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Bill Penn, CFI named Inventory Accuracy Manager - Loss Prevention for UNIQLO

Before joining UNIQLO as Inventory Accuracy Manager - Loss Prevention, Bill spent nearly two years with Party City as Corporate Manager of Asset Protection and Safety Operations. Prior to that, he spent more than four years with Gap Inc. as Supply Chain Investigations Manager - Eastern US and Europe. Earlier in his career, he held roles with Lowe's and Sears. Congratulations, Bill!

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







Axis Senior Director Discusses Leveraging Video Data

Beyond Security: Leveraging Video Data In The Enterprise Environment

Since they were invented, video surveillance cameras have been used mostly for security applications. However, the advent of video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) has paved the way for use of video data in a variety of other applications, from process control to measuring occupancy to analyzing customer traffic trends. The 'data' aspects of 'video data' are feeding many new applications that no longer involve operators looking at video images on a screen. We asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: How can video data be leveraged in an enterprise beyond security?

Scott Dunn - Sr. Director Business Development Solutions & Services, Axis Communications

Enterprises should approach video surveillance with return on investment (ROI) in mind. Beyond installing a camera for the sake of enhanced security, enterprises can view video surveillance as an investment into a more holistic approach.

First, enterprises must prioritize ROI by determining what they need to enhance overall business operations. Capabilities today are no longer limited to feeding video footage into a video management system; instead, enterprises can leverage video data to meet a variety of operational needs.

For example, you can monitor a business lobby for safety and security, while conversely measuring traffic flow and time spent in that space. Enterprises can use the same cameras to monitor conference rooms to determine occupancy levels, or to leverage license plate recognition in parking garages for contactless parking. This usage of video data can help enterprises increase ROI on their security investment, and ensure all operations are running in a streamlined manner. securityinformed.com

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

The Driver of the Urban Crime Surge
Rethinking Urban Retail Development

The death of great American downtowns
Office-centric downtowns are soon to be a thing of the past.

The devastation of downtown commercial districts has been an unmistakable shift in America's largest cities. Deserted downtowns have been haunting US cities since the beginning of the pandemic.

Before the pandemic, 95% of offices were occupied. Today that number is closer to 47%. Employees' not returning to downtown offices has had a domino effect:

Less economic activity in urban cores and a lower tax base could mean fewer jobs and reduced government services, perpetuating a vicious cycle that further reduces foot traffic in downtowns, leading to more decline, more crime, and a lower quality of life. For residents of many downtowns, ghost downtowns will be a visible infliction.

These shifts follow the unassailable stickiness of remote work; researchers for the National Bureau of Economic Research predicted that 30% of workdays would be worked from home by the end of this year, a huge jump from before the pandemic.

The increased cancellations of office leases have cratered the office real-estate market. A study led by Arpit Gupta, a professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business, characterized the value wipeout as an "apocalypse."

London Breed, San Francisco's mayor, told Bloomberg that "life as we knew it before the pandemic is not going to go back."

Urban planners and city officials are looking at turning the empty office space into residential, mixed use, etc.  businessinsider.com

Marshalls closing, Nordstrom Rack recently closed, Ameriprise cutting office space in downtown Minneapolis

Law Enforcement's #1 Challenge - Finding the Next Generation of Cops
Cops leaving the urban markets

N.Y.P.D. Officers Leave in Droves for Better Pay in Smaller Towns

This year has seen the highest number of resignations (3,200) in two decades.

Aurora, CO., Police Chief who recruited 14 NYPD officers to join said, "it's a cutthroat environment right now among police chiefs to recruit talent, and we all desperately need it."

Police departments across the country are grappling with increasing resignations and retirements. And while hiring levels rose last year after a sharp decrease in 2020, they have not made up for the losses, according to a March report from the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement policy group. In November, the organization's director, Chuck Wexler, wrote that finding the next generation of cops may be "the single most daunting challenge that policing has faced in decades." nytimes.com

'Taking Back the Tenderloin'

For Years, Tenderloin's Open-Air Black Market Has Operated Almost With Impunity

Retail ORC Leaders Have Been Pleading With SFPD, the DA's, and the Politicians For Years

There has been a lot of news coverage and filming of individuals selling stolen goods in broad daylight, within eye shot of police. And nothing was done.

We not only witnessed this ourselves but also spoke with a number of different retailers about their efforts to put a stop to it by meeting with various public officials. To no avail.

That is until the fentanyl over dose epidemic skyrocketed between 2018 and 2020. Rising over 483% - 519 individuals.

One article even quoted the DEA and said 'San Francisco is 'drowning in fentanyl.' on Sept. 28, 2021. With the Tenderloin being the leading most dangerous neighborhood for overdose deaths. With many of the deaths occurring outdoors and on sidewalks in front of buildings.

According to and SF Chronicle survey, published Nov. 21,2022, SF had the highest accidental drug overdose rate and second highest Fentanyl overdose rate out of the 10 large urban cities they examined. With Phildelphia being highest in fentanly and second in overall over doses. And D.C. being 3rd in both category's.

On Dec. 17, 2021, San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared an official state of emergency in the Tenderloin district to address the escalating epidemic and to tackle crime. And in January the Mayor opened The Tenderloin Center. Meant to provide medical and mental health assistance. Coupled with an ambassador program on the streets to hopefully have an impact on crime.

The Tenderloin area has the highest crime rate in San Francisco: 70% of the city's violent crimes, and around one-fourth of the city's murders, occur in this neighborhood.

