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Beth Currie promoted to Loss Prevention & Safety Director - Supply Chain for Ross Stores, Inc.
Beth has been with Ross Stores for nearly three years. She started with the company in 2018 as Sr. Manager Loss Prevention Operations. Before her promotion to Loss Prevention & Safety Director, she served as Senior Manager - LP Initiatives & Compliance. Before joining Ross, she spent six years with Family Dollar in various roles, including Senior Manager, LP Operations and IT Business Analyst. Congratulations, Beth!

See All the Executives 'Moving Up' Here   

Submit Your New Corporate Hires/Promotions or New Position








Protests & Violence

Derek Chauvin Judge Declines to Move Trial in Death of George Floyd
'I don't think there's any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been exposed to extreme amounts of publicity on this case.'

The judge in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer accused of murder in the death of George Floyd denied a defense request to move the trial over the city's announcement of a $27 million civil settlement with Mr. Floyd's family that took place during jury selection.

Eric Nelson, attorney for former officer Derek Chauvin, on Monday said he was "gravely concerned" about the March 12 announcement tainting potential jurors in reviving his motion for a change of venue. Jury selection began March 9.

"I don't think there's any place in the state of Minnesota that has not been exposed to extreme amounts of publicity on this case," said Judge Cahill Friday. He affirmed that opening arguments in the case would proceed March 29 as scheduled.

Minn. Attempts to Clear City of Potential Hot Spots During Trial
City's attempt to clear Minneapolis homeless camp leads to scuffles between police, camp defenders
An attempt by the city of Minneapolis to clear a homeless encampment Thursday morning led to a violent clash between police and civilians guarding the camp. Five people were arrested and five officers suffered minor injuries, according to police.

More than 100 people showed up at the encampment at 205 N. Girard Av. in response to several activists' social media accounts warning that the city of Minneapolis planned to clear the empty lot where about 20 people live in tents.

This Week's Hot News Trend - Asian Hate Crime
It's Happening Across the Nation
It's Not Being Captured by the Current Laws or Data

Biden, Harris to meet with AAPI leaders in Georgia following deadly spa shootings
President Joe Biden was planning to continue his "Help is Here" tour in Georgia on Friday to tout his relief bill, but the original plans have now been postponed after a shooting spree in the Atlanta area Tuesday night killed eight people, the majority of whom were women of Asian descent.

But the White House announced on Thursday that the president and Vice President Kamala Harris will delay an "evening political event" in Atlanta on Friday so the pair can meet with Asian American leaders there "to discuss the ongoing attacks and threats against the community." Biden also issued a proclamation honoring the victims and ordered flags to half-staff on all public buildings and grounds through Sunday.

"The President will also offer his support for the AAPI community in Georgia and across the country and talk about his commitment to combating xenophobia, intolerance and hate," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday afternoon during her daily press briefing.

Biden also directly condemned the "vicious hate crimes" during a prime-time address on March 11, saying the community has been "attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated."

In DC Congress is Holding Hearings
The Hill: Anger over anti-Asian violence, rhetoric rips through Capitol
The Atlanta shooting rampage that killed six Asian women and two others has, in a single tragic event, turned a national spotlight onto some of the prickliest issues facing American politics and society today: racial attacks related to COVID-19, gun violence, misogyny, racism in policing, and Donald Trump.

Demonstrators across the country gathered to protest the recent rise of hateful rhetoric and violent attacks targeting the Asian American Pacific Islander community, while thousands of #StopAsianHate posts flooded Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

While the discussion has centered on the souring scourge of anti-Asian violence, the tragic shooting has confronted lawmakers - and the nation - with a host of other explosive topics they've grappled with for years - a range of delicate issues touching on race, class, the plight of immigrants and violence against women. Some are hoping the national attention and public outcry will be enough to force Congress to move reforms addressing those problems.

The outcry is also amplifying the yearlong debate over former President Trump's sharp rhetoric blaming China for America's COVID-19 outbreak - a characterization his critics say has only fostered the spike in attacks on Asian Americans.

In the 48 hours since the Atlanta massacre, much of the national focus has turned to the wave of escalating attacks against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic, from verbal harassment and physical assaults on elderly Asians to this week's mass shooting.

On Wednesday, one day after the attack, the House voted to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which had been authored by then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1994 and provides legal protection to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

NY Times: Asian-Americans Are Being Attacked.
Why Are Hate Crime Charges So Rare?
Several recent attacks have not been charged as hate crimes, fueling protests and outrage among many Asian-Americans.

On a cold evening last month, a Chinese man was walking home near Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood when a stranger suddenly ran up behind him and plunged a knife into his back. Prosecutors determined they lacked enough evidence to prove a racist motive. The attacker was charged with attempted murder, but not as a hate crime.

