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Amelia Kennedy promoted to Vice President - Asset Protection & Compliance for Dollar General

Amelia has been with Dollar General for nearly 14 years, starting with the company in 2009 as Sr. Analyst - Workforce Management. Before her promotion to Vice President - Asset Protection & Compliance, she served as Senior Director - Store Operations for four years and Director - Corporate AP for nearly four years. Earlier in her career, she held roles with Nissan North America and Capital Financial Advisors, LLC. Congratulations, Amelia!

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







Tally participating as finalist in LPRC's Product Protection Summit


Tally Retail Solutions will be participating as a finalist in the Loss Prevention Research Council's annual Product Protection Summit. This year's summit takes place virtually, via Teams, over the next two days, Wednesday, May 24th, and Thursday, May 25th.

The summit has five categories this year: Foods and Beverages, Power Tools and Electronic Floor Care, Benefit Denial, Zone 3 (store entrance and interior) and Integrated Solutions.

The Tally ORC Early Warning System will be featured as a finalist in the Foods and Beverages category.

Click here to learn more about LPRC's Product Protection Summit

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Stores Fight Back Against Rising Crime & Violence
But retailers say federal legislation is a key piece of solving the crisis

Retailers, Reeling From Organized Theft and Violence, Fight Back

Store Closings, Metal Detectors and Chained-Down Products Become More Common

Across the country, landlords are contending with rising crime and what many have said is a breakdown in basic civic safety. Issues from petty theft to violent raids and threats to employees have forced property owners and retailers to take matters - and rising expenses - into their own hands in an attempt to preserve their business.

Even then, however, the costs associated with private security or surveillance equipment are increasingly proving to be a breaking point for some tenants, leading to an influx of retailers cutting ties with locations in high-crime areas and property owners wringing their hands over how to fill their now-vacant spaces.

The post-pandemic rise in crime in some downtowns has meant more longstanding retailers are willing to cut their losses by simply closing up shop. And more shop closings could come.

"Security is a big issue, and there are a number of locations - often downtown - that are becoming increasingly hostile places to do business," Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, told CoStar News. "When retailers pull out, it makes the area a lot less viable."

Retailers as well as landlords of malls and shopping centers are pursuing a variety of options to create secure environments, combat retail theft and prevent violence - responses that are less drastic than closing down.

They are beefing up their loss prevention departments. Some stores are locking up certain merchandise behind plexiglass. There are malls that are checking patrons with metal detectors and looking in their bags before giving them entry, or are requiring teens under a certain age to be accompanied by adults on weekend nights. Retail property owners are asking their local police departments for more officers, in uniform and in plainclothes, to be present inside and outside shopping venues. Some landlords are hiring off-duty police as security.

Then there's the violence - committed by both thieves as well as lone-wolf assailants - who are harming, and even killing, store employees and shoppers. And the incidents are increasing.

The retail industry's main national trade groups, ICSC and the NRF, say the private sector can't solve the problem. They are lobbying for passage of the Combating Organized Retail Crime Act of 2023, new bipartisan legislation that would increase the penalties for those convicted of organized retail crime and strengthen the ability of prosecutors and investigators to bring cases against such crime rings. costar.com

Is the Retail Industry Winning the War on ORC?
Does Retail Need a New Approach to Fight Organized Crime?
Inventory shrink driven by organized retail crime is expected to reduce Target's profitability by an additional $500 million this year, the retailer's CEO Brian Cornell said last week.

Target's mitigation efforts include investing in security personnel, locking up or adjusting assortments in affected stores, and collaborating with legislators, police and retail partners.

Mr. Cornell said Target remains committed to keeping its affected stores open. "Our stores create jobs, serve local shoppers, and act as critical hubs in communities," he said.

According to the National Retail Federation's 2022 National Retail Security Survey, organized retail crime incidents rose 26.5 percent in 2021.

Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, Walgreens and CVS in recent years have also expressed public concern over organized bands of thieves ransacking their stores and reselling goods on online marketplaces.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned last December that rising theft could lead to store closures and price hikes.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams last week announced a comprehensive plan to combat retail theft across the city informed by a summit held in December composed of retailers, law enforcement officials, union leaders, business improvement districts and others.

Steps include installing in-store kiosks to connect individuals in need with government resources and social services, establishing social service programs for non-violent offenders, improving tracking for repeat offenders and organized crime rings to facilitate stronger prosecutions and creating enhanced online authentication procedures to prevent the resale of stolen goods.

Training on de-escalation and anti-theft techniques is being provided to store associates.

