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Everon Makes Third Acquisition Since Separating from ADT in October
Everon™ acquires Idaho-based Apex Integrated Security Solutions, Inc.

Acquisition of largest Idaho-based systems integrator marks Everon’s third since separation from ADT in October 2023, brings top-tier integrated security capabilities to Boise, Idaho and surrounding area.

Boca Raton, Fla., Jan. 10, 2024Everon, 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 Apex Integrated Security Solutions, Inc., based out of Boise, ID. This is the third acquisition that Everon has completed since emerging as a standalone organization in October 2023, and already the second this year, following the January 4 announcement that it had acquired Maine-based Portland Safe, Inc. With the purchase of Apex Integrated Security Solutions, Everon continues to deliver on its promise for geographic expansion and strategic market growth throughout the U.S.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the expert team members at Apex to Everon as we kick off the new year,” said Dan Bresingham, Chief Executive Officer. “Their proven dedication over decades to provide an outstanding customer service experience will be instrumental in helping us to grow in a critical market area in the west, expanding our reach from coast-to-coast. We had promised a story of growth for Everon, and we’re excited to have the talented Apex team with us as we enter an exciting new chapter in our commercial business.”

Established in Boise, Idaho in 2004, Apex Integrated Security Solutions emerged as a turn-key commercial systems integrator with a vision to bring top-tier integrated security, fire, and life safety solutions to Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Over the last 20 years, the organization has grown into the largest Idaho-based security and fire systems integrator with a strong local, national, and international customer base across industries.

Read more here

NRF 2024: Retail's Big Show

NRF’s Big Show to highlight women transforming the retail industry

A diverse group of women who are helping to shape the future of retail will take center stage at NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show, which will take place Jan. 14 –16 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Leading the charge will be trailblazing entrepreneur, author and Emmy Award-winning TV host Martha Stewart, the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Joining Stewart at the Big Show will be other influential women in the retail landscape, who will share their experiences and insights, offering invaluable perspectives on the ever-evolving landscape of the retail industry.

Those currently on the agenda include:

Kate Ancketill, Founder and CEO, GDR Creative Intelligence;
Drew Barrymore, Talk show host, actress, co-founder, Barrymore Brands;
Gina Drosos, CEO, Signet Jewelers;
Michelle Gass, President, Levi Strauss & Co.;
Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global;
Kyle Leahy, CEO, Glossier;
Stephanie Linnartz, President and CEO, Under Armour;
Shay Mitchell, Founder and chief brand officer, BÉIS Travel;
Brieane Olson, CEO, Pacsun; and
Carla Vernón, CEO, The Honest Company.

More than 40,000 attendees are expected at the Big Show, including more than 1,000 exhibitors and 450 speakers. The show will feature over 100 sessions including special pavilions and hands-on activations.

Retail Leaders to Be Recognized by NRF Foundation in NYC
NRF Foundation’s 2024 list of people shaping retail’s future includes...

Six retail leaders will be celebrated at the NRF Foundation Honors event in NYC.

The individuals are being honored by the Foundation with its annual “List of People Shaping Retail’s Future” awards, which highlight the wide range of companies, roles and products that are vital to retail and consumers.

The six 2024 honorees are:

Julie Averill, chief information officer and executive VP, Lululemon;
Heidi Cooley, senior VP and chief marketing officer, Crocs;
Yael Cosset, senior VP and chief information officer, The Kroger Co.;
Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify;
Jungmin Kang, founder and CEO, Snoopslimes; and
Mecca Mitchell, senior VP of leadership & organizational development, DEI & community impact, Burlington Stores Inc.

The NRF Foundation Honors event will take place on Jan. 14 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. It will be co-hosted by Spring and John Furner, Walmart U.S. president and CEO and NRF board chairman.


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

The Robin Report: What the CEO's read, 1/10/24

Retail's Version of 'Stop & Frisk'?
Targeting young people that fuel retail theft in America

Curfews and Parental Escorts Deter Teen Shoppers from Malls
Retail theft in America has increased by 94 percent in the last five years. While it’s true that the theft rates were spurred on by the pandemic, the incidents are no longer coming from a place of necessity. The violence and aggression of retail crimes have also increased, which has led to the death of numerous mall security guards across the nation.

ID-scanning policies have long been the norm at convention centers, bars, and performance spaces. These policies require every single mall visitor to scan their ID prior to entering the venue. When teens are stopped while on the premises, their IDs are also scanned, holding mall security accountable for appropriately enforcing policies. This policy could help put a stop to racial profiling.

