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Tony Starrs, CFI promoted to Senior Regional Manager of Loss Prevention, Audit & Firearms Compliance for Dunham's Sports

Thomas Courtney, CFI promoted to Senior Regional Manager of Loss Prevention, Audit & Firearms Compliance for Dunham's Sports

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







In Case You Missed It

Empower Your Stores With the Future of
Video Loss Prevention

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Join OpenEye and Gus Downing, publisher of the D&D Daily, for an insightful discussion on how retailers are using OpenEye's latest product, POS Connect, to gain a complete picture of their operations and improve their loss prevention efforts.

Register and discover how to leverage your video surveillance to:

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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

NYC Wages War on Retail Theft With New Blueprint: 'Combating Retail Theft'
Plan includes increases enforcement & a new organized retail theft task force

Mayor Adams Announces Plan to Combat Retail Theft in New York City

Plan Includes Prevention and Intervention Efforts, Enhanced Enforcement to Stem Increase in Shoplifting

NEW YORK - New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the release a comprehensive plan to combat retail theft across New York City's five boroughs. With the exception of 2020, the total number of citywide shoplifting complaints has increased year over year since 2018, with the largest increase - 44 percent - taking place from 2021 to 2022. The increase in retail theft has had a particularly significant impact on retailers that are still recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Retail Theft Report - created through a collaborative effort between retailers, law enforcement, and other stakeholders that came together through a summit hosted by Mayor Adams at Gracie Mansion - includes both upstream, program-oriented solutions and enhanced enforcement efforts, as well as information on existing efforts across New York City agencies to combat retail theft.

"Shoplifters and organized crime rings prey on businesses that have already taken a hit due to COVID-19, but, with this comprehensive plan, we're going to beat back on retail theft through a combination of law enforcement, prevention, and intervention," said Mayor Adams. "Last year alone, 327 repeat offenders were responsible for 30 percent of the more than 22,000 retail thefts across our city."

Among the prevention and intervention strategies included in the plan, the administration will:

Establish two new diversion programs to allow non-violent offenders to avoid prosecution or incarceration by meaningfully engaging with services to help address underlying factors that lead to shoplifting.

Launch an employee support program to train retail workers in de-escalation tactics, anti-theft tools, and security best practices to help keep them safe.

To increase necessary enforcement against repeat shoplifters and deter organized crime rings perpetrating these thefts, the administration will:

Create a Precision Repeat Offender Program (PROP) in which retailers can submit dedicated security incident reports to the NYPD to better identify and track repeat offenders and facilitate stronger prosecutions by the five District Attorneys' Offices.

Establish a neighborhood retail watch for businesses in close proximity to one another to share real-time intelligence with each other and with law enforcement in the event of a theft.

Advocate at the state and federal level for additional online sale authentication procedures to prevent the resale of stolen goods to build upon the federal Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) for Consumers Act, which goes into effect in June 2023.

Establish a New York City Organized Retail Theft Task Force, comprised of retailers, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders to collaborate and respond to retail theft trends. nyc.gov

In Case You Missed It: Target Sounds the Alarm Over ORC
Target expects to take a $500 million hit this year due to missing inventory, and says shoplifting and organized crime is largely to blame

"It's an urgent issue,"said CEO Brian Cornell. "Not just for Target, but across the entire retail industry."

Target is expecting to take a $500 million hit in profits this year due to missing inventory, and it's largely because of theft and organized retail crime, the company said.

In a statement, Cornell said that while it is "making significant investments in strategies to prevent this from happening," it expects "inventory shrink" to make a big dent in profits this year.

On the earnings call, Chief Operating Officer John Mulligan described how "mitigation efforts," like stepped-up security staffing, adjustments to product selection, and anti-theft displays, are helping to reduce shrink in stores.

But, Mulligan added, that layer of security does come at a cost to sales, as it adds friction to the customer experience. Getting that balance right is a key priority for his team.

"The unfortunate fact is violent incidents are increasing at our stores and across the entire retail industry. And when products are stolen, simply put they are no longer available for guests who depend on them," Cornell said on a call with reporters.

"Left unchecked, organized retail crime degrades the communities we call home. As we work to address this problem, the safety of our guests and our team members will always be our primary concern. Beyond safety concerns, worsening shrink rates are putting significant pressure on our financial results," he said.

Cornell drew a direct link between crime and closing stores. On top of that, Target threw in specific financial consequences from crime: $500 million loss in profits this year, following a $600 million loss in 2022.

"Safety of our guests and employees are our top priorities," he said. "We will do everything in our power to keep our stores open." finance.yahoo.com businessinsider.com thestreet.com
   Click here to read the D&D Daily's Special Report on Target's ORC losses published yesterday

The Great Debate Over Statewide Shoplifting Crackdown Bill
Progressives oppose Alabama's new retail theft crackdown, saying it could lead to innocent people facing 20 years in prison for unintentionally forgetting to scan an item in a self-checkout lane

Guest opinion: A mistake at self checkout could make you a felon
Under a new bill in the Alabama House, HB288, you could easily be charged with a Class B felony for unknowingly committing a new crime called "retail theft". The proposed legislation has been dubbed "The Retail Crime Prevention Act," yet it does nothing at all to actually prevent crime. Although it supposedly aims to combat organized criminal groups that engage in retail theft, this bill is loaded with ambiguity - ambiguity that can be easily misapplied or misinterpreted to result in unintended and severe consequences.

