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National Retail Investigation Police Unit Focuses on Organized
& Violent Crime

More support against increasing levels of violence and aggression is coming for retailers, with an announcement from New Zealand Police that they will be setting up a National Retail Investigation Support Unit (Retail ISU). This is the first unit of its kind in this part of the world.

Data from Auror's Crime Intelligence Platform shows serious incidents within retail, such as robberies and assaults, have doubled in the last 12 months and aggression and violence has increased by almost 20% in the grocery sector alone.

"We've had knives pulled on our security teams three times in the last month" - grocery retailer

"We've had to adapt our training significantly to cater for more violence." - National Prevention Manager

"She presented the scissors and threatened us that if we try to stop them she will stab us. We backed off and let them go." - security guard

By utilising data from the Auror platform, police have come up with a new approach to focus on the small number of offenders who are responsible for the majority of the loss and aggression.

Auror Co-CEO Phil Thomson notes that "while only 1 in 10 shoplifters are repeat offenders, these repeat offenders account for half of all serious events and are
five times more likely to be violent or aggressive towards retail team members and customers".

The Retail ISU was announced by police at the Retail NZ Summit on In-store Violence and Anti-Social Behaviour on 8 November. Police have designed this unit to better collaborate with the retail industry. This will allow police and retailers to work together to focus their efforts on this violent and aggressive behaviour, making the community safer for everyone.

This collaboration and setup of the Retail ISU is supported by police leadership with Commissioner Andrew Coster sharing ...
Continue reading the full article here.

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Retailers' Two Choices: Boost Security or Shut Down
Shoplifting wave forces US retailers to bulk up security - or just close shop

Organised crime rings revive questions about policing and sentencing laws

This year the holiday merrymakers will have more company than usual after the property owner, Caruso, boosted its security presence at The Grove with
off-duty police and even special weapons and tactics team members.

The build-up comes after
a wave of smash-and-grab thefts in LA and across the US - including an attempted break-in at a Nordstrom store at The Grove in late November. About 20 suspects used hammers to try to beat through the retailer's storefront windows, but were slowed by the ballistic film that Caruso had installed to reinforce the glass. Three people were arrested.

It's a very healthy show of force," said Rick Caruso, the property developer who owns The Grove. He said he had trained the officers to seem friendly so as not to break the holiday spirit.

This wave of brazen, flash mob-style shoplifting has
amplified pressures on retailers already feeling the strain of supply chain problems and the pandemic-induced explosion in online shopping. It has intensified a heated national conversation about policing and sentencing laws in the US. And, company chiefs say, it has terrified their employees.

On Thursday, the heads of 20 retailers, including CVS, Home Depot and Target, wrote to Congressional leaders to urge them to act. "Criminal networks and unscrupulous businesses have exploited a system that protects their anonymity to sell unsafe, stolen, or counterfeit products with little legal recourse," they warned.

The retail chief executives admitted, however, that there was
"no simple answer" to the retail crimewave, which industry experts also attribute to police staffing, social dislocations such as the opioid epidemic and pandemic-era changes that have seen petty criminals released who would once have been held in custody pending payment of bail.

Until there is more co-ordination, Caruso is concerned that
smaller retailers will continue to struggle. "For people like myself with resources for security, that's one thing. But the majority of businesses are small businesses and depend on law enforcement for their security," he said. "That's the shame of it." ft.com

Snapchat and Other Apps Were Used to Plan Flash-Mob Thefts, Police Say

Suspects in recent crimes at Nordstrom, Best Buy and Louis Vuitton stores often don't know each other, making investigations difficult

SAN FRANCISCO-A recent rash of thefts by fast-moving mobs at stores in the Bay Area and outside Minneapolis were organized on social media and committed by people who often didn't know one another, according to law-enforcement officials investigating the incidents.

Snapchat was among the social-media apps and messaging services used by thieves in the Bay Area, one of the law-enforcement officials said.

The organizing tactics, which police say they haven't seen before, make it difficult to catch or identify perpetrators, that official said. When suspects are arrested, they often don't have names or information about others who were there.

"This isn't 'The Godfather' by any stretch," said Steve Wagstaffe, the San Mateo County, California, district attorney who is part of a newly formed alliance of Bay Area prosecutors tackling organized retail theft. "It's the modern version of '
Hey, there's a party tonight' and suddenly you have 100 kids showing up."

Three of the estimated 90 people who overran a Nordstrom Inc. store in the wealthy Bay Area suburb of Walnut Creek, Calif., on Nov. 20 have been arrested, according to Walnut Creek police. The thieves stole more than $100,000 of merchandise in one minute before escaping in 25 separate cars that had their license plates removed or covered, prosecutors said.

In San Francisco, five people were arrested in connection with the Nov. 19 smash-and-grab burglary by 20 to 40 people at a Louis Vuitton store, according to San Francisco prosecutors.

Police in the Minneapolis suburbs, where a large group of thieves hit three separate Best Buy Co. stores on Nov. 26, have identified some suspects but made no arrests, said Lt. Joe Steiner of the Maplewood Police Department.

All the incidents were organized on social media, according to local law enforcement.

Continue Reading on page 2

Smash-and-Grab Robbery Surge: Political Impact
Biden's approval rating on crime tanks amid rise in smash-and-grab robberies
President Biden's approval rating on crime has plummeted as
smash-and-grab lootings plague California and other areas of the country.

