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September 27, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Bob McCort was named Director of Loss Prevention for Charming Charlie. With over 30 years of experience in the loss prevention field, Bob spent over four and a half years at General Parts Inc as Sr. Director of Asset Protection. Bob held the title VP of Loss Prevention at May-Ohio for six years, then held the same title for another 15 years after May merged with Robinson's. Bob was also previously the Assistant Director of Loss Prevention at Hecht's. Congrats Bob!

RadioShack CEO steps down. RadioShack Corp. said CEO James Gooch has agreed to step down from his position, effective immediately. The company did not specify a reason for his departure. Gooch was appointed CEO in 2011 and has been working to boost stagnant sales. RadioShack said its board is conducting a search for a successor and would not rule out internal candidates. In the interim, executive VP and CFO Dorvin Lively will serve as the acting CEO. (Source

Valero Energy to sell off the retail business for $3.5 Billion. Valero currently operates nearly 2000 gas stations and convenience stores in the United Sates and Canada, has the attention of private equity groups and convenience store operators. TPG Capital LP, Carlyle Group LP, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc and 7-Eleven are among the parties that are taking an initial look. (Source

H&M short of profit forecasts, delaying launch of U.S. website. Hennes & Mauritz has delayed the launch of its online shop in the U.S. as results fell short of analyst expectations. Internet retailing there will now start in the middle of next year - nine months later than planned - as H&M grapples with the challenges of selling online. It is also rushing to launch mobile sites in the eight countries where it has online operations. (Source

Does swipe card reform save customers money
? The NRF estimates that U.S. retailers and customers save $18M a day because of the reform. However, it also cost banks $6.6 billion a year in lost revenue, meaning bank customers were hit with backlash in the form of no more free checking and increased fees.  (Source

The Dangers of Global Counterfeit Goods. The International Chamber of Commerce estimates counterfeit goods were worth $650 billion in 2008, by 2015, ICC expects the value of counterfeit goods globally to exceed $1.7 trillion. (Source

Ascena Retail to add 240 new jobs in Indiana. Ascena Retail Group Inc. is planning to expand its Greencastle women's apparel operation and add nearly 250 jobs by 2018. The company intends to invest approximately $35 million to turn the Putnam County campus into its primary e-commerce distribution hub. (Source

Almost 200 employees losing jobs at Lands' End. Lands' End is by far the biggest employer in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, a city of about 4,700 some 50 miles west of Madison. All of the cuts will be in Dodgeville, and the first 75 positions — 50 full-time jobs from the company's corporate offices and 25 from the call center. The additional 125 position will be cut from the call center following the holidays. Nearly 80 percent of company sales in the U.S. are now made online. Call volume, meanwhile, has steadily dropped by more than half over the last 10 years. (Source

Judge grants class status to female employees suing Costco. U.S. judge in San Francisco has certified a class-action lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corp. that involved allegations of gender discrimination in the store's promotion practices. Costco was sued in 2004 for allegedly limiting promotions of female employees to assistant general manager and general manager by failing to post job openings, the report said. The company denies the claims. (Source

American Greetings receives offer to go private. The company announced that its board of directors has received a nonbinding proposal to go private. American Greetings confirmed that the board received a letter from CEO Zev Weiss, president and COO Jeffrey Weiss, along with certain other members of the Weiss family and related parties, to acquire all of the outstanding class A and class B common shares of American Greetings not currently owned by the them for $17.18 per share. (Source

GameStop Associates form a fund to help fellow employees. The Gamer Fund endowed with seed money from the founder, will now be 100% supported and funded by the Associates. The fund was established to help associates through hard times, as they did following Hurricane Isaac. (Source

Deception crimes drive small increase in card fraud and online banking fraud losses. According to new figures released today, basic frauds, such as distraction thefts and people being tricked into giving their cards, PINs and financial passwords to criminals, have contributed to a small overall increase in card fraud and online banking fraud losses in the UK. According to The UK Cards Association, total fraud losses on UK cards during the first six months of 2012 was up 9 percent from last year.  (Source

Four members of Felony Lane Gang indicted on Federal Bank Charges. A Federal Grand Jury in Birmingham has indicted four Miami, FL area residents for conspiracy, bank fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. "The indictment of these defendants reduces the threat to Alabama residents from a multi-state fraud conspiracy," Vance stated. (Source

Lowe’s employee in Kingsport, TN commits refund fraud totaling more than $6,000. Joshua P. Adkins of Kingsport was arrested for the theft of over $6,000. He is believed to have committed 47 fraudulent refund transactions. Adkins has been charged with embezzlement. (Source

Three security guards killed by a shoplifter in Ukraine. A shoplifter in Kiev, Ukraine was being detained for stealing a USB flash drive. As he was being walked back to the Security Office he opened fire, killing the three security guards. (Source

Shooting victim at Volusia Mall in Florida staggered into the Macy’s, then disappeared. Darwin Harris was later found at a local hospital after being shot in the shoulder by an unknown suspect in the mall parking lot. Harris did enter the Macy’s store, but was scared and drove himself to his aunt’s home where his cousins transported him to the hospital. (Source

