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Agilence Strengthens Leadership Team With New Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Brian Brinkmann

Agilence, Inc., the leading SaaS provider of data management and analytics focused on grocery, retail, and restaurants, today announced Brian Brinkmann as Chief Product and Marketing Officer (CPMO). Brinkmann brings extensive expertise to accelerate growth through product innovation and marketing excellence.

Brinkmann brings more than 20 years of software leadership in marketing, analytics, business intelligence (BI), technology, go-to-market, and sales enablement. Prior to Agilence, Brinkmann held leadership positions at Logi Analytics and MicroStrategy. Brian holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and an MEM from the McCormick School of Engineering, both at Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton. Read more here

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







Pandemic Interrogation with CIS

Featuring CIS Security's Pete Morello, Donna Carey, and SOCK

CIS Security Solutions discusses how they have been using the pandemic to develop creative solutions to drive down retail shrink.

Watch it here


Protests & Violence

Gun Violence Surging in U.S. Cities - Homicides Up 30% in 2020
Boom in legal gun sales as crime increases in cities across America
While mass shootings dropped out of the headlines last year, the guns never went away. In fact, the legal sale of firearms across the country reached a record level. And as the U.S. inches toward a post-pandemic future, gun and gun violence continue to increase.

More than 21 million people completed a background check to buy a gun last year, shattering all previous records, and a survey found that 40% identified as new gun owners - many of whom belong to demographics not normally associated with firearms, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearm industry trade association.

According to gun analysts, sales are up for the 13th straight month, and demand is still high. Mark Oliva, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation, says inventory is moving so fast, store shelves are often empty.

While responsible gun ownership is prevalent, so is an increase in gun-related crimes. In Los Angeles, police stats show shootings are up by 67% and homicides are up by more than 26%. For law enforcement across the country, stolen guns remain a significant problem.

In Los Angeles and other major cities, much of the increased gun violence is attributed to gang activity. Mental health experts cite more stress and anxiety due to the pandemic. In New Orleans, police say they've seen more minor disputes escalate. In one incident over the weekend, five people were shot and two killed.

At the same time, gun-related homicides in midsized and big cities in America have skyrocketed during coronavirus, and criminologists believe the pandemic and the socioeconomic loss in many communities are factors driving that trend.

A study by the Council on Criminal Justice tracked a 30% increase in homicides overall in a sample of 34 U.S. cities in 2020 as well as an 8% increase in gun assaults. wjbf.com

'Increasing Danger' Posed by Extremists & Street Protests
Explosives and weaponry found at US far-right protests, documents reveal

Law enforcement discovers wide range of incendiary devices while NYPD document defines rightwing groups as extremists

Federal government documents obtained by the Guardian show a wide range of explosives, flamethrowers and incendiary devices found by law enforcement agencies outside political conventions, public buildings and protests during 2020 and 2021.

The extent of the weaponry - including timed devices deposited as part of a suspected pro-Trump bomb plot -reveals the perils and potential violence circulating through American politics in the grip of unrest linked to pandemic shutdowns, anti-racism protests and rightwing activism and insurrection that culminated in the attack on the Capitol in Washington.

A separate New York police department intelligence document circulated in the wake of the Capitol attack defines groups including the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, QAnon adherents and the Oath Keepers as potential risks to officer safety, characterizing all of the rightwing groups as extremists in the strongest terms yet seen from any law enforcement agency.

The documents, obtained through freedom of information (Foia) requests and provided to the Guardian by transparency group, Property of the People, show federal, local and state agencies' assessments of what they claim are increasing dangers posed to officers and public safety by extremists and contentious street protests alike.

The document, which notes the "enduring threat" posed by "by far-right, neo-Nazi and white supremacist world views", describes the Proud Boys as a "far-right extremist, neo-fascist organization that has promoted and engaged in acts of violence throughout the US and Canada". theguardian.com

New Chauvin Trial Coming?
Chauvin files for new trial, alleging prosecutorial misconduct and judicial errors

Attorney contends that Cahill failed to sequester jury, among other errors.

Derek Chauvin should receive a new trial in the murder of George Floyd because of prosecutorial misconduct, judicial error and impropriety by jurors, an attorney for the former Minneapolis police officer argued in a new filing.

Motions filed Tuesday by defense attorney Eric Nelson focused heavily on several alleged missteps by Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over the six-week trial, and also requested an unusual hearing to vet jurors' conduct during trial and deliberations.

Chauvin should receive a new trial in "the interests of justice," Nelson wrote in his motions, which alleged that Chauvin's constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial were violated.

Jurors convicted Chauvin, 45, two weeks ago on all charges against him - second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter - in Floyd's May 25 death. startribune.com

Editor's Note: It's unclear whether the motion for a new trial will succeed as jury verdicts are difficult to overturn. But if the conviction did happen to be overturned and a new trial were to take place, the response would almost certainly lead to a surge of protests and unrest in Minnesota and across the country - not to mention a massive security and law enforcement price tag similar to or exceeding what we saw during Chauvin's trial in March and April.

Dangerous Confrontation Between Armed Protesters & Diners
Diner in Louisville draws handgun as armed BLM protesters swarm restaurant

Outdoor dining interrupted by Breonna Taylor demonstrators during Kentucky Derby

Images showed a Louisville restaurant patron pointing a handgun at armed Black Lives Matter protesters who swarmed the outdoor dining patio during demonstrations in honor of Breonna Taylor on the day of the Kentucky Derby.