Neighborhood retail watch groups are being set up for businesses to share information on theft incidents with each other and law enforcement.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which procedures and/or practices offer the most hope for combating organized retail crime? Do you have any outside-the-box ideas for reducing incidents? retailwire.com

Retailers Use Smart Tech to Battle ORC
As Organized Crime Threats Increase, Retailers Rely on Smart Technologies

Retail is a hub for organized criminals, but enhanced video surveillance, smart shelves and access control systems are anticipating incidents before they hit.

While there are numerous factors that can cause inventory shrinkage, theft - by individual shoplifters, dishonest employees or organized criminals - is by far the most significant one. To minimize the impact on their business, retailers must adopt new solutions such as self-checkout monitoring, enhanced video surveillance, access control systems, radio-frequency identification (RFID), smart shelves and more.

How Retailers Can Implement Self-Checkout Monitoring: Self-checkout monitoring systems use machine learning algorithms to analyze transactions and detect fraudulent activity. The system can then block the transaction or alert staff to act.

Enhanced Video Surveillance Can Support Retail: New technology makes it easier to spot specific individuals and behavior in real time. High-resolution cameras and artificial intelligence-powered analytics and object detection are all available in today's enhanced video surveillance systems. These technologies allow retailers to monitor their stores and detect unusual behavior, such as customers lingering near high-ticket items or moving in restricted areas.

The Role of Access Control Systems in Retail: Access control systems help retailers keep unauthorized people manage access to sensitive areas such as stockrooms. Retailers also can track employee behavior, such as when they enter or exit restricted areas, to keep a digital trail in case anything goes missing.

RFID Tags, Smart Shelves and Loss Prevention Software: RFID tags, which are attached to items and use smart barcodes, can track product movement, such as from the warehouse to the retail floor. They can also be used to monitor product movement throughout the store and prevent theft of high-value items such as electronics and jewelry.

Similarly, smart shelves use sensors to monitor product weight and track inventory levels in real time, preventing theft through "anti-sweep" alerts that can let staff know if the amount of product removed from the shelf exceeds established parameters. biztechmagazine.com

30,000-Foot View of the Retail Crime Closure Wave
Retail Crime Epidemic Sparks Store Closures Including Target, REI and Walmart
Target has reported a disturbing surge in retail crime, which is anticipated to cause an estimated $500 million more in losses and stolen merchandise this year compared to the previous year. In fact, workers at a Target store in downtown San Francisco recently told a local newspaper that thefts occur with astonishing frequency. But Target is far from the only retailer dealing with the issue.

REI Shutters a Top-Performing Store

Outdoor apparel and equipment retailer REI recently made headlines when it revealed its decision to close one of its top-performing stores, its downtown Portland location in Oregon. The store experienced 10 burglaries throughout 2022. Additionally, on Black Friday, a car crashed through one of the store's entrances.

Walmart Nixes 21 of its Locations

In April, Walmart made the decision to close four of its Chicago stores, citing annual losses of "tens of millions of dollars." Walmart has opted to close a total of 21 stores spread across 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Nordstrom Leaves San Francisco

Nordstrom recently announced it will close two San Francisco stores, its Market Street Nordstrom Rack location, set to close July 1, and its mall department store at Westfield San Francisco Centre, which will be shuttered at the end of August.

Whole Foods Cites Employee Safety in Pausing SF Store

Meanwhile, in April, Whole Foods announced that its downtown San Francisco store, which had been in operation for a year, would be temporarily closed "to ensure the safety" of employees, CNN reported.

Target Expects Crime-Fueled Losses to Jump by $500 Million

According to Target's most recent quarterly earnings report, the big box retailer has become a prominent target for substantial theft incidents, resulting in a notable impact on its profits. As a result, the retailer is reevaluating its strategy for in-store operations. pymnts.com

Washington State Rolls Out New Team of ORC Investigators
Attorney General embarks on new approach to organized retail theft
A new team of investigators will soon take on the organized crime rings that steal from retail stores and create billions of dollars in losses every year in Washington.

The crime-fighting unit goes well beyond shoplifting, according to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson. He wants to go after the thieves who systematically steal from local businesses and then use that money to carry out even more serious crimes.

Ferguson gave an overview of the Organized Retail Crime unit to members of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon on Thursday. He told chamber members that with the scope of the problem so huge, a broad but focused approach was the best way to have an impact on organized retail theft.

Retail theft costs Washington businesses $2.7 billion every year, according to statistics cited by Sunde, and customers share the burden with higher prices.

