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Bob Casar, CFE named Senior Director, LP for IntelliShop

Before being named Senior Director, Loss Prevention for IntelliShop, Bob spent nearly four years with HS Brands International as Territory Director of Loss Prevention (3 years) and Regional Director of Loss Prevention (1 year). Prior to that, he spent more than five years with Ascena Retail Group as Regional LP Manager. Earlier in his career, he held LP/AP roles with Target, Carter's, Luxottica and Sears. Congratulations, Bob!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   

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CAL-ORCA & California Retailers Association partner with Auror to address ORC

The California Organized Retail Crimes Association (CAL-ORCA) and The California Retailers Association (CRA) have announced a partnership with Auror to utilize its ORCA Retail Crime Intelligence platform to address Organized Retail Crime (ORC) in the California region. The partnership will enable CAL-ORCA & CRA to build a data network that empowers its members to collaborate, share intelligence, and resolve more ORC cases for free.

“ORC is a growing problem not only for businesses, but our communities,” said Rachel Michelin, CRA President and CEO. “ORC fosters a host of illegal activity, including the recruitment of youth, homeless and others into theft crimes. These networks frequently use their proceeds to finance other illegal activity including drug smuggling and human trafficking.”  Read more in the Vendor Spotlight column below

HS Brands Expands European Reach with Acquisition of Mystery Review, Netherlands
HS Brands, an Industry leader in global brand protection adds to its growing international presence with the acquisition of Mystery Review, the Netherlands’ premier mystery shopping company.

HS Brands, a leading provider of Brand Certainty services such as Mystery Shops, Loss Prevention and Franchise Assurance, announced today the acquisition of Mystery Review located in Hilversum, Netherlands. As part of the acquisition, Carlo van den Berg, was named Managing Director of HS Brands Europe and will continue in his former responsibilities of overseeing the Hilversum day-to-day operations as well as business development all over Europe.

Protests & Violence

Floyd Trial - LAPD Mishandling Summer 2020 Protests
Multiple News Outlets Release Scathing Reports on LAPD
West Coast Erupts - You Have to Wonder Who's Behind Them

Extremist Groups May Infiltrate Peaceful Protests

With Derek Chauvin’s trial underway, St. Paul officials say they’re also prepared for protests, focused on safety for all
In the east metro alone, there are nearly 1,000 officers who can be called in and about 1,000 Minnesota National Guard members who will be available.

The Capitol grounds and Governor’s Residence — both in St. Paul — are common places for protests. They expect that protests, marches and demonstrations will be peaceful, and law enforcement will help people to express their First Amendment rights, Murphy said.

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said there are two things that law enforcement can’t allow to happen: People cannot be injured and property can’t be damaged.

Law enforcement says they’re watching for extremist groups who may view the trial as a time to commit violence or destroy property.

The goal is safety for all, said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. That means protesters can be safe; and businesses and residents can continue to thrive, he said.

Violence & Unrest Impacting Stores

Minneapolis business owners in George Floyd Square plead for safety
Two women had to hit the sidewalk as gunshots popped off during the day outside Finish Touch Boutique, a store near the south barricade of George Floyd Square, shop owner Willie Frazier said. Frazier's car was stolen from the square recently, too, he said, and it later turned up at the impound lot with the hood smashed.

Now Frazier is sending a distress call along with other Black business owners whose shops and restaurants have been cut off from the outside world by concrete barricades guarded by civilian gatekeepers surrounding 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. As violence disrupts the once-peaceful memorial where Floyd died during an encounter with Minneapolis police, the business owners said they felt abandoned by a city that has failed to protect their safety and livelihoods.

After bystander video of then-police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck went viral, the city installed concrete barriers to prevent cars from colliding with mourners. The area evolved into a protest zone, and committed activists have guarded the barricades ever since while taking care of the Floyd memorial in front of the Cup Foods convenience store.

George Floyd Square has drawn well-wishers from all over the world. But trouble hasn't left the area.

Protesters temporarily closed George Floyd Square for mourning despite its tendency to serve as a community gathering space through the Chauvin trial. Business owners and residents say tensions on the block remain high with sporadic gunshots.

Suit Alleges Minneapolis PD 'Used Excessive Force' Against Protesters
ACLU protester lawsuit against Minneapolis, MPD will move forward
The city of Minneapolis, as well as the police department and its leaders, will now face a second lawsuit over their handling of the 2020 George Floyd protests.

On Friday, a federal judge struck down some motions to dismiss the class-action lawsuit, which was filed last July by the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota (ACLU-MN) and a Boston law firm on behalf of several protesters. With the ruling, the case can officially move forward.

The suit alleges that the "Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol used unnecessary and excessive force to suppress people’s First Amendment rights to assemble peacefully and speak out against injustice," a release says.

"Peaceful protesters were tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed and shot at with hard foam bullets and flashbangs to intimidate them and quash the protests," ACLU-MN says, adding that officers "often fired without giving warning," and failed to give protesters time to comply.

