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ADT Reports Second-Quarter Results

Earnings call sees CBS, solar business booming

BOCA RATON, Fla.-Smart home and small business security provider ADT released its second-quarter results today during an earnings call, with strong growth indicators and optimism for the third and fourth quarters.

The tone of the call was positive focusing on yearly gains and a positive look at financial outcomes for the rest of 2022.

"We delivered what I believe is our best quarter ever at ADT," said ADT President and CEO Jim DeVries. A snapshot of the financials shows a revenue growth of 23 percent over the prior year and an adjusted net income of $50 million, or $0.06 per share. Total revenue in the second quarter was $1.6 billion, up 23 percent, with an end-of-period recurring monthly revenue (RMR) of $369 million, up 5 percent.

Read more here

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

C-Store Assaults Up 75% - Grocery Store Assaults Up 63%
Violence Against Retail Workers Is on the Rise. How to Keep Your Team Safe

Fostering a safe workplace starts with strong internal policies and good communication--a framework employees need to stay alert and decisive in the face of potential violence.

Here's yet another reason why you may be having a hard time filling your retail positions: Grocery and retail businesses are seeing an uptick in violence.

Between 2018 to 2020, assaults in grocery stores rose by 63 percent and those in convenience stores by 75 percent--that's compared with an overall 42 percent rise in assaults over that same period, according to FBI data reported by the New York Times. Although workplace violence dipped in 2020--the result of Covid workplace closures--it has steadily risen since, with a particular increase in the retail space, says Kenna Carlsen, a research associate at the National Safety Council, an Itasca, Illinois-headquartered nonprofit that advocates for public safety.

The reasons for the increase in violence are manifold. Mask enforcement, for one, has resulted in customer disagreements that can turn violent, Carlsen says. In a recent roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also noted an uptick in organized retail crime, which impacts both online and physical retail businesses.

Businesses may not have the power to totally prevent violence, but there are actionable ways they can better prepare their employees to recognize, deescalate, and manage potentially violent interactions on the job. Here's how.

Formalize a plan and response

"The most essential step you can take to protect your employees is having a really strong workplace violence policy in place," Carlsen says. Carlsen recommends that leaders refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's workplace violence resources--like its Recommendations for Workplace Violence Prevention Programs in Late-Night Retail Establishments guide--to create an effective and thorough workplace safety handbook.

Improve employee communication and training

"Employees are the eyes and ears of your organization," Carlsen says. That's why it's important for leaders to involve them in the development of your workplace violence prevention program. Speak with your employees about potential risks they've noticed on the job, regular customers who might be a threat, and any measures they would find helpful with regards to maintaining a safe workplace.

Invest in new tech - Create an environment of awareness: inc.com

Stopping Retail Shootings Before They Happen
Securing Retail Stores with AI-Powered Visual Gun Detection

Technology can help stores rapidly recognize firearms, preconfigure actions, issue active shooter notifications and provide instructions on how to respond.

Retail fatalities are on the rise, leaving store owners and patrons more vulnerable than ever before. In fact, according to the D&D Daily's 2020 Retail Violent Fatalities Report, retail fatalities were up 40% between 2015 and 2020, with 2020 racking up the most fatalities and incidents ever reported in a single year. And as we near the half-mark of 2022, that trend is only continuing as evidenced by recent events such as the Buffalo supermarket shooting. Clearly the retail industry needs more preventative strategies to curb this alarming trend, and one of the most promising solutions is visual gun detection with artificial intelligence (AI).

An AI-equipped visual system leverages multiple cameras in a store (and oftentimes outside the store) and can detect the presence of a gun threat and raise an alarm independently of where store personnel are located. The system can also automatically send out alerts to onsite or offsite security and/or first responders.

How AI Visual Gun Detection Works

In under one second, an AI-powered visual gun detection system can identify a visible gun, and when it does, it sends an alert to a designated person that the store decided on earlier. This could be a security officer at the store, the owner, an employee or a third-party service on hand to monitor alerts 24/7. Once the designated person confirms the active shooter, they can then initiate a series of actions depending on a previously agreed upon plan and the capabilities the store has built into its security system.

Leveraging Existing Investment in Video Surveillance

One of the advantages of technologies such as visual gun detection is that they can be integrated seamlessly with most existing IP-based security cameras and video management systems. This is an important point because many retail stores have already invested heavily in their security system, and they want to leverage that, not replace it. Their cameras don't change, but they are harnessed with AI-powered software that can proactively spot and potentially prevent harm if acted upon. rfidjournal.com

NYC Fatal Stabbings Surge 43% Amid Crime Spike
Stabbings on rise in NYC during surge in major crime
Stabbings are on a rise in the Big Apple amid a citywide surge in major crime, according to the latest figures obtained by The Post. The statistics, which cover the period through Aug. 7, show that stabbings have risen by 11% compared to the same span last year - from 2,465 to 2,756.

Fatal stabbings have jumped a whopping 43% - from 48 to 69 - during the same period, the data shows.

"People aren't afraid to carry guns, so obviously they are not worried [about carrying] knives," a Manhattan cop told The Post. "Plus it is a lot easier to get a hold of a knife." A Staten Island cop blamed the lack of serious consequences for offenders.

The rise in stabbings comes amid a 36% spike in major crime citywide as of Sunday.