The new retail crime unit will combat the groups who steal products and resell them for profit, but Ferguson said it starts with local police and prosecutors.

At The Bellevue Collection, Kemper Development Company's director of security, Carl Kleinknecht said a network of cameras and on-site loss prevention officers allows them to build criminal cases against retail thieves in ways many small businesses cannot.

Ferguson said his unit will coordinate investigations across several cities or counties by concentrating on areas where crime is occurring. Following any arrests, members of the unit may even prosecute some of the cases. That could provide local law enforcement with what Ferguson calls a force multiplier to take on these often sophisticated criminals. komonews.com

Another Op-Ed Ridicules NYC's Plan to Fight Retail Crime
New York Releases Hilarious Plan to Stop Rampant Shoplifting
The city's leadership has a plan to tackle one of the most obvious issues plaguing New York businesses: shoplifting. Shoplifting is up 44% in New York even since 2022.

You might think that the nation's largest city would focus on increasing penalties to disincentive shoplifters. Or increase police staffing near major retail centers. Maybe even ramping up enforcement of existing laws. But that's what a sane city would do, and New York is not a sane city.

In fact, instead of prosecuting first time shoplifters, the city will give them "intervention programs" instead. And that's just one of the absurd, nonsensical ideas. Others include "de-escalation training" for retail employees and neighborhood retail watch groups.

I mean, how can this not lower sky high shoplifting rates? "Kiosks to stop would-be thieves with social service programs?" What thief wouldn't walk into a Soho Louis Vuitton store intending to steal a $3,000 bag only to stop when they see a kiosk offering social services?

New York's big plan to help retailers suffering with rampant shoplifting is kiosks, lower penalties and "de-escalation" training. It's completely embarrassing and ultimately unsurprising. outkick.com

   RELATED: NYC Mayor Unveils Plan to Fight Retail Theft - with 'Kiosks'

42 Security Officer Deaths So Far in 2023
Six security officers murdered during 72 hour period
Another year of violent attacks on security officers continues to take its toll on the lives of those who protect life and property. Unsung heroes who seldom are recognized for putting their lives on the line.

The past seventy two hours again highlights these facts. Six security officers have been murdered, nine have been shot. 42 security officers have died on duty so far this year.

Unfortunately these deaths are just a continuation of the violence that has overwhelmed the private security profession for the past twenty years and it's not slowing down.

Of the six murdered security officers this week, four were known to be unarmed and a Dallas security officer who was murdered during a burglary of vehicles was first brutally assaulted and then shot to death.

We can continue to turn a blind eye, ignoring the facts, making believe that security officers just observe and report and seldom are in harm's way, when what we should be doing is stepping up and acknowledging that as long as undertrained, unarmed security officers are put into dangerous environments, the death toll will continue to climb more rapidly than ever before. privateofficerbreakingnews.blogspot.com

Organized Retail Theft Picks Institutional Pockets

Awash in social media, how are police learning to inform the public after shootings?



Retail's Union Tug-of-War Continues

One Retailer's Unionization Effort is Catching Fire Across U.S.
Why REI's Grassroots Unionization Efforts Are Spreading Across the Fleet 'Like Wildfire'
Last week, employees at a Boston REI store joined a movement underway in the outdoor retailer's stores across the U.S. when they voted in favor of unionizing their location.

This initial union win marked the latest victory for a relatively recent organizing drive taking root across REI stores - and across retail more broadly. In addition to Boston, four other REI stores - in Chicago, California, New York City and Ohio- have voted in favor of unionizing in the last two years, and others across Oregon, North Carolina and Minnesota have begun the process as well, filing filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for union elections.

Meanwhile, retail workers at other major corporations have led union pushes in the months and years following the pandemic - a time when many employees worked on the frontlines of essential retail businesses while office workers and other employees stayed at home. More than 300 Starbucks stores have unionized since 2021, in one of the most extensive organizing campaigns to have spread within one retail company. Elsewhere, employees at Trader Joe's stores and Amazon warehouses have also begun their own union drives, albeit on much smaller scales.

"The pandemic seems to have sort of changed the labor environment in a way that sort of opened up an opportunity for unions," said John Logan, a labor professor at San Francisco State University. "Particular kinds of workers are very attracted to the idea of organizing right now as a result of the way they were treated during the pandemic."

At places like Starbucks and REI, these workers tend to be younger, college educated idealistic and driven by their values. footwearnews.com

Retailers Push Back Hard Against Union Efforts
Companies Are Taking a Harder Line on Union Organizers, Workers Say

Apple, Starbucks, Trader Joe's and REI are accused of targeting union supporters after organizing efforts gained traction, charges the companies deny.