Capitol Police to begin removing Capitol fencing, saying no ‘known, credible threats’

Protests/Violence & Attacks on Shopworkers in the UK
Same Pressures as in U.S.

Same Pressure on Police in UK
U.K. Plan to Toughen Laws Against Protesters
Days after the British police were criticized for breaking up a vigil held for a woman kidnapped and killed earlier this month, the U.K. government proposed legislation mandating prison sentences of up to 10 years for demonstrators causing “serious annoyance,” prompting questions over whether the state is eroding civil liberties.

Police in the U.K. were accused of being insensitive after handcuffing women at a gathering on Saturday to commemorate the life of Sarah Everard, who was abducted while walking home in London on March 3.

The weekend actions have focused attention on a part of wide-ranging legislation that appears aimed at thwarting protests such as those mounted last year in support of Black Lives Matter, in which statues were toppled, and by the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement that caused widespread disruption.

The legislation, which was debated in Parliament on Monday, has been months in the making, but the 300-page bill was published only last week.

3rd UK Group Ask MP's For Tougher Penalties & More Protection
for Retail Workers

Posted Today: UK ACS briefs MPs on tougher penalties needed for attacks on shopworkers
The Association of Convenience Stores has briefed MPs ahead of the second reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, calling for tougher sentencing to address attacks against shopworkers.

The ACS made two key recommendations:

● Introduce tougher penalties for attacks on shopworkers using the same principles that extends tougher penalties for attacks on emergency workers.

● Ensure that the new approach to diversionary and conditional cautions addresses repeat shop thieves, often motivated by addiction, which is the number one trigger for violence.

The bill includes plans to introduce tougher sentencing for attacks on emergency workers and reforms to the Out of Courts Disposals system to address repeat offending.

COVID Update

109M Vaccinations Given

US: 30.1M Cases - 548K Dead - 22.2M Recovered
Worldwide: 120.8M Cases - 2.6M Dead - 97M Recovered

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

Private Industry Security Guard Deaths: 279  
Law Enforcement Officer Deaths: 266

*Red indicates change in total deaths

They're Coming!
After WSJ's Scathing Investigation & Biden's Executive Order

Posted Today: OSHA to Ramp Up Coronavirus-Related Inspections

OSHA launches a national emphasis program to prioritize enforcement efforts during COVID-19.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national emphasis program (NEP) March 12 in response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety during COVID-19.

The NEP means OSHA will focus enforcement efforts in the coming months on coronavirus-related inspections. In a press release announcing the NEP, the agency made clear it will prioritize companies that put the largest numbers of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus and employers that retaliate against workers who exercise rights protected by federal law or make complaints about unsafe or unhealth conditions.

“This deadly pandemic has taken a staggering toll on U.S. workers and their families. We have a moral obligation to do what we can to protect workers, especially for the many who have no other protection,” said Jim Frederick, principal deputy assistant secretary of labor in a statement.

OSHA has also updated its Interim Enforcement Response Plan to prioritize and detailed the use of on-site and remote workplace inspections. This guidance goes into effect March 18, 2021, until further notice and rescinds the memorandum from May 26, 2020.

62% Want Mandatory Vaccines - 61% Fear Relaxed Safety Measures
As Workplace Returns Accelerate, New Study Finds Employees Want Companies to Embrace Hybrid Work & Enforce Mandatory COVID Vaccine

Majority of employees fear workplaces will relax COVID measures too soon, risking health and safety
Envoy, maker of the workplace technology platform, today released results from its new Return to the Workplace Report, which examines employee attitudes on office returns a year after the pandemic caused widespread remote work. The study finds a majority of employees remain concerned about the health and safety risks posed by a return to the office, with 62% supporting a mandatory COVID vaccine requirement for a return to on-site work and 61% fearing their employers may relax COVID measures too soon. Still, nearly half say they prefer to return to a hybrid work model combining both remote and in-person work, with office workers citing an average of 3.3 days as the ideal number to work at the office. The report comes as many companies are planning how and when employees will return to a post-pandemic workplace.

Spring Break Surge Coming?

CDC chief warns of another Covid surge as Americans travel for spring break
The U.S. could still see another coronavirus surge — even as vaccinations against Covid-19 rapidly rise across the nation — as states relax restrictions and more Americans travel for spring break, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday.

“With the coming warmer weather, I know it’s tempting to want to relax and to let our guard down, particularly after a hard winter that sadly saw the highest level of cases and deaths during the pandemic so far,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a press briefing.

The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, screened more than 1.34 million people on Sunday, 86,000 more people than the same day a year ago just after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

Even though many colleges in the U.S. scaled back their spring breaks in an effort to curb partying and infections, top Biden administration officials are still worried about travelers who are “enjoying spring break festivities, maskless,” Walensky said.

17.7 Million Californians Can Now Go Out to Dinner & a Movie
Welcome back: Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms reopen in L.A. County today
L.A.'s wider reopening was made possible by its advancement from the purple tier, the strictest category in the state’s four-level coronavirus roadmap, to the more lenient red tier.

