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December 20, 2011 SUBSCRIBE

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2012 Review & Outlook for the retail industry Here's 9 key industry leaders and their thoughts for 2012. (Source

Monday morning Marshalls robbery caught on surveillance camera Two armed robbery suspects burst into a Marshalls store in South Philadelphia demanding money and left with between $35,000 and $40,000 in cash Monday morning, police said. Around 4:55 am, police said the men accosted an employee while he was taking out the trash outside the store on Swanson Street near McKean. The suspects forced him and other employees into the store and demanded cash from the safe, police said. The men took the money, locked the employees in the break room and ran from the store. (Source

Law suit says NBA axed former security director for stance against sexual harassment Ex-NY cop claims NBA made him scapegoat when he reported sexual harassment. Winston Glover, 50, a 20 year NYPD vet, who joined the NBA in 2001, was fired in July and claims he was fired because he supported female colleagues who complained of sexual harassment and discrimination. In the suit, two women said another member of the league’s security department made offensive remarks, displayed porn on his computer screen and harassed them. Glover said when he took those complaints to his superiors, they were more concerned that those would hurt their careers, according to the suit. A third woman, Annette Smith, filed a federal gender-discrimination lawsuit saying Tolbert made demeaning comments about women. Smith also contended that Tolbert forced her to photocopy a sexually inappropriate picture. Smith said she was denied promotions and fired after she complained about her treatment. Tolbert and the league denied her allegations and her lawsuit was settled in September of 2009. An NBA spokesman says Glover's allegations are without merit. (Source

Video Content Analysis (VCA) in video surveillance devices is projected to be a $600M market by 2015 by IMS Research report. Despite the continued penetration of "free" video content analysis (VCA) in video surveillance devices, the market for "chargeable" VCA applications will continue to grow quickly. For some time, video surveillance device manufacturers have been embedding low-end applications in their devices like video motion detection and camera tamper, and offering them as "free" features. The report predicts that they will be increasingly joined by other applications. A clear divide will emerge between free lower-end applications and chargeable higher-end applications. (Source

Illinois Governor signs tax breaks for Sears, cementing home in Chicago Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that grants hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives aimed at keeping Sears Holdings Corp., along with CME Group Inc., which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, headquartered in Illinois. (Source

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer warns holiday shoppers about scams that can deplete gift card funds before the intended recipient has an opportunity to use them. Sen. Chuck Schumer urged stores and shoppers to protect themselves from fraudsters who are draining gift cards' balance once they're activated. "The system all too many stores use now is a free buffet for scammers and crooks that can leave unsuspecting victims with a valueless piece of plastic by Christmas Day," Schumer said Sunday. Gift card fraudsters go to retail and drug stores - where gift cards are on the shelves - and record gift card access code concealed by cardboard or a scratch off film. They track it online and, once it's activated, deplete it before the consumer uses it. "Can you imagine, getting a nice gift card, $50 from Macy's, and you go to use it and it's been used up already by some scammer?" Schumer asked. "That's exactly what were trying to stop today." In a letter to the National Retail Federation and the Retail Gift Card Association, Schumer asked for gift cards to have better protective packaging, for stores to sell gift cards from behind the counter and inform shoppers of the gift card theft threat before purchasing. (Source

The Response - Gift Card Fraud Draws Attention From U.S. Senator Schumer In a news conference Sunday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) "urged stores and shoppers to protect themselves from fraudsters who are draining gift cards' balance once they're activated." It’s true that some thieves steal cards directly from the stores and sell them online below face value to buyers who think they're getting a bargain. Other crooks buy gift cards using stolen credit cards or counterfeit checks as a way of shifting to a less traceable form of payment.

Retailers and gift card service providers have implemented extensive upgrades to their systems, cards and business processes, to prevent and detect scams before they occur. The scam mentioned by Senator Schumer, was a key topic of the 2005 NRF Senior Executive Summit and a few months later the NRF released a confidential research report to senior Loss Prevention and Information Technology leaders. Additionally, follow-up training has been conducted at local, state and national industry conferences.

Some examples of security measures taken include security codes on cards; monitoring the origin and frequency of balance inquires; improved card handing processes; and highly-trained loss prevention executives working with law enforcement partners, to address organized retail crime (ORC), which includes fraud.

Holiday shoppers are encouraged to keep the original receipt from the purchase of gift cards in the unlikely event that they need to return a card to a retail store because it has been used. Retailers can then check gift card purchases to verify that the card was fraudulently used and in most cases can refund the gift card value to the customer.