Apple said it had not disciplined or fired any workers in retaliation for union activity. "We strongly deny these claims and look forward to providing the full set of facts to the N.L.R.B.," a spokeswoman said.

A pattern of similar worker accusations - and corporate denials - has arisen at Starbucks, Trader Joe's and REI as retail workers have sought to form unions in the past two years.

Initially, the employers countered the organizing campaigns with criticism of unions and other means of dissuasion. At Starbucks, there were staffing and management changes at the local level, and top executives were dispatched. But workers say that in each case, after unionization efforts succeeded at one or two stores, the companies became more aggressive.

Some labor relations experts say the companies' progressive public profiles may help explain why they chose to hold back at the outset.

In some cases, the apparent escalation of company pushback has coincided with a slowing down of the union campaigns. At Starbucks, filings for union elections fell below 10 in August, from about 70 five months earlier, and no Apple store has filed for a union election since November. nytimes.com

Amazon's Biometric Palm-Scanning Payment System Expands to More Stores
Amazon lets users buy alcohol with its palm-scanning payment system

Amazon added an age-verification feature to its palm-based payment system that enables users to buy alcohol by swiping their hand.

Amazon is adding a feature to its palm-based payment system that will allow users to buy alcohol by swiping their hand.

The system, called Amazon One, lets people pay for items by placing their palm over a scanning device. To purchase alcohol, users have to upload a government-issued ID on the Amazon One website, the company wrote in a blog post on Monday. Amazon said it doesn't store user IDs and that a third-party provider verifies the documentation.

Bartenders will be able to verify that an Amazon One user is of age via a "21+" message that appears when they use the device, and by doing a "visual match" of the user with a user-uploaded photo that shows on the screen, according to the blog post.

Amazon introduced its palm-swiping technology in 2020, framing the system as a means of making customers' shopping experience faster and more efficient. It has introduced Amazon One in some of its Fresh supermarket and Go convenience stores, along with select Whole Foods locations. Sports and entertainment venues have also adopted the technology, while Panera Bread began testing Amazon One at two of its restaurants earlier this year. cnbc.com

Amazon's Brick-and-Mortar Slowdown Continues
Amazon is abandoning several of its Fresh stores and seeking tenants to sublease them and one landlord is suing over rent

Amazon is trying to sublease several planned Amazon Fresh stores in the Midwest.

Amazon is looking for other tenants for some Amazon Fresh stores, and facing a lawsuit from a landlord at another, as new openings for the grocery chain slow down.

Six stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and one outside Detroit have been listed for sublease through local real estate agents, according to Axios Twin Cities and Crain's Detroit Business, and Amazon reportedly has terminated the lease on a second metro Detroit site.

The locations are mostly in suburban areas, and some, such as one location in the Twin Cities, are located near other grocery stores, including a Walmart and regional chains such as Cub Foods and Hy-Vee, Winsight Grocery Business reported. businessinsider.com

Belk opens 10 more outlet locations in May

Immigrants' Share of the U.S. Labor Force Grows to a New High

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Demand for Retail IT & Cybersecurity Roles Surges 70%
The boom is driven by the sharp increase in retail app usage

Retail boom: Rise of online and app usage fuels new risks
In the past year there has been a 70 percent increase in demand for IT and cybersecurity roles for the retail sector. The demand for new technology products has helped to increase growth but it has also brought with it new consumer and business risks.

The recruitment firm Robert Walters and its analysts have linked this sharp increase directly to the rise of app usage within the sector. This is an area that has grown substantially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mat Knutton, Associate Director of Robert Walters, tells Digital Journal: "The data that is required and stored by retailers from loans, store credit, and 'by now, pay later' schemes goes much further than the loyalty card schemes we have seen introduced over the past decade as the primary form of data collection."

Knutton adds: "As we switch to cashless and online purchases, retailers for the first time are handling hordes of sensitive information - and so online security protocols need to be stepped up significantly if these brands are to avoid any bad PR in the way of data breaches."

Perhaps the biggest link to the need for cybersecurity professionals has been around the rise in prominence of buy now, pay later (BNPL) schemes. These are pushed by some types of retailers in order to help drive online sales. According to credit report agency Experian, searches for BNPL products are up 33 percent.

Online reviews have been useful for many people, including those seeking to buy ahead of time. An important extension of this is with the ability to visualize what the consumer intends to purchase before they even walk into a shop.

