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Robert Leonard promoted to Manager of Loss Prevention & Investigations for Refuel Operating Company

Robert has been with Refuel Operating Company for nearly a year, starting with the company in 2021. Before his promotion to Manager of Loss Prevention & Investigations, he served as Loss Prevention & Safety Specialist. Prior to joining Refuel Operating Company, he spent five years with Publix Super Markets as Regional LP Specialist. Earlier in his career, he held LP/AP roles with JCPenney, Kmart, and Target. Congratulations, Robert!

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




SAVE THE DATE: RILA's 2023 Retail AP Conference

April 30 − May 3, 2023 | Denver, CO

Asset protection professionals have always been important to retail's success, but the pandemic has made the role more central to retail operations than ever before-and it's never going back.

Working together we helped keep the economy moving, making sure stores across the country could open and safely serve the public.

Collaborating with operational peers we helped implement new technologies to make the stores safer and more efficient for customers.

We trained associates to prepare for the unexpected, meeting every pandemic-related challenge as an opportunity to improve customer service and our workforce.

And we're tackling the growing challenge of organized retail crime, partnering with our peers in government affairs to write smarter laws and collaborating with law enforcement to go on offense against the criminal enterprises targeting our stores.


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

NYC Robberies Up 39%, Burglaries Up 32%
AOC's 'defund the police' report card flunks statistics test as NYC crime spike rattles communities
Even with Big Apple murder rates similar this year compared to last, other major crimes have surged, police statistics show - and polls find New Yorkers are fed up.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been one of the most vocal and high-profile lawmakers to demand the defunding and dismantling of American police departments, including in her own district, where major crime has climbed steadily over the past two years.

New York City's homicide rate has remained relatively flat over the past two years. But after the slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis fueled a national "defund the police" campaign, which Ocasio-Cortez endorsed, NYPD statistics show dramatic increases in other major crimes.

According to Paul Mauro, an attorney and former NYPD inspector, key major crimes to watch are robberies and burglaries - highly invasive profit-motivated crimes that often involve repeat offenders.

"Particularly robberies, as a robbery is essentially larceny plus violence," he told Fox News Digital. "Rising robbery numbers are very detrimental to a sense of street safety. Someone is taking your stuff, and they're willing to hurt you to do it - and they're doing it right on the street in your neighborhood."

Citywide crime statistics show that major crimes have increased by more than 36.64% so far this year over 2021 and increased another 37.35% since 2020. Robberies and burglaries, Mauro's bellwethers, climbed by 39% and 32%, respectively.

Well before the "defund" movement took off in 2020, experts said well-funded police departments performed better on tackling crime, maintaining community relations and reducing use of force compared to their cash-starved counterparts.

"While there are always better ways to allocate police resources, cutting budgets means fewer cops and detectives, less money for equipment and computer applications, less money for civilian crime analysts, less ability to promote deserving officers, more reliance on overtime, etc.," Mauro said. "It is downward pressure on the efficacy of any department. How anyone could believe massively defunding police departments would somehow lower crime beggars belief."  foxnews.com

NYC's Theft & Robbery Epicenter
West Village is epicenter of rising NYC crime: NYPD data
The West Village is New York's most fashionable neighborhood this year - for crooks. The celebrity-packed enclave has been hit by a plague of theft and robbery - as it has suffered the biggest crime increase of any section of the Big Apple thus far in 2022, new NYPD data shows.

Through the middle of August, the NYPD's 6th Precinct, which covers both the West Village and Greenwich Village, has seen crime spike 80% - fueled by a 103% increase in grand larceny and shoplifting, the data shows.

The data shows that the 6th Precinct - which is home to high profile residents such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lawrence - has seen 1,380 major crimes in 2022, compared to 766 in the same period in 2021.

The bulk of that crime wave is attributable to a huge number of grand larcenies, which include shoplifting. So far there have been 802 this year, compared to the 394 recorded over the same period last year - a 103% rise, according to the figures.

Some blamed this disturbing rise in thefts and general crime on bail reform - as under the new rules, virtually all larceny suspects get released without having to post bail or bond.

"This whole bail reform has to go," Kevin Jackson, the general manager of John's of Bleecker Street pizzeria, insisted.

In Chelsea, which is overseen by the NYPD's 10th Precinct, major crimes are up nearly 39% - a few percentage points higher than the current citywide rate. Grand larceny in that neighborhood is up 48% to 418 reported incidents so far this year from 282 last year, the data shows. nypost.com

'Around the Clock' Robberies in CA
Op-Ed: How to Lower Crime Rates in California

Crime in California is spiraling out of control, diminishing the quality of life for its residents and erasing the character and promise of what was once a coveted place to live.

Testimony from California residents sounds a lot like life in a third-world country. Many say they can't wear jewelry in public because of blatant robberies that are taking place around the clock.

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley explains that there will always be the "criminal element" in society, but the "only way to fight it is through policies and the people who fight the criminal element-police and prosecutors." He says that weak prosecutors give the criminal element an advantage, which in turn leads to a crime-ridden society.

In San Francisco, more than 40 percent of people surveyed say they'd like to move out of the city. Many already have. Thieves are targeting small businesses more frequently, with robberies up 100 percent. Three of the top 10 cities for organized retail theft in the country are in California.

Video footage shows shoplifters stealing and looting right in front of shoppers and security guards, walking out with armloads of clothes in broad daylight. They even lie in wait for people exiting stores to steal items they just purchased. One small business owner said he believes California's system is sending the message that it's OK to steal because they continue to let people get away with it.

