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2023 'Top 10' Reports Coming This Week!

This week, the D&D Daily will be recapping the Top 10 ORC cases and news stories from throughout 2023.  Follow the D&D Daily to see which cases and stories make the list!


2023 Holiday Week Retail Crime

Increases from 2022 Holiday Week: Fatalities Up 87% - ORC Cases Up 67%

Click here to see the Daily's ORC & Retail Crime reporting
from December 23rd through December 31st

28 Fatalities - 25 ORC Cases - 104 Robberies/Burglaries

Read our latest crime coverage in the ORC & Retail Crime columns below

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

2023: The Year That Led Some Retailers to Say 'Enough is Enough'
"Enough is enough. All this retail theft. All this sort of crime, enough is enough."

Big-city crime in 2023 had some businesses saying enough is enough
In major cities across the country in 2023 a number of retail stores and other businesses faced with rampant crime, to the detriment of their livelihood and customers' well-being.

Major metropolises like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland and Washington, D.C., were plagued by retail thieves ransacking malls and department stores, with many of the instances caught on video that were posted on social media.

In September, Target announced it would close multiple stores in Portland, San Francisco and New York City due to an alarming rise in theft and violence. California in particular saw smash-and-grab robberies in luxury retail areas in southern and northern parts of the state.

In August, a Bay Area county supervisor, frustrated by rising retail theft in the area, admitted that state laws were "not working" to deter criminals.

"Enough is enough. All this retail theft. All this sort of crime, enough is enough. We really need to look at state laws. What we have in place right now is not working," San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa said. "We can't go on like this."

The Democrat admitted that he regretted supporting California's Prop 47, which voters passed in 2014. Prop 47 downgraded certain thefts and drug possession crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen goods was less than $950.

In San Diego, a new law that allowed loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution resulted in a surge of prostitution in the city, leaving businesses to take on additional security costs and warn their customers that they will likely see near-naked women, as well as pimps, in the area.

The business owner spoke to Fox News Digital on the condition of anonymity out of concern that pimps or prostitutes in the area might retaliate against the business owner’s vehicles, property or employees. The business owner has been operating at the same location for the last 25 years.

Smash-and-Grab Epidemic Raged in 2023
Will more progressive cities form ORC task forces like Los Angeles?

2023 review: Smash-and-grab epidemic crippled Democratic cities
Smash-and-grab crime crippled retailers in Democratic-controlled cities across the United States throughout 2023. This type of criminal activity has been utilized by robbers in the past few years, but 2023 saw their popularity appear to rise as videos, police reports, and stories of businesses closing flooded social media.

Many credit left-wing policies such as "no cash" bail and the "defund the police movement" for catalyzing smash-and-grabs and greater retail crime, which has increased nationally by 26% since 2002.

With the number of lives and the total amount of product lost, several cities, even Democratic-controlled cities, have taken action to address the crisis. In September, Los Angeles County was approved to receive $15.6 million to fight smash-and-grab crime affecting retail businesses.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the funding, which comes from the state government, to create an Organized Retail Theft Task Force.

It will be made up of at least one lieutenant, three sergeants, and 30 detectives and work with other law enforcement bodies and businesses, according to officials.

"Our Retail Theft Task Force through our Major Crimes Bureau is focused on reducing these crimes by targeting these crews and aggressively pursuing not just those who commit the theft, but everyone in the criminal chain," Sheriff Robert Luna said.

"This Organized Retail Theft Grant will allow us to continue to investigate retail theft crimes and provide dedicated staff and equipment necessary to continue to combat these thefts."

Whether other Democratic-controlled cities will follow Los Angeles County's lead in 2024 will have to be seen.

NYC Murders Down 11%, Shootings Down 24% in 2023
Murder, shootings down in NYC in 2023 — but assault is up: NYPD
Murders and shootings dropped in New York City in 2023 — but the number of assaults continue a troubling upward trend, according to a year-end review of NYPD data.

Overall crime in the five boroughs squeaked through the year on a high note — down .5% through Dec. 24 when compared to the same period last year, NYPD data show

Murders declined 11%, with 380 so far this year compared to 429 in 2022. Shootings plunged 24%, with 967 so far this year vs. 1,277 in the same span last year. Assaults, however, ticked up 6% — to 27,299 from 25,745; while car thefts surged 15% to 15,503 from 13,430, the data through Dec. 24 show.

Retired NYPD Detective Michael Alcazar, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the growing population of homeless mentally ill people on the street could partly explain the continued upward assault trend.

Retired Sgt. Joseph Giacalone, also an adjunct at John Jay, warned that overall major crime for the year is up 22.9% when compared to 2021.