This is possible with technology like virtual try-ons (VTOs). This technology is being used by the likes of Nike, Ray-Ban and L'Oréal for customers to test items before they purchase. While Hugo Boss have recently trialled a Picto-fit Mirror, where customers can try-on pieces only available online through a tablet and smart mirror combination now available at all of their U.K. stores.

To support these innovations, cybersecurity professionals are also needed to help to protect businesses and consumers from the inevitable flow of bad actors drawn to this area of the economy. digitaljournal.com

The Deepfake Threat is Growing Quickly
Security vendor says fast action is needed now on deepfake voice
A new research report from security analyst vendor Recorded Future says voice cloning is capable of defeating voice multifactor authentication in the wild. Authors of the report say a cross-industry approach is needed to keep deepfake voice in check.

Advertisement"Voice cloning technology is currently being abused by threat actors in the wild," the report states. It is "enabling the spread of misinformation and disinformation and increasing the effectiveness of social engineering." The barrier to entry continues to get lower, with platforms such as ElevenLabs's popular Prime Voice AI offering low cost, browser-based options for text-to-speech (TTS) conversion.

For platforms like Microsoft's TTS AI model, VALL-E, it requires only three seconds of audio to be able to generate the cloned voice of, for example, a loved one asking for bail money.

In other instances, cloned voices have been used in kidnapping and hostage scams.

The report surveyed dark web chatter, and found that some threat actors are not convinced current voice cloning tech is equipped to deal with certain security hurdles, particularly when it comes to cloning non-English speaking voices. But they are already finding ways to modify it. One such workaround is voice cloning as a service, or VCaaS. This is "a new form of commodified cybercrime in which voice cloning 'specialists' provide tailored voice cloning samples, often advertising their services via Telegram," according to the report.

Furthermore, the general rise in public awareness of AI has led to a spike in the number of free, anonymous third-party voice cloning services

The report advises organizations to act early in addressing the risks associated with voice cloning, which are growing. "An industry-wide approach is required immediately in order to pre-empt further threats from future advances in voice cloning technology." biometricupdate.com

Are Your CISOs Ready?
10 Types of AI Attacks CISOs Should Track

Risk from artificial intelligence vectors presents a growing concern among security professionals in 2023.

As CISOs work to future proof their cybersecurity strategy and infrastructure for tomorrow's emerging threats, artificial intelligence (AI) attacks are looming large in their thoughts. Even without the hype that's billowed around ChatGPT and generative AI's skyrocketing popularity, AI risk has started to unfold as a growing concern among security researchers and pundits in 2023.

Security advocates are warning CISOs that they're fighting a two-front war when it comes to AI risk and resilience. Not only do they need to be wary of the threat posed by adversarial AI attacks against enterprise deployments of AI and machine learning (ML) models, but they must also defend themselves from a greater volume of attacks fueled by the bad guys' use of AI in their offensive campaigns.

1. AI Poisoning Attacks
2. Weaponized Models
3. Data Privacy Attacks
4. Model Theft
5. Sponge Attacks
6. Prompt Injection
7. Evasion Attacks
8. AI-Generated Phishing and BEC Lures
9. Deepfake BECs and Other Scams
10. AI-Generated Malware and Vuln Discovery

Knowing Where Cyberattacks Start Can Help Defenders Prevent Them
3 Common Initial Attack Vectors Account for Most Ransomware Campaigns

The data shows how most cyberattacks start, so basic steps can help organizations avoid becoming the latest statistic.

Most ransomware attackers use one of three main vectors to compromise networks and gain access to organizations' critical systems and data.

The most significant vector in successful ransomware attacks in 2022, for example, involved the exploitation of public-facing applications, which accounted for 43% of all breaches, followed by the use of compromised accounts (24%) and malicious email (12%), according to Kaspersky's recently released report, "The Nature of Cyber Incidents."

Both exploitation of applications and malicious emails declined as a share of all attacks compared with the previous year, while the use of compromised accounts increased from 18% in 2021.

Bottom line: Doubling down on the most common attack vectors can go a long way to preventing a ransomware attack. darkreading.com

Blacklist untrustworthy apps that peek behind your firewall

Congress looks to expand CISA's role, adding responsibilities for satellites and open source software







Podcasts: Convenient In More Ways Than One

Podcasts are an extremely convenient way to catch up on news, sports, and any personal interests you may have. Many apps are free or have low subscription models. Audible, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, TuneIn, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, are just a few platforms that allow you to listen to a plethora of content in any genre - on the go, at work, or during moments of relaxation.




