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October 10, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Bill Titus addresses criminal justice students at NMU on the cost of shoplifting and employee theft
. Freshmen in a criminal justice class at Northern Michigan University were introduced to the field of loss prevention by LP experts from Sears Holdings Corp. "What we wanted to do was talk about how they [students] think about a career, what they're looking for in a career," said Bill Titus, vice president of loss prevention at Sears Holdings.  (Source

Neiman Marcus officially releases Fantasy Christmas Catalog, providing shoppers with gift ideas that are crazier than ever. There are nine items on the list, all between $30,000 and $1.09 million. The items range from a walk-on role in the Broadway musical "Annie" to a "tailgating" trailer equipped with a flatscreen TV, Blu-ray player, and state-of-the-art sound system.  (Source

Macy's and Toy's "R" Us to provide express-branded toy departments in 24 Macy's stores this holiday season
. The departments will be open for three months, starting around October 15, and will average approximately 1,500 square feet. They will offer an edited assortment of the most popular items from Toys "R" Us, as well as perennial favorites.  (Source

Cosmetics company Estee Lauder accuses Target of selling counterfeit goods
. Target is conducting tests on the Bobbi Brown line of products, believing it acted in good faith in purchasing the product and had no intent to defraud its customers. Estee Lauder commenced legal action in the Federal Court a month ago alleging that products sold under the MAC brand in Target stores and online are counterfeit. (Source

Walmart to test same-day delivery options for the holidays
. The service is being tested in only four markets: northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and San Francisco/San Jose. This test will include around 5,000 items and is building on Walmart's same-day grocery deliver service in San Jose and San Francisco. As of now, the company has no immediate plans to roll out the service in other stores.  (Source

Retailers need to step up their game when it comes to mobile commerce
. Consumers are quickly learning how to use their smartphones and tablets to shop, but retailer's mobile commerce sites and apps aren't meeting consumer expectations. This means big market share for merchants who do figure out how to fix the problem.  (Source

True Religion Board forms committee to consider possible sale
. True Religion Apparel Inc. confirmed it is considering a possible sale after receiving interest from third parties. The move comes late in a year in which True Religion has seen its stock fall 39% amid disappointing profit targets and slow progress in expanding into new markets overseas. The company said Wednesday its board formed a special committee to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives available to the company, including a possible sale. True Religion said no decision has been made to engage in a transaction and the committee hasn't set a timetable to complete its review process. (Source

Walmart continues to focus on International growth opportunities
. CEO Mike Duke believes the growth of Walmart will continue to be internationally, but first focusing on improving existing stores in China, Brazil and drawing back on the opening of new stores. Walmart is still hoping to continue to move forward in Mexico. (Source

LinkedIn lockout. Linda Eagle, a former employee of Edcomm, a banking training company, is suing the company over the claim that they violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), damaged her reputation, and caused her to lose business opportunities. While Eagle worked at Edcomm, she shared her LinkedIn password with a coworker. After her termination, the coworker changed the password and locked her out of her LinkedIn account. Although the federal judge has dismissed the claim that the company violated the CFAA, the case will continue on state law charges. Obviously this is a little confusing when paired with California's new social media privacy law, and it makes us all think twice about telling a coworker our social media passwords.  (Source

Buy her a diamond and receive a free rifle or gun
. A jewelry store in Ohio is offering a special incentive for men to buy a diamond for their special someone this week. The store, Dunkin's Diamonds, placed an ad in the Newart Advocate which promised a free rifle or gun with the purchase of a diamond.  (Source

30 U.S. banks warned of a possible hit by Russian "Project Blitzkrieg," in crimeware campaign
. The Russian-based group has communicated a plan to launch a Trojan attack on 30 American banks, initiating fraudulent wire transfers. With the level of Russian sophistication, American bank’s Cyber Operations are working at full capacity to develop the right countermeasures. A successful strike by the Russian organization could lead to millions lost in the blink of an eye. (Source

UK retailers don't believe collaboration is the key to tacking retail losses
. A study carried out by Retail Knowledge, a leading retail expert, found that in the UK retail sector, losses had increased by 10%. That percentage totals 3.4 billion pounds. However despite this, retailers remain reluctant to collaborate with each other. 22% of UK retailers believe collaboration is not necessary to combat retail theft and fraud.  (Source

