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Has Convergence Been Achieved In Security? Why Or Why Not?

In today's interconnected world, the lines between physical and digital security are blurring. This means that threats can easily exploit vulnerabilities in both realms, potentially causing significant damage. That's why the convergence of cyber- and physical security systems is becoming increasingly important. It has already been a topic of discussion in the security market for more than a decade. To get a reality check, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable:
Has convergence been achieved in security systems? Why or why not?

Matt Smitheman - National Account Executive, Interface Systems LLC

The gap between IT and physical security is narrowing. An important function of an integrator is to facilitate collaboration and understanding by supporting the goals of both departments in any project. This can be challenging based on how siloed the IT and the physical security teams are within an organization. We invite stakeholders to regular meetings and build consensus around unified security policies that cover both IT and physical security aspects. Most physical security professionals are trained to understand the basics of networking and InfoSec requirements. Because cybersecurity threats evolve so rapidly, security operators must partner with InfoSec teams fluent in cybersecurity best practices, policies, and protocols. Organisations can no longer afford to have physical security and IT not operating in lockstep together. The promise of 5G and bandwidth becoming economically capable of supporting advanced analytics and evidentiary or archival cloud storage will be one of the next steps in driving complete synergy.

Read more here

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Homeland Security Investigations & US Attorneys Work With Retailers to Stop ORC

Met with representatives from Walmart, Lowe’s, Ulta, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Target
US Attorney Tessa Gorman joins HSI for a roundtable on organized retail crime

Met with representatives from Walmart, Lowe’s, Ulta, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Target

Seattle- US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer hosted an organized retail crime roundtable discussion on Thursday, February 29th. US Attorney Tessa Gorman and HSI Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer gave opening remarks to retailers to discuss their work in investigating, disrupting, and prosecuting organized retail crime. Representatives from Walmart, Lowe’s, Ulta, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and Target were among the attendees at the roundtable.

We have seen organized retail crime become more and more common in the country, and in Western Washington,” said US Attorney Tessa Gorman. “Retail theft impacts retailers of all sizes and communities across our District. It leads to customers feeling unsafe, puts security guards at risks, and causes significant losses to retailers. I am proud to partner with HSI, local law enforcement, and the retailers in Western Washington to put a stop to organized retail crime.

“Organized retail crime does not only impact businesses, it undermines the well-being of our communities while threatening the safety and security of everyday people," said
Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees HSI operations in the Pacific Northwest. “Those who commit these offenses, regardless of if they are a part of a criminal organization or acting individually, will not be allowed to wreak havoc upon our private sector partners unchecked. This meeting is an important step in what I hope is a continued partnership with businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest to catch and prosecute organized theft groups that are conducting, promoting, and profiting off this dangerous activity.”

In March of 2023, the United States Attorney’s office indicted a pair for a retail theft scheme, in which both
defendants plead guilty to wire fraud. According to the plea agreement, they worked collaboratively to steal more than $800,000 of equipment from a large retailer through the retailer’s rental service. They rented the equipment under false identities, and then sold it on secondhand retail sites like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace. As of Mach 2023, the defendants had rented equipment from over 190 different store locations in 23 states under 150 names. This case was investigated by HSI.

Contact: Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Coast-to-Coast ORC Crackdown
More Retail Crime Busts as Legislation Tightens

Retail crimesters may not be shying away from stealing stock, but law enforcement nationwide has continued to crack down on crime ring participants.

Several states’ legislators have expressed their interest in decreasing retail crime rates through legislation, task forces, technology and increased budgets, citing rising crime, fearful retail employees and shoppers turning to online purchases rather than trekking into stores.

As some of the laws begin to go into effect and others make their way through the states’ respective legislative processes, police have ramped up their efforts to splinter retail crime rings’ aspirations.


Florida police arrested six Georgia residents accused of stealing about $90,000 of merchandise from various big box retailers in Florida over the course of 18 months. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the six suspects are allegedly part of an organized retail theft ring responsible for over 70 separate retail thefts. Those incidents occurred at stores in eight different counties in Northeast Florida, police said.


California leaders and politicians have been scrambling to solve the retail crime issue its cities face. Several members of the California State Assembly put forth the California Retail Theft Reduction Act, which would punish retail crimesters found with stolen merchandise they intend to sell. In late January, legislators introduced a bill into the California State Assembly that would revise the definitions outlined in Prop 47, in turn bringing harsher penalties against those who commit retail crime.


On Jan. 1, a new law went into effect in Oregon, which pledged harsher punishment for those pilfering from shelves in the state. Like a number of other states, including Washington, California and New York, state legislators expressed concern over the ways in which retail crime continues to affect business owners, retail store associates and consumer safety.

