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'Vibrant Communities Initiative' to Fight Retail Crime
RILA x CLEAR & the Vibrant Communities Pavilion

RILA is thrilled to announce its' latest partnership in the industry's groundbreaking effort to address retail crime and restore vibrancy in communities across the country. Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail - CLEAR - is moving to Dallas, TX to join forces with RILA at the 2024 Retail Asset Protection Conference! The Vibrant Communities Initiative - led by RILA in partnership with the National District Attorneys Association - is the most talked-about project underway in the AP community today. Retailers, district attorneys and law enforcement agencies play pivotal roles in VCI. RAP 2024 is the ideal place to bring all VCI stakeholders under one roof to advance this important work. RILA will bring the retailers and solution providers. NDAA will bring the DAs; and CLEAR will bring the law enforcement community.

The Vibrant Communities Pavilion presents an unparalleled opportunity for solution providers to showcase their crime mitigation offerings to private and public end-users, in a dedicated showcase space within the bustling Expo Experience at RAP2024.

Reach out today to learn about the discounted ways to participate in the Vibrant Communities Pavilion or view our exclusive sponsorship opportunities and exhibit opportunities to help expand your reach in our RAP2024 Prospectus. If you have any questions, contact Tripp Taylor for more information!


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Retail Criminals Using 'Terrorist Tactics' in Stores
Consumers fear 'putting themselves in harm's way when they shop'

Danger In The Store: Retail Crime Makes Everyone A Potential Victim
Despite multi-pronged efforts, retailers and law enforcement have been ineffective in preventing retail crime. Now,
consumers, on whom the retail industry depends, are aware that they may be putting themselves in harm's way when they shop. It's a price much higher to the retail industry than the cost of their monetary losses

"I don't know that the public or the media really understand that if somebody comes to your place of business and takes your stuff or worse, intimidates your people or customers, they're all crime victims," criminologist
Read Hayes, Ph.D. at the University of Florida, shared with me.

Retail crime is far from a victimless crime committed against a faceless corporation that can absorb the losses.
Real people are the victims. And increasingly, retail criminals are using terrorist tactics of aggression, intimidation, even violence to put anyone off who might interfere with their crime.

"Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire," said
NRF's David Johnston in the NRF report, as he called out increased violence and safety concerns as the number one priority for retailers, law enforcement and public policymakers to address.

Framing The Problem

88% of retailers reported that shoplifters are more aggressive and violent now compared with a year ago, including 49% who said they have observed "much more" violent and aggressive behavior. ORC is the shoplifting category associated with the highest threat of violence, with 67% reporting more violence and aggression among that class of retail criminals.

More To Be Done

The NRF is leading the charge to address the retail crime crisis. It has designated Thursday, October 26 Fight Retail Crime Day, when it will host a fly-in for retail leaders to meet face-to-face with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for the Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act.

Combatting Organized Retail Crime Act would establish an Organized Retail Crime Coordination Center to facilitate information sharing and cross-agency investigations nationally and internationally by developing national-level ORC intelligence.

So far, the NRF reports
34 states have passed ORC legislation, but since many of these incidents cross state lines, nearly 90% of retailers believe a federal law is needed as well.

Inside The Criminal Mind - Ounce Of Prevention - Pound Of Cure: forbes.com

Federal Effort Needed to Fight ORC
Home Depot's organized crime bust shows how hard it is to fight retail 'shrink'
Robert Dell, who operated a drug recovery program out of a church in St. Petersburg, Florida used his position as a pastor and counselor to coerce people to steal for him, often hitting stores five or six times per day. He also allegedly stole $1.4 million of goods.

Dell would then
fence the goods on eBay under the account "anointedliquidator," where he had 100% positive feedback and a 35,000-item history. Dell and other associates were finally busted in August, and while this may seem like a breakthrough, it's just one syndicate.

"These cases are pretty typical in both the scale and breadth,"
Scott Glenn, Home Depot's vice president of loss prevention, told Yahoo Finance. And while the problem is getting more and more attention - Florida's attorney general is one of many AGs and local district attorneys tackling shrink - these cases are often linked to more unseemly crimes like money laundering and even human trafficking.

The $1.4 million scheme Dell and his accomplices carried out is
only a drop in the bucket. Retailers suffered more than $112 billion dollars in losses due to shrink last year alone, according to the National Retail Federation, putting the bust at just 0.00125% of the year's total.

efforts by attorneys general and retailers, Congress passed the Inform Consumers Act to combat selling stolen goods, something Home Depot's Glenn said was a step in the right direction.

it's not enough for retailers like Home Depot, which will likely provide an update this November as they release quarterly results.

We really need a much more coordinated and systemic effort at the federal level to take this problem seriously and really understand how much it impacts not only the financials of retailers and consumers but also the safety of the associates in our stores and the customers and the shopping public at large," Glenn said. finance.yahoo.com

Home Depot VP of AP Talks Theft & Shrink
Video: Home Depot exec. explains why worst of retail shrink not behind us yet
Major retailers have felt the brunt of retail theft - commonly referred to as retail shrink - with organized retail crime reportedly costing stores over $112 billion in inventory losses in 2022, according to the National Retail Federation.

Home Depot Vice President of Asset Protection Scott Glenn sits down with Yahoo Finance to discuss where these pressures are showing up in consumers' receipts and how retailers are partnering with lawmakers to crack down on retail theft.

"There's two sides to it -
there's the supply chain side of it... [which] certainly puts pressure on all of us in terms of keeping our shelves full, keeping product available for the customer," Glenn states, "and then there's the back side of it... [which] we certainly think the online resellers can and should be doing more to kind of police themselves."  finance.yahoo.com

Shoppers Worry that Crime Closures Will Hit Their Neighborhoods
Consumers Concerned About Neighborhood Stores Closing Due to Retail Theft, Research Finds

Consumers are getting increasingly nervous about stores in their neighborhoods closing due to retail crime.