The two-year trend overall we’re almost up 23 percent. . . . so we’re like somewhere in the early 2000s when it comes to crime,” he said.

“If the mayor or anybody says to you we’re down in crime, it’s nonsense because the current trend is up . . . this is nothing to celebrate.”

San Francisco Shoplifting Surges 50% Since 2019
But 'inconsistent information makes it difficult to assess the issue'

California lawmakers want to curb retail theft, but say it’s not as easy as it sounds
While California lawmakers feel pressure to address concerns about crime, the murky and sometimes contradictory evidence of an increase in lawlessness has put legislators in a bind.

Recent studies show that retail theft has increased in some of California’s big cities — with shoplifting rates jumping nearly 50% in San Francisco since 2019 — while some rural and suburban areas of the state have seen a drop in those crimes.

Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Alameda), who sits on a recently formed special committee to address retail theft, said the inconsistent information makes it difficult to assess the issue as lawmakers prepare to reconvene in January and draft proposed laws to combat the rash of highly publicized thefts.

“I am concerned the way social media is not fully representing the extent of the incidences of crime we are experiencing or the root cause of that crime,” Bonta said.

Some California prosecutors and business leaders blame the state’s “toothless” laws against nonviolent retail theft, saying the problem has grown worse because of the lack of serious consequences for offenders.

They want to see changes made to the decade-old ballot measure, known as Proposition 47, that classified as misdemeanors certain drug possession offenses and nonviolent property crimes that do not exceed $950 in value.

But civil rights advocates are skeptical about returning to a tough-on-crime approach.

There have already been two hearings this month to address this issue in Sacramento, one held by the bipartisan retail theft committee and the other by the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency that was asked by the Legislature to examine these issues. Some lawmakers expressed frustration about how to move forward without clear data

Theft was Retail's Hottest Topic in 2023
The year in review: retail theft

Retailers from Target and The Home Depot to pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens were vocal about shoplifting in 2023.

It’s never fun to talk about the ugly side of running a business, but this year, retail theft came into focus in a new way that reached national heights. Companies, their CEOs, and special interest groups were extremely vocal about retail theft and how they said it was affecting store operations.

But as claims about retail crime made headlines this year, so has scrutiny over the scale of corporations’ response—and more recently, questions about how big a problem it really is. The NRF even went so far as to remove a “mistaken” fact from a headline-grabbing report claiming that organized retail crime (ORC) made up “nearly half” of inventory losses in 2021.

Target was one of the more vocal major companies that expressed frustration with increased shrinkage. In September, the company claimed the reasoning behind closing nine locations was primarily because “theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.”

The big picture: Shrink is certainly a topic that comes up in earnings calls nowadays, but breaking it down at scale can prove to be difficult, as Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, explained in the Los Angeles Times.

“It is clear that shrink is on the rise and is starting to have more of a material impact on business performance,” Saunders wrote in an op-ed. “On the other hand, retailers have been known to make excuses for poor performance, and understanding the nuances of crime data and trends can be complicated.

U.S. Immigration System Fueling Retail Crime?
Opinion: Open borders spur retail thieves

The crisis of retail theft engulfing storefronts is a crisis of U.S. immigration policy.

Federal immigration authorities have failed to capture important background information about foreign nationals entering our country through a special visa program. In so doing, they have contributed to a crisis that’s turned American retailers into thunder domes of violence and crime.

Organized retail theft costs retailers billions and contributes to a climate of danger that is gripping consumers and workers. Unlike shoplifting, organized retail theft involves criminal gangs skilled at stealing inventory at volume for resale in other markets. These criminals vary in sophistication, from small time thieves hawking stolen power drills online to international syndicates tied to drug trafficking and money laundering.

The visa waiver program allows citizens of 41 countries to visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa. Participant countries must share background information, such as criminal histories, with our immigration authorities and extend the same entry privileges to our citizens.

Criminals from all over the world are exploiting this system to steal from American retailers. Call it crime tourism.

Criminals from Chile are prime offenders. Chilean burglary cells ripping heady crime jaunts across America have been tied to hundreds of home break-ins and mass theft of inventory.

A more expansive audit of the visa waiver program is needed. Reports indicate that organized crime syndicates from all of the world — Romania seems to be another major player — are engaged in retail theft in this country. Immigration authorities should ensure that every country participating in the waiver program is furnishing necessary information about their nationals. No new country should be admitted to the waiver program until we ensure the system is working as intended. .

RELATED: Homeland Security officials investigating Mexican cartels' role in ORC

'Rogue DAs' Fueling ORC Threat
The Hill: Organized retail crime is threatening American families

Many of these reoccurring crimes are simply not being prosecuted.