Old Navy Loss Prevention Associate dragged by a vehicle attempting to stop a shoplifter. Maybe reaching into a minivan that was attempting to flee was not the best idea. The Loss Prevention Associate in Canton, Ohio reached in and grabbed the steering wheel, the minivan then hit another car in the parking lot. The 19-year-old suspect was arrested and his minivan has been forfeited because it was used in the commission on a crime. (Source

Family Dollar Loss Prevention officer hit by fleeing car. Four shoplifting suspects in Akron, Ohio were arrested for theft after almost running down a store loss prevention officer attempting to make the stop. The Associate had minor injuries, after a short police chase all four were arrested. (Source

AFT investigates dozens of assault rifles stolen from a Youngstown shop. The building from the outside looks like a car customizing shop, but inside they had an arsenal of weapons and license to sell them. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms believe that a total of 36 assault rifles and handguns were stolen, and have offered a reward for information. (Source

Chattanooga, Tennessee Police bust synthetic drug sales, arresting nine and seizing $250,000 of product. A four-month investigation concludes with nine arrests and the seizure of synthetic marijuana, synthetic cocaine, synthetic mushrooms and drug paraphernalia from four stores in the area. (Source

Shoplifting charge against the president of the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce quietly dismissed with 'judicial warning'. Elizabeth Oltman was arrested at Dillard’s stealing two $5 candy bars. Following the Judge’s ruling, Oltman is no longer allowed to return to the store. (Source

Three arrested at Family Dollar, stealing frozen goods and Hawaiian Punch. Carlos Wills, Terry Neely, and Vernon McKee, were all charged with shoplifting in Rock Hill. McKee faces additional charges of possession of crack cocaine after police found a crack pipe with .05 grams of crack in his pocket. (Source

New Haven, CT store owner scares off armed robber. The owner fired off two shots in his store which was enough to scare him off. It was the third time he's faced a gun in an attempted robbery. He is steadfast saying he has the right to fight back for what he has built in America. Police say the suspect; Brandon Mills tried to pull a gun from his backpack when officers caught up to him. Mills faces attempted robbery and gun charges. Additionally, police say he could be responsible for many crimes that are still under investigation. (Source

Walmart shoplifter steals nearly $400 of Halloween decorations. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department responded to Walmart to arrest Desiree Hall who loaded up two large plastic totes of Halloween decorations and proceeded to walk out of the store. (Source

UK man busted for his 50th crime, stealing cheese. A Career criminal who was actually just released from jail and was to attend a probation meeting in town, stopped at a local market. Keith Bingham is now back behind bars for the next eight weeks and the courts are growing a little frustrated on what to do with him. (Source

8th Annual Impact Workshop. Join other retail executives interesed in LP research on ORC prevention, packaging innovation, video analytics, benefit denial, plus much more. LPRC: October 15-17, 2012. University of Florida Campus. Gainesville, FL


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8th Annual Impact Workshop. Join other retail executives interesed in LP research on ORC prevention, packaging innovation, video analytics, benefit denial, plus much more. LPRC: October 15-17, 2012. University of Florida Campus. Gainesville, FL

Washington State Organized Retail Crime Alliance Annual Training Conference. Burien, WA. October 18, 2012. To register visit

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6th Annual New England Organized Retail Crime
Symposium and Trade Show

DCU Center Worcester, MA, September 20, 2012

Recap by Kevin M. Plante
US Retail Loss Prevention Operations – Staples /
Chairman, Retailers Association of MA Loss Prevention Committee

Approximately 300 Loss Prevention, Law Enforcement and political figures came to the DCU Center in Worcester, MA, for the 6th Annual New England Organized Retail Crime Symposium and Trade Show. Twenty-three vendors filled the trade show area showing everything from surveillance equipment to background screening programs - merchandise protection items to radios – access control items to point of sale safeguarding systems.

Hosted by the Retail Associations of the six New England states, the event was planned and coordinated by the Loss Prevention Committee board of the Retailers Association of MA. The board consists of Kevin Plante of Staples (Chair), Brendan Fitzgerald of BJ’s Wholesale Club, RJ Gaites of Target, Shannon Lenahan of Wegman’s, Jason Adams of Gap, Inc., and Andrea Shea and Ryan Kearney, both of The Retailers Association of MA. Plante also served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

Joe LaRocca, Founder of RetaiLPartners and loss prevention industry icon opened the session for the 6th time with a review of the present and the future of our industry. Joe touched upon some of the technological advances that will change how LP conducts business in the future. It should be noted that Joe was later presented the very first "Distinguished Service Award" to acknowledge the RAM LP committee’s gratitude for Joe’s commitment to our profession, his commitment to our conference and his overall partnership with so many over his career.