36% of Americans support Biden's handling of crimes, according to a ABC/Ipsos poll released Sunday. The percentage is down from an October ABC/Ipsos poll, which found 43% of people approved of Biden's handling of crime.

Smash-and-grab lootings have plagued
cities in California, as well as in Chicago and other areas of the country, in recent weeks. The Los Angeles Police Department is also warning residents of the skyrocketing incidents of "follow-home" robberies targeting victims in affluent areas. The national murder rate is also rising this year, jumping 30% since 2020.

Businesses have increased security in wake of the mob retail thefts and California Gov. Gavin Newsom has beefed up California Highway Patrol's presence at highly-tracked shopping areas this holiday shopping season. The White House has called videos of rampant smash-and-grabs "disturbing." foxnews.com

Atlanta boutique loses $100k in merchandise to burglars, slam crime crisis in US cities

Bongino blasts removal of plainclothes police: 'Criminals don't commit crimes in front of uniformed officers'



COVID Update

485.3M Vaccinations Given

US: 51M Cases - 819.3K Dead - 40.1M Recovered
Worldwide: 271.2M Cases - 5.3M Dead - 243.8M Recovered

Former Senior Loss Prevention Executive
Know of any fallen LP exec? Let's remember & recognize.

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 328   Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 548
*Red indicates change in total deaths

New COVID Variant Spreading Like Wildfire
Omicron in D.C., 30 U.S. states as variant poised to dominate in Europe
D.C. health officials said Sunday they have confirmed four unrelated cases of the omicron coronavirus variant. Three of the people had traveled within the United States; one had not.
All four were fully vaccinated.

Omicron was first identified in the region earlier this month, when three cases were detected in the Baltimore area.
The variant has been identified in at least 30 states, according to a Washington Post tally.

In South Africa, among the countries to first identify omicron, it has become the dominant virus variant. Officials in Europe said last week that omicron
could become the dominant variant in some countries there as soon as this week.

Omicron has been noted as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists say preliminary data suggests it
may cause milder cases of covid-19 than the delta variant. washingtonpost.com

Kroger Says No Emergency Leave for Unvaccinated Workers
Kroger to End Some Covid-19 Benefits for Unvaccinated Workers

Grocery chain to remove paid emergency leave for unvaccinated employees who contract Covid-19, add $50 monthly health surcharge for some staff

Kroger Co. is
eliminating some Covid-19 benefits for unvaccinated employees, a move to encourage inoculations as the Biden administration's vaccine mandate faces legal challenges.

The Cincinnati-based grocery chain told employees last week that
it will no longer provide two weeks of paid emergency leave for unvaccinated employees who contract Covid-19, unless local jurisdictions require otherwise. Kroger will also add a $50 monthly surcharge to company health plans for unvaccinated managers and other nonunion employees, according to a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Both policies are effective Jan. 1, the memo said.

Kroger, one of the biggest employers in the U.S. with
almost half a million full-time and part-time employees, is tightening pandemic-related policies for workers as U.S. businesses face continued uncertainty over federal vaccination mandates. Rules issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in November require employers with 100 or more workers to ensure employees are vaccinated or take weekly Covid-19 tests by Jan. 4.

Whether those rules, which were targeted by lawsuits across the country, will take effect is uncertain. Last week, a U.S. court blocked the plan to mandate vaccines for federal contractors.
General Electric Co. and others have since suspended vaccine requirements for employees. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati is considering whether to reinstate the administration's rules for employers. wsj.com

Another State Reimposes Mask Mandate
California to reimpose statewide indoor mask mandate as omicron arrives
The state of California will once again require that all residents - regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status - wear masks indoors.

In a news release, California Health and Human Services announced that the mandate will apply to all indoor settings beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and last at least until Jan. 15, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases since Thanksgiving.

Some counties, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa in the Bay Area, as well as Los Angeles County, have been enforcing an indoor mask mandate since the summer. Marin County recently dropped its mask mandate and announced that given its high vaccination rate, would no longer use case rates to set COVID-19 policy, and instead rely on hospitalization data.

"We think it's important at this stage to reorient what we're most concerned about, which is severe illness and death," said Marin County health officer Dr. Matt Willis. "Cases are increasingly mild, so we have shifted towards a more benign form of COVID-19 infection and disease based on vaccination rates." sfgate.com

Philly Enacts Strict Vax Mandate
Philadelphia Implementing COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement For Food, Drink Establishments Beginning Jan. 3, 2022
COVID-19 vaccination proof
will be required to dine at Philadelphia bars and restaurants beginning in 2022, Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole announced Monday morning. The vaccination mandate will go into effect beginning Jan. 3, 2022 in order to give establishments that serve food and beverages a chance to get ready.

New cases and hospitalizations are rising in Philadelphia and nationally, and with winter we must do more to protect our residents," Mayor Jim Kenney said. All establishments that serve food and drinks for customers to sit and enjoy will have to require proof of vaccination for entry.

The mandate
applies to indoor restaurants, bars, sports venues, cafes, casinos, movie theaters, and anywhere else that serves food or beverages where customers can sit down to enjoy them.

