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The National Retail Federation's ORC Survey is making all the major papers across America - see survey below

National Retail FederationSubmitted by Joe LaRocca, Sr. Advisor NRF

NRF Releases 2012 Organized Retail Crime Survey Results

Retailers are reporting organized retail crime (ORC) has become more troublesome than ever before. Of the 125 retail companies surveyed for NRF’s eighth annual Organized Retail Crime Survey, a record-setting (96.0%) say their company has been the victim of organized retail crime in the past year, up from 94.5 percent last year, and another 87.7 percent say ORC activity in the United States has grown over the past three years.

The survey also indicates a growing trend in the level of violence retailers see when organized criminal gangs are apprehended (15% vs. 13% in 2011). Retailers grappling with these violent acts also report that they believe more ORC offenders are engaged in drug activity. Nearly half (49%) of respondents estimate drugs and drug activity are linked to organized retail crime incidents.

The top 10 locations identified by retailers (in alphabetical order):
Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD/Washington DC
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
Los Angeles/Orange County, CA
New York, NY/Northern NJ
Miami, FL
Phoenix, AZ
San Francisco/Oakland, CA

Regional groups, such as the ORCA initiatives and state associations are making a difference through education and intelligence sharing. Newsletters and publications, such as the D&D Daily, serve to educate and heighten the awareness level of these complex crimes. Several states, most recently Colorado, have successfully pursued new laws to prevent and combat ORC this year and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor. (source

24th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International shows over 1 million shoplifters & Dishonest Employees apprehended in 2011 by just 24 major retailers. Shoplifters and dishonest employees stole over $6.0 billion in 2011 from just 24 major retailers, according to the 24th Annual Retail Theft Survey conducted by Jack L. Hayes International, the leading loss prevention and inventory shrinkage control consulting firm. These 24 surveyed retailers apprehended over one million shoplifters and dishonest employees in 2011 and recovered more than $161 million from these thieves. For the full survey visit (Source

Retailers have more cash - are adding more employees and enjoying stronger revenue - but they remain "quite guarded longer term. Despite the positive sentiments in the report, caution remains the watchword of the day. Said Mark Larson, KPMG global retail leader. "In this year's survey, executives have pushed back their estimated timeline for economic recovery to 2014 or later, with concerns that decreased consumer confidence and continued high national unemployment are hindering a full retail recovery." While waiting for the recovery to take the hold, 58% plan to increase capital spending over the next year. The highest priority investment area is information technology – including data analytics and digital marketing channels – cited by 51% of the executives in the KPMG survey. Other significant areas of investment for retailers are new products or services (43%), geographic expansion (33%), and advertising and marketing (24%). (Source

Eurozone Retail Sales dropped 2.5% in April. Retail sales fell throughout Europe in April compared to March, the official data office Eurostat said Tuesday. Sales receipts in the 17-nation Eurozone and the 27-member European Union dropped 1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively. The declines follow a 0.3 percent rise in the Eurozone in March and a 0.8 percent rise in March in the European Union. Compared to April 2011, retail sales fell by 2.5 percent in the Eurozone and 1.9 percent in the EU. (source

Wal-Mart's vote totals show unprecedented dissent against CEO Duke, others after bribery case Wal-Mart's final shareholder vote for its board of directors showed unprecedented dissent against key executives and board members, including CEO Mike Duke, in the wake of allegations of bribery in Mexico. With descendants of Wal-Mart's founder owning about 50 per cent of Wal-Mart's shares, activist shareholders had little chance of voting out the board members. But the numbers show a loss of confidence, particularly when Walton family members and other insiders are excluded. (Source

Bed Bath & Beyond buys another business - Linen Holdings - their second purchase in two months Linen Holdings, LLC for approximately $105 million. Based in Gibbsboro, New Jersey, Linen Holdings LLC is a privately-held, value-added distributor of bath, bed and table linens, other textile products and amenities to customers in the hospitality, cruise line, food service, health care and other industries. They just keep on growing. (Source

