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Allied Universal Names Honorable William J. Walker Vice President and Corporate Security Director

IRVINE, Calif. - Sept. 6, 2023 - Allied Universal®, the world's leading security and facility services provider, today announced the appointment of Retired U.S. Army Major General William J. Walker to the position of vice president and corporate security director.

Walker will draw on his civilian and military executive leadership expertise to serve as a resource to Allied Universal customers in developing comprehensive security strategies. He will determine priorities for the protection of people, property and assets and will advise on the allocation of resources based on risk, operational needs and company policies. Walker will also provide counsel to help customers leverage cutting-edge technology and data to deploy smarter, more effective security programs.

"William is an accomplished safety, security and threat mitigation professional with a proven record of success designing, developing and integrating organization-wide strategies to protect against internal and external vulnerabilities," said Steve Jones, global chairman and CEO of Allied Universal. "His recruitment to our already-winning team is going to be a game changing asset to the customers and communities we serve."

Read more here

Greg Houting, LPC promoted to Field OPS & Safety Manager for Dick's Sporting Goods

Greg Houting has been with Dick's Sporting Goods for more than nine years, starting with the company in 2014 as District Loss Prevention Manager based in the South Florida Market. Before his promotion to Field OPS & Safety Manager, he served as District Loss Prevention Manager based in the Houston Market. Earlier in his career, he held LP/AP roles with Golf Galaxy, Toys R Us, The Home Depot, and Foley's. Congratulations, Greg!

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







New Whitepaper: 'Secure Retail in the New World'
Sensormatic Solutions holistic loss prevention tools support retailers in escalating fight against theft and shrink

The brand's comprehensive suite of loss prevention solutions can help retailers address shrink, eroding profit, and organized retail crime activity so they can effectively navigate today's retail landscape.

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland-September 6, 2023-Sensormatic Solutions, the leading global retail solutions portfolio of Johnson Controls, shows its continued commitment to supporting retailers through innovation. Today, the brand released "Secure Retail in the New World," a resource to help industry leaders understand the future of loss prevention and guide holistic operational improvements that help mitigate the impact of shrink by leaning on connectivity, leading with data, and regaining control of their environments.

"Not only has the financial
impact of organized retail crime grown significantly in recent years, but so have safety concerns for both shoppers and associates," said Craig Szklany, vice president and product general manager, Loss Prevention & Liability at Sensormatic Solutions. "These changes have made it necessary for retailers around the globe to reconsider what it means to protect their stores. Adopting a data-led approach rooted in holistic operational insight and supported by emerging technology can help brands not only improve their loss prevention tactics today but prepare for new challenges that arise tomorrow."

Sensormatic Solutions loss prevention portfolio empowers retailers with the holistic solutions they need to remain agile and effective in the face of rising retail crime. The brand's solutions are designed for easy adoption, helping retailers seamlessly integrate advanced hardware and software into existing loss prevention systems.

To learn more about the benefits of adopting a holistic approach to loss prevention and how to get started, download Sensormatic Solutions latest white paper: Secure Retail in the New World.

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

'Mayhem on Main Street': Retail Theft Epidemic Series

ORC Gangs Motivated by Lack of Theft Prosecution
California is ground zero for retail theft prosecution controversy

In this series, Mayhem on Main Street, the Washington Examiner will investigate the causes behind the scourge of shoplifting, the role of the cartels, the cost to stores big and small, and the complicity of lax prosecutors. Part four will focus on law enforcement of retail theft. To read parts one, two, and three, click here, here, and here.

Retail giant Nordstrom's flagship store in a San Francisco mall permanently closed last week, marking the latest store to fall as the city grapples with a glaring exodus of brick-and-mortar shops.

The cause of the closure, according to a mall spokeswoman, included "
unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees, coupled with the fact that these significant issues are preventing an economic recovery of the area." She said the closure "underscore[d] the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco."

Retail crime in urban areas is one of the well-documented factors for these store closures, but an increasingly accommodating environment for organized retail crime and viral surveillance footage capturing brazen incidents of thievery has magnified the problem.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento were found by the National Retail Federation to be "hot spots" for organized retail crime for the last several years, signaling the problem may be statewide in California. Chicago and New York were also annual hot spots, as were Houston, Atlanta, and Miami.

The survey's findings suggest that
neither red nor blue states are immune to retail crime but that a pattern of rampant theft can be found within populous, Democratic-run jurisdictions.

At the state level, one point of contention in combating retail theft has been the
dollar threshold at which a misdemeanor becomes a felony. Proponents of raising the thresholds in states want to reduce prison time and claim the dollar amount should be adjusted for inflation.

Critics say allowing theft of higher-dollar items to be deemed a misdemeanor is
wrongly reducing punishment and therefore encouraging crime.