Louisville Metro Police on Saturday evening responded to La Chasse, an upscale European restaurant located in the 1300 block of Bardstown Road, as protesters were marching northbound on the street. A restaurant employee told dispatchers "that multiple armed protesters entered the restaurant property, which included outdoor dining space," police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley told Fox News.

A reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal tweeted several photos and videos of the incident. A man was seen pointing his pistol at several demonstrators during an altercation. Several protesters also appeared to be carrying firearms. Video shared by the newspaper showed a female demonstrator directing others to move away down the block, and tensions at the restaurant appeared to dissipate. foxnews.com

Chauvin juror defends participation in Washington protest

Elizabeth City makes some changes for Andrew Brown Jr. protesters

4 indicted in case of disabled man attacked during Columbus protests last summer

COVID Update

248M Vaccinations Given

US: 33.2M Cases - 592.4K Dead - 25.9M Recovered
Worldwide: 155M Cases - 3.2M Dead - 132.5M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 297
*Red indicates change in total deaths

128,500 Wasted Shots at U.S. Pharmacies
CVS, Walgreens waste more COVID vaccine than most states combined
Two national pharmacy chains that the federal government entrusted to inoculate people against COVID-19 account for the lion's share of wasted vaccine doses, according to government data obtained by KHN.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 182,874 wasted doses as of late March, three months into the country's effort to vaccinate the masses against the coronavirus. Of those, CVS was responsible for nearly half, and Walgreens for 21%, or nearly 128,500 wasted shots combined.

CDC data suggests that the companies have wasted more doses than states, U.S. territories and federal agencies combined. Pfizer's vaccine, which in December was the first to be deployed and initially required storage at ultracold temperatures, represented nearly 60% of tossed doses.

It's not completely clear from the CDC data why the two chains wasted so much more vaccine than states and federal agencies. Some critics have pointed to poor planning early in the rollout, when the Trump administration leaned heavily on CVS and Walgreens to vaccinate residents and staff members of long-term care facilities. In response to questions, CVS said "nearly all" of its reported vaccine waste occurred during that effort. Walgreens did not specify how many wasted doses were from the long-term care program. abcnews.go.com

'No Appointment Necessary'
CVS Now Accepting Walk-Ins For COVID Vaccinations
CVS Pharmacy locations all over the country, including 389 in Massachusetts, are now accepting walk-ins for COVID vaccines, "with no appointment necessary." The announcement comes as President Joe Biden directed pharmacies participating in the federal vaccine program to make the shots more easily available.

"I know some people find making an appointment in advance inconvenient," Biden said Tuesday. "So, starting this week, we are also going to direct all federal pharmacy partners to begin to provide walk-in hours." boston.cbslocal.com

Target's Vaccine Push
Target gives customers an incentive to get vaccinated in its stores
Many retailers offer financial incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Target Corp. is doing something similar for regular folks as well.

The discounter is offering guests and employees a $5 Target coupon when they receive a COVID-19 vaccination at a CVS at Target location. (Target noted that nearly all the locations are now offering vaccine appointments.) The coupon is good on in-store purchases of $5 or more.

In February, Target said it would provide up to four hours of pay (two hours for each vaccine dose) to its hourly employees when they get the vaccines. It also announced plans to provide all U.S. employees with free Lyft rides - up to $15 each way - to get to and from their appointments if they need it. chainstoreage.com

New Vaccination Goal for the U.S. to Return to Normal

Biden sets goal of administering at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot to 70% of US adult population by July 4
President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new goal of administering at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose to 70% of the US adult population and having 160 million US adults fully vaccinated by July 4.

He added, "Two months from today ... families across the country are going to celebrate the Fourth of July. Our goal, by July Fourth, is to have 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and at least 160 Americans fully vaccinated."

An additional 35 million adults will need to receive at least one dose to reach the new 70% goal. If vaccinations continue at the current pace, 70% of adults will have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the second week of June.

But with July 4 as the goal, the current pace of newly vaccinated adults can slow to an average of about 570,000 added to the total each day over the next two months -- about 65% of the current pace. cnn.com

'Normal-Looking Summer' Coming?
70% vaccination target could shift Minnesota's COVID-19 response
A relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions is expected to be announced Thursday along with a 70% vaccination target that could trigger significant reductions in remaining mitigation strategies in Minnesota.

Gov. Tim Walz declined to give specifics at a public appearance Tuesday, but in previous events he has said the next incremental changes would likely involve expanded capacity limits for businesses and entertainment venues. He predicted a "very normal looking summer" if Minnesota can proceed from a rate of 59% of eligible people who have received some vaccine to 70%, perhaps in June. startribune.com

Big City Retailers Struggling with Work-From-Home Shift
Remote work is rough on big retail districts
The shift to remote working due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, while convenient for those employees who do not like commuting, has shrunk foot traffic in some business districts to a fraction of what it was pre-pandemic. This is having an especially significant impact in New York City where some retailers, once dependent on working commuters, are wondering how to keep their doors open.

Retailers in Midtown and the Financial District in Manhattan are still waiting for a rebound despite the overall improvement of the national economy, according to a New York Times article. A Midtown alcohol retailer tells of offices once buying crates of alcohol for Friday office happy hours, business that has completely dried up since the pandemic. Retailers in train terminals complain of huge drop-offs in business due to a lack of daily commuters.

Friday afternoons in such areas are often as quiet as Sundays, with few customers visiting once crowded drop-in retailers like Starbucks. Some retailers have changed their business models slightly to address the consumer shift. A Union Square men's apparel retailer, for instance, has moved suits to the back of the store and put casual apparel, like hooded sweatshirts and t-shirts, up front.

