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The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Target Saw 120% Increase in Theft in First Five Months of 2023
Target facing 'unacceptable amount' of retail theft and ORC, CEO says
Target Corp. CEO Brian Cornell says that the company is facing an "unacceptable amount" of retail theft and organized retail crime.

Speaking on the conference call to discuss Target's second-quarter results, Cornell reiterated his previous comments about inventory "shrink," or losses, caused by theft and organized retail crime. "Our team continues to face an unacceptable amount of retail theft and organized retail crime," he said. "Shrink remains consistent with our expectations but well above the sustainable level where we expect to operate over time, and unfortunately, safety incidents associated with theft are moving in the wrong direction."

Cornell highlighted safety threats that Target employees are facing, saying that during the first five months of 2023, Target stores saw a 120% increase in theft involving violence or threats of violence.

Target has experienced more than a percentage point of cumulative profit pressure from higher shrink since 2019, he said.

Also speaking on the conference call, Target's chief financial officer, Michael Fiddelke, discussed the company's efforts to tackle the problem. "We're working hard both inside our stores and with government and community partners to achieve lower loss rates over time, and our long-run expectation is that shrink rates will moderate from today's unsustainable levels. But so far, we've only seen indications that loss rates might soon be reaching a plateau but have not yet seen evidence that loss rates will begin to come down," he said.

Theft and organized retail crime have increasingly become a key driver of inventory shrink in recent years. Earlier this week, Home Depot Inc. discussed the ongoing "battle in retail" related to shrink. However, the home-improvement retailer said it is hopeful that a new law -- the INFORM Act -- will aid efforts to tackle a problem that costs the sector billions of dollars a year. marketwatch.com  themessenger.com

VF Corp. VP of LP Urges People To Take Theft Seriously
Retail theft: The narrative that 'it's not a big deal' needs to change, VF Corp. exec
Marty Andrews, VF Corporation (VFC) Vice President of Loss Prevention, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the impact of retail theft on companies as part of the weekly series "Retail Evolution: The New Era."

"We need to educate folks on what organized retail crime actually is, and these are groups going into stores, stealing massive amounts of quantities of merchandise in various stores, day in and day out," Andrews says, defining the difference between simple shoplifting and organized retail theft. "That thought process of 'these are big organizations and they're insured and it's not a big deal,' we need to change that narrative."

Andrews pushes the need for law enforcement's involvement, citing viral incidents of retail crime sprees that have seen upwards of $100,000 in losses in a single day, targeting not just retail locations but distribution warehouses as well.

"We want to keep people safe, first and foremost," Andrews states. "And we have to continually coach on de-escalation and making sure that we're not putting our people in harm's way." finance.yahoo.com

Protecting Retail Workers Who Confront Shoplifters
NY lawmaker wants retail workers who try to stop shoplifters protected from retaliation
Retail workers in New York who try to stop shoplifters would not be at risk of losing their jobs or being punished by their bosses under legislation proposed by a Long Island state lawmaker.

Many retail companies have told workers to avoid confrontations with thieves over liability and safety concerns. Adding insult to injury, some employees who tried to stop thieves from stealing have been fired or disciplined.

Enough is enough, said Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Smithtown).

His bill would protect employees from retaliation by an employer if they confront or attempt to confront an individual to prevent theft.

"The current explosion in retail theft, which shows no signs of subsiding. The unfortunate outcome has resulted in job loss for many employees who react to these crimes by intervening in an attempt to stop these criminals," Fitzpatrick said in the memo explaining his anti-retaliation/jobs protection bill.

He said the measure does not advocate employee interactions with shoplifters, and agreed that it's "common sense" for stores to have trained security personnel to handle lawbreakers.

But neither should workers be fired or punished for trying to stop criminals from raiding their stores, he said.

In 2022, more than 63,000 reports for retail theft were made - a 45% jump from 2021 when just over 43,000 complaints were recorded. In 2019, the tally was just under 38,000. It's so bad in Midtown, the 34th Street Partnership has hired its own K-9 units to deter the thieves. nypost.com

California: The ORC Epicenter of America?
Organized retail crime 'particularly acute' in California, industry expert says
Organized retail crime is a burgeoning issue impacting retailers nationwide. However, the incidents in California are "particularly acute," according to Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Brian Dodge.

"As it relates to crime and organized retail crime, California is truly in a league of its own," Dodge told FOX Business.

Dodge specifically referenced policy decisions California has made in recent years that he said made it easier for criminals to avoid prosecution and recruit boosters, a term for individuals who steal goods and merchandise as part of a bigger operation.

Under California law, incidents of shoplifting where the value of what's taken is under $950 are prosecuted as a misdemeanor, not a felony. Misdemeanors are "punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both."

In order to crack down on this issue, criminals, who are often tied to more nefarious crimes, need to be "prosecuted aggressively," according to Dodge. He added that it's the most important starting point in tackling this issue in California and around the country.

The good news is that progress is being made to combat these operations, particularly when it comes to reselling the goods online.  The RILA was a major leader in getting the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers Act - or the INFORM Consumers Act - passed in December, according to Dodge.