Grand larceny was up a whopping 48.3%, from 20,374 to 30,205 incidents, auto theft rose 42%, from 5,589 to 7,939, and robbery jumped 39.8%, from 7,366 to 10,294, over the same period in 2021, the data show.

Meanwhile, murders were down 8.1%, from 284 to 261, the number of people shot dropped 7.4%, from 1,101 to 1,020, and the number of shooting incidents fell 10.1%, from 938 to 843, according to the NYPD data.

"The politicians will say 'Murder is down!' and ignore everything else," Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan told The Post earlier this week. "Meanwhile, everything else is God awful. nypost.com

Crime & Violence Not Keeping Shoppers Away
Is retail crime another reason to shop online?

Post-COVID, both empty storefronts and retail crime can be seen as deterrents to shopping brick-and-mortar stores.

It's hard to escape the violence permeating our cities and this country - particularly the associated gun violence. We should consider selling and shopping, not survival and retail crime.

Retail crime does not appear to be a shopping deterrent, but some of its byproducts may be formidable. Those are the sentiments of shoppers I reached out to who live and shop everywhere from urban to suburban stores. Rather than identifying individuals, the thoughts expressed seemed to be consistent among those who shared their opinions.

"I don't think higher store robbery rates would cause me to shop less in stores, even if I did know about them happening in the suburbs. Maybe I'm more rational than others, but there's more of a chance of me getting hurt just walking/driving around than getting hurt or even involved in a robbery. Statistically, it doesn't seem to be an issue that would cause me to slow shopping even if I were to be in an area with the higher retail crime rates."

A resident of Chicago's Gold Coast reflected, "The only crime-related reason that I am doing less in-store shopping is that there are fewer brick-and-mortar stores to shop. Between the pandemic and crime, many merchants in my 'hood, the Gold Coast and what was once the Miracle Mile (Chicago), have closed their doors. That said, aside from apparel, I have always been an online shopper and, more than crime, supply chain issues have increased my spending via the internet. In an effort to support local merchants, I will typically try to find something in two or three locations. Then, I'll buy online when not able to locate whatever I am seeking in-store." digitalcommerce360.com

Progressive Manhattan DA Defends Crime Policies
Op-Ed: To reduce NYC crime, invest in prevention
Last week, the Manhattan DA's office - along with its partners in the NYPD and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District - announced sweeping indictments against 24 alleged members of a violent criminal organization, charging them with numerous shootings, murders, drug trafficking and gunpoint robberies across Manhattan and the Bronx.

This week, the Manhattan DA's office is partnering with CUNY's Institute for State & Local Governance (ISLG) to award 10 community-based organizations with $20,000 each. These investments will engage young New Yorkers with supportive services and work in the community - methods proven to keep young people, and their neighbors, safe from gun violence.

While these two approaches are fundamentally different - the former a strong enforcement action and the latter a critical prevention strategy - both are essential to stop the swell of crime and gun violence that has plagued New York City, and the nation, since the pandemic began.

Enforcement is a blunt tool to stop known drivers of violence from continuing to harm the community. Last week's gang takedown was just the latest enforcement action by DA Bragg. Our office has increased gun prosecutions by 26% this year compared to last - in many cases seizing guns from alleged domestic abusers.

While we have more work to do, as of early August, homicides in Manhattan are down 12.5% this year compared to last, and shootings are down almost 20% - outpacing declines citywide in both categories.

But enforcement alone won't deliver the enduring safety we need. It must be paired with community partnerships to prevent violence upstream, provide support for victims of crime, and help those leaving incarceration thrive and avoid returning to jail.

Drivers of violence must and will be held accountable today. But preventing other young people from taking their place tomorrow on the path to violence and prison is the only sustainable way to deliver both safety and justice to our communities. We will continue to bring to justice those who commit violent crimes, but we all agree that a crime prevented is always better than a crime prosecuted. nydailynews.com

41% Decrease in Law Enforcement Deaths - 152 Year-to-Date
17 Deaths in July: 6 Gunfire - 4 Auto-Related - 3 Aircraft Accident - 2 Illness - 1 Heatstroke - 1 Animal-Related
In July, 17 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty. The cause breakdown (July 2022 only) is: 3 aircraft accident, 1 animal related, 3 automobile crash, 2 duty related illness, 6 gunfire, 1 heatstroke, and 1 vehicular assault. This means that the year-to-date total for line of duty deaths is at 152, a 41% decrease from the same time last year.

The Officer Down Memorial Page extends our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and agencies who lost a loved one to a line of duty death this past month. We encourage our supporters to read the memorials of each of the officers who died in the line of duty.  odmp.org

Crime Surges as Cities Grapple with Police Shortage
'Overwhelmed': Cops combat violent crime as ranks dwindle

Portland, Oregon, police confront a spike in killings and more than 100 officer vacancies.

From Philadelphia to Portland to Los Angeles, killings and gun violence are rising at the same time officers worn out by the pandemic and disillusioned over the calls to divest from policing that followed George Floyd's murder are quitting or retiring faster than they can be replaced.

Departments are scrambling to recruit in a tight labor market and also rethinking what services they can provide and what role police should play in their communities. Many have shifted veteran officers to patrol, breaking up specialized teams built over decades in order to keep up with 911 calls.