This year the Tenderloin has seen a 39.7% increase in larceny theft, an 18.4% increase in robberies, and an overall 17.1% increase in crime as of Dec. 4, 2022.

They've even created a web page Reducing violent crime and drug sales in the Tenderloin, as part of Tenderloin Emergency Initiative data and reports

   Here's the recent news and reports

NYC City Council Proposing 4 More 'Safe Injection' Sites
Why so-called 'safe injection' sites put NYC communities in danger
Just over a year ago, New York City opened the nation's first "safe injection" sites (SIS) - two taxpayer-funded locations (one in Harlem, the other in Washington Heights) where people can use drugs while overseen by a medic.

To the surprise of few who understand these diseases, hardly any the SIS customers - less than 1% - request treatment once they are comfortably able to engage in continued drug use.

NYC City Council is now requesting $8 million to fund four additional sites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

Yet as has been seen in similar efforts in San Francisco and Vancouver, there is little evidence these sites reduce overall harm to the addict. What is certain, however, is the effect SISs have on the surrounding communities.

People who live near the sites have watched as their neighborhoods have become open-air drug markets where dealers openly sell drugs like ballpark vendors and children step over used syringes on the bus and in their local playground. nypost.com

Odd items under lock and key at retail stores in San Diego as U.S. retail theft soars

After gunman shoots four at New Orleans dollar store, workers demand safety



COVID Update

657.9M Vaccinations Given

US: 101.3M Cases - 1.1M Dead - 98.5M Recovered
Worldwide: 653.7M Cases - 6.6M Dead - 629.2M Recovered

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 362   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 816

Viruses Are Coming for Your Holiday Season, Health Officials Warn
More people are getting sick and hospitalized post-Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving spurred on more respiratory infections in an already busy virus season. The coming holidays could be worse, public-health officials say.

RSV infection levels are showing signs of cooling off but remain elevated, as flu and Covid-19 infections spread.

"If you managed to avoid it at Thanksgiving, you may not at Christmas," "There's a ton of virus circulating," wsj.com

COVID's Popping Back Up
COVID cases are soaring in San Francisco and Los Angeles - but one of them is doing worse

Case rates in San Francisco, Los Angeles County and the wider Bay Area are all on the rise, but, so far, L.A. is faring worse.

Hospitalizations are also rising in both regions. So far, Los Angeles is being hit a bit harder than the Bay Area. sfchronicle.com

One Bay Area county moves into 'high' COVID tier, triggering new mask guidelines
COVID-19 community levels continue to rise across the U.S., with 14% of Americans now living in a region classified in the "high" tier on Friday, based on hospitalization and case metrics used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, only 5% of the U.S. population fell into the "high" category. About 38.1% of people now live in areas with "medium" virus levels, while 48.2% are in "low" areas. sfchronical.com

New Yorkers Are Urged to Wear Masks Indoors as Covid and Flu Cases Rise
An "unusually high concurrent spike" of virus cases in New York City, including flu and a mix of Covid-19 variants, led health officials on Friday to strongly recommend that people wear high-quality masks indoors and in crowded outdoor settings.

Masks will remain voluntary in most places, however, except in health care facilities such as nursing homes where mask mandates are still enforced. nytimes.com

Hospitalizations signal rising COVID-19 risk for US seniors



Consumers Think Facial Recognition (FRT) Improves Safety
Convenience driving US consumer adoption of face biometrics: report

Over 131 million US nationals utilize face biometrics technologies daily, and almost half of them do so to access three applications or more every day.

The findings come from Taiwan-based facial recognition company CyberLink, which published a report conducted online with the third-party research firm YouGov about face biometrics use in America.

According to results from the research, which surveyed 2,455 US adults aged 18 and above in September, approximately 176 million Americans use facial recognition, 132 million of whom on at least one application per day.

A considerable 75 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds have adopted the technology and 57 percent of this age group use it daily. 55 percent of those surveyed say they think facial recognition technology can improve safety at airports. The numbers are similar for banks (54 percent) and medical offices (53 percent).

More generally, the highest percentage of respondents willing to adopt facial recognition technology said they would be open to using it while shopping at a store, eating at a restaurant or traveling if it better protected their data, personal information, and assets (54 percent).

A smaller number (42 percent) said they would consider it for improved safety at their home and workplace, 45 percent for convenience, 23 percent to ensure proper mask wearing and 20 percent to eliminate human contact or getting a VIP experience.

"Traditional and online businesses are applying facial recognition to a wide set of activities, ranging from security and access control to self-service, statistics, and the many facets of customer experience," biometricupdate.com

Walmart Shooter: 'I was harassed by Idiots'
Walmart Investigated in Early 2020 Complaints About Chesapeake Shooter From Co-Workers

Employees says regional executives interviewed them about complaints regarding Andre Bing's workplace behavior

More than two years before a Walmart supervisor shot and killed six workers, Walmart Inc. executives investigated employee workplace complaints against him, according to former and current employees.

Walmart's handling of Bing and what it knew about problems at the store have been raised in two lawsuits brought against the company by employees who survived the attack. Both suits allege Bing demonstrated a pattern of disturbing workplace behavior. A Walmart spokesman said the company is reviewing both complaints and will respond with the court.

In early 2020, Walmart regional managers interviewed members of the store's overnight shift about Bing after several complaints that he was an unkind manager and engaged in threatening behavior, according to the former and current employees familiar with the investigation.

"We were individually interviewed," said Amanda Land, a former employee at the Chesapeake store. Bing "was not easy to get along with," said Ms. Land, who left the store in 2020. "He thought people were always talking crap about him," she said.

