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November 28, 2012 SUBSCRIBE

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Forecaster IHS Global Insight expects holiday retail sales to increase 3.9 percent over last year. Big retailers expect things won’t grow as much as last year but still will outpace the year-over-year average increase of 3.5 percent over the past decade. The strong holiday weekend was followed a solid Cyber Monday. Online sales on Cyber Monday grew by 30.3 percent over the same day last year, according to IBM. (Source

Online shoppers over the holiday weekend spent more than $4.3 billion, up 21% from 2011, comScore says. Spending on Monday exceeded $1.46 billion, making the day the biggest ever for e-commerce. (Source

Less than 1% of mobile transactions are denied for fraud Apple iOS mobile platform is the most popular for shoppers—and criminals, iovation finds. Online retail transactions from mobile devices have increased more than 300% over the past year, with most mobile shoppers as well as criminals attempting fraudulent transactions now using Apple Inc. devices running the iOS platform, finds fraud prevention technology vendor iovation Inc. Of the nearly 30 million iOS transactions, more than 162,000 were denied (0.55%). Android accounted for about 20 million transactions, with about 58,000 denials (0.29%), the company adds. (Source

Skimming Gang Busted - Romanian authorities dismantle cybercrime ring responsible for $25 million credit card fraud Officers from the country's organized crime police together with prosecutors from the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) executed 36 search warrants on Tuesday at residential addresses in several Romanian cities and arrested 16 individuals suspected of being members of the credit card fraud ring. The group's members gained unauthorized access to computer systems belonging to foreign companies that operate gas stations and grocery stores, and installed computer applications designed to intercept credit card transaction data. The applications were configured to store the captured data locally for later retrieval, upload it automatically to external servers or send it to email addresses controlled by the gang's members, the agency said. The stolen credit card information was then sold or used to create counterfeit cards. For example, between December 2011 and October 2012 members of the group sold 68,000 credit cards at $4 each through a specialized online shop, making a profit of $270,000, DIICOT revealed. (Source

BANGLADESH police arrest three managers of factory where blaze killed 110 people, following claims they stopped workers from leaving the plant saying an alarm was just a routine fire drill. Dhaka police chief Habibur Rahman told AFP on Wednesday the managers were arrested overnight after charges that they told panicked workers of Tazreen Fashion they had nothing to worry about when the fire started on Saturday night. (Source

"Planned Arson" says Prime Minister of Bangladesh of two separate factory fires this weekend - including the one that killed 110 Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. put some distance between it and the clothing factory, saying the factory was no longer authorized to produce merchandise for the company. Police and witnesses said the latest fire, at a 10-story clothing factory in the suburb of Uttara, began Monday morning, and it took firefighters about four hours to bring it under control. On Tuesday, Hasina urged factory owners to be more careful about the safety of their workers, but also to remain vigilant to the possibility of suspicious activities in their mills. The country has about 4,500 garment factories that make clothes for stores including Tesco, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Kohl's and Carrefour. The sector earned $19 billion this year as of June. (Source

Creating a bring-your-own-device policy "[BYOD] is not an information security only program; also it is not a technology-only program" "It's a collaborative effort; it should not be done in a security silo," advises Wu, a partner specializing in data security issues at law firm Cooke, Kobrick and Wu LLP. Another critical factor in building a successful BYOD policy is to ensure its an integral component of the organization's larger security program. Are you involved? This is a subject matter expert in this area and would be an asset if needed. (Source

Ten million hotel locks worldwide remain vulnerable A string of recent thefts at hotels has been traced back to a vulnerability in electronic door mechanisms, demonstrated earlier this year in July. Cody Brocious, also known online as Daeken, demonstrated that Onity HT locks, commonly installed at hotels, are susceptible to an attack via its communication port. The reliability of the exploit has also been further refined by many interested hackers, including Trustwave SpiderLabs' Matt Jakubowski. Jakubowski has managed to miniaturise the hardware necessary to exploit the vulnerability and package it inside a whiteboard marker. Onity has removed statements formerly made about the locks from its website, instead replacing it with a message stating that it has "developed and started to deploy improvements for our locks." (Source

Questions linger after thwarted abduction at Fashion Square Mall Private security did its job over the weekend in escorting a man off Fashion Square mall property where he grabbed a 2-year-old girl before her father wrestled her away, legal experts and industry analysts said Monday. But that doesn’t explain why authorities weren’t notified until more than five hours later, when the girl’s parents called police. By then, the man was long gone. No security cameras captured footage of the incident. Detectives are combing through in-store surveillance footage to see whether the man had been following the family. So far no leads. (Source