Ohio State Representative from Dayton accused of spending $130,000 of campaign dollars at retailers and casinos. State Rep. Clayton Luckie, D-Dayton, is charged with 45 felony counts and 4 misdemeanors relating to the theft of nearly $130,000 from his campaign account over the last six years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation; already indicating that money had been spent at casinos in Indiana, Florida and West Virginia and retailers such as Morris Home Furnishings, Weber Jewelers, Famous Footwear, Nordstrom. Rep. Luckie had no comment on the ongoing investigation, Luckie could face up to 11 years if convicted. (Source

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Chase Bank ATM in Manhattan loaded with $110,000 in counterfeit bills
. Nearly $110,000 in counterfeit bills were discovered at two Chase ATM's in Midtown on Monday. According to police, the forged bills were detected at the bank's branches on West 57th Street and on Ninth Avenue by an alarm monitoring for counterfeit money. They were also easily distinguishable as fake because they only had printing on one side of the bills. (Source

Colombian police seize $1.8 Million in counterfeit U.S. dollars
. Colombian police have found and confiscated a printing press, metallic plates, black and green ink and more than $1.8 million in counterfeit notes from a house in the southwestern city of Cali. Colombian Police said the Task Force has seized a total of $2.3 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars already this year. (Source

New book, Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention, released this week. The book, by J.J. Coughlin, is drawn from the author's personal experiences as a law enforcement detective and regional security manager for a large multimode transportation and logistics company. The book looks at cargo theft in detail, reviewing emerging trends and tactics and presenting the best practices to help businesses avoid being victims of cargo thieves. (Source

Triple Murder suspect among dozens arrested for Tax ID Theft. A Miami Gardens man facing a triple murder trial was one of dozens arrested in South Florida Wednesday on charges of filing fake tax returns totaling millions of dollars. Federal authorities will reveal the charges against more than 40 defendants later Wednesday afternoon. The defendants are charged with stealing personal information and using it to file fake tax returns. (Source
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Murrieta Police release video of Target iPad robbery
. The suspect is seen entering the store then making his way to the electronics department. He asked a sales associate for assistance with an Apple iPad kept in a locked display. When the associate unlocked the display, the suspect allegedly grabbed two iPads and then punched the sales associate. (Source

Family business employee busted after 29 years with the company, charged with $100,000 in theft
. The retirement of a Smoke Shop owner started talks about the loyal employees would take over the store, which also triggered an investigation into the books of the business. (Source

St. Petersburg shoplifter hit by minivan while attempting to flee, in life threatening condition. A St. Petersburg man's attempt at shoplifting landed him in the hospital after he ran into the path of a minivan. Police said Keegan Curry, 25, was stopped outside JC Penney in Tyrone Square Mall by a loss prevention officer shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. Curry pushed the officer and said, "I'm not going back to prison," then ran across the parking lot crossing onto Tyrone Boulevard where he ran into the path of a Chrysler minivan. The driver of the minivan swerved to the right, but Curry was hit by the left front fender and windshield, then thrown to the pavement. Two stolen shirts were found in Curry's pants as he was being treated by rescue personnel. Curry was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in life-threatening condition. (Source

Suspects caught stealing 34 guns from Livonia shop
. Five Detroit suspects were arrested after police interrupted a smash-and-grab larceny at a Livonia gun shop. A stolen minivan crashed through the window of Shooter’s Service gun store in the early morning hours, but police got to the scene before the suspects could escape. Livonia police arrested one suspect as he left the store, and others were arrested with the help of the department’s K-9 unit. Other suspects were found in a wooded area near the store. (Source

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Nun caught stealing beer
. In this convenience store surveillance video, a nun, or someone simply dressed as a nun, can be seen shoplifting what appears to be multiple bottles of beer. Obviously this Sister needs to go to Confession. (Source

Same store quarterly sales results

Costco 4Q up 6% for the total company, up 6% for U.S. stores, and up 7% for international stores.

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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New Partnership Brings Together Retailers and Law Enforcement
to Fight Organized Retail Crime

ATLANTA – The Georgia Retail Association Organized Retail Crime Alliance (GRAORCA) – a cooperative effort among Georgia law enforcement agencies and retailers – today announced the launch of The new Internet-based platform has been designed to help build collaborative crime fighting partnerships between law enforcement and private sector retail security professionals.