According to a Coresight Research survey conducted with more than 400 U.S. consumers in July 2023,
56 percent of respondents are moderately, very or extremely concerned that some of the stores in their communities could be closed to due increased levels of retail crime and theft.

Recently, several retailers have announced plans to close some stores in areas where crime retail crime has become increasingly problematic. Just last month,
Target said it would close nine stores in four major cities as it faces waves of organized crime and theft, a move which inspired anger and disappointment from locals in the area, according to local news reports. Nike also recently closed a store in Portland amid a rise in crime in the area and Nordstrom officially shut the doors on two of its stores in downtown San Francisco, including a flagship location, as crime and safety issues continue to impact the city.

In recent quarters, retailers like
Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart and Target have spoken out about external retail crime bitting into profits in a major way, with some chains announces store closures or increased security measures to combat the issue, such as locking up merchandise.

But according to Coresight data, not all consumers are thrilled with retailers' potential mitigation tactics. 17 percent of respondents said they would shop elsewhere if their local stores closed and
25 percent said they would shift to online shopping if their stores kept its products locked up.  footwearnews.com

Theft Data is Fuzzy But Target's Closures are a 'Sensible Business Move'
As Target prepares to close theft-ridden stores, crime data and foot-traffic are in the spotlight
The Target closure news garnered plenty of attention, although
Target has not revealed data about specific incidents at the stores. Nonetheless, researchers have sought to fill in these gaps.

Citing publicly available crime data, Popular Information reports that
stores being closed in New York, San Francisco and Seattle actually have lower levels of theft than nearby stores that have remained open. Data suggest that factors other than crime are driving Target's decision to close stores in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, according to Popular Information. While the issue of "shrink," has been cited by multiple retailers in recent months, the website added that companies may be overemphasizing crime to deflect from internal issues such as staffing levels.

"Target's decision to close stores in cities like San Francisco, New York City and Seattle, where foot traffic has declined and theft rates are notably high, aligns with a strategic move to mitigate financial losses," Gravy's chief marketing officer, Jolene Wiggins, said in a statement. "However, the closure of stores in a city like Portland, where customer visits have recently surged, might
seem puzzling at first glance."

But Wiggins pointed to the broader challenges Target is facing. "Even with increased foot traffic, if these stores face challenges in generating sufficient profits due to rising theft and the accompanying security costs,
Target's decision to close stores in Portland becomes a sensible business move," she added.

Speaking on the conference call to discuss Target's second-quarter results in August, Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company was facing an "unacceptable amount" of retail theft and organized retail crime. Cornell also highlighted safety threats Target employees are facing, saying that during the first five months of 2023, Target stores saw a 120% increase in theft involving violence or threats of violence. morningstar.com

Inventory Management, Not Just Theft Crackdowns, Will Reduce Shrink
The Supply Side: Retail shrink is more than theft, may be overstated
Brand Elverston, CEO of Bentonville firm Elverston Consulting does not believe theft accounts for 65% of shrink, saying
it's more likely around 50%.

Elverston said theft is a part of shrink, but so are the
under-reported accounting errors that start from creating a retailer purchase order. He said mistakes can happen at the manufacturer who ships the wrong number of widgets. Some transportation carriers take the product to retailer distribution centers or cross docks, and no one is counting the items along the way. The retailer will drop the order at the back door of a store, and most retailers only do random item counts. According to Elverston, most products entering the retailer's backroom are not counted.

Shipment shortages are an area where shrink occurs, and it's not detected until the retailer's year-end count against the point of sales data. Retailer mark-downs of perishable goods are another area where shrink occurs.

Elverston said retailers who
manage their inventory well, execute at the store level and adequately staff their stores will have less shrink, less theft and fewer purchase order mistakes.

Elverston said
shrink increases are typically cyclical. He said the rise in shrink some retailers are reporting is likely tied to the massive changes in operations brought on by the pandemic. "A well-staffed store is a theft deterrent," he said.

He told the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal that the
retail industry has a golden opportunity for seriously disruptive change, which will take investment and a culture shift from the C-suite down. Elverston said Lowe's is a retailer benefiting from a strategy shift and investment in people and technology to address shrink. He said other retailers looking to trim shrink should follow suit. talkbusiness.net

Cargo & Shipment Theft Surging
Shipment Thefts on the Rise: The Kiplinger Letter
It isn't just stores dealing with a plague of retail thefts.
Organized crime rings are also targeting goods in shipments. One operation that was broken up earlier this year in southern California had stolen 200 truckloads of goods.

Thieves are
forging phony papers when picking up cargo shipments and then disappearing. They may also pose as legitimate companies that fool brokers into hiring them for a job but never deliver the product. Some even register with federal authorities as a "new" company and then steal as much as they can before they can be audited. Targeted goods, like electronics, tend to be easily resold.

Criminals are aggressively eyeing containers in backlogged ports filled with everything from home appliances to apparel and more. Union Pacific reported a rash of cargo container break-ins as shipments were transported out of the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, according to Freight Waves.

Shippers need to be extra careful when checking a trucker's paperwork before hiring them. Some shippers are even refusing to use any trucking company in operation for less than 90 days to avoid fraudulent operators that pop up and disappear. Sensors can track cargo in transit and alert shippers to deviations in planned routes, and services like Carrier411, TIA Watchdog, Convoy and CargoNet can verify trucker IDs. kiplinger.com

Supply Chain Giving 'Huge Opportunities' to Thieves
Most of Retail Shrink May Occur in the Supply Chain

Large retailers don't check trucks before they're unloaded, expert says.

Someone who has spent the past 30 years specializing in retail asset protection, including 23 years at Walmart's HQ in Bentonville, AR, says that
people are conflating the burgeoning growth of retail shrink with the in-store shoplifting epidemic dominating the headlines.