Next, Lisa LaBruno from Retail Industry Leaders Association presented. Lisa talked about RILA and what it can do for retailers and what RILA needs from retailers by way of "thought leaders" to help work on very important programs that will assist all retailers. Lisa talked about emerging technologies and how things like digital receipts will completely change how Loss Prevention operates in the future. Her example of how a seemingly appropriate stop at a retailer could turn into a liability with the introduction of "self pay" checkout options from your Smartphone was very thought provoking and makes you ask yourself "how can I really prove intent" when it comes to a customer’s use of technology?

John Dell’Anno and Shaun Frank from Wegmans Food Market, along with Retired Monroe County Sherriff’s Department Detective Tyler Barrus discussed two cases from the upstate NY area that not only highlighted some great LP and police work, but also discussed the partnerships created that helped all agencies talk amongst themselves to solve these crimes. This was a great highlight of what conferences like the NE ORC Trade Show and Symposium try to accomplish – bringing law enforcement and retail loss prevention together to meet and talk about how best to work together to solve these property crimes.

Gus Downing, President of Downing and Downing, the D&D Daily and LPNN talked about the industry and how ORC has added 20 new enforcement groups – 3 of which just in 2012 – to combat the issue. Gus mentioned that these public and private arenas are bringing together over 6000 people annually to combat ORC. He also mentioned that the Daily alone has reported on over 300 ORC cases totaling 1200 suspects in 2012 – equating to a reported $200M in losses to companies. The highlight is that ORC is not only real, but it is real BIG! Gus then introduced our keynote speakers, Albuquerque Police Department Chief of Police Ray Schultz and Albuquerque Police Department Strategic Support Division Manager Karen Fischer. Fischer and Schultz did an amazing job outlining their philosophy on property crimes, how they are typically gateway crimes to other things and what led them to being the law enforcement leaders in the fight against organized retail crime. APD has mastered the art of communicating and connecting with other private and public entities and using smart policing to understand when and where resources will be needed. They have helped many other communities start up partnership websites and we hope more cities and states on the East Coast follow their lead!

Next up was Gene Smith, President of Loss Prevention Foundation, with a message about bettering oneself through constant self improvement. Whether it is working on a career plan, mentoring or taking additional classes, the debate on whether loss prevention is an "industry" or a "profession" minimizes as people in loss prevention become more educated. Smith talked about the LPQ and LPC certifications as examples of acknowledging your commitment to the business and differentiating yourself from others applying for a particular position.

To wrap up the day, Jim Carroll and Elie Chemaly from Staples talked about a case involving coupon usage at Staples. Between counterfeiting coupons and using coupons for fraudulent use, Carroll and Chemaly walked though the investigation from store level to corporate level and eventually found the "head of the snake" to be in China. Working with Federal Authorities, websites have been shut down and assets are being seized. This case was estimated to be in the millions of dollars, but was not readily visible because the costs hit a margin line as opposed to a more visible line on the P/L like shrink.

The day was wrapped up with "thank you’s" to all the New England state retail associations and our premier sponsor, Target, as well as our other generous sponsors RILA, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Staples, Macy’s, CVS and Wegmans and Rite Aid.

Pair hitting Walmart for video games in Ohio and Indiana have the key. Police believe the two men accused of stealing $12,000 worth of video games from possibly 20 Walmarts, have the key to unlock the store’s security device. The two men started hitting Walmart’s back in July and have not yet been identified. (Source

Three arrested in Rochelle Walmart for thousands in theft, connection to other thefts in Wisconsin and Illinois. Multiple thefts throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin are allegedly solved with the arrest of three individuals in Rochelle. Jesus O. Garcia, Diana P. Garcia, and Melisa Lazcano were all arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing several thousand dollars of merchandise from the Walmart in Rochelle. The three suspects also allegedly committed the same crime at the same location on September 12. According to the Rochelle Police Department, the ensuing investigation revealed that the three were also involved in several other similar unsolved thefts in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. (Source

Wisconsin Beauty Product thieves behind bars. Anthony Williams is now faced felony theft charges in Racine County for the theft of nearly $1000 in health and beauty products from Pick n Save. The items included Crest White Strips, Nicoderm patches, Prilosec pills, and razor blades. (Source

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Region LP Director Kmart New York, NY Sears Holdings Corp.
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Austin, TX Sears Holdings Corp.
Loss Prevention Mgr Sears Frisco, TX Sears Holdings Corp.
AP Mgr in Training Walmart Houston, TX Walmart
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Atlanta, GA Macy's
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District LP Mgr TJMaxx Edmond, OK The TJX Companies, Inc.
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Bob McCort was named Director of Loss Prevention for Charming Charlie.
Lemar Fulmore was promoted to Loss Prevention Manager for Giorgio Armani.

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The worst question to hear from an employer is what are your salary expectations? The best answer is not to give one. Most don't do well with this question and tend to shoot for the moon at the beginning and that's exactly the wrong time to even try. Certainly the employer is trying to determine if they can afford you, but really they're trying to see how realistic you are and how committed you are to their position. Going into the interview, you already know their range and if they can afford you. So play it smart and wait for an offer before you even think about your number, because at the end of the day it's all about how much they want you and how much you want them that drives the right number for both of you.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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