Young people make up the lion’s share of the retail thieves. Around 25 percent of shoplifters are underage and a total of 66.6 percent of total shoplifters are under 30 years of age. Mall violence and thievery have been exacerbated by TikTok, which has become a rallying ground for youths looking to cause a little anarchy.

Retailers in malls are responding by rolling out mall curfews and escort policies, reminiscent of NYPD’s “stop and frisk” program which was found to be unconstitutional. Let’s take a look at which malls are rolling out curfew and escort policies, what critics have to say about them, and how they can be ethically enforced –– without targeting marginalized groups.

Retailers Across the U.S. Roll Out Stringent Teen Curfew Policies

The largest mall in the U.S., the Mall of America was one of the first to limit after-hours youth activity. The Mall of America rolled out a stringent teen escort policy in the 90s that was revised to restrict youths even further in 2012. A bevy of malls, amusement parks, and restaurants have recently followed suit.

Westfield Garden State Plaza of New Jersey to announced restrictions requiring anyone under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult chaperone after 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Mall at Robinson in Pittsburgh, Ohio, Trumbull Mall of Connecticut, the entire Fashion District of Philadelphia, the Columbia Mall in Maryland, and many others have rolled out similar policies this year.

History Shows that Curfews Are Disproportionately Enforced - Successful Initiatives Hinge on Sensitivity Training and Accountability:

Consumer Theft is Just One Piece of the 'Shrink Profile'
Why retail’s $100 billion 'shrink' crisis may not be all about shoplifting
Retail executives are signaling a crisis in shrink and investors are taking note. Despite recognition of the growing problem, retailers, in many cases, are struggling to devise a comprehensive approach to regain control over the current situation. The lack of a clear strategy to combat escalating shrink, or even a demonstrated confidence in understanding its root causes, suggests that shrink losses will remain at heightened levels.

Consumers’ perception vs. retailers’ reality

The challenge lies in aligning negative perceptions with the reality that retailers face. One reason for the inability to demonstrate current mitigation efforts may be working is that published retail metrics are lagging. Time will unveil whether the heightened awareness that various stakeholders encountered in 2023 is merely viral hype or signals a notable increase in retail shrinkage year over year.

Beyond shoplifting

Shrink is a multifaceted challenge that extends beyond customer theft. Shrink encapsulates all forms of loss throughout the inventory-to-cash conversion process, occurring across the entire value chain–from freight and distribution to the store level. This multifaceted challenge also involves various players, including employees, customers, and third parties.

To form a comprehensive picture of shrink, retailers must first take a step back and take stock of each of the sources and drivers within their organization. Organizations should think about the types of shrink–where it occurs, whether it is caused by internal or external parties, if it’s intentional harm such as fraud or theft, or if it’s unintentional loss such as accidents and errors. Through this exercise, retailers will develop their “shrink profile,” a way to classify the various types of loss at a granular level that can then provide better insights into underlying causes.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure

Without specific insight into the numerous sources of shrink for their business, retailers are left to leverage a disconnected network of siloed, off-the-shelf shrink solutions that often have custom purposes. This patchwork of solutions is not clearly and deliberately linked to the underlying root causes, leading to diminishing effectiveness across an enterprise issue and limited transparency into a tool’s return on investment.

LP Must be a Top Priority in 2024
Smash-and-Grab Is Only One Part of a Retailer’s Loss Prevention Story
There’s no doubt that loss prevention will be a major priority for retailers of all sectors in 2024. Just last year, in the National Retail Security Survey, retailers reported $112.1 billion worth of shrink, 65% of which came from internal or external theft.

If this data wasn’t shocking enough, the same report also explained that 78% of retailers don’t count ecommerce loss when calculating shrink. With that in mind, the negative financial impact of shrink is actually much higher than the reported $112.1 billion. Retailers are no longer able to ignore the impacts of theft, fraud and abuse within their online channels. As a result, retailers must ensure their 2024 loss prevention plans incorporate an omnichannel approach that considers all avenues for loss.

Where to Focus Loss Prevention Efforts in 2024

Theft, fraud and abuse can come from anywhere, and if retailers aren’t prepared, they can expect to see major losses that will impact their earnings reports again in 2024.

Over one-third of a retailer’s loss came from external theft last year, but the methods used varied dramatically. Some thieves and ORC rings used smash-and-grab methods while other bad actors relied on ecommerce claims fraud and returns abuse. To combat these diverse methods, retailers must take a holistic approach to monitoring and mitigating theft, fraud and abuse from all angles.