In-store theft, as well as
organized retail crime, no doubt is a major factor expanding the huge tallies of shrink being reported by some of the largest retailers, including Target. But huge opportunities for shrink also occur in the supply chain and from accounting errors. globest.com

   RELATED: Cargo Thieves Zero in on Information from Supply Chains

San Francisco Street Vendors Posing Safety Risk
SF to ban street vendors on Mission St as supe cites threats to city workers
San Francisco
will ban street vending on Mission Street beginning next month, Supervisor Hillary Ronen announced in a letter to constituents.

After discovering that some Public Works
employees were wearing bullet-proof vests to work because they feared for their safety, Ronen said her office convened meetings with the mayor's office and the city attorney's office to "find a way within the law to address the situation."

"After pulling health and safety records in the neighborhood, we were able to make the case that allowing vending on Mission Street and around BART Stations are
creating measurable hazards in the neighborhood," she wrote.

"It is incumbent on us to offer alternatives so that vending doesn't become something they rely on, because
it is not safe out there," Lerma said, noting that fights have broken out among sellers over vending territory. sfchronicle.com

Alarm over bare store shelves deflects attention from complex problems
Shoplifting at the Columbia Heights CVS is a problem - for city residents and for the company. But the retail giant could do more to find solutions.

Criminals making millions from running organized retail crime rings

Opinion: Armed citizens don't often stop mass shooters


Retail Sales in September Up 0.7% From August - Up 3.8% Year Over Year
Retail Sales Grew in September, But Core Year-Over-Year Gains Are Slowing
Retail sales continued to grow in September even as consumers faced continuing economic pressures, the National Retail Federation said today.

"September retail sales show that consumers have retained the ability and willingness to spend despite accumulating economic headwinds from higher interest rates and slowing growth," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "As we gear up for the holiday season, we expect moderate growth to continue as consumers focus on value and household priorities. Retailers have been hard at work getting holiday inventories in place to provide consumers with great products, competitive prices and convenience at every opportunity."

The U.S. Census Bureau today said overall retail sales in September were up 0.7% from August and up 3.8% year over year. That compared with increases of 0.8% month over month and 2.9% year over year in August. nrf.com

   RELATED: Retail sales rose 0.7% in September, much stronger than estimate

553K Retail Holiday Hires
What holiday hiring efforts look like in 2023

Hiring is expected to be low this year, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, but some retailers are holding steady to prior years' plans.

Holiday sales growth is expected to slow again this year, and seasonal hiring may follow suit.

In anticipation of softer sales,
employers may pull back on their typical holiday hiring sprees, according to a September analysis by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The numbers appear to support that sentiment, as retailers announced more than 55,000 job cuts through August, according to Challenger's data.

Despite that decline, nearly a dozen retailers and retail-adjacent
companies want to hire about 553,000 workers this season, according to Challenger's tracking data provided to Retail Dive. That's down from nearly 598,000 workers from holiday season hiring announcements Challenger tracked last year and about 966,000 in 2021. retaildive.com

Home Depot 'Cause for Alarm' Campaign
The Home Depot & Kidde Partner During Fire Prevention Month
Kidde, a leader in fire safety for more than 100 years and
trusted partner of The Home Depot since 2006, recently kicked off its second annual Cause For Alarm campaign.

This fire safety awareness initiative
addresses gaps in education and access to fire safety measures. It was designed to teach families and children about the importance of having working smoke alarms and practicing fire safety at home. Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties with no working smoke alarms, and these devices can double the chances of escaping from a home fire safely. 

The company has also
teamed up with The Home Depot and other retailers to donate fire safety products to National PTA, The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), and Vision 20/20. This will help ensure the life-saving devices get into the hands of those who need them most and will further close the protection gap by reaching parents, caregivers and communities in need. For every Kidde alarm purchased at participating businesses through November 2023, a $1 contribution will be made toward donated smoke alarms, up to a total retail value of $1 million.

Learn how to install a smoke detector and find smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for your home on homedepot.com. corporate.homedepot.com

U.S. Walkouts of Walgreens & CVS Pharmacists May Happen Oct. 30 & Nov. 1
They Don't Want to Miss Halloween on the 31st - Just Kidding

Walgreens, CVS pharmacists may be planning a nationwide walkout

Though CVS says it is currently not seeing any signs of a protest at that scale

Over the last two weeks, some
Walgreens pharmacists and a group of CVS pharmacists in Kansas City have walked off the job due to an ongoing overwhelming work environment, and now there might be a much larger protest in the works, reports CNBC.

Walgreens pharmacists are leading the charge, and they are reaching out to disgruntled workers at other retailers to potentially stage nationwide walkouts on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. CNBC confirmed the protests via a CVS employee who led the initial CVS pharmacist walkout in Kansas City.

Prem Shah, CVS's chief pharmacy officer and president of pharmacy and consumer wellness, met with the striking workers at the time of the initial strike and promised better working conditions. Some CVS pharmacists have scheduled another meeting with Shah later this week, and if it ends poorly, those workers will then notify Walgreens pharmacists to move forward with a nationwide strike. supermarketnews.com

Should Grocers Close on Thanksgiving?

McDonald's manager sexually harassed teen worker until she resigned, feds say

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Read Gatekeeper's full blog here







First Half of 2023 Sees Ransomware Surge
Ransomware Comes Back in Vogue for Cybercriminals

Insurers say ransom-related claims rose sharply in the first half of 2023

Ransomware came back into fashion for cybercriminals in the first half of 2023, insurers say, after a brief lull in early 2022. Cyber insurer Coalition said ransomware claims frequency rose by 27% across its policyholders in the first half of the year, from the second half of 2022.

"Our data shows that
ransomware is coming back in full force," said Shawn Ram, head of insurance at Coalition.

Ransomware was also a major cause of claims for clients of insurer Resilience Cyber Insurance Solutions, the company said in its midyear claims report, published Tuesday. Resilience said that
around 16.2% of its total claims were related to this method of cyberattack.