The secure site is designed to allow members to share intelligence in order to more proactively investigate organized retail criminal activity throughout the state of Georgia. All members of law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels -- as well as members of the retail loss prevention community -- are encouraged to join this free information sharing network. To join today, please go to

The launch of follows in the footsteps of other successful info sharing networks such as LAAORCA (Los Angeles), SDORCA (San Diego), CCROC (Cook County – Chicago) and OROCC (Ohio).

Organized retail crime is a type theft or fraud involving groups or gangs who steal merchandise, cargo or money in a systematic effort involving multiple stores, often in multiple jurisdictions. Sophisticated crime rings and fences steal tens of billions of dollars annually from consumers and retailers, sometimes using the proceeds to fund larger criminal operations. Examples of theft include shoplifting rings, cargo theft, return fraud, ticket switching, credit card fraud, and gift card fraud.

The Metro Atlanta area is consistently a top ten location for ORC. ORC proceeds support other crimes such as drugs, human trafficking and financial crimes. According to national studies, 95 percent of retailers surveyed in 2011 reported having been victimized by ORC in the previous 12 months. The FBI has estimated that the losses attributed to ORC could reach as much as $30 billion a year.

Since 1961, the Georgia Retail Association has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 18% of Georgia's gross domestic product.


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Dallas area thief admits to stealing thousands of dollars of Frontline Pet medication, but denies being 'organized'. Michael Fox is believed to be responsible for stealing Frontline Flee Medication from 39 PetSmart stores in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area and selling the product online. Where Fox has an issue is with the charge of 'organized retail theft,' he claims, "There was nothing organized about it. I'll leave it at that." At the time of his arrest, Fox had over $300,000 in his PayPal account. (Source

Michigan trio busted for Walmart electronics theft; equipped with lock pick and bear spray. Livingston County deputies took three people into custody, believed to be connected to tens of thousands in thefts from Walmart in three area counties. It is believed the suspects used a lock picking tool to gain access to the secure electronics showcase. Found on one of the arrested suspects was a can of Frontiersman Bear attack spray. The three may be responsible for numerous thefts at Walmart stores in Oakland, Livingston and Macomb counties. (Source

Louisiana Identify Theft Ring had stolen information on over 100 people. Police believe one of the co-conspirators arrested is the key as to where the thieves were able to acquire the personal information. The collection of documents were found in a air duct in the suspect’s home in New Orleans. Police believe the suspects were able to open accounts at The Home Depot, Office Depot, Jared’s, Best Buy and others and have already indentified 60 victims of identity theft. (Source

Long Island baby formula thief being sought. CVS believes this individual was responsible for the theft of 26 cans of baby formula from its store in Huntington Station and may be connected to a rash of thefts in the area. (Source

Impatient shoplifter couldn’t wait in a long line. Corey Young is out on probation for armed robbery, and decided he wanted chicken and cheesecake from Von’s in Glendale. But the line was too long to pay so he walked out only to be stopped by Loss Prevention. After a short struggle, Young was apprehended, and concealed inside his backpack were razor blades, baby formula and foot spray. (Source

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Thought Challenge the times have changed...

by Kevin Larson, CFI
Manager, Loss Prevention Training & Investigations
The Kroger Co.

The Loss Prevention roadmap has taken many turns over the past 5-10 years... not only in technology, leadership, philosophies, strategies and theft trends, but especially when it comes to being a LP manager and leader.

I remember when I started in the business; all I was required to do was apprehend shoplifters, build safety/shrink programs and locate dishonest associates and exit them from the business. In a nutshell, I was only required to be the Loss Prevention SME (subject matter expert).

As we have seen from the great presentations at recent conferences like, NRF and RILA this is no longer enough. We need to be a better business partner and an overall business leader. We need to not only worry about theft deterrent devices, ORC operations, access control systems, we also need to have knowledge of what makes the heartbeat of our stores tick.