To address the problem, the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence recently held a hearing titled “From Festive Cheer to Retail Fear: Addressing Organized Retail Crime.”

During the Dec. 12 congressional hearing, Home Depot’s vice president of asset protection Scott Glenn testified regarding the level of organized violence his employees have experienced in stores across the nation. “These individuals are becoming increasingly aggressive,” Glenn said. “They are dangerous and often care little about any consequence other than getting out of the store with as much product as possible."

Stores faced with shoplifting are inevitably forced to either jack up their prices to remain in business or close their doors from revenue loss. 

If only prosecutors chose to diligently enforce the law, instead of ignoring our nation’s dangerous crime wave as they have done for far too long, Americans might finally be able to safely access the groceries they need to survive at affordable prices. But rogue district attorneys are blatantly refusing to hold criminals accountable for their crimes.

Lawmakers should pass the bipartisan Combating Organized Retail Crime Act (CORCA), to protect frightened Americans this Christmas season and beyond. CORCA would give federal agencies under the Department of Homeland Security the authority to investigate and prosecute members of crime rings and bring criminals to justice. If passed, CORCA would make it far easier for law enforcement to carry out its duty to protect the vulnerable in their neighborhoods.

Memphis Real Time Crime Center Starting to Make a Difference
10,000 cameras: MPD grows video surveillance network
Nearly a year after the Memphis Police Department launched its Connect Memphis camera integration and registration system, the agency now has access to more than 5,000 cameras throughout the city.

While the program is not without its critics – including concerns about the idea of “crowdsourcing surveillance capabilities” – MPD and others point to numerous successes.

And thousand of residents and businesses are supporting the program by voluntarily joining the network. More than 4,500 business and residential cameras have been registered with Connect Memphis, and 620 have been integrated directly into MPD’s system for viewing the video footage during emergencies.

PD Deputy Chief of Information Services Joe Oakley credits the program, in part, for a 12% reduction of part-one crimes (which include burglary, robbery, rape, vehicle theft, aggravated assault and larceny) between Nov. 15 and Dec. 12 compared to the same 28-day period in 2022.

The department has been aggressively promoting the program and encouraging citizens to integrate their cameras during media and public-speaking appearances and on social media.

This is 21st-century policing at its finest

Memphis, TN: 2023 goes down as a violent year in Memphis
It was a year of high violence in Memphis, with hundreds of homicides, thousands of robberies and smash-and-grab thefts, affecting children, families and businesses. “We are Memphis and our future depends on what we do right now,” new Mayor Paul Young said as he was sworn in Monday. 2023 ended with a drastic jump in homicides and murders, plus hundreds of carjackings and robberies. Here are the preliminary numbers from MPD — full end-of-year numbers will be available Tuesday at the earliest.

Oregon laws targeting drugs, retail theft go into effect January 2024
As retail crime continues to plague Oregon businesses, Senate Bill 340 will impose harsher penalties for those convicted of retail theft. This comes as growing theft not only harms businesses and puts employees at risk, but also drives up costs for customers.

‘Retailers are effectively turning into warehouses’, says expert as Walgreens locks up all but 2 aisles as theft soars

Why retailers are walking back claims of organized theft

Target, CVS, and Rite Aid among chains hardest hit by 2023 theft-sparked closures
Cincinnati and Ohio retailers facing less shoplifting, but a rise in organized crime

Lululemon Closes DC Store Following Robbery

How the Modesto Police Department is cracking down on organized retail theft


NRF & Appriss Retail Returns Report Makes More Headlines
Merchandise Returns Drop 9% But Fraud Expected To Rise
Total returns in the retail industry are expected to reach $743 billion in 2023, down from $816 billion in 2022. “Retailers are doing better with pre-purchase experience, providing shoppers with detailed sizing, material, and fit information. This has allowed consumers to make more informed decisions,” said Michel Osborne, CEO of Appriss Retail. The ability for consumers to better understand what they are buying in terms of sizing and fit has created an environment of lower returns.

The total returns rate as a percentage of retail sales dropped from 16.4% to 14.5% from 2022 to 2023. However, the percentage of fraudulent returns (including return abuse practices by consumers) continues to trend in the wrong direction, increasing from 10.2% to 13.7% of total returns. The top fraudulent return behaviors were wardrobing (returning used or worn merchandise), returning stolen goods, and returning goods purchased with a fraudulent payment method (like a stolen credit card).

Stopping Fraud With AI And Machine Learning

Retailers have used fraud detection measures to help minimize the risk of taking back stolen goods or merchandise that was fraudulently secured. “Detecting fraudulent activity in real-time can keep thieves away, “ said Osborne. The Organized Retail Crime (ORC) rings can set up sophisticated systems that may be difficult for human analytics to catch.