It couldn't be learned what steps Walmart took after the investigation, which hasn't previously been reported. A spokesman for Walmart declined to comment. Family members for Bing couldn't be reached for comment.

Separately, people who had worked with Bing said in recent interviews that he could be combative and difficult to work with. They said he would cover his cellphone camera with tape because he said he worried the government was tracking him.

"Andre did a lot of weird things," said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at the Chesapeake Walmart until recently, during an interview soon after the shooting. "Andre was an aggressive person."

Bing bought a 9mm handgun the morning of the attack and left behind a note alleging he was harassed and ridiculed by co-workers, according to police. In it, he wrote, "I was harassed by idiots with low intelligence and a lack of wisdom." wsj.com

If the Lights Go Off - Are Your Stores Aware of the Risk?
Attacks on Pacific north-west power stations raise fears for US electric grid
A string of attacks on power facilities in Oregon and Washington has caused alarm and highlighted the vulnerabilities of the US electric grid.

The attacks in the Pacific north-west come just days after a similar assault on North Carolina power stations that cut electricity to 40,000 people.

There have been at least six attacks, some of which involved firearms and caused residents to lose power. Two of the attacks shared similarities with the incident in Moore county, North Carolina, where two stations were hit by gunfire. Authorities have not yet revealed a motive for the North Carolina attack. yahoo.com

6 Million Workers for 10 Million Jobs
You're Hired! No Interview Required in Tight Labor Market

Some employers racing to snap up workers in the tight labor market are omitting a step once considered crucial to hiring: the job interview.

United Parcel Service Inc. has bulked up its staff without conducting job interviews for package handlers and seasonal drivers. Home Depot Inc. has sent job offers as quickly as 24 hours after candidates apply, in some cases eliminating the interview process. Gap Inc. has dropped job interviews for some warehousing positions.

Applications for seasonal roles at Macy's take as little as five minutes and a majority of job offers are made within 48 hours, said John Patterson, Macy's vice president of talent. "This speed is imperative during holiday hiring."

Job openings-at 10.3 million in October-far exceeded the 6.1 million unemployed Americans seeking work that month. A tight labor market during the pandemic rebound also has prompted employers to drop college-degree requirements as well as background checks and experience requirements.

Many businesses feel they have exhausted methods for attracting workers, including pay raises, signing bonuses and larger benefit packages, said Julia Pollak, chief economist at jobs site ZipRecruiter. Now, their focus is on moving fast.

"Speed is the number one way companies are competing for hourly workers at the moment, especially for the holiday season," Ms. Pollak said. wsj.com

How Costco keeps the peace with its employees
Washington-based company has quietly emerged as a leader on another critical issue that dominated the retail sector in 2022 - labor relations and the employee push to unionize.

Costco, Yahoo Finance's 2022 Company of the Year, has managed to separate itself from the pack, building on a reputation as one of the friendliest places to work in retail.

According to data from Glassdoor, Costco employees rated the company a 4 out of 5, putting it well ahead of competitors like Sam's Club and Target (TGT), Amazon, and Walmart.

"They've set a higher entry-level wage, more full-time jobs, more access to employee benefits, and generally, probably better working conditions as well," said William Brucher, an assistant teaching professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University. "A lot of that has to do with Costco's business model, in that it makes most of its profit on memberships."  yahoo.com

Here's One for the Good Guys
Sounds like special forces & the FBI went in and snatched Masud

Alleged Pan Am 103 Lockerbie bomb maker Abu Agila Masud in US custody

Abu Agila Masud is in custody two years after the US announced charges against him for making the bomb that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988 is in custody in the United States.

US officials did not say how Masud came to be taken into US custody, but in late November, local Libyan media reported that Masud had been kidnapped by armed men on November 16 from his residence in Tripoli. (Wonder who did that?)

On November 21, Najla Mangoush, the foreign minister for the country's Tripoli-based government, told the BBC in an interview that "we, as a government, are very open in terms of collaboration in this matter," when asked whether an extradition was possible. abc.net.au

Editor's Note: Had to go outside U.S. to get the story on how Masud ended up in a U.S. prison and I know this is nothing to do with retail. But I remember the bombing and we don't hear enough about the wins of our federal law enforcement. The long arms of U.S. law enforcement. As this is the exact same case with the majority of the Eastern European and Russian hackers that are sitting in U.S. federal prisons now. Gus Downing

Retail Wire's #2 article last week & the Daily's #1:
Will persistent theft compel Walmart to raise prices or close stores?
CFO Dive: US could skirt recession, former Fed economist says

Business survey: Holiday parties hovering near pre-pandemic low.

Quarterly Results

Lululemon Q3 store comp's up 14%, DTC up 31%, revenue up 28%

Costco Q3 comp's up 6.6%, revenue up 8%

RH Q3 revenue down 13.6%

Chewy Q3 revenue up 14.5%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, Global Security Intelligence job posted for Bose in Framingham, MA
The Director of Global Security Intelligence plans strategy, provides direction, and oversees coordination of activities that reduce security risk management to protect our most valuable assets by providing guidance to the business on embedding security controls into business processes. The goal is to leverage security intelligence to improve processes and controls that prevent the predictable while preparing for the unexpected. Global Security Intelligence (GSI) aids both regulatory and internal policy compliance by analyzing and proactively monitoring diverse information across the enterprise, providing accountability, transparency, and measurability. boseallaboutme.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com

Last week's #1 article --

Walmart Crime Closures Coming?
Walmart Prices Could Rise, Stores May Close Due to Theft, CEO Tells CNBC

Double whammy of store closures & price hikes could come amid theft surge, Walmart CEO says

Walmart Inc. could raise prices or close stores if a lack of prosecution for thefts under a certain level aren't corrected over time, said Chief Executive Doug McMillon on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"Theft is an issue. It's higher than what it's historically been," said Mr. McMillon.