Senator Schumer raises an important issue and we look forward to working with his office and the Senate Judiciary Committee to further discuss the Organized Retail Theft Investigation and Prosecution Unit legislation (H.R. 5932) passed in the House of Representatives last session.

By Joe LaRocca, Senior Advisor Loss Prevention, NRF

"Counterfeit Currency Factory" found in British Columbia, Canada The Royal Canadian Mounted Police made one of their biggest-ever seizures of $1.1M counterfeit money in B.C. and arrested 4 men in what Mounties are calling a "Counterfeit currency factory." (Source

Four of the five workdays last week topped $1 billion in online retail sales, comScore While stores see the "largest drop in 11 years" since black Friday weekend according to one news report, online sales continue to eat away at the brick and mortars with a 15% gain over last year. Makes you wonder how many workers are shopping at their desks. (Source

Fraudulent holiday returns are predicted to cost merchants $3.5 billion. Nearly 90% of retailers report being hit with the return of stolen merchandise. 60% have been hit by "wardrobing" and 33% have experienced counterfeit receipts. A year ago, retailers significantly ramped up their efforts to reduce fraudulent returns. One of the most common ways is to require someone without a receipt to provide proof of identification in order to process a return. Though not covered by any federal law, return policies are governed by state law. (Source

Breast-feeding flash mob halted at Michigan shopping mall Mall fires back that it opposes demonstrations and protests, not breast-feeding. Mall security shut down a group of women about to launch into a breast-feeding flash mob at an upscale shopping center in Troy, Mich. Eleven mothers planned to bombard the shopping area as a group, all breast-feeding their children in the same place at the same time, at The Somerset Collection on Sunday afternoon. While Michigan law does not include breast feeding in their public nudity laws and in fact state it is permissible the Mall stated that it does not allow "demonstrating or protesting of any kind, as we are private property." (Source

Violent shoplifting incidents are being reported virtually everyday around the U.S.
With most of them occurring outside in the parking lots. From pepper spray to knives being pulled and cars being used to run down loss prevention agents it's all happening every single day out there and it's too numerous to report actually.

Off duty Homeland security agent shoots and kills robber Saturday morning at McDonalds. Police spokesman Chase Scott told the newspaper the man was dressed as a woman at the time of the robbery. (Source

6 Mesa, AZ Walmarts top list of retail theft calls in city Wal-Mart might dominate Mesa’s retail scene but it also leads the city in thefts. 15% of all theft calls in Mesa this year have come from 6 Wal-Mart stores in Mesa. And those six stores have had more thefts than the next 14 stores on the top-20 list, which includes Superstition Springs Center, Fiesta Mall and four Circle K convenience stores, combined. (Source

FBI Warns Hacktivists: You're Breaking the Law Whether its Anonymous or LulzSec the FBI says it doesn't matter what your motivation is you are breaking the law and we will find you. "Hacktivism is no different from organized crime groups or foreign governments. It's the exact same activity, perhaps done for a different reason or purpose, and it's all still illegal." Let's hope they find those responsible for the C.L.E.A.R. hacking and postings. (Source

Struggling Talbots rejects their biggest shareholders offer
. (Source Associated Press)

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.4% for the week ended Saturday compared with the previous week, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs Weekly Chain Store Sales Index. Following two weeks of declines. Sales for the recent week up 4.6% over last year. (Source Associated Press)

AT&T drops its $38b offer to buy T-Mobile With the government in court trying to stop them and Sprint Nextel screaming AT&T backs away and says enough. AT&T will now have to pay Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile's owner) $3 billion in cash as a breakup fee and give it about $1 billion worth of airwaves. (Source Associated Press)

NRF is hosting an LP Emerging Technologies Workshop on Tuesday, January 17th from 9 am - 1:15 pm. The workshop will provide educational presentations and several roundtable discussions on these technologies including mobile POS, touchless pay and e-receipts. While these technologies may facilitate and drive sales, there are significant implications on sales, returns management, data security and more that cause concern for loss prevention and security executives. Attendees will discuss how to translate the LP vulnerabilities into "tech talk" and the need to have LP at the table when considering implementing these new technologies.

Kaspersky is the sponsor of the event and is offering it free to retail LP/IT executives with decision making responsibilities or LP/IT professionals integrally involved in rolling out these technologies. Click here to register.




Doug Marker
Vice President
LP, Risk and Audit
Michael Stores, Inc.