In-store Returns Include Buy-On-Line-Return In Store (BORIS) Transactions

Store returns are 13.3% of retail sales, but half come from online merchandise and in-store, a convenient and more efficient way to return goods. The total amount of retail returns from online sales is 17.6%, a costly endeavor for retailers. Many retailers have tightened return policies by adding shorter windows and charging for returns. Many retailers use consolidated return companies like Happy Returns, where dropping off returns is hassle-free and better for the environment.

Holiday returns are estimated to be 15.4% of total retail sales, with fraudulent returns accounting for 16.5% of total returns in 2023. The 2023 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry report was created using NRF retail survey data and Appriss Retail customer data. Appriss Retail customers include more than 60 of the top 100 retailers in the United States.

In Case You Missed It: Read more about the NRF / Appriss Report in the Daily's Special Report

Well We've All Been Waiting For 'The Terminator'
Tesla factory worker attacked by robot that dug claws into back & arm: report
A Tesla software engineer suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a malfunctioning robot on the floor of the electric car maker’s factory in Austin, Texas.

Witnesses told The Information last month that the robot pinned the engineer and sank its metal claws into his back and arm, leaving a trail of blood along the floor.

The engineer was programming software that controls robots whose job it is to cut car parts from freshly cast pieces of aluminum.

While two of the robots were disabled so that the engineer and his crew could work on the machines, a third was inadvertently left on — resulting in the attack two years ago, witnesses told The Information

The news site said that it obtained an injury report that was submitted to federal officials as well as to health authorities in Travis County.

Injury reports submitted to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) alleged that nearly one out of every 21 workers at the Giga Texas factory got hurt last year.

In the automotive industry, the median injury rate last year was one in every 30 workers.

Ralphs Sued by California
California sues grocery giant under ‘ban the box’ law
The state Civil Rights Department accused Ralphs Grocery Co. on Thursday of violating California law by asking job applicants if they have criminal records and denying employment to more than 1,000 of them. The department said it is the first such suit it has filed since the law took effect in 2018.

“When roughly 70 million Americans have some sort of record, policies like those employed by Ralphs aren’t just discriminatory and against California law, they don’t make sense,” the department’s director, Kevin Kish, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “Ralphs has continued to unlawfully deny jobs to qualified candidates and that’s why we’re taking them to court.”

Ralphs, a subsidiary of Kroger Co., is the largest supermarket chain in Southern California, with about 25,000 employees at 185 stores, according to the lawsuit. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 2018 law, known as the Fair Chance Act or “ban the box,” was supported by labor and civil rights groups and opposed by businesses. It applies to employers with five or more employees and prohibits them from asking about an applicant’s criminal record until they have conditionally offered the applicant a job.

Netflix to Roll Out Permanent Stores
Report: Netflix to open retail stores — with restaurants
Netflix may have found its next revenue stream: permanent stores.

The streaming giant plans to open physical stores — dubbed Netflix House — with the first two locations expected to debut in the U.S. in 2025, followed by global expansion, reported Bloomberg.

The stores will sell merchandise based on some of Netflix’s most popular shows and also offer curated in-store dining and live events. The restaurant will serve up items from the streaming platform’s food-based reality shows, with a wide range of options from fast casual to high-end dining, the report said.

Five Below to open 200 stores as it widens location strategy; to remodel 400 stores

BuyBuy Baby plots 100 stores; will open 11 on Nov. 18 — here are the locations

Macy’s to open up to 30 small-format stores as it goes off mall for growth

Toys "R" Us to open flagships across U.S.; expand into travel industry

Four key retail moments in 2023

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

AVP Global Safety & Security job posted for Marriott in Orlando, FL
The AVP, Global Safety & Security (GSS) is responsible for establishing, implementing, and maintaining the strategy and program for all aspects of risk mitigation, loss prevention, and overall safety and security of our guests, owners, associates and assets. This includes oversight of the day-to-day operations of the corporate and field support team in a timely and cost-efficient management manner, while responsible for regulatory and non-regulatory Safety & Security processes.

Director of Field Asset Protection job posted for Victra in Raleigh, NC
As the Director, Field Asset Protection, you will work within a corporate culture where Performance, Integrity, Collaboration, Innovation, and Celebration are the mantras of success. You will be responsible for development, implementation, and support of asset protection programs within an assigned Area. Victra is the leading authorized retailer for Verizon Wireless. We are looking for fun, hard-working winners to join one of our 1000 locations in the USA. Nearly 5,000 employees make up VNation.