The insurer said that between the second quarters of 2022 and 2023 it saw
a 1,100% increase in ransomware incident notifications, and that notices received so far this year have already reached 100% of those in 2022.

frequency and severity of ransomware attacks had broadly dipped after peaking from 2019 to 2021, said Patrick Thielen, head of insurer Liberty Mutual's cyber insurance team.

lull, he said, was broadly attributable to companies investing in their cyber defenses, and government and international efforts to crack down on ransomware following events such as the attack on Colonial Pipeline in May 2021, and the onset of the war in Ukraine in early 2022.

That break appears to be over. Cyber insurer Corvus said that the number of victims posted to leak sites it tracks on the darknet, where hackers publicize the names of the companies they attack, increased by 5.1% in September from August. The increase was 79.8% year over year. wsj.com

Third-Party Owned .AI Domains Pose Significant Risk
Cybercriminals register .AI domains of trusted brands for malicious activity

Third parties are registering brands under the .AI domain to launch phishing attacks or other types of brand abuse.

half of Forbes Global 2000 companies do not have control over their branded artificial intelligence (.AI) domain names, which are registered by third parties. That's according to the 2023 Domain Security Report from CSC, which revealed that cybercriminals are exploiting AI's popularity by attempting to register the domains of trusted brands for malicious activity.

AdvertisementMalicious actors are also continuing to capitalize on lookalike domains (homoglyphs) that resemble Global 2000 brands to launch phishing attacks, other forms of digital brand abuse, or IP infringement, the report found.

Third-party owned .AI domains pose significant security risks

The combination of a company's familiar brand name plus .AI as a domain extension
gives target victims a false sense of trust and become more susceptible to falling prey to an attack. "Due to the significant media coverage recently on the potential use of AI for fraud in the future, registering your brand in the .AI domain extension is important to protect your key trademarks," Calandra says.

Phishing emails, malicious content among lookalike domain threats

The report also detected
a slight increase in the amount of lookalike domains owned by third parties, up 4% from 2022 to 79% in 2023. Of the lookalike domains CSC assessed, 40% have mail exchange (MX) records, which can be used to send phishing emails or to intercept email, according to the report. Other uses cited in the paper include pointing to advertising, pay-per-click ads, or domain parking (36%), resolving to a live website not associated with the brand holder (14%), and pointing to malicious content that could damage a brand's reputation and customer confidence (1%).

The threats posed to legitimate brands by lookalike domains came to the fore in the wake of the launch of Threads by Instagram in July 2023. Security firm Veriti
observed a surge in the creation of suspicious domains with over 700 domains related to Threads registered daily. These domains posed a significant risk as they can be used to deceive users, distribute malware, and lure unsuspecting individuals into downloading untrusted versions of the app. csoonline.com

Zero Trust Network Access
Why zero trust delivers even more resilience than you think
An essential principle of zero trust network access (ZTNA) is to work in terms of one-to-one connectivity and access: a specific, identifiable user connected to a specific, identifiable resource for each authorization event. This is why
ZTNA so effectively isolates and cushions breaches which do occur, but it also means that a given user will only ever be allocated the computing resources necessary to do their work.

Looked at another way, the traditional security model forces organizations into a situation a little like powering an entire office building for an employee who only needs to use a single room. Once they tap in through a security gate, the building has no way of knowing what they will need, so everything must be lit up and ready.
Because ZTNA reauthorizes the user along every step of that journey, parts of the "building" not being accessed can happily remain dormant.

Business leaders know that, in economic headwinds,
every option for getting safely through the storm must be considered. No matter what, though, it seems almost certain that technology usage, and the costs associated with it, will only grow as enterprises try to stay competitive. Whether it is for resilience during cybersecurity incidents or for efficiency the rest of the time, there has never been a better moment to explore the potential of zero trust. helpnetsecurity.com

UAE, US Partner to Bolster Financial Services Cybersecurity

Zero-Day Alert: 10K Cisco IOS XE Systems Now Compromised



RCC's Retail CyberSecure Program - All Webinars Now Available

To assist retailers in building processes and infrastructures that protect their organizations and customers, Retail Council of Canada (RCC), with the generous support of Ontario government's Ministry of the Solicitor General, is working with cybercrimes experts, retail IT experts, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to create the RCC Retail CyberSecure program. This initiative will help create essential resources to inform how retailers can fortify their systems and train their staff on the best practices in preventing cyber crime.

The program comprises a series of six webinars along with downloadable guides and e-learning training modules. The resources are offered for free to achieve maximum impact, said Rui Rodrigues, the RCC's executive advisor for loss prevention and risk management.

"Over the last few years, we've heard more and more from retail organizations about cyber," said Rodrigues. "You can't escape it."

The CyberSecure initiative is "really focused on ways we could educate, provide awareness and share best practices," added Rodrigues, "and doing it through various mediums."

RCC's Retail CyberSecure program offers a variety of tools, including free downloadable guidebooks, e-learning training modules, links to critical industry resources, and videos.

Anyone interested in learning more about how to keep themselves and their retail operations safe from cybercrime is strongly encouraged to participate these free webinars. retailcouncil.org

Click here to learn more about the RCC Retail CyberSecure program

Retail Theft & Security Demand Surging in Canada
Theft and demand for security services are up in Moncton, say business interests

Losses and safety risk have businesses hiring security guards and lobbying for police blitzes

increase in theft is creating business losses and safety risks and driving greater demand for security services in Moncton, according to a retail group and a private security firm.

Retail theft has increased by 36 per cent in Moncton, said Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada, referring to Statistics Canada figures for the period from 2020 to 2021 on shoplifting of items worth $5,000 or less.

Eastern Safety Services is getting several new requests a week from Moncton-area businesses interested in
beefing up their security to deal with break-ins, thefts, vandalism or loitering, said CEO Stephanie Morton.

company's staff size has doubled in the past year from 10 to 20, said Morton. They also have a trained dog. They used to operate almost exclusively at night, but now they are working around the clock, she said.

Security guards are posted steadily at some businesses, they patrol others periodically and they monitor security cameras all night long. They also remove homeless camps from private property.

