary
C-Store - Florence, OR - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Bossier City, LA - Armed Robbery / Fatal Shooting
Gas Station - Safford, AZ - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Claremont, NH - Armed Robbery
Gun Store - Brooksville, FL - Burglary
Gun Store - Rockland, WI - Burglary
Grocery Store - Edgewood, TX - Armed Robbery
Jewelry Store - Columbus, GA - Armed Robbery / Shooting
Jewelry Store - Pawleys Island, SC - Robbery
Liquor Store - Lakewood, CO - Armed Robbery
Liquor Store - Lombard, IL - Burglary
Pawn Shop - Cheektowaga, NY - Armed Robbery / Shots Fired
Pot Store - Florence, OR - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Braddock Hills, PA - Armed Robbery (KFC)
Unidentified Store - Cincinnati, OH - Robbery
7-Eleven - Fresno, CA - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Washington, DC - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Washington, DC - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Washington, DC - Armed Robbery  
7-Eleven - Silver Spring, MD - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 19 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 3 shootings
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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