New York Governor Calls Out Retail Crime as State's 'Next Challenge'
Hochul touts progress on crime, says retail theft rings are next
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday what she described as significant progress in the fight against crime in New York’s Capital Region and across upstate. She also took the opportunity to discuss some items in her executive budget that she hopes the state Legislature will join her in supporting.

The governor also announced that similar efforts to strengthen red flag laws that keep guns away from individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others resulted in 1,385 "red flags" in 2023 and the seizure of 2,549 guns, while highlighting a partnership between the State Police and the Department of Environmental Conservation to seize illegal guns.

Our next challenge is retail theft, something that many would think should be left to the locals, except just like gun seizures and car thefts, sometimes our locals need extra help and expertise,” she said.

As part of her executive budget, the governor proposed using similar tactics to create a joint operation to crack down on organized retail theft rings while increasing penalties for those who assault retail workers.

She emphasized that she needs the support of lawmakers to move it forward. “I need my colleagues in the state Legislature to support this when we start our budget negotiations in the next couple of weeks,” she said.

Spectrum News 1 asked state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie if the increased penalties specifically are something the Assembly could get behind. “We’ll deal with some of the fiscal sides of the things the governor proposed in terms of helping out the retail industry, but as a standard practice we do not put policy in our one-house budgets,” he said.

Republican state Assemblymember Mike Reilly meanwhile told Spectrum News 1 he introduced a bill last session that would have increased penalties for retail theft but it never made it to the floor

   RELATED: Hochul shares promising news about crime in Western New York

New California Law Could 'Turn Many Felons Free'
WSJ Opinion: California Finds a New Way to Be Soft on Crime

The California Legislature creates a new ‘systemic racism’ defense that risks turning many felons free.

What would happen if lawmakers reinvented the criminal-justice system to target “systemic racism” instead of crime? California is about to find out. Thanks to a 2020 law called the California Racial Justice Act, every felon serving time in the state’s prisons and jails can now retroactively challenge his conviction and sentencing on the ground of systemic bias.

To prevail, the incarcerated prisoner need not show that the police officers, prosecutors, judge or jurors in his case were motivated by racism or that his proceedings were unfair. If he can demonstrate that in the past, criminal suspects of his race were arrested, prosecuted or sentenced more often or more severely than members of other racial groups, he will be entitled to a new trial or sentence.

California’s criminal-defense bar is lining up an onslaught of litigation. The 2020 law initially applied only to new prosecutions, and even before the onset of retroactivity at the start of 2024, defense lawyers were demanding that district attorneys provide decades’ worth of records, no matter how tangential to their case, to create statistical claims of bias.

Advocates are tutoring prisoners to file new claims under the law. A lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California recently told a conference at Berkeley Law School: “We have the potential for something grand: to unravel an unjust system. We are celebrating the dawn of a new era.” The act’s author, Assemblyman Ash Kalra, predicted that other states would follow California’s lead and that variants would be enacted in such domains as healthcare and family court. “The possibilities are endless, because racism is so pervasive,” Mr. Kalra told the conference.

Many of the largest California counties have leftist district attorneys who cheer the new law. Some are setting up Racial Justice Act units; it is unclear which side those units are on. Alameda County’s Pamela Price has already banned almost all sentencing enhancements on grounds of disparate racial impact. Oakland, the county’s principal city, had a 21% increase in violent crime last year, a 45% increase in car theft, and a 23% increase in carjackings and burglaries. The incidence of some crimes has tripled since 2019. As California courts apply the Racial Justice Act, the rest of the state will look more and more like Oakland.

Safeway Worker Fired for Trying to Stop Shoplifter
Judge ruled 'there was no misconduct on her part' despite Safeway firing her

Judge rules in favor of Safeway worker fired after trying to stop shoplifter
A California judge has ruled in favor of a longtime Safeway employee who was fired after she attempted to stop a shoplifter from stealing more than $500 worth of groceries, her attorney said.

Last year, the grocery retail chain terminated Antoinette Baez from her job at a Safeway in San Mateo, claiming she violated the company’s shoplifting policy. The policy, according to lawyer Neil Eisenberg, prohibits employees from chasing, touching, or pursuing a suspected thief.

The termination stemmed from an incident in which Baez intervened during an alleged shoplifting attempt on Feb. 2, 2023.

Baez was nearing the end of her shift as a cashier manager when she noticed a woman with a packed shopping cart acting suspiciously in the self-checkout area. She radioed the store supervisor, David Arevalos, and confronted the woman.