Bomb threats at 30 courthouses across Tennessee on Tuesday forced employees to evacuate Tennessee is the fourth state to fall victim to multiple "bomb hoaxes". Twenty-eight courthouses were targeted in Oregon, as were several government offices in Nebraska and Washington just this month. (Source

Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi seized 18,000 counterfeit products in 2012. 6,300 of the 18,331 items confiscated included clothes and footwear, with 1,813 cosmetic items, 2,655 medical products as well as gold items, CDs, electronics and thousands of other fake goods were impounded during raids on shops in the emirate. (Source

DNA leads to Kay Jewelers store robber's convictions Late last year two men from California traveled to New Hampshire to specifically commit robberies. They robbed two jewelry stores and a credit union. The Kay jewelry store robbery which netted them between $250,000 to $280,000 in high-end gold jewelry in the two-minute heist was violent. Three store employees and four customers, including a mother and her young daughter, were inside the store when the "Scream" masked robbers entered, ordered everyone to the floor at gunpoint and then began smashing jewelry cases with hammers. A break in the case came when a highway worker found two "Scream" masks off Exit 18 on Interstate 93. DNA results of hair and saliva on the masks led police to the suspects. Both males had long felony records for armed robberies in California, according to police and now both are serving 20 year sentences. (Source

Los Gatos, Cailf.: Gun-wielding smash-and-grab robbers hit downtown jewelry store Two robbers entered a downtown jewelry store and held the staff at gunpoint while smashing display cases and snatching jewelry shortly after noon Tuesday, police said. Both brandished black semi-automatic handguns. Police did not disclosed what taken in the robbery. (Source

Police in Newton Township, PA arrest two suspected in a dozen jewelry store thefts totaling $1 million. Ryan Wiley and Phillip Prokop are believed to be responsible for at least a dozen jewelry store thefts during a five week spree in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The thefts all occurred between September and October and ended when both were arrested trying to sell stolen jewelry to a pawn shop. Now, Newton Township Police have arrested the two suspects in connection to the theft of $150,000 and filed charges against both men, including 30 felonies involving multiple charges of burglary, criminal trespassing and receiving stolen property. (Source

Woodburn, Oregon Zales burglar caught on tape. A man was caught on tape burglarizing a Woodburn jewelry store Tuesday morning and police have released the security footage in the hope of finding the suspect. Police were called just before 6 a.m. to the report of a robbery in the Zales store located in the Woodburn Company Stores outlet mall. The security footage shows an unknown suspect breaking through the glass store front with what appears to be a crow bar. The man grabbed a display case full of jewelry and ran back out. The estimated value of the stolen items was $9,000. The unknown suspect was in the store for no more than 10 seconds. (Source

Pittsburgh AT&T armed robber hits for thousands in Apple equipment. The thief handed an employee a laundry bag and told him or her to fill it up with iPhones and iPads before running out to an awaiting car. Pittsburgh Police say the suspect was captured on video, but was wearing a mask and hoodie. A handgun was displayed by the robber who asked all of the employees to stay in the rear part of the store. No injuries were reported. (Source

Jonesboro, Arkansas Walmart’s iPad showcase smashed by thieves; second store hit in the last three weeks. Police throughout the region are comparing notes and surveillance video after thieves made off with thousands of dollars in electronics from a Jonesboro Walmart early Tuesday. This is the second similar type incident at Walmarts in the area in recent weeks. Thousands of dollars worth of iPads are missing after an early morning smash and grab at the Highland Drive Walmart in Jonesboro. The two men entered the Walmart around 3:45 Tuesday morning. The two men went into the electronics section of the store, smashed open a showcase and stole nearly $5000 of iPads. The two suspects ran out a fire exit to an awaiting car. (Source

Fry’s Marketplace in Mesa, AZ robbed on Thanksgiving after closing. The suspect, Robert Lheureaux was already a convicted felon. He took the time to hide out in a store on Thanksgiving waiting for the employees to leave. Once the coast was clear, he moved around the store without setting off an alarm. Lheureaux was able to bag up nearly $10,000 of merchandise then tripped the alarm as he ran out the doors. Police were able to identify the suspect from a tattoo caught on surveillance video. Lheureaux was arrested and charged with trafficking stolen property as well as burglary and drug charges. (Source

Wichita Pawn Shop hit using a car to smash and grab. Smashing out the store front with a car, four thieves were only in the store for 90 seconds. Heavy duty glass kept the thieves from getting into the jewelry showcase, despite taking several swings from a sledge hammer. The thieves quickly turned their attention to a showcase of laptop computers, smashing out the glass with a guitar. (Source