For example, the bill makes it a felony to steal a shopping cart, because many shopping carts actually cost over $500. Stealing a shopping cart, by the way, is already against the law. Under this law, it would be automatically assumed that they stole it and that would be a Class B felony. If someone was with them, they would be charged as an accomplice and would face the same felony charges.

The bill also makes it a felony to participate in "aggravated retail theft", which is defined as when two or more people are suspected to be acting in concert as accomplices to commit retail theft. .

But, the real problem here might be that one distracted moment when you, or someone in your family, forgot to scan the case of bottled water or dog food that was placed under the cart and, suddenly, you are now facing up to 20 years in prison.

So, you can see how easily it could be misapplied to an innocent consumer who decided to go outside to get another item and had every intention to pay for it.

If lawmakers are truly concerned about combating criminal gangs that steal their merchandise, this bill seriously misses the mark. Simply adding harsher punishments to something already illegal is not going to do much, if anything. In effect, this bill would put more people in prison for much longer and exacerbate the overcrowding issues we struggle with now. Alabama prisons are already bursting at the seams. Tough penalties and longer sentences are not the answer.

We can all agree that stealing is wrong. Theft and shoplifting should be punished. and it is under our existing laws. This bill doesn't make our communities safer. Nor does it address rising consumer costs. Instead, it could result in innocent shoppers being accused and/or convicted of a felony. al.com

Texas Has Become America's Mass Shooting Epicenter
Mass shootings have tripled in Texas over past 5 years

Gun-loving Texas, where most households own a firearm, has become an epicenter of mass shootings
Five of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in America over the past eight years have been in Texas, the latest occurring in Allen in early May when a gunman fired an AR-15-style rifle at a crowded outlet mall, killing eight people and injuring at least seven others.

The number of mass shootings in Texas is no coincidence given the sheer number of guns in the hands of the public, several gun violence experts told CNN.

Texas has among the most expansive gun rights in the country - roughly 60% of households own at least one gun, according to an Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of 2021 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's the second-highest rate in the country and above the national average of 55% of households owning one or more guns, according to Everytown.

There is a direct correlation between states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, according to a study first published by Everytown in 2021. That relation is evident in Texas, where the number of mass shootings has tripled in the past five years, while mass shootings nationwide have nearly doubled from 2018 through the end of last year, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).

Despite the rise of high-profile mass shootings in Texas - including in Uvalde, where a shooter opened fire in Robb Elementary School last May, killing 19 children and two teachers - the state has repeatedly loosened restrictions on gun ownership in recent years. cnn.com

The practical side of reopening Allen Premium Outlets. How soon is too soon?

Allen Premium Outlets managers told 120 retail and restaurant tenants Thursday that it's waiting for funeral services to be completed before it reopens.

After a weekend of funerals and memorials for the eight victims of the May 6 mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets, the center remains closed with major questions about what happens to the popular shopping center that will forever be remembered as the scene of one of the region's most horrific acts of violence.

What's the appropriate time for a store or shopping center to reopen after a mass shooting? How does a property respectfully reopen? How do we remember victims in a place designed for carefree shopping?

There isn't one standard. Malls and shopping centers have reopened from mass shootings ranging from a couple of days to months later, as is the case of the shooting at an El Paso Walmart in 2019. dallasnews.com

$100M Brink's Jewelry Heist
(Update) Brink's drivers shocked by size of jewelry heist - stolen bling may be worth $100 million
The two drivers lingered in the darkness in the hours after their Brink's big rig was burglarized at the Flying J Travel Center. It was after 3 a.m. on July 11, and thieves had just made off with more than 20 large bags of jewelry, gems and other items that the Brink's tractor-trailer had been transporting from the International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo to the L.A. area. The heist occurred during a 27-minute window.

The new details of the drivers' actions after the heist - as well as the public disclosure of their names - come from a transcript of body-camera footage recorded by the deputies. It was included in a May legal filing made by lawyers representing 11 jewelry companies that were sued by Brink's in New York court in August.

Among the revelations in the transcripts and other recent filings: Beaty said that before he and Motley left San Mateo, he told several colleagues about a man who watched him at the jewelry show, but no one followed up with him about the matter. He also said that Motley could have awakened him before heading off to eat without violating Department of Transportation regulations for commercial drivers' off-duty time.

The company's lawsuit has sought to limit any payout it could have to make to the jewelers. The complaint alleged that the stolen shipments had a declared total value of $8.7 million - much higher than a figure initially cited by Beaty, who told deputies the vehicle was transporting cargo worth $2.7 million.

It turns out the pilfered goods could be worth more than 10 times the amount cited by Brink's. latimes.com

   Click here to read the Daily's earlier coverage of this heist from August 1, 2022

Washington DC's Crime Crackdown
DC mayor proposes stronger penalties for illegal gun possession, violent crime
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on Tuesday proposed legislation that will increase penalties for gun crimes and other violent offenses ahead of her testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

Bowser's proposal includes increasing penalties for illegal gun possession, violent crimes that target those with mental or physical disabilities, and crimes that victimize Metro and other public transportation workers. The proposal would also make strangulation a type of felony assault, which would increase the prison sentence to three years.