Party City sold in $2.69 billion deal. Thomas H. Lee Partners LP agreed to buy a majority stake in Party City Corp. from its private-equity owners in a transaction valued at $2.69 billion, less than two months after the largest U.S. party-supplies retailer filed for an initial public offering. The current owner, Advent International Corp., Berkshire Partners LLC, Weston Presidio and management, will hold "significant" minority stakes. Party City posted net income of $76.3 million last year on $1.87 billion in revenue. (source

The Jones Group purchased Brain Atwood footwear brand adding a luxury player of fashion footwear. They had been struggling and even eliminated their Director of LP position earlier this year. The company already owns brands including Nine West and Rachel Roy. The purchase of the 11-year-old Brian Atwood label comes on the heels of similar shoemaker acquisitions: in 2010, Jones bought Stuart Weitzman for $180 million. Last year, it bought London-based Kurt Geiger for $350 million. So they're on the move and let's hope they bring back the Dir. of LP role. (Source

Safety 2012: OSHA’s Continuing Mission Bolstered by recent studies that indicate OSHA inspections, and corporations’ subsequent emphasis on safety, actual save companies money, OSHA Administrator David Michaels told a packed room at Safety 2012 in Denver that OSHA "levels the playing field" for responsible employers who are investing in safety and must compete with companies that are cutting costs by compromising worker safety. (Source

Costco settles hazmat lawsuit for $3.6 million
. Costco has agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by 29 district attorneys accusing the big-box retailer of failing to properly store and dispose of hazardous materials at dozens of its outlets in California. Over a five-year period, Costco employees didn't label or sort hazardous materials that had sat unsold on shelves or that customers had returned, such as oven cleaner, bleach, pool chlorine, nicotine patches, and batteries, according to the lawsuit. Some materials were thrown out in the trash while others were left in stores indefinitely. State law requires that all hazardous materials be properly disposed of within 90 days.  (Source

Shoplifter dies at Calif. Wal-Mart after being chased down by store security and fighting them in the parking lot. Covina police Lt. Holly Francisco says when police arrived Friday afternoon they found the suspect restrained by store security and he appeared to be in medical distress. Officers called paramedics and the suspect was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. (Source

Scotts Valley, CA, south of San Francisco, police are investigating a string of possibly related recent retail burglaries over the past two weeks Hitting Ace Hardware, Walgreens, and U Save Liquors Store all in the same neighborhood police believe they're related. (Source

Jersey City woman charged with selling knockoff handbags; 10,500 bags worth $4 million seized in a storage facility. Police say Jennifer Le was selling knockoff bags with labels such as Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada out of a Van Winkle Avenue apartment that had been set up like a store. (Source

Video: Casa Grande police investigate recent jewelry thefts

Burglars hit for a 3rd time in a week in Casa Grande, Arizona. Police are looking into the latest burglary with very little to go on: the thieves were in and out of the store in less then four minutes. Last week the Kmart was broken into, specifically targeting the jewelry department.  (Source

Dollar General employee shot during armed robbery in Nashville, Tenn. An employee at a Nashville Dollar General store was shot in the leg during a robbery midday Monday. (Source

West Valley Mall, Tracy, CA., security uses pepper spray to break up gang fight of 100 teens The caller who reported the fight said it started with a small group and escalated to include possibly 100 teens. Mall security reportedly used pepper spray on the aggressors, and an ambulance was called. An off-duty highway patrolman described the incident as a gang fight. (Source

Thieves strip Dillsburg Shopping Center remodeling project in Dillsburg, PA of $446,000 of copper wiring Carroll Township police say the group stole copper wiring and pipes from businesses that were undergoing remodeling. Police did make arrests. (Source

NYC police officer busted shoplifting Saturday night from Queens Center Mall. Officer Vanessa Rodriguez, 29, was arrested about 9 p.m. after being caught stealing from a store at the popular mall on Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst, cops said. (Source