Organized crime of this sort is part of "an alarming trend," according to the Retail Council of Canada, and it's not always carried out under cover of darkness. Theft is happening more often during business hours at big chain stores and small independent shops across the country, said the council's Atlantic director, Jim Cormier.

"Groups can come in, and they can literally steal thousands of dollars in product ... in a very brazen fashion, where they're intimidating, at times even assaulting retail workers," he said. "
It's become a huge issue, especially since the pandemic."  cbc.ca

In Case You Missed It: New Retail Crime Campaign
Toronto Police launch retail crime awareness campaign

The campaign seeks to engage citizens and prompt them to report any suspicious activities related to retail theft.

In an effort
to address the rising concern of organised retail theft, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw, Toronto Police Services Board Chair Ann Morgan, Toronto Crime Stoppers and corporate partners announced a new crime awareness campaign.

The campaign aims to raise public awareness,
especially during the upcoming holiday shopping season. It also encourages citizens to report individuals engaged in retail theft and other criminal activities anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

As part of the campaign, citizens are encouraged to
report individuals involved in organised retail theft or any other criminal activity anonymously.

They can do so by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or visiting 222tips.com. This anonymous reporting system allows individuals to provide valuable information to law enforcement
without fear of retaliation. retail-insight-network.com

   RELATED: New Toronto Crime Stoppers campaign targets 'organized retail crime'

Up to 150 Sobeys Stores Impacted by Strike
Sobeys distribution center workers walk off the job

Group recently unionized due to what they say is poor working conditions and low pay

Workers at a distribution center belonging to the Canadian supermarket chain Sobeys
striked and walked off the job on Saturday, reports Canadian news service Global News. Employees at a Sobeys distribution center in the York Region, within the Greater Toronto area, had recently unionized, with 53% voting to join the Teamsters 419 union.

The recent strike came about due to those
workers citing low wages and poor working conditions during the pandemic as well as a lowball contract offer from Sobeys, according to the union. The union said the distribution center serves between 80 and 150 Sobeys stores.

Sobeys said it is
trying to minimize the disruption from the closed distribution center and expressed interest in restarting negotiations.

"We can assure you that serving our customers continues to be a top priority, and
we are working hard to ensure there is minimal impact on them," Sobeys said in a statement. supermarketnews.com

Customer Loyalty Put to the Rest in Canada
The Rising Cost Of Living In Canada Is Eroding Brand Loyalty As Consumers Seek More Cost-Effective Alternatives
As Canadians grapple with the rising cost of living, many consumers are
reevaluating their daily choices and purchase habits.

Amid these economic pressures,
the concept of brand loyalty - the preference consumers have for a particular brand over others - is undergoing a significant shift. Brand loyalty is the result of a mix of factors, including trust, habit and the perceived value of goods.

Brand loyalty significantly benefits retailers by boosting sales. Not only do existing customers spend more money than new customers, but brand loyalty also reduces the amount brands need to spend on advertising. Effective loyalty programs increase customer retention and result in positive word-of-mouth, meaning companies can spend less on marketing.

Losing loyalty, on the other hand, can result in a competitive disadvantage for retailers. It can lead to revenue loss, increased marketing and customer acquisition costs and negative word-of-mouth. retail-insider.com

Canada Pulls Back on Gun Crackdown
Ottawa extending amnesty for 'assault-style' firearms again, until October 2025
The federal Liberal government says it will extend an amnesty order on guns it
prohibited in the wake of the deadly 2020 Nova Scotia shooting rampage for an extra two years.

Public Safety Canada quietly posted the extension on its website about the yet-to-be-developed firearms buyback program, saying the amnesty period that was set to expire at the end of the month
will remain in place until Oct. 30, 2025.

The amnesty applies to those who own one of the more than
1,500 models of guns that Ottawa announced it was banning, saying "assault-style" firearms, such as the AR-15, have no place in communities. rdnewsnow.com
Sephora Cracks the Code on Survival in Canada

Amazon opens pickup depot in Iqaluit, promising dramatically faster shipping

Man pleads guilty to murder in Edson, Alta., shooting death at sporting goods store
A man charged with first-degree murder after
killing a store employee during a botched robbery in Edson, Alta., has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder. An agreed statement of facts read in an Edmonton court Monday details the events of Nov. 4, 2021, when Brent Dumas shot and killed 44-year-old Cordell Maclellan.

After a customer left the store, which
sells sports and hunting equipment including guns, Dumas went in and pointed his shotgun at Cordell Maclellan and Jason Whitworth, as they worked behind the counter. Both employees put their hands up and walked to the back of the store, and Dumas ordered Whitworth to get him handguns at the gun counter.

Maclellan went into a back room with his arms raised. According to the court document, Whitworth heard him tell Dumas, "Hey man, just stay calm, I don't want you to do anything stupid." But as Maclellan turned around,
Dumas shot him in the chest.

Dumas then went to the gun counter and tried to take the handguns from Whitworth, but
Whitworth jumped over the counter, chased Dumas and tried to grab his shotgun. Dumas hit him in the face with the weapon and fled from the store. Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou told the court that from start to finish, Dumas was in the store less than two minutes. cbc.ca

Airport Robbery Heist Triggers Lawsuit
$20 million in gold robbed from Pearson Airport in Mississauga by thief with phony document, lawsuit says
Brink's Inc. is suing Air Canada over a
$20-million gold heist at Pearson Airport in Mississauga this past spring that garnered headlines around the world. In court filings, the American security company says an unidentified individual gained access to one of the airline's cargo warehouses on April 17 and presented a fraudulent waybill - a document typically issued by a carrier with details on the shipment - to Air Canada personnel.