"We have heard from our public safety partners and from members of the community about the gaps that exist in our public safety ecosystem - this package of legislation will address those gaps," Bowser said in a statement. "This is about making sure we have the tools we need to build a safer, stronger D.C. and protect the overwhelming majority of people in our city who are doing the right thing and who just want to be able to enjoy our beautiful city and our fantastic neighborhoods." thehill.com

West Hollywood hires more police amid crime fears year after slashing staffing, hiring unarmed 'ambassadors'

Why Are Mass Shootings on the Rise This Year?



Global Expansion of Facial Recognition Continues
With proper guardrails, the technology "plays a crucial role in helping the police tackle serious offences including murder, knife crime, rape, child sexual exploitation and terrorism."

Ministers looking at body-worn facial recognition technology for police
Ministers are calling for facial recognition technology to be "embedded" in everyday policing, including potentially linking it to the body-worn cameras officers use as they patrol streets. Until now, police use of live facial recognition in England and Wales has been limited to special operations such as football matches or the coronation.

Body-worn video was brought in to capture evidence, and interactions between officers and the public. The small cameras can currently capture video in high definition and it is technically possible to link them to live facial recognition (LFR), a system that matches the biometrics of people's faces against those held on a watchlist.

Sampson said: "A camera on an officer walking down the street could check the faces against a watchlist of suspects. They could check hundreds if not thousands of people while on duty.

A Home Office spokesperson said the government backed greater use of facial recognition. "The government is committed to empower the police to use new technologies like facial recognition in a fair and proportionate way. Facial recognition plays a crucial role in helping the police tackle serious offences including murder, knife crime, rape, child sexual exploitation and terrorism." theguardian.com

Companies Settle Into Hybrid Mode
The new reality is frustrating city centers that rely on foot traffic

The Return to the Office Has Stalled

Offices remain half empty as companies settle into hybrid work plans

When average city office-occupancy rates at the start of the year surpassed 50% for the first time during the pandemic, many landlords viewed this milestone as a sign that employees were finally resuming their former work habits.

Those office-usage rates have barely budged as most companies have settled into a hybrid work strategy that shows little sign of fading.

About 58% of companies allow employees to work a portion of their week from home, according to Scoop Technologies, a software firm that developed an index monitoring workplace strategies of close to 4,500 companies.

The number of companies that require employees to be in the office full time has actually declined to 42%, from 49% three months ago, Scoop said. Employees at companies with hybrid strategies work an average of 2.5 days a week in the office.

Frustration is growing in cities that are suffering from declining real-estate values, setting the stage for lower property-tax revenues and pressuring bars, restaurants and other small businesses that rely on five-day-a-week office workers. wsj.com

ShopRite Employee Sues Former NYC Mayor Over False Crime Reporting
Rudy Giuliani sued for $2M in NYC for falsely accusing ShopRite employee of assault
A Staten Island ShopRite employee has sued former Mayor Rudy Giuliani over an incident that landed the store worker in jail overnight on charges that were quickly dismissed. It's the second time this week Giuliani has been sued in New York City.

Daniel Gill's Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit demands $2 million from Giuliani for colluding with the NYPD to throw him behind bars on a false charge of assaulting an elderly person after he patted him on the back and called him a "scumbag."

"Someone needs to remind former Mayor Giuliani that falsely reporting a crime is a crime," New York Mayor Adams said in June 2022. "What he stated, there was a lot of creativity, and I think the district attorney, he has the wrong person he is investigating. ... When you look at the video, the guy basically walked by and patted him on the back." nydailynews.com

Recalled baby formula was sent to stores in 8 states after the recall began
Associated Wholesale Grocers, Inc., headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, notified the Food and Drug Administration that one of the recalled products, Gerber Good Start SoothePro Powdered Infant Formula, had been distributed to stores in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia usatoday.com

Oklahoma City Apple Retail Union begins contract negotiations with Apple
Months after winning their union election, the Oklahoma City Apple Retail Union is beginning contract negotiations with the corporation.

San Francisco pumps $6M of improvements into several blocks near Union Square
The proposal targets vacant storefronts and beautifies the Powell Street promenade.

Container Store planning to layoff 15% of support center staff & 3% of workforce at stores and distribution centers

San Francisco, Walgreens reach $230 million settlement over opioid crisis

Amazon, Target & Walmart the biggest winners from Bed Bath & Beyond's demise

FedEx pilots agree to strike if deal not reached

Quarterly Results

Walmart Q1 U.S. comp's up 7.4%, U.S. eCommerce up 27%, global eCommerce up 26%, consolidated revenue up 7.6%
   Walmart International net sales up 12.9%
   Sam's Club comp sales up 7%, net sales up 4.5%
   Global advertising business grew over 30%

Jack in the Box Q2 comp's up +9.5%, Del Taco comp's up +3.2%, Jack in the Box systemwide sales up +9.8%, Del Taco systemwide sales up +3.2%

TJX Q1 Overall comp's up 3%, Marmaxx comp's up 5%, total net sales up 3%

Boot Barn Holdings Q4 comp's down 5.5%, net sales up 11%, FY comp's down 0.1%, net sales up 11.4%