Warrants issued for three former associates selling mattresses on Craigslist. Undercover sting operation nabs three former Corsicana Bedding Company employees who posted an ad for great deals on Craigslist. The undercover agents purchased four mattresses, still in the company’s packaging and asked to put a 'down payment' on six more. The 'down payment' program maybe should have been some kind of sign to the bad guys. The bad guys were arrested on suspected of the theft of $20,000 in mattresses. (source

pictureFormer Tuesday Morning employee gets 10 years in prison for setting fire to Middletown store.  A Kingstown Rhode Island man has been sentenced to serve 10 years of a 25-year prison term for setting fire last year to a discount store where he worked. The Rhode Island Attorney General's office announced Friday that 28-year-old Stuart Moody pleaded guilty to first-degree arson for setting fire to the Tuesday Morning store in Middletown on Jan. 5, 2011. Prosecutors say the fire significantly damaged the store as well as a neighboring bakery and fitness center. Moody was also ordered to pay almost $447,000 in restitution and a $25,000 fine. He is being credited for time he has spent in home confinement since Jan. 18, 2011. (source

Dollar Tree in McKinney, Texas the target of an arsonist; man posted his plot for revenge on Facebook. It is unclear if the suspect, Damon Cooper was actually a disgruntled associate, but Police and residents are happy he is off the street. At 1:30 pm Cooper walked into the store, sprayed lighter fluid and ignited the blaze. Associates and customers left the store uninjured. Cooper believed that Dollar Tree was out to get him. (source

Barnes and Noble issues an apology to a customer asked to leave the children’s section. A month ago, Dr. Amin of Scottsdale, Arizona, who is 73 years old, was shopping in the children’s section for books for his grandchildren. He had no children with him and that concerned at least one customer who informed the Barnes and Noble staff. Yesterday an apology was issued by the VP of Stores saying that they may have overreacted by asking Dr. Amin to leave the children’s section. (source

Tomorrow we'll have a major Director of LP announcement. A great one at that.

Top 5 and Bottom 5 Retailers of Q1 (source

Quarterly Sales Report

Dollar General Q1 reports same store sales up 6.7% with total sales up 13%
Charming Shoppes Q1 same store sales flat, total sales down 4.6% - Ascena recently purchased Charming Shoppes
Children's Place Q1 same store sales down 0.7% with total sales up 1.8%
Tops Friendly Markets Q1 reports same store sales down 2% with total sales down 1.8%
Walgreens reports May sales down 1.6%

1st Annual Ohio Crime Symposium June 6, 2012  Columbus, Ohio. Ohio is joining the fight against Organized Retail Crime and is holding its 1st Annual Ohio Retail Crime Symposium!! Through the efforts of retail and law enforcement, a one day training event is being held to provide education to partners across Ohio about Organized Retail Crime. The conference will build on our mission of providing Law Enforcement and Loss Prevention with opportunities to come together for Professional Networking, Training and Information Sharing. We invite you to join OROCC, Ohio’s own Organized Retail Crime Coalition and hear about the future launch of our very own website dedicated to ORC. Ohio marks the 3rd state to join the Midwest fight against ORC alongside Cook County Regional Organized Crime Task Force (CCROC) and Indiana Retail Organized Crime Alliance (IROC).


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Upcoming Articles



Know about an event we should feature here?
Let us know.

Ohio Regional Organized Crime Coalition (OROCC)

1st Annual Ohio Crime Symposium

June 6, 2012
Columbus, OH

here for more information.

NRF LP Conference June 20-22

National Food Service Advisory Council Conference. August 5 -8.

2012 Retail
Loss Prevention

September 12, 2012
International Centre


Watch for our article the day after each event!

Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail


3rd Annual Training Conference

Sept. 17 - 20, 2012
Dallas, TX

here for more information.

Register here.


Washington State Organized Retail Crime Alliance (WSORCA)

Annual Training Conference
October 18, 2012

To register visit:

2012 Thought Challenge Awards Committee

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University, located in Michigan’s incredible Upper Peninsula, offers one of the only baccalaureate loss prevention management programs in the United States. It is offered completely online and accepts up to 92 transfer credits. An affordable investment into a dynamic and growing profession.