What’s more, many bad actors stole from the same retailer multiple times in 2023, with 70% of retailers seeing an increase in theft from repeat offenders. As a result, retailers should rely on artificial intelligence and exception-based reporting to notice patterns in their losses, intervene, and deter offenders from coming back.

Finally, according to the same report, internal theft accounted for 29% of shrink in 2023, while 27% was attributed to errors and process failures. To combat unnecessary mistakes and internal theft, fraud and abuse, retailers must implement a more robust strategy. This includes monitoring their employees and ensuring they receive the training they need to manage money and inventory appropriately.

Despite the variety of ways that theft, fraud and abuse can plague a retailer in 2024, there are strategies that these businesses can take to holistically protect themselves — most notably by integrating AI into their loss prevention program.

'Shoppers Feel Threatened': Calif. Lawmakers Offer Steps to Fight Theft
Four keys to address California's retail theft crisis from select committee
Several dozen Southern California city leaders gathered on the west steps of the State Capitol Tuesday morning to lobby state lawmakers to do more to address the rise in organized retail theft in the Golden State.

"Shoppers feel threatened," said Beverly Hills Mayor Dr. Julian Gould, president of the California Contract Cities Association.

The team of leaders was described as being on a "legislative journey" to push for support of proposed Assembly Bills 1772 and 1787. At the same time, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, the chair of the Assembly's Select Committee on Retail Theft highlighted four recommendations on retail theft from the committee's work.

Four key steps on retail theft:

• Base decision on data
• Data shows a small number are responsible for a large number of retail crimes
• Strengthen laws and consequences for repeat offenders
• Shut down distribution channels for stolen goods

"This is a crisis ... It is becoming equal to the issue of unhoused individuals in California," said Chavez Zbur. Chavez Zbur said he is hopeful to host a joint session with the Assembly's Public Safety Committee and the Select Committee on Retail Theft in Southern California in the future.

Geopolitical Impact on Retailers - As Supply Slows - Costs Rise
Tankers aren't being attacked - Only containers - It's a matter of Selling the Goods

Houthi attacks close vital Suez Canal route for Maersk’s container ships
Maersk announced Friday that it will suspend all shipping through the Red Sea for the “foreseeable future” because of the threat of attacks on vessels using the vital maritime trading route.

The Danish company paused transits through the area “until further notice” following an attack by Houthi militants on the Maersk Hangzhou container ship. The US military sank three Houthi boats involved in the attack. (Now that's security responding.)

The Iran-backed militants, who are fighting a civil war in Yemen, have ratcheted up their attacks on commercial vessels in recent weeks in what they say is retaliation for Israel’s war against Hamas.

“The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level,” Maersk said in a statement.

A prolonged closure of the route could disrupt the global economy by delaying deliveries of goods, fuel and food, and pushing up prices.

The Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, typically ferries as much as 30% of global container trade.

Arsenio Dominguez, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, noted that 18 shipping companies have rerouted around South Africa, adding 10 days to journeys and increasing freight rates.

Related Coverage

Expert Commentary: Red Sea disruption poses challenges for U.S. businesses

US Navy and UK Royal Navy shoot down 18 Houthi drones and 3 missiles

US likely to go on offense after Houthi attacks in Red Sea, analysts say

Costco takes on a problem bigger than retail theft

Murders are down nationwide. So why are they up in Dallas?


Retail Tech Strategies Driven by LP
Loss prevention fuels retailers' technology strategies

More than nine-in-10 retailers say that minimizing loss prevention is an important driver of their technology strategy.

Ninety-two percent of retailers said that loss prevention drives their tech strategy, an increase from just over half (52%) one year ago, according to a new survey of 161 retail executives by Incisiv, in collaboration with Verizon and Cisco. Almost all (98%) of business executives and 85% of IT executives surveyed cite loss prevention as the most important outcome for investments in store systems.

"As retailers tackle loss prevention and real-time inventory tracking through the deployment of AI-powered live video analysis demanding more bandwidth and speed, their networks will be stressed like never before," said James Hughes, retail CTO, Verizon Business. "Retailers continue to venture on their digital transformation journeys and it is imperative to bring together disconnected systems to create powerful, modular and intelligent solutions that can enable new functionalities, smarter insights and faster decision-making."

Other highlights from the survey include the following:

36% of grocery and general merchandise retailers express satisfaction with their current tech infrastructure.
11% of retailers meet the digital experience expectations of their Gen Z store associates.
26% of grocery and general merchandise retailers are pleased with available technological tools
14% of retailers have a common understanding of AI across the organization.
72% of store tasks can be fully or partially automated, but only 33% have been automated to date.