The Container Store Group FY TSC stores up 10.8%, Custom Closets up 16%, online sales down 35.5%, Elfa up 5.9%, consolidated net sales up 10.5%
The Container Store Group Q4 TSC stores down 2.6%, Custom Closets up 3.6%, online sales down 25%, Elfa down 7.1%, consolidates net sales down 2.9%

Alibaba Q4 full year and Q4 revenue up 2%

Target Q1 comp's up 0.7%, sales up 0.5% - Shrink = $500 Million

Bath & Body Works Q1 stores - U.S. & Canada sales down 2%, DTC down 12%, Inter. up 13%, total sales down 4%

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How AI Can Benefit Cybersecurity
AI's key role in cybersecurity and national security
While artificial intelligence (AI) is not new, Google Bard, Microsoft Bing, ChatGPT and similar products have made the technology accessible and understandable to the average consumer. However, concerns over privacy and security have led to calls for a pause on AI development and an interest in heavy regulation. While these risks should be addressed, the overall benefits of AI, machine learning and large language models to cybersecurity and national security cannot be overlooked. Instead, policymakers should consider how the United States can fully leverage the technology in these spaces. There are three direct applications of said technologies on the individual, system and national level.

First, AI can benefit cyber defenders. In 2022, it took about 277 days to identify and contain a data breach with some causes of breaches exceeding 300 days to identify. Interestingly, there is an average savings of $1.12 million if breaches are contained in 200 days or less and organizations using AI and automation saved an average of $3 million. Speed and financial savings are important, but some studies show detection rates increasing. AI technology can serve as a key aspect of more efficient and timely threat detection by automating tasks that a human analyst might have to do otherwise, synthesizing larger and more complex data sets, and potentially better enabling less-skilled practitioners.

Second, AI can benefit traditional systems essential to national security. A recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing explored how AI and machine learning can improve Department of Defense operations. Notably, the fact that the United States has "trillions of dollars of major weapons systems that are profoundly vulnerable to cyberattack" was highlighted. Unfortunately, weapon system cyber vulnerabilities are not a new revelation. Testing showed that systems could be taken control of using relatively simple tools and techniques, and largely operate undetected.

Third, AI can improve national security. The technology expands well beyond the United States and our adversaries are intent on maximizing it and its capabilities. As the Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community noted, "China is rapidly expanding and improving its artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics capabilities..." and China has directly asserted its desire to be the primary AI innovation center by 2030. Combine this with the fact that China engages in widespread data collection and is not constrained by the rule of law, and they have a built-in advantage. China is certainly not going to abide by a pause in AI development or respect best practices developed by the United States or its allies. thehill.com

Cyber Insurance Premiums Up 51% Amid Heightened Risks
US cyber insurance premiums exceeded $7.2B last year
Cyber insurance remains the fastest-growing market segment in U.S. property and casualty insurance, with direct written premiums totaling more than $7.2 billion in 2022, up 51% over the prior year, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.

Despite sharp price increases over recent years, cyber insurance is in high demand as a risk mitigation strategy, according to the report, which was released on Friday.

Advertisement"It's definitely one of the hottest topics in insurance," Gerald Glombicki, a senior director in Fitch Ratings insurance group, said in an interview.

Premium rates for cyber coverage have skyrocketed in recent years, although the pace is stabilizing, according to Fitch. Last year, the firm reported that cyber insurance direct written premiums grew by 74% in 2021 to over $4.8 billion.

While cyber insurance has been U.S. property and casualty insurance's fastest-growing segment over the last two years, it still represents a very small part of the overall market - 1% as of 2022, according to Fitch. Auto insurance is 384 times bigger, for example, Glombicki noted.

Demand for cyber insurance is rising amid heightened risks, including the ongoing threat of ransomware, a form of malicious software used by criminals to prevent companies from accessing their own computer files, systems or networks until a ransom is paid. Such attacks can also involve a threat to leak sensitive data to the public internet.

In addition, C-suite leaders face growing pressure from the government to pay closer attention to cybersecurity. A proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, would require public companies to disclose information about the board of directors' oversight of cybersecurity risk. They would be required to report material cybersecurity incidents within four business days.

Insurance broker Marsh said in a recent report that 36% of its U.S. clients purchased cyber insurance last year compared to 33% in 2020. cfodive.com

The First U.S. State Bans TikTok - For Now
TikTok Ban Signed in Montana, Paving Way for First Amendment Legal Battle

Ban is slated to take effect next year-if it survives expected litigation

Montana's governor signed the country's first bill that outright bans TikTok, paving the way for a legal fight that could determine the fate of a nationwide prohibition that is under consideration in Washington.

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte on Wednesday signed the bill into law after Montana's legislature passed it last month. The legislation drew criticism from Chinese-owned TikTok and free-speech advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Montana ban is set to go into effect on Jan. 1. Any legal challenge, though, could trigger an injunction to delay the ban's start date.

The law would bar TikTok from operating within the Treasure State, and would also forbid app stores, such as Google's and Apple's, from making TikTok available to download within Montana. TikTok and app stores would be liable for fines of $10,000 a day for violating the law. Individual TikTok users wouldn't be punished.