Throughout the U.S., major businesses have announced reductions in office space in anticipation of a post-pandemic world in which a significant portion of the workforce may remain working from home part or all of the time. Nordstrom, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, CVS Health and Target have all announced plans to cut down on corporate office space. retailwire.com

Huge Boost for NYC's Economy
Broadway back in NYC starting September 14, 100% capacity
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway will be back in New York City with shows opening September 14. Tickets will go sale at 100% capacity on May 6.

"Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employs countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on," Governor Cuomo said. "Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume in September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction." abc7ny.com

L.A. County set for major reopening as it hits yellow tier with growing hope of real recovery

Vaccines + Consumer Spending Increase = Perfect Storm for Retailers
NRF: Economy could see fastest growth since '80s; 2020 sales put at $4.02T

The U.S. economy is poised for a big comeback.

That's according to the National Retail Federation's chief economist, Jack Kleinhenz, who said that with more businesses reopening and bringing employees back to work, the U.S. economy is on firm footing and could see its fastest growth in more than three decades.

"The consumer is nearly always the key driver in the economy, and with the consumer in good financial health, a sharp demand is expected to unfold over the coming months," Kleinhenz said.

Although there is a great deal of uncertainty about how fast and far the economy will grow in 2021, surveys show an increase in individuals being vaccinated, more willingness to receive a vaccination, increased spending intentions and comfort with resuming pre-pandemic behaviors like shopping, travel and family gatherings, Kleinhenz said.

"This feel-better situation will likely translate into higher levels of household spending, especially around upcoming holidays like the Fourth of July and spending associated with back-to-work and back-to-school," he added.

Kleinhenz's remarks came in the May issue of NRF's Monthly Economic Review, which said NRF expects the economy to grow 6.6% this year, the highest level since 7.2% in 1984. The report said the latest edition of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book "affirms what the economic data has been signaling: U.S. growth is beginning to accelerate. chainstoreage.com

Safety Concerns Prompt Recall
Peloton recalling all treadmills after reports of injuries, one death

Peloton is faced backlash after reports that its accidents involving the Tread+ led to 38 injuries and one child's death.

In a major reversal, Peloton announced Wednesday voluntary recalls of both its Tread+ and Tread treadmill machines over safety concerns. Its shares tanked more than 8% on the news.

The company is advising customers who already have the products to immediately stop using it and contact Peloton for a full refund, or other qualified remedy.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission had previously warned about Peloton's Tread+ product last month, after one child died in an incident involving the machine and there were dozens of other reported injuries.

But Peloton pushed back on the recommended recall at the time, and told customers there was no reason to stop using its treadmills.

"I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's request that we recall the Tread+," CEO John Foley said in a statement Wednesday. "We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize."

Peloton also said it will work with the CPSC to set new industry safety standards for treadmills.

A group of US lawmakers last month introduced a bill to give US regulators more power to recall products deemed to be dangerous.  cnbc.com  businessinsider.com

U.S. private payrolls post biggest gain in seven months in April
U.S. private payrolls increased by the most in seven months in April as companies rushed to boost production amid a surge in demand, suggesting the economy gained further momentum early in the second quarter, powered by massive government aid and rising COVID-19 vaccinations.

Private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since last September, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday. Data for March was revised higher to show 565,000 jobs added instead of the initially reported 517,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls would increase by 800,000 jobs in April. reuters.com

JCPenney cuts 650 jobs as the retailer looks for a permanent Texas HQ

Office Depot Aims to Split as Staples Pursues Acquisition

Gap Inc. in deal to sell Intermix

Dick's Sporting Goods to open new off-price concept

David's Bridal takes on $70M loan as it preps for the return of weddings

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Axis & WZ Discuss ORC

The growing issue of organized retail crime (ORC)

Hedgie Bartol, Retail Business Development Manager at Axis, caught up with Dave Thompson, CFI, President of Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates to take a closer look at ORC and its impact on retail today.

Hedgie Bartol: Dave, ORC seems to be becoming an ever more serious issue. In its ORC report, the National Retail Federation says that 65% of retailers see ORC as more of a focus today than five years ago. Would you agree, and what are the reasons behind it?

Dave Thompson, CFI: Hi Hedgie. Absolutely - there has been a sizeable increase in ORC activity in the retail supply chain, warehouses and omnichannel fraud over the last few years. The impact of supply chain fraud is increasing each year with a large emphasis on cargo theft. Omnichannel fraud and the ability for retailers to accept digital currency has also globalized ORC, as the location of the crime is no longer dependent as to the location of the suspect. This creates a jurisdictional nightmare for retailers and law enforcement as they attempt to build a case across the globe.

Many retailers and law enforcement also attribute the increase in ORC to restrictive policies and the decriminalization of these crimes. Retailers are taking a more hands-off approach with shoplifters and often have prosecution guidelines that may result in a trespass notice but no criminal charge. Law enforcement also may have their hands tied in certain jurisdictions as felony thresholds have increased and the priority for a misdemeanor shoplifting case falls low on the list. The lack of prosecution for these crimes may incentivize additional criminal activity.

HB: I've seen reports that the pandemic has had an impact on ORC. How?

DT: The pandemic has driven the growth in ORC in a number of ways. Supply chain and vendor fraud has increased as there have been fewer in-person audits and checks and balances on these processes during the pandemic. Travel restrictions have limited the quality control and ability of compliance departments to be able to identify fraud and sanction accordingly. Digital fraud has continued to escalate during the pandemic, as digital currency is more widely accepted, and employees working remotely are also more susceptible for social engineering or phishing schemes.