Corporate Security Director job posted for Pinkerton in San Mateo, CA
The Corporate Security Director, assigned to one of Pinkerton's largest global clients, will be responsible for developing, leading, influencing, assigning, and measuring all corporate security programs, personnel, contractors and consultants. This role is responsible for the strategic identification of security risks, threats, and vulnerabilities as well as the prevention and protection of the client's employees, assets, property, product, and brand reputation.

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In Case You Missed It

Everon™ acquires Kentucky-based Newtech Systems

Acquisition marks the first M&A activity for Everon since launching as a standalone company, deepening presence across four states

Boca Raton, Fla. - Everon, also known as ADT Commercial ("ADT Commercial" or the "Company"), a leading security integrator and premier provider of commercial security, fire and life safety in the U.S., announced today the purchase of Newtech Systems, based out of Ashland, KY. This marks the first M&A activity for Everon since its establishment as a standalone organization with GTCR's acquisition in October, and makes steps towards delivering on the company's objectives for growth and geographic expansion.

"This is a huge moment for Everon, and we're so excited that we get to share it with the very talented employees and leaders at Newtech Systems as we welcome them to our organization," said Dan Bresingham, Chief Executive Officer. "We've said that Everon will be about growth - growth in our capabilities, in our people, and in our service area - all with the goal of serving our commercial customers better and more completely. And today's news proves that. For nearly half a century, the leaders at Newtech have proven to have the same appetite for excellence that we do, and we're looking forward to continued success alongside them across the region and market."

A family owned and operated business established in 2006 with a history that dates back to 1954, Newtech Systems has solidified its reputation as one of the leading and most respected systems integrators in the region. Its headquarters is located in Ashland, KY, with additional offices in Lexington, KY; Columbus, OH; Pittsburgh, PA; and Dunbar, WV. With hundreds of years of combined team experience, Newtech Systems offers a comprehensive portfolio of services and solutions to commercial environments, including expertise in video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, healthcare communications, and fire alarm systems.

"At Newtech, our commitment to our customers is what drives us, and we recognize that same drive in Everon," said Tom Kibler, Vice President and General Manager, Newtech Systems. "We're excited to grow our expertise and reach in the region as part of Everon, and continue building on that culture of trust that we've been developing over decades."

Everon was built over the last decade by some of the most trusted names in commercial security. In that time, teams remained focused on providing comprehensive, scalable solutions to address the unique needs of mid-market, national and large-scale organizations, and established a new industry standard for customer-driven service excellence and delivery. With GTCR's acquisition of ADT Commercial in October 2023, Everon has emerged as an innovator and service excellence champion protecting commercial people, property, and assets across industries.








First Responders Need Modernized IT Security Systems
Tech upgrades for first responders are a necessity, not a luxury

Public safety professionals want technology upgrades and adoption of federal standards for first responder IT security, reporting and efficiency

“We heard a resounding response from first responders across the country:
They are concerned about their public safety agency’s ability to withstand cyberattacks and natural disasters, given the ever-increasing number and severity of bad actors attacking public infrastructure as well as the uptick in extreme weather incidents,” said Matthew Polega, President, Mark43.

Advertisement“Public safety professionals made it clear that they need access to modernized systems — like cloud-native CAD and RMS — to improve the security and resilience of their agencies, so they can respond faster to community members in need. Our 2024 report shows that technology plays a central role in everything a public safety agency does,” added Polega.

First responders face growing concerns amidst cybersecurity surge

The ever-increasing number, severity and cost of cyberattacks is reflected in the concerns and experiences of first responders.
82% worry that their organization’s data could be stolen or fall victim to ransomware, a 6% increase over the 2023 survey, showing a need for enhanced security like cloud-based computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS).

91% of first responders have experienced cybersecurity-related issues in the past year like phishing, scam calls and malware attacks. Scam calls and malware/viruses are now the leading cybersecurity concern for first responders, overtaking phishing from last year’s survey.

92% of first responders also are somewhat or very concerned about how their agencies would handle a tactical response to cyberattacks or physical attacks at large-scale events like sports games, concerts and conventions.

Natural disasters, grid failures raise alarms - Public safety agencies scale up data collection amid tech boom:

'Greater Uniformity' in IT Security
Why you need to extend enterprise IT security to the mainframe
Organizations with mainframes face a unique challenge:
extending consistency across the entire enterprise, including mainframe environments.

The ongoing issue lies in the incompatibility of tools designed for both mainframes and enterprise settings, resulting in disparate solutions, training methods, and user experiences. This highlights the
immediate need for greater uniformity across the organization.