The retailer's CEO said safety and security measures are in place by store location. Local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is also part of the equation and how Walmart normally approaches the issue, said Mr. McMillon.

Walmart isn't the only retailer contending with theft. Best Buy Co., Home Depot Inc., and Target Corp. in recent months have said the issue is affecting their operations as well.

Theft at stores - or what is known in the industry as "shrinkage" - has risen beyond historical averages, McMillon said. He urged state and local law enforcement to beef up prosecution of theft incidents.

"If that is not corrected, over time prices will be higher and stores will close," McMillon said.  dailymail.co.uk

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Fight Organized Retail Crime with ALL TAG Box Seals, Overlays, and Q Guards

The video above highlights some of ALL-TAG's latest innovations such as the AM or RF Q-Guard, Overlay, Box Seal, and Non-EAS Box Seal. All of these solutions can be fully customized with store logos, deterrent messages, if found elsewhere, please call messages, store numbers, and much more.

ALL-TAG's Q-Guard will be completely new to shoplifters, and they will quickly learn that it cannot be removed from a product without irreparably damaging the packaging, and thus significantly reducing the resale value of the product. This, of course, will deter Organized Retail Crime attempts. The Q-Guard will also be very effective against common theft, as the RF or AM label underneath is very well protected. The Q-Guard does not have an unlocking or removal mechanism like those of hard tags, spider wraps, and keepers. Therefore, shoplifters cannot use magnetic detachers they bought online to remove a Q-Guard. The Q-Guard allows retailers to openly display the well protected merchandise, it does not require additional shelf space, and it will not interfere with the shopping experience. The Q-Guard does not need to be removed at the point of sale, so regular checkout and self-checkout processes are quick and easy.

ALL-TAG's Overlays allow RF and AM labels to do their job by protecting them from being removed from merchandise inside retail stores. The Overlays are built with a combination of unique material and aggressive adhesive that makes them the most tamper resistant Overlays on the market.

ALL-TAG's Box Seals offer the same benefits as the Overlays, but they also seal both ends of the product packaging. Shoplifters cannot remove the product from the package, or insert additional or more expensive products inside of the packaging.

For retail stores that aren't currently equipped with EAS technology, we recommend using Non-EAS Box Seals to keep packages completed sealed.

To find out more about ALL-TAG's solutions, please visit https://all-tag.com/.






Ex-CEO of Stamford Data-Security Firm Protegrity, Pleads Guilty to $10.4M Fraud
DOJ: Tech Company CEO Pleads Guilty To Defrauding His Former Employer
SUNI MUNSHANI, the former Chief Executive Officer of a Connecticut-based technology company (the "Victim Company"), pled guilty today in Manhattan federal court in connection with a scheme to defraud the Victim Company of millions of dollars. Pursuant to his plea agreement with the Government, MUNSHANI agreed to pay $10,485,043 in restitution to the Victim Company.

AdvertisementU.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: "Not even a year into his appointment as CEO, Suni Munshani began betraying his employer's trust and breaking the law, stealing millions of dollars to line his pockets.

Between 2011 and 2019, SUNI MUNSHANI was the CEO of the Victim Company, which provided data security services to its clients. Within six months of his appointment as CEO, MUNSHANI and others began an approximately nine-year scheme to defraud the Victim Company. During the scheme, MUNSHANI created an email account associated with a purported third-party contractor controlled by MUNSHANI and used that email account to correspond with the Victim Company and to obtain payments from the Victim Company totaling at least approximately $3 million dollars for services that were never provided to the Victim Company. He also caused the Victim Company to issue a $3.5 million check for a purported tax liability, which check MUNSHANI then deposited into an unauthorized bank account created by MUNSHANI in the name of the Victim Company.

In addition, MUNSHANI defrauded the Victim Company through fraudulent licensing and reseller agreements between the Victim Company and two other companies (the "Licensing Company" and the "Reseller Company," respectively). Among other things, MUNSHANI instructed another individual to set up the Reseller Company "in the same way as [the Licensing Company]," and then helped create and submit fraudulent invoices from the Reseller Company to the Victim Company.

MUNSHANI, 61, of Easton, Connecticut, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

On Protegrity's website: Our customers span a huge range of industries, including the largest US and European retail chains and many of the world's largest credit card companies. Under Munshani's leadership, the firm helped clients repel the global WannaCry cyber attack that struck in the spring of 2017.  justice.gov stamfordadvocate.com

Key Security Announcements From AWS re:Invent 2022
At AWS re:Invent last week, the cloud giant previewed security services including Amazon Security Lake for security telemetry, Verified Permissions for developers, and a VPN bypass service.
Cloud threats will continue to grow and proliferate in 2023, but organizations can meet the challenges head-on with the right security fundamentals in place, Amazon Web Services CISO CJ Moses said during AWS re:Invent 2022 conference last week.

The volume of DDoS events in AWS between January and September of this year rose 35% compared with the same period in 2021. AWS saw a 256% increase in compromised instances compared with the fourth quarter of 2021.