Learn more here

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Today the LP industry lost one of its most admired and unassuming pioneers. Fred Wilson, Vice President, Store Administration for CarMax and the executive who built the Circuit City LP program in the 90's and the Payless ShoeSource LP program in the late 80's into being two of the premier LP programs in the country at the time, unexpectedly passed away this morning. Fred Wilson was a leader who truly made an impact on so many with his deep and sincere commitment to helping people reach their goals and perform at their best. His brilliant yet simplistic approach to business, to people, and to the industry was driven by his well-grounded and calm style that one could only admire. His ability to communicate in real terms and deliver real results was a characteristic that made him stand out from the others when, in fact, he preferred to remain rather low-profiled and not be in the spotlight.

Many talk to going beyond in our roles in loss prevention and driving value that exceeds expectations. Fred indeed delivered on both and did it intuitively, almost as if it was effortless for him. His professional and personal demeanor epitomizes what all good humans and executives should aspire to. Over his 30 year career he touched and helped so many that his legacy will be felt long into the future.

Having worked with him for the last 30 years and considering him to be one of my personal mentors, I can personally attest to the fact that Fred impacted this industry. He made a difference and he was always focused on what was best for his team, what was best for the people, and what was best for his employer. He was unique and one of a kind and when he interacted with you he had the ability to inspire and teach in such a humanistic way that you found yourself gravitating to his knowledge and increasing your own performance so as to not let him down.

We'll miss you Fred. And thank you for making a difference in so many lives.

Funeral service and calling hour arrangements for Fred will be announced soon.

Career History

Fred started out his career in the Loss Prevention field at Midwest Developers as the Director of Security for four years. In 1975 he joined Knox Lumber Co. as an Investigator for nine months before moving on to Holiday Village as an Investigator as well. In December of 1976 he joined Montgomery Ward, holding positions of Investigator, Resident Security & Safety Manager, and District Security & Safety Manager over his six year stay. In 1982 he joined The Musicland Group as the Regional Loss Prevention Manager, where he covered 18 states.

Fred’s next position was his first Directorship, which he held with Shaak Electronics from 1983-1985. Fred then joined Payless ShoeSource as the Director of Loss Prevention, where he developed and directed really their first national loss prevention program covering over 3,000 stores nationally. With his success at Payless ShoeSource he then joined Circuit City in 1990 as their Assistant Vice President/ Director of Loss Prevention and was once again tasked with building and designing their national loss prevention program.

Given his natural abilities and his successful leadership skills, Circuit City named Fred Chairman of the Continuous Quality Improvement Task Force that was focused on increasing levels of customer service throughout the entire organization and he was also named Chairman of the Task Force to reduce Associate Turnover. In 1996 Fred transferred over to Circuit City's CarMax Division as their first Assistant Vice President, Loss Prevention. In 1998 he was given the additional responsibilities as the Assistant Vice President, Business Operations and Loss Prevention, before being promoted in 2001 to Vice President, Store Administration, a position he's held since then.

Mr. Wilson served as a member of the National Retail Federation Advisory Board, the National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Retail Standing Committee for the American Society of Industrial Security. In 2008, he received The Circle of Excellence Award recognizing lifetime achievement in the field of loss prevention from the National Retail Foundation.

Mr. Wilson attended the University of Minnesota, North Hennipen Jr. College, and the University of the Americas where he studied Criminal Justice Studies and Business Administration.


4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament - Tuesday, June 19th during the NRF Show - click to register
eBay News

eBay Assistance Leads to Arrest in Employee Theft Case

eBay Global Asset Protection team support of an active law enforcement investigation leads to arrest in employee theft case. The man is accused of stealing electronics worth $9k from Lutron and selling them and is now charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking and Receiving Stolen Property for allegedly stealing 36 computerized dimmers known as Grafik Eyes. According to the criminal complaint, Lutron Security reported an ongoing theft after being alerted to the sale of Grafik Eye product on eBay for a lower price than Lutron sells to its distributors. They conducted an uncover purchase and checked the serial number against company records revealing that it was Lutron’s property and not for public purchase. When interviewed by police the suspect admitted to taking the electronics and selling them. Further investigation revealed he stole 36 Grafik Eyes and sold them from April 2010 and March 2012 for a total of approximately $9K. Click here for full article.