A dozen other counties — Orange, San Bernardino, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Placer, Mendocino, San Benito, Tuolumne, Siskiyou, Amador, Colusa and Mono — also officially progressed over the weekend. 17.7 million residents can get out of the house.

White House races to blunt potential Covid-19 surge

Retail Stepping Up to Administer Vaccines
Pharmacy Vaccination Program injects some hope as people line up for shots
More than 50 local pharmacies across South Dakota are administering doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Through the CDC’s retail pharmacy program, the goal is to expand vaccine accessibility to the general public.

She set up her appointment online and, just a couple days later, is getting her vaccine at the Lewis Drug Pharmacy on 41st and Marion. “Once they get here, we reconfirm who they are, we verify an ID just so we know who we have in front of us,” Heer said. After some quick screening questions, she rolled up her sleeves and got her first injection.

This accessibility is made possible for people like Harder thanks to the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. It’s a partnership between the federal government and all pharmacies in the U.S. to get the vaccine out fast and efficiently. Kyle Heer is the store’s chief pharmacist and has been giving the shots himself for over a month.

“It’s been very educating. Very gratifying, in a way, to know that we are providing this service to the public. It’s given us a chance to provide a service where we are needed most,” Heer said.

Vaccine Efforts Hit Speed Bumps Across the Pond
Europe's faltering vaccine rollout could have global implications
So far, the vaccine efforts in Europe have been marked by political infighting, mixed messaging to the public, a shortage of supply and a lack of solidarity. And with many of the national vaccination strategies heavily reliant on the vaccine made by AstraZeneca, the decision to suspend its use while the bloc’s regulatory body looks into concerns about its safety — though that regulator has continued to describe it as safe and effective — will slow things down even more.

Spain joined France, Italy, Germany and other in halting the use of the vaccine over concerns about the possibility of rare side effects including blood clots and abnormal bleeding. The hesitancy of European governments may also undermine public confidence in the vaccine, which could have implications far beyond Europe.

Mississippi becomes 2nd state to open vaccine eligibility to everyone

California: 5 things to know as millions become eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

New York passes 4 hours paid leave for workers getting coronavirus vaccine

Officials say it's 'time to play catch-up' on race gap as vaccine access widens

'Hero Pay' Leads to More Closures
Kroger closes more Los Angeles grocery stores in response to “Hero Pay”
The grocery store giant Kroger is planning to close three of its stores in Los Angeles, two Ralphs and one Food 4 Less, after the passing of a local “Hero Pay” ordinance that would grant grocery and pharmacy workers a $5 raise for the duration of the pandemic.

These “Hero Pay” laws, which have been adopted by a number of cities around the country now, have met with obstinate resistance from the employers. The California Grocers Association has initiated lawsuits against several cities in the state for passing these laws.

The reaction from Kroger to this temporary raise, granted under the conditions of a pandemic in which tens of thousands have died in Los Angeles alone, has been hysterical. From the beginning, Kroger made threats to close stores if the ordinance were passed, and has already made good on them.

Kroger first announced the closure of several other underperforming locations in neighboring Long Beach in early February in response to the Hero Pay ordinance which was passed there.

The Post-Pandemic New Normal?

Masks, remote work here to stay for many post-COVID
Take-out has replaced dining in, working from home has taken place of the brick-and-mortar office, and masking up has become as commonplace as putting on shoes before venturing out to the store.

As vaccination rates rise, the question becomes, will we stick with those practices we adopted during COVID? Or will we drift back to life as it was pre-pandemic?

When it comes to shopping trips, many people are either dialing back their daily outings or increasing online shopping, practices that are expected to outlast COVID-19. Working from home? That may become standard operating procedure for many positions going forward. Zoom meetings replaced the conference room.

Remote work listings in the U.S. doubled in a year, job site finds

How to get furloughs right—and recover fast

By the numbers: Looking at grocery sales trends, consumer behaviors during COVID

X5 - Facial Recognition & Pay With A Glance
Russia's Equivalent to Walmart of Kroger

Global Food Retailer All In on Facial Recognition for Its Frictionless Future
Expansion of innovative payment method could reach 3K locations

One major global retailer believes that by year end as many as 3,000 of its stores will be equipped with a new type of contactless biometric technology that allows shoppers to pay with a simple glance.

Russia’s X5, is little known in the United States, but in its home country it would be the equivalent of Walmart or Kroger when it comes to market dominance. With nearly 18,000 stores generating annual sales of roughly $30 billion, X5 is also something of an early adopter and global trendsetter when it comes to technology. That’s why it’s worth paying attention to a new friction elimination initiative that involves facial recognition, or what X5 calls contactless biometrics.

In roughly 150 locations currently, the company said the exact schedule for further scaling and implementation will depend on the results of this first stage of the project, but indicated the facial recognition payment technology could be expanded to 3,000 stores by the end of 2021.