California has been the poster child for this controversy,
raising its threshold in 2014 via Proposition 47, a ballot measure bankrolled by Democratic megadonor George Soros. After its passage, theft of items under $950 could only be prosecuted as a misdemeanor, if prosecuted at all. washingtonexaminer.com

Retailers Worldwide Use New Tactics to Thwart Thieves
Crime-fighting fog hits shoplifters as retail theft spirals out of control

Stores across country lost billions in retail theft last year, according to Capital One Shopping Research

A disorienting and blinding fog connected to a store's alarm is a relatively new security measure to stop would-be thieves as organized retail crime spirals out of control.

The technology, which was created by DensityUSA, is already in use in several countries in the European Union and Australia but is becoming more prevalent in the U.S., said Mike Egel, president of DensityUSA.

Stores lost an estimated $86.6 billion to retail theft in 2022, and projections indicate that amount may reach $115 billion in 2025, according to Capital One Shopping Research.

Businesses have been forced to hide products behind registers or lock them up in glass cases to protect their inventory. That hasn't stopped orchestrated smash-and-grab robberies in which thieves execute intricate plots to grab as many items as possible and leave before witnesses get a good look or police respond.

"Once it's activated, the DensityUSA system creates a dense fog with near-zero visibility conditions in just seconds," Egel said. "The fog is designed to be dense and disorientating to deter an intruder from following through with their intentions."

In the case of the U.K. jewelry store, the thieves came away empty-handed, he said: "Thieves can't steal what they can't see." The company is based in St. Louis, but the European Union was the first to approve the fog machine as a crime deterrent.

After seeing its success, Egel said he and his business partner, Scott Bader, introduced their security measure to the United States, which is used in stores in a handful of states.

"The system can be used in all retail settings, from clothing stores and pharmacies to cannabis stores, from convenience stores to gun shops."  foxbusiness.com

Anti-Theft Measures Not Working?
Retail theft surge driving businesses to explore more safety options

Stores are beefing up security with cameras and cables, but these measures don't seem to be holding back coordinated attacks.

From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City, retail thefts have left major companies reeling, citing massive hits to profit margins and serious concerns about safety as large groups target stores.

David Johnston, Vice President of Asset Protection and Retail Operations for the NRF, says historically, companies would not discuss the impact of thefts on their bottom line, thinking it reflected a failure in their ability to control their store security.

"But what we're seeing today, we are beyond the retailer, being the individual who can correct what's happening today with the several acts of lawlessness, the brazen acts of shoplifting.
This is not a retailer only solution to solve," Johnston said.

A small business owner in Portland says he has seen an
800% increase in shoplifting. From additional cameras to security cables, Johnston says stores aren't holding back on security measures. But these measures don't seem to be holding back coordinated attacks.

Read Hayes is the director of the Loss Prevention Research Council. The Florida-based research company works with more than 70 major retail chains to find effective solutions for loss prevention.

"We have a team of 16. We've got
six inside labs that can simulate store environments and/or any environment we'd like in our simulation lab. We also have outside areas that we can test and learn. And we are doing a whole lot of field testing too. So, we've got the greater part of Gainesville, Florida, as one big living lab now, but we're also going to be setting up similar capability in places like Atlanta coming up," Hayes said.

Since 2022, a handful of states, including
Illinois, Oregon, New Mexico, Indiana, and Florida, have passed tougher retail crime legislation. A federal proposal would increase penalties in cases where evidence shows multiple thefts. scrippsnews.com

New Mexico's Retail Theft Crackdown Takes Effect
Albuquerque prosecutors take new approach to combatting retail theft
Prosecutors in New Mexico's largest metro area are
taking over all cases involving retail theft including small-scale shoplifting, in efforts to enforce new state sanctions against coordinated retail crime.

Albuquerque-area District Attorney Sam Bregman and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced the approach to combatting retail crime.

Previously, police officers in the Albuquerque area often processed misdemeanor sanctions for shoplifting less than $500 worth of merchandise. Prosecutors say they can then
consolidate related cases of retail theft over a 90-day period and possibly bring felony charges.

Lujan Grisham
signed legislation in April to create a new category of "organized retail crime" and stiffen penalties for organized theft of store merchandize as retailers have highlighted losses from coordinated pilfering.

"People should be able to go to the store without being afraid. Business owners are also fed up," said Bregman, announcing the new approach to prosecution. "
We think these new changes will hold repeat shoplifters accountable."

In New Mexico and beyond, major retailers are trying to curb theft while not angering shoppers as they lock up everyday items on display.
A new federal law requires online marketplaces to verify high-volume sellers on their platforms amid heightened concerns about retail crime.

Lujan Grisham said
the new approach across Bernalillo County will help ensure consistent and effective efforts to combat retail theft, and free up police officers to handle other public safety concerns. dailynews.com

Petition Calls on Retailers to Take More Action to Stop Theft
Some US shoppers fearful as organized retail theft rises
Ann McGee, a New Yorker from the borough of Queens, doesn't like the recent sensation she has when entering stores: fear. "It's not normal to be scared" when shopping, McGee told AFP.