More Amazon Walkouts Coming Over Layoffs & Return-to-Work
Amazon employees plan to walk off the job as tech worker tension rises

Some tech workers are protesting what they perceive as their employer's poor performance

On Monday, some Amazon workers at the company's Seattle headquarters announced internally their plans to walk off the job.

In messages sent out via Slack and email, employee organizers urged their colleagues to walk out on May 31 - one week after the company's annual shareholder meeting - in response to frustration over layoffs and the return-to-office mandate, as well as concerns about Amazon's climate commitments.

"Morale feels like it's at an all-time low," said a Los Angeles-based Amazon employee who plans to participate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their job. "In meetings and one-on-ones with colleagues, there's so much uncertainty and lack of clarity from leadership. ... It's an unsettling time to work at Amazon."

The walkout, which organizers hope will draw at least 1,000 Seattle-based participants, is part of a greater wave of anxiety spilling over into agitation among Silicon Valley workers as hiring freezes follow mass layoffs amid a looming potential recession.

At Meta, morale has plummeted as top bosses received big bonuses while the company continues to lay off thousands of people. At Google, staffers are bracing themselves for more job eliminations.

During a round of recent earnings calls, tech executives generally painted at rosier financial picture for the companies. But now workers at the notoriously cushy firms are growing more agitated - even as their power to make change wanes with their lack of job security.

Layoffs almost always create a "sense of betrayal" among workers, said Nelson Lichtenstein, a University of California at Santa Barbara labor historian, which is why it makes sense that workers are expressing frustration even in the current economic environment.  washingtonpost.com

Amazon's Return to Work: The Ripple Effect
Thousands of Amazon staffers are pouring into its Seattle offices. Will it restore the downtown's fortunes?

Experts say the economic balance is more complex than one business and that the revitalization should be equitable

"It's been a 20 to 30% increase with people coming back to work," Wang said about sales his food truck. "It's made a big difference."

Nearly three years after the pandemic shut down much of downtown Seattle, Amazon's move was eyed intensely in the city. CEO Andy Jassy told staff in February he hoped their return could be a "boost for the thousands of businesses located around our urban headquarter locations".

It's a hope the city's mayor, Bruce Harrell, shared days later in his state of the city address: "I'm very pleased employers like Amazon recently announced and recognise that coming back to work downtown is a great thing."  theguardian.com

Discount online store to rival Shein and Wish opens in UK

Amazon Hub will help local businesses and residents







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DOJ: Methuen Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $452,000 in Federal Aid, Buying Cell Phones to Hide Source
A 27-year-old Methuen man pleaded guilty last Thursday in federal court in Boston to using stolen identities to fraudulently obtain more than $452,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds from the Small Business Administration and to disguise the source of the money. Ramon Joseph Cruz Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Aug. 20. Cruz was arrested and charged in December 2020 along with alleged co- accomplice Darwyn Joseph. They were subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2021. According to court documents, the men were involved in a conspiracy to use stolen identity information of U.S. citizens to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Specifically, Cruz and, allegedly, Joseph used stolen identities to open fraudulent bank accounts which were then linked to other fraudulent bank accounts set up to receive the federal aid. Cruz and, allegedly, Joseph also received some of the debit cards associated with fraudulent bank accounts where the money was deposited, and then laundered the funds by spending $250,000 on iPhones in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. whav.net

Four men in ski masks steal guns and jewelry from San Antonio pawn shop
Police are searching for four men who robbed a San Antonio pawn shop taking multiple handguns and jewelry on the northwest side Thursday morning, according to San Antonio Police. The incident occurred at a Cash America Pawn at the 1100 block of Bandera around 9:52 a.m. Thursday. Police say the four men came into the shop wearing ski masks, announced they were there to rob the store and displayed a handgun. The men then proceeded to steal jewelry and handguns before fleeing the scene, officials say. The robbery lasted a couple of minutes, during which an unspecified number of guns and jewelry items were taken from their display cases, according to SAPD. The robbers fled in a truck which was found hours later along the 100 block of Alicia Avenue, about three miles away from the store.  kens5.com

Newark, DE: Female duo tried to steal cart full of $2,300 in merchandise from Target
A woman has been arrested and another is being sought after what could have ended in a $2,300 Target theft in Newark, Delaware. Police say both women were caught filling up a cart with merchandise inside the Target at Christiana Mall over the weekend. One suspect left the store to scan the parking, while the other attempted to leave the store with the cart, according to authorities. Officials say she tried to make a run for it when an employee stopped her, but she was quickly apprehended by mall security. The other suspect was able to flee in an unknown direction.  fox29.com