North Carolina Walgreens the scene of a violent robbery attempt; customer stabbed. Apex, North Carolina was the scene of an attempted robbery at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday morning when a suspect was trying to steal prescription drugs from the pharmacist at knife point. A customer attempted to subdue the suspect and was stabbed in the arm during the struggle. The suspect, later identified as Zachery Erlemann, was arrested a block away from the store by police. (Source

Macy’s associate at The Gardens in Palm Beach apprehended for $2,000 of fraudulent returns. A solid loss prevention investigation lead to the arrest of a Macy’s associate who had processed four fraudulent returns to her EZ Card used for associate purchases. Eulika White is also believed to be responsible for the theft of merchandise which was bagged for friends without paying. White faces grand theft and fraud charges and was unable to secure her bond of $12,000. (Source

Maricopa Sheriff’s Department in Phoenix takes a proactive approach to holiday crimes. Helicopters, K-9 units, horse patrols and cameras are all part of the increased patrols at area malls in the area. Many of the members of the Sheriff’s department are volunteers and just want to assist in keeping the customers safe during the holiday season. (Source

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Downing & Downing Annual Dinner Party and Event. LPNN will be recording - live audience. Monday, Jan 14th at Maloney & Porcelli's. Guest Speaker Tatiana Sandino, Harvard Business School. Co-author of the study "Can Wages Buy Honesty? The Relationship Between Relative Wages and Employee Theft". Rich Mellor, VPLP for the NRF will be introducing this year's Honoree, Joe LaRocca. Honoring Joe LaRocca, VP & Senior Advior of LP, RetaiLPartners and former VP of LP for the NRF for his leadership and dedication to the advancement of the LP profession. Be on the lookout for your invitation. More announcements coming tomorrow! Co-sponsors: Agilence, Axis Communications, Axonify, Bass Security, InstaKey Security Systems, LPI, Se-Kure Controls, WG

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Multi state crime ring hits Wal-Mart in Mahoning Township, Pa. A brazen incident at the Mahoning Township Wal-Mart store early Monday morning resulted in paintball shots being fired and electronic items stolen. The episode was followed by a rapid response and joint effort by numerous local police departments which netted arrests. Those arrests may have resulted in a suspected organized retail theft ring operating in several states being at least partially broken. The three individuals who were arrested are all from Philadelphia and more are expected. Police are also attempting to determine if the individuals were involved in an August electronics heist at Wal-Mart in Hometown. He said five males exited the vehicle and entered the store. They loaded high-end electronics into shopping carts, including a TV, four desktop computers, and two laptops. They had a value of $3,488. According to the police officer, two of the males fled through a front door with two of the laptops. The vehicles drove around to a side alarmed emergency exit. They used the emergency exit and loaded the stolen items into their vehicles, Mertz said. One of the males shouted, "Don't follow me. Whatever you do don't follow me." Employees then heard several shots. The individuals fled before police arrived. Walnutport police spotted the vehicle on Route 145. With the assistance of numerous other law enforcement agencies, the vehicle was stopped in Laurys Station and the three suspects were taken into custody. He said additional information received indicates the individuals are part of an organized retail theft ring operating in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. (Source

Gang of female shoplifters invade large retail store Saturday night and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise in Muhlenberg, Pa. The store that was hit requested not to be named, police said. Investigators say the women stole televisions, video games, bedding and movies, all totaling $2,700. Information is still scarce, but authorities are hoping someone will recognize the women in the surveillance images and call police. Anybody with information on the gang of alleged shoplifters is asked to call Crime Alert: Berks County immediately. The number is 877-373-9913. (Source

Three member ORC gang busted hitting stores in Westport, Conn. Two women and one man were busted with $2,000 worth of merchandise from LF stores and Urban Outfitters in their vehicle. The two women had purses with the inside linings cut, which they used to conceal merchandise. Tashays Smith, 23, of Mount Vernon, New York; 22-year-old Shimer Weetom, of Bronx, New York; and 26-year-old Fitzroy Bennett, of Ranchocucamonga, California; were all charged with third-degree larceny, third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, and possession of a shoplifting device. (Source

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Comments from yesterday's news article titled:

Attempted child abduction suspect escorted off Fashion Square Mall property by Mall Security without getting his name and without contacting police

By John Hassard

Amazing story. I look forward to more facts. From the headline, it seems to be an irresponsible decision. I can understand a store/mall employee/manager releasing such a person (through the lack of training and shock of the incident), but for a person with security in their title is worthy of further investigation.

