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See more in today’s Vendor Spotlight column below

The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

NYC's 'Shoplifting Black Market' is Thriving While Businesses Suffer
Opinion: Thank pro-crime lawmakers for NYC’s $4.4B shoplifting black market
Progressives’ crusade to go easy on “minor” crimes has proved a bonanza for major criminal enterprises. Here in New York, a Post investigation has revealed, “mercy” for shoplifters opened to door to a multibillion-dollar black market whose kingpins now order up goods for theft by addicts and other “petty” thieves.

The thieves at every level pad their pockets; honest businesses get screwed and customers pay the price in the form of higher costs for products and demoralizing shopping experiences.

Meanwhile, lefties like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pretend shoplifters are merely the desperate poor just trying to survive. No matter that the shoplifting boom has resulted in stores to locking up essentials, forcing costumers to wait endlessly to access toothpaste, deodorant or even baby formula.

But businesses have no choice: The alternative is shelves emptied by the crooks.

The Democrats who run the state Senate and Assembly last year refused to pass measures to beef up penalties for repeat offenders and those who assault retail workers; will they this year block Gov. Hochul’s $40 million plan to crackdown on this sprawling underground economy?

To be clear, the gov’s given up (at least for now) on getting the Legislature to fix the rotten bail laws that create the “anything goes” environment these crime rings thrive in. She’s only out to penalize online platforms that allow the sale of stolen goods and set aside $25 million for a specialized shoplifting State Police unit.

Should the progressives block even that, we’ll start looking to see if the black-marketeers have hired their own Albany lobbyists, and/or bundling campaign donations for the likes of crime-loving state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Queens).

If lawmakers don’t start reversing course, soon the business of crime will be the only business that thrives in New York.

Collaboration Key to Fighting Global ORC Surge
Milpitas, CA: Officials say collaboration is key to preventing retail theft

Police chief: Uptick in crime results in store closures, rising prices

Recognizing that theft and organized retail crime have become global issues, Milpitas Vice Mayor Evelyn Chua organized a community forum on retail theft prevention on March 21 to give residents and business owners insight into what’s being done locally to abate these crimes.

“By fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing, we can collectively strengthen the Milpitas community’s resilience against retail theft,” Chua told the 70-plus attendees at the forum, held at the Milpitas Season’s Marketplace.

The forum was intended to empower individuals and businesses with strategies to identify, prevent and respond effectively to instances of theft. It provided a platform to share current statistics on retail crimes and best practices for prevention, and to inform businesses and shoppers of the specifics of the city’s and the Santa Clara County District Attorney Office’s focus and actions.

Milpitas Police Chief Jared Hernandez emphasized how retail theft affects the entire community and not only the business owners but because stores closing and rising prices are direct consequences of the uptick in this crime. He said the police department is taking a threefold approach with effective crime prevention, deterrence and enforcement.

Hernandez reported a city-wide decrease in larceny/theft and property crimes from 2022 to 2023, the former dropping from 2,067 to 1,1997 incidents and the latter from 2,789 to 2,557. He said the decrease is likely higher, as the department changed its reporting system in October 2022.

Milpitas Police Sgt. Peter Tachis shared strategies for retailers to prevent organized retail crime and protect their businesses, including installing and monitoring surveillance systems, leveraging data analytics and Artificial Intelligence, collaborating with other business owners and with law enforcement, and hosting targeted training for employees.

Progressives Walking Tightrope Over How to Deal With Retail Crime Surge 
Why California Democrats are divided on retail theft bill
Legislators may be off for spring recess, but debates about their bills are still happening outside committee rooms. One spicy intra-party exchange between Democratic Assemblymembers focuses on a measure about retail theft — underscoring the difficult balance for lawmakers responding to public concerns about crime, while not over-policing historically targeted communities.

Los Angeles Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, vice chairperson of the Legislative Progressive Caucus, introduced Assembly Bill 1990, which would allow police officers to make warrantless arrests for misdemeanor shoplifting offenses (as in, items that total $950 or less) if officers have probable cause. Officers do not need to be present when the crime occurred.

The bill has bipartisan support with the backing of Assemblymember Juan Alanis, a Republican from Modesto and vice chairperson of the Public Safety Committee. In a statement, Carrillo said that by “increasing enforcement against suspected shoplifters, we are sending a clear message: we will not tolerate these acts that threaten our public safety and economic vitality.”

But Inglewood Assemblymember Tina McKinnor, a fellow progressive caucus member, urged lawmakers to reject the bill, saying on social media that it was “bad for black and brown folks.”

Carrillo pushed back, however, arguing that her bill “is committed to fairness, equity, and the protection of all individuals’ rights, regardless of race or background.”

The debate is emblematic of the tightrope progressive lawmakers attempt to walk on public safety. And it’s an issue that Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, chairperson of the Public Safety Committee, will have to navigate as Carrillo’s bill heads to the committee.