The mandate will be implemented in phases. From Jan. 3 to 17, restaurants and bars may choose to accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry. After the 17th, negative tests will no longer be accepted and all customers must be fully vaccinated in order to enter. This means they must have either a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. philadelphia.cbslocal.com

Retail Struggles Across the Pond Amid New COVID Measures
UK Government's Covid Plan B Deals 'Hammer Blow' To London West End Retail
London's embattled West End has been dealt a
"hammer blow" in its bid to recoup from a disastrous year as the U.K. government prepares to push through more stringent Covid measures in a so-called "Plan B" initiative.

The government's new measures will
require mask to be worn in most indoor locations and on public transport, while it has issued a work from home advisory that saw already depressed commuter numbers fall by a fifth this morning.

The moves come at a time when South African Covid variant omicron shows every sign of sweeping through the U.K. and the CEO of
New West End Company - the organization that represents 600 brands, restaurants and businesses in the West End - reacted with dismay to the news.

Jace Tyrrell said: "While our top priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues, and we fully support mandatory mask wearing in shops, the renewed work from home order during the most important trading period of the year is
a hammer blow for our retail and leisure tenants. Many businesses have committed time and money in their Christmas plans in a bid to make up for last year's losses - vital investment that they won't be able to recoup." forbes.com

Have Offices Stopped Shrinking?
February May Be the Month Workers Start Returning
A new Cushman & Wakefield report found high office vacancy rates continues to improve both nationally and locally.

They predict
February as the inflection point in the U.S. regarding back to the office returns. They noted, though, that U.S. office rental rates probably will not inch toward normal until late 2022 or 2023.

"Every week in October, and through November, has represented a new post-pandemic high for the proportion of workers frequenting the office," said Cushman & Wakefield in its "
Has the Tide Turned Yet?" office report issued Tuesday.

Target caused concern for downtown when it announced earlier this year it would give up and sublease nearly 1 million square feet of office space in Minneapolis' City Center as it moved employees there to a hybrid work model. City leaders feared other employers would follow and permanently shrink their office needs.

Companies with sizable downtown offices such as Target, Thrivent, Ernst & Young and Fredrikson & Byron say they have embraced a hybrid work method that will allow many office workers to return to the office part time and work remotely from home some days a week even after the pandemic ends.

In some cases, businesses will need their same office footprint,
but will focus on offering "enhanced" employee experiences that include first-class amenities, services, wellness classes and first-rate technologies. startribune.com

Future of Work: Requiring workers to return to the office is a 'doomed approach'
Slack's CEO Stewart Butterfield says the future of work is being dictated by workers who want more flexibility and better tech tools.

Pfizer antiviral reduces hospitalization, death among high-risk people by 89%



Retail Trends 2022
What Americans Want From Retailers
Attest, a consumer research platform for the world's biggest brands, has released new data on the retail trends that are likely to shape 2022. The research is found within the second annual US Consumer Trends report that tracks sentiment and behaviors ahead of the new year.

Key findings include:

1. Overall, it's bad news for Main Street when it comes to Americans' shopping habits: Coming into 2022, is the online/offline split returning to normal now that physical stores are back open again? Attest's research indicates that Americans still favor online shopping, with 37 percent saying they "mostly" or "always" shop online for products (excluding food), versus 32 percent who primarily shop in-store. Meanwhile, 30 percent split their shopping between online and offline.

2. Millennials are the demographic most likely to favor online shopping: Nearly half (45 percent) of Millennials are now "mostly" or "always" shopping online. This compares to 40 percent of Gen Z, 36 percent of Gen X, and 24.5 percent of Boomers. Boomers are the only demographic to favor shopping in-store - 49 percent say they shop primarily in-store for non-food products.

3. Shopping has become our favorite national pastime: But there's some good news for the retail industry - the activity that Americans are most likely to be doing frequently going into 2022 is shopping; 60 percent of respondents say they go shopping weekly or daily. In comparison, only 29 percent are doing a sporting activity with this frequency, and 22 percent are going to a group, club or class.

4. Supermarkets are still tops for food shopping, despite increasing online options: Despite the growth in same-day online delivery from supermarkets, Americans still prefer to shop for groceries the old-fashioned way. Six in 10 (60 percent) prefer to shop in-store, versus 21 percent that primarily purchases groceries online. A further 19 percent split their food shopping between online and offline. Boomers are the most wedded to the supermarket, with 81 percent always or mostly shopping there (only 9 percent favor online shopping). By contrast, the most likely to shop for food online are Millennials; 29 percent favor it.  theshelbyreport.com

Best Reputations in Retail
Study: Bath & Body Works, Ace Hardware among retailers with best reputations

Customer service can make - or break - the shopping experience.

That's according to reputation experience management company Reputation's "
2021 Retail Reputation Report." The study, which examined 3.7 million shopper reviews across the U.S. and the U.K., ranks the top U.S. brands of 2021 based on shopper sentiment.

The top spot was taken by
Bath & Body Works, which had the highest reputation score - 629 - of every retailer studied. It has built a very loyal fan base and its customers love talking about its products on social, the study noted. (The score is determined based on multiple factors measuring overall review sentiment in review sites, business listing accuracy and other indicators that reflect consumers' experiences and opinions - both online and on-site.)