Portland logged a record 89 homicides last year - roughly three times its historical average - and is on pace to top that this year after already tallying more than 50. A report completed for the city last month by the California Partnership for Safe Communities found it had the largest homicide rate increase among similarly sized cities and 75% of homicides in 2020 were by gun. The city has seen nearly 800 shootings this year.

That follows a national trend. While non-violent crime decreased during the pandemic, the murder rate increased nearly 30% in 2020 and the rate of assaults went up 10%, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.

What law enforcement says is a staffing crisis could actually be a case of misdirected resources, said Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law School's Center for Innovations in Community Safety. Understaffed departments sometimes shift detectives to patrol because of political pressure, but research shows solving violent crime depresses crime rates more effectively than putting rank-and-file officers on the street, Lopez said.

In Philadelphia, the department is down 550 officers from pre-pandemic staffing and another 860 are on medical leave or restricted duty. apnews.com

As Shootings Soar, Philadelphia Is Awash in Guns
More than 1,400 people have been shot this year in Philadelphia, hundreds of them fatally - a higher toll than in much larger New York or Los Angeles.

Los Angeles City Council approves more funding for police in Hollywood


COVID Update

606.1M Vaccinations Given

US: 94.4M Cases - 1M Dead - 89.5M Recovered
Worldwide: 593.5M Cases - 6.4M Dead - 565.5M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 362   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 791
*Red indicates change in total deaths

Social Distancing & Quarantine Guidelines Loosened by the CDC
CDC drops quarantine, screening recommendations for COVID-19
The nation's top public health agency on Thursday relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others. The changes are driven by a recognition that - more than 2 1/2 years since the start of the pandemic - an estimated 95% of Americans 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity, either from being vaccinated or infected, agency officials said.

"The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years," said the CDC's Greta Massetti, an author of the guidelines.

The CDC recommendations apply to everyone in the U.S., but the changes could be particularly important for schools, which resume classes this month in many parts of the country. apnews.com

Long Covid and the workplace
Looking at what employers should think about when managing a worker with long Covid.
EEOC Updates COVID Workplace Testing Rules: What Employers Need To Know

What, if Any, Steps Should Employers be Taking to Address Monkeypox Outbreak


How Major Retailers Prepare for Natural Disasters - Part 3: The Home Depot
How The Home Depot Responds to Natural Disasters
On August 24, 1992, The Home Depot had an awakening. It was the day Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida and when we learned that we were not only a retail store, but also a part of the infrastructure of communities to assist citizens, first responders and relief organizations when disasters strike.

During big storms, our merchandising, supply chain and operations teams work around the clock in a complex effort to move necessary product and equipment to stores caught in the path of hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, wildfires and other crippling events. Meanwhile, our human resources team, alongside The Homer Fund, activates to support associates in dangers way while our operations teams work to be the last stores to close and the first to reopen to help communities recover.

Our stores often become command centers for first responders and relief agencies. The Home Depot Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations like Team Rubicon, an organization that rallies military veterans to help and empower communities in the wake of a disaster, to help deliver the right aid to the right people - right when they need it. The Foundation also contributes to the American Red Cross' Annual Disaster Giving Program to ensure it's prepared to respond immediately after a disaster strikes.

Rebuilding after a natural disaster takes time, money and energy that many victims simply don't have to spare. That's where we come in. From making sure emergency supplies are on hand to helping repair and rebuild, Team Depot, our associate-led volunteer force, instinctively goes into action to make sure our communities have the support they need to recover. corporate.homedepot.com

   Read Part 2 about Target's Disaster Preparedness & Response here

Retailers: Time to Review Your Disaster Plans
Strategies for Retailers to Weather the Storm this Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season 2022 is underway, and with it comes the looming threat of outages and downtime for retailers. Forecasters are projecting an above-average storm season for the sixth consecutive year, with the first tropical storms forming and Hurricane Agatha already making landfall in May. As we head into the peak of the season, retailers should review their disaster avoidance strategies as they seek to protect critical equipment and prevent downtime.

The Impact of Downtime

Natural disasters are a threat to any retailer's bottom line as downtime can severely hinder a store's ability to drive revenue. According to the Uptime Institute's 2022 Outage Analysis, more than 60% of outages reported in the time covered resulted in at least $100,000 in total losses, up from 39% in 2019. This will likely come as no surprise to many, as the COVID-19 pandemic led many retailers to adopt new digital strategies that made them heavily reliant on digital infrastructure and ecommerce.

Address the Threat

Prevention and visibility are essential factors in achieving the always-on power retailers demand, especially with many retailers pushing data to distributed infrastructure at multiple locations. While both big box chains and small businesses face the same size and scope of natural disasters, each retailer should take a unique approach that fits their individual needs.

A disaster avoidance strategy that incorporates integrated power management technology should serve as retailers' first line of defense against outages stemming from hurricanes and other disasters. Depending on the size of the retailer and number of stores it operates, such a system should include the following:

Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs)
Disaster avoidance software
Remote monitoring and predictive analytics

To avoid compromising customer data and privacy, retailers should make sure to incorporate cybersecurity safeguards as part of any decisions around procuring power management equipment, especially as ransomware has grown in prominence and impact. retailtouchpoints.com

The Growing Physical Security Market
Report Predicts $62.75 Billion Growth for Physical Security Over Next Four Years

Global concerns about crime and terrorism cited as reasons for market growth

The growth of the physical security market is picking up speed thanks to global concerns about crime and terrorism. Global market research firm Technavio has released its 2022-2026 forecast and analysis for the physical security market, with a forecast estimating an increase of $62.75 billion over the next four years.