The basic solutions uses a 3D camera with a high detection accuracy and depth capture to aid in the recognition of facial features and takes into account a person’s height and changes in appearance. High resolution cameras ensure security and prevents spoofing, according to X5. To use, shoppers using a self-checkout lane scan their purchases, select pay with a glance as the payment method, and then look briefly at a camera integrated into the checkstand.

California Crime Bill Would Make Some Robberies A Misdemeanor
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A controversial bill in the state legislature would make some robberies a misdemeanor, not a felony.

Senate Bill 82, authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), would turn robberies under $950 that don’t involve weapons or cause serious injuries into petty thefts. Robbery is currently classified as a violent offense and punishable in prison.

The penalty would be a maximum of one year in county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both, and offenders would qualify for a diversion program.

The Yuba County District Attorney’s Office slammed the proposal, calling it “insanely irresponsible” and saying it would “wreak havoc in our communities by allowing this violence to occur with barely a slap on the wrist.”

A committee hearing on the bill is set for Tuesday.

Lawmakers Introduce National ‘Ban-the-Box’ Bill
New legislation would encourage states to implement "ban-the-box" policies that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history before an offer of employment is made.

Reps. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and David Trone, D-Md., introduced the Workforce Justice Act on March 3. It would give states three years to remove from private-sector employment applications the question that asks job seekers to disclose criminal history; noncompliant states would stand to lose criminal justice funding.

How AI can help prevent active shooters and save lives
Newly introduced AI-powered visual gun detection solutions use existing video surveillance systems to reliably and rapidly recognize firearms and immediately trigger multi-channel alerts and automated pre-defined safety protocols. They enable always-on monitoring and can work both inside or outside a building and with large groups of people, such as what we saw when the rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The technology’s ability to pair with more traditional forms of surveillance and security management systems, while also augmenting security procedures for human operators, is what makes it such a significant development. Taking it one step further, this solution ties gun detection technology to building lockdown technology.

Existing gunshot detection technologies only work after incidents have escalated and provide vague details on the approximate location of the sound. In comparison, visual gun detection gives emergency response teams advance warning before shots are fired, and delivers precise information on the location and visuals of the potential shooter.

C-Store Shrink Tips
Why Can’t You Leave Shrink Prevention to Terrific Tech?
In today’s convenience store environment, efforts at preventing theft have become tech intensive. More and better cameras are merely the start. POS systems now provide exacting time stamps of transactions, fine-tooth inventory tracking, employee shift in and out and break times, pre-programmed and instantaneously flexible price books, etc.

"Broader Economic Rebound Poised to Accelerate This Spring"
U.S. Retail Sales Fell 3% in February

Economists expect increase in coming months as businesses more fully open

U.S. shoppers pulled back sharply on retail spending during February, but a broader economic rebound appears poised to accelerate this spring because of the easing pandemic and another round of government stimulus.

Retail sales—a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants and online—fell by 3% in February compared with the prior month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The decline followed robust January sales that were propelled by stimulus payments to households and other impact from the December pandemic-relief package. January sales advanced a revised 7.6%, up from the earlier estimate of a 5.3% increase.

Retail sales were up 6% over the last three months compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Commerce Department.

Sales in February fell broadly as consumers spent less on autos, furniture, electronics, home improvement, healthcare and clothing. Sales at food and beverage stores were unchanged, while sales at gas stations were up strongly, by 3.6%, as gas prices have accelerated this year.

February is typically a quiet month for retail sales, as stores gear up for the spring selling season, including Easter. Severe winter weather in February also wreaked havoc across a swath of the U.S.

NRF Says February Retail Sales Fell 3.4%
February retail sales fell in every category except groceries. With another round of stimulus checks being mailed right now, we expect another large boost in consumer spending over the next few months.”

25% of Malls Will Close Within 5 Years
Many American malls are not making it
Coresight Research is forecasting that about one out of every four shopping malls in the U.S. will close within the next five years as consumers increasingly go online or to non-mall locations to do their shopping. A-list malls, however, should continue to outperform the market and attract consumers through retail stores, restaurants and other types of attractions.

Simon Property Group — the nation’s biggest mall owner — said in February that its fourth-quarter revenue dropped by 24% on a year-over-year basis to $1.1 billion.

However, some analysts think Simon — with its portfolio of A-rated malls and a healthy balance sheet — will benefit as distressed malls operated by its rivals close their doors. The company is also expected to see gains from new additions like hotels and luxury residences.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of centers that don’t fit that high profile and that have lost their competitive edge,” said Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Goldfarb.

Zoom Rooms Accommodating Return to Work With Conference Room Product

Citi Trends Plans to Open 100+ Stores in 2021

Office Depot-owner ODP turns down latest offer from Staples for some assets

Companies are scaling back layoffs because of Biden’s stimulus package

Lands’ End Announces Organizational Changes to Advance Growth Strategies

Quarterly Results
Citi Trends Q4 comp's up 16.7%, sales up 19.4%, FY 2020 comp's sales up 0.2% (with stores closed 16% of store days)

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Director, Asset Protection Investigations job posted for Bloomingdale's in Long Island City, NY
The Director, Asset Protection Investigations and Analytics will contribute to the development of Asset Protection (AP) programs by providing leadership to Central Investigations, store and field AP teams in initiating and executing programs that reduce shortage exposure, mitigate theft and maximize profitability. The Director will prepare and develop reporting that provides predictive forecasting and trend analysis to mitigate current and future business challenges.