Ace Hardware was a close second, with a reputation score of 627, followed by Nordstrom, at 618. Rounding out the top five were Verizon, at 615, and Costco, at 607. (See end of article for the complete top 20 listing.) chainstoreage.com

Union Push Grows After Successful Buffalo Starbucks Vote
Boston Starbucks Workers Push to Unionize After New York Win

Starbucks workers at cafes on Commonwealth Avenue and Harvard Street sent the letter after a store in Buffalo, New York, successfully unionized last week, a first for the 50-year-old coffee retailer in the U.S.

Employees at
two Boston-area Starbucks locations filed paperwork to unionize Monday, just days after employees of the chain in New York state became the first in the country to form one of their own.

Organizers are hoping the call to
unionize in the Boston-area will encourage all local Starbucks employees to join the movement, which they said will improve workers' quality of life and industry standards as a whole.

members of the Starbucks and Workers United, the union vying to represent the workers, sent a letter to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson that stated, in part, "Starbucks' mission is improving communities one coffee at a time. Respecting partners rights to organize will help us help the community accomplish this as a mission."

a second Starbucks in Buffalo is pushing for a union and there's been an ongoing effort to unionize at a location in Mesa, Arizona. nbcboston.com

New Ruling on Employer Risk After Holiday Party Ends
These parties benefit employers by boosting employee morale, strengthening ties between employees, and reinforcing the employer-employee bond, critical in today's tight labor market. Alcohol is often served.

It is partly because the employer benefits from holiday parties and the drinking of alcohol at those parties that employers may be liable if an employee's alcohol consumption at the event later contributes to an accident that injures a third party.
An employer may be liable even if the accident occurs after the employee arrives home safely and later, while still intoxicated, drives another employee home.

That was the ruling of the San Diego division of the California Court of Appeal in the 2013 case of Purton v. Marriott Internat., Inc. Extending the employer responsibility beyond the employee arriving home safely. hrdive.com

'War for talent' rises toward top of C-suite risks At #2 for 2022

Leading the list of risks for 2022 is the impact on business from pandemic-related government policy.

Attracting and retaining employee talent - a challenge intensified by the pandemic - has jumped to among the top concerns of business leaders looking ahead to 2022 and the next decade, according to a global survey of 1,453 C-suite executives and board members by Protiviti and NC State University.

"Most if not all of the organizations that we're speaking with are struggling with things like attracting, retention, engagement, upskilling," Protiviti Managing Director Fran Maxwell said during a webcast. "
It's pervasive throughout all industries, throughout all organizations now." cfodive.com

Fred Meyer, QFC union workers prepare strike ahead of holidays

JCPenney to Sell Forever 21 Brand Across 100 Stores and Online

Companies plan 3.9% wage boost in 2022, highest rate since 2008

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On-Demand Webinar from Protos Security

The retail business is about people. That's why the safety of customers and employees is the top priority for retailers.

LVT Units are proven to increase safety in retail parking lots for both employees and customers. Employees are frequent targets for criminals because they often enter and exit the store when it is dark and fewer people are around. Furthermore, the safer the location, the better business will be. People don't want to shop where their personal safety is threatened. It is the same with employees-no one wants to work in a place they're afraid to go. Increased safety attracts customers and employees.

With the increase in foot traffic, retailers face increased theft and vandalism. Whether it's shoplifting from inside the store or stealing the skirt front items, theft costs billions of dollars annually. Likewise, vandalism plagues retailers. Cars, other property in the parking lot, and the outside of the store are easy targets for vandals.

LiveView Technologies creates tools to help them manage their properties and increase safety. These include increasing safety for employees and customers and reducing incidents of theft and vandalism.

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National Cyber Resilience Centre Group
UK founds cyber resilience center group
Public and private entities in the United Kingdom have connected in support of the
National Cyber Resilience Centre Group (NCRCG), a not-for-profit company bringing together all those who have a vital responsibility for embedding cyber resilience throughout the U.K. economy.

NCRCG is funded and supported by the Home Office, law enforcement and Ambassador Partners from the UK's largest businesses and organizations. NCRCG
will support the growth of the Cyber Resilience Centre (CRC) network across England and Wales, which already exists to help smaller organizations face the challenges posed by cybercrime. The group will also create a Talent Pipeline of students interested in cybersecurity.

NCRCG will
continue and support the work of nine regional cyber resilience centers throughout the U.K. Officials from the government, law enforcement and corporations announced the creation of NCRCG in early December.

U.K. Security Minister The Rt Hon Damian Hinds, MP, highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in security, saying, "This new center group is
a flagship enterprise of public and private sector demonstrating how innovation can support the business community."

Detective Superintendent Nick Bell, CEO of the National Cyber Resilience Centre Group and National Policing Director for the CRCs, said, "
Cybercrime costs our national economy; it affects organizations' ability to trade, their ability to recruit and retain and ultimately can have a considerable impact on their bottom line. In NCRCG, we have a platform for leading the charge to strengthen our national cyber resilience and help to develop best practice across the country. By working together as police, government, business, third sector organizations and academia, we have the best potential to minimize the risk posed by cybercriminals and support those who most need cyber protection." securitymagazine.com

Most Impactful Cybersecurity Measures
Top practices to improve enterprise security
Last year's study revealed that five practices had an outsized influence on the overall health of an organization's security program. These include proactively refreshing outdated technology;
well-integrated security technologies; timely incident response; prompt disaster recovery; and investing in accurate threat detection capabilities. This year's study analyzed those top five practices more closely to identify success factors.