AWS unveiled new security tools to help enterprise security teams with analyzing security telemetry, permissions management, and key management. darkreading.com

Reducing the Blast Radius of a Breach
Cisco Survey Reveals Increased Focus on Cybersecurity Resilience
A global survey of 4,700 IT professionals published this week by Cisco found the leading types of incidents were network or data breaches (52%) followed closely by network or system outages (51%), ransomware events (47%) and distributed denial-of-service attacks (46%).

Overall, the survey found 62% of organizations experienced a security event that impacted business in the past two years in the form of IT and communications interruption (63%), supply chain disruption (43%), impaired internal operations (41%) and lasting brand damage (40%).

Not surprisingly, a full 96% of respondents said security resilience is now a high priority, the survey found.

Organizations that reported poor security support from the C-suite scored 39% lower than those with strong executive support, while businesses that reported an excellent security culture scored 46% higher on average.

Focusing on resilience enables organizations to reduce not just the number of breaches but also the blast radius of a breach once it occurs. In fact, the best cybersecurity professionals are opting to work for organizations that have a reasonable expectation of what level of cybersecurity can really be attained and maintained, she noted. At a time when demand for cybersecurity expertise remains high, Nather noted that the culture of an organization matters. securityboulevard.com

Information Week: Special Report: Privacy in the Data-Driven Enterprise
An entire week of coverage devoted to the question: How do we give privacy back to the people when customer data is now the coin of the realm and the fuel that powers business?

This week we're devoting coverage to all the various complications of having data privacy survive in a data-driven world, and shining light on the tools and technologies that can enhance privacy while continuing business.

Here's our complete lineup of articles: informationweek.com

Business Email Compromise & Credit Card Fraud Gang Arrested
Four Defendants Arrested For $9.2M Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme
JOEL ZUBAID, DAVID GORAN, JULIAN REBIGA, a/k/a "Iulian Rebiga," and MARTIN MIZRAHI, a/k/a "Marty Mizrahi" (collectively, the "Defendants"), were arrested for participating in a scheme to defraud businesses, banks, and individuals of more than $9.2 million through business email compromise and credit card fraud schemes.

"Joel Zubaid, David Goran, Julian Rebiga, and Martin Mizrahi from California and Las Vegas worked together on multiple schemes that included fleecing legitimate businesses by using compromised email accounts. In tricking them into sending millions of dollars to the defendants' own bank accounts and using stolen identities and credit card information, they were able to fraudulently charge millions of dollars through business that they controlled. Today, thanks to the efforts of this Office and our law enforcement partners, they now face serious federal charges and justice."

In addition, during the same time period, the Defendants participated in a scheme to fraudulently submit more than $3.8 million in charges using stolen credit card information, without the authorization or consent of the card holders. The charges were conducted through point-of-sale credit card machines associated with companies controlled by MIZRAHI and REBIGA. justice.gov







No More Free Online Returns
The age of free online returns is ending

Trying to recoup lost costs, more retailers are charging shoppers for mail-back returns

Retailers have subtly discouraged such multi-size ordering - a process known as bracketing - and returns in general by omitting shipping labels from delivery packages even as they continue to give full refunds when customers brought merchandise back.

Now, they're showing a bit more candor. Several major chains, including Anthropologie, Zara, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew charge $4 to $7.50 to restock merchandise or for a return label.

"Honestly, I have been waiting for this for a long time and have been advocating for it," said Sender Shamiss, the chief executive at returns management provider goTRG.

Returns are wasteful from both financial and environmental perspectives, and worsen the inventory glut that has been plaguing retailers for months. They're also pervasive: 78 percent of shoppers have returned at least one online purchase, according to a survey by parcelLab, a global returns management platform.

Meanwhile, the company's internal data showed that Americans returned 47 percent of their online purchases so far this year. That's roughly 23.2 million items. Globally, the number of returns is up 13 percent from 2021 levels.

Companies also have more incentive to drop free returns in this era of persistently high inflation and economic uncertainty, which have made shoppers savvier and more selective. The nation's largest chains have resorted to steep discounts to offload the excess products and apparel piling up in their warehouses. That, along with increasing labor costs and high gas prices, are hollowing out their margins. washingtonpost.com

Layoffs, buyouts, and rescinded offers
Amazon's status as a top tech employer is taking a hit

A leaked memo shows Amazon was concerned with attracting and retaining top engineers earlier this year.

The problem with looking for deeper meaning in Amazon's recent moves - beyond what we already know about its leaders being leery about the future of the economy and that they bet that a pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom would continue longer than it did - was that Amazon has been in a league of its own as a hiring machine. Between 2019 and 2021, Amazon doubled its employee count, adding 800,000 employees in just two years, including warehouse employees. Amazon now also has more than 300,000 tech and corporate employees across the globe.

"No company had hired like Amazon had in the previous decade," said Amazon's former head of communications, Craig Berman, who left the company in 2018 after 14 years. "And so I hesitate to even start to guess at what this could mean because there is nothing historical to base the reaction on."

As a result, the bewilderment felt by employees and would-be future employees in the wake of the layoffs and job rescissions is understandable, Berman said, especially since the company has not had major job cuts in more than 20 years and largely kept its foot on the gas even during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. vox.com

5 tips for safe online shopping over the holiday season

Tip Your Amazon Driver Through Alexa. It Won't Cost You a Dime







CC/Gift Card Fraud Ring Leader Hitting Stores in D.C. Area Facing From 2 to 196 Years in Federal Prison
DOJ: Jury Convicts D.C. Woman for Credit Card Fraud Scheme Involving Hundreds of Victims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A federal jury convicted a Washington, D.C. woman today on multiple charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, trafficking in unauthorized access devices, aggravated identity theft, unlawful possession of 15 or more access devices, and possession of access device-making equipment with intent to defraud.