"Gianforte signed a bill that infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people of Montana by unlawfully banning TikTok," a TikTok spokeswoman said in a statement. She did not say whether the company plans to pursue legal action. wsj.com

Apple Rooting Out Malware & Fraud
Apple Boots a Half-Million Developers From Official App Store

The mobile phone and MacBook giant also rejected nearly 1.7 million app submissions last year in an effort to root out malware and fraud.

The Apple App Store supports more than 36 million registered Apple developers, but not all of those coding partners are benign. In a report on App Store safety this week, the computing giant noted that last year it booted nearly a half-million (428,000) developer accounts from the platform for carrying out fraud and abuse.

Apple said that in all, it prevented more than $2 billion in potentially fraudulent transactions in 2022, rejecting nearly 1.7 million app submissions for privacy violations, spammy or misleading features, or containing hidden or undocumented capabilities.

It also dismantled 282 million customer accounts for fraud and blocked nearly 105,000 Apple Developer Program enrollments for suspected malicious activities before they could submit apps to the App Store. And it detected and blocked more than 147 million fraudulent ratings and reviews. darkreading.com

New trends in ransomware attacks shape the future of cybersecurity

Severe RCE Bugs Open Thousands of Industrial IoT Devices to Cyberattack







The Importance of Cannabis Security Guards
Security Guard Roles in the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis and medical marijuana businesses can be at higher risk of crime than "regular retail stores" since they carry copious amounts of cash along with products that are valuable and "readily resold." Hiring trained and licensed security professionals is the answer many businesses have accepted to prevent crime and protect their goods, employees, and customers.

Roles for All Cannabis Business Security Guards

The presence of security guards ensures the customers' faith in the reputation of the brand and improves their overall sense of safety in the store. The role of security guards changes depending on which part of the seed-to-sale process - and what type of business license - they handle protecting. Each stage of production has its own demands and unique risks, and guards must adapt to individual situations and be up to speed on all the relevant certifications, training, licensing, or installed security fixes.

Staples of the role include keeping an inquisitive eye by walking and monitoring the premises, communicating, and aiding customers/visitors, and acting as a physical deterrent to intruders. The ultimate goal of security guards in a cannabis business is to reduce the risk of potential theft or diversion. Whether the business is in the first stages of cultivation, up through manufacturing and processing, to full-on retail, which includes delivery and distribution, security guards can serve to increase security at a cannabis business.

Security Guard Responsibilities

Security Presence and Crime Deterrent - A security guard's primary role is securing the premises and protecting all employees and customers/visitors during hours of operation. If they have a certificate in firearm training along with - in some states - the approval of the chief of police, they can be allowed to carry a weapon. They should establish a security presence that is peaceful and reassuring, allowing for normal operation. Guards take the responsibility of security off the shoulders of employees who then can be more comfortable and productive in their required job functions. Increasingly, individuals with military and law enforcement backgrounds are flocking to cannabis security guard positions and their experience and ability only bolster the facility they are protecting.

Manage the Flow of Customers - Beyond protection, security guards are important to a retail operation. If stationed in the dispensary's reception area, they can allow verify the identification of customers, visitors, patients, and caregivers and provide access to the retail area or direct them as necessary.

Monitor the Facility - By using video surveillance, security guards can conduct virtual external and internal patrols, monitor points of ingress and egress, and ensure individuals restricted to their authorized areas. Despite visual access to cannabis storage areas, security guards are typically not allowed access to cannabis unless escorted by management. Thus, security guards must keep a "watchful and vigilant eye" within their domain but acknowledge their own access limitations within the facility. sapphirerisk.com

Bipartisan Support for Banking Bill that Cannabis Retailers Are Calling For
Cannabis groups pleased with SAFE Banking hearing as senators push for expungement
Cannabis industry groups were heartened Thursday to hear bipartisan support from members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee for marijuana banking reform - particularly, passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act.

AdvertisementThe Democratic-controlled banking panel convened the hearing about the challenges that a largely cash-based industry poses to small businesses and employees.

If lawmakers were to approve the SAFE Banking legislation, federal banking regulators would be prohibited from punishing financial institutions that offer basic banking services to marijuana businesses following state law.

While the outlook for passage appears better than in previous years, industry officials and congressional watchers say that approval is far from assured.

"The hearing showcased thoughtful discussion from members on both sides of the aisle, with a consensus among witnesses that the bill could go further to be most impactful, which should include providing broader access to financial services during committee markup," Saphira Galoob, executive director of advocacy group National Cannabis Roundtable, said in a statement.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said at the hearing that SAFE Banking is "long overdue" but that she is also working on the descheduling of marijuana.

"If people can still get busted for purchasing marijuana, many banks will find it too risky to serve legal cannabis businesses, no matter whether we tell them it is technically OK," she added.

Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana who reintroduced the legislation last month with Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, emphasized the safety risks of cash transactions in marijuana businesses, which are vulnerable to burglaries.