Where they've been open, retail stores themselves have seen an increase in ORC fraud during the pandemic for a variety of reasons. Major cuts in payroll have resulted in less staffing, both from a customer service and security standpoint which create greater opportunity for theft. Several retailers have also restricted apprehensions or close encounters with shoplifters due to social distancing and other regulations, obviously resulting in an easier pathway for shoplifters.

Check out the full discussion here





New Federal Privacy Bill Receives Praise
NRF Welcomes Consumer Data Privacy and Security Act
The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to a new federal privacy bill, the Consumer Data Privacy and Security Act, introduced on Thursday by Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

"Senator Moran has been a leader in calling for enactment of a balanced federal privacy law that protects consumers' personal information while providing a uniform, nationwide regulatory framework for all American businesses that handle consumer data. This bill would protect consumer privacy no matter where an individual lives or which business handles his or her data. That's a key principle only a preemptive federal law can achieve and that is not met by the increasing patchwork of state privacy laws." nrf.com

Cyber Teams Impacted by the Pandemic

61% of cybersecurity teams are understaffed
The pandemic's disruption has rippled across the globe, impacting workforces in nearly every sector. However, according to the findings from a survey report from ISACA and HCL Technologies, the cybersecurity workforce has largely been unscathed, though all-too familiar challenges in hiring and retention continue at levels similar to years past.

The results show that just 53 percent of the 3,600 information security professionals who participated in the survey indicated they had difficulty retaining talent last year during the pandemic-a four percentage point decline from the year before, which may have been a side effect of uncertainty amidst COVID-19.

In a climate where remote work became more prevalent-and in some cases, mandatory-those citing "limited remote work possibilities" as a reason for leaving their cybersecurity role saw a six-percentage point decline (45%) compared to the year before.

Though the cybersecurity workforce was mainly spared the pandemic devastation experienced by other sectors, the survey found that longstanding issues persist, including:

61 percent of respondents indicate that their cybersecurity teams are understaffed.
55 percent say they have unfilled cybersecurity positions.
50 percent say their cybersecurity applicants are not well qualified.
Only 31 percent say HR regularly understands their cybersecurity hiring needs.

Understaffed cybersecurity teams and attacks issues

As in years past, the findings show that retention issues and increased cyberattacks are somewhat interrelated. Sixty-eight percent of respondents who experienced more cyberattacks in the past report being somewhat or significantly understaffed, and 63 percent who experienced more cyberattacks in the past indicated they have experienced difficulties retaining qualified cybersecurity professionals.

"As a global cybersecurity community, it is imperative that we all come together to recalibrate how we hire, retain and train our future cyber leaders to ensure we have a solid workforce to meet these evolving cybersecurity needs." helpnetsecurity.com

AI Systems Facing Real-World Attacks
Counterfit: Open-source tool for testing the security of AI systems
After developing a tool for testing the security of its own AI systems and assessing them for vulnerabilities, Microsoft has decided to open-source it to help organizations verify that that the algorithms they use are "robust, reliable, and trustworthy."

AdvertisementCounterfit started as a collection of attack scripts written to target individual AI models, but Microsoft turned it into an automation tool to attack multiple AI systems at scale.

"Today, we routinely use Counterfit as part of our AI red team operations. We have found it helpful to automate techniques in MITRE's Adversarial ML Threat Matrix and replay them against Microsoft's own production AI services to proactively scan for AI-specific vulnerabilities. Counterfit is also being piloted in the AI development phase to catch vulnerabilities in AI systems before they hit production," Will Pearce and Ram Shankar Siva Kumar from Microsoft's Azure Trustworthy ML team explained.

"In the last three years, major companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Tesla, have had their ML systems tricked, evaded, or misled," MITRE recently noted, and said that we can expect more of those kinds of attacks in the future.

According to latest research by Adversa, the AI industry is generally unprepared for real-world attacks against AI systems. helpnetsecurity.com

Password Convenience vs. Security

Users increasingly putting password security best practices into play
While there is awareness of password security best practices, there is still work to be done to put that awareness to full use, a Bitwarden survey reveals.

While Americans are more likely to report being affected by a data breach in the last 18 months (one-third versus one-fourth of global respondents), 1 in 3 are more interested in having a password that is easy to remember versus being secure.

Speaking of memory, a majority of Americans rely on it to keep track of passwords yet nearly one-third reset their passwords daily or multiple times per week because they've forgotten them.

Experts recommend long, complex, and unique passwords per site, but since this is impossible for any normal human, 9 out of 10 Americans still reuse passwords across multiple sites. helpnetsecurity.com

Pandemic accelerating need for insider risk management

Facebook Oversight Board Upholds Social Network's Ban of Trump



NEW ORC Podcast from 3SI & Retail Council of Canada

Created in conjunction with the Voice of Retail podcast and the Retail Council of Canada, 3SI's own Vice President of Canada Sales David Almasi, discusses the impact of modern organized retail crime during the COVID era, and explores how a focus on employee and customer safety, asset recovery and connectivity with law enforcement can create a powerful defensive and offensive force for retailers.

This lively discussion will cover:

The rise in organized retail crime
Post-COVID Crime trends
What retailers can do to improve LP efforts
How 3SI has leveraged its expertise to adapt to these changing times

Click here to download

Crime & Violence

Store Security Guard Accused of Racially Profiling Shopper
Security Guard Caught on Camera Following Black Woman Around
Toronto Grocery Store
With roughly 40 minutes to grab some food before the departure of her GO train to Durham Region, where she recently relocated from King West, Ramos says went into the Longo's at 15 York Street around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

"At this time I noticed a security guard looking at me and trailing behind. This continued as I walked throughout the store - whenever I turned around he was there. I quickly switched the direction in which I was walking and he finally stopped."