The announcement outraged Asian-American leaders in New York City. Many of them protested outside the Manhattan district attorney's office, demanding that the stabbing be prosecuted as a hate crime. They were tired of what they saw as racist assaults being overlooked by the authorities.

The rally reflected the tortured public conversation over how to confront a rise in reports of violence against Asian-Americans, who have felt increasingly vulnerable with each new attack. Many incidents have either not led to arrests or have not been charged as hate crimes, making it difficult to capture with reliable data the extent to which Asian-Americans are being targeted.

That frustration erupted on a national scale this week after Robert Aaron Long, a white man, was charged with fatally shooting eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at spas in the Atlanta area on Tuesday night.

As the debate over what legally qualifies as anti-Asian bias unfolds, the community is grappling with the reality that the law is simply not designed to account for many of the ways in which Asian-Americans experience racism.

"There's a recognizable prototype with anti-Black or anti-Semitic or anti-gay hate crime," said Lu-in Wang, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. "They're often more clear-cut."

Among large American cities, New York City had the largest increase in reported hate crimes against Asians last year, according to an analysis of police data by a center at the California State University, San Bernardino. There were 28 such incidents in 2020, up from 3 in 2019, according to New York Police Department data.

The authorities acknowledge that the data is limited and imperfect. A pending bill that is expected to pass by June would set up a more standardized system for New York's courts, police and prosecutors to report hate crime incidents.

Stewart Loo, a deputy inspector who heads the Police Department's Asian Hate Crimes Task Force, said in an interview that Asian-Americans are often reluctant to report crime because of language barriers or worries over having their immigration status questioned. Many also fear retaliation from perpetrators, he said, or simply do not want to make trouble.

After Georgia Attacks, Asian-Americans Demand Serious Action on Bias

There's been a rise in anti-Asian attacks. Here's how to be an ally to the community.

After attacks on Asians in Oakland's Chinatown, volunteers offer protection & support

Kroger Hate Crime Murders

Murdered Two Black Shoppers & Attempted to Murder a Third
Kroger Shooter Pleads Guilty to Federal Hate Crimes - Firearm Offenses  - Two Murders
A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to federal hate crimes and firearm charges arising out of the racially motivated shootings of Black individuals at a grocery store on Oct 24th, 2018. (reported in the Daily in Oct. 25, 2018)

Bush admitted that on Oct. 24, 2018, he drove to a Kroger grocery store in Jeffersontown armed with a Smith & Wesson, model 411, .40-caliber pistol. In the store, Bush followed a Black man, who was shopping with his grandson, for the length of an aisle before pulling the gun from his waistband and shooting the victim in the back of the head. Bush then shot the victim several more times in the torso, killing him. Bush had no prior relationship with the victim and chose to shoot him because of the victim's race. Bush then re-holstered his gun and calmly walked out of the store.

In the parking lot, Bush walked up to a Black woman, and shot her several times in the head and body, killing her. Bush had no prior relationship with this victim and chose to shoot her because of her race.

Seconds later, Bush encountered a Black man who was in lawful possession of a handgun. The third victim asked Bush what was going on, and Bush, without responding, began walking toward him with the gun drawn. The third victim fired at Bush, and Bush returned fire. After about a minute, Bush stopped shooting and walked away. Bush had no prior relationship with the third victim and chose to shoot at him because of his race. Bush next encountered a white man, who was legally armed with a firearm. Bush told him, "Don't shoot me [and] I won't shoot you. Whites don't shoot whites."

Gregory A. Bush, 53, of Louisville, pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and firearm charges arising out of his racially motivated murder of two Black patrons at a Kroger grocery store, and his attempted murder of a third, on Oct. 24, 2018, in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. Bush previously pleaded guilty-but-mentally-ill to state charges for murder, attempted murder, and wanton endangerment arising out of the shooting, and was sentenced to a life term in state prison.

COVID Update

116M Vaccinations Given

US: 30.3M Cases - 552.4K Dead - 22.5M Recovered
Worldwide: 122.5M Cases - 2.7M Dead - 98.7M 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: 269

*Red indicates change in total deaths

Workplace violence rises, particularly for nurses, frontline workers
According to the Emergency Nurses Association, healthcare workers account for approximately 50% of all victims of workplace violence.

There are reports of increased domestic violence around the world as a result of lockdowns from the pandemic. In addition, the stress and anxieties spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and shut downs have also walked in hand with more frontline workers, fast-food and restaurant workers, and more, seeing an increase in violent behavior toward themselves and others. A study conducted by Howard University estimates that social distancing measures increased domestic violence by roughly 6%, or more than 24,000 cases, during the first few weeks of the pandemic last year.

Office workers have also been subject to COVID-19-related workplace violence. According to HR Daily Advisor, the stress of the pandemic has "raised stressed levels and lowered thresholds for confrontation over previously non-existent issues such as social distancing and hand hygiene."