Driving factors in this market growth are driven by global concerns about crime and terrorism, Technavio said. The report cites major contributing factors such as growing populations in modern cities and unemployment among youth.

The firm also said that the incidents of crime and terrorism are not only a concern for developing nations.

"Terrorism and crime incidents are not limited to developing economies; the number of such incidents is also rising in developed economies," Technavio noted. "Hence, businesses, as well as commercial and residential complexes, are employing physical security solutions, which involve video surveillance, access control, and others." securitysystemsnews.com

Nationwide Starbucks Union Strikes
Starbucks workers hold strikes in at least 17 states amid union drive

Workers allege over 75 people have been fired in retaliation for organizing this year

Workers at Starbucks have held over 55 different strikes in at least 17 states in the US in recent months over the company's aggressive opposition to a wave of unionization.

According to an estimate by Starbucks Workers United, the strikes have cost Starbucks over $375,000 in lost revenue. The union created a $1m strike fund in June 2022 to support Starbucks workers through their strikes and several relief funds have been established for strikes and to support workers who have lost their jobs.

Starbucks employees have alleged over 75 workers have been fired in retaliation for union organizing this year, and hundreds of allegations of misconduct by Starbucks related to the union campaign are currently under review at the National Labor Relations Board, including claims of shutting down stores to bust unions, firing workers and intimidating and threatening workers from unionizing. Starbucks has denied all allegations.

More than 200 Starbucks stores around the US have won their union votes, with dozens of stores currently waiting for their election votes. theguardian.com

The End of the Great Resignation - At Least in One Sector
Restaurant mogul Danny Meyer says inflation is ending the Great Resignation in the hospitality industry
As everything from food to energy gets more expensive, restaurant goers are also tipping their waiters more-making the historically high turnover sector a bit more attractive for employees.

Inflation-inspired higher tips are driving workers back into the restaurant industry, Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns of Shake Shack and a number of other NYC-based restaurants, told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Inflation has cut both ways in our industry... There's no question that menu prices are higher than they've ever been," Meyer said in an interview with Jim Cramer on "Mad Money." For hospitality workers, this means "if you do have a tipping model in your restaurants, servers are making more money than they've ever made before."

The opportunity to make more money in tips now-compared to low-inflation times-may slow down the Great Resignation in the sector, in which quitting has reached epidemic levels. fortune.com

Another Pharmacy Chain Under Fire for Opioid Crisis
WVa AG reaches settlement with Rite Aid over opioid supply
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has reached a settlement with Rite Aid that may total up to $30 million in a lawsuit alleging oversupply of opioids at pharmacies in the state, he said Thursday.

"Money will not bring back the lives lost from this epidemic, but we are looking for accountability," Morrisey said in a statement. The lawsuit alleged the pharmacy chain failed to monitor and report suspicious orders of prescription painkillers.

The lawsuit against the remaining pharmacy defendants continues, with a trial date in September, the statement said.

Funds from all opioid settlements will be distributed under an agreement with cities and counties on the use of future settlement proceeds to address the opioid crisis in the state, the statement said. myjournalcourier.com

Albertsons operates self-checkout-only trial store

Sears Holdings reaches $175M settlement with Lampert and company

Gen Z workers demand flexibility, don't want to be stuffed in a cubicle

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, Asset Protection - Operations job posted for Gap Inc. in San Francisco, CA
In this role, you will embody Do The Right Thing by protecting People, Assets, and Brands. You will work in an energized, fast paced environment focused on creating a safe environment for our employees, teams, and customers; this is critical to driving our Brand Power, Enduring Customer Relationships, and exuding our commitment to Team and Values. You'll need to understand the big picture strategy and work with cross-functional teams and external partners. gapinc.com

Director, Loss Prevention - Commerce and Operations job posted for David Yurman in New York, NY
This position is responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the protection, safeguarding, and security of company assets and employees with a focus on all channels of commerce and LP operations. In addition, this role will design, implement, and monitor security policies, procedures, and programs and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local legal regulations. linkedin.com

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In Case You Missed It

CONTROLTEK Implements RFID Inventory Management System, CONTROLSPAN Professional, for Jockey International, Inc.

- CONTROLTEK, a leading provider of loss prevention and asset protection solutions, partners with Jockey International, Inc., a 146-year-old brand recognized around the world for its premium underwear and apparel, to roll out RFID Inventory Management solution CONTROLSPAN Professional to all stores across the United States.

Jockey has selected to implement CONTROLSPAN Professional RFID software paired with Nordic ID hardware to create improvements in their inventory management system. CONTROLSPAN Professional provides Jockey real-time item-level visibility and asset tracking across their nationwide chain of stores, allowing them to optimize stocking and provide insights that lead to an enhanced customer experience.

"RFID is increasingly becoming the standard way for leading retailers to manage their inventory across organizations," said Rubin Press, vice president of global sales at CONTROLTEK. "Through this rollout, Jockey will now be able to have an up to 99 percent accurate, real-time visibility of their entire stock in all of their stores across the country."