The lawsuit, filed in Federal Court last Friday,
claims staff then handed over 400 kilograms of gold plus nearly US$2 million in cash to the thief, who promptly left with the shipment. The suit says Canada's largest airline was negligent and failed to follow through on appropriate security measures to prevent theft of the cargo, valued at roughly $22 million in total. insauga.com

   RELATED: U.S. Security Company Sues Air Canada for Negligence in $15M Theft

Winnipeg police arrest man in connection with 15 hardware store robberies
Winnipeg police arrested a 31-year-old man Thursday in connection with a spree of robberies at hardware stores over the summer. The thefts occurred between June 20 and Sept. 13. Police allege the suspect stole products ranging from air conditioners to power tools at 15 stores and, in one incident, lunged at a loss-prevention officer with an axe before fleeing. No one was hurt. Police estimated the value of the stolen property at over $22,000. The suspect faces 14 counts of theft under $5000, and robbery. globalnews.ca

Police release video of Conestoga Mall theft

Two teen boys charged with overnight break-in, robbery at St. Andrews c-store

Regina police charge teen with multiple robberies

Theft at Apple store in Waterloo caught on video

View Canadian Connections Archives






Powerful New Feature Spots Fake Online Reviews
Say Goodbye to Fake Reviews when shopping online using Firefox

Shopping on Amazon or other e-commerce platforms? Mozilla's Firefox now helps you identify fake reviews with its powerful new feature.

Mozilla, the renowned creator of the widely-used Firefox browser, has exciting news for online shoppers around the world. Whether you're navigating the vast aisles of Amazon or exploring other e-commerce havens,
Mozilla is set to revolutionize your online shopping experience. They are gearing up to introduce a powerful feature that will enable users to spot and weed out fake reviews, be they purchased or artificially generated, even on eBay.

So, the driving force behind this groundbreaking enhancement is Mozilla's recent acquisition of Fakespot. A company dedicated to evaluating the authenticity of product reviews. Fakespot's flagship product
assigns a clear A-to-F grade to assess the trustworthiness of reviews, ensuring users can make informed decisions.

If you're an Amazon aficionado, you're in for a treat because Mozilla is here to be your best shopping ally. The best part is that this new feature
will seamlessly integrate into the next major update of Firefox, slated for release as early as this November. According to the reputable source, MS Power User, Firefox version 120 for desktop will be the harbinger of this exciting development.

This new tool from Mozilla
aims to counter one of the nefarious trends fostered by artificial intelligence - the proliferation of counterfeit reviews. These misleading reviews have become a potent weapon in artificially inflating a product's reputation. Often misleading unsuspecting consumers into making regrettable purchases.

Also, the forthcoming integration of this
AI-driven review detection tool into Firefox. Following Mozilla's acquisition of the company, is a significant boon for users. It will provide an added layer of protection and confidence, helping users sift through the noise of fraudulent reviews.

deceptive reviews engender a false sense of security, luring consumers into ill-advised purchases. On the flip side, genuine product reviews are invaluable for individuals seeking honest opinions before making a purchase. This is where Fakespot, now a part of the Mozilla family, comes to the rescue. gizchina.com

AI Continues to Reshape Online Shopping
How AI-Powered Personalization Is Reshaping Online Shopping And Beyond
AI-driven personalization provides an opportunity to connect with customers differently. For instance, AI chatbot assistants have been profoundly influencing the customer experience, as evidenced by
74% of customers favoring chatbots over human interactions for resolving their basic inquiries. Also, as real-time online personal shopping is becoming more permanent, AI would allow shopping assistants to customize the selection on offer, heightening the level of one-on-one customer service and the consumer-brand relationship. In essence, the future of AI-powered tech provides opportunities for brands to experiment with hyper-personalization and fine-tune their offerings to meet the desires of their customers.

Gathering deep levels of consumer behavior also allows brands to optimize user satisfaction, minimizing cart abandonment, which becomes especially crucial in light of statistics indicating
a high average abandonment rate of over 70% in 2023. For consumers, this means an entirely new level of engagement when it comes to online shopping. It's no longer about scrolling through endless product listings-it's about a shopping journey tailored precisely to their tastes and needs. The online retail experience will start to feel like it was built just for the customer, eliminating the frustrations of sifting through countless options that don't resonate with their tastes.

But AI doesn't stop at the online shopping experience.
This technology is reshaping the way consumers engage with shopping across all touchpoints. It enables omnichannel personalization, an all-in-one seamless approach by which brands provide smooth movement between online and offline retail channels, offering customers a consistent shopping experience. forbes.com

Taller warehouse projects are on the horizon & Amazon is playing a big role

Amazon announces the launch of Amazon.co.za in South Africa in 2024








Lake Worth, TX: Police searching for Walgreens robbers; ties to ORC
Lake Worth police are searching for multiple robbers after thousands of dollars were stolen from a Walgreens. It happened just after 3:30 a.m. at Walgreens Pharmacy located at 6244 Lake Worth Blvd. Police say one of the robbers was armed with a rod-style taser and the other had a handgun. The robber with the handgun went to the pharmacy where he placed the gun to the pharmacists' head, forcing her to remove controlled substances from the secure storage area. He then took the pharmacist by the hair and forced her at gunpoint to walk to the back office. While that was happening, the robber with the taser grabbed the front desk clerk, forced her to the ground and shocked her with the taser. The clerk was dragged to the back office, where she was held to the ground with a gun at the back of her head. While both employees were in the back office, the robbers forced the pharmacist to open the safe and proceeded to take about $5,000 in cash before fleeing in a black Chevrolet Impala. Police say the clerk was taken to an area hospital in serious condition, has gone under surgery and is recovering. The pharmacist was uninjured. The robbers allegedly surveilled the pharmacy for about 15 minutes before the crime took place.  cbsnews.com