On top of these efforts, more than a dozen state attorneys general have launched organized retail crime task forces to coordinate investigations between retailers and prosecutors.

Last year, Homeland Security Investigations also launched Operation Boiling Point, which is "focused on combating organized theft groups through the targeting of domestic and transnational criminal organizations profiting from organized retail crime."  foxbusiness.com

Police Chief Puts Walgreens on the Hot Seat Over Crime & Safety
Albuquerque, NM: APD sends letter about safety, security to Walgreens after recent incidents
Albuquerque police released a video of teens stealing alcohol at a Walgreens before a deadly shooting over a stolen car. They also sent a letter to the store about security concerns. Albuquerque Police Department (APD) shared this surveillance video showing two juveniles carrying bottles of booze out of a west side Walgreens before driving around town in a stolen car. Investigators claimed shortly after that, those same teens encountered the car's owner, Sydney Wilson, near Central and Coors. She had tracked her car down with the GPS on her phone. Police said the teens crashed the car after she confronted them, and they tried to flee on foot. However, police claimed one of them, 13-year-old Marcos Barela, shot and killed Wilson. He's now charged with murder.

This incident, coupled with another viral shoplifting case at a different Walgreens, prompted APD to send a letter to the drugstore and urge them to make major changes to their security. APD Chief Harold Medina gave a public warning to the chain store on August 4, 2023. "Walgreens has to take ownership for their store, for their product, and they have to develop [a] process which helps ensure that their alcohol is not being stolen and is not compounding to a community issue or problems surrounding their locations," he said at the time. About 10 days later on August 14, he published a letter to the company's district offices.

According to the letter, since January 2022, APD has responded to 1,000 calls for service at just five Walgreens along the Central Avenue corridor. It said the location on Eubank has seen a 20% increase in calls for service in the last six months. In the letter, APD said these calls for service alone cost taxpayers $125,000. "It is not the responsibility of the Albuquerque Police Department and the taxpayers of the City of Albuquerque to put an officer at every single Walgreens that sells alcohol," Chief Medina said at an August 4 press conference.  krqe.com

Maui Suffering from Crime & Looting in Wildfire Aftermath
Desperate residents are looting businesses and robbing people at gunpoint
Desperate survivors in Lahaina are robbing people at gunpoint as they wait for food and shelter in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires, Hawaiian locals said.

"There's some police presence. There's some small military presence, but at night people are being robbed at gunpoint," co-owner of a Lāhainā bar called The Dirty Monkey, Matt Robb, told Business Insider.

Robb added: "People are raped and pillaged. I mean, they're going through houses - and then by day it's hunky-dory. So where is the support? I don't think our government and our leaders, at this point, know how to handle this or what to do."

Owner of restaurant Coconut Caboose Jeremy Aganos, one of the businesses that survived the fires, told KITV it is "utter chaos" for those seeking aid. His business was attacked by looters, he said.

Another Lahaina resident, Barrett Procell, told the news station he and his wife are now homeless and wearing donated clothes. He said he understands the desperate measures some Lahaina survivors are taking.

"When your children are here starving after almost burning to death and the police won't let people drive in to give you necessities, you may turn to desperate measures. It is unfortunate people are turning to looting right now, but it's about helping them and not villainizing them," he said.

One user of X, formerly Twitter, wrote Sunday: "Looting happening in Lahaina town. The only thing left from my uncles house was a fireproof safe. Family went to check on the property yesterday only to find the safe has been pried open the last of their possessions gone." Another user wrote Friday that "looting is out of control. fox10phoenix.com

Surge in Oakland Crime Sparks Controversy: Crime Up 28% Over LY
Recall effort aimed at unseating Progressive Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price moves closer to gathering signatures

The recall effort formed barely six months into Price's tenure

OAKLAND - A group calling itself "Save Alameda for Everyone: Recall Pamela Price" moved a step closer to beginning a county-wide, signature-gathering effort aimed at unseating the county's top prosecutor.

The committee, which goes by the acronym SAFE, filed a notice of intent to circulate a recall petition with the county's registrar of voters on Tuesday, according to Carl Chan, a recall leader and the government affairs chair of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

"Many people don't feel safe," said Chan, in a press conference outside of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in downtown Oakland. "We are not doing it just for victims' families - we are doing it for everyone in Alameda County. We are recalling because people have to be accountable for their jobs."

The group's notice on Tuesday framed the effort as a "broad coalition of Alameda County residents, business owners, victims, victims' families and concerned citizens." It alleged that Price was "failing" voters in her job of prosecuting people and keeping residents safe.

Her justice reform efforts have been met with resistance. Dozens of prosecutors from her office have quit or been placed on leave, some writing and leaking resignations letters that offered pointed criticisms of Price, who brushed off concerns over office turnover in an interview. mercurynews.com

Flash mob robberies: Nike store in East LA targeted by thieves weekly, LASD says

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces 'surge initiative' to help combat crime in Cleveland



'60 minutes' Airs Segment on eBay 'Terror Campaign'
eBay investigation continues after couple became the target of harassment, stalking by eBay employees
In 2022, users sold almost $74 billion worth of goods through eBay. But last winter, buried in an otherwise dull annual financial disclosure-a note on page 105 hinted at a scandal inside the Silicon Valley giant.