It was at this point that Ramos started filming the interaction with her phone, right after the young woman told her she felt like she was being profiled and right before the employee actually stood up for the security guard, stating: "It's his job to follow who he thinks he should follow."

Ramos held her own, as video footage shows, calmly calling out what she alleges was racist behaviour and asking to speak with a manager. Once the manager arrived and learned that she was a regular customer (a former RealSports employee who worked above the supermarket for five years), he apologized.

The young woman left Longo's "furious, heartbroken and genuinely upset" - not only by what happened to her that evening, but by how often this happens to other people as well. blogto.com

Anti-Terrorism Legislation Targeting Canada's Proud Boys Chapter

Proud Boys Canada's demise could stiffen resolve of members, expert warns
Targeting the Canadian chapter of the Proud Boys with anti-terror legislation has led to the group's apparent demise, but a leading expert says it might have little effect on the broader far-right movement.

The development could simply harden the resolve of former members, prompt them to join other groups or spawn an increase in individual online activity, said Barbara Perry, director of the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University.

Proud Boys Canada announced Sunday it was dissolving after the Liberal government listed it as a terrorist organization following the January assault on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Being on the list means the group's assets and property are effectively frozen and subject to seizure or forfeiture. A statement posted to the Proud Boys channel on the app Telegram and attributed to the Canadian chapter of the white nationalist group said it thought about pursuing a legal case, "but we have no financial support."

In a separate statement, the group said those in its Canadian chapter have to consider their livelihoods and "fighting this in court will prove to be expensive and time consuming."

But it said the "fight for liberty" isn't over. "They will continue to fight for western values ... but now ... as individuals." canadiansecuritymag.com

COVID Update

Canadians Struggle with Mental Health During Pandemic
Maintaining mental health at home and on the front line

From essential workers on the frontline to the self-isolated at home, many are coping with new challenges

For first responders, frontline workers and security personnel who are working in the thick of the pandemic, they are faced with fatigue, burnout, and stress according to Bill Howatt, founder and president of Howatt Consulting and the chief of research and workforce productivity at The Conference Board of Canada.

"Essential workers have a different challenge - anybody that's out every day, needs to live in a world where they need to protect themselves and stay vigilant to ensure that they don't pick up a virus," Howatt said. "In those folks, some will face burnout or stress, and those are things that we want to have mechanisms in place to pay attention to."

Brian Knowler, CEO and lead trainer of Balance Leadership Training and Consulting, says that after discussing the matter with a number of psychologists and mental health workers, he found that most agree that new struggles will be faced.

"The next wave is going to be a lot of mental health issues, especially among people who have been on the frontlines driving themselves into the ground for the last six weeks and for however much longer to go," Knowler said.

"I don't think there'll be enough social workers and psychologists and therapists to deal with the demand that's going to happen." canadiansecuritymag.com

Dodging COVID Health Measures in Canada
The Growing Frustration Over Pandemic Restriction Cheaters

While sentencing a Vancouver man for running an illicit nightclub, a judge compared his actions to that of a fentanyl dealer's.

While it's very likely that no one other than deep introverts enjoys lockdown restrictions, several polls from the past year show that an overwhelming majority of Canadians support the rules and a large number of them want their governments to be more strict.

Tied to that is an apparent frustration and anger toward people who break or bend the rules. Anti-mask protests that have popped up in many parts of the country, particularly in Alberta, don't appear to have advanced their cause with the general public and, in some cases, appear to have also been spreading racist messages. And there's little obvious sympathy for the 536 air travelers who have been fined 3,000 Canadian dollars each for dodging the mandatory quarantine period in hotels that is required at entry.

This week, some of that anger and frustration spilled over into a sentencing hearing in Vancouver. The case involved a man who defied restrictions in British Columbia by turning a penthouse apartment into a makeshift nightclub, complete with topless dancers and a dancing pole. When the police entered on Jan. 31, there were 78 people squeezed inside.

"If someone who had been at your party was infected and died, as far as I'm concerned, you're guilty of manslaughter," Judge Ellen Gordon of the Provincial Court of British Columbia told the man, Mohammad Movassaghi, according to the CBC. nytimes.com

Enforcing COVID Restrictions Taking Toll on Staff
Calgary restaurants and bars raise concerns about enforcement of COVID-19 health measures
Alberta restaurants and bars can still serve people outdoors, but are worried about how they're supposed to enforce provincial health measures already in place.

Although there were no new restrictions announced for restaurants on Thursday, Premier Jason Kenney said his government will work with bars and restaurants to help step up efforts to make sure they're enforcing the rules.

As part of the current measures, restaurants are allowed to serve tables of up to six people from the same household, and up to two out-of-household contacts for people who live alone. But some restaurants and bars say the challenge of enforcing those rules on top of their current struggles may be too much for staff.

"It really leaves a lot of onus on the restaurant team and the staff, and they don't necessarily have a lot of extra staff right now," said Chris Gallinger, the general manager of Bonterra Trattoria. "It's been challenging already. I think this last round (of restrictions) is going to make it more so." globalnews.ca

Mask Rage Targets Store Owner
Richmond, BC: Shopper berates pet store worker over mask policy
It happened at the Bosley's by Pet Valu on Westminster Highway in Richmond on April 15 and the video was filmed by the would-be customer herself. The video begins with the woman saying she is not being allowed to buy dog food because she is not wearing a mask, as per store guidelines.