"To enter the banking system will help law enforcement more easily distinguish legitimate actors and focus more of their resources on prosecuting the illicit market." mjbizdaily.com

King Maker Deal? Huge Growth Opportunity
Couche-Tard (Circle K) Signs Licensing Agreement with Canadian Cannabis Retailer
"Fire & Flower is required to notify Couche-Tard only of new franchise or licensing opportunities and has agreed to negotiate with Couche-Tard for an exclusive negotiation period prior to entering into a new franchise or licensing agreement in Canada, the U.S. and certain European markets," Fire & Flower CEO Stéphane Trudel, a former Couche-Tard executive.

Couche-Tard is also required to notify Fire & Flower of any opportunities in relation to cannabis retail store operations in Canada, the U.S. and certain European markets. The operator of Circle K c-stores has agreed to an exclusive negotiation period with Fire & Flower before entering into new business relationships.

Couche-Tard owns about 35% of Fire & Flower and is a key lender to the cannabis retailer. Fire & Flower operates 92 Canadian cannabis retail stores.

Couche-Tard operates in 24 countries and territories, with more than 14,300 stores. With its well-known Couche-Tard and Circle K banners, it is one of the largest independent convenience store operators in the United States and is prominent in Canada, Scandinavia, the Baltics and Ireland. cdbretailtrends.com

Are politics of pot at play in Florida AG's challenge of recreational marijuana initiative?

Op-Ed: Legalizing Marijuana Is a Big Mistake




NYC Backlash to the E-Commerce Boom
How Massive Amazon Warehouses Are Straining a Vulnerable Brooklyn Neighborhood

Residents hope traffic, emissions, and noise data they are collecting will help rein in the spread of e-commerce facilities

Since late 2021, Amazon has opened two large facilities in the neighborhood, and it's set to open a third later this year. Together, the three structures comprise more than 800,000 square feet of warehousing space and parking, with one facility's 90-foot walls now casting wintertime shadows across a neighborhood community garden.

Neighborhood advocates and legal experts say New York's environmental and zoning laws haven't kept up with the e-commerce boom, which has only accelerated since the start of the pandemic. In Red Hook, residents worry that as warehouses continue to open, they threaten the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, and the health of their neighbors. But until now, a lack of data has made it harder for people in Red Hook and similar communities around the country to advocate for more local control over the spread of new distribution centers. That's because federal, state, and local governments don't regularly collect information on air quality or traffic when e-commerce facilities open, the way they often monitor other industrial sites like power plants or factories.

Consumer Reports and the Guardian have been tracking the hidden costs of e-commerce delivery for the past two years. Our previous reporting has focused on communities in the Chicago area and east of Los Angeles in the Inland Empire, and on the lack of local air quality and traffic data near last-mile facilities around the country. To help fill that gap in one neighborhood, members of the community installed traffic, air quality, and sound sensors purchased by CR, and are now gathering data throughout the area. CR teamed up with the Guardian to analyze the first several months of that data.

The measurements we've gathered so far can't say precisely how much the new distribution facilities have affected Red Hook, since the sensors were installed after they opened. However, they do show a neighborhood under stress: In the seven months the network of instruments has been gathering data, they've recorded outsize daily spikes in truck and van traffic on narrow two-lane streets, and logged many days with elevated particulate air pollution, which is exacerbated by gas and diesel exhaust.

Even so, several larger warehouses-including one that's over 1 million square feet-are sprouting up in Red Hook, threatening to bring over a thousand more trucks every weekday when they open. As the new facilities begin operating, the sensors should help residents document the increasing impacts. But they aren't waiting. Neighborhood groups are already preparing to deploy the data to advocate for new rules on how e-commerce facilities are developed throughout the city and state. consumerreports.org

How Small E-Commerce Businesses Can Use AI
Unmasking The Hype: How AI Can Empower Small E-Commerce Businesses
With many tech enthusiasts complimenting artificial intelligence's (AI's) transformative potential for ventures of all sizes, AI seems to have particularly alluring promises for small e-commerce businesses: increased efficiency, improved customer engagement and scalability, to name a few. But are these claims overblown or grounded in reality?

As a practicing digital marketer who understands how news hooks are created, I find it essential to sift through the hype and focus on the practical aspects of AI-powered promotion for small online businesses.

Before jumping on the AI bandwagon, small e-commerce businesses should carefully assess their needs, budget and capabilities. AI is not a magic bullet that guarantees success. Rather, I'd suggest viewing it as a tool that can enhance marketing efforts and improve customer experience if used responsibly.

Small e-commerce businesses should prioritize AI tools that address their specific pain points and yield tangible results. Some useful AI-powered applications include chatbots for customer support, social media management tools for targeted marketing and language models assisting content creation. The latter are the ones my team is actively experimenting with, and I hope to be able to discuss our findings and experiences in another article. forbes.com

Why Trader Joe's will never, ever dive into online shopping

Rossen Reports: 'Brushing' scam targeting Amazon accounts







Cleveland, OH: 11 people indicted for stealing vehicles from 26 car dealerships across Ohio; $5.1 million in 5 months
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley announced Wednesday a total of 11 people were indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury for allegedly stealing 86 cars from dealerships across the state of Ohio in five months. O'Malley said the crimes happened between November 2022 and March 2023. There were a total of 26 dealerships robbed in 11 different counties; including, Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Geauga, Medina, Wayne, Portage, Ashland, Stark, Summit, and Carroll. Once the suspects entered the dealerships, they immediately went to the sales manager's desk and grabbed the key fobs, said O'Malley. O'Malley said some vehicles were also stolen from private residences. The vehicles are worth an estimated $5.1 million and included two Jaguars, one Porsche, 14 Mercedes, four Audis, one Lexus, and 12 BMW"s, said O'Malley. "This is the first step in putting an end to this criminal organization," said O'Malley. According to O'Malley, 34 law enforcement agencies worked together to put this "massive" case together.  cleveland19.com