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CAL-ORCA and California Retailers Association partner with Auror
to address ORC

The California Organized Retail Crimes Association (CAL-ORCA) and The California Retailers Association (CRA) have announced a partnership with Auror to utilize its ORCA Retail Crime Intelligence platform to address Organized Retail Crime (ORC) in the California region. The partnership will enable CAL-ORCA & CRA to build a data network that empowers its members to collaborate, share intelligence, and resolve more ORC cases for free.

“ORC is a growing problem not only for businesses, but our communities,” said Rachel Michelin, CRA President and CEO. “ORC fosters a host of illegal activity, including the recruitment of youth, homeless and others into theft crimes. These networks frequently use their proceeds to finance other illegal activity including drug smuggling and human trafficking.”

CRA, in collaboration with CAL-ORCA, is working to combat ORC in California through legislative and regulatory measures that will continue to empower law enforcement and the business community to stop current crime rings and prevent future large-scale thefts. In addition to the new collaborative, CRA and CAL-ORCA have partnered with Auror, an online Retail Crime Intelligence platform designed to address ORC both in California and nationwide. The platform enables CRA and CAL-ORCA to build a data network across states and businesses that empowers members to collaborate, share intelligence and resolve more ORC cases for free.

George Torres, CFI, LPQ, Executive Member of CAL-ORCA is looking forward to using best in class technology to combat ORC. “We’ve been looking for a platform that allows us to securely collaborate, share, build and ultimately close more ORC cases that are impacting our communities. Auror not only meets this need, but takes us to a whole new level with how we can conduct, build, and resolve cases faster than ever before”.

The addition of the largest ORCA in the US alongside six others (and more to be announced) will enable an unprecedented level of collaboration within CAL-ORCA and between all participating ORCAs. “We have a shared belief that stopping crime takes a community, ORCAs like CAL-ORCA play an important role in building that connected community so the opportunity to support ORCAs is both exciting and a privilege” says Bobby Haskins - Director of Market Development North America. “In the coming weeks, we are excited to see CAL-ORCA members connect more dots on ORC offenders so they can view the totality of their offenses across the state and ultimately close more ORC cases for their communities”.

For Joe Hopkins, in his role on the Board of Directors for CAL-ORCA, leveraging new technology to get ahead of ORC is a no brainer. “By letting technology do the hard work around connecting repeat offenders, sharing intel, and enabling us to work together, we really are going to see a coordinated response to this vast issue”.

The ORCA version of the Auror platform is free for all ORCAs in an effort to support the industry's response to this large and complex issue. If you wish to discuss how your ORCA could leverage this opportunity, please contact us at

Read more here





Intended to Gather Bipartisan Support
Does this one make it? More details below

Federal Privacy Bill Reintroduced in Congress
Proposal Would Empower FTC, States to Enforce Privacy Regulations

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., has reintroduced a bill that would create a nation-wide data privacy standard to be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission that in its latest version is intended to gather bipartisan support by addressing specific Republican concerns.

DelBene's Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, if passed, would replace a patchwork of current state laws and provide an influx of $350 million to the Federal Trade Commission's budget to enforce these proposed regulations.

"The new DelBene bill marks an interesting start for the relaunch of the effort to advance federal privacy law," says Omer Tene, vice president of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. "Specifically, while coming from the Democrats' side of the aisle, the bill is largely preemptive of state privacy laws and would not allow a private right of action."

Tene points out that these two issues have been a lightning rod for Republicans in the past and hindered any attempt to bridge the gap between the two sides in Congress this year. "So it's worth noting that Democrats supporting this bill are making a significant stride to meet Republicans' demands," he says.

Disclosure Opens Up Liabilities For Private Sector
Congress mulls legislation to require companies to report major cyberattacks
The breaches of SolarWinds and Microsoft software, which collectively ensnared the data of federal and local governments as well as thousands of other U.S. organizations, have renewed a longstanding debate: Should companies be required to report cybersecurity breaches to the government?

Lawmakers have debated the issue for more than a decade without much success in passing legislation. What's different this time is companies are actively urging Congress to take swift action. They say failure to do so puts national security at risk.

I don't think there's ever been more organizations breached at one time. We're at a world record right this minute,” says Kevin Mandia, chief executive of cybersecurity firm FireEye. “So obviously we have got to do something differently than what we're doing … Whatever is currently in place has led us to a situation that's the worst I've ever seen in my career.”

Lawmakers want to avoid that possibility in the future. But ironing out a new law that improves information sharing between the private sector and the government comes with serious challenges. The private sector says it's critical the government provide a way for it to share data about attacks without having to reveal which customers were affected. Lawmakers worry too much leniency could provide a shield for negligent companies seeking to avoid liability for poor cybersecurity.