"You're a disgusting human being, you understand that? You pig," the customer can be heard yelling at the store employee after attempting to give her a copy of the Charter of Human Rights and claiming she is medically exempt from wearing a mask.

"We are allowed to refuse service to anybody and because you insulted me and called me a Nazi, I'm going to ask you to leave," the worker can be heard at one point of the video. citynews1130.com

Alberta liquor store lashes back at anti-maskers tormenting them

Benchmark for Reopening in Canada
Official sees easing of restrictions when more than half of population vaccinated

From the RCC: Employer vaccine policies - Your FAQs answered and more

Stuck-at-home Canadians are buying more liquor

K-Beauty Brand Innisfree Shutting All Canadian Stores due to Pandemic

Canada's 'Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Industry'
Scammers get thousands every year from P.E.I. residents, say RCMP

'The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre show that this is a multi-million dollar industry'

Islanders lose money every year to scammers phoning them or emailing them, said an RCMP constable who specializes in those types of investigations. Cst. Gavin Moore works the major crime and investigative unit of the P.E.I. RCMP and said the issue isn't going to go away but raising awareness will help.

"Everybody has received a scammer call or email," said Moore. "One of the ways to address it is to educate the public."

He said a recent trend would be fake job offers where people are being told they've been hired to work from home, and then they are asked to give back some money that has been sent to them.

Moore said common scams happening now are online ads for products that don't exist, while phone calls about broken computers or threatening calls demanding payments are also still happening. Moore said the script can change and new tactics are tried out, but it's essentially the same scams over and over.

"Many of these scams have been around for a long long time, and the scammers just evolve with time, they flow with whatever current events are going on," he said. cbc.ca

Walmart to open distribution centre in Moncton with 200 workers

L.L.Bean Announces 4 More Canadian Stores Amid Accelerated Expansion

Senate passes bill to force striking Port of Montreal employees back to work

Retail sales up 4.8% in February, boosted by car dealers, gas stations

Retailers want feds to postpone plastic ban for at least a year

North Delta, BC: One man dead after shooting outside Scottsdale Centre mall
Police are investigating after a man was shot to death in the parking lot outside of Scottsdale Centre mall in North Delta Saturday afternoon. Delta Police confirmed late Saturday that the victim had succumbed to his injuries. The victim has been identified as Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, who worked for several years at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre and also took university courses, a former colleague told Postmedia.

"This shooting took place in a very public manner, and we are very much aware of the possible risk to innocent bystanders," said Leeson. "Fortunately it doesn't appear there was anyone else injured during this incident, but we ask those who might have any information to contact police." vancouversun.com

Targeted Shooting Outside Mall

Shooting outside Willowbrook Mall in Langley sends man to hospital
A shooting outside Langley's Willowbrook Mall on Monday has sent one man to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries. Police were called just after 3:30 p.m. to the scene, where they found a man suffering from gunshot wounds on the north side of the mall outside the Toys 'R' Us store.

Video footage online appears to show a black SUV cordoned off by police in the parking lot. Witnesses have said online they heard multiple shots fired. Police say the shooting doesn't appear to be random. The area is expected to be inaccessible to the public for a significant amount of time. The Langley RCMP serious crime unit has taken control of the investigation. vancouversun.com

Suspect sought in knifepoint theft at Saanich Best Buy
An individual who allegedly pulled a knife on an employee at Best Buy in Saanich after nabbing several hundred dollars worth of merchandise is being sought by police. According to the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers, the incident occurred on April 9 at the electronics store in the Uptown Shopping Centre. The suspect allegedly entered the establishment and snatched a collection of items. On the way out, the individual was confronted by a staff member. In response, the suspect reportedly pulled out a knife. saanichnews.com

Knifepoint robbery at Subway in Milton under investigation

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

Chilliwack RCMP seek c-store robbery suspect caught on security video

Steinbach RCMP investigating clothing store theft, looking to identify suspect

Police investigating break and enter, theft at c-store in Nova Scotia

View Canadian Connections Archives






Capitol Hill Battle Over Online Counterfeit Legislation
Amazon Battles Retailers Over Effort to Combat Counterfeit Goods
A proposal to curtail counterfeit and stolen goods being sold on the web provoked a pitched battle on Capitol Hill, with manufacturers and brick-and-mortar retailers squaring off with marketplaces such as Amazon.com Inc., Etsy Inc., and eBay Inc..

The high-powered lobbying fight is over a measure (S. 936) that would require third-party marketplaces - internet platforms that connect sellers to buyers - to verify the identity and provide transparency about high-volume sellers. They're defined as those who sell more than 200 new items in a year, earning them a total of $5,000 or more.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), would require web-based marketplaces to collect information from sellers, including their government ID, bank information, and contact information, and compel the disclosure of certain information for buyers. A number of states have moved to enact similar pieces of legislation, including Arkansas, where Walmart Inc. is headquartered.

Large retailers and manufacturers view the legislation as a leveling of the playing field, providing transparency about where goods are coming from and a remedy to report counterfeit or stolen goods. The internet companies argue that the legislation imposes burdensome and unreasonable requirements and takes the wrong approach.

With the profitability of internet companies and retailers at stake, both sides have marshaled their considerable advocacy resources and formed coalitions to push for and against the bill. about.bgov.com

China Continues to Target E-Commerce Giants
Meituan becomes second Chinese tech giant to be hit with antitrust probe

Investigation into food delivery platform comes 2 weeks after Alibaba was fined $2.8bn

China's market regulator has opened its second-ever antitrust investigation into a domestic tech giant, targeting Meituan, the takeaway delivery and lifestyle services platform, in an escalation of its crackdown on big internet companies.