Michael Shellenberger, an independent journalist and author, says there has been an effort to hide the rise in crime, and that many people don't even report crimes anymore because the police won't do anything about it anyway.

According to Shellenberger, the District Attorney no longer prosecutes many crimes. Overall, far fewer arrests are being made, fewer reports being taken, and fewer crimes being prosecuted. Official data from the San Francisco Police Department shows 3,000 reports of shoplifting in 2021, which seems like a small number, being used by many state officials and the media. However, small businesses say they hardly ever report shoplifting anymore. theepochtimes.com

Minneapolis to Increase Police Budget - Progressive Groups are Watching
Minneapolis mayor outlines spending plan focused on safety, other services
Minneapolis officials on Monday kicked off another series of budget negotiations that are likely to focus on efforts to transform public safety in response to George Floyd's murder and set up a new system of government that voters approved last year.

In a speech Monday morning, Mayor Jacob Frey outlined a plan to spend $3.3 billion over the next two years amid efforts to boost staffing for police, mental health teams and civilian traffic control agents.

Frey and the City Council will also be working to set up a new Office of Community Safety with a commissioner, an assistant and three communications people.

Frey has proposed giving the Minneapolis Police Department nearly $400 million over two years amid a push to increase staffing to an average of 835 officers in 2025.

Beyond policing, Frey's proposal calls for increasing funding for Behavioral Crisis Response Teams so the civilian workers can eventually answer mental health calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it calls for adding employees to a traffic control unit that dispatches civilians to handle some complaints. startribune.com

Editor's Note: No de-funding police in Minneapolis. The Office of Community Safety will be interesting to watch long term and see what impact it has on safety in the city and how they measure it. While the Crisis Response Teams will certainly face challenges and hopefully have a positive impact without anyone getting seriously injured.

UK Retail Exec Sounds the Alarm Over Shoplifting Trend
Iceland boss describes worrying shoplifting trend amid cost-of-living crisis

The boss of Iceland has said his stores are reporting more instances of shoplifting as the cost of living crisis bites.

In an interview, he said that the UK Government had to use all the levers it had "because ultimately, it's the consumer that will pay for it and it'll be jobs that will pay for it as well".

Iceland boss Richard Walker, whose company is based in Deeside, told Tom Newton Dunn on Talk TV's The News Desk he also admitted he had seen a rise in the number of shoplifters, as people struggle to afford their weekly shop.

"The rise of shoplifting because people are really struggling out there... I get a serious incidence report every week and it is starting to tick up we are seeing that and that's obviously because people are really struggling."

He said the UK Government had to do more. "That's why we urgently need the government and whoever the next Prime Minister is to start looking at more aggressive support for business. So that could come in the form of backing CBILS loans for energy costs, for example, for businesses, or a super deduction in terms of your tax bill in terms of the cost that you have to pay for energy and there's a whole host of other things like business rates. So I think there's many levers still that the government can pull, and they really must do so because ultimately, it's the consumer that will pay for it. And it'll be jobs that will pay for it as well."  theretailbulletin.com

Buffalo Supermarket Shooting Drives Gun Sales in NYC
On the heels of Buffalo mass shooting, more gun sales across New York State
he number of people trying to buy guns in New York State spiked in the weeks after a white supremacist's mass shooting killed 10 Black people at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo on May 14, data on related FBI background checks show.

Background checks were done on 48,349 prospective gun purchasers in New York in June, the largest number in a single month since March of 2021 and a 54% increase over the number of checks done in May, according to data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The spike happened as New York legislators, in the wake of the Tops shooting and another on May 24 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, considered a new package of bills aimed at making it harder to buy assault weapons, including mandating licenses for semi-automatic rifles and raising the age requirement to 21. buffalonews.com

Op-Ed: George Soros' Claim About Leftist Prosecutors Is Big Lie



COVID Update

607.5M Vaccinations Given

US: 95.1M Cases - 1M Dead - 90.4M Recovered
Worldwide: 599.2M Cases - 6.4M Dead - 573.2M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 362   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 793
*Red indicates change in total deaths

U.S. COVID Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths

Good News for Retail?
Why Downtown Won't Die Just Because Remote Work is Here to Stay

As the office recedes in importance, central business districts are transforming into spaces to live and socialize, not just work. It's a process that began before Covid-19.

America's downtowns are in big trouble, or so the pundits tell us, thanks to the enduring effects of Covid-19 and the rise of remote and hybrid work. In 10 of the largest US cities, office occupancy averages are less than half, roughly 44% as of mid-August, of what they were back in 2020 before the pandemic hit.

That's better than they looked in May 2021, when the average stood at just 27%. But several big cities, including New York, Chicago and San Francisco, have been stalled at 40% or under for several months - a sign that the workplace disruptions of the Covid era are with us for the long haul.

Can America's iconic downtowns survive this shift? Yes, and for a basic reason. Great downtowns are not reducible to offices. Even if the office were to go the way of the horse-drawn carriage, the neighborhoods we refer to today as downtowns would endure. Downtowns and the cities they anchor are the most adaptive and resilient of human creations; they have survived far worse.