It refers to an inquiry from the U.S. Attorney about the stalking and harassment of the editor and publisher of an online newsletter at the hands of eBay employees.

David Steiner and his wife, Ina Steiner, loved eBay so much they started a publication to help people who sell stuff on the auction site, and then, found themselves the focus of a terror campaign.

Most of their 600,000 readers are sellers on eBay, Amazon and Etsy, but the Steiners say e-commerce executives also read Ina's articles closely Court records in the case show how the top eBay executives became enraged by the Steiners' newsletter and readers who posted comments criticizing the company on their site, which eBay viewed as a threat to its business.

The scheme was hatched in August 2019 after Ina Steiner wrote a story about a lawsuit brought by eBay accusing Amazon of poaching its sellers. A half-hour after the article was published, then-CEO Devin Wenig sent another top eBay executive a message saying: "If you are ever going to take her down ... now is the time," according to court documents.

Soon, Ina Steiner began receiving harassing and sometimes threatening Twitter messages. Bizarre anonymous packages started arriving at the couple's home, including a box of live spiders, a funeral wreath and a book about surviving the loss of a spouse.

Authorities portrayed Baugh as the mastermind of the scheme and said he directed eBay employees to use prepaid debit cards, disguises and overseas email accounts to hide the company's involvement cbsnews.com

Statements provided by eBay and former CEO Devin Wenig are available here.

Watch the full eBay segment on '60 Minutes' here

Click here to read the full story, including the list of ex-eBay Security executives involved, pleas, sentences & awaiting sentencing + previous coverage.

Bay Area Exodus Sending People to Surprising Destination: Seattle
Same problems - drugs, crime, homelessness - different location?

California exodus: Top destination for Bay Area transplants isn't in Texas or Florida. It's ... Seattle?

They're both home to Big Tech, liberal politics and natural beauty, but Seattle's big lure: relatively cheaper housing

In recent years, red states have relished the chance to take a deep dig at dark blue California: The Golden State is hemorrhaging residents, and many are moving to the low-tax Republican havens of Texas, Arizona and Florida.

But it turns out the biggest draw for Bay Area transplants is in an entirely different direction. Try our rainy neighbor to the north: Seattle.

King County, Washington, topped the IRS migration list of out-of-state relocation destinations for people leaving four of the five core Bay Area counties in 2021: Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.

More than 7,600 Bay Area residents moved to Seattle in the thick of the COVID pandemic, which set off a remote-work revolution that freed employees from being bound to abodes near the office.

"I think of Seattle as Silicon Valley with the same stuff. I mean, similarly fraught - rising prices and a lot of crowding," Hancock said. "So people are saying, 'I've had it. I've had it with the Bay Area. I've had it with San Francisco. I can't deal with any more homelessness. I'm tired of seeing needles and feces on the street.' Well, that's all up in Seattle as well. So that's why I'm surprised." mercurynews.com

Another San Francisco Retailer Could Ditch the City
Iconic San Francisco store Gump's warns it could close
John Chachas, who acquired Gump's following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, paid for ad space in the print edition of Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle in which he ran an open letter to California Governor Newsom, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and the city's Board of Supervisors calling on them to take action regarding the worsening state of the city's downtown area.

"Gump's has been a San Francisco icon for more than 165 years," Chachas wrote in the ad. "Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of this city's conditions."

In the letter, Chachas said that the ramifications of Covid policies advising people to abandon their offices are only beginning to be understood.

"Equally devastating have been a litany of destructive San Francisco strategies, including allowing the homeless to occupy our sidewalks, to openly distribute and use illegal drugs, to harass the public and to defile the city's streets," he wrote.

If Gump's were to close, it would be the latest in a lineup of retailers that included Whole Foods Market, Anthropologie, Gap and Saks Off 5th who have abandoned downtown San Francisco. In June, mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stopped making payments on its $558 million loan on Westfield San Francisco Centre and would transfer ownership to its lender. The company cited "challenging "challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic." chainstoreage.com

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Permitting Delays 'Getting Worst' For New Restaurants With Drive-Thrus
Wendy's wants to open new locations, if it can only get the permits
The burger chain cited "substantial permitting delays in the U.S.," which it says has started to impact timelines for new unit openings.

The problem? It just can't get the permits and it's putting a crimp on its expansion plans. Wendy's said those delays are getting worse.

"We continue to navigate substantial permitting delays in the U.S., which have intensified and are pressuring our new restaurant opening timelines," CEO Todd Penegor told analysts on Wednesday.

Wendy's and other restaurant chains like Papa Johns, which like Wendy's is eager for more new unit growth, earlier this month lowered its expectations for restaurant development, citing permitting delays in North America.

The permitting delays are coming amid skepticism of new restaurants with drive-thrus but are mostly due to workforce shortages at many communities across the country. restaurantbusinessonline.com

CEO Defends Target's Pride Month Response
Target acknowledges Pride month controversy in latest earnings report
Target CEO Brian Cornell acknowledged that a strong negative reaction to this year's Pride month merchandise assortment affected revenue. The company defended its response to the controversy, which included removing and repositioning merchandise, saying it sought to maintain the safety of its in-store team members in the face of threats and violence.