Springfield, VA: Smoke shop burglarized by thieves who crashed car into storefront
A smoke shop in Springfield was burglarized Sunday morning by four thieves who used a stolen car to break into the business. Detectives from the Fairfax County Police Department are now asking the public to help them identify the suspects who commit the crime. According to police, the incident happened Sunday at Smoke Bazaar on Backlick Road in Springfield. When officers arrived at the store around 12:40 a.m., they noticed the damage, but the thieves were already gone. An investigation revealed that four men - who police say are between the age of 15 and 20 years old - drove a stolen 2013 silver Hyundai Elantra through Smoke Bazaar's storefront before hopping out and stealing merchandise from the store.  fox5dc.com

Visalia, CA: Siblings steal from Ulta while mom waits in parking lot, police say
A pair of Fresno siblings are in custody accused of stealing from a Visalia beauty store. A 12-year-old and a 13-year-old were arrested at the Ulta Beauty store on Mooney Boulevard and Cameron Avenue at about 6 Sunday night. Officers say the pair filled up bags with items and ran out of the store. Officers found the kids hiding in a nearby Chipotle bathroom. They say the two took about $4,000 worth of merchandise from Ulta. Their mother, 33-year-old Dequita Harrell, was found waiting in the parking lot. She was arrested and booked for theft-related warrants. The 13-year-old was booked for grand theft at the Juvenile Detention Facility, and the 12-year-old was released to Child Welfare Services due to his age.  abc30.com

Teen, Target Employee, Arrested for Shoplifting Nearly $1,000 Worth of Electronics at Work

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Shootings & Deaths

Rockingham County, NC: Man shot to death at gas station after fight identified
The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office has identified the victim of a deadly shooting over the weekend at a gas station. Deputies said they responded Sunday morning around 7 a.m. to the gas station on Highway 220 near Madison. They said a store clerk at Ramon's Shell discovered the victim, Christopher Lee Smith, 41, of Madison, who was shot several times. His body was found in the parking lot. They believe he was killed three hours before his body was found. Investigators said Smith was shot after a fight between him and two other men. They said the suspected men involved were in a light-colored four-door sedan. Deputies are asking for help to identify the men involved.  wxii12.com

Houston, TX: Man gunned down in parking lot didn't notice gunman stalking him in store
A Texas man is accused of fatally shooting his brother's suspected killer, gunning him down in a Houston parking lot, officials say. Houston police found 38-year-old Luis Martinez shot to death outside La Michoacana, a supermarket on the city's northwest side, on May 13, according to a criminal complaint. Spent shell casings littered the ground around Martinez' white Dodge Ram, and a ShotSpotter system detected a total of 22 gunshots. Surveillance cameras at the scene captured the shooting, documents said. They also show the gunman, later identified as 33-year-old Angel Chavira, arrive in the parking lot with his wife and three children, police said. Chavira's brother had been killed in a prior shooting that was still under investigation, according to the documents. He told a detective at the time that he thought Martinez was the one responsible. Martinez knew Chavira might be after him, a friend told investigators. Days before his death, Martinez confided that he was in danger, that Chavira had threatened to kill him, according to the friend. star-telegram.com

Lake Park, FL: Murder charge for man after shopping-center fatal shooting
A 24-year-old West Palm Beach man is facing a charge of second-degree murder with a firearm after his arrest in connection with a May 17 fatal shooting in the parking lot of a busy Lake Park shopping plaza. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrested Michael Laurice Harris on Friday. Judge Edward Garrison ordered Harris to be held without bail at the Palm Beach County Jail during a hearing Saturday morning. The Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office is representing Harris. As a policy, it does not comment on open cases. Harris told investigators the man he shot had threatened him. PBSO's arrest report does not identify the person who was killed in the shooting.  palmbeachpost.com

Vicksburg, MS: Suspect charged with murder in Circle K shooting
Byron Griffin, 35 of Vicksburg, had his initial appearance in court Monday morning. He was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Shirray Harris, 46 of Vicksburg, which occurred early Saturday morning at the Circle K convenience store at 4150 Washington St. Griffin's bond was set at $1 million by Judge Angela Carpenter and included the stipulations that he cannot commit any crimes, cannot have weapons or ammunition and must wear an ankle monitor while out on bond. The Vicksburg Police Department did not verify whether Griffin had bonded out or not.  vicksburgpost.com