Fond Du Lac, WI: 3 Michigan men arrested after Fond du Lac Walmart robbery where associate was held down
Three Michigan men - ages 24, 24 and 22 - were arrested on suspicion of robbing the Walmart Supercenter at 377 N. Rolling Meadows Drive Sunday evening. Fond du Lac police said officers responded to the store at around 7:45 p.m. Sunday for the report of a robbery that had happened about 20 minutes earlier. Police learned three suspects entered the store and made their way to the electronics department. One suspect requested to see an iPad and when the Walmart associate opened the locked door,
another suspect in the group grabbed the associate and held them down while the two others grabbed nearly $3,600 worth of Apple watches. Officers began to review video, and Walmart sent out an alert to other Walmart locations in the state. Fond du Lac police then learned the suspects were observed at the Watertown Walmart but fled. Later, police received a call that the Whitewater Police Department intercepted the vehicle in the parking lot of the Walmart there. Fond du Lac police then responded to the Whitewater Walmart and took all three suspects into custody. They also recovered all of the stolen Apple watches. Police said all three men are convicted felons with extensive criminal histories that include convictions in Michigan, Indiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. They were arrested and transported to Fond du Lac County Jail on suspicion of robbery, felony retail theft, disorderly conduct and battery.  fdlreporter.com

San Francisco, CA: 5 accused of SF Walgreens wagon heist plead not guilty
Five people are charged with participating in an organized crime ring after they allegedly rushed into a San Francisco Walgreens store with a wagon, and filled it up with stolen merchandise. On Monday, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the defendants have been charged with numerous felonies in connection to the October 11 burglary. According to San Francisco police, officers saw a group of eight people rush into the Walgreens at 965 Geneva Avenue. The group was wearing masks, carrying empty bags, and pulling a wagon cart, police said. The group began quickly filling their bags and the wagon with store merchandise. 

Viral video shows moment cop punches alleged shoplifter driving with $2K in stolen goods
A California cop punched a female suspected shoplifter in the head while arresting her for allegedly stealing $2,000 worth of goods from a mall, according to a now-viral video. The 50-second video, which has more than 780,000 views on TikTok, opens with the end of a car chase in Vallejo on Friday, when officers were attempting to cuff the suspect, who allegedly shoplifted with an accomplice from the Gateway Plaza shopping mall. The officer walks up to the driver, who had not been identified, and pulls her out of the car as she resists him. The officer then slams her against the car before grabbing her by her hair and tossing her to the ground. As the woman appears to resist while lying on the ground, the arresting officer can be seen punching her in the head, with police saying it was necessary to get her to comply. 

Martin County, FL: Traveling thief meets his downfall in Martin County, ignores warning sign
A man from Broward County is the latest arrested in Martin County's mission to stop traveling thieves. The Martin County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) said on Monday, 43-year-old Fabio Joseph Fonseca of Deerfield Beach drove into county lines and stole $300 of merchandise from local retail stores. Photos taken by the sheriff's office show Fonseca's haul. Deputies say inside Fonseca's vehicle were stolen items such as beauty products, toys, suitcases and other merchandise. The sheriff's office also said drugs were found in Fonseca's possession. Fonseca was arrested and charged with retail theft and felony drug charges. CBS12 News spoke to law enforcement agencies across the Treasure Coast on Monday after a sign on I-95 North entering Martin County reads 'traveling criminals no bond!!' 

York County, PA: Eight charged with stealing $19,000 in merchandise from York-area Walmart


NRF has declared Oct. 26 as Fight Retail Crime Day

 A day of action to unite the retail community to advocate
for solutions in combating organized retail crime.


View ORC Archives

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Shootings & Deaths

Augusta, GA: At least 4 people shot outside Georgia grocery store, deputies say
First responders and law enforcement are on the scene of a shooting at a grocery store in downtown Augusta. According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, the shooting happened at around 6:12 p.m. Deputies were dispatched to Pauls IGA on Greene St. for a reported drive-by shooting. When they arrived, deputies found two victims at the scene and were told that two more victims drove themselves to the hospital.  wjbf.com

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

San Francisco, CA: 2 suspects charged in robbery at SF's Dior store near Union Square, DA says
A 23-year-old woman and 28-year-old man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to multiple charges associated with a robbery at San Francisco's Dior store near Union Square, officials said. In an arraignment, the suspects were charged with second-degree commercial burglary, grand theft, organized retail theft, conspiracy and resisting arrest, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said in a news release. The two suspects were allegedly part of an orchestrated smash-and-grab at the 185 Post St. store on the morning of Oct. 12, before the store opened, as reported previously by SFGATE. The group allegedly arrived at the store in three separate cars, before a driver in one of the cars rammed into the store's entryway, breaking the gate and doors, the DA's office and the San Francisco Police Department said. They allegedly ran into the store, stealing handbags and other merchandise. Before robbing the Dior store, the group had tried to break into the Fendi store but were unsuccessful, the DA's office added. The suspects will appear in court next on Oct. 27. The suspects will be held in jail until the court date due to "the public safety risk they pose," the DA said.  sfgate.com

Campbell, CA: $4,900 in merchandise taken in separate grand thefts in Campbell
5:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of South Bascom Avenue: Four suspects entered a store and stole $3,134 in merchandise. 6:22 p.m. in the 1700 block of South Bascom Avenue: Two suspects entered a store and stole $1,747 in merchandise prior to fleeing the store.  mercurynews.com

Marysville, WA: Stolen Kia used to smash into Marysville smoke shop in 'brazen burglary'

Sioux Falls, SD: C-Store Worker threatened with Axe during Robbery

Providence, RI: Used car dealer sentenced to federal prison for $2.8M fraud scheme

Fargo, ND: Staff in Philippines credited for stopping attempted burglary at West Fargo business


Catlettsburg, KY: Man accused of lighting fire in Kroger still awaiting competency eval
A man accused of endangering patrons by lighting a fire in Ashland's Kroger over the summer is still awaiting a competency evaluation.
Michael D. Fields, 37, was indicted in July on 10 counts of wanton endangerment, first-degree arson and shoplifting after police said he stole a cell phone and then started a fire inside the store with 200 people inside. Last month, Fields's attorney, public defender Whitney Davis, said she intended to file a motion for Fields to have his competency evaluated. However, as of Thursday, Boyd County Circuit Judge John Vincent said the motion wasn't in Fields's court file. Vincent allowed Fields's case to be pushed a week to allow time for the motion to be filed or resent in case of error. The evaluation will determine if Fields has the capacity to understand court proceedings and can aid in his own defense.  dailyindependent.com