"So, to protect the team in the face of these threatening circumstances, we quickly made changes, including the removal of items that were the center of the most significant confrontational behavior," Cornell said. "Pride is one of many heritage moments that are important to our guests and our team, and we'll continue to support these moments in the future." retaildive.com

DOJ Investigates Visa Merchant Practices
Visa is reportedly the target of a Department of Justice (DOJ) probe into its tokenization practices.

The DOJ's interest in Visa is part of a long-running investigation, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Aug. 16).

Officials are looking into Visa's policy of charging more to merchants who don't use its tokenization system, which protects cardholder information by swapping card numbers for tokens that can only be used with specific devices and merchants, the report said.

The news comes months after Visa revealed it was cooperating with an investigation by the DOJ into its debit card practices. pymnts.com

Sioux City, IA: Customers were in for a surprise after a snake was found in a Target shopping cart Saturday in Sioux City
The Sioux City Police Department told KCAU 9 that animal control was sent to Target on Sunnybrook Drive around 11:30 a.m. after a snake was found in a shopping cart. The snake was found in a cart in one of the cart corrals and wasn't noticed until brought inside the store. The snake was a Columbian red boa. It measured about 6-feet long. Animal control believes the snake was placed in the cart intentionally.  siouxlandproud.com

Patient harmed, 1,800 doses of controlled drugs lost at CVS pharmacy, regulator says

How early is holiday shopping starting this year?

Quarterly Results

Walmart Q2 U.S. comp's up 6.4%, U.S. eCommerce up 24%, Sam's Club comp's up 7%, Inter. up 11%, consolidated sales up 5.7%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Senior Director I, Asset Protection - Research & Recovery job posted for Walmart in Bentonville, AR
Determines asset protection strategies, processes, and best practices by overseeing modeling and statistical analyses; partnering with cross-functional teams across the business; developing assessments of key opportunities; developing long-range plans and project timelines; communicating with and influencing decision-makers and executives within the organization; and providing specialized vision and leadership throughout the life cycle of change initiatives. walmart.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com

Lead Business Partner AP - Segmentation (Remote or Hybrid) job posted for Target in Minneapolis, MN
As a Lead Business Partner- Segmentation, you will build and evolve an overall vision and strategy that positively affects significant AP business in our existing stores and markets as identified by Properties. You will be the voice of AP for Enterprise efforts focused on REACH BEST (Racial Equity Action and Change in Black Experience Stores) markets and localization of stores in underserved communities as it relates to store design to increase belonging within or outside Target. jobs.target.com


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In Case You Missed It

Join Tom and Sam as they discuss crucial strategies for safeguarding children while using chat features in online games. Together they delve into the importance of safeguarding personal information, pictures, and passwords.

Click here to watch

Stay Tuned for Part 2 in this Series Coming Next Tuesday







Summit Agenda Now Available

The RH-ISAC Cyber Intelligence Summit features three days of member-driven professional development, including:

Sessions delivered by prominent thought leaders
Collaborative workshops
Cybersecurity exercises
Exceptional networking opportunities

This is the "can't-miss" event for cybersecurity professionals from the retail and hospitality industries. Register now to join us October 2-4 in Dallas, Texas.


Will the United States Ban TikTok?
TikTok bans explained: Everything you need to know

The United States wants to ban the viral video sharing application TikTok.

A proposal to ban TikTok in the U.S. has garnered bipartisan support and raised bigger questions about data access laws.

The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into TikTok on March 17, 2023, including allegations that the company spied on American journalists. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to defend the application on March 24, 2023. His testimony touched on TikTok's consumer privacy and data security policies, the platform's mental health impact and security concerns about the platform's parent company, ByteDance.

AdvertisementThis is not the first time the United States has threatened to ban TikTok. In 2020, the Trump administration attempted to use its emergency power to block the application.

TikTok is a private company with more than 150 million users in the United States and more than 1 billion active users worldwide. TikTok has proposed a plan -- Project Texas -- to move all U.S. data to the United States to allay privacy and security concerns.

Why does the US want to ban TikTok?

The United States wants to ban the application for several reasons. The main reason is national security. U.S. lawmakers are concerned that ByteDance may leak U.S. user data to the Chinese government if the Chinese government forced them to.

Shou Zi Chew told U.S. lawmakers that China-based ByteDance employees would have access to some U.S. TikTok user data until Project Texas is implemented. TikTok does not condone any effort by its own employees to access U.S. user data.

What countries is TikTok banned in?

The United States is not the only country that has full or partial TikTok bans in place. Partial bans are usually limited to government or public sector employees. Full bans apply to all citizens. The only two countries with full bans on TikTok are Afghanistan and India. techtarget.com

Key Considerations for Ransomware Payments
Ransomware: To pay or not to pay
Comprehensive security plans and programs must focus on defense, but also on answering these key question: "How will the organization respond to a ransomware attack?", and "At what point will the option of paying the ransom be on the table?"

What are the key considerations that must be made to reach an answer?