"Bridging the omnichannel gap is not just a matter of competitive advantage but a necessity for survival, and adopting new technologies like automation is the frontier for differentiation,” said Gaurav Pant, chief insights officer at Incisiv. “The disparity in digital experience for store associates, especially among Gen Z, is more than just a technological shortfall; it's a wake-up call. Retailers must accelerate their digital initiatives to empower their workforce."

RELATED: Loss Prevention Driving Grocers to Up Their Tech Game

Using AI & Computer Vision to Check Receipts & Speed Up Store Exits
Sam’s Club is testing out AI, computer vision tech to speed up exit process at stores

Currently humans check receipts and what’s in the shopper’s basket, but that is all about to change

To speed up the time it takes shoppers to have their carts full of purchased items checked at Sam’s Club the retailer is testing out an application of artificial intelligence and computer vision technology.

Pilots are currently underway at 10 Sam’s Club locations and involves a combination of computer vision and digital technology which captures images of carts and verifies payment for all the items in the shopper’s possession.

Sam’s Club claims it came up with the program by listening to its members. Using people to check receipts and carts at the exit can be slow and can result in long lines, and members were asking if the process could go faster.

“We are constantly looking at ways for Sam’s Club to be the most convenient membership club and will continue to prioritize using technology to provide a differentiated and delightful experience for our members,” said Chris Nicholas, CEO of Sam’s Club.

The plan is to have the AI and computer vision technology at as many as 600 clubs by the end of the year.

The Rise of Returnless Refunds
Why companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Target will let you keep some products you want to return — but issue you a refund anyway

Some of America's largest retailers have started issuing refunds while telling customers to keep or donate the unwanted goods.

Walmart, Target, and Amazon are among the companies who occasionally offer so-called returnless refunds on certain items for some customers. Each confirmed to Business Insider that a small number of orders are refunded without a return, though none agreed to reveal specific dollar amounts or other parameters.

In other words, the practice won't lead to free TVs and computers — it's intended for situations where the retailer is unlikely to resell the item and where the cost of processing the return is equal to or greater than the cost of the product itself. Think lower-cost items, and typically for customers with purchase history at a given retailer.

Retailers Walk a Tightrope Over Returns
Sick of waiting in line to make returns? Some shoppers are hiring people to do it for them.

Shoppers are expected to return $148 billion in holiday gifts this year. A quick and easy experience will make them more likely to shop at a store again.

Companies have to strike a careful balance between trying to trying to cut down on returns and retaining customers — many of whom, researchers have found, would stop patronizing an online retailer if it made it harder to return items.

“If you can make return policies more convenient in terms of time and money,” such as by shipping products with preprinted return labels, Huang said, “in the long term this can actually encourage purchases instead of encourage returns.”

UK Retail Sales Weaker Than Expected
UK Christmas Retail Sales Disappoint as Shoppers Pull Back
The crucial Christmas shopping period was weaker than expected in the UK as consumers burdened by higher inflation carefully watched their spending.

Total sales grew 1.7 percent in December, compared with almost 7 percent growth a year earlier, the British Retail Consortium and consultancy KPMG said in a report Tuesday. Sales of non-food items declined over the three months through December, with shoppers particularly avoiding big-ticket purchases such as furniture and homeware. Clothing, jewellery and technology were other gift categories that struggled.

RELATED: Tesco Updates Full-Year Guidance Following Strong Christmas

Security Industry Association Announces the 2024 Security Megatrends
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has identified and forecasted the 2024 Security Megatrends, which form the basis of SIA’s signature annual Security Megatrends report defining the top 10 factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry.

Rent the Runway to cut 10% of its corporate workforce, COO resigns
Rent the Runway is launching a restructuring plan that will result in a 10% cut of its corporate workforce, or 37 roles, the company disclosed in a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

Charted: Office vacancies hit a new record high

Golden age of working for Instacart, DoorDash, and other delivery apps is over

Massachusetts will get hit by ‘strong storm’ after nor’easter and major flooding

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Interface Shares its 2024 Technology Predictions

St. Louis, MOInterface Systems, a leading managed service provider of business security, actionable insights, and purpose-built networks for multi-location businesses, today shared its predictions for security technology trends that will impact multi-location consumer-facing businesses in 2024.

AI and automation will improve monitoring operations.

Addressing ever-changing business security threats will require new capabilities to rapidly analyze massive amounts of data from a variety of sensors. AI-based applications will increasingly enable remote monitoring teams to respond to potential threats faster than ever, while simultaneously reducing false alarm notifications that plagued legacy solutions.

Security systems will become more proactive.