The rise of remote work today won't kill off our downtowns, but they will be forced to change once again. And with smart strategies and perseverance on the part of city leaders, real estate developers and the civic community, they can become even better than they were. bloomberg.com

Relaxed CDC Guidance Still Won't Bring Workers Back to the Office
New COVID guidelines ease in-person work but won't spur return to office
Apple on Monday made headlines as the latest major company to call its workers back to the office, setting a deadline for early next month that will require workers to do their jobs in person three days each week, Bloomberg reported.

The move came days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines that softened the recommended precautions for preventing the spread of COVID.

The change in CDC policy will make it easier for employers to bring workers back to the office, shifting the public health responsibility to individual workers and away from businesses, while allowing all workers to stay on the job after a COVID exposure, public health experts told ABC News. The move reflects an approach that aims to mitigate spread but not prevent infection entirely, as widespread immunity and treatments reduce the risk of severe illness, they added.

However, the CDC guidelines will not spur a rapid shift back to in-person work, or even any shift at all, since public health concerns no longer make up the primary reason behind remote work, economists told ABC News. Rather, the widely held preference among employees for some degree of remote work -- combined with the leverage afforded to workers as employers struggle to fill openings -- should preserve the current level of remote work, the economists added. abcnews.go.com

Ending COVID Sick Pay in California Will Impact Front-Line Workers
Op-Ed: Stopping pay for workers sick with COVID is misguided
Incredibly, California's workplace safety officials are considering keeping in place the requirement to keep positive COVID cases out of the workplace, but throwing out the requirement to pay workers excluded from the workplace when sick ("exclusion pay"). Protecting public health - and maintaining California's national leadership - depend on the state making permanent these rules to protect workers.

The economic analysis the state has relied upon to support this dangerous path fails to account for the costs borne by families, businesses and the public when this critical safety measure disappears. Reporting of symptoms and of close contacts will be severely reduced when workers understand that they or their coworkers will be put out of work.

If exclusion pay is allowed to expire, workplaces such as kitchens, warehouses and meatpacking plants will be the most affected. Low-wage and marginalized workers in particular again will be forced into Sophie's choice: Miss a paycheck your family is counting on for rent and food, or go to work knowing you could spread the virus to more families. hanfordsentinel.com

The U.S. Has Regained All of Its Lost COVID-Era Jobs - But Not NYC

Risk of 'brain fog' and other conditions persists up to 2 years after Covid infection



The Retail Facial Recognition Debate Heats Up Across the Pond
Facewatch counters biometric surveillance allegations, plans expansion

Who is and is not a shopper?

Face biometrics company Facewatch was recently under the spotlight when privacy advocate NGO Big Brother Watch filed a legal complaint with the UK's Information Commissioner claiming that Southern Co-operative's use of the firm's live facial recognition cameras in its supermarkets was "unlawful."

The NGO further argued that these supermarkets are adding customers to secret watchlists with no due process, allowing shoppers to be spied on, blacklisted across multiple stores, and denied food shopping despite being innocent.

From Facewatch's response to the claims, however, it seems that shoppers' images are only kept for five days and then deleted. Only 'blacklisted' shoppers remain in the system for a year, and then their images are also deleted.

According to Fisher, thieves often repeat offend and do not pay for their goods, so they are not technically 'shoppers'. "The images, if uploaded, with a complete evidence trail, are stored for one year from the last offense committed," Fisher says.

Photos of "subjects of interest" can be shared by stores with other stores that buy access to the Facewatch system. The executive also mentioned that, more generally, all sharing of shoppers' images "complies with the principles of data minimization and proportionality."

"Retail crime continues to increase year on year in the UK," Fisher tells Biometric Update. "The Police have openly declared that they do not have the resources to deal with retail crime." Fisher adds that retailers have also stated that CCTV, manned guarding, and tagging have proved ineffective in preventing crime.

"Facewatch has been able to demonstrate that crime significantly reduces where [its biometric tools are] deployed." biometricupdate.com

Apple's Retail Union Push is on Life Support
Apple union organizers face hurdles like polarized opinions from workers and anti-union intimidation

Apple retail workers are unionizing in locations like New York City and Atlanta.

Apple's retail workers across the country are organizing. But months after the first store in Atlanta and a slew of others announced plans to unionize, only one location has held a union election.

It's been a year of firsts for workers unionizing within corporations, but they've had varying success in industries that typically have high employee turnover and strong anti-union sentiment at the management level. Dozens of Starbucks locations have unionized, building momentum in stores across the country. Meanwhile, a highly anticipated unionization wave in Amazon warehouses hasn't extended beyond one successful union vote in Staten Island.

At Apple, union sentiment within stores is conflicted, current and former Apple Grand Central employees say. Unionizing Apple retail workers also face hurdles - like anti-union sentiment and higher-than-average retail pay that can dissuade workers from organizing - that place the fate of Apple Store unions in limbo. The future of Apple unionization will depend on the level of engagement from employees and the lengths to which Apple leaders will go to stop the efforts. businessinsider.com

Starbucks Union Wins in Court - 'Memphis Seven' Rehired
Federal judge orders Starbucks to reinstate seven fired union activists
A U.S. district judge is ordering Starbucks to rehire seven Memphis store workers allegedly let go for their role as union organizers sometime over the next five days

The workers - nicknamed the "Memphis Seven" - were originally fired in February for violating safety and security policies, but the workers vehemently disagreed with the decision, saying they were fired for policies that had never been enforced or mentioned before, and SBWorkers United said it was an example of union-busting. Following the incident , SBWorkers United filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, who in turn ruled that the Memphis employees were "unlawfully terminated." Six months after the initial incident, it has now been settled in federal court.