Paying the ransom - key considerations

1. Paying funds cybercrime activity
2. If you pay once, you'll most likely get hit again
3. Sometimes you just have to weigh it all up
4. It's unlikely all your data will be returned

Few organizations ever get all their data back and recovery can still take months. So, paying should never be viewed as a guarantee of getting back online quickly.

Not paying the demand - key considerations

1. It is ethically correct not to pay
2. You are unlikely to recover all data on your own
3. If you don't operate a sophisticated security program it could result in insolvency

The solution

The overall focus of security programs must be resilience and flexibility: make it harder for attackers to breach your systems and make it possible to respond to attacks faster, so you know exactly which action to take without wasting time mulling over the question "to pay or not to pay" helpnetsecurity.com

Request for Comments: PCI Secure Software Lifecycle (Secure SLC) Standard v1.1
From 16 August to 15 September 2023, eligible PCI SSC stakeholders are invited to review and provide feedback on the currently published version of the PCI Secure Software Lifecycle (Secure SLC) Standard during a 30-day request for comments (RFC) period.   

The RFC will be available through the PCI SSC portal, including instructions on how to access the documents and submit feedback. Eligible stakeholders will also receive instructions via email. As a reminder, participants are required to accept a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to download the document. Please review the RFC Process Guide for more information.   blog.pcisecuritystandards.org

3 strategies that can help stop ransomware before it becomes a crisis

QR Code Phishing Campaign Targets Top US Energy Company







Curbing Cannabis ORC
Organized Crime in the Cannabis Industry
Organized crime is a global problem and can be problematic for retailers and non-retailers across multiple industries. In retail, organized crime often occurs through planned thefts or robberies and can cause businesses to incur substantial losses and evidence indicates that retailers may lose an estimated $30 billion each year. Between 2015 and 2020, rates of organized retail crime increased by 60% and will likely continue to rise if businesses do not take steps to reduce the risks.

Preventing Organized Crime in the Cannabis Industry

Preventing organized crime in a cannabis dispensary is a similar process to many other "high-risk" retailers. Cannabis business owners should strategically set up their business so that it is easy for employees and video surveillance to track customers throughout the dispensary, as well as ensuring that no shelving, displays, or other elements create blind spots. Using an age verification system that confirms that the customer is of legal age and checks for excessive purchases, is another way to prevent organized crime from operating out of the business disguised as customers.

Though there are less risks of organized theft through external theft in a non-retail cannabis operation, these businesses still face the risks of internal diversion. To prevent organized employee theft, cannabis business owners should properly screen and monitor employees. Cannabis business owners should ensure that a criminal background check is conducted on any prospective employee and that video surveillance and access control systems monitor and track their actions and movement through the facility at all times.

Examples of Organized Crime in the Cannabis Industry

Since organized crime can occur in any market, the cannabis industry is not exempt. In June 2021, 21 individuals were indicted in Colorado in connection with an "international black market cannabis and money laundering scheme." The individuals were caught growing illegal cannabis across Denver and then channeling the profits back to China via tools, such as Chinese social media apps that have sharable wallets and QR codes. Ultimately, thousands of cannabis plants, hundreds of pounds of packaged cannabis, and approximately $1 million were confiscated and the individuals were charged with racketeering, conspiracy, drug cultivation, and distribution, as well as money laundering.

Future of Organized Crime in the Cannabis Industry

While organized crime impacts every industry and can be difficult to uncover, there are still ways for retail and non-retail business owners to mitigate the risks. To further reduce the risks, cannabis business owners can collaborate with local law enforcement, other cannabis businesses, and regulatory authorities to take a stand against organized crime. By ensuring compliance and making efforts to mitigate the potential for theft and diversion, businesses across the country can limit the growth of organized crime in the cannabis industry. sapphirerisk.com

Illegal Cannabis Retailers Busted
Washington state busts unlicensed marijuana retailers in stings
Washington state's marijuana regulator seized cannabis from two unlicensed businesses after undercover investigations and is recommending prosecutors pursue felony charges in both cases.

AdvertisementUndercover officers of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) bought illicit cannabis from Caveman Medicine in Tacoma on Aug. 10, the agency said in a news release.

The regulator and local police searched the business, seizing roughly 50 pounds of marijuana products "including a large quantity of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused edible products being offered for sale," according to the release.

"Many of the cannabis-infused products would have been illegal to sell in the regulated marketplace, including products exceeding THC serving size limits and products that are especially appealing to children. "

The retailer also had a smoking lounge that was "an illegal cannabis club," the LCB said. The investigation "began in response to a public complaint of illegal cannabis sales." The LCB said it was recommending felony charges to the local prosecutor.

Another LCB operation, also on Aug. 10, targeted an unlicensed business called Medicine Creek Territory in Lacey. The LCB said its officers seized more than "8,000 grams of cannabis flower, nearly 900 concentrate products, and over 200 packages of cannabis-infused products."

The regulator, which also seized three firearms and some cash, is recommending felony charges in this case.