While workplace violence is often thought to be far underreported, the discrepancy between reported workplace violence and unreported workplace violence during 2020 and 2021 is expected to worsen when more statistics emerge.

CDC's Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Adults
We're still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.

The CDC Updates Handwashing Guidelines & Materials

CDC update for schools: says three feet between students is enough

Poorer Nations Becoming Breeding Grounds For Variants
COVID vaccines might stop a '4th wave' in the U.S.
But the rest of the world isn't so lucky.
You wouldn't know it by following the news from the United States, where daily COVID-19 cases have fallen by 80 percent over the last 10 weeks - and where they continue to fall.

You wouldn't know it by following the news from the United Kingdom, either. There, daily cases have plummeted 90 percent over the same period.

But despite the rosy view from a few select countries, the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is actually rising right now. In fact, after peaking on Jan. 11 and dropping by half over the next month - the first overall decline of the entire pandemic - global cases reversed course in mid-February and began to rebound.

Since then, new daily cases have climbed nearly 20 percent overall. In France, they're up more than 30 percent. In Brazil, they're up more than 50 percent. In Italy, they're up more than 80 percent. In India, they're up more than 110 percent.

The dreaded "fourth wave," in other words, has arrived - even if it hasn't arrived in the U.S.

These divergent trajectories offer up a troubling preview of the next phase of the pandemic, and they should trouble everyone, including residents of countries like the U.S., the U.K. and Israel, where the virus finally seems to be retreating.

Why? Because the single biggest difference between these recovering countries and the rest of the world is immunity - both the kind acquired from prior infection and, going forward, the kind acquired from vaccination. As more dangerous variants take over, hard-hit countries with higher rates of vaccination are (mostly) withstanding the onslaught. Hard-hit countries with lower rates of vaccination are (mostly) not. This suggests that until vaccination has ramped up everywhere, the virus will keep spreading, evolving and threatening to dodge our defenses.

The more vaccines that rich countries buy up - and the slower that some of them vaccinate their own populations - the more likely it is that poorer, less protected countries will serve as breeding grounds for variants, prolonging the risk for everyone.

Editor's Note: This means international travel and tourism will not be returning anytime soon to pre-pandemic levels. And those travel vaccine certificates may become like passports sooner rather than later. Just a thought - Gus Downing

Michigan governor's workgroup lays groundwork for return-to-office plan
In some cases decision to allow workers back in offices will be up to employer

Right now the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration order keeping offices largely closed expires in the middle of April. However, there could be an extension.

Many Michigan business groups, including chambers of commerce want employees back in the office. They also do not want an order extension and have urged the governor to seriously consider removing the order next month.

"Our expectation is we will be extending these rules because we still have COVID and we have to mitigate the spread of COVID in the workplace to protect the employees and create a safe work environment," said Shawn Egan, Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety for Michigan.

The State of Michigan and in particular the governor's advisory panel made up of business, union and medical professionals are stressing remote work policies but it's entirely up to the employer.

There are a lot of questions about how this will continue to work and all the regular COVID social distancing and disinfection rules will continue to apply.

First Formal Work-Office Hybrid Model - Big Cities Will Feel the Economic Blow
Corporate Titan - Ford Told 30,000 Remote Workers to Continue Indefinitely with Flexible Hours
They'll commute to work mainly for group meetings and projects best-suited for face-to-face interaction.

Ford's announcement sent one of the clearest signals to date that the pandemic has hastened a cultural shift in Americans' work lives by erasing any stigma around remote work and encouraging the adoption of technology that enables it. Broader evidence about the post-pandemic workplace suggests that what was long called tele-commuting will remain far more common than it was a year ago.

A report this week from the employment website Indeed says postings for jobs that mention "remote work" have more than doubled since the pandemic began. Such job postings are still increasing even while vaccinations are accelerating and the pace of new confirmed COVID cases is declining.

Company executives overwhelmingly report that remote work has succeeded during the pandemic, according to research by consulting firm PwC. About 55% said they envision allowing continued remote work, according to the survey of 133 executives of mostly large companies.

A more flexible attitude about workplaces could deal a blow to the largest U.S. cities. Many Americans are already capitalizing on remote work to leave New York, Los Angeles, Boston and the San Francisco Bay area in favor of Phoenix; Tampa; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; and other less expensive areas, real estate data shows.

"The pandemic has broken the social and cultural norms for how we work."

More Lawsuits Filed Challenging Pandemic Pay Mandates
California Grocers Association targets Santa Ana, Irvine

The California Grocers Association (CGA), which represents more than 300 retailers, is continuing its battle against enforcing extra-pay mandates for select grocery workers, as it has now filed federal lawsuits against the cities of Santa Ana and Irvine, challenging ordinances approved in those cities. The ordinances mandate an additional $4 per hour in extra pay. CGA claims that the mandates violate the National Labor Relations Act and equal-protection clauses in the U.S. and California constitutions.