She's behind a recent petition denouncing the insecurity caused by rising retail theft -- sometimes by thieves operating in groups and threatening anyone near them with violence -- in her neighborhood.

US retailers across the country have reported a sharp rise in theft in the last few months, alongside a worrying increase in violence. "You cannot accept the fact that these people can go into stores without fear and choose to rob these stores and get away with it," she said.

"It has to stop and the only way to get things done is if people start getting involved," she said. "It's time to rally -- I want to start a class action."

The drugstore chain CVS was targeted in June by McGee's petition, which she also sent to her local councilman, Democrat Robert Holden.

Holden reached out to the group's chief executive Karen Lynch to denounce what he called "rampant retail theft" in four CVS stores and the lack of action by the company to alert the police.

"Failing to report retail theft constitutes a dereliction of duty and poses serious consequences," he wrote in a letter to Lynch.

"It inadvertently incentivizes criminals to continue their unlawful activities while putting CVS staff and consumers in unnecessary danger," he added.

Holden's office told AFP that he received a response from CVS's head of security, who pledged that all incidents would be reported to the police from now on. news.yahoo.com

Business owner in Elmwood Village may shutdown due to rising retail theft

Nebraska retailers work to combat organized theft

'We just want laws to protect us': CA jewelry store wants change after robbery scare


Technology Has Advanced, But Has Workplace Safety Lagged Behind?
Workplace Injuries and Death Are Shockingly Common in the US in 2023
We haven't made nearly as much progress as we should have.
In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 5,190 workplace fatalities, an 8.9% increase from 2020. In 2021, a worker died every 101 minutes from a workplace injury. Workers of all ages, backgrounds, and identities are left asking: How much is my life worth?

It is shocking how many incidents resulting in workplace injury or death involve employers who are, technically, following the rules. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency tasked with enforcing workplace safety laws and holding employers accountable. But, according to a 2023 report from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO),
the median penalty a company faces when a worker dies on the job is $12,063 under federal OSHA, and $7,000 under one of the agency's state branches.

Then there are the
employers who actually do violate the law. For many of these violators, the fines they are required to pay barely count as pocket change. Amazon, for example, was ​​cited by OSHA in February for failing to keep workers safe. Multiple workers have died in the company's facilities, including Caes Gruesbeck, a man who died from blunt-force trauma in an Indiana warehouse. His death is under investigation by the state's OSHA.

Reuters reported that the company has racked up around
$150,000 in OSHA fines since January of this year. Comparatively, in 2022, the company generated over $500 billion in revenue.

There is also the problem of what happens when there isn't even a law in place to violate. This summer, heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses have claimed the lives of far too many workers, but there is currently
no specific federal law protecting workers from extreme heat. Tony Rufus, a Teamster working in a Kroger distribution center in Memphis, did not die under the sun's rays; according to a report in The Guardian, Rufus had been searching for a way to cool down all day, finally stepping over to the produce section to take a quick break. That's where he took his last breath.

In addition to deadly heat, the AFL-CIO has estimated that about
120,000 people lost their lives to occupational diseases in 2021. Health care workers are regularly exposed to COVID-19 and other viruses; coal miners and construction workers breath in toxic silica dust; warehouse workers fall victim to musculoskeletal disorders; the list goes on and on. teenvogue.com

Reducing On-The-Job Opioid Deaths
Opioid Overdose Drugs Unite Groups Over Workplace First Aid Kits

OSHA doesn't regulate stocking the drug

Reducing the number of on-the-job opioid deaths is the goal of of workplace safety advocates and industry groups that
want businesses to include an overdose prevention drug-Naloxone-in their first aid supplies.

A significant roadblock to employers stocking Naloxone was lifted this year as the Food and Drug Administration approved two nasal spray versions of Naloxone-Narcan and RiVive-as non-prescription drugs that can be sold in stores or online.

"Whether as part of a first aid kit or elsewhere,
Naloxone serves as another tool in the toolkit to help keep workers safe," Lorraine Martin, president of the National Safety Council, said. "Now that it is available over the counter, Naloxone should be in every workplace."

The push comes as the
US continues to grapple with an opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives nationwide.

In workplaces, unintentional drug
overdoses, such as from fentanyl, led to 464 occupational deaths in 2021, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That's 9% percent of the year's 5,190 on-the-job fatalities and the fifth most common cause. Transportation, warehousing, and construction workers accounted for 42% of the deaths.

While a voluntary industry standard could potentially materialize in the next few years, some employers are already moving ahead with
plans to have Naloxone at their worksites. news.bloomberglaw.com

Security Guards Replaced By Robots?
Las Vegas is the latest flashpoint between workers and AI, from robot bartenders to casino security guards

Robots are already replacing some jobs, such as bartenders and security guards.

Add bartenders and security guards in Las Vegas to the list of
workers concerned about AI replacing human jobs.

Restaurants, bars, casinos, and other attractions in the city are using AI instead of humans for some jobs, NPR reported Monday. Between 38% and 65% of jobs in Southern Nevada, where Las Vegas is the biggest city, could be automated by 2035, NPR reported, citing a 2019 article from the Nevada Independent.