Updating and integrating architecture

Investing in a proactive technology refresh strategy is more important than ever, as on average
39 percent of security technologies used by organizations are considered outdated. Unsurprisingly, organizations with cloud-based architectures are more than twice as likely to refresh than those with more outdated, on-premises technologies.

Detecting and responding to threats

The value of cloud-based security architectures cannot be understated. Organizations that claim to have mature implementations of zero trust or SASE architectures are 35 percent more likely to report strong security operations than those with nascent implementations.

Staying resilient when disaster strikes

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, testing business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities regularly and in multiple ways is paramount, with proactive organizations
2.5 times more likely to maintain business resiliency. helpnetsecurity.com

Corporate Networks Under Attack
40% of Corporate Networks Targeted by Attackers Seeking to Exploit Log4j

More than 60 variants of the original exploit were introduced over the last day alone.

AdvertisementEarly concerns about the Log4j vulnerability posing one of the biggest threats to Internet security in recent memory are quickly being confirmed with exploits and exploit activity targeting the flaw exploding over the weekend and the enormity of the remediation work involved for organizations becoming starkly clearer.

On Monday, Check Point said that it had already
blocked some 846,000 scans for the flaw on its customer networks since the vulnerability - now being referred to as Log4Shell - was disclosed on Dec. 9. Some 40% of corporate networks globally already have been targeted in activity seeking to exploit the flaw.

The security vendor said that at times it has observed as many as 100 attempts to exploit the vulnerability in a single minute. Known malicious groups were responsible for nearly half - 46% - of the malicious activity that Check Point has observed on customer networks so far.

Ominously for organizations, new variations of the original exploit - first posted on GitHub - are being introduced at a rapid pace. Over the past 24 hours alone,
Check Point researchers observed over 60 variations of the exploit becoming available in the wild. Log4Shell now can be exploited in multiple ways - including over HTTP and HTTPS - meaning that one layer of protection alone against the threat is no longer sufficient. darkreading.com

How to thwart SIM swapping attacks?
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), banks and authorities have already been collaborating to mitigate fraudulent SIM swapping.
Banks can use an API provided by the MNOs to check whether a SIM swap has been recently performed. Banking institutions should consistently apply the EU regulations such as the Directive (EU) 2015/2366 (PSD2), and take advantage of the available technical solutions provided by the telecommunications operators.

MNOs should reinforce fraudulent SIM swapping detection and blocking mechanisms, by enhancing the internal processes to provide the customer with a preferably seamless experience. Also, they should provide regular cybersecurity awareness training for both their own and third-party employees to ensure they can recognise and appropriately deal with the SIM-swapping threat.

National authorities should
encourage and enhance coordination between the MNOs and the banking sector. Cooperation with national Computer Security Incident Response Teams and law enforcement agencies should also be promoted. helpnetsecurity.com

Kronos Suffers Ransomware Attack, Expects Full Restoration to Take 'Weeks'

Volvo Confirms R&D Data Stolen in Breach


It's All Cyber: Crime in a High Tech World

"There is no element of criminality anymore that isn't cybercrime," said Jeremy Sheridan, assistant director of the Secret Service Office of Investigations.

"Whether it's the opportunity to commit the crime, the methods to execute it, the means to profit from it, it all involves some element of cyber."

Published in the WSJ on 11/16/21







How to Start Dictation on Your Computer

To start dictating, select a text field and then press Windows+H on your keyboard. You'll see a bar with "Listening" appear. You can also do this by tapping the microphone key on the keyboard. While the "Listening..." text appears and the microphone icon is blue, what you say into your microphone will appear as text in the application your text cursor is placed in. After five seconds (or when you say "stop dictating" out loud), the microphone icon will turn black again, "Listening..." will disappear, and your PC will stop listening to your voice. To start dictating again, press Windows+H or click the microphone icon.

Just a note: This is great for doing some quick notes or performing a web search, but it probably won't be good for writing a document or email. The reason for this is that dictation doesn't automatically enter punctuation. You must speak the punctuation you want to use. For example, to enter the text "Tom said "hello".", you'd need to say "Tom said open quotes hello close quotes period" aloud.




Amazon Under Investigation by OSHA
OSHA opens probe into deadly Amazon warehouse collapse in Illinois

OSHA is investigating a collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is
investigating a deadly collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, an agency spokesperson said Monday. The collapse was caused by a tornado Friday that devastated the area.

Six workers were killed, one was injured and 45 people were rescued safely, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a press conference Saturday.

The twister was one of at least 30 tornadoes that left a path of destruction across several states, including Kentucky, where more than 60 people were confirmed dead.

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down in Edwardsville at approximately 8:35 p.m. local time Friday. Walls on both sides of the warehouse collapsed inward, while the roof collapsed downward, Edwardsville Fire Chief James Whiteford said in a news conference Saturday.

Site leaders at the warehouse, known as DLI4, told employees on duty at the facility to take shelter around 8:16 p.m. local time, Amazon said.
The tornado likely formed in the parking lot then rolled through the site, Amazon said.