Adiam Berhane, 50, carried out a fraud scheme from at least 2013 to 2016 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area involving stolen credit card information that was used to purchase gift cards, expensive luxury goods, and other items from local retail stores. Berhane worked with multiple co-conspirators, including Keith Lemons, 55 of Clinton, Maryland; Tiffany Younger, 50 of Washington, D.C.; and an unindicted co-conspirator (UCC-1), to steal the identities of residents of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and elsewhere, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses to area retailers and financial institutions.

The conspiracy created fraudulent payment cards using credit card manufacturing equipment that investigators found in the apartment that Berhane shared with UCC-1. Berhane would obtain stolen credit card information from the internet and provide it to UCC-1, who would then manufacture the cards, which Berhane then distributed to co-conspirators for use at area stores.

Berhane played a central role in the conspiracy. She bought the stolen card information. She managed the distribution of the fraudulent payment cards. She advised Lemons and Younger on how to carry out fraud in particular stores and decided how Lemons and Younger would be compensated. As part of the scheme, items purchased with victims' credit card information would sometimes be returned for refunds to bank accounts that Berhane controlled, including her personal account and the accounts of Caffe Aficionado, a coffee shop in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington that Berhane owned and operated with UCC-1.

Lemons and Younger previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and are awaiting sentencing. Berhane faces a mandatory minimum penalty of two years in prison and a maximum penalty of 196 years in prison when sentenced on March 15, 2023. justice.gov

Tustin, CA: 6 suspects arrested in April smash-and-grab robbery at jewelry store
After a six-month investigation, six people have been arrested and charged in a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Tustin. The robbery happened in April at The Jewelry Exchange near the 15000 block of Tustin Village Way. Surveillance video from the incident shows the suspects armed with hammers and tire irons smashing the glass counters. Police said they got away with $87,000 of jewelry. Detectives with the Tustin Police Department served several search warrants since then in coordination with the Long Beach Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Orange County District Attorney's Office, which resulted in the arrest of all six suspects. The first suspect, Nasadi Milton, was taken into custody in July and the second, Trayvonte Washington, was arrested in August. The remaining four suspects, identified as Masiah Pagota, Naheim Milton, Cameron Smith, and Gregory Edison, were all taken into custody throughout the last three months. The Orange County DA's office filed felony criminal charges against all six suspects, including armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.  abc7.com

Washington County, OR: Shoplifting operation nets six suspects; thousands of dollars in merch and drugs recovered
On Friday, December 9, 2022, deputies and detectives from the Washington County Sheriff's Office partnered with local loss prevention employees to saturate a specific area and deter retail theft. They watched people who were actively shoplifting or engaging in other criminal activity. The objective was a concerted effort to identify, apprehend, and hold people accountable for committing retail theft at a Beaverton Target store. The eight-hour shoplifting detail resulted in six arrests, the recovery of illegal narcotics, and the clearing of several outstanding arrest warrants. During the operation, deputies recovered thousands of dollars in merchandise and 35 blue "M30" Oxycodone pills, which likely contained fentanyl. Many of the arrested persons appeared to have prior knowledge of how to interrupt retail anti-theft devices, worked in pairs to conceal stolen property, or left their vehicles running in the parking lot for a quick escape. One suspect also admitted to having stolen property from another retail store located in Mall 205 in Portland. jamn1075.iheart.com

Fresno, CA: 2 women arrested after stealing from Kohl's in Northwest Fresno
Two women were arrested Saturday afternoon after investigators say they stole from a Kohl's shopping center in Northwest Fresno. CHP Central Division Investigators were called out to Kohl's on Shaw and Brawley Avenues around 2:30 p.m. for reports that two women had run out of the store with multiple bags of clothes. Investigators say they were able to get a detailed description of the car the women took off in, and quickly found them and pulled them over. The two women were both arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, grand theft, and organized retail theft. kmph.com

Madisonville, KY: Couple tries to steal iPads from Walmart using a crowbar
There was no honor among alleged shoplifters at Walmart Dec. 8 after one tripped and fell and the other kept running. Madisonville Police Officer Travis Gunter said he was sent to the store on Highway 411 just after 10 p.m. on a call of man using a crowbar to try and break into a cabinet containing Ipads. Gunter said when he and other officers arrived on the scene, they went in the back entrance to try and catch the offenders by surprise, but when the man and woman saw the officers, they took off running. advocateanddemocrat.com

Memphis, TN: Four women sought for Nordstrom theft

Beloit, WI: Police looking for suspect in multiple grocery store thefts

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Shootings & Deaths

Chicago, IL: Chicago bar mass shooting leaves 3 dead after gunman fires hail of bullets at group after a dispute & escapes in an SUV
Three people are dead and one more is critically injured after a mass shooting took place outside a Chicago bar. A verbal altercation broke out on Sunday at around 2.26am, in a bar in Belmont Cragin on the Northwest Side of Chicago, Illinois, police said The fight then went outside and a man then started shooting, hitting at least four victims. One man, 59, was struck in the head and chest. He died at the scene. A 26-year-old man died later at the hospital after being shot multiple times. Another victim that was hit multiple times - a 24-year-old woman - also died at the hospital. The fourth victim, identified as a 25-year-old woman, was struck in the head. She was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. the-sun.com