Shelby County, TN: Woman buys over $350K worth of store goods in identify theft scheme
A woman who allegedly committed theft fraud totaling $380,000 from people across 10 states is in jail. Toni Gibson, 39, was arrested by Shelby County Sheriff officers on May 10. For six months, Gibson used stolen identities from persons in Ala., Ark., Colo., Ill., Lou., Miss., Okla., Tenn., Texas and Wash. to write fraudulent checks for store merchandise at various home good stores, a court document says. Gibson was arrested by the SCSO Financial Crimes unit in 2021 for running a similar scam throughout Shelby County in 2020, SCSO says, and sentenced to five years (suspended sentence) in Sept. 2022. Gibson was found in violation of her suspended sentence on Jan. 23, 2023. Her first new crime was committed in Oct. 15, 2022, in Colorado. Her case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the report notes.  fox13memphis.com

Millburn, NJ: Luxury purses valued at $120,000 stolen from Dior store in Short Hills Mall
Four men ran from the Dior store at the Mall at Short Hills after stealing $120,000 worth of purses Monday morning. Millburn police said in a statement that the group took 25 purses on wall displays inside the store on the mall's second floor around 10:45 a.m. Video captured from a store across the mall shows the group dressed in black wearing face masks clutching the purses as they exited the mall. The four made their escape in a waiting black SUV, Bonney told NJ.com. Several employees ran to the store's backroom and called police.  flyingtownight.info

Nassau County, NY: Serial Shoplifter Injures Two Cops While Resisting Arrest
The Fifth Squad reports the arrest of a woman for Grand Larceny at 7:22pm on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 in Valley Stream. According to Detectives, Officers responded to the Target Store located at 500 W. Sunrise Highway where a loss prevention employee had observed the Defendant conceal merchandise and exit the store without rendering payment for said merchandise. The Defendant was then observed re-entering the store to conduct a return at the guest services desk. At that time, Officers approached the Defendant and attempted to place her under arrest. During the course of the arrest, the Defendant was violent and combative while resisting arrest causing two Officers to each sustain an injury. The Officers were transported to a local area hospital for treatment of their injuries. No other injuries were reported. The proceeds were recovered. Subsequent to the investigation, it was determined that the Defendant was responsible for four additional larcenies at the same Target Store in Valley Stream on March 11, 2023; March 22, 2023; April 27, 2023 and May 5, 2023. longislandbusiness.com

San Ramon, CA: Man Arrested with $3K in Stolen Goods from Target; OTC Meds and Legos

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Shootings & Deaths

Forsyth County, GA: 1 dead, 1 critical after employees get into shootout at office furniture store
Forsyth County deputies are investigating a shooting that left one person dead and another critically injured Wednesday. The shooting happened at Ernie Morris Enterprises Inc, which sells office furniture and supplies, off Ivy Street around 8 a.m. The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach that both people shot were temporary workers. Deputies say the two employees got into an argument, went and got their guns, then shot at each other. It's unclear what sparked the argument. One of the men was killed and the other was taken to a hospital in critical condition.  wsbtv.com

Roseville, MI: Woman stabbed to death in random attack while putting air in tires at Belle Tire
A man is grieving his wife of 23 years after she was stabbed to death while putting air in her tires at Belle Tire in Roseville on Wednesday morning. Cheryl Ryan-Parsley, 60, had just dropped her husband Larry Parsley off at a bus stop on 15 Mile and Gratiot before heading to the tire store on Gratiot near Little Mack around 6 a.m. That's where a man randomly stabbed her multiple times. "The guy had a knife. What was she gonna do?" Parsley said. "It's such a waste. People are just stupid now, and they don't care about each other no more." The suspect is also accused of stabbing a man at a bus stop on 12 Mile and Harper in St. Clair Shores. That victim survived. Warren police arrested the suspect in the area of Cadillac and Van Dyke and Wednesday afternoon after they spotted the Chevrolet HHR he was driving and pulled him over.  fox2detroit.com

Erie, PA: Police review video of fatal shooting inside Quick Stop
Erie police detectives on Wednesday were continuing to speak to witnesses and were reviewing surveillance video from inside and around a westside convenience store in their search for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old man inside the store on Tuesday night. The victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot on Tuesday at 8:24 p.m. following the shooting, which was reported at 7:50 p.m. inside the Quick Stop on W. 18th St., according to Erie police and Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook. Investigators said the man appeared to have been shot in the chest and was found on the floor near the drink coolers when officers arrived at the store.  goerie.com

Brooklyn Park, MN: Man charged with killing of 16-year-old boy inside store
An 18-year-old Columbia Heights man is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park last week. Farah Mohamed Ahmed is charged with 2nd-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court in the death of Jahcohn Anderson, who was shot shortly before 10 p.m. Friday at the Quick African Market at 5700 Brookdale Drive. According to the criminal complaint, Ahmed turned himself in to the Brooklyn Park Police Department on Saturday.  bringmethenews.com