"We strongly disagree with the judge's ruling in this case," Starbucks said in a statement. "These individuals violated numerous policies and failed to maintain a secure work environment and safety standards. Interest in a union does not exempt partners from following policies that are in place to protect partners, our customers and the communities we serve."

Starbucks will be appealing the decision and requesting a stay of the order pending appeal and consideration by an appeals court. nrn.com

Starbucks - Threatening & Interrogating Baristas in Chicago?
Labor board officials allege Starbucks violated labor law during Chicago union push
Starbucks violated labor law by threatening and interrogating Chicago baristas at stores where workers were attempting to unionize, local labor board officials alleged in complaints filed against the company.

The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago alleged that Starbucks violated labor law by threatening employees with the loss of benefits and wage increases for organizing; interrogating workers about the union; forbidding workers from wearing pro-union face masks and T-shirts; and telling workers that organizing was futile, according to a complaint filed Tuesday with the agency. chicagotribune.com

Heat Waves Throwing Another Wrench into Global Supply Chain
Extreme heat is slamming the world's three biggest economies all at once
Extreme heat and drought conditions are battering the United States, Europe and China, compounding problems for workers and businesses at a time when economic growth is already slowing sharply and adding to upward pressure on prices.

Extreme weather could exacerbate "existing pinch points" along supply chains, a major reason inflation has been difficult to bring down, May of Oxford Economics said.

China's Sichuan province, where factories have shuttered production this week, is a hub for makers of semiconductors and solar panels. The power rationing will hit factories belonging to some of the world's biggest electronics companies, including Apple supplier Foxconn and Intel. cnn.com

Lowe's to give hourly front-line workers 'inflation' - retention bonuses

Kohl's will bring Sephora to all stores in hopes of adding $2B in sales by 2025

Bath & Body Works cuts 130 positions, COO exits

Quarterly Results

SpartanNash Q2 Retail comp's up 6.5%, Retail net sales up 8.5%, Food Distribution net sales up 5.9%, Military net sales up 12.4%, total net sales up 7.9%

Buckle Q2 comp's up 1.6%, onloine sales up 6.5%, total net sales up 2.3%

Bath & Body Works Q2 Stores - U.S. & Canada down 5.6%, Direct-U.S. & Canada down 9.9%, Intern. up 34.6%, net sales down 5%

Ross Stores Q2 comp's down 7%, net sales down 4.1%

Foot Locker Q2 comp's down 10.3%, total sales down 9.2%

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RH-ISAC Summit Agenda Announced!

RH-ISAC's Cyber Intelligence Summit, September 20-21, in Dallas/Plano, TX is the only place to find more than 30 cyber intelligence experts from companies like Target, Walmart, McDonald's, Hyatt, Patagonia, and Expedia, providing cutting-edge insights for the retail, hospitality, and travel industries.

This year's agenda includes five exciting keynote presentations and more than 20 breakout sessions, crafted with feedback from our members, who provided us with key topics like threat intelligence, security operations, and security architecture that you wanted to see.

View Agenda Here

Retail Has a Target on Its Back
How the retail sector can take firm steps to counter cyberattacks

The retail sector is a significant and growing target for cybercriminals

It has been an incredibly challenging period for the retail sector, with a series of seismic events significantly disrupting operations. These changes have been made all the more difficult by an accompanying rise in cybercrime - both pan-industry and specifically targeting retail. In the UK, it is estimated that, on average, retailers face an attack every eight days. In the most recent Cybersecurity Census Report, 77% of retailers surveyed expected a further surge in the rate of attack.

In order to address what those threats might look like - and how retailers might best prepare themselves for such attacks - Sohpos recently published Industry Secrets: Cyber security for retail.

Cyberattacks and human behaviour

"You need to invest in a robust cybersecurity operation with layered defences that include anti-social engineering tactics," he advises. "A lot of companies invest resources into impressive software that looks good on paper and makes people feel secure, but doesn't do anything about the human element, which has been identified time and again as the weakest link in a security chain."

"The retail sector is unfortunately very heavily targeted," adds Kustas. "These attacks may not be very large scale, they may be very early indicators of compromise or somebody who has tried their luck to get into these environments. But for them to happen at such a high frequency means that realistically the retail sector should take this as seriously as possible, whether they are direct attacks on infrastructures, or whether they are social engineering attacks."

"Organisations need to train all employees, contractors and vendors on the dos and don'ts of how to be 'cyberly' responsible," Salgado advises.

Key steps to tackling cyberattacks in retail

To help retailers and other enterprises in these efforts, Sophos has identified six key steps organisations should adopt when adopting a protection plan. This begins with ensuring you have high-quality defences in your environment. Then, hunting for potential threats and investigating them. The third piece of advice is to harden your IT environment. Ensuring you have a cyber-incident report plan in place when or if an attack does happen is essential. Recovery in the face of attack is also accelerated by ensuring you back everything up and practice restoring files periodically. The sixth and final piece of guidance is to never lose sight of the essentials that drive a secure culture. techmonitor.ai

Dozens of Apps Pose a Risk to Businesses & Customers
Finance App Users At Risk As 50 Apps Pose Cybersecurity Threats To Businesses
There is no disputing the fact that the covid-19 pandemic accelerated the global adoption of digital payments and the use of finance applications. The emergence of Fintechs across the globe has enabled a lot of people to send and receive payments, as well as save money on their smartphones through these apps.