Baez said she attempted to redirect the woman back to the checkout lane, being careful not to touch her, and only keep her hands on the bags that the suspected shoplifter was holding. The former manager said she was very aware of Safeway's policy regarding handling shoplifting cases and that led to how she conducted herself.

The situation got more heated when the woman got physical and tried to punch Baez, Arevalos recalled. That’s when he stepped in to try and block the woman in an effort to protect his fellow employee.

The woman eventually left the store, without any of the items she allegedly tried to steal.

After a review of her case, a state EDD judge initially upheld Safeway’s termination. But Baez continued to fight back and appealed. Then last week, an EDD administrative law judge issued and finalized a new ruling in favor of Baez, concluding that there was no misconduct on her part.

The ruling now means she will receive unemployment benefits going back about a year, to the point of termination.

Violent Crime Nationwide is Down - But 'Disorder' Still Crippling Some Cities
Law enforcement community leader gives Biden reality check on crime

Fraternal Order of Police National Vice President Joe Gamaldi accused President Biden of living in an 'alternate reality'

President Biden countered rhetoric from multiple law enforcement sources during a White House speech last week with his own claims that violent crime reached 50-year lows under his administration, prompting one member of the law enforcement community to cry foul on Monday.

Gamaldi, weighing in on the crime issue, told host Maria Bartiromo that Biden could simply look outside his front door to see what's going on in the nation's capital, where, like many major U.S. cities, crime has devastated the public in recent years.

"Murders are up 38%. Washington, D.C. carjackings are up 100% and, when you look nationwide, we've had over 20,000 homicides in the last three years. We haven't seen those numbers in 30 years," he continued.

"Retail theft is over $100 billion. There's businesses closing left and right. There's crime and disorder everywhere you look, so if President Biden really wants to help, how about he tell rogue DAs and activist judges who support these revolving door criminal justice policies to grow a spine and actually do their job? While he's at it, why doesn't he convince the rest of his party to stop treating cops like crap in America?"

Baltimore may spend another $2.1 million on a new, three-year ShotSpotter gunshot detection contract
Baltimore is poised to consider a $2.1 million contract for the gunshot detection technology known as ShotSpotter, which has come under fire in cities across the country and was recently ended by Chicago’s skeptical mayor.

Moderates want voters to end progressive control of San Francisco Democratic Party

San Francisco Proposition B, police staffing measure, fails


New DOJ-FTC Strike Force to Crack Down on Consumer Prices
Biden to launch joint FTC-DOJ task force to crack down on ‘unfair and illegal pricing’

Biden will launch a new strike force jointly led by the FTC and DOJ, to tackle “unfair and illegal” corporate pricing, which he blames for consumers’ continued high costs of living.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday will launch a new task force to take on “unfair and illegal” corporate pricing, which Biden sees as a major reason why consumers are not yet feeling the impact of cooling inflation rates and a strong economy.

The task force will be jointly led by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, two agencies at the forefront of the Biden administration’s aggressive regulatory agenda over the past three years.

“Here at the Justice Department, we are confronting some of the world’s most powerful corporations so that we can improve the lives of American families," said Jonathan Kanter, assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s antitrust division.

“Over the last year supply chains have returned to normal and inflation has come down,” said National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard on the call. “Some corporations aren’t passing those savings on to consumers. ... President Biden is fed up with corporate practices that unfairly raise costs for consumers and he’s taking action.”

Retailers have finally “right-sized” inventory levels

Bank of America analysis finds that wide swings of inventory have leveled off in relation to sales

Most retail sectors seem to have right-sized their inventories after recent gyrations triggered by the pandemic and ensuing economic see-saw conditions, according to statistics tracked by the Bank of America.

The return to historical inventory levels follows a bumpy road for retailers, starting when the initial pandemic lockdowns of 2020, along with fiscal stimulus, turbo-boosted the demand for consumer goods to a level that retailers were hard-pressed to meet, Bank of America said in a report issued today, “Taking stock of retail inventories.”

In Case You Missed It
Kroger workers authorize strike in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio

Thousands could strike “at any moment” as union resumes contract negotiations

Some 3,000 union workers at 38 Kroger grocery stores in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio have rejected a new contract proposal and authorized a strike that could take place “at any moment,” the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 announced on Friday.

Target stating 'higher inventory shrink' impacting gross margin

L'Occitane, Sephora to close stores in downtown ex-Westfield San Francisco mall

Wolverine World Wide lays off 150 at distribution center

Will the New Small-Format Whole Foods Stores Succeed or Fail Yet Again?