Oakland County, MI: Four Security Guards to Face Trial in 2014 Death of Man at a Detroit-Area Shopping Mall
Four security guards blamed for the death of a man during a struggle at a Detroit-area mall in 2014 will face trial on involuntary manslaughter charges, a judge said Wednesday. Judge Shelia Johnson said there was enough evidence to send the case to trial, a low threshold at this stage of the case. McKenzie Cochran, 25, struggled with security guards and was hit with pepper spray at the now-closed Northland Center mall in Southfield, after a jewelry store owner said he had made threats. He was trapped on the ground and handcuffed before dying of compression asphyxiation. The Oakland County prosecutor at the time, Jessica Cooper, declined to file charges, saying the guards had no intent to harm Cochran. But the Michigan attorney general's office reopened the investigation and filed charges in 2021, more than seven years later, against Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King and Aaron Maree. They have pleaded not guilty. Cochran's death got renewed attention in 2020 during a local race for prosecutor and amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police. Cochran was also Black.  usnews.com

Colorado Supreme Court to decide whether life without parole for non-triggerman is constitutional
The Colorado Supreme Court announced on Monday that it will consider whether it is unconstitutional for a defendant to serve a sentence of life without parole for murder when he was not the one who caused the victim's death. The case out of El Paso County implicates Colorado's "felony murder" law, which, until recently, provided the highest level of punishment for people who commit arson, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or sexual assault, and someone happens to die as a result. At least three of the seven justices must consent to hear a case on appeal. The Supreme Court also signaled it may intervene in a drunk driving case out of Arapahoe County, where, according to the government, a trial judge is the only one in the state who imposes deadlines for blood alcohol testing - to the prosecution's detriment.  coloradopolitics.com

Springfield, MO: Gunman fires 3 shots inside Springfield Dollar General Store during robbery
Police are investigating an armed robbery inside a Dollar General store in west Springfield on Wednesday night. The crime brought a significant police presence to the store in the 24 hundred block of West Division. Police say the man armed with a gun burst into the store around 9:30 p.m. Police say he fired three shots into the store during the holdup. No one suffered any injuries. Police and sheriff's deputies are searching the neighborhood for the robber.  ky3.com

Mobile, AL: Suspect in 2019 deadly shooting at liquor store sentenced to 20 years in prison

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Southaven, MS: Update: ATF investigating Burglary Of Southaven Gun Store
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives New Orleans Field Division in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation announced a reward last week for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons who participated in the burglary of a gun store in Southaven, Mississippi. The ATF is offering a reward of up to $2,500, which will be matched by the NSSF of up to $2,500, for a total reward of up to $5,000. On May 10, Guns & Fine Jewelry, a federal firearm licensee, located at 570 Goodman Road East in Southaven MS at approximately 1:00 a.m., was burglarized by five unknown suspects. Multiple firearms were stolen.  darkhorsepressnow.com

Indianapolis, IN: Father and Son accused of committing series of Armed Robberies; 6 in 3 weeks
A father and son are in jail accused of a series of armed robberies on Indy's near west and near southwest sides. Following 6 robberies in 3 weeks, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department put the father and son under surveillance and arrested the pair just a few minutes after they allegedly robbed a McClure Oil gas station on Rockville Road. IMPD said the crimes started at a Dollar General on W. Washington Street in late April. That crime was followed by a second Dollar General on Morris Street, a food mart on Harding Street, back to the Dollar General on W. Washington St. and then a Family Dollar and a Speedway. Investigators believe 31-year-old Shane Onstott Jr. robbed all of those businesses before being caught robbing the McClure Oil, while his 50-year-old father Shane Onstott Sr. served as a getaway driver during some of the crimes. fox59.com

Akron, OH: Dollar General employee punched during robbery
A woman working at an Akron Dollar General store told police she was punched in the face several times after she confronted a female shoplifter. The attack happened around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 1500 block of S. Main St. The employee told police the woman was trying to leave the store with a basket of health and beauty items she had not paid for. After assaulting the clerk, the shoplifter dropped her basket and fled.  cleveland19.com

Ontario, Canada: Peel police charge three of four suspects in $50,000 Brampton electronics store Armed Robbery



C-Store - Atascadero, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store- Springfield, MO - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Loudoun County, VA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Loudoun County, VA - Armed Robbery
C-Store- Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Lubbock, TX - Burglary
C-Store - San Francisco, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Woodinville, WA - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Springfield, MO - Armed Robbery / Shots, no injuries
Dollar - Safford, AZ - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Akron, OH - Robbery
Gas Station - Indianapolis, IN - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Greenville, SC - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Chandler, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Plano Tx - Robbery
Jewelry - Whitehall PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Sacramento, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Kennewick, WA - Robbery
Liquor - San Francisco, CA - Robbery
Pets - St Petersburg, FL - Burglary
Restaurant - New York, NY - Robbery
Restaurant - Edmond, OK - Burglary
Restaurant - Edmond, OK - Burglary
Sports - Cheyenne, WY - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 21 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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