"We are thrilled to partner with Jockey through this rollout of CONTROLSPAN Professional." said Rod Diplock, chief executive officer at CONTROLTEK. "CONTROLSPAN Professional is the future of retail inventory software and an integral part of the successful deployment of a cohesive omnichannel strategy."

For more information about CONTROLSPAN Professional, visit CONTROLTEK's website or contact a CONTROLTEK sales representative at sales@controltekusa.com.








$10 Million Reward for Ransomware Gang Members
State Department offers $10M for details on Conti ransomware gang members
The State Department on Thursday announced a $10 million reward for information related to five specific individuals associated with the Conti ransomware group. The Russian-based cybercriminal group has wreaked havoc around the world. As of January 2022, there were more than 1,000 victims of attacks associated with Conti ransomware and payouts exceeding $150 million, according to the FBI.

The agency is seeking information on Conti associates known as "Tramp," "Dandis," "Professor," "Reshaev" and "Target," the agency said Thursday and first reported by Wired. A previous reward offer, announced May 6, promised $10 million for information leading to the identification and/or location of people who held "a key leadership position" within Conti. An additional $5 million reward was available to anybody who could provide information leading to the arrest and or conviction of anybody in any country conspiring to take part in a Conti variant ransomware attack.

Agency officials made the announcement at Black Hat, the annual cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas that brings together cybersecurity experts and policy makers from around the world. The State Department had a booth at the event advertising the rewards - with T-shirts, posters, casino chips with QR codes - which are administered through its Rewards for Justice program.

On Feb. 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine, a message appeared on the group's website pledging support for Russia and warning that it would attack "the critical infrastructures" of any country that took action against Russia. The group quickly softened the message, but a Ukrainian researcher with access to Conti's servers released a trove of messages exposing the inner workings of the group.

Some thought the situation hobbled the group, but it remains up and running. In late April the group launched a series of attacks on the government of Costa Rica, demanding $20 million and calling for protests in the streets as the government refused to pay. In July, researchers with IBM's Security X-Force published research showing TrickBot, an associated cybercrime operation, had been "systematically attacking Ukraine."

But the chats did offer a window into the day-to-day operations of the group, showing it to be a highly organized, if somewhat inefficient, and structured operation. "Target," for instance, was seen chatting to "Stern," one of the main leaders, about various teams' monthly salaries, according to an analysis from cybersecurity firm Trellix, implying some kind of management role.  cyberscoop.com

'Dangerous' New Tool for Scammers
Why robotexts are scammers' favorite new tool
If you've recently received a text claiming to have a delivery update for a package you never ordered or providing an urgent security alert for a bank you don't belong to, you're not alone.

AdvertisementSo far in 2022, the Federal Communications Commission has received more than 8,500 complaints about "unwanted text messages," according to a consumer alert released last month.

That number is on track to surpass the number of complaints in 2021, which included 15,300 messages. But according to industry data, the number is likely just a small sliver of the problem. Spam-blocking app RoboKiller estimated that consumers received more than 12 billion robotexts in June alone.

Like robocalls, robotexts aren't just a nuisance - they're a powerful tool for scammers. In fact, experts say that in some ways scam text messages can be even more dangerous than robocalls. With one click, a victim could be tricked into providing information used to hack into their bank account or work email.

"I would argue that, in a way, robotexts are actually more dangerous," said Teresa Murray at Public Interest Research Group, a consumer watchdog group. "Maybe not more annoying, but more dangerous because it's more difficult for consumers to determine whether a robotext is legitimate or not."

Part of the increase in texts, Murray says, stems from a decrease in robocalls. Since an FCC mandate requiring all voice providers to implement call verification software went into effect last summer, robocalls declined by nearly 50 percent, according to a report from her group. More than half of U.S. phone providers have since implemented some sort of robocall mitigation software for voice calls, forcing scammers into a new line of business. cyberscoop.com

Does Your Company Have Ransomware Coverage?
Cyber-Insurance Fail: Most Businesses Lack Ransomware Coverage

Even among businesses with cyber insurance, they lack coverage for basic costs of many cyberattacks, according to a BlackBerry survey.

Organizations lack sufficient levels of cyber-insurance coverage to protect themselves in case of a ransomware attack, with just 14% of businesses with 1,400 or fewer employees boasting coverage limits above $600,000.

These were among the findings of a BlackBerry and Corvus Insurance survey of 450 business decision-makers for IT and security solutions, which also revealed more than a third (37%) of respondents currently lack coverage for any ransomware payment demands.

Nearly six in 10 (59%) of respondents said they hoped the government would cover damages when future attacks are linked to other nation-states, and fully half of small to medium-size business (SMB) respondents said they hoped Uncle Sam would increase financial aid in all ransomware incidents. darkreading.com

Cybersecurity Conferences Sweep Las Vegas
What to watch for as 'Hacker Summer Camp' gets underway in Las Vegas
A trio of cybersecurity conferences - BSidesLV, Black Hat USA and DEF CON - kicks off this week in Las Vegas in what's collectively known as Hacker Summer Camp, bringing together policymakers, executives, experts, hackers and enthusiasts against a backdrop of some of the most unsettled international events of recent years.

Thousands of cybersecurity professionals will gather on the Vegas Strip nearly six months into Russia's war in Ukraine, two-and-a-half years into the COVID-19 pandemic and less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's historic visit to Taiwan triggered a wave of cyberattacks.