'Strategic Cargo Thefts' Surge in the U.S.
"The trends tell us that cargo theft is currently at a 10-year high"

Cargo thefts spiked 68% in Q4, led by food and beverage freight

Security experts see strategic cargo thefts soaring across US

Cargo thefts surged 68% year over year (y/y) in the fourth-quarter of 2023 compared with 2022, according to CargoNet, a subsidiary of data analytics firm Verisk. During the third quarter of 2023, cargo thefts were up 57% y/y compared to the same year-ago period.

"The trends tell us that cargo theft is currently at a 10-year high," Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist at Travelers, told FreightWaves. "So far, the numbers for the beginning of 2024 are projecting that 2024 will have higher theft numbers than 2023, which had higher numbers than 2022."

Cornell said they are seeing higher incidences of strategic cargo theft, which involves fraudsters using stolen motor carrier operating authorities or logistics broker identities to obtain freight and misdirect it from the intended receiver in order to steal it.

"Strategic theft is when they use various means to trick you into giving them the freight and that's through methods like identity theft, fictitious pickups, double brokering scams, those methods are where we're seeing the biggest increase in cargo thefts over the last 18 months," Cornell said.

Commodities such as food and beverage goods, electronics and household goods are top targets of thieves.

California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky continue to be hotspots for cargo thefts, according to Danny Ramon, an intelligence and response manager at Overhaul, a real-time visibility and risk management platform based in Austin, Texas.

3 Strikes and You're Out? Not Anymore in Some Places
Maine House advances bill to end 3 strikes law for thefts

Republicans warned that removing a possible felony charge for a 3rd conviction would embolden organized retail crime, while Democrats say the policy is outdated, and that most theft crimes don't warrant a felony conviction.

A bill proposing to end Maine’s three strikes law for thefts, which allows for felony charges on a third offense, cleared the House of Representatives on Monday.

Republicans said the bill would increase retail theft and smash-and-grab crimes, while Democrats argued that felony charges for petty thefts are extreme, and that a felony conviction for such crimes would make it more difficult for someone to find housing and employment.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. David Sinclair, D-Bath, would prohibit charging a person who already has at least two prior theft convictions with a Class C felony if the third theft is of property valued at $500 or less. Current law allows a felony charge for the third conviction if all three occur within a 10-year period.

“What this legislation does is seek to make sure that we are imposing the worst outcomes on those who actually commit the worst offenses,” Sinclair said. “Someone who is labeled a felon after a felony conviction suffers lifelong outcomes. … Petty theft – even repetitive petty theft – is not one of those worst offenses.

Republicans argued that removing the threat of a felony conviction for a third offense would only embolden thieves and encourage organized retail crime operations to target Maine stores.

'Roving Bands of Thieves' Hitting Stores & Shoppers
Utah: Theft gangs roaming St. George, Utah area, distracting and preying on shoppers, businesses

Supermarkets, jewelry stores and the elderly are frequent targets.

Roving bands of thieves are driving shoppers and business owners in Washington County to distraction and making them pay.

Police in several cities along the Interstate-15 corridor in southwest Utah say there’s been a surge in activity from theft rings, some of them from foreign countries and some with gang ties, whose modus operandi is to distract and then steal from shoppers and shop owners. Thieves are also targeting cars in parking lots at churches, department stores and trailheads.

We have really seen an uptick in theft,” said St. George police spokeswoman Tiffany Mitchell. “Distraction theft and smash and grabs are some of the crimes we are seeing from [these] groups.”

Retail Workers Facing Violence & Abuse
Australia: NSW Govt Urges Respect for Retail Workers pre-Easter Rush
The NSW Government is reminding consumers to behave respectfully towards retail workers as shoppers and retailers prepare for the rush ahead of stores closing on Good Friday (March 29).

A 2023 survey of more than 4600 retail workers reported 87% of workers experienced verbal abuse from a customer, 12.5% reporting physical violence, and 52% reporting they had the same customer act abusive or violent on more than one occasion.

Workplace violence can be via a threat or action which causes either physical or psychological harm or injury. In the retail industry workplace, this includes intimidating behavior which creates a fear of violence such as verbal threats, throwing objects or shoving, spitting or other physical contact.

Retailers should have systems and policies in place to help staff respond when faced with violence and aggression from customers.

Overland Park, KS: Police say shoplifting is a ‘crisis.’ What does the data say?

Memorial being planned for one-year anniversary of Allen mall shooting

More States Pass 'Clean Slate Laws'
Individuals with criminal records have a greater chance of employment

Clean Slate Laws Are Spreading Across the United States
Individuals with old criminal records have a greater chance of employment in the growing number of states—now 12—with clean slate laws. As these laws spread, more employers may benefit from a talent pool they haven’t tapped much before.

“Employers need to understand that there is a growing trend throughout the country to have clean slate initiatives,” said Pamela Devata, an attorney with Seyfarth in Chicago.

The first state to pass a clean slate law was Pennsylvania in 2018. Since then, clean slate laws have passed in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. In states where clean slate legislation has recently passed, The Clean Slate Initiative, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., will focus on enabling implementation.