I recently gave a presentation at my companies Loss Prevention Managers Conference, in which I talked to our Division Loss Prevention Managers and retail Ops Managers about what makes a successful LP store walk. In other words, when we as LP leaders walk the stores with Zone VP’s, Regional Ops Managers, District Managers and Store Managers, we need to talk know the business and talk the business before we talk about any Loss Prevention topics. Our Director of LP recently coined a phrase within our department. It is simply... bananas versus boosters or you could also say bananas before boosters. The point of his message was that we need to not only talk about LP during store visits, but we also need to talk about every other aspect of our business.

• Recap of store sales
• Current promotions, events
• Store conditions
• Customer Engagement

By doing all the above and more, when we walk each store or talk to each leader that we have contact with, we will help continue build and strengthen the bridge between Loss Prevention and leaders within our business. You need to move away from compliance-driven visits only focusing on Loss Prevention issues.

It is imperative in today’s retail world to have a holistic approach to the business. You need to drive the message of LP through the needs of your customers. And when I say customers, I mean your internal customers.

Give it a try and let me know your experiences and your partnership building success stories.

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Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Vista, CA Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Fort Myers, FL Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Durham, NC Lowe's
Dept Mgr Store LP & Safety Lowe's Appleton, WI Lowe's
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Asset Protection Mgr Sam's G1 Lexington, KY Walmart
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AP Mgr in Training Walmart Olney, IL Walmart
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AP Mgr in Training Walmart Wadsworth, OH Walmart
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Seasonal LP Mgr Spirit Halloween Super Stores Chicago, IL Monster
Loss Prevention Mgr Loehmann's New Hyde Park, NY Loehmann's
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Regional LP Mgr Forever 21
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Kelly Campbell, CFI was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for Dollar General Corp.
Oscar Lopez was named Regional Loss Prevention Manager for 99 Cent Only Stores.
Adrian Norwalk, CFI was named Sr. District Investigator for The Home Depot.

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Toot Your Own Horn Bigger, Better, and Louder - How to Self-Promote Better For many, self-promotion feels awkward and sounds like bragging. No one wants to hear someone talk endlessly about how awesome they are, but if no one knows about your skills or abilities, you could miss out on several important opportunities. Here are ways you can effectively self-promote without sounding like a loud mouth. (Speak up!)

6 Tips For Tooting Your Own Horn Without Being "That Guy" Who Always Toots His Own Horn P.T. Barnum famously said, “Without promotion something terrible happens—nothing.” I think we can all agree that this is important for businesses, but it’s also important for individuals. The challenge is tooting your own horn without actually tooting your own horn. (Not show boating)
Job-Seekers Must Beware Online Identity Theft "Although the Internet has revolutionized job-hunting, making it a lot easier for job seekers to find openings, and for recruiters to find job-seekers, commonsense is required in order to protect yourself," says cyber-security expert Stephen Cobb of ESET, a security software company. Here are six ways to protect your personal details during your job search. (Professional, not personal)

Do Your Employees Make You a Better Manager? Successful leaders and managers alike constantly stress the importance of developing their employees. But do they appropriately recognize the importance of how their employees might develop them? One of the world's top coaches thinks not. ("Coachability")

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Ignoring doesn't make it go away - it only makes it bigger

It doesn't matter what it is; a mistake, a difficult store manager or client, a bone head move, or just about anything that would qualify under the heading of dropping the ball or just not delivering what they expect, demand, need, or are waiting for. Or maybe it's simply that one person that you just don't get along with and you know they're just waiting for that opportunity to shoot you for any reason whatsoever. So the natural human reaction is to ignore it, avoid it, and pretend it doesn't exist at any cost, going so far as to actually minimize it not only in your own head but with your co-workers and maybe even your boss. That is, depending on how far you can go with molding their perceptions and reactions, all of which is to merely reduce the negative impact when reality finally strikes. Because reality has a funny way of just popping up and becoming reality. The true issue is having the daily courage to face the negatives and problems we all have to face on a daily basis, because while the victories show our accomplishments, it's the mistakes they all remember and focus on that ultimately determines the distance we can go. With how we handled them and grew from them being the most critical part of all that even your adversaries can't ignore or minimize. So given the above, it's critical that you're always in touch with your weakest spot every day and trying to muster the courage to deal with it, resolve it, manage it, to do anything you can to make sure you've done the best you can each and every day. Because what you hide from today is going to bite you tomorrow.

I've been bitten so many times I might be a vampire by now.

Just a Thought,
Gus Downing

Gus Downing

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