Federal judge dismisses grocery industry suit against Seattle's
$4-an-hour hazard pay law
A federal judge has dismissed a grocery industry lawsuit that sought to block Seattle's new law granting $4-an-hour raises to grocery store workers for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

The law applies to large grocers, those with more than 500 employees worldwide and stores larger than 10,000 square feet, in Seattle. It mandates a $4-an-hour pay boost for all workers in retail locations. And that pay boost must remain in effect for as long as Seattle remains in a declared civil emergency.

The City Council passed the wage hike law unanimously in late January, after advocacy from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21.

Here we go - Just like security screening time
Employers facing lawsuits for failing to pay for pre-shift Covid screenings
"Are employers legally responsible for paying workers for the time it takes to record their body temperatures before entering the workplace?" My answer was a legal, "Probably," and a moral, "Definitely."

Law360 points out that Walmart faces similar allegations in another recently filed California lawsuit. According to that lawsuit, Walmart failed to pay its employees for the 30 - 45 minutes spent each workday for COVID-19 temperature screening and questioning.

Legally, the standard, per SCOTUS's decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk, asks whether the pre-shift activities are "integral and indispensable" to an employee's principal activities ("necessary to the principal work performed" and "done for the benefit of the employer"). It's hard to fathom a situation during a pandemic in which pre-shift health screenings don't meet this standard.

California logs record-breaking week of COVID-19 vaccinations
In a sign that the state's uneven COVID-19 vaccine rollout is significantly ramping up, nearly 1 million Californians have gotten a shot in the past two days, data show. The last four days have seen the four highest single-day totals of vaccines administered to date, according to data compiled by The Times.

Georgia Eliminates Many COVID-19 Mitigation Measures

ASIS announces hybrid format for GSX 2021
ALEXANDRIA, Va.-ASIS International announced its decision to move its Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2021 to a hybrid experience with in-person and digital features that will take place Sept. 27-29.

The three-day event features daily global keynote and game-changer presenters as well as concurrent education sessions focusing on the most pressing issues faced by the security profession. This integrated event will be hosted in-person at the Orange County Convention Center located in Orlando, Fla., as well as online via the GSX event portal.

For more information about GSX 2021, please visit

Employee Monitoring Tools Gain Traction
A 2020 Gartner survey of executives at 119 companies found 60 percent of companies are using technology-based tracking tools to monitor some of their hybrid or remote employees.

Gartner's data also shows that employees are more likely to be at ease with monitoring tools if they understand how and why they are being used.

"Employers need to become dramatically more transparent about what they are using employee monitoring tools to do, why they're doing it, what is the purpose and what they are trying to accomplish," said Brian Kropp, distinguished vice president at Gartner.

Managers can help workers trust employee monitoring tools by explaining how employees benefit from them. The question you should be asking about each one of these monitoring tools is how will an employee interpret this, not how do we sell this to employees," he said. "If executives can draw a straight line from the data these tools gather to how they're going to make an employee's life better, then employees, generally speaking, are pretty accepting of being monitored."

Best News in Over a Year - Let's Hope 'Revenge Shopping' Happens
It's a phrase being battered around out there in the fashion world btw

Store openings are outpacing closures in 2021: Coresight
Even with the COVID-19 pandemic still weighing on physical retail, retailers in the U.S. collectively plan to open 3,344 stores so far this year, according to a recent Coresight Research report.

That is 39.5% more openings than announced at this point last year and also well ahead of the 2,649 closures announced so far in 2021. In recent years, closures have far surpassed new stores.

Among those planning new stores for this year are Dollar General, which plans to add more than 1,000 locations in 2021, as well as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Five Below, Big Lots and Burlington.

Last year brought a massive wave of store closures and bankruptcies. Shuttered stores totaled out at 8,960 - nearly triple the 3,307 openings that Coresight logged for the year. The closure figures were driven by bankruptcies, liquidations and right sizing, all with COVID-19 raging in the background.

With vaccines rolling out and hope for some semblance of a return to normal, retailers have reason to be confident in a return of foot traffic. Among those planning to add new stores this year are specialty and apparel stalwarts, including Sketchers USA, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Foot Locker, American Eagle's Aerie and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Analysts have predicted a comeback for many categories hit hard by the pandemic, including apparel, which stands to benefit while shoppers return to malls and refresh their wardrobe, as they leave more for work and social outings sacrificed during the pandemic.

Retailers Hail Long Overdue Solution for Dreamers
The National Retail Federation applauds the House passage of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 that will make the status of millions of Dreamers permanent across the United States. The legislation provides a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought to the country as minors and meet certain educational or military requirements, successfully pass a background check and remain in good legal standing. It further extends a path to citizenship to "legal dreamers," foreign-born children of temporary workers.