AI will increasingly be employed to help monitor video feeds from security cameras. For instance, a new generation of AI-based voice-down systems leverages computer vision cameras to detect people and vehicles loitering or acting suspiciously with 99.9% accuracy and warn them of security presence and possible law enforcement action with customizable audio messages, auxiliary lighting, and sirens.

Keeping humans in the loop will become increasingly important.

As AI-based solutions continue to evolve, the role of human operators will change but will continue to play a significant role in security-related decisions. While AI offers groundbreaking capabilities, AI detection systems are only intended to assist human operators and security personnel in identifying potential threats.

Retailers and restaurant operators will have new tools to fight crime.

Some retailers are already deploying AI-enabled cameras to detect suspicious behaviors, such as unusual movements, repeated visits to high-value merchandise areas, or sudden large group gatherings. In addition to AI-enabled cameras, more and more retailers and multi-location restaurant owners will leverage Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) in their parking lots and entrances to track vehicles and flag those associated with past ORC activities. These systems capture license plate information and compare it against a database of known offenders, alerting security personnel when a vehicle of interest is detected.

Consumer-facing businesses will increasingly rely on interactive remote monitoring services. Trained security professionals operating from remote command centers can support businesses by conducting virtual walkthroughs, issuing voice-downs to warn people who may be acting suspiciously, and interacting with store employees directly as needed. By leveraging cameras, microphones, and speakers, this model offers discreet security coverage and an upgraded “eye in the sky” that can not only see but also interact in real-time.

Click here to read the full article









Trends Driving Insider Threats
Insider threats must be taken seriously
Insider threats must be taken seriously, as they might have significant consequences on the business, with the potential to affect an organisation’s revenue and reputation. And the urgency to confront this issue is amplified in today’s challenging economic climate.

Five workforce trends in particular are exacerbating the problem:

1. Employee layoffs result in heightened identity security risks

When an employee is laid off or decides to resign, there is a risk this person may take confidential information with them. So, in times of organisational turmoil,
businesses must keep in mind rising concerns about layoffs might lead to an increase in the number of insider threats.

2. Should businesses trust third-party vendors’ security?

If a third-party relationship ends and permissions are not promptly revoked, the vendor
could continue to access a company’s sensitive information, regardless of the circumstances.

3. The impact of today’s rising “resenteeism”

employee who feels undervalued and whose promotion request has been denied several times may develop a sense of resentment towards their employer, which may motivate them to steal or leak sensitive data to “get even”.

4. The link between financial hardship and insider threats

Research shows privilege misuse –
employees abusing their authorised access – is the leading cause of intentional internal data breaches and is often paired with fraudulent transactions. 59pc of all data breach incidents have a financial goal.

5. The correlation between employees’ stress levels and security mistakes

Overworked and overstressed employees could
make it easier for phishing attackers to “hook” credentials and, given 50pc of workforce identities have access to sensitive corporate data, they are the perfect entry point for hackers wanting to gain access to company assets.

DDos Attacks Hit All-Time High in 2023
DDoS attack traffic surged in 2023, Cloudflare finds

Elevated malicious DDoS activity coincided with mass exploits of the novel zero-day vulnerability HTTP/2 Rapid Reset, which threat actors used to launch DDoS attacks last year.

AdvertisementDistributed denial of service attacks hit an all-time high in 2023, more than doubling year over year in the fourth quarter, Cloudflare said Tuesday in a threat report.

The record high year for
DDoS attacks coincided with mass exploits of the novel zero-day vulnerability HTTP/2 Rapid Reset, which threat actors used to launch DDoS attacks that broke records during the third quarter of 2023.

Cloudflare said it was mitigating about 201 million requests per second at the peak of the series of HTTP/2 vulnerability attacks.
Massive DDoS attacks require significantly fewer capabilities, resources and time, according to Omer Yoachimik, senior product manager of DDoS protection and security reporting at Cloudflare.

Generative AI tools also help to improve scripts and execute more sophisticated attacks,” he said.

Some DDoS attacks are
causing more significant damage, such as a series of DDoS attacks against Microsoft in June that led to disruptions across multiple services including Azure, OneDrive and Outlook.

AI Evasion, Poisoning, Privacy, and Abuse
Securing AI systems against evasion, poisoning, and abuse
Adversaries can
intentionally mislead or “poison” AI systems, causing them to malfunction, and developers have yet to find an infallible defense against this. In their latest publication, NIST researchers and their partners highlight these AI and machine learning vulnerabilities.