Quarterly Results

Publix Q4 comp's up 0.4%, sales down 4%, Full Year comp's up 4.2%, Full Year sales up 4.7%

Target Q4 store comp's down 5.4%, digital sales down 0.7%, comp sales down 4.4%, Full Year store comp's down 3.7%, total sales down 1.7%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, Loss Prevention job posted for Petco in San Diego, CA
Direct all Loss Prevention efforts at Petco (Petco stores, support (non-store) functions including Distribution Centers, ecommerce and on-line fraud monitoring, data analytics/fraud investigations, NSC/SSC LP operations and building security, and business continuity with emphasis on shrink reduction, cash controls, safety, protection of company assets, fraud monitoring, and partner security. Deliver results as they relate to shrink budgets, cash shortage goals, cost/loss avoidance goals, safety metrics, etc.

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Introducing Agilence Modules

Dig deeper. Operate better.

eCommerce Module

The eCommerce Module provides deep insights into e-commerce sales, returns, and customer behaviors, highlighting key metrics such as average basket sizes and Sales Reducing Activities (SRAs) for each store. It also offers a detailed look into specific e-commerce operations like order conversions, no-cost sales, and special promotions. You can also analyze shipping patterns to identify areas of concern, improving delivery and customer satisfaction.

eCommerce Datasheet

Inventory Module

The Inventory Module redefines the way retailers address stock management and risk analysis, offering a comprehensive approach to risk identification by merging inventory shrink data seamlessly with POS information. The Module provides insight into On Hand levels and periodic adjustments, inventory buildup, lack of replenishment, and more, enabling retailers to proactively detect potential inventory discrepancies and internal theft, while gaining deeper insights into individual store performance.

Inventory Module Datasheet

Direct Store Delivery Module

Being able to unlock the revenue trapped in your vendor supply chain is crucial. No longer can you run a retail operation on second-guesses or hunches. Instead, keep your vendors accountable and improve logistical efficiency with data-driven insights.The Direct Store Delivery (DSD) Module is specifically designed to provide visibility into vendor activity. The DSD Module complements POS data, allowing for analysis of delivery patterns, identification of invoice discrepancies, and tracking of vendor credits.

DSD Datasheet

Scale Production Module

Grocery retailers want every advantage when it comes to maximizing sales. This includes understanding where they may be underproducing product and unable to meet demand, as well as overproducing, leading to perishable shrink. The Scale Production Module helps you analyze data from electronic scales alongside your POS data to optimize inventory, production schedules, and scale accuracy. Cross-store comparisons also offer opportunities for increased sales.

Scale Production Module Datasheet

Click here to learn more






Retailers Pop Up on Mass. OCASBR's Latest Data Breach Report
American Express Notifies Customers of Data Breach
American Express says names, card account numbers, and card expiration dates were compromised in a data breach.

American Express is notifying customers that their information was compromised in a data breach at a third-party services provider.

In a notification letter to the impacted customers, a copy of which was submitted to the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), the company explains that the incident impacted account information of some card members.

“We became aware that a third-party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system. It is important to note that American Express owned or controlled systems were not compromised by this incident,” the notification letter reads.

According to American Express, the compromised information includes names, current and previously issued card account numbers, and other card details, such as expiration dates.

The financial services company says it is “vigilantly monitoring” customer accounts for fraud and notes that the impacted individuals are not liable for fraudulent charges on their accounts.

Massachusetts OCABR’s latest data breach report shows that American Express disclosed several third-party data breaches over the past several weeks, involving retailers and other partners. Credit or debit card numbers were compromised in every incident.

'Booby-Trapped Email Attachments'
Hundreds of orgs targeted with emails aimed at stealing NTLM authentication hashes
A threat actor specializing in establishing initial access to target organizations’ computer systems and networks is using booby-trapped email attachments to steal employees’ NTLM hashes.

Why are they after NTLM hashes?

NT LAN Manager (NTLM) hashes
contain users’ (encoded) passwords. “User authentication in Windows is used to prove to a remote system that a user is who they say they are. NTLM does this by proving knowledge of a password during a challenge and response exchange without revealing the password to anyone.”

Varonis Threat Labs researchers have recently
documented alternative tricks attackers use to grab NTLM password hashes.

How a phishing email allows them to steal NTLM hashes?

According to the researchers, in late February 2024 the threat actor (marked as TA577)
sent out tens of thousands of emails targeting employees of hundreds of organizations around the world. The emails looked like they were replies to previous emails, and directed the potential victims to download and open the attached ZIP archive file.

“When opened, the HTML file triggered a system connection attempt to a Server Message Block (SMB) server via a meta refresh to a file scheme URI ending in .txt. That is, the file would
automatically contact an external SMB resource owned by the threat actor,” the researchers explained.

Why cyber maturity assessment should become standard practice
Understanding risk is one thing, but how do you know if your organization has what it takes to withstand those risks being realized?
Establishing cyber maturity can help determine resilience, where the strengths and weaknesses lie, and what needs to happen to improve those security processes.