So far no one has offered up which specific liabilities a new law should shield companies from. But Mandia says that companies are up against an array of them.

Shareholder liabilities, market cap liabilities, legal liabilities, constant inspection of your team — there's basically no upside the minute you disclose a breach,” Mandia says. “Whether that breach put American citizens in harm's way or customers in harm's way is immaterial. You still get those liabilities.”

Even as lawmakers and companies iron out the details of a compromise, they agree on one thing: Something must be done.

Fusion Centers Increasingly Being Utilized Worldwide
Companies Turn to Fusion Centers to Deal With Cyber Intelligence Overload
Deluged by alerts, security professionals are automating information-sharing, and including risks like geopolitical, weather and physical threats as well

Companies are increasingly automating cybersecurity threat analysis alongside other types of risk through so-called fusion centers, as the amount of information received on a daily basis from varying sources threatens to overwhelm human analysts.

Usually, security teams manually comb through reams of alerts from governments, cybersecurity vendors and nonprofit intelligence-sharing consortia to prepare their defenses.

State and local authorities began building a national network of fusion centers—numbering 79 today—after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an attempt to share data and coordinate responses with the Department of Homeland Security. Some civil liberties advocates criticized the model as opening a door to expansive surveillance.

Editor's Note: We have the RH-ISCA group with 187 members and strongly suggest getting involved. Even for the LP & AP executive to get involved in their regional meetings - see their list here.

Activist Hackers Get Raided for Hacking U.S. Provider 'Verkada's Networks
Swiss police raid over hack on U.S. security camera company
Swiss authorities on Monday confirmed a police raid at the home of a Swiss hacker who took credit for helping to break into a U.S. security-camera company’s online networks, part of what the hacker cited as an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of mass surveillance.

The Federal Office of Justice said regional police in central Lucerne, acting on a legal assistance request from U.S. authorities, on Friday carried out a house search involving a group of activist hackers using the name Tillie Kottmann.

Everyone is At Risk

Welcome to the era of the mega-hack

Weaponised software flaws now threaten everyone, not just the few.

We're now living in the era of the mega-hack. More than ever, software flaws are being seized on by sophisticated hackers who take these bugs -- and use them to create attacks that compromise the computer systems of thousands of organisations, all at once.

Newly discovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Exchange Server provide a good example of this evolution. The flaws were seized on by (likely China-backed) hackers as a way to attack networks, with tens of thousands of systems apparently compromised in a widespread attack. At least 10 other groups are thought to be attempting to use the same exploits, and now cyber criminals are piggy-backing on the original attack in an attempt to deliver ransomware too.

Bugs exists wherever there is software, despite attempts to eradicate them. What we're seeing now is a growing ability and desire from hackers to turn these bugs into attacks. Increasingly, the same software applications and tools are being used by companies around the world. Some may not even be aware of the software code they are relying on, such is the interconnected world of tech products. And even if they do know the software they are using, too many companies fail to update it even when warned about vulnerabilities by software vendors.

Hacking groups have different motivations: state-backed hackers want to gain access to as many systems as possible before deciding which have strategic value (either a source of intelligence or as a stepping-stone to compromising other systems); cyber criminals want to break in where they can to either steal data or deliver money-making ransomware. Either way, threat actors are now sophisticated enough to respond to weaknesses quicker than ever before. That's bad for everyone.

If you are not finding vulnerabilities, then you are not looking hard enough

Microsoft releases one-click Exchange On-Premises Mitigation Tool










Amazon’s anti-unionization playbook
How Amazon Crushes Unions
Five years ago, Amazon was compelled to post a “notice to employees” on the break-room walls of a warehouse in east-central Virginia.

The notice was printed simply, in just two colors, and crammed with words. But for any worker who bothered to look closely, it was a remarkable declaration. Amazon listed 22 forms of behavior it said it would disavow, each beginning in capital letters: “WE WILL NOT.

We will not threaten you with the loss of your job” if you are a union supporter, Amazon wrote, according to a photo of the notice reviewed by The New York Times. “We will not interrogate you” about the union or “engage in surveillance of you” while you participate in union activities. “We will not threaten you with unspecified reprisals” because you are a union supporter. We will not threaten to “get” union supporters.

Amazon posted the list after the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers accused it of doing those very things during a two-year-long push to unionize 30 facilities technicians at the warehouse in Chester, just south of Richmond. While Amazon did not admit to violations of labor laws, the company promised in a settlement with federal regulators to tell workers that it would rigorously obey the rules in the future.

The employee notice and failed union effort, which have not previously been reported, are suddenly relevant as Amazon confronts increasing labor unrest in the United States. Some workers in recent years agitated for change in Staten Island, Chicago, Sacramento and Minnesota, but the impact was negligible.

Now Amazon faces a union vote at a warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. — the largest and most viable U.S. labor challenge in its history. Nearly 6,000 workers have until March 29 to decide whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. A labor victory could energize workers in other U.S. communities, where Amazon has more than 800 warehouses employing more than 500,000 people.