Partly due to the immense size of datasets used in AI training, which are
too vast for effective human monitoring and filtering, there currently isn’t a fail-safe method to shield AI from being misled. To support developers, the new report provides a comprehensive guide on potential attacks that AI products may face and suggests strategies to mitigate their impact.

The report examines the four primary categories of attacks:
evasion, poisoning, privacy, and abuse. Additionally, it categorizes these attacks based on various factors, including the attacker’s intentions and goals, their capabilities, and their level of knowledge.

12 best cybersecurity podcasts as recommended by the professionals

6 payments trends to watch in 2024







In Case You Missed It

Introducing Sapphire's Loss Prevention course!

The Importance of Loss Prevention

"Implementing proactive loss prevention measures among a business begins by educating employees and arming them with the right information. Since it can be difficult sometimes to determine whether theft, loss, or diversion is internal or external, this is why fortifying a company with tools before an incident begins is vital."


In Case You Missed It

Civil Unrest's Impact on Cannabis Businesses
What a Cannabis Business Owner Learned After a Break-In
Over the past few years, businesses have seen
an increase of civil unrest, rioting and the looting. Cannabis businesses have not been immune. In California, many businesses were likely targeted in a consorted effort to steal cash and cannabis inventory.

Blunts+Moore is the first Oakland dispensary opened through the city's equity program. co-founder, David Kotler, is an attorney in the legal cannabis sector. "...having a break-in like that, where inventory is affected, is disappointing," said Kotler. Blunts+Moore was one of multiple California dispensaries targeted, including Cookies, Magnolia Wellness and MedMen.

use it as an opportunity to look inward and see where everyone's [security] standards are," Kotler said. "It forced us to look more closely at how we are operating."

Cannabis business owners are having to keep up with evolving regulatory demands. To be prepared to mitigate changing security demands, business owners are staying in tune to the community around them.
Security is important with increasing periods of civil unrest and crime.

Cannabis business owners are learning from the crime occurring in businesses across the country. They are applying proactive security measures to prevent becoming an easy target. Installing steel bollards or metal roll-down doors can discourage criminal attempts and prevent illegal intrusions.

Changing Cannabis Laws Fueling Questions
Top 10 Questions About Cannabis Law in 2024

Below are the allegedly top ten questions about cannabis law.

Is cannabis legal in my area? The answer depends on the state but, at last check, well more than half the states have legalized cannabis in some form for adult and/or medical use.

AdvertisementWhat are the medical marijuana laws? Again, depends on state jurisdiction and even local laws. Of course, allowing medical cannabis has become the stepping stone to adult use, but that doesn’t occur in every single state.

What is the legal age for cannabis consumption? The general rule of thumb in adult use states is that you cannot purchase adult use cannabis unless you’re 21 or up.

Can I grow my own cannabis plants? Depends on state and even local laws, but most states allow for some form of home grow for both adult use and/or medical cannabis use.

What are the possession limits for cannabis? For adult use though, you typically see the possession limitation of one ounce (although daily purchase limits do exist).

Can I travel with cannabis? - Are there restrictions on where I can consume cannabis? - Can I be fired for using cannabis? - What are the penalties for cannabis-related offenses? - How are driving under the influence of cannabis (DUI) laws enforced?:

Legalization Limbo Could Fuel Black Market
Ohio House leaves marijuana users in limbo with weed policy
Ohio House lawmakers are puff, puff passing on dealing with marijuana policy until February, leaving marijuana enthusiasts in limbo.
Ohio’s new recreational marijuana law is now in effect, allowing adults 21 years of age and older to smoke. Under the law passed by voters, individual Ohioans would also be able to grow up to six plants, but up to 12 per household. Click here to learn more about what the law entails.

Even though marijuana is legal,
Ohio law has no system set up yet for people to legally buy it. This is frustrating Gov. Mike DeWine. “The black market will develop every day that goes on,” DeWine said during a press conference Friday.

Right now,
there are no authorized sellers. The Division of Cannabis Control isn’t set to start processing retailer applications until June, which means users likely won’t be able to legally buy marijuana until late summer or early fall.

College applications rose in states that legalized recreational marijuana

Thailand's New Government To Ban Cannabis For Recreational Use





Online Shoppers Hold Brands Responsible for Fake Reviews
Bazaarvoice study reveals consumers’ concern about fake reviews: 63% think brands should be solving the issue

Half (49%) also think government bodies should be solving issues of fraudulent content online, and over a third (36%) think the same of third-party experts

Bazaarvoice, Inc., the leading platform for full-funnel authentic user-generated content (UGC) and social commerce solutions, today released its latest study based on
a survey of more than 8,000 global shoppers and over 400 brands. The results revealed that fake reviews are something that weigh heavily on people’s minds when they are shopping, and they want brands to take action in order for them to feel confident in the content they’re consuming online.