In its recent The State of Cybersecurity 2023 report, ISACA describes cyber maturity as a work in progress. The reference is not just a nod to the fact that assessments should be carried out periodically but to the fact that uptake is not as high as it should be. The number carrying out regular assessments (65%) has not moved over the past two years, revealing adoption has stalled.

This seems surprising given that the
demand for verifying the level of cyber maturity within the organization has never been higher. In the face of escalating risks leading to more claims, cyber insurance providers are now pushing for cyber maturity assessments to determine their risk exposure when quoting for policies, for example. The likelihood is that such demands will become the norm as these providers seek to increase market penetration in the face of escalating threats (currently increasing premiums, dampening uptake).

Secure your hybrid workforce: The advantages of encrypted storage

Zero-Click GenAI Worm Spreads Malware, Poisoning Models



Two Weeks Left to Register!

Retail Secure Conference | March 21, 2024, Int'l Centre, Mississauga
Top retail loss prevention experts and security and law enforcement professionals are gathering on March 21, 2024 at Retail Council of Canada's Retail Secure Conference.

The full agenda includes retail loss prevention leaders and industry experts such as:

✔ Mike Lamb, Vice President of Asset Protection & Safety
✔ Chris Nelson, SVP and Head of Asset Protection, Gap Inc.
✔ Sharon Bauer, Privacy Strategist & Founder, Bamboo Data Consulting
✔ Dr. Larry Barton, Risk Management Consultant
✔ Mark Dapat, Deputy Chief of Community Safety and Well-being Services Command, Peel Regional Police

Don't miss out on Canada's premier event for retail loss prevention professionals! To view the full agenda and buy tickets, visit


Canadian Theft is 'Getting More Organized & Violent'
B.C., Quesnel consumers hit with “crime tax” says SOS coalition

Quesnel advocate pushing for business protection results out of B.C. budget

The Save Our Streets coalition (SOS) estimated this week that
retail theft in B.C. ended up costing every family in the province about $824, this year.

It’s getting more organized and more violent,” said Jess Ketchum, co-founder of SOS. “You may hear about the cost of groceries and gas but you won’t see the cost of organized theft and shoplifting to British Columbia families in the (new provincial budget), but it’s real. It’s like a crime tax, and it’s definitely taking a toll on families as well as the growing number of local businesses hit hard by crime and street disorder.”

Ketchum grew up in Quesnel and aided local MLA Alex Fraser in government before becoming one of the top communications consultants in the province. He is one of the leading voices in the calls to
deal appropriately and quickly with the street crime culture in B.C. towns and cities. The vandalism, thievery, staff stress and small business losses, as well as the radiant hit to the provincial government’s coffers, is crippling the economy he said.

“Even more concerning is the increase in repeat offenders, and the fact that
retail theft involving violence has increased 300 per cent over the past four years, according to the Retail Council of Canada. Workers and customers shouldn’t have to worry about their safety, but these days it is definitely on all our minds,” said Ketchum.

Ketchum said
SOS is calling on governments at every level to step up and use their resources and authority to “end the downward spiral that is hurting families, communities, neighbourhoods, and local businesses.”

SOS is calling on governments to more clearly
identify and articulate objectives for decreasing these crimes, how success or failure will be measured and how they intend on meeting those objectives.

“When we started SOS last October, we had 30 community, neighbourhood and business organizations join us and since then,
we’ve grown to nearly 80 members from across the province,” Ketchum said.

Communities, citizen groups, and B.C. businesses interested in joining SOS are invited to contact: Their website is:

33 Store Closures in Canada
The Body Shop to close nearly a third of stores in Canada, seeks creditor protection
The Body Shop plans to
close nearly one-third of its stores in Canada and is seeking protection from its creditors, just weeks after its U.K.-based parent company also began restructuring under its new owners, German private equity firm Aurelius Investment.

On Friday,
The Body Shop Canada Ltd. filed a “notice of intention” under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act with the Ontario Superior Court. The process will “provide additional breathing room while it evaluates its strategic alternatives and implements certain restructuring initiatives,” the company wrote in a press release on Friday.

The Body Shop operates 105 stores across Canada, 33 of which will immediately begin liquidation sales. The Body Shop has more than 700 employees in Canada. The press release did not specify how many jobs would be cut as part of the restructuring.

Red Sea Attacks Impacting Canadian Supply Chain?
Shein, Temu and other e-commerce retailers are upending global air cargo industry

E-commerce has biggest impact on air cargo, not Red Sea crisis, says expert

According to data aggregated by Cargo Facts Consulting,
Temu ships around 4,000 tonnes a day, Shein 5,000 tonnes, 1,000 tonnes and TikTok 800 tonnes. That equates to around 108 Boeing 777 freighters a day, the consultancy said.