AdvertisementHowever, there seems to be a major constraint posing a serious challenge to these apps, as a recent study revealed that two cybersecurity assessment reports of the top 50 android apps for shopping and finance have indicated security risks to users.

According to the report, it disclosed that a high percentage of these apps were marked as high cybersecurity threats to users, thus putting confidential customer and business data at risk. The report, which has been tailored to be geographically specific to ensure a more significant impact on the target audience, showed that 60 percent of Finance apps and 72 percent of shopping apps posed a dangerous risk to users.

The cybersecurity assessment was presented to Nigerian customers and businesses which function particularly in the retail industry to help them assess the magnitude of security concerns from using the apps. This is coming amid the global danger of e-commerce fraud where businesses across the globe have lost billions of dollars, with more than $20 billion lost in 2021. tekedia.com

Apple Cybersecurity Warning
Apple warns of security flaw affecting phones, tablets, computers

The software flaws could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices, Apple said in two security reports.

Apple disclosed serious security vulnerabilities for iPhones, iPads and Macs that could potentially allow attackers to take complete control of these devices. Apple released two security reports about the issue on Wednesday, although they didn't receive wide attention outside of tech publications.

Apple's explanation of the vulnerability means a hacker could get "full admin access" to the device. That would allow intruders to impersonate the device's owner and subsequently run any software in their name, said Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security.

Security experts have advised users to update affected devices - the iPhone6S and later models; several models of the iPad, including the 5th generation and later, all iPad Pro models and the iPad Air 2; and Mac computers running MacOS Monterey. The flaw also affects some iPod models.

Apple did not say in the reports how, where or by whom the vulnerabilities were discovered. In all cases, it cited an anonymous researcher. wkyc.com

Apple Products Targeted by North Korean Threat
Mac Attack: North Korea's Lazarus APT Targets Apple's M1 Chip

Lazarus continues to expand an aggressive, ongoing spy campaign, using fake Coinbase job openings to lure in victims.

North Korean advanced persistent threat (APT) Lazarus is casting a wider net with its ongoing Operation In(ter)ception campaign, targeting Macs with Apple's M1 chip.

The state-sponsored group is continuing its favored approach of launching phishing attacks under the guise of fake job opportunities. Threat researchers at endpoint detection provider ESET warned this week that it discovered a Mac executable camouflaged as a job description for an engineering manager position at the popular cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinbase.

According to ESET's warning on Twitter, Lazarus uploaded the bogus job offer to VirusTotal from Brazil. Lazarus designed the latest iteration of the malware, Interception.dll, to execute on Macs by loading three files: a PDF document with the fake Coinbase job posting and two executables, FinderFontsUpdater.app and safarifontsagent, according to the alert. The binary can compromise Macs powered both with Intel processors and with Apple's new M1 chipset. darkreading.com

Amazon Ring Footage Exploited by Cyberattackers
Vulnerability in Amazon Ring app allowed access to private camera recordings
A vulnerability in the Android version of the Ring app, which is used to remotely manage Amazon Ring outdoor (video doorbell) and indoor surveillance cameras, could have been exploited by attackers to extract users' personal data and device's data, including geolocation, address, and recordings.

The vulnerability was discovered by Checkmarx researchers, who went one step further and demonstrated how an attacker could later analyze huge numbers of recordings with the help of computer vision technology, to extract additional sensitive information (e.g., from computer screens or paper documents) and material (e.g., video records or images of children). helpnetsecurity.com

Crypto bandits swipe nearly $2B as hacks surge 60% in 2022: report

Why smart factories need to prioritize cybersecurity







Using Appriss AI to Fight Fraud & Abuse

Claims Abuse and Fraud: Bigger than Chargebacks?
Our work at Appriss® Retail has uncovered an alarming rise of ecommerce order claims and claims fraud and abuse, posing the threat of substantial losses to retailers if it's not addressed. With the continued growth in ecommerce and increasing sophistication of fraudulent transactions (as well as honest consumers that have taken advantage of more lenient policies), it's important for retailers to put measures in place to track and combat these practices.

Understanding the Impact of Claims Adjustments

Appriss Retail estimates total claims adjustments to be anywhere from two to four percent of all ecommerce sales depending on the retailer. In 2021, U.S. ecommerce sales totaled $1.050 trillion (according to an NRF report), which translated into $21-42 billion in appeasements and reshipments. In future years, retailers may face potentially greater losses as ecommerce grows and abusers and fraudsters become more sophisticated.

What Are Retailers Doing to Weed Out Claims Abuse and Fraud?

For a claim to reach the level of fraud, it usually involves several purchases and potentially creating fake consumer accounts that make it difficult to trace the claims activity. CSRs are trained to help and want to satisfy the shopper, but this may not always result in smart decisions about whether a refund or reshipment is justified. Retailers typically do not have the analytics power to distinguish between valid claims and sophisticated scams, and therefore err on the side of caution and fulfill more claims than they should.

How Can Retailers Find Sophisticated Scams Hiding Behind Fake IDs?

At Appriss Retail, we use Artificial Intelligence (AI) within a model-based approach to assess a number of risk factors (frequent returns of the same product, to the same address, or using the same credit card, etc.) that come together to create a risk measurement-a threshold above which a transaction might be identified as fraudulent. The retailer can choose whether to enforce the model at that level or to be more lenient or limiting.