Williams Sonoma CEO Says Store Traffic is Back

Wawa & Love's Aim to Hire Thousands Through Chainwide Recruiting Events

The UK's Fabletics to expand store presence across US opening 24 in 2021 - bringing total to 74

Dollar General plans 1,050 new stores this year & potentially doubling its store count of 17,177 stores

Dollar General Forecasts 2021 Comps Decline of 2% - Pandemic Gains Disappear

Quarterly Results
Nike Q3 DTC up 20%, Brand digital sales up 59%, North America sales down 10%, sales up 3%

Signet Jewelers Q4 comp's up 7%, eCommerce up 70%, total sales up 1.5%
Signet Jewelers FY 2020 comp's down 10.8%, eCommerce sales up 57.9%, total sales down 14.8%

Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard Q3 - Canadian c-store's comp's up 4.7%, US comp's up 2.9%, Europe c-store comp's up 2.8%

Senior LP & AP Jobs Market

Senior Director, LP – North America job posted for Nike in Beaverton, OR
The North America Nike Direct Team seeks a Senior Director of Loss Prevention who will develop a team of Loss Prevention professionals and share expertise to implement solutions that will protect people and profit. We seek applicants with a passion for dealing with Retail Loss Prevention issues and strategies. We need a strong leader of people with the ability to influence and articulate strategies and tactics for cross-functional partners and leaders!

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Security industry creates coalition to fight war on cyber crime

ASIS, ESA, TMA, PSA and SIA issue statement on unified vision for cybersecurity

YARMOUTH, Maine—With so much that has been going on in the cybersecurity space the past few months, leading global security industry organizations ASIS International, the Electronic Security Association (ESA), The Monitoring Association (TMA), PSA Security Network and the Security Industry Association (SIA) have come together to fight the war on cybersecurity threats with a unified strategy.

“As representatives of the security practitioners and security solutions providers responsible for protecting people and assets around the globe, we share a unified vision to continuously strengthen cyber readiness practices by all stakeholders within the security ecosystem,” the group said in a joint statement announcing the coalition. “It is our belief that a substantial number of manufacturers and integrators today recognize the importance of developing strong cyber hardening features within the design of products and systems.

FCC Moves Toward Banning 3 Chinese Telco Firms From US
Citing national security concerns, the Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with legal proceedings to ban three Chinese-owned companies from providing telecommunications services in the U.S. Those companies are China Telecom's two U.S.-based units - China Unicom Americas and Pacific Networks - and Pacific Networks’ wholly owned subsidiary, ComNet.

The FCC, which voted 4-0 Wednesday to move forward with investigating the companies, gave no timeline for when it will schedule a final vote on the ban.

Fear of Secrets Being Made Public Probably Drove Ransom Payment Spike
Ransom Payments Have Nearly Tripled
Ransomware gangs aimed to bilk business victims of even more money in 2020, causing the average ransom paid by companies to jump 171% to more than $312,000.

A new report from Palo Alto Networks -- which uses data from ransomware investigations, data-leak sites, and the Dark Web — found 337 victims in 56 industries, with manufacturing, healthcare, and construction companies suffering 39% of ransomware attacks in 2020. In addition, ransom demands skyrocketed during the year, doubling both the highest ransom demand — to $30 million—and the highest-known paid ransom, $10 million. The average victim paid more than $312,000, almost a third of the average demand.

The ransoms will likely continue to rise this year, because the ransomware groups are innovating to stay ahead of defenders, says Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat intelligence at Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 threat research group.

Other research has documented similar surges in ransomware payments. In January, blockchain analysis company Chainalysis found that ransoms paid using cryptocurrency surged 311% in 2020 and approached a grand total of $350 million. However, by the end of the year, ransomware payments had begun to decline, seemingly due to a lack of confidence on the part of the victims that attackers would help them recover their data and delete any stolen copies, according to research by Coveware.

In 2020, security researchers saw widespread adoption of the "double extortion" attack, where ransomware groups steal data and then encrypt systems before posting a ransom note. If the victim decided to recover from backups, then the attacker would publicly release the stolen data, publishing the victim's secrets on the Internet.

"More organizations had gone to the point with their backups where, if they were impacted by ransomware, they could just tell the bad guys to go pound sand."

From Russia With Love & Bitcoin
Recruiting American Citizens/Executives

Russian National Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Introduce Malware into a U.S. Company’s Computer Network

Defendant’s attempt to recruit employee to transmit malware to exfiltrate data and extort company thwarted by FBI

A Russian national pleaded guilty in federal court today for conspiring to travel to the United States to recruit an employee of a Nevada company into a scheme to introduce malicious software into the company’s computer network.

From July 15, 2020, to Aug. 22, 2020, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, 27, conspired with others to recruit an employee of a large U.S. company to transmit malware provided by the conspirators into the company’s computer network. Once the malware was installed, Kriuchkov and his co-conspirators would use it to exfiltrate data from the company’s computer network and then extort the company by threatening to disclose the data.