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LPNN - Loss Prevention News Network


The ORC Leaders Panel Discussions -  #1 - The Drug Store Industry's ORC Leaders             #2 - The Big Box & Specialty ORC Leaders               Coming soon!

Season One premier coming soon
The LPNN's first official season will be premiering on Monday, June 11 with the release of "The Drug Store Industry's ORC Leaders," part of the Organized Retail Crime Series. In the meantime, be sure to check out the NEW LPNN website which premiered a couple weeks ago.

The Drug Store Industry's ORC Leaders - with Joe LaRocca, senior retail partner and senior advisor of Asset Protection for the NRF, Jerry Biggs - Walgreens Director of ORC, Jim Lynch - CVS's Dir. LP Corp. Investigations & Security, and Cathy Langley - Rite Aid's Senior Director of Asset Prevention. This series is a specialized and focused group, all from the same industry that happens to probably be the most impacted retail segment of all as it relates to Organized Retail Crime. We talk about where they are and how they measure what they're doing in regards to tackling ORC. From staffing ORC positions to leading them, this group gives you the ability to hear about how ORC is impacting the drug store industry and how they're responding. Filmed Feb. 2012

The LP News Network

ORC Drugstore Leaders coming soon.


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Vendor Spotlight

Tyco - Building your defenses against organized retail crime

Tyco Retail Solutions recently published a whitepaper focused on retailers and organized retail crime. Over the next few days the Daily will be publishing the report in parts. Here's part two. To view the entire article click here.

Contributing factors
Increased economic pressure on consumers has probably led to greater participation in organized shoplifting and tolerance of purchasing stolen merchandise. But more important are permanent structural changes in global retail markets:

• New distribution channels include online stores, distributors, and auction sites, which are far more efficient than the old networks of street vendors, flea markets, and other informal channels.
• Multiple price points advertised by online vendors dilute the pricing power of valid priced products and raise shoppers’ expectations of a deal.
• Cross-border mobility of people supports theft by itinerant gangs throughout Europe, and in the US from Puerto Rico and Central America. And global shipping allows goods stolen in the US, for example, to be sold overseas, often at much higher prices.
• Easy monetization, through return fraud and gift cards that may be consolidated and sold online, raises thieves’ returns: goods with a street value 30% of retail may be sold online for 70%, or returned and converted into gift cards at 100%.

Like retail theft itself, monetization activity resists direct measurement, but indirect data point to widespread abuse. Over one-quarter of surveyed retailers believe that more than 50% of "new in box" and "new with tags" merchandise sold online is stolen or fraudulently obtained and fraudulent returns account for a $9.6 billion annual drain on US retailers’ profits.

The rising presence of both theft and monetization associated with Organized Retail Crime comes at a time when gang activity of all kinds is undiminished. Retail loss-prevention and security staff are being pared back in a soft economy and as smaller store footprints reduce revenue support for in-store Loss Prevention staff. Technology plays a role, too, especially mobile phones that offer Instant Messaging and "push-to-talk" features gangs use to coordinate their activities (see sidebar, "Organized Retail Crime: Gang Organization and Methods").

Organized Retail Crime: Gang Organization and Methods


Segregation of roles is typical of retail gangs; for efficient deployment of specialized skills, and to provide "cut-outs" that limit the damage in case a team member is identified or apprehended. Most gangs are headed by a director who controls "business" interactions such as managing travel and shipping, handling the group’s cash, and interacting with bail bond agencies. A second specialty is lookout or countersurveillance teams, responsible for reporting when the gang’s activities, including those of the lookouts themselves, have drawn the attention of store security or law enforcement.