Case Study: Millions in the Balance

Using our AI and analytics models, we found that for one omnichannel retailer, the 1.1 percent of consumers with the most post-order adjustments accounted for 10 percent of adjustment dollars. We also discovered that 0.3 percent of individuals were responsible for $2.8 million in adjustments. In other words, by denying these adjustments based on the relevant prior transaction history for specific linked IDs, this retailer could likely save close to $3 million annually.


Claims have always been regarded as a cost of doing business for retailers, but our research estimates that 10 percent of claims are fraudulent, and this number is likely to grow unless these behaviors are curbed. By applying AI and advanced analytics, retailers can potentially recoup millions of dollars while ensuring excellent customer service for consumers with legitimate claims. therobinreport.com

Online Shopping Safety and Security
Protecting your money, information while online shopping
he first thing consumers should do is make sure there's an "s" after "http" in the website's URL. "That means your data's encrypted, it's like a secured channel when you're using that website," Scott Shackelford, Executive Director at IU's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, said.

Experts caution against buying from websites you are not familiar with. If you do decide to buy from an unknown website, experts say do not allow the page to save your card information. "Maybe just check out as a guest and that could help make sure that you have better control over the data there," Shackelford said. cbs4indy.com

Wayfair to Lay Off 870 Workers, Expects Up to $40 Million in Related Costs

Americans using Apple Pay to buy lots of stuff







Isabel, SD: More than 100 firearms stolen from South Dakota Gun shop
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information related to a burglary of a gun shop in Isabel, South Dakota. Officials say more than 100 firearms were reported stolen from Reloader's Corner along Main Street in the small town. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry is offering the reward. The ATF says the burglary happened over the weekend of August 13. A special agent says the front door of the business was forced open and a number of handguns, shotguns, rifles and a variety of accessories were reported missing. valleynewslive.com

Bucks County, PA: Employee Accused of Stealing $40K in Cell Phones from Store
An employee from the AT&T store in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, is facing charges after he allegedly stole upwards of $40,000 in merchandise over the course of his employment. Court records indicate that Devonte Oderreis Singletary, 29, of Bethlehem, has been charged with felony counts of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in connection with the investigation. He is currently free on $50,000 unsecured bail. Police were reportedly dispatched to the 700 block of Rt. 113 at 1:12 p.m. Aug. 10 for a report of a theft by an employee. Arriving police said they spoke with the store's loss prevention officer, who told them Singletary had allegedly stolen multiple phones from the store, with each phone having an estimated value of $1,000. sauconsource.com

Peel police arrest 24 suspects in connection with alleged organized crime group
Police west of Toronto say they have arrested 24 people suspected to be part of an organized crime group allegedly responsible for violent crimes and tractor-trailer cargo thefts throughout southern Ontario.

Peel Regional Police say investigators began a probe on the alleged organized crime network operating in the Greater Toronto Area in early 2022.

The force released a statement on Saturday saying those arrested are facing a total of 54 charges, including possession of property obtained by crime and theft over $5,000.

Police allege the suspects used violence, intimidation and financial reward to recruit members and commit crimes throughout southern Ontario. They also say the group is believed to be responsible for multiple weapons offences, cargo thefts and drug trafficking. thestar.com

Fort Myers, FL: Suspect accused of stealing nearly $17,000 from Home Depot
Fort Myers Police Department detectives are looking for a man accused of stealing nearly $17,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot. According to FMPD, on August 4, 2022, around 3:20 PM a man wearing a "Buccaneers" hat, black sunglasses, a gray collar shirt with a blue shirt under, and jean shorts entered the business. FMPD says that he entered the Home Depot and was seen placing five rolls of wire inside his shopping cart. Before paying for the supplies, the suspect walked out of the business. As the suspect was leaving the store, an Asset Protection employee made contact with him and he relinquished all stolen items. The total amount stolen/recovered was $1,694.00. sports.yahoo.com

New York, NY: Shoplifters Hit Lululemon Twice on Saturday, over $16,000 in merchandise stolen
On Saturday, August 13, at approximately 4:45 PM, four men entered the Lululemon athletic clothing store at 216 Columbus Avenue, on the corner of West 70th Street. "They removed property by concealing it in some sort of laundry bag," a police spokesperson said. "They left the store without paying for the property, valued at around $9,754. There was no contact, no weapons, no active threat - they passed through all points of sale." The second incident actually preceded the first, but wasn't reported until 6:20 PM, when, according to police, it may have been picked up on security footage that was being reviewed. In the same manner as above, two men removed approximately $6,600 worth of merchandise from Lululemon. westsiderag.com

Elk River, MN: Habitual Lego thief apprehended
Sixty-one times in a six-week period, a Princeton man pawned Lego-brand building blocks for cash. Now 29-year-old Dillon R. Bostic is facing felony theft charges and the potential for five years in prison in Sherburne County District Court. The 61 pawn shop transactions occurred between April 3 and May 16, 2022, according to court records. Two of Bostic's offenses involved the theft of Star Wars Legos on multiple occasions from a Walmart store in Elk River. It was on May 6, 2022 that Bostic was stopped by Elk River Walmart employees with a shopping cart full of Star Wars Legos sets. Bostic took a shopping cart past the store's registers without paying. There were Legos valued at $1,132 in the cart, according to a criminal complaint filed in Sherburne County District Court. Court records show that as of Aug. 9, Petersen had seven pending theft cases filed against him and has had seven separate convictions on theft charges over the past five years. hometownsource.com