Ensuring modern security standards

For organizations relying on mainframes,
ensuring modern security standards for access is essential. This entails identifying network users and validating their authorization to access sensitive data, typically managed through an identity and access management (IAM) system.

However, a common discrepancy arises as the IAM system used in the enterprise often differs from the one employed for mainframe authentication. To achieve comprehensive protection and uniformity, it is imperative to leverage the same IAM system on both the enterprise and the mainframe.
This not only fortifies secure host application access but also facilitates regulatory compliance, crucial in helping to prevent cyber threats.

5 pivotal cybersecurity trends for 2024
Heading into 2024,
the attack surface is set to expand even further, with threats likely to grow more and more elusive. Considering the increasing power and accessibility of tools based on artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models (LLMs), it will be imperative to stay several steps ahead of threat actors and know what tactics to expect in the coming year.

1. Custom ChatGPT-like bots: Crafting convincing social engineering attacks
2. SaaS apps as stealthy attack vectors: Learning from TeamsPhisher
3. AI-driven automation in cyberattack campaigns: A glimpse in the future
4. Deepfakes and multi-modal ML models: The evolution of deception
5. Guarding against adversarial prompts in LLM-powered services: A startup frontier

The biggest cybersecurity and cyberattack stories of 2023
2023 was a big year for cybersecurity, with significant cyberattacks, data breaches, new threat groups emerging, and, of course, zero-day vulnerabilities.
Cyber Badness: 12 Top Hacks, Data Breaches, Missteps of 2023

How to Use OpenAI’s ChatGPT to Create Your Own Custom GPT






How protected are your network or personal accounts from hackers?

Hackers can quickly attack vulnerable networks and make big money by selling what they gain on the dark web. According to a report by cybersecurity firm KELA, some network access can be sold for as little as $25 to $100,000.

Protect computers from hackers by using firewalls and antivirus software and not clicking on suspicious links. You can also protect mobile devices by being mindful of the Wi-Fi networks you connect to and using security apps for monitoring and protection.





Paying the Price for Online Returns
No more free returns? Big brands are making you pay for shipping

A popular online shopping perk is growing scarcer as Amazon, Macy’s, and other merchants stop eating the cost of returned items.

An increasing number of retailers—including Abercrombie, H&M, J.Crew, and Macy’s—are now charging customers who return purchased items, CNN’s Nathaniel Meyersohn reports. It’s an obvious way to reduce the impact returns have on their bottom line.

For online sellers, returns are expensive. Not only do they often eat the cost of shipping back an unwanted item, but they also often have to resell that item at a discount to another customer or end up taking a loss on it. That’s not even accounting for the resources needed to process returns.

According to data from the National Retail Federation, customers sent back almost 17% of the total merchandise they purchased last year, including 17.9% of holiday purchases. As a result, 44% of companies said they planned to hire additional seasonal staff to help process those returns.

Free returns were originally offered for online purchases as a way to give consumers confidence about a new form of shopping. But now that a substantial amount of commerce happens online, many retailers are rethinking the practice.

According to Happy Returns, a UPS-owned company that specializes in returns, a whopping 81% of merchants are currently charging customers for making at least some kinds of returns.

In Case You Missed It: Online returns outpace in-store in 2023, NRF report finds

Amazon Driver 'Attacked' During Delivery
Disturbing video shows black Amazon worker as she’s attacked by white women in luxury Texas building while dropping off package
Disturbing video shows a black Amazon delivery driver in Texas being savagely assaulted by two white women inside a luxury building — one of whom accused her of being a “thief” as she tried to drop off a package.

JaMaiya Miller, 25, was out on delivery at the Belle Mead at River Oaks apartment complex near Houston on Dec. 16 and was buzzed into the complex by a resident, KHOU reported. However, once she was in the building, the same resident who let her in to deliver the package told her she was not supposed to be there.

Another woman showed up and the two unidentified women allegedly assaulted Miller. Miller then says, “Excuse me, don’t touch me,” but the woman continues to place her hands on the Amazon employee. Meanwhile, the other woman threatens to call security.

Survey: Consumers Don't Trust Social Media Apps when it Comes to Online Shopping

Amazon faces backlash from users over upcoming change to Prime service










Lynwood, WA: Police are finally starting to make arrests in connection with the “smash and grab” ring that allegedly stole nearly $500,000 from Ulta
After more than a year and a half of “smash and grab”-style robberies in which nearly half a million dollars’ worth of beauty products were stolen across Washington state and Oregon, authorities have begun making arrests surrounding a ring of organized retail thefts to dissolve, accordingly KOMO TV.
The Lynwood, Washington Police Department, in collaboration with the Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force, announced that on December 28, 2023, they arrested a 26-year-old woman who has not yet been identified to the media. The woman was charged with robbery and organized retail theft. Lynwood police said they plan to make additional arrests in the case as they continue to investigate the woman’s actions.