Fake reviews undermine confidence in online content, dissuading shoppers and negatively impacting the online sales of brands and retailers,” said Andy Chakravarty, VP of Research at IDC Retail Insights. “Validating authenticity of product reviews improves the customer experience, giving shoppers peace of mind as they make informed purchasing decisions.”

Global survey highlights include:

Consumers are concerned about all types of fake UGC: 75% are concerned about fake reviews, 69% are concerned about fake images, 68% are concerned about fake videos, 66% are concerned about fake questions and answers and 69% are concerned about fake social media content.

They want brands to take care of it: The majority of respondents (63%) think the brand’s website they’re visiting should be solving issues of fraudulent content online, followed by governmental bodies (49%) and a third-party expert (36%).

Brands think they’re on top of it: While consumers want them to do more, 94% of brands and retailers said that they rate the importance of maintaining online content authenticity in e-commerce business high, and the majority (76%) are confident in their current strategies and tools for detecting and preventing fraudulent or counterfeit content within their online channels.

However, consumers are doing a lot of work to verify the legitimacy of online stores: Using trusted online shopping platforms (63%), researching the brand online (58%), checking for secure website indicators (e.g., padlock symbol), (51%), reading customer reviews (47%), and recommendations from a friend or family member (46%) are the most common ways they do so.

AI Fueling Another Amazon Scam
Scammy AI-Generated Books Are Flooding Amazon

Authors keep finding what appear to be AI-generated imitations and summaries of their books on Amazon. There's little they can do to rein in the rip-offs.

AI-generated summaries sold as ebooks have been “dramatically increasing in number, says publishing industry expert Jane Friedman—who was herself the target of a different AI-generated book scheme. That’s despite Amazon in September limiting authors to uploading a maximum of three books to its store each day. “It's common right now for a nonfiction author to celebrate the launch of their book, then within a few days discover one of these summaries for sale.”

Some copyright scholars say that a summary is legal as long as it refrains from explicit word-for-word plagiarism. Kristelia Garcia, an intellectual property law professor at Georgetown University, draws a comparison with the original blockbusters of the summary world: CliffsNotes, the longrunning study guide series that provides student-friendly explanations of literature.

Salesforce: Global online holiday sales reach $1.17T

Amazon cuts hundreds of jobs in Prime Video and MGM Studios










Nashville, TN: 2 charged with $6K ‘tag swapping’ at Green Hills Nordstrom
Two men were taken into custody Wednesday at the Mall at Green Hills after they were reportedly caught swapping tags on merchandise to change the price. Metro police reported loss prevention officers saw 44-year-old Clarence Davis and Keonta Hamilton, 27, swapping tags on surveillance video at Nordstrom in Green Hills. According to court documents, the men were stopped after they made a purchase and left the store. Loss prevention officers added up the items and determined there was a $700 differential between the retail price and what the suspects paid. Officers also found cocaine and pills on the men in addition to more than $6,000 in cash, according to Metro police.

Bloomfield, NJ: Ingenious Home Depot Heist Leaves Police Searching for Thieves
Bloomfield Police are on the search of two cunning thieves who executed a slick heist, stealing thousands of dollars worth of tools from a local Home Depot. RLS Media learned that this unusual theft occurred last week (January 4th) at the Home Depot located at 60 Orange Street, where officers were called to investigate an interesting case of shoplifting. In a deceptive move, the thieves skillfully removed a toilet from its box and filled the empty packaging with a variety of valuable tools. Bloomfield Police said their haul included Milwaukee batteries, DeWalt batteries, and a Combat drill kit. The crafty duo then resealed the box, proceeding to pay a mere $106.60 for what was presumed to be just a toilet by the cashier. Unbeknownst to the store at the time of purchase, the stolen items tucked inside the box were worth a staggering $4,450.00.