All of this, in addition to the looming risk of COVID-19 infections, will drive much of the conversation at panels, workshops, in the hallways during the conferences, and we'll be there to cover as much of it as possible. cyberscoop.com

Cisco Confirms Data Breach, Hacked Files Leaked
Ransomware gang gained access to the company's VPN in May by convincing an employee to accept a multifactor authentication (MFA) push notification.

4 Flaws, Other Weaknesses Undermine Cisco ASA Firewalls







Amazon 'Spying on the Layout' of Homes?

Antitrust researchers and data-privacy experts say Amazon's Roomba purchase is 'most dangerous, threatening acquisition in the company's history'

People don't buy a Roomba to have it "spying on the layout of your home," a researcher said.

After Amazon on Friday said it acquired iRobot, the company behind Roomba vacuums, data-privacy experts and antitrust researchers quickly raised alarm, saying the tech giant could use the purchase to vacuum up personal information from inside users' homes.

Advanced Roomba vacuums have internal mapping technology that learns the floor plan of a user's home. The devices can also "adapt to and remember" up to 10 floor plans "so users can carry their robot to another floor or a separate home, where the robot will recognize its location and clean as instructed," press releases by iRobot say. Some models have low-resolution cameras to avoid obstacles and aid in mapping.

"People tend to think of Amazon as an online-seller company, but, really, Amazon is a surveillance company. That is the core of its business model, and that's what drives its monopoly power and profit," Evan Greer, the director of the nonprofit digital-rights-advocacy organization Fight for the Future, told Wired. "Amazon wants to have its hands everywhere, and acquiring a company that's essentially built on mapping the inside of people's homes seems like a natural extension of the surveillance reach that Amazon already has."

Ron Knox, a senior researcher and writer for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance - a nonprofit that gives tech assistance to community businesses - said in a series of tweets after the acquisition was announced that the $1.7 billion deal, the fourth-largest acquisition in Amazon's portfolio, "may be the most dangerous, threatening acquisition in the company's history." businessinsider.com

Rolling Out Amazon Palm Print Payments at Whole Foods
Amazon begins large-scale rollout of palm print-based payments

The technology has drawn scrutiny from privacy activists and politicians.

Amazon will expand its Amazon One palm print checkout system to dozens of Whole Foods locations, marking the most significant expansion of the technology that was introduced in 2020.

Amazon One allows customers to speedily check out at retail locations using only their palm prints after storing a scan of their hand via an interface at Amazon's kiosks. The palm print data is encrypted and stored on Amazon's servers. And before you worry too much about COVID-19 transmission or future pandemics, Amazon One works when you hover your palm over the scanner-unlike some handprint tech.

Amazon initially added the technology in its Amazon Go stores and the now-shuttered Amazon Books retail locations. It then made its way to several Whole Foods locations in the Seattle area. (Amazon has owned the Whole Foods grocery chain since 2017.)

Now, Amazon Go will expand to 65 Whole Foods stores across California. The rollout starts in Malibu and Santa Monica, with more locations adopting it in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, and the Bay Area over the next few weeks. Amazon previously rolled the tech out to a few select locations in California, but never at this scale. arstechnica.com

Below old Seattle Macy's, Amazon plans to test robots







Bellevue, WA: 5 charged in organized retail theft ring, totaling $100K+
2 suspects arrested in Retail Crime Theft ring, including convicted killer of Tuba Man. At least two people were in custody in connection with a retail crime ring that officials say is responsible for more than $100,000 in stolen merchandise from several high-end stores in Bellevue and the Seattle area. One of those people was Billy Chambers, 29, the same person arrested in 2008 for killing 53-year-old Edward McMichael, Seattle's "Tuba Man." A Bellevue Police spokesperson said there are six total suspects in these cases with two currently in custody. Of the six suspects, five have been charged, according to police.

Bellevue Police Department detectives say the first case saw four suspects charged, three of them allegedly stole more than $93,000 in Louis Vuitton bags. The fourth was charged for selling the bags. Police say they hit the Louis Vuitton twice in June 2022. Detectives found the bags for sale online, set up a buy and arrested one of the suspects. The three arrested in this crime ring were Chambers, Memory Yearby and Earnetra Turner. Trey Kendall was arrested for selling the bags.

"These suspects were aggressive and coordinated in their efforts and often physically confronted employees or security who stood in their way," BPD Captain Shelby Shearer said. "These crew also caused significant damage to the stores during the thefts, causing some businesses to close for the day to clean up the mess."
The second case saw detectives arrest a 24-year-old for multiple thefts totaling nearly $13,000 from the Bellevue Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack in October and November 2021. The suspect, Janay Luckey, walked into stores, cut off security tags and left. She is also accused of selling these items online. Luckey's criminal record stretches down the highway to Seattle, where she is charged with five counts of organized retail theft and trafficking out of Seattle, with those totals reaching more than $84,000.