Stephen O'Keefe
Loss Prevention and
Risk Management
Wal-Mart Canada

Coming in December

Kelly Gorman
Vice President LP

LP Program Spotlight
eBay's PROACT Team



Richard C. Hollinger, PhD



Know about an event we should feature here?
Let us know.

101st Annual
Convention & EXPO
Jan. 15 - 18, 2012

2011 ORC Survey

Executive Summary
Full Report 

Effective Crowd Management Guidelines

Education Awareness on Personal Safety
Full Report

Return Fraud Survey
Full Report

Asset Protection Conference

March 11-14, 2012
Hyatt Regency
New Orleans, LA



Watch for our article the day after each event!

Los Angeles Area
ORC Association

3rd Annual
2012 Conference

February 16, 2012
LA Convention Center






Tulsa Police implements new task force to stop shoplifters According to police, retail theft is on the rise and it's impacting Tulsa's bottom line. They started the Organized Retail Crime Task Force just in time for the holidays. TPD is working to stop criminals before they get to the stores. "We've identified numerous groups that do this for a living, some of them make about a $1000 a day," said Det. Lori Vesser with the Tulsa Police Department. "We're serving warrants, we're making interviews, we're following people around," said Vesser. According to Vesser, these criminals travel around Oklahoma and from state to state, doing grab and go's, taking high dollar electronics, even laundry detergent and diapers. They also commit gift card fraud with stolen goods. "Tulsa's probably losing $25 to $30 million a year in retails sales and probably at least $1 million in sales tax losses," said Vesser. After 30 days, TPD will evaluate the task force and it's success and it could become a permanent part of the department. (Source

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Share your ORC news and help the industry grow



Job Opening




Manager, Business Continuity Winn-Dixie Jacksonville, FL Winn-Dixie

Corp LPM of Analytics & Exception Reporting



Downing & Downing

Director of Loss Prevention



Downing & Downing

National Account Sales Mgr


Chicago, IL

Downing & Downing

Asset Protection Manager

The Home Depot

Phoenix, AZ

The Home Depot

Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Metro Northern NJ The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Sacramento, CA The Home Depot
Asset Protection Manager The Home Depot Salem, OR The Home Depot
Regional LP Director Confidential Los Angeles, CA Downing & Downing


Today's Daily Job Postings from the Net - Appearing Today Only

Job Opening




District LP Mgr

Big Lots, Inc. Louisville, KY Big Lots, Inc.

Loss Prevention Mgr

Kmart Oak Park, MI Sears Holdings Corp.

Loss Prevention Mgr

Kmart Santa Fe, NM Sears Holdings Corp.

Area Manager- AP

Walmart Gas City, IN Walmart

District Operations Mgr

Home Depot Arlington, TX Home Depot
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Garden City, NY Macy's
Loss Prevention Mgr Macy's Corpus Christi, TX Macy's


Thought Challenge Month in Review Today we are posting the last two Thought Challenges, as they appeared, in a countdown to our Awards Committee's selection of the "Top 3".

I am a Data Junkie

Submitted by Paul McGinley
Regional Loss Prevention Mgr, Dollar Financial Group

November 22, 2011

I am a data junkie. That is to say, I have become one. I can't claim that I always loved data. I used it as a tool to further investigations, target specific incidents, and assist in audits, but I didn't appreciate data for what it was. Now I realize that data is the single most important tool we have, yet it seems completely useless at the same time (I promise there is no contradiction here). My transformation from data user to data junkie came at the hands of that realization.

To illustrate how useless data can be, while still being extremely powerful, let us take a look at one of the reports I receive on a daily basis. The absolutely most useful report in my arsenal is 11 columns wide and between 9,500 and 10,500 rows. This means that, on average, this single report has 110,000 data points. With 30 daily reports (both smaller and larger than the aforementioned), on any given day I receive between 2.75 and 3.25 MILLION data points to review. That amount of data is clearly, in and of itself, useless. But there is nothing wrong with that, the gold is in there but you must mine for it. To find that gold, one must accept that, on its own, data is useless. Data is like that shiny new Porsche in your driveway. It sure is beautiful, and you can brag to your friends about it, but doesn't do anything without gas in it. The same is true with data. You can pull in as many data points as you want to brag about how much data you are pulling, but unless you have the proper fuel it is useless. That fuel is analysis.