Detroit, MI: ExxonMobil sued over clerk who locked door in gas station shooting
A man injured in a deadly Detroit gas station shooting has filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil alleging a clerk locked him and two other patrons in the station's convenience store with the gunman who shot them. Anthony Bowden's lawsuit accuses the ExxonMobil Corp. and the gas station franchise owner, SMM Investment Inc., of multiple counts of negligence stemming from the shooting in March in which a patron was killed, and he and another customer were wounded. "Locking three innocent people inside of a building with a person threatening to shoot them over $4 shows a complete disregard for human life over profit," Bowden's attorney, James Harrington of the Fieger Law firm, said in a statement. "This store clerk was obviously trained to lock the door and protect the gas station's assets at all costs." The ExxonMobil Corp. did not respond to a request from ABC News for comment. Owners of SMM Investment Inc. could not be reached for comment. The shooting unfolded around 3 a.m. on March 6 at an ExxonMobil gas station in northwest Detroit, where the 60-year-old Bowden stopped while on his way to work to use an ATM machine.  abc7ny.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Oak Lawn, IL: Oak Lawn jewelry store broken into, owner 'beaten severely,' family says
The owner of an Oak Lawn jewelry store is in the hospital after a trio of suspects burst through a wall in the business and stole property, on top of assaulting the owner. Police said Elias Mseeh, owner of Ramallah Jewelry in Oak Lawn, had just opened up for the day, around 12:15 p.m., when three thieves burst through a wall into the store. "It looks like they just kicked in the wall," said Gerald Vetter, Division Chief of Oak lawn PD. According to police, the trio broke into a vacant retail space next door to Ramallah Jewelry and were cutting through one side of the wall when they heard Mseeh on the other side, and kicked in the rest of the wall. Family told WGN the burglars immediately snipped the phone line, which actually triggered the store's alarm, but the robbery proceeded for approximately seven more minutes. During that time, family said Mseeh was tied up, beaten severely and display cases were smashed.  wgntv.com

Dillon, SC: SC Cook Out employees say they were forced into freezer during robbery
Police are investigating after employees at a Dillon Cook Out said they were forced into a freezer at gunpoint during a robbery on Tuesday, according to a police report obtained by News 13. An employee told police that another employee was taking out the trash at the Cook Out on Radford Boulevard when a person with a gun followed him back into the restaurant, the report said. The person reportedly ordered three employees to get into the freezer and then took money from the register and the safe, the employee told police. The employees were in the freezer for about seven minutes and then called 911, according to the report. The employees said the person left in a car headed toward Interstate 95, the report said.  cbs17.com

Tinley Park, IL: 'Chaos': Chicago Carnival Shuts Down Early After Hundreds of Teens Start a Brawl
What should have been a safe, family-friendly event turned into a violent brawl at a Chicago park over the weekend, in a scene that might shock even those who've come to expect such things from blue-controlled cities with no standards of decency. A carnival held at Chicago's Tinley Park to celebrate Armed Forces Weekend was hastily packed up and hustled away after a flash mob incident turned into outright chaos Saturday. Video from the event shows a huge crowd rushing the area, where families with children were busy riding carnival rides and playing games. Police said the mob, comprised of at least 400 teens with many of them wearing ski masks, had been organized on social media. The horde rushed the carnival grounds out of nowhere and proceeded to assault and rob carnival-goers, fight with the cops, jump on cars, and generally scare the bejeezus out of everyone present.  mrctv.org

Toronto Police searching for suspect who allegedly threw hot coffee at Tim Horton's employee



C-Store - Seattle, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Takoma Park, MD - Robbery
C-Store - Chicago, IL - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Greenbelt, MD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Atlanta, GA - Robbery
C-Store - Bryan, TX - Burglary
C-Store - Toledo, OH - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Christian County, MO - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Hardware - Jamestown, NY - Burglary
Hardware - Hopkinsville, KY - Burglary
Jewelry - Oak Lawn, IL - Burglary
Jewelry - Wauwatosa, WI - Robbery
Jewelry - South Burlington, VT - Robbery
Jewelry - Downey, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Newark, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Fort Worth, TX - Robbery
Jewelry - Reno, NV - Robbery
Jewelry - East Brunswick, NJ - Robbery
Jewelry - Scranton PA - Robbery
Jewelry - Langhorne PA - Burglary
Pawn - San Antonio, TX - Armed Robbery
Pawn - Scottsville, KY - Burglary
Restaurant - Cobb County, GA - Burglary
Restaurant - Dillon, SC - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery
Target - Suffolk County, NY - Robbery
Tobacco - Springfield, VA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 20 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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