Tucson, AZ: Man sentenced to prison for Organized Retail Theft scheme
A man was sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty to an organized retail theft scheme. On Aug. 18, Joseph James Mierzejewski was sentenced to one year in prison, followed by four years of probation after he plead guilty to one count of theft and one count of attempted trafficking in stolen property, a news release from the Arizona Attorney General's Office said. Mierzejewski was indicted in April and accused of participating in an organized retail theft ring that defrauded retail stores in Southern Arizona, including Target, Home Depot and Walmart, the news release said. Mierzejewski would enter the store and place an incorrect Universal Product Code on an item, which included a significantly lower marked price than the retail value, the news release said. He would then pay the lower price at the register and resell the items at pawn shops for profit. According to the indictment, Mierzejewski stole various household items, power tools, LEGO sets, a Suvie Cooker and a knife set. tucson.com

Westfield, MA: Woman dressed as Walmart employee steals vacuums, leaves in stolen vehicle
Police are searching for a woman that entered the Walmart dressed like a store employee and stole several items. On July 29 around 11:35 a.m., the suspect can be seen on surveillance camera wearing a Walmart vest entering the store to blend in and look like an employee. She then left the store with several expensive items. "Apparently she mistook 'Everyday low prices,' for 'every day NO prices,' as she stole two expensive vacuums and a trash bin with bags, and then fled the store," said Westfield Police on social media. wwlp.com

Livingston, NJ: Macy's Loss Prevention/ Livingston Police arrest 2 men for theft of $5000 of clothing

Williamsport, PA: Homeless man charged with felony shoplifting at TJ Maxx; 3rd shoplifting arrest

Fairview Park, OH: Women steal $1,700 worth of Ulta merchandise

Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma City Police are looking for a man who stole over $1,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe's

Gig Harbor, WA: Police search for suspects that stole over $1,000 worth of merchandise

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Shootings & Deaths

Irvine, CA: Toddler struck and killed by Amazon delivery van
A toddler was struck and killed by an Amazon delivery van in Irvine on Tuesday, according to authorities. The crash occurred around 3:30 p.m. in an apartment community in the 300 block of Estancia, the Irvine Police Department said Tuesday night. "Preliminarily, it appears a collision occurred in the parking lot between an Amazon van and the child," police said. "The van is operated by a third party contractor." The victim was a 23-month-old girl, police said. latimes.com

Hyattsville, MD: Man Killed in Shooting at Mall at Prince George's
A man was killed in a shooting at the Mall at Prince George's in Hyattsville, Maryland, Thursday afternoon, police said. The shooting happened during an apparent fight in the mall's food court, News4's Jackie Bensen reports. Hyattsville police, as well as the county police and fire departments were called to the scene at 3500 East West Highway a few minutes after 4 p.m. Police do not believe it was a random act and said there is not an active threat. They did say whether the victim was the intended target.  nbcwashington.com

Harris County, TX: Man shot dead after pointing weapon at constables in northwest Harris County
A man has been shot and killed after taking aim at deputies, Harris County officials said. On Thursday morning, Harris County Precinct 4 Constables responded to a weapons disturbance at the Frontier Inn located at 16520 block of the North Freeway. Constables said they got a call about a weapons disturbance at the location. When they arrived at the Inn, the man involved pointed a weapon at deputies and they opened fire. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Shortly after 9 a.m., constables announced the death of a man holding a gun. cw39.com

Waterbury, CT: Police searching for man suspected of shooting, killing man outside of restaurant
Police are searching for a Waterbury man who they suspect shot and killed a resident outside of a North Main Street restaurant early Thursday. Investigators with the Waterbury Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Joseph Whitaker, 32, of Waterbury, charging him with the homicide of Lechard Santos, 32, of Waterbury. Police said their preliminary investigation determined an "altercation" occurred outside the restaurant just before the shooting. Police said the victim was involved in the fight when the gunfire erupted, striking the man once. registercitizen.com

San Jose, CA: Update:2 suspects arrested in June fatal shooting of San Jose Safeway worker
Police in San Jose on Thursday confirmed the arrests of two suspects in the June 5th slaying of Safeway employee Manny Huizar at the store in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood. The shooting was reported on the 1500 block of Hamilton Avenue at about 3:35 a.m. on June 5. Arriving officers found a man with at least one gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was later identified as 24-year-old Manny Huizar, a Safeway employee who had worked at the store for six years. He was shot during an altercation early that Sunday morning. San Jose homicide detectives began a comprehensive investigation into the fatal shooting and eventually identified two suspects. The first suspect was identified as 18-year-old Tevita Tuakalau, a resident of Utah. The second suspect was identified as 19-year-old San Jose resident Jacob Parrilla. Arrest warrants for homicide and conspiracy were obtained and issued for both suspects. cbsnews.com

Atlanta, GA: Subway where worker was killed over too much mayo on sandwich to reopen with new security protocols
Months after police say a customer shot two employees for putting too much mayonnaise on a sandwich, the downtown Atlanta Subway where the shooting occurred is getting ready to reopen. In June, two employees were shot at the Subway restaurant on Northside Drive, leaving 26-year-old Brittany Macon dead. Channel 2′s Larry Spruill was at the restaurant near Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday, where they unveiled new security measures intended to keep everyone safer once the store reopens. he restaurant has been closed since the June 26 shooting devastated the community. "It's been kind of tough, but we're getting through it," Glenn said. "We're all trying to get past this chapter." Glenn said it's all about security and safety. "In light of what happened back in June, that's, first and foremost, more important than anything - more than making money and selling sandwiches," Glenn said. wsbtv.com