Washington joins fellow West Coast states California and Oregon in cracking down on illegal cannabis operations that are hurting legal marijuana businesses. mjbizdaily.com

States Continue to Legalize, But Federal Legalization is the 'North Star'
Cannabis & Public Relations: Why Federal Legalization Will Be a Game Changer
Legal cannabis markets are rapidly emerging across the country; as of summer 2023, 23 states have implemented adult-use markets, while another 24 have medical-only cannabis markets (though some markets are more limited and less accessible than others). But even still, this means that all but three U.S. states are making licensed cannabis products available in some capacity. Plus, the Biden administration is making progressive moves, including pardoning those convicted of federal cannabis offenses and signing into law the ​​2022 Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act.

But despite these green rush efforts, cannabis remains federally illegal in the U.S., and fragmented regulations that vary by state restrict initiatives that are typical of other consumer oriented industries - such as nationwide shipping and advertising. That's why federal legalization remains the North Star for both cannabis companies and their PR teams, as the removal of barriers and the normalization of cannabis consumption will be a game-changer for communication strategies. cannabisbusinessexecutive.com

Predictions for Future Federal Cannabis Laws

Many Americans wrongly believe exposure to marijuana smoke is safer than tobacco

Germany Government Approves Plan to Legalize Some Marijuana Use




DOJ Urged to Investigate Amazon
Authors and Booksellers Urge Justice Dept. to Investigate Amazon

The online retailer's size and sway affects the free exchange of ideas, the groups argue. The Biden administration has stepped up enforcement of antitrust policies.

With mounting signs that the Federal Trade Commission is preparing to file a lawsuit against Amazon for violating antitrust laws, a group of booksellers, authors and antitrust activists are urging the government to investigate the company's domination of the book market.

On Wednesday, the Open Markets Institute, an antitrust think tank, along with the Authors Guild and the American Booksellers Association, sent a letter to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, calling on the government to curb Amazon's "monopoly in its role as a seller of books to the public."

The groups are pressing the Justice Department to investigate not only Amazon's size as a bookseller, but also its sway over the book market - especially its ability to promote certain titles on its site and bury others, said Barry Lynn, the executive director of the Open Markets Institute, a research and advocacy group focused on strengthening antimonopoly policies.

"What we have is a situation in which the power of a single dominant corporation is warping, in the aggregate, the type of books that we're reading," Lynn said in an interview. "This kind of power concentrated in a democracy is not acceptable."

The letter, addressed to Lina Khan, the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, and Jonathan Kanter, who leads the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, comes as the F.T.C. appears to be closing in on its decision to bring an antitrust case against Amazon. Amazon representatives are expected to meet this week with members of the commission to discuss the possible suit, a sign that legal action may be imminent. nytimes.com

AI's Impact on Online Shopping Continues to Grow
Consumers show a willingness to use AI tech to improve online shopping
A recent consumer survey from San Francisco-based Constructor, which polled 462 individuals 18 and older in April, found about one-third had used ChatGPT at work or in their personal lives, with the highest percentage of users (43%) falling into the 18 to 44 age group.

The tech-savviness of shoppers, however, is not only reflected in their use of the latest technology, but also their willingness to have it aid them with the online shopping journey. Of those surveyed, 29% said they would be interested in having ChatGPT assist them in asking questions or explaining what they are looking for; 25% were open to using other artificial intelligence programs to suggest or tailor search results based on their preferences; and 65% wanted personalized service with search results based on their history of preferred brands, colors, price points and more.

Looking more closely at ChatGPT for e-commerce, the survey revealed that 42% of participants would be very or somewhat comfortable using ChatGPT on a retail site to have them find the right products. This number rose to 48% among shoppers ages 18 to 44. furnituretoday.com

Amazon fulfillment center in Spokane fined $85,000 for unsafe conditions

Amazon ends speculation: It will occupy New Stanton warehouse







Pikesville, MD: $700k in items stolen after van crashes through Pikesville jeweler storefront, police say
A Pikesville jewelry store lost roughly $700,000 in merchandise in a smash-and-grab burglary after thieves drove a van through the storefront early Wednesday morning, Baltimore County police confirmed. Just after 2:30 a.m., multiple people drove a stolen van through the storefront of Radcliffe Jewelers on Reisterstown Road to gain access to the store, police said. While inside, they "stole several high-end items" from the jewelry, watch and gift store before fleeing, according to a news release.  thebaltimorebanner.com

Los Angeles, CA: Ksubi store on La Brea Avenue hit in latest flash mob robbery
A group of 11 men robbed a luxury denim store on La Brea Avenue on Tuesday evening, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The robbery was reported at 6:55 p.m. at Ksubi, at 132 S. La Brea Ave. Right before the store closed, a group of 11 men wearing masks entered the store and began taking clothes, according to authorities. Two security guards, who were unarmed, tried to stop the robbers but were unsuccessful. The guards reported that one of the men simulated a handgun in his pocket as a way to get them to stand down, the LAPD said. An estimated $100,000 in goods was stolen from the high-end retailer. The thieves fled in at least two cars, identified as a silver Lexus and a tan BMW, which drove off in opposite directions. Some of the stolen clothing was later found in an alley behind the store and was returned to the business. Ksubi is an Australian fashion label founded in 1999 on Sydney's northern beaches. Known for signature denim and box-cross logo, the brand has built an international presence and can be found in premium stores across Australia, North America and Europe.  gazettextra.com