The investigation, announced on Monday, comes two weeks after the same body fined Alibaba a record $2.8bn after concluding that the ecommerce group had abused its market dominance.

It also comes just one week after Meituan raised $10bn in an equity and debt deal, one of the largest capital fundraisings for a Chinese internet group this year.

Over the past few months, Beijing's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has been expanding its influence into the previously untouched domestic online sector by issuing new investigations, penalties and rules.

Earlier this month, Meituan and 33 other tech companies were brought in front of SAMR and other regulators, and given a deadline of May 13 to rectify anti-competitive behaviours, or be "severely punished".

"A formal investigation means an escalation. It's highly likely that authorities have some concrete evidence that Meituan may have violated the law," said Charles Feng, a Beijing-based lawyer at East & Concord Partners. ft.com

GameStop opening new distribution center to support e-commerce push







Montgomery County, MD: Two suspects charged and arrested for $10,000 worth of theft from Home Improvement Stores
The Montgomery County Police Department has arrested and charged two men with multiple counts of theft-related offenses. According to officials, Marvin Randall Carnes and Dorian Terrance Coley stole over $10,000 worth of copper wire and tools from Home Depot stores in Montgomery County from February to April, that they later pawned the stolen merchandise.

Officials say Carnes and Coley were transported to the Central Processing Unit where they were charged with multiple counts of theft-related offenses. Coley was later released after posting a $10,000 bond, officials say. Carnes is being held without bond on the unrelated Montgomery County arrest warrant. localdvm.com

Update: Hammond, IN: Man avoids prison time in $58,000 theft of motorcycles
from dealership
A federal judge has spared from prison a Chicago man who stole $58,000 in motorcycles from a Hobart dealership. The heist triggered a high-speed chase that eventually involved police officers from Hobart, Lake Station, New Chicago, Lake County Sheriff's Department, Indiana University Northwest, Hammond, Munster, Illinois State Police and Chicago. Judge James T. Moody is releasing 31-year-old Sherman Jett from the Porter County Jail where he has been detained for much of the last year. The judge placed him on court-supervised release for the next 2 years and is requiring him to pay $10,712 in restitution to his victim. Jett pleaded guilty this January to stealing a half-dozen dirt bikes a year ago from Cycle Sport Yamaha, at 8544 E. 37th Ave. in Hobart. nwitimes.com

Bloomfield, NJ: Man Arrested for Stealing Tools from Home Depot
Police arrested a Newark man and charged him with stealing tools from Home Depot in Bloomfield. According to authorities, officers responded to 60 Orange Street (Home Depot) on report of a shoplifter in custody. Police say The Home Depot loss prevention employee observed Mr. Alexander Carrion, 37, attempt to walk past all points of sale with a Ryobi tool set valued at $199.00. rlsmedia.com

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Shootings & Deaths

Bowling Green, KY: Man found guilty in robbery that resulted in death
at La Placita store
A federal grand jury returned a guilty verdict on a man accused of organizing armed robberies in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina with one of those robberies resulting in a homicide here. Monday, a federal jury in Bowling Green returned a verdict convicting Jorge Santos Caballero Melgar, 36, formerly of Nashville, Tenn., of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery; conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence; interference with commerce by robbery in the March 17, 2017, robbery of La Placita in Bowling Green, Kentucky; murder through the use of a firearm during and in relation to the commission of a crime of violence; and illegal reentry into the United States after a previous deportation, Acting United States Attorney Michael A. Bennett said in a release.

Caballero Melgar was the last defendant in a case that originally charged a dozen individuals with perpetrating the violent robberies in which store employees were bound with duct tape and threatened at gunpoint while the store premises were searched for cash. The robbery of La Placita in Bowling Green resulted in the shooting death of Jose Cruz, 31, who had arrived outside the store to pick up his young son who was inside while the robbery was in progress.

A feature of the charged robberies was that Caballero Melgar identified the locations to be robbed, drove co-conspirators to robbery sites, and stayed outside the store while in nearly constant cell phone contact with those inside during the robberies. The evidence at trial established that in one instance, a bound store employee, unable to understand the Spanish speaking defendants, had a cell phone held to her ear over which the defendant demanded that she tell the robbers where the store's money was located. Five co-conspirators who had previously entered guilty pleas in the case testified at trial; their testimony was corroborated by cell phone location evidence offered through an FBI expert witness.

Finally, the evidence at trial also established that Caballero Melgar was a citizen of Honduras and had been deported from the United States in early 2015. By no later than December 2016, he was back in the United States unlawfully leading a group that committed the multi-state robberies charged. wnky.com

Lubbock, TX: Police identify teen in fatal shooting at South Plains Mall parking lot
One person has died after a shooting at the South Plains Mall parking lot on May 4, 2021. Police were called to the scene at 9:43 p.m., near the carnival area. When police arrived, they found 18-year-old Christopher Castillo with serious injuries. Castillo was taken to University Medical Center where he later died. The Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit is investigating the shooting. There have been no details released on any suspects in this case. kcbd.com

Update: Macon, GA: Covid Delay now Missing Jurors: Convenience store killing suspect's trial delayed
The third missing juror was present at 1:30, with the rest of the jurors. She explained to Judge Simms that she had a hearing impairment and didn't know she was supposed to be back in court Tuesday. Judge Simms mentioned Facebook posts she made that indicated she didn't want to be there. "She was clearly picked for this jury. She's clearly, from the Facebook post, I'm not going to say everything that was said, but didn't want to be here. Then made another comment about driving here and then just leaving. Now, she's saying she has a hearing issues that she can't understand you unless she's looking right at you. That's now a concern that was never raised," Assistant District Attorney Gregory Winters.