The Culinary Union, which counts about 60,000 members in Nevada's service and hospitality industry, is planning to
bargain for protections to guard against AI taking jobs in a contract that the union hopes to win later this year, according to NPR. The union's membership is even considering the possibility of striking in order to get those protections, Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge told NPR.

AI is poised to eliminate some jobs and change others, Insider has previously reported.

In another example, the M Resort, located south of Las Vegas proper in Henderson, Nevada, started
using a security robot in its parking lot earlier this year. TikTok user lasvegaslina posted a video of the robot at work in June. "It cruises around looking for any potential trouble with 50 cameras and sensors on it," local TV station KVVU reported in February. businessinsider.com

NRF Announces Acquisition of Reverse Logistics Association
WASHINGTON - The National Retail Federation today announced its acquisition of the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), a global trade association for the returns and reverse industry. The announcement was made during the RLA Leadership Summit in Atlanta and is part of NRF's unrivaled commitment to support sustainable practices throughout the retail industry. nrf.com

Bath & Body Works hiring for holiday season
Bath & Body Works is accepting applications for season work at its distribution centers and is expected to hire 30,000 sales associates.

Manhattan retail shows signs of life as office market lags

Express Inc. leans on cost cuts as sales, profits plummet

Will Best Buy See a Holiday Recovery?


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Raising the Watch Tower

Results from LVT's Crime-Fighting
ACCESS Taskforce

According to the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC), LVT Units led to a 40% decrease in shoplifting.

The ACCESS Taskforce from LVT provided proven results for two communities, helping both their police departments and local retailers by contributing to a decrease in crime. See the results for yourself in LPRC's study.

Read the Results Here







In Case You Missed It

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.


Google Chrome Targeted by Data-Stealers
Google's Souped-up Chrome Store Review Process Foiled by Data-Stealer

Researchers have discovered that despite Google's adoption of the Manifest V3 security standard to protect against malicious plug-ins, attackers can still get bad extensions past its review process.

Malicious yet legitimate-looking Google Chrome browser
extensions that steal people's passwords and other sensitive data can still make it into the official app store, despite Google's adoption of a standard aimed at preventing this from happening.

That's the word from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who have created a proof-of-concept,
data-stealing browser extension that successfully passed the Chrome Web Store review process despite its compliance with Manifest V3, Chrome's latest security and privacy standard, they reported in a research paper posted online.

Google Chrome's adoption of Manifest V3 - which Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox also now support - is a "balancing act" between allowing browser extensions the access they need to run effectively, while
protecting users by not giving malicious extensions the same access, Mark Stockley, a cybersecurity evangelist from Malwarebytes Labs, wrote in a blog post published this week.

"The standard tightens up security in a number of ways, most notably by
stopping extensions from downloading code from remote websites," he wrote. This, in turn, stops them from changing their functionality once they're installed, allowing Google to understand what an extension does before allowing it to be posted on the Chrome store. darkreading.com

Infiltrating Corporate Networks
MinIO Attack Showcases Fresh Corporate Cloud Attack Vector

The open source object storage service was the target of a never-before-seen attack on corporate cloud services, which researchers said should put DevOps in particular on notice.

A brand-new attack vector has emerged in the cloud,
allowing cybercriminals to remotely execute code and take full control over systems running the distributed object storage system called MinIO.

AdvertisementMinIO is an open source offering compatible with the Amazon S3 cloud storage service, which allows companies to handle unstructured data like photos, videos, log files, backups, and container images. Researchers at Security Joes recently observed threat actors making use of a set of critical vulnerabilities in the platform (CVE-2023-28434 and CVE-2023-28432) to infiltrate a corporate network.

In the attack, the cybercriminals duped a DevOps engineer to update MinIO to a new version that effectively functioned as a backdoor. Security Joes incident responders determined that the update was a weaponized version of MinIO containing a built-in command shell function called "GetOutputDirectly()," and remote code execution (RCE) exploits for the two vulnerabilities, which were disclosed in March.

Further, it turns out that this booby-trapped version is available in a GitHub repository under the moniker "Evil_MinIO." Security Joes researchers noted that while this particular attack was stopped before the RCE-and-takeover stage,
the existence of the evil-twin software should put users on notice to watch for future attacks, especially against software developers. A successful attack could expose sensitive corporate information and intellectual property, allow access to internal applications, and set attackers up to pivot deeper into organizations' infrastructure. darkreading.com

Cybersecurity Becoming Larger Part of C-Suite Focus
Corporate boards expand cybersecurity risk oversight, report finds

A study from EY shows Fortune 100 CISOs more closely engaged with the board of directors and C-suite.

With new Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules set to take effect in early September, a study from the EY Center for Board Matters shows director oversight of cybersecurity at Fortune 100 companies is rapidly evolving.