What if there was some sort of "policy" that they followed, or if a superior (mall management, senior security management) made the call?

Clearly we don't have any of the details now, but as a security professional, how many of you would release such a person if a "policy" or superior directed you to do so? (Of course, as a professional, upon learning of such a policy I would immediately address it, but that is another story...).

The line between security/loss prevention and law enforcement is variable, and often the best decision for the non-law enforcement must be made in what may seem to be against what law enforcement would do (such as releasing a shoplifter, or even a trespasser, without prosecution), but at what point must we make a decision for the better of our community that may be against "policy"?

In college I was working for a contract security firm, and while at work I witnessed a pretty severe auto accident. I left my "post" after calling 911 to go assist (it was on a city street, clearly not my assigned area) and provided aid. I was "counseled" for abandoning my post, while I suffered no action, and made it clear that providing aid trumped the circumstances of THAT post (I was not securing a nuclear facility!) it left an impression with me I carry to this day. Sometimes the correct decision is in violation of some policy, but isn't that part of being a professional, the ability to know how/when to do so?

I can understand the reasoning behind a management decision to not get involved; to release someone rather than "make a scene", but again, as security professionals, isn't it our duty to effect change through our experience and influence? "Loss" in particular has already begun; how do you value the negative public perceptions created by releasing this person?

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Vendor Spotlight

Larry Yeager Retires
An Industry Leader, Inventor, and Innovator

As a long-term valued customer, you are likely familiar with Alpha’s proud history in innovation, proven track record in developing effective high-theft solutions, and delivering on our promise of an ROI in under 12-months. A major reason for Alpha’s success has been built through earning your trust over time, and you can only do that if we have continuity in our leadership team.

It is with mixed emotions that I have to announce the retirement of Larry Yeager, Alpha’s VP and General Manager. When you think of Alpha, it is hard not to think of Larry. After 20 years of outstanding service in various leadership positions, Larry has decided that it is time for him to "hit golf balls off the beach".

Larry's contributions and impact to the retail loss-prevention industry have been numerous. His unique and passionate leadership led to the growth of Alpha's S3 business, almost doubling in size since being acquired by Checkpoint Systems in 2007. His strong reputation and excellent relationships with LP Executives around the world helped discover meaningful insights into what retailers need, and translated those insights into noticeably superior products. As an example, he was co-inventor and has the original patent for Spider Wrap®, which has sold more than 25 million since its launch and has become ubiquitous as a high-theft solution for retailers worldwide.

Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Albright College, and is a honorably discharged Vietnam Veteran after serving in the US Navy.

Larry cannot be replaced, so effective immediately, Alpha will be managed by Jeff Adams, VP of Global Sales and Bill Beatty, VP of Global Product Management. They will be responsible to provide continuity to the "Alpha Way" - the philosophy of always doing what’s best for the customer. That is what has converted customers into "partners" and salespeople into "trusted advisors". Jeff and Bill are based in the Charlotte office and can be reached at 888.257.4272.

I want to stress that although Larry will be missed, there is a team ready to provide continuity to the same level of service, support and partnership you have come to expect from Alpha. We value your business, and will continue doing everything we can to earn it every day.


Farrokh Abadi
President & COO
Checkpoint Systems

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Help Your Employees Be Fearless Unless you work in the reptile house or a risky construction site, it's unlikely you give much thought to whether your employees are afraid. But according to a recent survey from staffing agency Robert Half International, many of them are. (Are they the 3%?)
A Conflict-Free Organization Isn't Great. It's Near Death Many business leaders imagine that success is harmonious and creativity friction free. They could not be more wrong. All organizations have conflict. That's inevitable when you bring people together. Conflict isn't just natural -- it's productive. (Embrace it)

A Great Leader's Year-end Checklist Salespeople live and die by the annual review. Auditors have built an entire industry around it. And yet, as leaders, we often move from one year to the next with little or no time spent reviewing the year just past from a purely leadership perspective. (Five points)

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Accepting criticism and feedback is probably one of the hardest things to do especially if it’s unexpected or from an individual or group that’s not really informed well enough to offer constructive criticism. Coming from our superiors or client’s criticism and feedback can truly be valuable and help mold the path a person needs to take in changing or modifying behavior and improving relationships. It all boils down to whether or not you’re willing to accept it and really hear what they’re saying or not saying. It’s human nature to automatically respond defensively and rationalize what you’re hearing thus avoiding having to own it. However, the wise person learns to listen and force themselves not to respond other than to acknowledge that they heard it.

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