Driven by robust demand for their low-priced apparel — like $10 Cdn tops and $5 biker shorts —
Shein alone accounts for one-fifth of the global fast-fashion market, measured by sales, and has fuelled growth of China's e-commerce industry, according to Coresight Research.

Retail Loyalty Programs in Canada
Booming Subscriptions but Lacklustre Engagement Challenge Retailers
Loyalty programs have become a necessary strategy for consumer engagement among retailers across Canada, evolving significantly from simple point collections to upgrade programs offering increased personalization and a seamless shopping experience. As the cost of living in Canada rises, consumers are constantly looking for ways to save money and are on the hunt for loyalty programs that not only offer great perks, but are meaningful. Although the percentage of subscribers to loyalty programs are increasing – consumers might leave some deserted.

Quebec's online shopping platform, Le Panier Bleu, shutting down

B.C. cannabis companies finally eligible for pre-approved credit cards

Ontario's top court unanimously upholds life sentences for Eaton Centre shooter

Christopher Husbands was found guilty in 2019 of two counts of manslaughter

Ontario's top court has upheld the life sentences for
a man who opened fire in the food court of Toronto's crowded Eaton Centre mall in 2012, a shooting that killed two men and injured several other people, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head.

In a unanimous decision released Wednesday, the Court of Appeal for Ontario found there was "no basis for interfering" in the sentences handed to Christopher Husbands in 2019, which were to be served at the same time and came with seven years of parole ineligibility.

Husbands was found guilty in 2019 of two counts of manslaughter in the deaths of Ahmed Hassan and Nixon Nirmalendran. Hassan, 24, died at the scene after the June 2, 2012, shooting, while Nirmalendran, 22, died in hospital nine days later.

Same culprits pulled off some of the jewelry heists in Mississauga & across GTA
Police investigating
a rash of “smash-and-grab” jewelry store robberies in Mississauga and Brampton say the culprits behind the violent heists are likely also responsible for some of the other similar holdups across the GTA and elsewhere.

Numerous jewelry stores in Peel, Burlington, Toronto, Oshawa and the Niagara region (St. Catharines) have been targeted in similar fashion dating back months now.

In most, if not all cases,
multiple masked culprits burst into the stores and begin smashing display cases with hammers as frightened customers and employees flee the shops. Most recently, three teens — two from Toronto, the other from Brampton — were arrested in the wake of a jewelry store robbery in Oshawa this past weekend. A fourth suspect remains at large.

Brandon, Canada: Walmart LP punched in the face by fleeing shoplifter

Police seek suspects after Edmonton liquor store robbery involving pepper spray

Ottawa police looking to identify suspect in store robbery on Bank Street

Man pleads guilty to robbing Dartmouth convenience store while armed with axe

View Canadian Connections Archives







15% Drop in Amazon Consumer Scams in 2023
Amazon charts a course for protecting consumers from scams

Through collaboration and innovative solutions, Amazon is reinforcing its commitment to ensure that scammers don’t take advantage of people who trust us.

Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, which includes
ensuring that scammers are not using our brand to take advantage of people who trust us.

While scams are not a new problem, the opportunities for scammers to commit their crimes have increased due to the rise of internet adoption that makes it convenient for consumers to run many aspects of their daily lives and greater access to sophisticated technologies. Scammers use a combination of sophisticated techniques as well as social engineering to exploit consumer trust.

At Amazon, we consistently work to protect our customers from scams by
building innovative technologies that shield accounts and detect fraudulent attempts, creating educational initiatives to help consumers know it’s really us, and fostering partnerships with law enforcement to hold bad actors accountable. We have teams of machine learning scientists, software developers, and expert investigators around the globe dedicated to protecting customers from scams like these, and their efforts are having an impact. These teams proactively identify and take down fraudulent websites and phone numbers by monitoring as well as reviewing customer reports.

Of all the scams impersonating Amazon reported by our customers globally in 2023,
over two-thirds of scams claimed to be related to order or account issues. These reports often include interactions with scammers where a customer tells us, “I got a random call from someone who claimed I bought something on Amazon that I hadn’t and they wanted my account information to verify this was an error.” In 2023, we saw more than a 15% decrease in customers who fell victim to scams. The more consumers report scams to us, the better our tools get at identifying those responsible so that we can work to stop them. We are continuing to develop solutions and innovate on behalf of customers to address this shared challenge alongside others.