“This is an excellent example of community outreach resulting in strong partnerships, which led to proactive law enforcement action before any damage could occur,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Field Office.

Kriuchkov pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer and is scheduled to be sentenced May 10.

Stay Tuned - He'll End Up in a U.S. Prison
The Feds are watching when he travels

Swiss Hacker indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft
A prolific Swiss computer hacker, TILL KOTTMANN, 21, was indicted today by a grand jury in the Western District of Washington for computer intrusion and identity and data theft activities spanning 2019 to the present. KOTTMANN, aka “deletescape” and “tillie crimew,” who initially was charged in September 2020, remains in Lucerne, Switzerland, and has received notice of pending U.S. charges.

According to the indictment, since 2019, KOTTMANN and coconspirators have hacked dozens of companies and government entities and posted the private victim data of more than 100 entities on the web.

C-Suite Execs Targeted
Ongoing Office 365-themed phishing campaign targets executives, assistants, financial departments
A sophisticated and highly targeted Microsoft Office 365 phishing campaign is being aimed at C-suite executives, executive assistants and financial departments across numerous industries.

In a few instances, the attackers targeted newly-selected CEOs before their appointment was made public.

"This is a common tactic we’ve observed, wherein threat actors will initially aim for access to any email account at the targeted company (or their 3rd party partners), and then use sensitive information gained via that access to craft more convincing lures in order to ‘swim upstream’ to higher-value targets."

The campaign is still in progress

The campaign began in early December 2020 and, according to the researchers, is still ongoing. The threat actors are leveraging phishing kits and a number of sophisticated methods at every step of the attack.

Most of the phishing emails are sent from addresses with Microsoft-themed sender domains, with properly configured SPF records and are made to look like messages from the company, carrying fake alerts about “Important Service Changes”, “Important Security Policy Update”, etc.

A majority of the targeted email accounts followed the format first name.last name@company domain, making the inclusion of full names in the attachments fairly effortless from an automated standpoint. However, even in cases where only initials appeared in the email address, the attackers still managed to include the target’s full name in the PDF attachment. This indicates that the threat actors conducted additional reconnaissance to carefully craft their phishing lures,” the researchers noted.

Building Digital Identities to Prevent Fraud

Why data privacy will be the catalyst for digital identity adoption
In 2020, 75% of large companies in the UK reported a data breach in the last 12 months – and the numbers show no signs of slowing down. As a direct consequence of this, identity fraud is rising, even more so since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, buoyed by the sheer volume of personal information out there.

While this example is by no means a prominent threat of identity fraud, it begs the question: in a world of constant data breaches and rising fraud, why aren’t we being more careful?

With so much data available on all of us, it’s no wonder that people are hesitant to adopt digital identities. It would be much easier to simply flash a digital ID when buying alcohol or onboarding at a new job. What’s not so easy is willingly handing over a potential minefield of data time and time again.

However, digital identities could actually be a way of withholding unnecessary data and protecting ourselves from fraud, not opening ourselves up to it. The UK government recognizes this as a priority, recently publishing a draft framework outlining its future governance of digital identities. To get it right, consumers need to trust that their data is safe and secure. This all comes down to how we build these digital identities, and who looks after them.

The dangers of misusing instant messaging & business collaboration tools










Democrats & Republicans might work together to rein in Silicon Valley
Antitrust reform is one of the rare areas where Republicans and Democrats might find common ground in the coming months.

Rep. Ken Buck, the top Republican on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, said during a hearing yesterday that he was ready to work with his Democratic counterparts to boost funding for federal antitrust enforcers and ensure that decades-old competition laws were up to the task of reining in the tech industry’s growing power.

Amazon Workers Consider Unionizing at Several More U.S. Sites
The efforts may falter, but labor experts say they could presage a multi-front campaign to improve working conditions at the company.

Inspired by the high-profile campaign to unionize an Inc. fulfillment center in Alabama, workers in Baltimore, New Orleans, Portland, Denver and Southern California have begun exploring ways to form unions at their own Amazon facilities. The Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union says it has heard from 1,000 Amazon workers around the country.

Amazon Impacting Local Pay Scales Everywhere
Amazon Says It Pays Alabama Workers Well; Other Local Employers Pay More
Recent organizing campaigns in the South suggest the company’s wage scale may have left it vulnerable to a union.

But to many of Amazon’s Bessemer employees, who are voting this month on whether to unionize, the claims to generosity can ring hollow alongside the demands of the job (grueling pace) and local wage rates. The most recent figure for the median wage in greater Birmingham, a metropolitan area of roughly one million people that includes Bessemer, was nearly $3 above Amazon’s pay there, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Relief Checks Could Lead to E-Commerce Surge
New Stimulus Checks Could Boost Online Spending
S&P Global says that ecommerce giants like Amazon, Walmart and Target will benefit from the latest stimulus bill.