In SEC filings, 4 in 5 companies disclosed how often management reported to the board or committees on cybersecurity, the study found. Almost half of the companies reported at least annually to the board on cybersecurity.

More than 3 in 5 companies disclosed cybersecurity as an area of expertise sought by the board, up from 1 in 5 in 2018. cybersecuritydive.com

Cyber talent gap solutions you need to know

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Thank you for nominating Sapphire Risk!

We'd greatly appreciate if you would vote
Sapphire Risk Advisory Group for

"Cannabis Consulting Firm of the Year"

The winners will be announced on stage at The Pearl Theater at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on November 30, 2023.

Vote for Sapphire Here


Storing Your Cannabis Security Footage
Video Storage Options for Cannabis Businesses
Video storage can take place either on-site or remotely, with potential benefits and drawbacks to each option. Depending on the operations of the business, as well as regulatory requirements, one option or a combination of both options may be best suited for the cannabis business.

Most often, cannabis businesses choose to store their video on-site via large servers. These on-premises solutions are controlled by the cannabis business directly or their IT department. But depending on the data retention requirements and quality of the video being stored, on-site storage solutions can be expensive. On the other hand, remote cannabis video storage has grown in popularity due to enhancements in cloud technology and cybersecurity. Cloud-based video storage solutions offer more flexibility and scalability, but also come with their own set of concerns.

On-Site Storage

For some cannabis businesses, on-site video storage and management can be more of a headache than a benefit. When choosing to store video footage on-site, consider the cost of both the NVR or server as well as the added cost of protecting the physical storage devices. Most on-site storage solutions require their own security measures to prevent physical damage, theft, and tampering. Depending on the size of the recorded video files, number of deployed cameras, regulatory storage requirements, and other factors, the sheer quantity and cost of on-site storage devices adds up quick.

Remote Storage

When it comes to security, some cannabis business owners may have issue with putting a third-party in charge of their recordings. Cloud storage comes with its own security risks not typically associated with on-site solutions, such as hacking, though modern cloud-storage providers have gone through extreme lengths to mitigate cyber-attacks. Remote storage solutions also require a reliable internet connection, which may be a problem for some cannabis businesses with a slow or unreliable network connection. sapphirerisk.com

Biden Admin Moves to Loosen Weed Restrictions
US Health Officials Urge Moving Pot to Lower-Risk Tier

Change would remove drug from most restricted designation

US health officials are recommending easing restrictions on marijuana,
a move that sets the stage for potentially expanding the cannabis market across the country.

AdvertisementA top official at the Department of Health and Human Services wrote Drug Enforcement Administration head Anne Milgram calling for marijuana to be reclassified as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Substances Act, according to a letter dated Aug. 29 that was seen by Bloomberg News.

A DEA spokesperson confirmed the department had received the letter with HHS's recommendation. With final authority to reschedule a drug,
DEA will now initiate its own review, the spokesperson said.

Reclassification is
a step short of legalizing the drug entirely, but it would mark a critical shift away from marijuana's status as a Schedule I substance, which includes drugs with high risk of abuse, like heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule III substances, such as ketamine, are seen as less dangerous and can be obtained legally with a prescription.

It could also give President Joe Biden an accomplishment to point to ahead of next year's election, while
reducing the taxes that cannabis businesses pay. Cannabis advocates say that re-scheduling would be an acknowledgment by the federal government that marijuana has legitimate uses, and would be one step on a path toward greater acceptance and availability. bloomberg.com

NY's Cannabis Rollout is in a 'Death Spiral'
Judge's ruling brings NY legal cannabis rollout to a complete standstill

New York's already slow legal cannabis rollout has been stopped cold by an upstate judge in a case with sweeping implications for the fledgling weed industry.

Albany Supreme Court Judge Kevin Bryant had initially given 23 cannabis shops the go-ahead to open in an exemption to an injunction that has placed a pause on the opening of new dispensaries. But Bryant reversed his decision after ruling that
the state's Office of Cannabis Management failed to comply with the court.

"It is clear to this Court upon review of the affidavits that OCM failed to comply with this Court's Order regarding exemptions to the injunction," Judge Bryant wrote in the decision, which was filed Monday.

This is the latest twist in the
state's sluggish rollout of legal dispensaries.

Lawyers and advocates worry it also marks
the beginning of a potential death spiral for the program, which aims to prioritize social justice goals by doling out licenses first to those impacted by the war on drugs and their families. About two dozen legal dispensaries are currently open across the entire state, while several hundred licenses have been issued to diepsenaries waiting to open.

The Albany case threatens to change the legal weed rollout for good, opens the door even wider to the exploding gray market and will possibly create even more havoc in the legal world, with lawyers warning of more lawsuits to come. nydailynews.com

Maryland dispensaries identify challenges as recreational cannabis sales continue to grow

Detroit's not so red-hot cannabis real estate market




The FTC is Likely to Sue Amazon This Month
FTC's Amazon Antitrust Suit Likely to Be Filed in September
The Federal Trade Commission is likely to sue Amazon.com Inc. later this month,
capping a four-year antitrust investigation into the company, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The antitrust suit is expected to target the online retail giant's popular marketplace, where third-party merchants, who now account for more than half of the company's online sales, pay a commission on each sale, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing the potential suit. Merchants have complained that Amazon unfairly ties access to its marketplace with its logistics service.