Spring Hill, TN: $3K worth of Baby Monitors & Breast Pumps stolen

Easton, PA: Target thieves stole $2.3K of goods in Lower Nazareth, then tried again at 2nd store

Greece, NY: Police search for 4 suspects in $2k video game theft

Apple Valley, MN: Man Arrested Following $1400 Felony Theft at Target in Apple Valley

Missoula, MT: Repeat Offender: Trespasser won’t stop stealing from Walmart; local and out-of-state warrant

Clarkston, WA: Repeat Offender: Man Wanted on Warrants Facing new Felony Charge After Clarkston Walmart Theft





Shootings & Deaths

Chicago, IL: C-Store clerk killed during attempted robbery on South Side
A store clerk was shot and killed during an attempted robbery on the city’s South Side. The incident happened at the Half Moon grocery store near the corner of 79th Street and Martin Luther King Drive in the Chatham neighborhood around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. Police said a 43-year-old employee at the store was in an alley when he was approached by a man who attempted to rob him. The man tried to defend himself, and the offender fired several rounds of gunfire — one striking the store clerk in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cloquet, MN: Police release names of victims, suspected gunman in deadly motel shooting
Police have identified the victims and alleged gunman in Monday's motel shooting that ended with three people dead. On Wednesday morning Cloquet Police Chief Derek Randall said 22-year-old hotel clerk Shellby Marie Trettel, of Cloquet, and 35-year-old Patrick Jeffrey Roers, of Deer River, were the two people fatally shot at the Super 8 motel. The man investigators say killed them was 32-year-old Nicholas Elliot Lenius, of Ramsey. Lenius was found outside on the grounds of the Super 8, dead from what was described as a "self-inflicted gunshot wound." Chief Randall said during a news conference Tuesday that a motive for the fatal shootings is still unclear.

Orange Township, MI: Menards employee dies after falling from elevated platform machine onto concrete floor
A Menards employee in Michigan died Tuesday after falling about 20 feet while working on an elevated platform machine. According to police, an accidental fall was reported at 8:42 p.m. at a Menards home improvement store in Orange Township. Investigators said the store employee, a 26-year-old man, was working on an elevated platform machine when he accidentally fell about 20 feet onto the concrete floor. Firefighters and paramedics at the scene transported him to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, where he later died. An early investigation by the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office showed that safety equipment was working but was likely not used appropriately. However, further investigation of the industrial accident is being turned over to MIOSHA and the Ionia County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Santa Cruz, CA: Cannabis cultivator charged with shooting attempted burglars released from house arrest
A Santa Cruz business owner criminally charged with shooting a Glock 9mm handgun at attempted burglars was released from his house arrest Tuesday. Decibel Gardens co-owner Derek Hubbard, 36, was restricted to his home in November after he allegedly chased down fleeing masked thieves who were interrupted trying to break into his cannabis cultivation and packaging business in the early morning hours of Nov. 13. The attempted break-in was Hubbard’s second that year where a large group of thieves had targeted his business at its Harvey West neighborhood locale, his attorney told the court during a bail hearing and arraignment in November.

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Rochester, NY: Sergeant discusses state’s increased efforts to combat retail theft
Local law enforcement responded to Governor Hochul’s push to increase efforts to combat organized retail crime throughout the state. Much of what the governor discussed in her proposals included the launch of a joint operation between federal, state, and local law enforcement. She also announced a new state police unit to focus on addressing organized retail theft. Sergeant David Bolton of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says this is something that MCSO has been doing. Last year, MCSO ran four “retail details” between last summer through the end of the year, which yielded results. Multiple stolen cars were recovered and 117 arrests were made just for larcenies. 92 more arrests under active warrants and about $30,000 in stolen property. Sgt. Bolton explains that these types of details are very labor-intensive, requiring somewhere between 20 to 25 officers. He adds resources and partnerships always help, but feels this may not be enough to get to the root of curbing the issue.

Boston, MA: Two arrested in robbery of US Postal Service mail carrier



C-Store – Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery / Clerk killed
C-Store – Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Charleston, SC - Robbery
C-Store – Madison, WI – Burglary
C-Store- Memphis, TN – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Coos Bay, OR – Armed Robbery / clerk stabbed
C-Store – Silver Spring, MD – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Volusia County, FL – Armed Robbery
Clothing – Madera, CA – Robbery
Hardware – Morristown, VT – Robbery
Jewelry – Augusta, GA – Robbery
Liquor – Cleveland, OH - Robbery
Restaurant – Columbus, OH – Burglary
Restaurant – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Target – Apple Valley, MN – Robbery
Walmart – Missoula, MT - Burglary
Walmart - Clarkston, WA – Burglary
Walmart - Spring Hill, TN - Robbery                                           

Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 5 burglaries
• 1 shooting
• 1 killed

Click map to enlarge




None to report.

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Asset Protection Specialist
Newburgh, NY - reposted January 2

The Asset Protection Specialist role at Ocean State Job Lot is responsible for protecting company assets and monitoring store activities to reduce property or financial losses. This role partners closely with store leadership and the Human Resources team, when applicable, to investigate known or suspected internal theft, external theft, and vendor fraud...  

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