BPD's third case involves a theft nearing $7,000 from Ulta in Factoria. Detectives here say two people stole 62 bottles of perfume, one was arrested in Kent and the other was a suspect in the Louis Vuitton theft. The two used a rental car and left, but the merchandise here was recovered. q13fox.com

Pittsburg, CA: 11 arrested after retail thefts in Pittsburg; meth & heroin seized
A series of retail thefts were reported earlier this week in Pittsburg, police announced in a Facebook post on Thursday. A total of 11 arrests were made for theft-related crimes at Century Plaza Shopping Center. The Pittsburg Police Department also recovered a firearm, along with "large" amounts of methamphetamine and heroin. Several businesses were stolen from, but police did not specify which ones. At the plaza, shops include Target, Burlington and Mancini's Sleepworld. Photos posted by Pittsburg PD show a handgun was recovered and at least 15 bullets. The crystal meth seized was kept in a Hefty sandwich bag. In the comments section of the Facebook post, Pittsburg police said "a lot" of merchandise was recovered. Pittsburg PD did not release any other information about the 11 suspects arrested.  kron4.com

Bronx, NY: 'I Couldn't Even See:' Masked Thieves With Bear Spray Terrorize NYC Jewelry Store in $800K Heist
10 people in masks used bear spray to temporarily maim workers in an NYC jewelry store before swiping nearly $1 million in merchandise and fleeing the scene, authorities say. Video shows workers and others scrambling into nearby stores as a security worker grabs his face in pain. People walking by on the street were also sprayed, and a street vendor said he had to use milk to flush his eyes. Mojib Ullah, a manager at a nearby clothing store, says he's been working in the area 13 years and has never seen local crimes of today's magnitude and frequency. He blames the pandemic, and says now, "this area is getting by worse and worse every day. They robbed the corner store, three times. Across the street, robbed last week." nbcnewyork.com

St George, UT: 3 suspects at large following $20,000 jewelry theft in St. George
Three suspects are at large after more than $20,000 in merchandise was stolen from a jewelry store on Red Cliffs Drive in St. George in what police called a "distraction theft." Shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday, officers were dispatched to a theft reported at a jewelry store on Red Cliffs Drive in St. George. Officers arrived to learn that $20,000 in jewelry reportedly was stolen from the store. Detectives were called out to process the scene, efforts that continued for several hours as they collected evidence, surveillance footage and other information, St. George Police Detective Zack Bahlmann told St. George News in an email. stgeorgeutah.com

Overland, KS: Overland Park police asking for public's help following grab-and-run theft
The Overland Park Police Department is asking for the public's help identifying multiple people in connection with a grab-and-run theft that happened Wednesday. According to the police, the felony theft happened on Aug. 10 in the 9700 block of Quivira Road. It appears the theft took place at a store. The police department did not specify the time the theft happened. The police add that these individuals committed similar thefts in Olathe, as well as Belton and Liberty on the Missouri side of the metro. kctv5.com

Exton, PA: Police Investigating Theft from Sephora in Exton

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Shootings & Deaths

Cincinnati, OH: Man stabbed, killed at BJ's Restaurant at Tri-County Mall
A man is dead following a stabbing at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse at the Tri-County Mall on Thursday night, according to Springdale police. Officers were dispatched around 11:22 p.m. for a report of a man injured and bleeding, officials said in a news release. Police and emergency crews found the victim, Paris Dismukes, inside the business and transported him to the University of Cincinnati West Chester Hospital with life-threatening injuries, officials said. He later died at the hospital. Officials said the injuries stemmed from an assault at the restaurant involving another man, Jan Tolentino. Police said Tolentino was arrested and taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center. cincinnati.com

Decatur, GA: Gas Station shooting suspect arrested, charged with murder
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit, with assistance from the DeKalb County Police Department K9 Unit, today arrested a suspect in the July 13 murder of Demario Kentrall Parrish at a Chevron gas station on Candler Road in Decatur. According to arrest warrants, Jimmy Holmes, 25, of Decatur is charged with Aggravated Assault and Murder, both felonies, for causing Parrish's death by shooting him twice. ocgnews.com

Atlanta, GA: Murder suspect kills himself after chase, crashing into package store
A police chase ended in a violent crash in southwest Atlanta Thursday afternoon. Channel 2′s Tom Jones learned that a man is dead after witnesses say he slammed his car into a package store and then they heard a shot. On Thursday night, Georgia State Patrol said the man shot and killed himself and the chase started because the driver was connected to a murder. wsbtv.com

Austin, TX: Man charged for deadly baseball bat beating outside of North Austin convenience store
Police have arrested and charged a man for a fatal beating Wednesday outside a North Austin convenience store. 18-year-old Jose Alberto Lopez-Mederos is charged with first-degree murder for the killing of 40-year-old Josue Salazar. The Austin Police Department says at around 1 p.m. officers responded to a call of a man found bleeding at the EZ Stop convenience store located in the 1200 block of Kramer Lane, just west of North Lamar Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found Salazar on the ground, unresponsive with apparent trauma. He was pronounced deceased at the scene a short time later. APD says according to their preliminary investigation, Lopez-Mederos pulled up in a vehicle, walked up to Salazar, and then repeatedly hit him with a baseball bat. cbsaustin.com