“This is happening in the toughest state, with the toughest company, at the toughest moment,” said Janice Fine, a professor of labor studies at Rutgers University. “If the union can prevail given those three facts, it will send a message that Amazon is organizable everywhere.”

2022 To Be First Trillion-Dollar Year for U.S. E-Commerce
Pandemic Drove Extra $138B to Online Sales
Adobe: U.S. Spent $813B Online in 2020 - Up 42% Over 2019

Grocery up 230%. Sporting Goods up 75%. The Northeastern states saw 82% growth in sales.

Buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) and curbside options continued to see traction, growing 67% year-over-year in February 2021. In an Adobe survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, 30% of online consumers preferred curbside/in-store pickup over standard delivery options.

The Adobe Digital Economy Index is based on analysis through Adobe Analytics that covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites and over 100 million SKUs.

A year of the pandemic added another Christmas for e-commerce sales







Gwinnett County, GA: Man wanted for 14-month Harbor Freight shoplifting spree
Gwinnett County police are asking for help finding a serial shoplifting suspect accused of stealing from stores for over a year. Officials say Jared Pierce has targeted multiple Harbor Freight stores across metro Atlanta over the past 14 months. In some cases, he's accused of targetting the same stores multiple times. According to police, Pierce focuses on shoplifting welders, plasma cutters, and generators. His last accused theft happened Sunday in Lawrenceville, where police say he loaded up a dolly full of welders and walked right past the employees who were trying to stop him. In total, officials say Pierce has stolen thousands of dollars in merchandise. Officials described the wanted man as being 6-feet-2-inches tall with a weight of 245 pounds. He has long dreadlocks that he pulls back and walks with a limp. "Detectives believe that Pierce will continue to steal from Harbor Freight stores until he is located and arrested," officials said.

Hamilton Township, NJ: Police in Mays Landing Looking for Suspect in Theft at Ulta Store
Police are trying to identify a woman wanted to stealing from the Ulta Beauty store at Consumer Square Shopping Center in Mays Landing. According to Township of Hamilton Police Department on Facebook, the woman in question was in the Ulta Beauty store off Wrangleboro Rd. with three other women, also considered to be persons of interest, on Friday, March 5 when the theft allegedly occurred. Authorities did not specify what kind of merchandise was stolen from the store.

2 Arrested In Overnight Burglary Of Larkspur Bike Shop; $30,000 In Bikes Stolen
Two men were arrested on suspicion of breaking into a bicycle shop in downtown Larkspur and stealing several bikes early Monday morning after the shop owner saw them on surveillance footage and notified authorities, according to the Central Marin Police Authority. Officers responded at 1:43 a.m. to a burglary reported to be in progress at the Village Peddler shop on Magnolia Avenue, where the shop owner said he had a live feed of the business and could see suspects inside stealing bicycles, police said. The owner provided a description of the suspects’ white van and officers spotted it minutes later. After pulling the van over, police found seven bicycles from the store as well as a saw, crowbar and other tools. The seven bikes had a total estimated value of about $29,000, according to police.

Update: Irvine, CA: Man sentenced to 9 years for Armed Robberies of cell-phone stores in Chino, Fullerton, Long Beach, Victorville, and Beaumont; approx. total of $191K







Shootings & Deaths

San Antonio, TX: Police release footage of 3 suspects arriving at IHOP before fatal shooting
San Antonio police have released surveillance footage of three suspects accused in a fatal shooting at an IHOP over the weekend. According to SAPD, a man and two women seen in the video were involved in an altercation with another group before 3 a.m. Saturday at the restaurant on SW Loop 410. Each group consisted of a man and two women and they were seated at separate tables before an argument escalated into a fight. At one point, someone in the group that was captured on surveillance video pulled out a gun and shot at the man in the other group, police said. The three suspects then got into an unknown vehicle and fled the scene before officers arrived. The shooting victim, identified as 44-year-old Kevin Clifton, was taken to University Hospital and later died.

Columbia, SC: Rival biker gangs clashed in deadly melee at motorcycle shop; one killed 2 arrested
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference Monday to provide an update on the deadly violence that occurred last week at Capital City Cycles. Deputies say one man died and two men were arrested following the incident on Two Notch Road. RCSD released surveillance footage from the incident at Capitol City Cycles last Thursday. Deputies say Corey Booth was pushed to the ground and began firing his weapon while others jumped on top of him. Sheriff Leon Lott says one of the suspects, James Hill, hit Charles Lilly, a member of his own gang, with a cane, striking the fatal blow. During the struggle, Lott says Booth fired off multiple shots. Lott says one shot hit Nathan Hatch, a member of Booth’s own gang, in the leg and two members of the other gang were shot in the upper body. Officials say those two gang members were Charles Lilly and Raymond Reese Sheriff Lott did not name the gangs involved in the incident, saying he did not want to give them any notoriety. Authorities say Booth was stabbed during the incident but has since been released from the hospital.