Albuquerque man tried selling stolen Golf Mart clubs to employee
An Albuquerque man is charged in connection to a break-in at a golf shop in the metro. According to a criminal complaint, police investigated a break-in at the Golf Mart on Wyoming Boulevard in late June. An employee told police he received a text from a man, identified as Timothy Dang, trying to sell golf clubs. Serial numbers from the clubs he was accused of trying to sell matched ones stolen from the business. Police believe Dang was acting as a middleman between the thief and people who may not have known he was selling stolen items. A search at his home in late July turned up more than 150 golf clubs and other golf equipment. Dang is charged with receiving stolen property over $20,000 and organized retail crime.   krqe.com

Waukesha County, WI: Update: $7000 in retail thefts from Kohl's and Sephora; Romanian father, daughter charged
A father and daughter from Romania are now accused of stealing from multiple Kohl's Department Stores in Waukesha County. The accused are 35-year-old Danut Constantin and 17-year-old Gabriella Constantin. Danut faces one count of felony retail theft-intentionally take >$500-$5,000. Gabriella faces three counts of the same charge. According to the criminal complaint, a school resource officer was dispatched on Wednesday, Aug. 9 to the Kohl's Department Store in Muskego for a retail theft involving two individuals. A young man and young woman were "actively placing items in gift bags and were concealing the items," the complaint says. The accused made their initial appearances in Waukesha County court on Friday, Aug. 11. Cash bond for Danut was set at $35,000 - $20,000 for Gabriella. In court on Tuesday, Aug. 15, Danut and Gabriella had to be evaluated to determine if they qualify for a public defender. They both do - which is why a preliminary hearing was requested while each of them await an attorney to be appointed to them.  fox6now.com

Norwich, NY: Man Stole Nearly $10K Of Tobacco Products During Smash And Grabs

Miami, FL: 3 hit Shores CVS, other locations in nearly $4,000 retail theft spree

San Ramon, CA: Two groups of thieves stole $1,500 from Ulta, Crow Canyon Store over the weekend

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Shootings & Deaths

Former Regional LPM Murdered Sex Worker - Update

Flowery Branch, GA: Update: Timothy Krueger: One year after the murder of a mother of two, family continues to care for children and search for justice
It's been one year since the brutal murder of a 19-year-old mother of two. Sarai Llanos Gomez was found dead in a wooded area near Flowery Branch 12 months ago. Her mother, Gardenia Gomez, lives in Ecuador and has been taking care of Sarai's two kids. "It's been really hard for me," she said in a Spanish interview that has since been translated into English. "My psychologist tells me to not cry in front of her kids so I bottle things up."

Gardenia did the interview while sitting next to Sarai's 4-year-old boy. She said he, and her other child who is now two years old, are some of the only tangible memories left of her daughter. "This whole year I've been trying to transfer them into my custody so I can get money for their care," she said. "But here in Ecuador that's been difficult to do."

Gwinnett County Police said 49-year-old Timothy Krueger (former Regional Loss Prevention Manager) confessed to killing the mother of two on June 16, 2022. Court records show his case has yet to go on trial. Sarai had recently moved to the U.S. from Ecuador and was working to earn money to send back home. Gardenia had feared that her daughter had been forced into sex work, unable to escape. "I was told he stabbed my daughter about seven times. She was begging for her life and wanted to run away. She was my daughter, my baby. I don't wish a death like that on anybody," she said while crying.

Gardenia said this last year has also been about finding justice and moving forward. "I forgive the man who killed my daughter and I ask that God forgive him, too," she said 11alive.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Fayetteville, NC: 3 robbers hit Waffle House
Fayetteville police are asking for the public's help in identifying three people who were involved in an Aug. 8 robbery at a Waffle House. Around 5 a.m. on Aug. 8, officers responded to the Waffle House on Ramsey Street to a report of a robbery. One of the robbers, a female, was seen abandoning the getaway vehicle at the College Lakes Recreation Center.  cbs17.com

Roanoke Rapids, NC: 1 man arrested, 1 'extremely armed and dangerous' in pharmacy robbery
One man has been arrested and another is considered "extremely armed and dangerous" in connection with a pharmacy robbery that happened in late July. On July 24, Roanoke Rapids police responded to Spears Pharmacy on Becker Drive in reference to an armed robbery. Items were taken but police are not yet saying what they were. No one was injured. The next day, the robbers' getaway vehicle was found by police. Since the day of the robbery, the Roanoke Rapids Police Department has been working on this case in conjunction with police departments from Durham, Hope Mills, Raleigh and New York City to identify the suspects in this and other robbery cases.  cbs17.com

North Charleston, SC: Man charged for string of Family Dollar burglaries
The North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) on Tuesday arrested a man in connection to five recent burglaries in North Charleston. According to NCPD, the incidents happened between July 27 and August 8, 2023. Three happened at the Family Dollar on Rivers Avenue, one happened at the Family Dollar on Ashely Phosphate Road, and one happened at the Kwik Stop on North Rhett Avenue. Investigators charged Patrick McTeer (58) with five counts of second degree burglary. McTeer also had active warrants out of Walterboro for the theft of a motor vehicle and Richland County for burglary and parole violations.  counton2.com