Clayton County, GA: 3 people wanted after setting State Farmer's Market on fire
The State Fire Marshal's Office is looking for multiple suspects who were caught on camera setting a fire in the State Farmer's Market. Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King announced on Tuesday that the State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the arson that happened at the State Farmer's Market in Forest Park on Monday. Just after 2 a.m., three people were seen on surveillance video climbing over the Farmer's Market fence. Commissioner King detailed the incident, saying the suspects doused an area in flammable liquid and started throwing lit objects to start the fire. King said the fire resulted in heavy damages and loss of inventory.  wsbtv.com



Auto - West Fargo, ND - Burglary
C-Store - Wilmington Township, PA - Robbery
C-Store - Norton, MA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Gorst, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Barre, VT - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Plympton, MA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Houston, TX - Robbery
C-Store - Andrews, SC - Robbery
C-Store - St Joseph County, IN - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Federal Way, WA - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Fulton County, KY - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Florence, SC - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Sioux Falls, SD - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Coweta County, GA - Burglary
Dollar - Bowling Green, KY - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Greensboro, NC - Armed Robbery
Jewelry - Deptford, NJ - Burglary
Jewelry - Queensbury, NY - Robbery
Pharmacy - Houston, TX - Robbery
Restaurant - Tazewell, TN - Burglary (Taco Bell)
Restaurant - Gwinnett County, GA - Armed Robbery (Burger King)
Tobacco - Queens, NY - Armed Robbery
Tobacco - Chicago, IL - Burglary
Tobacco - Marysville, WA - Burglary
Walgreens - Lake Worth, TX - Armed Robbery                              


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

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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Quality - Diversity - Industry Obligation


Loss Prevention Manager (House of Sport)
Boston, MA - posted October 10
As a Loss Prevention Manager, you will support the Store Leadership team in achieving company objectives by managing all Loss Prevention programs and policies within the store. This key role will have the tremendous responsibility of keeping our associates, customers and our store safe...

District Asset Protection Partner
Tucson and Chandler/Phoenix, AZ Area - posted September 27
The Asset Protection (AP) Partner is a strong communicator, advisor, investigator, and compliance partner. This role is responsible for asset protection program execution at all levels and implementing methods to prevent, and control losses, in support of protecting company assets. This role collaborates with store teams, Human Resources, Supply Chain, and District Management...

District Asset Protection Partner
West Sacramento, CA - posted September 26
The District Asset Protection (AP) Partner is a strong communicator, advisor, investigator, and compliance partner to our Stores. This role is responsible for driving shrink improvement and leadership of asset protection program execution at the District level. The District AP Partner is responsible for assessing store-based shrink initiatives, promoting shrink awareness, and implementing methods to prevent, and control losses...

Asset Protection Specialist
Newburgh, NY - posted September 25
The Asset Protection Specialist role at Ocean State Job Lot is responsible for protecting company assets and monitoring store activities to reduce property or financial losses. This role partners closely with store leadership and the Human Resources team, when applicable, to investigate known or suspected internal theft, external theft, and vendor fraud...

Security Director
Chicago, IL - posted September 7
Reporting to the VP of Corporate Security, the Director of Corporate Security is a professional security practitioner that acts as an advisor/consultant to the assigned Property Management Group. Responsibilities include monitoring security vendors' performance, evaluating for contract compliance, and serving as a program quality control manager...

District Asset Protection Manager
Washington, DC - posted August 31
The MidAtlantic Division has an opening for a District Asset Protection Manager in Northern Virginia. This person will support Fairfax, Arlington, and Loudoun counties. This is a salary role with up to 70% travel within the assigned district. District Asset Protection Manager will provide positive/proactive leadership, and instruction in the area of Security/Asset Protection...

Corporate & Supply Chain Asset Protection Leader
Quincy, MA - posted August 3
The primary purpose of this position is to manage the Corporate Asset Protection function for all US Support Offices and Supply Chain. Direct team in the design, implementation and management of physical security processes and equipment to ensure facilities are considered a safe and secure environment for all associates and external parties...

Occupational Health & Safety Manager
Mount Horeb, WI - posted July 27
This role is responsible for examining the workplace for environmental or physical factors that could affect employee or guest health, safety, comfort, and performance. This role is also responsible for reducing the frequency and severity of accidents. To be successful in the role, you will need to work closely with management, employees, and relevant regulatory bodies...

Manager, Physical Security
Jacksonville, FL - posted July 7
Responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's physical security strategy for retail stores, warehouses, and store support center and field offices. This includes responsibility for the capital expense and repair budgets, developing written specifications, layout and design for all systems and to ensure all installations and repairs are made to SEG standards...


Regional AP Mgr - South FL Market - Bilingual required
Miami, FL - posted August 8
Responsible for managing asset protection programs designed to minimize shrink, associate and customer liability accidents, bad check and cash loss, and safety incidents for stores within assigned region. This position will develop the framework for the groups' response to critical incidents, investigative needs, safety concerns and regulatory agency visits...

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At first your career is comprised of daily achievements and struggles all pointing towards an annual review and hopefully an increase or a promotion that can be celebrated at home and shared with family and friends. Mid way thru, your career takes on a life in and of itself and the world becomes smaller with everything shared good, bad, and even non-truths with everyone. It's at this point that lights go on in your mind and the world appears right outside your door waiting and watching. What use to be instant responses now become hesitations. Decisions and actions, while influenced with experience, now become thought out critical moves open to instant interpretations and criticisms. At this point one must rely on your instinct and what you know to be true and right because indecision and hesitation is what gives birth to mistakes and failure. Every seasoned executive knows the path of failure and losing battles and they know as well that instinct, knowledge, effort, and doing what's right will ultimately rule the day.

"I merely won more than I lost" -- Mr. Goldwyn of MGM's, response to a writer's question on his death bed about what made him so successful.

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