While these steps help, p
rotecting consumers around the world will require activation of the entire scam-fighting community to work across jurisdictions and sectors. At Amazon, we listen to feedback from our customers and engage in rich discussions with scam prevention leaders. There are two themes that consistently arise in these conversations—stopping scams at the source and helping consumers avoid and recover from scams when they need it most. Amazon does not have all the solutions to these issues, but we want to work with others interested in exploring cross-sector solutions to address them.

AI Chatbots Creating Online Shopping Friction?
Here’s what shoppers think of AI chatbots
A new survey sheds light on consumer opinions regarding artificial intelligence
(AI)-based chatbot technology.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 U.S. shoppers from software engineering and digital consultancy company Intellias, AI chatbots are the most likely cause of friction when buying online, with
19% agreeing chatbots are the area where AI most disrupts their shopping experiences.

44% of respondents said AI has helped retailers and brands create more personalized shopping experiences, a further 20% said that interactions with AI chatbots were the stage in their online buying journeys where they were most likely to abandon a purchase.

Almost half
(46%) of respondents said they didn’t mind retailers using AI in their buying journeys if it wasn’t clunky. In comparison, two-thirds (66%) are open to retailers using AI to automate repetitive or monotonous tasks, but they don’t want it to replace human interaction.

How Reviews Are Displayed Matters With Online Shopping

UK online shopping on track for remarkable expansion







Victor, NY: Woman stole about $35,000 in fragrances from Ulta
A Rochester woman is in jail after Ontario County deputies say she stole almost $35,000 in fragrances from Ulta Beauty Store in Victor. The Ontario County Sheriff’s Office charged Raven Walton, 30, with grand larceny and burglary. They say the thefts happened between December and February, and she already had been banned from all Ulta properties. Walton is being held pending an arraignment.

Kirkland, WA: 'Prolific' theft suspects who stole $10K in leggings from Lululemon arrested
Police recently arrested three people accused of stealing $80,000 worth of merchandise from Lululemon and other Kirkland-area businesses. The Kirkland Police Department (KPD) said the suspects were booked into King County jail and charged with "organized retail theft and theft-related crimes." Kirkland police said they worked on the case with loss prevention staff at various retailers, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the King County Sheriff's Office, and police from Bellevue, Issaquah, Auburn, Tukwila, Seattle and Burlington. Police said the investigation began in January when officers arrested two people after a break-in at a Kirkland apartment building. The two suspects were linked to thefts at Lululemon in Totem Lake, police added.

Los Angeles, CA: 14 arrested in downtown LA retail theft ‘blitz’ operation
Fourteen suspects were taken into custody during two separate retail theft blitz operations in downtown Los Angeles, police said Monday. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, retail thefts in downtown Los Angeles have become problematic, resulting in thousands of dollars in daily losses. “Blitz operations are conducted to address this issue by collaborating with impacted retailers to strategically saturate the problem areas with personnel and resources,” the police department said in a statement. The first blitz operation occurred Thursday in the 600 block of South Broadway, where four adult suspects were arrested. A second blitz operation happened Friday at the FiGat7th Plaza near 7th and Figueroa streets, where 10 suspects were arrested — seven adults and three juveniles.

Porter, TX: Texas Man Faces Felony Charges for Walmart Robbery, Brandishing Firearm
A high-stakes confrontation unfolded at a Walmart in Porter, Texas, leading to the arrest of 52-year-old Harold Laygan. The incident, occurring on a quiet Sunday, escalated when Laygan allegedly attempted to shoplift while armed with a concealed firearm, challenging traditional notions of retail theft. According to the Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable's Office, the events took a dramatic turn when loss prevention officers confronted Laygan. In a bold attempt to evade capture, Laygan revealed his concealed weapon to the officers, effectively halting their pursuit and allowing him a momentary escape. This alarming method of shoplifting introduces a dangerous variable into what are typically non-violent encounters, raising significant concerns about the safety of retail employees and shoppers alike. The response to the incident was swift. Pct. 4 deputies, informed of Laygan's departure in a vehicle, managed to apprehend him shortly after the confrontation. Charged with first-degree felony aggravated robbery.

Fort Myers, FL: Women suspected of stealing $2500 of Baby formula from 2 Publix in SWFL

Palmdale, CA: 2 women suspected of stealing $1.5K in Nike gear from Palmdale store

Fairfield, NJ: Police Bust Target Shoplifters: Over $1,000 in Merchandise and 20 Red Bull Cases Seized






Shootings & Deaths

Louisville, KY: Man found shot multiple times, killed inside liquor store on Dixie Highway
A man was found shot and killed inside a liquor store on Dixie Highway Tuesday night, according to Louisville Metro police. LMPD spokesperson Matthew Sanders said at 9:18 p.m. officers were called to the 2135 block of Dixie Highway at ‘Oya’ liquor store. Inside the store, they found an ‘obviously dead’ young man shot multiple times. LMPD’s Homicide Unit is investigating.