All three missing jurors were dismissed, meaning there weren't enough to move forward with the trial. The trial will be put on the calendar in June. Before court concluded, Kendrick's attorney, Floyd Buford, asked Judge Simms for bond. "My client has been in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center since August 31, 2018. That's 2 and half years. He's been sitting there waiting for this day and we won't be able to do it because we don't have enough jurors. I don't think, I didn't representing him in the first significant part of his time, but I don't think I've ever had a client that's waited that long to present his case to the jury." Judge Simms denied the request for bond. wgxa.tv

Grapevine, TX: 2 People Shot Outside 7-Eleven Near Grapevine Mills Mall
Grapevine Police got the call before 5:00 p.m. at the 7-Eleven on Grapevine Mills Parkway just north of Grapevine Mills Mall. Police said people in two cars who both knew each other and were meeting at the 7-Eleven. Something happened and people in both cars reportedly shot at each other. dfw.cbslocal.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Bayonne, NJ: Walmart shoplifter arrested after trying to stab security officers
A Florida man trying to walk out of the Bayonne Walmart without paying for a cartful of merchandise is facing a robbery charge after he lunged at security officers with a pair of scissors, authorities said. Martin Love, 38, of St. Petersburg, was arrested Sunday at 11:32 a.m. in the store parking lot after he managed to get out of the store with a few of the stolen items, Bayonne Capt. Eric Amato said. nj.com

Moment Brazilian gang blows up entire grocery store while trying to steal ATMs
Shocking surveillance camera footage captures the moment a gang of robbers blew up a Brazilian grocery store while trying to steal its two ATMs. The footage shows the men arriving in two cars outside a supermarket in Salvador, Bahía, on Monday at 3:20 am local time. An armed man fired a couple of shots with the military rifle he was toting at an unknown target across the street from the shop located in the Salvador neighborhood of Mussurunga. His accomplice could then be seen in the background placing what appeared to be an explosive device.  dailymail.co.uk

Clearfield County, PA: Convenience store clerk planned and profited from robbery
The former clerk of a Clearfield County convenience store is now charged with helping carry out a robbery last summer. Gavin Sharp, 19, of DuBois, was arraigned Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the July 29, 2020 robbery of the Snappy's convenience store in Sandy Township - a robbery that police arrested Jimmy Gibbs of Treasure Lake for back in August. Sharp was working when the store was robbed and helped plan the caper, according to charges filed by Sandy Township police. Police point out that after the robbery, Sharp told responding officers he didn't know who walked into the store wearing a mask and dark clothing and handed over a note demanding all the cash.  wearecentralpa.com

Lyndhurst, OH: Walgreens employee walks out after $2000 gift card theft
At 2:40 p.m. April 28, an employee of Walgreen's, 5644 Mayfield Road, reported that another employee, a Shaker Heights man, 19, had stolen gift cards from the store. The man stole four gift cards, each worth $500, for a total of $2,000. After he stole the cards, he went on his break and did not return to work. cleveland.com

Houston, TX: Police Release Video: Adult store shoplifter pushed worker while taking 'expensive sex toy'



Plymouth, CT: Credit card skimming device found at Plymouth gas station
Thieves have been taking advantage of people at the pump. Using a credit card skimming device, they've been targeting customers at a Plymouth gas station. Police have recovered the device, but for many, the damage is already done. Whether it be fraudulent charges, or just stealing the money right out of bank accounts, the state Department of Consumer Protection has reminders to protect yourself and what to do if your information's already been stolen. When it comes to credit card skimmers, gas stations are always a popular location. "There's no person out there really supervising and so someone could insert that skimming machine and no one would really notice for awhile," Kaitlyn Krasselt with the state Department of Consumer Protection tells us. A card skimmer has been busy collecting from customers here at the Citgo in Plymouth. Eyewitness News has heard from viewers their cards are being used in different states. One said $1,000 was taken out of his bank account. wfsb.com



Beauty - Bossier City, LA - Robbery
C-Store - Mount Holly, VT - Burglary
C-Store - Evesham Township, NJ - Robbery
C-Store - Isabella County, MI - Armed Robbery
Dollar General - Indianapolis, IN - Robbery
Hardware - Fort Myers, FL - Burglary
Jewelry- Elizabethtown, KY - Robbery
Jewelry - Sherman Oaks, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Fairview Heights, IL - Robbery
Jewelry - Monroeville, PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Lithonia, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Chesapeake, VA - Robbery
Jewelry - Grand Prairie, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Waco, TX - Robbery
Liquor - Lynchburg, VA - Burglary
Shoes - Davis, CA - Robbery
UPS - Denver, CO - Burglary
Walgreens - Odessa, TX - Armed Robbery
Walmart - Bayonne, NJ - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Norfolk, VA - Armed Robbery
7-Eleven - Norfolk, VA - Armed Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 17 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


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

District Loss Prevention Manager
Chicago South / Illinois Central - posted April 27
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Victra is the leading exclusive, premium retailer for Verizon with a mission of connecting technology to life in the most trusting and profitable way. As the Regional Asset Protection Manager, you will be very logical, efficient, orderly, and organized in always safeguarding our company assets from losses due to theft or fraud...

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

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To provide support for loss prevention and safety for restaurants in assigned regions and protect the assets of the company by leveraging partnerships at all levels of the company and utilizing existing Asset Protection and Restaurant Operating systems and processes...

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

Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
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