Portland, OR: Woman denies possessing stolen guns from West Paris shop
A Llisbon woman denied Tuesday that she had possessed stolen handguns from a burglary of a gun shop in West Paris last year. Authorities said roughly 10 handguns were stolen from J & K Sporting Goods at 112 Bethel Road shortly before 12:30 a.m. Dec. 8, 2022. An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court by Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Christopher Concannon showed black-and-white surveillance camera photos of two people in a store examining guns lining one of the walls. The same document shows a color photo of a woman at the checkout counter of what appears to be the same store. The woman is identified as Paige Garrison, 18, who pleaded not guilty in federal court Tuesday to a felony charge of possession of stolen firearms, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  sunjournal.com

Portland, OR: 6 arrested in connection with Jantzen Beach, Delta Park shoplifting sting
Six people were arrested on Tuesday after a Portland Police Bureau retail theft mission in the Jantzen Beach and Delta Park areas, authorities said. The Portland Police Bureau said those who were arrested face a variety of charges ranging from theft to felony possession of fentanyl.  koin.com

Arlington, TX: Police Detectives Seize More Than $650,000 In Counterfeit Merchandise, Suspect Arrested
In a significant operation, detectives from the Arlington Police Department's Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) have collaborated with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to execute one of the largest seizures of counterfeit merchandise in the department's history. Prompted by a tip earlier this summer, the APD embarked on an investigation into an online business operating out of Arlington named Creo Piece. The business was suspected of engaging in the illegal manufacture and sale of products featuring copyrighted trademark logos from various high-end fashion brands. As part of their meticulous investigation, undercover officers made multiple purchases from Creo Piece and confirmed that the acquired items were indeed unlicensed and fraudulent. Armed with this evidence, ECU obtained a search warrant for the company's warehouse. During a recent operation this month, officers from APD, along with HSI Agents, successfully executed the search warrant. The ensuing search yielded a substantial haul of 101,118 individual items, valued at an estimated $653,222 based on the prices indicated on Creo Piece's website. The seized items included embroidered patches and heat transfer merchandise, along with the machinery used for their production, such as an embroidery machine and a heat transfer printing machine.  wfaa.com

British Museum dismisses staff member after discovering theft of artefacts; gold jewelry, gems of semi-precious stones and glass dating from the 15th century BC to the 19th century AD

Ontario, Canada: Police seize 31 stolen vehicles worth $2.8M in vehicle theft ring investigation



C-Store - Midland County, TX - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Amarillo, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Denham Springs, LA - Robbery
C-Store - Philadelphia, PA - Burglary
C-Store - Cincinnati, OH - Armed Robbery
CVS - Miami, FL - Robbery
Dollar - North Charleston, SC - Burglary
Hardware - Covington, TN - Robbery
Jewelry - Pikesville, MD - Burglary
Jewelry - Alpharetta, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Lincolnwood, IL - Robbery
Jewelry - Las Cruces, NM - Robbery
Jewelry - Tucson, AZ - Robbery
Jewelry - Charlotte, NC - Robbery
Marijuana - South Beloit, IL - Robbery
Nordstrom - Murray, UT - Robbery
Restaurant - Exton, PA - Robbery
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Restaurant - Chicago, IL - Robbery
Restaurant - Philadelphia, PA - Burglary (Dunkin)
Restaurant - Fayetteville, NC - Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Washington, DC - Burglary
Sports - New Britain Township, PA - Robbery
Tobacco - Norwich, NY - Burglary     


Daily Totals:
• 19 robberies
• 6 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
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As a LP Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability. You will also train store managers on Key-Holder responsibilities, Inventory Control standards, Cash Office procedures, Protection Standards, Safety and Fraud trends...

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Jacksonville, FL - posted July 7
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Miami, FL - posted August 8
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Regional Manager, Loss Prevention (Western Territory)
Remote - posted June 28
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets. Has ownership for all company related shrinkage programs in their assigned stores.

Regional Manager, Loss Prevention (Central Territory)
Remote - posted June 28
The Regional Loss Prevention Manager is responsible for the control and reduction of shrinkage at the stores in their Territory. Investigate and resolves all matters that jeopardize or cause a loss to the company's assets. Has ownership for all company related shrinkage programs in their assigned stores...


Regional Director, LP & Safety (Midwest)
MN, MO, IL, KS, WI, MI, IN, or WA - posted June 27
We are looking for a Regional Director of Loss Prevention to join us in MN, MO, IL, KS, WI, MI, IN, or WA. You will develop, execute, and maintain shrink and shrink compliance initiatives. You will also conduct internal and external field investigations, loss control auditing, store safety programs, and compliance programs and audits...

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With everything that goes on in one's personal and professional life, it's oftentimes difficult to be able to really focus on the day's objectives. It's easy to get lost in everything going on around you and, while no one can bat 1,000 everyday, you've got to be able to separate -- to use your work as a form of escape from everything and to get lost in your work. Your work can give your mind the chance to separate from virtually anything going on in your life which allows your subconscious time to rethink-refresh- and hopefully see things more clearly. It's like using work as therapy. The trick is forcing yourself to do it. Much easier said then done.

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