Henrico, VA: Security guard killed, 5 others shot at Henrico shopping center
Henrico Police returned to the scene of a shooting that left two people dead and four others seriously injured outside of a shopping center. Police received multiple calls for a shooting in the 5100 block of Richmond-Henrico Turnpike at about 3 a.m. Saturday. "As police arrived on the scene, there were several community members in the parking area. There are multiple victims related to this incident," a Henrico Police spokesperson wrote in an email about the incident. Sadao Richardson, 34, and Markus Floyd, 32, both died from their injuries, according to police. Four other victims suffered critical gunshot wounds and were rushed to the hospital. Two of the wounded have since been released from the hospital.

Columbus, OH: Polaris Fashion Place placed on lockdown after reports of ‘shots fired’ days after another shooting at Columbus mall
Shots were reported to have been fired at roughly 3.15pm on Monday afternoon in Columbus, Ohio. No injuries have yet been reported, however multiple police officers are at the scene. Police reportedly closed the shopping center when just after 3.30pm. The shots were reportedly fired near a Victoria's Secret store inside of the mall, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Initial police reports, obtained by the outlet, indicated that witnesses said two people were involved This is the second time that the mall was a reported shooting scene in just two weeks. At the beginning of the month, March 3, shots were fired inside - leading to two suspects being identified. The pair both remain at large, the Dispatch reported.

2 Hurt In Shooting At Brooklyn Seafood Restaurant


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Polk County, FL: Woman pepper sprays store employees during attempted theft
A Florida woman is behind bars after Polk County deputies say she pepper sprayed employees while trying to steal items from a Burlington Coat Factory, then tried to run over the workers that ran after her with a minivan. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Nikita Lindsey, of Tampa, visited the retail store in the Posner Park Shopping Center near Davenport before closing time on Friday. A worker asked the 31-year-old if she needed help. Deputies said Lindsey got hostile with the worker, saying she would slap the glasses off of her face if the employee didn’t get out of her way.

Anchorage, AK: Shoplifter Charged with Robbery after Thrusting Scissors at Home Depot Loss Prevention Officer
According to the report, Rogers was at the Home Depot using a pair of scissors to cut security tags off of merchandise. He was confronted by loss prevention and dropped the merchandise and thrust the scissors at the officer before running from the store. The officer said that the suspect’s actions with the scissors put him in fear of injury. Rogers was charged with Robbery II and Assault III then remanded to the Anchorage Jail.

Fort Myers, FL: Thief drags elderly woman by purse outside Bealls
Deputies said an elderly woman was violently robbed when a man grabbed her purse and dragged her at least 10 feet in the department store’s parking lot off of Cleveland Avenue, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The incident was caught on camera by store security surveillance.

Brevard County, FL: Sheriff’s Office, Secret Service Team Up in ‘Credit Card Skimmer Sweep’
Throughout the day Agents from the various agencies physically inspected gas pumps at various Brevard County stations in an effort to locate hidden credit card skimmers that capture the credit card numbers of unsuspecting customers. Wednesday’s sweep located 3 credit card skimmers that were hidden inside the gas pumps and without question helped prevent thousands of citizens from becoming victims of credit card fraud. Thanks in part to the aggressive actions of Lead Agent Justin Wood of our Economic Crimes Task Force, our partnership with the United States Secret Service and Department of Agriculture, and the cooperation of our station owners, there are now less than 10 stations throughout our community that have vulnerable gas pumps which put our citizens credit cards at risk of compromise.

Clarksburg, WV: Longtime criminal now fully sentenced in West Virginia crime spree; will spend rest of Life in Prison
A 61-year-old who went on a crime spree in late 2019 in Harrison, Marion and Taylor counties now has been sentenced in all three, and will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Arthur Anthony Baxter pleaded guilty to kidnapping in Marion County and previously received a life term without possibility of parole there, according to Prosecutor Jeff Freeman. Baxter previously pleaded guilty in Taylor County to first-degree robbery, and conspiracy, and got a 200-year term there, according to Prosecutor John Bord.




Bikes – San Francisco, CA - Burglary
Burlington – Polk County, FL – Robbery/ Assault
C-Store – Bennington, VT – Burglary
C-Store – DuBois, PA – Robbery
C-Store – Argyle, TX – Burglary
Gas Station – Phoenix, AZ – Armed Robbery
Home Depot – Anchorage, AK - Robbery
Jewelry – Santa Rosa, CA – Robbery
Jewelry – Tempe, AZ – Robbery
Liquor – Naperville, IL – Burglary
Restaurant – Salem, OR – Armed Robbery
Restaurant- Bennington, VT – Burglary
Vape – Pueblo, CO – Burglary
Walmart – Boardman, OH – Robbery
7-Eleven – Newark, NJ – Robbery
7-Eleven – Hackensack, NJ – Robbery
7-Eleven – Marple Township, PA – Robbery             

Daily Totals:
• 11 robberies
• 6 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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