Oakland, CA: Update: Juvenile suspect arrested in the killing of longtime West Oakland store clerk
Oakland police on Tuesday announced a juvenile has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a father of four and longtime store clerk who was considered a fixture of the community. Maged Alazzani, 46, was shot and killed on Jan. 6 while working at Orlando's Market at 30th and Linden streets in West Oakland. Police said officers arrived on scene to find evidence of a shooting and learned that the victim had "self-transported" to a hospital, where he later died. Police said investigators with the department's homicide division, along with its robbery and patrol units worked collaboratively to safely take the suspect into custody on Feb. 27.

Minneapolis, MN: Update: Bail set at $2 million for Minneapolis man charged in Dinkytown tobacco shop killings
A 25-year-old Minneapolis man arrested recently in Chicago now stands charged with murder in connection with a double homicide last December in a Dinkytown tobacco shop. Maleek Jabril Conley is charged with four counts of second-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court and stands accused of killing two people and wounding a store clerk with a bullet intended for another victim at Royal Cigar Tobacco on Dec. 3. Conley was extradited to Minneapolis on Monday and remains in custody while the whereabouts of a co-defendant remain unknown. He made a first court appearance Tuesday at which his bail was set at $2 million.
Gunfire erupted in the shop after a brawl broke out between two groups of customers in the tiny, family-owned smoke shop at 4th Street and 14th Avenue SE. near the University of Minnesota about 2:15 a.m., before a posted closing time of 3 a.m. Killed in the chaotic scene that was captured on bystander video were Bryson Lamarr Haskell and Jamartre Michael Sanders, both 24 and from Minneapolis.

Tulsa, OK: Man shot in the ear during shoplifting attempt at Tulsa Music store
Tulsa Police are investigating after officers said a man was shot in the ear after stealing from a business. Police said the store owner had and a gun and at some point it went off.
Police say it appears it was an accidental shooting, but it is still under investigation. Police said the store owner and employees tried to stop the shoplifter from leaving when a gun went off. Tulsa Police said the shoplifter has a gunshot wound to his ear and is expected to be okay. Police said the man took items, got into his car, and was trying to drive away when officers said an employee’s gun went off as employees were trying to keep the shoplifter from leaving. Officers said there was another person in the car with him, who they questioned and released. Tulsa Police said there is surveillance video and several witnesses.

Houston, TX: Murder suspect sentenced to life, 5 years after gas station clerk killed in NW Harris County



Adult – Columbia, MO – Burglary
Beauty – Victor, NY – Robbery
C-Store – Colorado Springs, CO – Robbery
C-Store – Bryan, TX – Burglary
C-Store – North Haven, CT – Burglary
C-Store – Chicago, IL – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Saint Joseph County, IN – Robbery
C-Store – Dallas, TX – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Lubbock, TX – Armed Robbery
CBD – Dublin, GA – Burglary
Check Cashing – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Clothing – Kirkland, WA – Robbery
Grocery – Fort Myers, FL – Robbery
Jewelry – Dayton, OH – Robbery
Jewelry - Jacksonville, FL – Burglary
Jewelry - Tacoma, WA – Robbery
Jewelry - Coralville, IA -Robbery
Jewelry - Marrero, LA – Robbery
Liquor – Louisville, KY – Armed Robbery / 1 killed
Liquor – Chicago, IL - Burglary
Liquor – Chicago, IL 0 Burglary
Liquor – Howard County, MD – Robbery
Music – Tulsa, OK – Robbery / Susp wounded
Restaurant – North Haven, CT – Burglary
Restaurant – North Haven, CT – Burglary
Restaurant- San Francisco, CA – Burglary
Sports – Palmdale, CA - Robbery
Target - Fairfield, NJ – Robbery
Walmart – Porter, TX – Armed Robbery                                                                      

Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 11 burglaries
• 2 shootings
• 1 killed


Click map to enlarge






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In the 1980's, it was common practice when you resigned from a company to make copies of your files and take them with you to a certain extent. Everyone knew about it and it was almost accepted behavior. Today, it's quite different and much more serious. So much more information is available to virtually everyone that, one push of a key, and certainly a well-orchestrated effort can have dramatic consequences and can bring criminal charges. In today's world, intellectual property is a critical asset to every organization and it's the responsibility of every executive to safeguard and maintain their company's intellectual property integrity. Every organization, regardless of size, can be impacted and quite frankly most have been. 

Just a Thought,


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