Greenville, SC: Man shot during altercation at Metro PCS
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at a business on South Pleasantburg Drive on Wednesday afternoon. Dispatchers said they received multiple reports about gunshots in the area. Deputies said an altercation took place between two people at the Metro PCS store on Mauldin Road and during the incident, one person was shot. The man who was shot was not at the scene when deputies arrived but later showed up at the hospital. Deputies said the incident appears to be an isolated shooting between people who were familiar with each other. foxcarolina.com


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

7-Eleven Hit by Flash Mob in LA
(Update) Los Angeles, CA: LAPD seek suspects after 7-Eleven gets ransacked

LA police are asking for the public's help in identifying suspects who ransacked a 7-Eleven after motorists staged a street takeover outside earlier this week.

A "flash mob" of looters were caught on camera ransacking a 7-Eleven in Los Angeles earlier this week - making off with handfuls of cigarettes, snacks and other goods, authorities said.

Video clips released by Los Angeles police show dozens of people, many of them not bothering to hide their faces, grabbing various items as they swarmed the chain store Monday shortly after midnight in the Harbor Gateway section of the city.

Part of the footage even shows the rowdy bunch going behind the counter that was apparently vacated by 7-Eleven employees and flinging items toward a pack of people on the other side.

Snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets and other merchandise were all lifted from the store, which also was vandalized, according to police. Looters also allegedly threw items at store employees. After exiting the store, the throngs of suspects quickly left the area before cops arrived, police said.

The robberies occurred during a street takeover where drivers flooded and blocked a city intersection with their vehicles from all directions to create a "pit" in the middle of it, police said. nypost.com news.yahoo.com

St. Louis County shoplifting spree ends in 22 combined felony counts for 2 suspects
Two people have been charged in a St. Louis County shoplifting spree that spanned from May to August 2022. The St. Louis county Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced Wednesday it has charged George Lampley, 34, and Lucretia Lampley, 28, in the spree. George Lampley was charged with 12 counts of stealing $750 or more. Lucretia Lampley was charged with 10 counts of stealing $750 or more. "This is one of the longest and most brazen shoplifting sprees I have ever seen," said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. Investigations by the Brentwood, St. Louis County and Maplewood police departments found the suspects, who share an address in St. Louis, worked together to steal different merchandise. They stole televisions, computers, laptops, gaming monitors, clothing, and more from four different shopping centers around the area, the attorney's office said. They were identified by surveillance video and store employees from the investigation. Their bond was set at $10,000. ksdk.com

Sarasota, FL: The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office charged 13 people during a retail theft operation
For three days in early August, members of the agency's Tactical Unit focused on interrupting retail theft and identifying criminal activity in the university town center area. During the operation, deputies communicated with loss prevention personnel at Macy's and Dillard's in real-time to identify individuals attempting to steal merchandise. Collectively, those charged have 178 prior felony and misdemeanor charges with 54 convictions. Today, these 13 individuals now face a total of 20 new charges. "Retail theft operations require planning, manpower, and days of focused enforcement, but as you can see, are well worth it," commented Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman. "We rely on our partnerships with retailers and loss prevention personnel to identify criminal activity and hopefully, disrupt it before these businesses lose money.  tampafp.com

Botetourt County, VA: Roanoke man charged in Kroger robbery, bomb threat in Botetourt Co. in May
An arrest has been made by the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office in a May robbery from a Kroger in the county. On August 5, deputies said Michael Thor Dricker, of Roanoke, was arrested and charged in connection with the May 23 robbery that took place at Kroger located at 72 Kingston Drive in Daleville. After a thorough investigation, detectives with the Botetourt County Sheriff's Office said they were able to identify Dricker as the individual who committed the robbery. wset.com

Merced, CA: 2 men arrested for stealing 57 watermelons

Joplin, MO: Tractor-trailer catches fire; 43,000 pounds of cheese damaged



C-Store - Baton Rouge, LA - Burglary
C-Store - Honolulu, HI - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Fife, WA - Burglary
C-Store - Marshall, MI - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Springfield, MO - Armed Robbery
Grocery - Rome, NY - Robbery
Guns - Isabel, SD - Burglary
Hardware - Fort Myers, FL - Robbery
Hotel - Gonzalez, LA - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Bloomfield, CO - Robbery
Jewelry - Conyers, GA - Robbery
Jewelry - Bethesda, MD - Burglary
Jewelry - Springfield, MO - Burglary
Jewelry - Palm Desert, CA - Burglary
Restaurant - Sugar Land, TX - Armed Robbery / Emp Shot
Restaurant - Lubbock, TX - Burglary
Shoe - Rockingham, NC - Burglary
Tobacco - Richmond, KY - Robbery
Walmart - White Township, PA - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 11 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 93 robberies
• 40 burglaries
• 3 shootings
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Jacksonville, FL - posted June 17
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Seattle, WA / Tacoma, WA / Portland, OR - posted June 14
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San Diego, CA / Los Angeles, CA / Ontario, CA - posted June 10
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Corporate Risk Manager
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Retail Asset Protection Associate
Medford, MA; Brockton, MA; East Springfield, MA - posted May 6
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