OSHA has six months to complete its probe, issue citations and propose monetary penalties if violations of workplace safety and/or health regulations are found, OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen told CNBC in a statement. The agency has had compliance officers at the warehouse since Saturday to provide assistance, Allen said. cnbc.com

'Treated Like a Machine'
Amazon worker shares dystopian gameboard which monitors how hard staff are working

TikTok user says Amazon warehouse was 'worst job I've ever had' because of low pay and being 'treated like a machine'

A TikTok user shared what appeared to be a screen
turning Amazon warehouse work into a kind of game. The video posted by @chutuo, which has garnered almost two million views, shows what seems to be a screen in an Amazon warehouse listing possible "achievements".

Other items on the list include "punctual" and "picking up speed". The item entitled "make history"
urges workers to pick up one million products.

In a separate video posted on Sunday, TikTok user @couryeo wrote that working at Amazon was "the worst job I've ever had". The TikToker said she was "overworked" and "underpaid". She added that she was "treated like a machine" and that there was "no socializing at all".

One of the top comments on the video showing the "achievements" screen was that it was an example of the "
gamification of underpaid work". independent.co.uk

Online delivery is unprofitable. Why are discount chains using it now?







Orange County, CA: Ekaterina Zharkova Accused of Stealing Over $300,000 in Merchandise From California Stores
California woman has been charged with grand theft after allegedly stealing a hefty amount of store merchandise. Ekaterina Zharkova, 38, of Costa Mesa, California, was arrested in November after allegedly stealing over $300,000 from stores around Orange County. According to reports, the alleged thefts occurred from October 7 to November 23, the day of her arrest. Zharkova was stealing items from designers such as Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo, she would steal accessories from retail stores, including TJ Maxx and Nordstrom in Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, and Tustin, California.
Zharkova was arrested after a member of the California Highway Patrol's Organized Retail Theft task force allegedly saw Zharkova shoplifting from a Nordstrom Rack. According to a report from KTLA, Zharkova had allegedly covered items with a coat and used a device that allegedly removed the security sensors on the products before walking out of the store. She was subsequently arrested but is currently out on $20,000 bond. dailymail.co.uk

Lakewood, WA: Workwear Employee Hailed For Stopping Theft In Progress, Gutsy move
A Lakewood retailer is celebrating one of its employees after she busted a thief has he tried to make off with hundreds of dollars of merchandise. Iconic Workware in Lakewood says it has suffered a string of recent thefts, totaling about $1,250 in lost merchandise and jackets. However, they could have lost a lot more, if not for the heroic actions of employee Gaby Gonzalez. In a shocking video shared by the store, Gaby recognizes that something fishy is going on. Owners say you can see as Gaby waits to strike, stopping the would-be thief in his tracks and securing the stolen goods. Unfortunately, the thief and his associate hit another iconic Workware store not much later, managing to make off with $900 more in stolen gear.
Unfortunately, the thief and his associate hit another iconic Workware store not much later, managing to make off with $900 more in stolen gear.  patch.com

Tamarac, FL: Cameras capture 3 women robbing Tamarac beauty supply store
A beauty supply store burglary was caught on camera in Tamarac. The crime happened on Sunday night at The Beauty Plug supply shop located at 6949 West Commercial Boulevard. Three women walked in the store, stole several items and pepper sprayed an employee. Cameras inside the store show one of the crooks was holding a child, and another appeared to be pregnant. The shop's owner told Local 10 News the three women walked inside, pepper sprayed her daughter, and then stole several wigs. Monday afternoon, a Broward Sheriff's Office detective came out to speak with the owner, and they are now looking into this case.

Yolo County, CA: Antioch men charged in organized retail theft spree at CVS, Walgreens stores
Yolo County prosecutors on Monday filed felony organized retail theft charges against two Antioch teens accused of stealing over $1,200 in merchandise from Walgreens and CVS stores in Woodland and Davis on the same day last week. Prosecutors in the complaint alleged Adams and Thompson drove to each store together on Dec. 9, placing merchandise in bags they brought with them and leaving without paying for the items. The defendants are accused of stealing $430 worth of merchandise from CVS in Woodland, $450 in merchandise from Walgreens in Woodland and $366 at CVS in Davis, according to the complaint.

Providence Man Pleads Guilty in Schemes That Defrauded Home Improvement Stores for $140k
A Providence man today admitted in federal court that he participated in a scheme that
defrauded home improvement stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts of more than $140,000, repeatedly purchasing construction tools and supplies using stolen credit and credit card information, announced United Sates Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Jose Brens, 40, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and seven counts of access device fraud.

Brens admitted to the court that he and others unlawfully obtained credit card information that was used to purchase tools and building products from at least six Home Depot and Lowes stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Breen admitted that he defrauded Home Depot stores of $140,578. justice.gov

Columbus, OH: Police looking for 2 women accused of stealing $1,500 worth of Adidas clothing from Kohl's

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Shootings & Deaths

Hialeah, FL: Teen Suspect Shot and Killed, Another Hurt in Botched Robbery at Hialeah Shopping Center
One teen was killed and another was wounded and is facing a murder charge after police said they were shot by a man they were trying to rob in the parking lot of a Hialeah shopping center Sunday evening. The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. at the parking lot area of a Target at 1750 West 37th Street. Hialeah Police officials said the victim had listed some firearms for sale on a website and was contacted by the teens who said they were interested and wanted to meet to make the purchase. The victim and his wife arrived at the parking lot where they were met by the suspects, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, police said.