Harris County, TX: 1 teen dead, 1 critically injured after attempted Gas Station Robbery
Officials are investigating a scene where one teen has died and another is in critical condition after an attempted robbery in north Harris County, officials said. According to officials, Precinct 4 deputies were called to the 19800 block of Kenswick Drive about two teenagers being shot. Preliminary information states the two, 15 and 16-year-old teens, approached a man coming out of a store and attempted to rob him. According to police, a friend of the man being robbed saw what was happening, got out of his car, and shot the two teenagers, according to Sergeant Jason Brown with HCSO's homicide division. Deputies said that both teens were transported in critical condition to the hospital, where the 16-year-old was pronounced dead. Officials said that both the man and his friend are cooperating with the police. abc13.com

Montgomery, AL: 1 dead, 1 critical in Montgomery shooting near AutoZone
One man is dead and another was wounded in a Sunday afternoon shooting in Montgomery. The Montgomery Police Department, which has a policy of not naming businesses targeted in a crime, confirmed only that the incident happened in the 2500 block of East South Boulevard. A WSFA 12 News crew found an active scene at AutoZone, which is in the same area. Authorities said one man was pronounced dead at the scene while another was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. wsfa.com

Stonecrest, GA: 14-year-old injured by gunfire at Stonecrest Mall
A teenager was injured in a shooting at Stonecrest Mall in DeKalb County on Saturday evening. It happened around 2:21 p.m., DeKalb County Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at Stonecrest Mall. When they arrived, they found a 14-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to his lower leg, according to police. The teen was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Initial reports suggest that the gunshot wound may have been self-inflicted, police said. One woman was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries after she was hurt in a crowd of people who fled from the mall after gunfire rang out, according to authorities. 11alive.com

Houston, TX: Security guard hospitalized after being shot at southwest Houston game room

Knoxville, TN: No shooting at West Towne Mall on Saturday, sounds from construction crew


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Dearborn, MI: Customer pulls gun at Dearborn Walmart after pickup order takes too long
A customer allegedly pulled a gun while waiting for a pickup order at Walmart on Mercury Drive in Dearborn Dec. 3. The customer had placed the order online, and was waiting in the parking lot when they got upset at the wait time. According to TCD Dearborn, Walmart employees said the customer got upset and brandished a firearm, yelling at employees for taking too long. The customer then fled the store once Walmart employees called 911. msn.com

Brick Township, NJ: Man With Large Knife Taken Down By Police Inside Walmart
Police in Brick Township responded to the local Walmart store after a loss prevention officer called 9-1-1 regarding an erratic man with a knife inside the store. In reaction to the threat, the store was evacuated. At around 2:40 pm, officers arrived to find David Brennan, 32, holding a large switchblade or folding-style knife. Described by police as "acting threatening and erratic," the department said Brennan refused to obey their commands. After a few minutes, backup police officers arrived and after negotiations with Brennan failed, officers decided to move in and force Brennan physically to the ground. He was arrested, and the charges are unknown at this time. shorenewsnetwork.com

State Police Investigate 'Distraction Thefts' at Erie County Walmart Stores
Pennsylvania State Police are asking for assistance to identify the suspects in a series of what investigators are calling "distraction thefts" at the Walmart stores in Erie County, according to Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers. They happened at the Walmart locations on Buffalo Rd. in Harborcreek or Downs Dr. in Summit Township on Dec. 1 between 3 and 5 p.m. The three suspects in the pictures went to both stores and stole wallets from three elderly female victims, investigators said. One man served as a lookout while the female suspect distracted the victims, and the other male suspect stole the victims' purses, according to State Police. erienewsnow.com

London, England: Smash and grab luxury watch theft increases worldwide
In London the number of knifepoint robberies surged 60% between May and June, while in Paris, a police task force dedicated to stopping luxury watch theft has grown to 30 agents. While there are no national statistics on watch theft, authorities in major cities have reported spikes. London's Metropolitan Police Service launched an operation this summer to address the problem after the number of knifepoint robberies surged 60% between May and June. In Paris, a police task force dedicated to stopping luxury watch theft has grown to 30 agents. "This is a top priority for us, and we have already made a number of arrests," said London Detective Chief Superintendent Owain Richards. businesslive.co.za

Police Look to Identify Suspect in Millcreek Mall Retail Theft Case

Polk County, FL: Gas station employee accused of stealing nearly $1k worth of scratch-off tickets

Moscow, Russia: Fire Engulfs Another Moscow Mall, 2nd Such Fire in 4 Days



 Beauty - San Francisco, CA - Burglary
 C-Store - Baton Rouge, LA - Burglary
 C-Store - Sioux Falls, ID - Armed Robbery
 Clothing - Seattle, WA - Burglary
 Clothing - Fresno, CA - Robbery
 Dollar - Gloucester Township, NJ - Robbery
 Dollar - New York, NY - Armed Robbery
 Gas Station - New York, NY - Armed Robbery
 Gas Station - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery / 1 Susp killed
 Gaming - Houston, TX - Armed Robbery / Guard wounded
 Grocery - Brooklyn, NY - Armed Robbery
 Hotel - Royal Oak Township, MI - Robbery
 Jewelry - Lafyette, IN - Robbery
 Jewelry - Joliet, IL - Robbery
 Jewelry - Ft Smith, AR - Robbery
 Jewelry - Concord, CA - Robbery
 Jewelry - Jonesboro, AR - Robbery
 Jewelry - Yorktown Heights, NY - Burglary
 Jewelry - Des Moines, IA - Burglary
 Restaurant - Jacksonville, FL - Armed Robbery / emp stabbed
 Walmart - Madisonville, KY - Robbery
 Target - Beaverton, OR - Robbery


Daily Totals:
• 17 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 2 shootings
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map



David Carreno named Area Asset Protection Manager for Gap

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Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - posted December 9
The Manager of Asset Protection & Safety Operations is responsible for the physical security, safety compliance and reduction of shrinkage for Party City Holdings, by successfully managing Asset Protection (AP) Safety programs for all PCHI locations...

Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst
Boston - Framingham, MA - posted December 2
As a Loss Prevention Auditor and Fraud Detection Analyst for Staples, you will conduct LP operational field audits remote, virtual and in person, within a base of 60 retail stores to ensure compliance to operational standards to drive operational excellence and preserve profitability...

District Asset Protection Manager
Los Angeles, CA - posted November 17
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture. Oversees Asset Protection Programs by providing leadership and guidance to Asset Protection teams and General Managers on methods to successfully execute programs in stores...

District Asset Protection Manager
Phoenix, AZ - posted November 17
As the District Asset Protection Manager you will lead administration of Asset Protection programs and training for an assigned district in order to drive sales, profits, and a customer service culture. Oversees Asset Protection Programs by providing leadership and guidance to Asset Protection teams and General Managers on methods to successfully execute programs in stores...

Asset Protection Associate
D.C. Area - posted November 4
The Asset Protection Associate (APA) is responsible for the detection, apprehension, or deterrence of customer and associate activity that could result in a loss to Ralph Lauren. APAs are also responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all customers, associates, and vendors. APAs promote and monitor compliance to Polo Ralph Lauren policies and procedures related to theft prevention, safety, and inventory control...

Asset Protection Associate
Riverhead, NY - posted November 4
The Asset Protection Associate (APA) is responsible for the detection, apprehension, or deterrence of customer and associate activity that could result in a loss to Ralph Lauren. APAs are also responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all customers, associates, and vendors. APAs promote and monitor compliance to Polo Ralph Lauren policies and procedures related to theft prevention, safety, and inventory control...

District Loss Prevention Manager - Seattle District
Seattle, WA - posted October 31
DICK'S Sporting Goods is seeking a Big Box Retail District Loss Prevention Manager to oversee LP functions in the Seattle district. You will be responsible for driving company objectives in profit and loss control, sales performance, customer satisfaction, and shrink results. District LP Managers are responsible for leading LP functions within a specific operations district and for collaborating with Store Operations and HR in an effort to prevent company loss...

Store Loss Prevention Manager
Sunnyvale, CA - posted October 31
Store Loss Prevention Managers are responsible for leading Loss Prevention functions within a specific location and for partnering with Store Operations in an effort to prevent company loss. You will be responsible for driving company objectives in profit and loss control, sales performance, customer satisfaction, and shrink results...

Field Loss Prevention Manager
Seattle, WA - posted September 27
The Field Loss Prevention Manager (FLPM) coordinates Loss Prevention and Safety Programs intended to protect Staples assets and ensure a safe work environment within Staples Retail locations. FLPM's are depended on to be an expert in auditing, investigating, and training...

Sr. Manager, Brand & Asset Protection - West
Pacific Northwest or California - posted August 29
As the Senior Manager of Brand and Asset Protection for North America, you will part of an innovative Asset Protection team, whose mission is to prevent, identify and mitigate risks to our business. You will support with the creation of foundational asset protection programming and will lead its delivery to our North American store base...

Region AP Manager (Florida - Treasure Coast Market)
Jacksonville, FL - posted June 17
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...

Corporate Risk Manager
Seattle, WA / Tacoma, WA / Portland, OR - posted June 14
Summary of Role and Responsibilities: A proactive approach to preventing losses/injuries, whether to our employees, third parties, or customer's valuables. They include but are not limited to cash in transit, auto losses, or injuries....

Loss Prevention Specialists (Store Detective)
Albany, NY; Hyannis, MA; Burlington, VT; Hartford, CT
- posted May 6
Detect and respond to external theft and fraud by working undercover within the store(s) you are assigned to. Working as a team with store management and associates in combating loss in the store(s). Developing and analyzing external theft trends, utilizing information in company reports and information gathered from store management and associates...

Retail Asset Protection Associate
Medford, MA; Brockton, MA; East Springfield, MA - posted May 6
The Asset Protection Greeter role is responsible for greeting all customers as they enter the store, ensuring that customers see the Company's commitment to provide a safe and secure shopping environment, as well as deterring theft, shoplifting, or other dishonest activities...


Regional Loss Prevention Auditor
Multiple Locations - posted April 20
The Regional Loss Prevention Auditor (RLPA) is responsible for conducting operational audits and facilitating training meetings in our clients' locations. The audit examines operational controls, loss prevention best practices, and customer service-related opportunities.

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Being engaged in the business of your retailer is a critical element for every Loss Prevention executive. For decades, our industry has often been accused of being silo'ed and separate from the operators and the merchants. This separateness in many cases ultimately leads to a disconnect, a sense that we aren't part of the team. Which in actuality, regardless of your performance, it can lead to your job being eliminated or just you being replaced with someone new. So the real question is: How do you become engaged in the business and truly add value to the company's success beyond reducing shrink? And then having the courage to go make it happen. We all tend to stay in our comfort zones and remain safe. At least that's what we think. But at the end of the day, it's that comfort zone that can actually increase your risk. So the next time you're in a corporate meeting or traveling stores with your operators or merchants, go beyond with your comments and opinions - take a risk - add some value - help them run the business - you might be surprised.

Just a Thought,

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