$1M Jewelry Heist
Nashville, TN: Mt. Juliet Jewelry store co-owner charged in million-dollar heist
A man listed as the co-owner of several Middle Tennessee jewelry stores has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a violent heist of more than one-million dollars in jewelry belonging to the late provost of Western Kentucky University. Court documents show Marshall “Sonny” Belew, a 51-year-old man from Mt. Juliet, was arrested March 8 and booked into the Warren County, Kentucky jail on multiple charges, including first-degree robbery, kidnapping, second-degree assault and theft over $100,000. An arrest warrant states Bowling Green police responded the morning of July 13, 2020 to a burglary on Smallhouse Road, where three people armed with guns entered the residence and assaulted an employee, who was working in the home office. The paperwork reveals the female employee was restrained with zip ties while the intruders removed a large safe, containing an estimated 300 to 400 pieces of jewelry valued at approximately one-million dollars.

New York, NY: Pair of thieves steal $33K in merchandise from Dior store in Soho
A pair of thieves stole $33,000 worth of merchandise from a Dior store in Soho after smashing the front door with a hammer, the NYPD said. The thieves smashed the glass front door leading into the luxury boutique on Greene Street around 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday, police told the New York Post. Once they were inside, the two gathered up $33,000 in handbags, book totes, scarves and other items before fleeing the scene in a "Dark colored sedan," the outlet reported. No one had been arrested in connection with the theft as of Thursday. An investigation is ongoing.

Ocala, FL: Man charged in Walmart shoplifting spree
An Ocala man is accused of stealing from Walmart multiple times over the course of several months. Edgardo Gonzalez Cruz, 51, was charged with nine counts of second-degree petit theft (first offense) in connection with the thefts, which started in November 2020 and continued through his arrest March 10 at Walmart Supercenter. A store security employee told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that Cruz made no effort to scan several items, used a fraudulent UPC code to obtain other items, placed them in bags and back into the shopping cart before passing all points of sale without paying as he left the store.

Auburn, WA: Organized retail theft group strikes again
A male and female stole more than $3,000 worth of items from Ulta Beauty at the Outlet Collection Mall, apparently as part of an organized retail theft group.

Florence, AL: Police searching for shoplifter who stole more than $1100 worth of merchandise from Target







Shootings & Deaths

Arlington, TX: Strip Mall Shooting: Police Officer shot and killed sex crime suspect when he pointed handgun
An Arlington police officer shot to death a sex crime suspect who authorities were trying to arrest Thursday afternoon outside a shopping center when he pointed a handgun at the officer, police said. Arlington officers assigned to a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force had stopped the man, who was alone and driving a vehicle, outside the Nam Hung Mall in east Arlington. The suspect “produced a handgun and began to threaten the officer by raising the handgun,” Arlington police spokesman Sgt. Michael Chitty said. Task force officers, who are federally deputized as deputy U.S. marshals, radioed a patrol officer in a marked police car to stop the vehicle.

Two task force officers and one patrol officer were involved in the stop about 5:20 p.m., police said. One task force officer made a passenger-side approach as the other task force officer walked to the driver’s side. The patrol officer also approached the suspect’s vehicle. The suspect, a Hispanic man in his mid-40s, was in the driver’s seat. He pointed a handgun at the task force officer on the driver’s side and the officer, a supervisor with 19 years with the department, shot the suspect. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Montgomery, AL: Man shot in Eastdale Mall parking lot
Montgomery police are investigating a Thursday afternoon shooting in the parking lot of Eastdale Mall. Officers responded at about 5:30 p.m. They found a man with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital. Police say the shooting happened in the parking lot and that two vehicles sustained damage as a result. A police spokeswoman said there were no other injuries.

Update: Independence, MO: Man charged with murder in Tuesday’s after fatal shooting in QuikTrip parking lot

Update: Cincinnati, OH: Man indicted for murder of Madeira Beverage store owner

Update: Columbus, OH: Arrest made in connection with second shooting at Polaris Fashion Place


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Woodland, CA: ‘Karma Will Get Ya’: Police Catch Suspected Shoplifters In Stalled Getaway Car
“It was a pretty easy one to solve, absolutely,” said Woodland Police Sergeant Victoria Danzl. Woodland Police officers were called out on a shoplifting case at the Walmart Neighborhood Market near County Fair Mall around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, but they didn’t have to look far for the suspects. They found 30-year-old Brandon Klimper and 20-year-old Savannah King sitting in their stalled car right across the street. They had barely made it out of the Walmart parking lot. In fact, an unsuspecting Good Samaritan had helped push them out of the way of traffic and into a parking lot on Leisureville Circle. Police posted the incident on Facebook, reminding people that even “getaway cars need regular maintenance.”