During the sale, the teens gave the victim counterfeit money but when the victim told them it was fake, the teens pulled out a gun and started to rob the victim, police said. The victim was in fear for his safety and pulled out another gun from his waistband, hitting both teens, police said. The victim and his wife jumped into their car and drove to the other side of the parking lot before calling police. Hialeah Fire Rescue responded and brought both teens to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where the 17-year-old died, police said.

The 15-year-old is being charged with felony murder and armed robbery, police said. Officials said the gun the teens had used in the robbery had been reported stolen in a separate armed robbery, and detectives are looking into several similar armed robberies. nbcmiami.com

Greensboro, NC: Tobacco Store employee shoots, kills 17-year-old robbery suspect
A store employee shot at a suspect during the course of a robbery, police say. At 7:47 p.m. Monday night, officers were called to the Tobacco & Vape at 3912 Battleground Ave. on a report of a robbery. Three men went into the store and took an undisclosed amount of cash at gunpoint. According to police, a store employee shot one of the robbery suspects during the robbery. The person who was shot died from their injuries. The deceased has been identified as Gabriel Malachi Kalu, 17, of Greensboro.


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Los Angeles, CA: Smash & Grab: Three T-Mobile Stores Robbed In The San Fernando Valley
Police have responded to robberies at three separate T-Mobile stores in the San Fernando Valley. The first reported robbery took place at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North Hollywood. Shortly after, another store off of the 18000 block of Sherman Way in Reseda then another store 21000 block of Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills also reported a smash-and-grab robbery. According to police, they are searching for three male suspects armed with hammers. Police have responded to robberies at three separate T-Mobile stores in the San Fernando Valley. losangeles.cbslocal.com

Wilbraham, MA: "I have COVID:" Springfield man resists arrest while coughing on officers
A Springfield man was arrested on multiple charges after police received notice of people stealing large amounts of batteries from Home Depot. According to a statement from the Wilbraham Police Department, at around 1:08 p.m. Sunday officers were to a report of suspects stealing batteries at Home Depot. A detective saw one of the suspects on Boston Road, 36-year-old Suquin Johnson from Springfield was arrested and charged with shoplifting. The second suspect was seen leaving the parking lot of Home Depot driving a blue Toyota sedan. Police identified the driver as 38-year-old Robert Brown from Three Rivers. Brown allegedly refused to exit his vehicle. A second officer was called to assist in removing him from his vehicle. Brown continued to physically resist yelling "I have COVID" and purposely coughing towards officers as police attempted to detain him.
Brown was charged with: Shoplifting by Asportation, Resisting Arrest, Assault and battery of a person over 60 years old. Asset protection told police that more than $300 worth of batteries were taken from Home Depot. wwlp.com

Martinez, CA: Arrest warrant issued for Walnut Creek Nordstrom flash mob-style robbery suspect who posted bail
An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect in the Walnut Creek Nordstrom theft who was already arrested and released. Dana Dawson walked out of court two weeks ago and hasn't returned since. Dawson is one of three suspects Walnut Creek police arrested in connection with the recent flash mob-style Nordstrom theft. Walnut Creek police say she used a Glock 29 9mm handgun, a violation of her parole, only Walnut Creek police officers didn't know Dawson was on parole when they arrested her. "I don't know if it's just a system failure or just a delay in the information getting to us we're still looking into that," said Walnut Creek Police Chief Jamie Knox on Dec. 1.

Sheboygan, WI: 'I plan on working until I can't anymore': Charity's former employee, guilty of theft, will pay over $500,000 of restitution
Donna Larue will pay the full amount of restitution requested by a Sheboygan charity after she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Sheboygan County requested more than $536,000 from Larue, the Society's former bookkeeper, after she was charged in 2019 with stealing. Larue has already paid back most of the money stolen, and Judge Rebecca Persick ordered Larue to pay the remaining nearly $130,000 in full, although her attorney argued it exceeds her ability to pay during probation. Larue, 63, wrote out about 200 checks to herself between 2011 and 2018 - many with forged signatures - and covered up the thefts in Quickbooks by recording them as payments to local churches, according to the criminal complaint.

Newark, NJ: Former employee pleads guilty in theft from Amtrak of more than $76,000 worth of chainsaws and parts
A former Amtrak employee has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from fraudently obtaining dozens of chainsaw and hundreds of chainsaw parts over an eight-year period. A press release from Amtrak's Office of Inspector General says Jose Rodriguez, 49, of Brick, N.J., obtained 114 chainsaws, 112 chainsaw replacement bars, and 222 replacement chains from Amtrak, saying the equipment would be used for Amtrak projects. He then sold the items, with a total value of more than $76,000, on online auction sites or directly to buyers. Having used the U.S. Postal Service to mail the items to purchasers, he pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for April 19, 2022.