Analysis drives your data into a usable format. One that individuals beyond your team will react to and interact with. Analysis turns your data into information. A few months back I saw a Tweet that stated "People don't want data. They want information." This couldn't be more accurate. Data, as we saw above, is overwhelming. Furthermore, any of those individual 3 million data points don't mean anything on their own. It is up to us to leverage our analytical skills to provide the information for further audiences (other Loss Prevention entities, Operations, Executive Management). To do this, it is critical that we truly understand our data. I was lucky enough to be able to design our analytics program from scratch. This resulted in full knowledge and transparency of the data flow process. It allowed us to ask highly specific and tailored questions to our Point of Sale system without making assumptions that will result in us missing a new twist, or force us into onerous upgrades as fraudulent activity evolves. This understanding allows one to understand the story the data tells. Ultimately, this is a story about the interaction of data points, what they mean when taken together and what front end processes got them there. This is a story about employee theft and external entity process manipulation. But the story is written in another language.

Data needs an interpreter to become usable. It needs a story teller to communicate the plot. As we build more robust data collections systems its critical to not loose sight of these necessities. Build a solid team of analysts, or become that person yourself. You might not ever be a data junkie, but maybe you will end up as a story teller.

The way you spend your days, is the way you spend your life.

Submitted by Megan Price
Investigator, TJX

December 1, 2011

The way you spend your days, is the way you spend your life. What you do each day speaks about who you are as a person. Take some time each day to do what really matters to you in your life and your career. If focusing on customer service is your ambition, make sure to focus on giving good customer service EACH and EVERY day. It could be as simple as personally greeting all of the customers that walk by as you go on with your tasks. If deterring internal theft is your goal, plan 5 minutes to greet and get to know all of the employees you encounter every day. If developing yourself and advancing in your career is your goal, spend 5 minutes a day reading industry magazines or blogs. Make each day count and make sure to include something that's important to you. If today wasn't the best day, remember that tomorrow is right around the corner. Tomorrow is another opportunity to start fresh and move forward. There are 365 opportunities this year for you to accomplish what matters most. How many opportunities have you had this week? This month? This quarter? How many opportunities have you had today? What does your day say about you?


Which Cities Have Active Verified Response (Non-Response) and Broadcast And File Programs in Operation?

By Jim Simons, National Compliance Manger, Vector Security, Inc.

Here's a list of the locations as reported by the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), and the City of Ventura, and Security Systems News.
Verified Response - In Effect by Ordinance Effective Date
Salt Lake City 
December 2000
June 2004
July 2004
October 2004
January 2005
October 2008
August 2011
Verified Response – In Effect by Policy Effective Date
Lane County
West Valley
4th Quarter 1999
3rd Quarter 2000
2nd Quarter 2003
September 2004
November 2006
January 2007
Jurisdictions Employing a Broadcast and File Policy**
Las Vegas 
Thurston County 
Gray’s Harbor County
Cathedral City
Washoe County
December 2004
2nd Quarter 2001
March 2003
1st Quarter 2004
2nd Quarter 2004
3rd Quarter 2004
4th Quarter 2004
January 2005
March 2005
July 2005
January 2007
December 2010
February 2011
July 2011
*Verified response required 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
**Broadcast and File Policy: A broadcast and file policy means that the police announce all alarm calls over the air and allow the "beat officer" to determine which calls they respond to.

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The World is More Complex Than it Used to Be Today's decision makers face environments in which things that were isolated from one another just 30 years ago are bumping up against each other, often with unexpected results. That's because of a host of technological and sociological changes that occurred after 1980.   (We're not in the 80s anymore)

Average is Over. What's Your Extra?
"In a hyper-connected world where so many talented non-Americans and smart machines that can do above-average work are now easily available to virtually every employer, what was 'average' work ten years ago is below average today, and will be further below average ten years from now."   (Don't settle for good enough)

Management Lessons from the Girl Scouts Harvard Business Review's Bill Taylor takes a look at the way the Girl Scouts has changed since 2004 under CEO Kathy Cloninger. Taylor gives examples of lessons we can take from the girls in this four minute video blog.    ((They don't just know how to make good cookies)

Five Ways to Hold the Right Kind of Attention No matter how talented or accomplished you are, you cannot always count on attracting and retaining the attention of others. Too many options compete for everyone's attention, and they multiply with each passing day. It will be more and more challenging to rise above the noise and hold onto the attention of those who matter to you.   (Movie stars know them)

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The difference between success and failure is in the planning and the execution. Taking something from a thought or idea to a reality can be a long and painful process lined with failures and detractors. But a great idea is only as good as the plan you have to bring it to life and the execution everyone delivers to give it a life. Because without the two the great idea never existed. As one "C" level executive once told me - He never saw a bad great idea as it was always the failed plan to roll it out and the poor execution that killed it.

Just a thought,
Gus Downing

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