The long-expected complaint will be
the fourth the agency has filed this year targeting Amazon, stepping up pressure by the Biden administration, which has focused on antitrust and competition as a keystone of its economic policy. FTC Chair Lina Khan, Biden's pick to lead the agency, has long had the online commerce giant in her sights, writing a seminal paper as a law student about how to rethink the antitrust laws in connection with its online platform.

Top company executives met with the FTC's three commissioners in mid-August to discuss the suit, though
no settlement was discussed, according to the people.

The FTC, which has both antitrust and consumer protection mandates, has been
investigating Amazon for potential anticompetitive conduct over several aspects of its business, including its marketplace, Prime subscription service and cloud computing.

In May, the agency
sued the e-commerce giant in two separate cases for failing to delete data about children collected by its Alexa speakers and illegally spying on users of its Ring doorbells and cameras. Amazon said it disagreed with the FTC's allegations, but agreed to pay $30.8 million to resolve the cases.

One month later, the FTC again sued Amazon in a consumer protection case, alleging
the company duped consumers into signing up for Prime membership and deliberately made it hard to cancel. Amazon denies the allegations and that suit is ongoing. finance.yahoo.com

Global Crackdown Against Big Tech
E.U. targets Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, ByteDance, Meta, Microsoft in next phase of digital crackdown

The six companies were classified Wednesday as online "gatekeepers" that must face the highest level of scrutiny under the 27-nation bloc's Digital Markets Act.

The European Union is
targeting Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook owner Meta and TikTok parent ByteDance under new digital rules aimed at reining in the market power of online companies.

The six companies were classified Wednesday as
online "gatekeepers" that must face the highest level of scrutiny under the 27-nation bloc's Digital Markets Act.

The act amounts to a list of do's and don'ts that seeks to
prevent tech giants from cornering digital markets, with the threat of whopping fines or even forcing Big Tech companies to sell of parts of their business to operate in Europe.

It's part of a sweeping update to the
EU's digital rulebook that's starting to take force this year, and comes weeks after a companion package of rules aimed at keeping internet users safe, the Digital Services Act, started kicking in. nbcnews.com

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Indianapolis, IN: 2 charged with organized retail theft in Indy as lawmakers crack down on the crime
Felony charges are filed against two people accused of running an organized retail theft ring in Indianapolis. Prosecutors claim the two suspects, who were arrested this week, stole thousands of dollars in tools from several businesses and then tried to sell those items on Facebook Marketplace. Lawmakers are trying to crack down on the crime. This year, they passed a new law which means that sort of crime can now carry a tough punishment. From the Walmart in Beech Grove, to a Lowe's on Emerson, a second Lowe's on Madison and a Menards on Emerson, prosecutors claim two accused thieves stole thousands of dollars in expensive DeWalt table saws and drills last month, then tried to resell those items to unsuspecting customers online. "When someone is organized like this and reselling it, that is just beyond the pale of egregious," said Indiana Senator Aaron Freeman. To help fight organized retail theft, State Sen. Freeman authored Senate Bill 343, which passed the statehouse and became law in May. The law increases the penalty for that crime. Specifically, the law changes the crime from a level 6 felony to a level 5 felony in cases involving stolen items over $50,000 or stolen firearms. Prosecutors can also seek the enhanced felony if the suspect has a previous conviction for the same crime. "I'm proud of the bill. I just wish it wasn't necessary," said Freeman. "We just felt the court system and prosecutors needed another tool in their bag to deal with organized retail theft rings."  cbs4indy.com

Kensington, MD: Thieves steal $70K in jewelry from Kensington shop
A jewelry store in Montgomery County was robbed Tuesday, and the entire incident was caught on a security camera. The jewelry store owner, Raffie Bardizbanian, is really upset, and he hopes this surveillance video helps police catch the suspected thieves. Bardizbanian says he has only been robbed four times over 37 years in business. But this theft was extraordinary. He says these women were methodical, professional, thieves. The crystal clear surveillance video appears to show four women distracting the jewelry owner as another woman is seen crawling on the ground, out of the owner's view. The suspect grabs a box of jewelry that the owner repaired. He said it belonged to customers,
and then she crawls behind the display case and places the jewelry under another woman's blue dress. The woman sits down, and then the suspects leave the store with more than $70,000 worth of jewels fox5dc.com

Burleson, TX: Shoplifting suspects in Texas arrested with over $15,000 in merchandise from various retailers
Local authorities recently apprehended a group of shoplifting suspects, leading to the recovery and return of over $15,000 worth of stolen merchandise to various retail stores. The Burleson Police Department was alerted to the suspects who were seen stuffing numerous makeup items into a trash bag at a local department store. The suspects managed to flee the scene in a vehicle, but were later identified by an observant store employee who promptly informed the police. Officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The subsequent search of the vehicle revealed several more stolen items from various locations. Thanks to the swift action of the victims and officers, and after hours of investigation, the police were able to return the stolen merchandise, valued at more than $15,000, back to the retailers. 