KIRO TV Separately, it is reported that the woman in the film was caught robbing multiple locations, often with accomplices, and behaving in a manner described as “chaotic” and dangerous. She reportedly often brings bear spray during her robberies to intimidate store employees who approach her, and is also said to have smashed and destroyed several store displays in the process.

The Lynwood Police Department also released at least one video of the woman during one of her robberies. In the video, she can be seen smashing displays and pulling shelves out of displays. An Ulta spokesperson confirmed to KIRO that they have been assisting police with their investigation and that the woman has cost the company over $450,000 to date. According to the statement “THThe rise in organized retail crime is affecting all retailers, including Ulta Beauty, and we have a dedicated nationwide team of investigators who work closely with various law enforcement agencies and other retailers to solve complex cases involving organized theft. We are deeply committed to this issue and ensure a safe working environment for our employees and a shopping environment for our guests.”

Jacksonville, FL: Smash and grab burglary at local GameStop
A local GameStop is boarded up after it became the target of a smash-and-grab this weekend. A video posted on social media captured the whole thing. A group of what appears to be six individuals in two separate cars can be seen sprinting into the building. Just a few seconds later, they reappear and run full speed back to their cars. One individual even slips and falls on the ground during the commotion, while another leaps through a car window before speeding off. According to sources, an unknown amount of inventory was stolen, and the business was left a mess. We’ve also learned there was another recent burglary at a separate GameStop in town and are investigating whether the two incidents might be connected.

Indianapolis, IN: Police chase U-Haul truck through Johnson County after robbery at Indy Target
A wild police pursuit involving a U-Haul truck ended in a crash and foot chase in Franklin on Saturday afternoon. Franklin Police said their officers were notified by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) to be on the lookout for a U-Haul that had been used in a robbery of a Target store at Emerson Avenue and Southport Road. According to a police report, the pursuit went through the back of Northwood Elementary School, where the driver went through a fence and drove through the school’s playground. The chase then went south on US 31, where the truck hit two cars and ran another off the roadway before hitting several more cars and getting stuck at the Jefferson Street intersection. Police said the suspect, Troy Bradford Jr., bailed out of the truck, and video shows him unsuccessfully trying to get into another car. According to a police report, a state trooper deployed their taser while taking Bradford Jr. into custody. Police say he had used a gun in the robbery at Target but investigators say it turned out to be an airsoft pistol. He was checked out at the hospital and then was booked into the Johnson County Jail on preliminary charges of attempted robbery, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting law enforcement and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon.

In Case You Missed It: 2 Big ORC Cases Over the Holidays

S.F. police arrest 18 people in anti-shoplifting operations in Stonestown, Mission District
Eighteen people were arrested by San Francisco police in anti-shoplifting operations this week in the city, according to police.

The San Francisco Police Department said the operations were conducted Tuesday on retail stores located in the 700 block of Mission Street and in the 200 block of Winston Drive.

Two of the people arrested were booked at San Francisco County Jail #1 for outstanding warrants, in addition to the on-view theft charges, while a suspect was booked into the same jail for on-view felony theft charges, according to police.

Twelve suspects were cited for shoplifting and released from the scene. The stolen property was seized during the operations and returned to the stores, police said.

$1 million in goods recovered from California retail theft crew, authorities say
A specialized unit of the
California Highway Patrol has recovered more than $1 million worth of stolen cosmetics and other merchandise during searches this week in Paramount and Los Angeles, and they arrested a woman allegedly connected to an organized theft ring that targeted retailers across Southern California.

The crew has hit a variety of local retailers, including
CVS, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Rite Aid, Nordstrom and the 99 Cents Only store, the CHP said.

Brenda Yanez, 48, was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, including grand theft and possession of stolen property. Investigators with the CHP Southern Division Organized Retail Crime Taskforce have been working with various loss prevention personnel to return the stolen merchandise to retailers, according to a CHP statement.

The stolen merchandise was found when investigators served search warrants at a warehouse in Paramount and at The Makeup Store on Whittier Boulevard in Los Angeles. The officers also found tools believed to have been used to remove retailers’ anti-theft devices, the CHP said.

Early estimates provided by loss prevention personnel valued the
recovered stolen merchandise at more than $1 million, according to the CHP.

It wasn’t clear if authorities have identified any other suspects in the alleged ring.