In-store "boosters" (who steal the merchandise) and "mules" (who take it out of the store) will exchange roles as needed to carry out a theft or avoid detection. Depending on the gang’s experience and sophistication, they may:
• Prepare merchandise for theft, marking it with pennies or store flyers, removing Electronic Article Surveillance tags in fitting rooms.
• Conceal goods in fitting rooms or under-stock drawers for quick removal.
• Distract store employees by applying for store credit cards, calling the department and hanging up, or hiding a size or style of apparel and then requesting it.

Boosters steal merchandise using a dizzying variety of methods and tools:
• Booster bags, boxes, purses, baby strollers, laptop bags, etc. are lined with many layers of aluminum foil to defeat Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems. Sophisticated gangs make sturdy custom bags, often with four handles, and disguise them as bags from a national brand with presence in the target mall.
• Booster clothing is a variation on this theme, and includes pants, dresses, overcoats, skirts, and girdles. Experienced security personnel look for shoppers overdressed for the weather, holding garments in front of them as they walk, and moving slowly.
• Tools include keys for display-cases and under-stock drawers, makeshift or stolen EAS removal tools (that may also be used as weapons), and even sophisticated EAS jamming devices, sold openly online as "demonstration devices", often for thousands of dollars.
• Alternate methods of theft include "box stuffing" of expensive merchandise into the emptied boxes of large, cheap items, and "ticket switching", covering or replacing barcode tags with tags stolen or copied from cheaper items.

Evasion and getaway
To conceal their theft, booster teams redistribute merchandise and take hangers along with garments. "Mules" take merchandise out of the store to a rental car parked in the lot.

"Drop" vehicles have stolen, obscured, or missing license plates. Keys are carried separately from the remote-locking fob so security and law-enforcement personnel can’t find the car just by walking through the lot. The focus of activity is the back seat, not the trunk. Merchandise is concealed there under motel blankets, why motel blankets? often by another gang member sitting in the rear seat with the car’s engine off. Sometimes the rear seat is removed to make room for more merchandise.

Organized Retail Crime gangs still use physical fencing through pawnshops, flea markets, and street corners, although e-fencing through auction sites and web pages has become much more common.

The gangs also monetize their take by exploiting store refund and gift-card policies. They use multiple methods to generate "cash" receipts. For example, many stores issue cash receipts for returned merchandise if the thief presents any amount of cash, for example to "buy" a slightly more expensive item. The thief then returns the "purchased" item, using the cash receipt for a cash refund, pocketing the full value of the original stolen item. They also return unreceipted items for gift cards that they consolidate into large denominations and sell online, for faster payout and better margins than they could get by fencing the merchandise.

Gangs’ financial specialists seldom limit themselves to just one scam—creditcard and check fraud, often for gift cards, is common. And sophisticated gangs counterfeit receipts using stolen rolls of receipt stock and portable printers.

Comparison with local offenders
Organized retail criminal gangs are disciplined, focused, and use far more sophisticated methods than local habitual offenders, who often leave hangers and defeated EAS tags behind them. Local criminals also typically have records of multiple crimes involving theft and fraud—for which they are often on probation.

Tomorrow more on defenses and countermeasures.

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Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Greenville, MS Lowe's
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Area LP Mgr Family Dollar Monroe, LA Family Dollar
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Tip of the Day - Sponsored by Vector Security

Being engaged in the business of your retailer is a critical element for every Loss Prevention executive. For decades, our industry has often been accused of being silo'ed and separate from the operators and the merchants. This separateness in many cases ultimately leads to a disconnect, a sense that we aren't part of the team. Which in actuality, regardless of your performance, it can lead to your job being eliminated or just you being replaced with someone new. So the real question is: How do you become engaged in the business and truly add value to the company's success beyond reducing shrink? And then having the courage to go make it happen. We all tend to stay in our comfort zones and remain safe. At least that's what we think. But at the end of the day, it's that comfort zone that can actually increase your risk. So the next time you're in a corporate meeting or traveling stores with your operators or merchants, go beyond with your comments and opinions – take a risk – add some value – help them run the business – you might be surprised.  

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