Marion County, IN: Update: The Gathering card thieves charged with felony theft
Two men who allegedly stole $300,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards from an Illinois retailer setting up at tabletop convention Gen Con have been charged with felony theft, according to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office in Indianapolis. Thomas Dunbar and Andrew Giaume, who created a game called Castle Assault, have been charged with felony theft for their parts in the alleged theft of the Magic: The Gathering Cards from retailer and tournament organizer Pastimes Comics & Games. Should Dunbar and Giaume be found guilty, they face one to six years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The prosecutor's office said the charges come after an investigation that spanned both Indiana and New York, where Dunbar and Giaume reside. "During the course of the investigation, the stolen merchandise was located and recovered as evidence," Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a statement issued to Polygon. "The filing of charges today ensures that there are criminal consequences for this conduct."  gizmodo.com

Billings, MT: Shoplifting Wall of Shame unveiled at Billings business

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Shootings & Deaths

Dewitt, NY: 2 teen suspects killed by Deputy after they tried to run him over
A sheriff's deputy investigating a burglary in upstate New York fatally shot two teenagers Wednesday who were in a vehicle he thought was about to run him over, according to authorities. The deputy fired three shots into the vehicle during an encounter around dawn in the Syracuse suburb of Dewitt, said Onondaga County Sheriff Tobias Shelley. The deputy, who was investigating one of two smoke shop burglaries in the area, had responded to a call just before 6:30 a.m. about people seen transferring items between two vehicles. He drove bumper to bumper with one of those vehicles, which backed up as the driver attempted to escape. The deputy was caught by his vehicle in a narrow space, according to the sheriff, and fired to protect himself. "He had nowhere to flee to. This whole thing happens in seconds," Shelley said. The deputy did not activate his body camera but Shelley said a video taken by a resident documented the shooting. That video has not yet been made public.  witn.com

Henrico County, VA: Man shot outside Whole Foods dies; suspects now charged with murder
The victim in a shooting outside a Henrico County Whole Foods has now died, police say. The victim, 30-year-old Julian Leshon McClenny, of Drewryville, was shot Saturday around 8:50 p.m. on the 11100 block of West Broad Street. Officials said McClenny died of his injuries Tuesday. As a result, the suspects, Deontae Winston and Katoya Brown, have now been charged with second-degree murder. A preliminary investigation found the pair were in the Whole Foods parking lot when they got into an argument with McClenny.  wtvr.com

Eugene, OR: Suspect in 7-11 fatal shooting in Eugene turns himself in to police
Eugene Police said Jaisi Tavin Savath turned himself in at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday and is now in custody. Eugene Police are seeking the suspect in a fatal shooting that occurred last week near the University of Oregon campus. Officers responded early Saturday to a shooting at a 7-11 store on East Patterson and Broadway. An employee at the store was hospitalized and has since died. On Wednesday, the Eugene Police Department identified the victim as 32-year-old Stephen Anthony Forrest. Officials said the case is being treated as a murder investigation.  klcc.org

Aurora, CO: Aurora Officers cleared in Jor'Dell Richardson killing
Two officers involved in the shooting death of 14-year-old Jor'Dell Richardson will not face criminal charges, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday. Police shot and killed Jor'Dell on June 1 after an Aurora convenience store robbery, with responding officers thinking he was armed. It turned out Jor'Dell was carrying a pellet-gun replica of a 9mm pistol, and his killing led to protests in the city. But prosecutors found that the officer's belief that it was a real gun was reasonable at the time, and body camera video shows the gun "clearly visible" in Jor'Dell's hands, according to the DA's investigative report. Investigators also found that the people involved in the store robbery thought the gun was real.  kdvr.com

Wichita, KS: U.S. Marshals make arrest in connection to murder of Garden City restaurant owner
U.S. Marshals arrested a woman in connection to the fatal shooting of Ernie Ortiz in September 2019. The suspect in the case was not in Kansas when she was caught. Garden City police say they worked with U.S. Marshals to locate her.  ksn.com

Portage, IN: Fired Menards employee threatens to 'shoot this place up,' Portage police say
Police say a 27-year-old Gary man made matters much worse for himself over the weekend when after being fired from the local Menards store, he threated to return and "shoot this place up." A security guard reportedly told police that as he was escorting Nicholas Pruitt out of the store early Saturday afternoon, Pruitt began to yell and curse loudly. "I'm going to come back and shoot this place up straight fire," Pruitt allegedly said. "I'm going to shoot (fellow employee) point blank, I got warrants I don't care." When police arrived at the store at 6220 U.S. 6, they found Pruitt sitting in a vehicle and said he was argumentative with an officer. "Mr. Pruitt provided conflicting information as to his employment status, and denied saying any verbal threats to other employees," according to the arrest report. Pruitt was taken to the Porter County Jail and has been charged with a felony count of intimidation, records show.  nwitimes.com