Hickory, NC: One dead after shooting outside Hickory furniture store
One person was killed after an argument in a Hickory parking lot on Wednesday night, police say. According to the Hickory Police Department, 40-year-old Luis Alonso Torres was found with a gunshot wound to his torso in the parking lot of King Hickory Furniture located at 1028 15th Street Drive Northeast. Police responded to the scene at approximately 8:10 p.m. Medical personnel attempted life-saving measures on Torres, but he did not survive. After receiving information from witnesses, investigators determined that Torres had been in an altercation with 32-year-old Joe Angel Rangel. Officers located Rangel in a nearby area and arrested him. wbtv.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Mobile, AL: Family Dollar clerk stabbed; woman charged with attempted murder
A Family Dollar clerk in Alabama who attempted to stop a woman from shoplifting on Thursday was in critical condition after being stabbed, authorities said According to the Mobile Police Department, On Thursday, August 11, 2022, at approximately 2:13 p.m., officers responded to 717 Dauphin Island Parkway, Family Dollar, concerning one stabbed. Upon arrival, officers discovered that the subject was attempting to exit the business with merchandise without paying. The employee tried to prevent the subject from leaving when she was cut with a knife along the neck. The victim was transported to the hospital, and her condition has been listed as critical. Officers quickly located and detained the subject on the 1000 block of Dauphin Island Parkway. Takea Shackleford, 39, was transported to Metro Jail and charged with attempted murder and robbery first degree. mynbc15.com

Bronx, NY: Elderly store owner critically injured trying to stop shoplifters
A 67-year-old Bronx store owner was knocked unconscious as he attempted to stop two shoplifters at his store on Thursday afternoon. The NYPD says it happened about 5 p.m. at 934 Morris Ave on a block of small businesses in Concourse Village. Yhe two unidentified shoplifters grabbed items from the store. When the store owner attempted to stop them, they punched and kicked the man across his body. He was knocked to the ground, causing him to strike his head. The man sustained a serious physical injury to his head. EMS rushed him to Lincoln Hospital. His current condition is unknown. fox5ny.com

Savannah, GA: Felon faces up to life in prison after admitting to day-long spree of Armed Robberies
A Chatham County man faces a possible sentence of up to life in prison after admitting to 16 C-Stores in 18 hours. Anthony Franzel Hamilton, 60, of Savannah, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery, and Brandishing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry up to life in prison, along with substantial financial penalties and up to five years of supervised release after completion of the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system. justice.gov

Cypress, LA: Arrested during Traffic Stop; wanted by Texas and Louisiana authorities for Jewelry Store robberies
A Shreveport man with ties to Natchitoches Parish wanted in connection with a Texas jewelry store heist and other similar crimes in central and north Louisiana was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate-49 near Cypress on Wednesday morning according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright. On July 1, 2022, at approximately 1:25 pm, Longview Police Officers responded to a reported robbery at Kay Jewelers in the Longview Mall in Longview, Texas. The investigation continued with NPSO Detectives learning that Moody had been arrested in Rapides Parish on a similar offense and that he was wanted in Richland Parish for Armed Robbery of a Jewelry Store, and a Person of Interest in Jewelry Store robbery in Morehouse Parish. natchitochesparishjournal.com

Memphis, TN: Retailers offering $25k in rewards after string of liquor store burglaries
Memphis CrimeStoppers and Shelby County announced a special reward on Thursday of up to $25,000 for information leading to one or more arrests in a string of organized "grab and run" retail liquor store burglaries this year. This extra reward, which is in addition to regular CrimeStoppers felony rewards, was raised by the Memphis Area Liquor Retailers representing dozens of store owners in the city victimized by the break-ins. More than 40 stores have been hit since May 19 of this year, with similar motives for each. actionnews5.com

Gilford, NH: Woman returns bag of money she found in parking lot of New Hampshire grocery store
A woman couldn't believe her eyes after she stumbled upon a bag of cash in the parking lot of a grocery store in New Hampshire. In a Facebook post, Sonja O'Brien said she was at a Hannford Supermarkets store in Gilford when a Brinks money truck drove off with its door wide open. "Watch it drive off, look down and there's a fat bag of money," O'Brien wrote in the post. O'Brien brought the bag into the store and turned it over to management. Hannford rewarded O'Brien for her good deed with a $100 gift card. "Wow. Never ever in a million years," O'Brien added. boston25news.com



Emeryville, CA: Arson Suspected in Fire at Target
Authorities said they believe someone deliberately sparked a fire inside a Target store in Emeryville earlier this week. The blaze, reported at 5:48 p.m. Monday, forced customers and employees to evacuate the store at 1555 40th St., police said. When police and firefighters arrived, the fire had been extinguished by employees. "During the investigation, it appears the fire was intentionally started in the area of a towel display," Emeryville police said Wednesday in a news release. A person of interest was seen on video surveillance near the area where the fire started, but police didn't release any other details about the investigation.  nbcbayarea.com

Gastonia, NC: Anonymous donor adds $10,000 for information into arson at Tony's Ice Cream



Beauty - Exton, PA - Robbery
C-Store - Sonora, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Overland Park, KS - Robbery
C-Store - Vidalia, GA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Cedar City, UT - Armed Robbery
Dollar - Mobile, AL - Armed Robbery / Clerk stabbed
Grocery - Arcata, CA - Robbery
Guns - Fayette County, GA - Burglary
Jewelry - Bronx, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - St George, UT - Robbery
Jewelry - Syracuse, NY - Robbery
Jewelry - Palmdale, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Downey, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Chula Vista, CA - Robbery
Jewelry - Charleston, SC - Robbery
Liquor - Toms River, NJ - Robbery
Restaurant - Baton Rouge, LA - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - San Antonio, TX - Robbery
Walmart - Glenolden, PA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 1 burglary
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 85 robberies
• 31 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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