Former State Department Employee Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods from U.S. Embassy
A former U.S. Department of State employee and his spouse were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit goods through e-commerce accounts operated from State Department computers at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Gene Leroy Thompson Jr., 54, and Guojiao “Becky” Zhang, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods on Dec. 20. 2020. Thompson Jr. was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Zhang was sentenced to three years of supervised release, the first eight months of which will consist of home confinement. Thompson Jr. and Zhang were also ordered to forfeit a combined total of $229,302 Between September 2017 and December 2019, Thompson Jr. and Zhang sold counterfeit goods on a variety of e-commerce platforms. Thompson Jr. used his State Department computer at the embassy to create numerous e-commerce accounts, including additional accounts under aliases to continue the conspiracy and avoid detection after several e-commerce platforms suspended the couple’s other accounts for fraudulent activity.

San Jose, Costa Rica: American Airlines Flight Attendants, Pilots Held and Robbed
at Gunpoint in Costa Rica
A group of American Airlines flight attendants and pilots have been robbed at gunpoint after their crew minibus was held up by armed robbers on the way to San José International Airport in Costa Rica. American Airlines says it has implemented “enhanced” security measures to protect crew who are due to stay in the city in the coming days. American Airlines flight AA1204 from San Jose to Miami on Tuesday was delayed by over seven hours following the traumatizing incident in which one crew member reportedly had a gun pointed held at his head as robbers demanded the other flight attendants and pilots hand over their mobile phones and other valuables.

According to aviation blogger Gary Leff, the crew had been picked up at 3.40 am from their crew hotel and were on the way to the airport for a 5.20 am departure when their van ran over a large plastic box that had been placed in the road. When the driver stopped to remove the box from underneath the van, armed robbers pounced on the vehicle with one armed assailant jumping in the driver’s seat and demanding the crew hand over their mobile phones while brandishing a knife at them. A second robber then got into the back of the van and held a gun at the head of one of the crew members while collecting the phones and valuables from the Miami-based crew members.

Champaign, IL: Woman gets second-chance probation for role in mall looting
A Westville woman who admitted she took part in looting in Champaign amid protests over the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota has been sentenced to two years of second-chance probation. Asacia Semple, 19, pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge Roger Webber to burglary, admitting that on May 31, she intended to steal when she went through the broken doors of Macy’s at Market Place Mall, grabbed clothing and ran out with it. Semple was caught at the scene of the chaotic protests, which spilled over to stores on North Prospect Avenue. Approximately 50 businesses, most of them in Champaign, were vandalized that day.

Nashville, TN: Walgreens Shoplifting suspect tased, arrested after running into a nursing home
A shoplifting suspect was tased and arrested after running from officers into an Antioch nursing home on Thursday morning. La Vergne Police say the man ran into the Life Care Center of Hickory Woods on Murfreesboro Pike after shoplifting at a nearby Walgreens and fleeing from responding officers. He was tased by police officers and taken into custody as soon as he entered the facility.

Elloree, SC: 22 treated for Carbon Monoxide exposure; 5 employees sent to hospital from Grocery Distribution Center
Twenty-two workers at a food distribution center in Elloree received medical treatment following exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide on Wednesday. Orangeburg County EMS Director Stephanie Givens said emergency personnel treated 17 patients at the scene and crews transported five patients from the site, located at 258 Snider St., to the hospital. Emergency crews were called to the scene just before 1 p.m. The high levels of carbon monoxide were “isolated to a single section of the refrigeration unit of the building,” said Christy Phillips-Brown, spokesperson for ADUSA Distribution. ADUSA owns the center, which provides distribution services to Food Lion.

Ottumwa, IA: Car Dealership Employee charged with theft of $88,000

Rome, GA: Family Dollar Manager arrested for $2,100 cash theft

Davenport, IA: Man on probation faces four C-Store Robbery charges

New Zealand: Vaping Businesses Targeted By Criminals As New Regulations Take Effect

Warminster, England: Thieves steal perfumes worth hundreds of dollars in burglary at Superdrug




Antique – St Paul, MN – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Riverside County, CA - Armed Robbery
C-Store – Norwalk, CT – Burglary
C-Store – Omaha, NE – Burglary
Clothing – New York, NY – Burglary
Grocery – Bloomington, IN – Armed Robbery
Grocery – San Diego, CA – Robbery
Jewelry – Grove City, PA – Robbery
Jewelry – Aventura, FL - Robbery
Jewelry – Miami, FL – Robbery
Jewelry = Baraboo, WI – Robbery
Motel – Kokomo, IN – Armed Robbery
Museum – Houston, TX – Burglary
Pharmacy – El Cajon, CA – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Pasadena, CA – Armed Robbery
Rite Aid – Bronx, NY - Armed Robbery
Walgreens – Madison, WI – Armed Robbery
Walgreens – Clayton, NC – Armed Robbery                

Daily Totals:
• 14 robberies
• 4 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Weekly Totals:
• 62 robberies
• 30 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed

Click to enlarge map



None to report.

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