Columbia, SC: Victims of Columbia Food Lion shooting are teenagers
The victims of a shooting at a Columbia Food Lion are teenagers, according to Richland County deputies. The two teen boys - who are 15 and 16 years old - were shot in the parking of the store on Hardscrabble Road on Monday night, deputies said. The sheriff's office said the pair were taken to the hospital, where they are still recovering. No arrests have been made yet in the case.  wistv.com

Baltimore man, 70, sentenced to 30 years after fatal shooting behind Glen Burnie liquor store

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Report of woman brandishing gun in Kohl's brings Ventura police
The Ventura Police Department sent a large response to Kohl's department store Tuesday night after reports of a woman inside with a gun. In the end, the firearm - which appeared to be a rifle and was allegedly pointed at a loss-prevention officer - turned out to be a replica, said Cmdr. Ryan Weeks. The 70-year-old suspect was arrested on suspicion of a misdemeanor. The incident was phoned in around 8:27 p.m. to the 4950 Telephone Road location, Weeks said. Officers arrived three minutes later. The woman was near the back of the store at the time, he said, after having walked around inside with what appeared to be a weapon. People in the store were trying to get employees to a safe room, Weeks said. Officers may have also tried to get customers out. At some point, the woman dropped the weapon, which turned out to be a replica, and was taken into custody. There had been an incident earlier in the day when the woman reportedly caused a disturbance at the store, although police hadn't responded, Weeks said. The disturbance apparently involved merchandise.
When the woman returned Tuesday night, she reportedly pointed the replica gun at the loss prevention officer and said she "wanted her stuff back," Weeks said. No details were available Wednesday about what the items were. The woman was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a replica gun. She remained in Ventura County jail as of midday Wednesday with bail set at $2,500, jail records show.  vcstar.com

Memphis, TN: Another smash-and-grab burglary: Criminals target jewelry store overnight
At least one person broke into a jewelry store overnight on Getwell Road by entering the the glass front doors forcefully. Mufasa Memphis Jeweler, on Getwell Road near the University of Memphis South Campus, was the target overnight Thursday. Memphis Police officers responded to the location around 2:30 a.m. Entry was achieved by driving what appears to be a Chevy Malibu, in reverse, into the front windows. The car remained at the store. The smash-and-grab style crime has become a notable happening in the area over the past several months in which criminals use cars, trucks and sledgehammers to burst through glass windows, then steal in a dash. At least three different liquor stores have been targeted for smash-and-grab activity including one - Busters - on multiple occasions fox13memphis.com

Guelph, Ontario, Canada: Loss Prevention thwarts robbery, has knife pulled on him
The Guelph Police Service was called to a store on Silvercreek Parkway North Tuesday afternoon about a robbery in progress. Investigators say just before 4 p.m., a man was seen by a loss prevention officer leaving the store with clothing that he had tried on earlier and had not paid for. The staff member followed the man outside and tried to stop him. That was when investigators say the man pulled out a 6 inch knife. They say there was a struggle between the two before the employee gained control of the weapon.  globalnews.ca

Liberty, OH: Former Walmart cashier accused of stealing $10K cash


Buena Park, CA: Target children's clothing section turns into flaming inferno in terrifying scene
Back-to-school shoppers were met with a towering inferno in the children's clothing section of a California Target on Tuesday - but luckily no one was hurt. Shoppers were forced to evacuate the Buena Park outlet when the blaze erupted at around 7 p.m., but not before one customer caught the massive fire on camera. Gigantic flames could be seen reaching up to the ceiling in the middle of the children's section as the sprinkler systems went off. It appeared the fire engulfed a standalone rack of what appeared to be clothes for toddlers.  nypost.com



C-Store - Panama City, FL - Burglary
C-Store - Panama City, FL - Burglary
C-Store - Ottawa County, MI - Burglary
Clothing - Bakersfield, CA - Burglary
Kohl's - Ventura, CA - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Kensington, MD - Robbery
Jewelry - Memphis, TN - Burglary
Macy's - San Mateo, CA - Robbery
Marijuana - Oklahoma City, OK - Burglary
Marijuana - Kitsap County, WA - Burglary
Restaurant - Bryan, TX - Burglary
Restaurant - Long Bottom, OH - Burglary
Restaurant - Louisa County, VA - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - Dewitt, NY - Burglary / 2 Susp killed
Tobacco - Myrtle Beach, SC - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - San Jose, CA - Burglary
Walgreens - Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
Walgreens - Rockford, IL - Robbery
Walmart - Leesburg, VA - Robbery
Walmart - Michigan City, IN - Robbery        


Daily Totals:
• 9 robberies
• 11 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 2 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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