Suffolk County, NY: Two Men Arrested After String of Armed Robberies at Long Island Convenience Stores

St Paul, MN: Man federally indicted with robbery after charges say he hid in a West St. Paul Menards

Portland, OR: Man sentenced to 5 years for stealing 15 guns from store; $9,000 restitution

California: High-End Designer and Boutique Stores Closing In Response to Statewide Smash-And-Grab Crime Wave

Shawnee, OK: Fairfield Inn Employee Accused Of Stealing and Selling Customers Personal Information, 29 victims identified



Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Seize Fake Jewelry and Scarves Worth over $3 Million
On November 30, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati seized a shipment containing counterfeit designer jewelry and scarves. The fakes, which came from China, would have been worth a total of $3.09 million had they been genuine. CBP officers inspected the shipment and found 1,830 scarves, bracelets, rings, and earrings from designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier, Hermes, Versace, and Chanel. Officers suspected the items were counterfeit based on the packaging and the poor quality of the material. All the items were determined to be counterfeit by CBP's Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), the agency's trade experts. The shipment was enroute to a private residence in Flushing, New York. cbp.gov

Omaha, NE: Woman sentenced after authorities find $118,000 of counterfeit merchandise
In February 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border protection in Anchorage, Alaska seized a shipment of counterfeit designer purses destined for Moo's residence in Omaha, Nebraska. On March 23rd, 2021, Homeland Security Investigations used an undercover officer to execute a controlled delivery of the seized package to Moo's residence. Once Moo accepted the package agents executed a search of her residence where numerous items with counterfeit marks were located. Items found were handbags, clothes, blankets, phone cases, belts, and a wallet from brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, Michael Kors, Coach, and Nike. The total manufacturers' suggested retail price of the seized merchandise exceeded $118,000.


Cargo Theft

Blount County, AL: Man arrested after hundreds of FedEx packages found in ravine
A 22-year-old man is in jail, facing several charges of cargo theft, in connection to FedEx packages being found in a Blount County ravine in late November. Deandre Charleston was arrested Monday by the Blount County Sheriff's Office. Deandre Charleston faces several charges of cargo theft (photo from Blount County Sheriff's Office. As many as 400 FedEx packages were found tossed into an Alabama ravine in late November. The sheriff said the FedEx Ground driver dumped packages into the ravine in the woods at least six times. local12.com




 Auto - San Jose, CA - Burglary
 Beauty - Okolona, MS - Armed Robbery
 C-Store - Hayneville, AL - Burglary
 C-Store - Amsterdam, NY - Burglary
 C-Store - Memphis, TN - Armed Robbery
 CVS - Rockville, MD - Armed Robbery
 Consignment - Charlotte, NC - Burglary
 Consignment - Atlanta, GA - Burglary
 Dollar General - Indianapolis, IN - Armed Robbery
 Family Dollar - Mobile, AL - Armed Robbery
 Gas Station - Anne Arundel County, MD - Armed Robbery
 Grocery - Prince William County, VA - Burglary
 Jewelry - Arlington, VA - Robbery
 Jewelry - Bakersfield, CA - Robbery
 Jewelry - Charlotte, NC - Robbery
 Restaurant - Hampton, VA - Burglary
 T-Mobile - Los Angeles, CA - Robbery
 T-Mobile - Los Angeles, CA - Robbery
 T-Mobile - Los Angeles, CA - Robbery
 Vape - Greensboro, NC - Burglary / Suspect Shot & Killed
 Verizon - Greenville, OH - Burglary


Daily Totals:
• 12 robberies
• 9 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click to enlarge map






None to report.

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Featured Job Spotlights


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Regional Loss Prevention and Safety Specialist
New York, NY - posted November 29
You will act as a coach, trainer, mentor, and enforcer to support the risk management program at Legends. Responsibilities can include, but are not limited to: Identify, develop, and implement improved loss prevention and safety measurements with risk management team; Conduct internal audits that have a focus on loss prevention, personal safety, and food safety, and help the team to effectively execute against company standards and requirements

Asset Protection Manager
Philadelphia, PA - posted November 5
As an Asset Protection Manager II you will be responsible for one of our highest shortage locations with an elevated scope of responsibility that may include executive direct reports and increased staff levels, higher Sales Volume or significant Shortage risk. You will be the subject matter expert on Asset Protection and Shortage Reduction Strategies within your location...

Safety Director (Retail Background Preferred)
Jacksonville, FL - posted November 3
This role is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing purpose-directed occupational safety and health programs designed to minimize the frequency and severity of customer and associate accidents, while complying with applicable regulatory requirements. This leader is the subject matter expert on all safety matters

Director, Loss Prevention & Safety
Goleta, CA - posted September 24
The Director of Loss Prevention & Environmental, Health and Safety plans, organizes, implements, and directs HERBL's programs, procedures, and practices to ensure the safety and security of company employees and property...

Corporate Risk Manager
Hayward/LA, CA - posted October 5
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...

AP Lead
Manhattan, NY - posted October 19
This role will conduct investigations focusing on Habitual Offenders, high impact external theft/fraud incidents through the use of company technology (CCTV, Incident Reporting, Data Analysis). This role directly teaches and trains Store Leaders and Brand Associates in the safe practices of effectively handling external theft events...

Regional Loss Prevention Manager
Houston, TX (Remote Opportunity) - posted October 14
The position will be responsible for: Internal theft investigations; External theft investigations; Major cash shortage investigations; Fraudulent transaction investigations; Missing inventory investigations; Reviewing stores for physical security improvements


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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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