2023 Holiday Week Retail Crime

Increases from 2022 Holiday Week: Fatalities Up 87% - ORC Cases Up 67%

Click here to see the Daily's ORC & Retail Crime reporting
from December 23rd through December 31st

28 Fatalities - 25 ORC Cases - 104 Robberies/Burglaries






Shootings & Deaths

Colfax, NC: Sheetz responds to killing of Sergeant Philip Dale Nix inside store
Sheetz has released a statement in the wake of the killing of Greensboro Police Sergeant Philip Dale Nix. Sergeant Philip Dale Nix was shot and killed at a Sheetz on Sandy Ridge Road after witnessing a crime and confronting the suspects on Saturday, according to Greensboro Police Chief John Thompson. “Sheetz is incredibly saddened by the violence that took place at our store on Sandy Ridge Road yesterday afternoon. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Greensboro police department and the family of the police officer that lost his life. The safety of our customers and employees at Sheetz is a top priority in every community we serve. We are working with the police department to investigate this matter and will do whatever we can to assist with the ongoing investigation.” Another off-duty Greensboro police officer and a Guilford County paramedic were able to render aid to Nix immediately, but the sergeant died at a local medical facility. Police say that three suspects have been arrested in connection to Nix’s death. Jamere Justice Foster, 18, of Winston-Salem, is being charged with felony first-degree murder, misdemeanor larceny and conspiracy.

Oakland, CA: Oakland Police officer killed in ‘ambush’ shooting at Embarcadero cannabis store
An Oakland police officer responding to a burglary at a cannabis store was shot and killed Friday morning, the department said. The officer, identified as Tuan Le, “was fatally wounded by gunfire” in the 400 block of Embarcadero. He and another officer were in an unmarked police vehicle when they were ambushed by a suspect out of the line of sight, according to Oakland Police Officers Assn. President Barry Donelan. “They were taken entirely by surprise,” Donelan said in an interview with The Times. “They never had an opportunity to draw their service weapons.”

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Lehigh Acres, FL: Man caught on camera trying to kidnap 4-year-old boy at Florida Walmart store
Surveillance cameras captured a kidnapping attempt at a Florida Walmart store. The Lee County Sheriff's Office said a man grabbed a 4-year-old boy by the wrist and tried to walk away with him in Lehigh Acres. A family member pulled the child back. Deputies reviewed the store's video, and less than an hour later, they arrested the suspect at his home. He has been charged with false imprisonment of a child.

Azusa, CA: 8 treated after chemical sprayed inside restroom at California Target
Eight people suffered minor injuries after someone sprayed a chemical inside a Target restroom in Azusa on Sunday, Dec. 31. Firefighters treated eight people for minor coughing because of possible pepper spray, Los Angeles Fire Capt. Brad Salmo said. However, he added that the chemical has not yet been determined. No one was taken to a hospital, Azusa Police Lt. Jake Bushey said. Firefighters went to the store at 809 N. Azusa Ave. about noon. Police were called shortly after noon. No one has been arrested, Bushey said. The store was evacuated and closed, police said.

Atlanta, GA: Man on the run after threatening smoke shop clerk, stealing from store


2023 Holiday Week Retail Crime

Increases from 2022 Holiday Week: Fatalities Up 87% - ORC Cases Up 67%

Click here to see the Daily's ORC & Retail Crime reporting
from December 23rd through December 31st

28 Fatalities - 25 ORC Cases - 104 Robberies/Burglaries



C-Store – Spokane, WA – Robbery
C-Store – Atlanta, GA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Carson City, NV – Robbery
C-Store – Round Rock, TX – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Fairfax County, VA – Armed Robbery
Collectables – Naperville, IL – Armed Robbery
GameStop – Jacksonville, FL – Burglary
Hardware – Coffey County, KS – Burglary
Jewelry – Russellville, AR – Robbery
Jewelry – Aventura, FL – Robbery
Jewelry – Victor, NY – Robbery
Jewelry – Astoria, NY – Robbery
Jewelry – Savannah, GA – Robbery
Jewelry – Oklahoma City, OK – Robbery
Jewelry – Hammond, LA – Robbery
Marijuana – Oakland, CA – Burglary / Officer killed
Restaurant – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Restaurant - Pembroke Pines, FL – Armed Robbery / Little Caesars
Restaurant – Newark, NJ – Armed Robbery
Target – Indianapolis, IN – Robbery                                          

Daily Totals:
• 16 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click map to enlarge




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It always boils down to the people - the team. No matter how sophisticated we become or how fast and efficient our systems are, it's always the people that make it work or not work for that matter. So many hide so much behind the technology that I wonder if we, the people, are losing ground at times. It's easy to sit back, get work done, shuffle our emails and feel like we accomplished a lot. But at the end of the day have we really?

Just a Thought,


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