Two federal clean slate laws have been proposed, noted Jason Cooper, vice president of programs for The Clean Slate Initiative. The Clean Slate Act of 2023 would not address state-level needs but would rather provide a pathway to clear federal records, he said. The Fresh Start Act would provide federal funding to support the implementation of state-level record clearance laws, he explained.

RELATED: LA County Expands California’s “Ban the Box” Effective March 28, 2024

AI's Role in Retail Will Continue to Grow
Most retail leaders say AI plays an important role in search strategies: survey
More than a quarter of retail leaders foresee AI expanding its role in search experiences in 2024, according to a survey of 1,100 senior business and IT retail decision-makers released Monday by Algolia and Coleman Parkes Research.

Three in 5 leaders believe AI has an important role to their business’s search strategy, while just 4% say that AI isn’t an important consideration at all. Respondents cited improved accuracy and relevance as the two biggest roles AI can play in search.

AI will also enhance search personalization. A majority of leaders said they already personalize search results based on customer preferences and behavior, and nearly one-third of those who don’t currently personalize search results plan to do so in the next 12 months.

Consumers Rapidly Embracing AI
Adobe: How consumers really use generative AI
A new study from Adobe sheds light on the ways consumers shop – and want to shop – with generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

According to the study (based on Adobe Analytics data), more than half of surveyed U.S. consumers have used generative AI, and almost six-in-10 (58%) say it has improved their online shopping experience. More than half (52%) of respondents say are likely to use generative AI tools to help with their purchase of clothing.

In addition, 71% of respondents believe that using generative AI to produce images of them wearing a product can boost their confidence when making a purchase, while 66% want brands to utilize their purchase history or other data to make shopping experiences more relevant to their needs.

Top anticipated consumer benefits - Future plans:

Visa, Mastercard reach landmark credit card settlement
Visa and Mastercard have reached a class action settlement that will lower the fees they charge merchants for credit card transactions and cap those charges for a period of five years, the companies said Tuesday in separate press releases.

Dollar Tree to increase max price in stores to $7, reports higher income shoppers

Survey: Retailers not meeting employees’ tech needs

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Introducing Zebra Workcloud Actionable Intelligence 7.0


Workcloud Actionable Intelligence 7.0 is the AI-based analytics platform built for the modern store – optimized for big data and modern usability with a cloud-native backend, 100% powered by Google Cloud Platform.

Do more directly within the UI without having to click through different pages. Utilize robust, state of the art AI and Machine Learning models. Connect data and build models from any of the products in Zebra’s solution portfolio. Here are some of the powerful new feature highlights of Actionable Intelligence 7.0:

Automate data ingestion with a flexible data model

Bring together multiple key datasets from across your organization and establish a single source of truth for generating both insights and actions. Build models from any data source or size and go from insight to actionable intelligence faster.

Advanced analytics and automated tasking

Leverage state of the art AI and ML to efficiently sift through the noise and complexity of data to identify anomalies. Once opportunities are found, the simple remedy action is sent directly to the associate via an easy-to-use workflow complete with directions on what actions need to be taken.

Closed loop intelligent workflow

Capture outcomes and feed them back into the application to ensure accountability, track root causes of issues, monitor financial impact, and continuously improve analytics.

Designed for scale

With a cloud-native backend, 100% powered by Google Cloud Platform and HTML5, Actionable Intelligence 7.0 is built for big data and modern usability.

Ready to explore further? Join us at the RILA Asset Protection Conference where we'll be showcasing our cutting-edge loss prevention and inventory management solutions at Booth #417. Reserve your time for a dedicated 1-on-1 session.






DOJ's Crackdown Against Hackers Continues
Chinese State-Sponsored Hackers Charged, Sanctions Levied by US

US & UK charge seven Chinese nationals for operating as part of threat group APT31.

The Department of Justice this week
charged seven Chinese nationals with widespread cyber espionage against US businesses and politicians.

Aided by UK law enforcement in identifying the cybercriminals as affiliates of threat group APT31 this week, all seven are believed to reside in the People's Republic of China, according to the indictment. Likewise, on March 25, the Department of the Treasury unveiled sanctions against the shell company that runs APT31 and is funded by the PRC's Ministry of State Security (MSS) in Wuhan, China.

According to a statement from US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, the APT31 worldwide hacking campaign included more than
10,000 malicious emails and thousands of victims over more than 14 years.

"APT31 Group's practices further demonstrate t
he size and scope of the PRC's state-sponsored hacking apparatus," special agent in charge Robert W. "Wes" Wheeler Jr. of the FBI Chicago Field Office said, also in a statement.

Cybersecurity experts
applauded the DoJ for taking action against the Chinese.

"It's high time the administration takes more aggressive action to suppress the overt colonization of American infrastructure by the PRC," says Tom Kellerman, senior vice president of cyber strategy at Contract Security. "We must stop playing defense. These sanctions are long overdue; however,
I would love to see forfeiture of their Western assets."

AI Integration Into Cybersecurity
Reinforcement learning is the path forward for AI integration into cybersecurity
AI’s algorithms and machine learning can cull through immense volumes of data efficiently and in a relatively short amount of time. This is instrumental to helping network defenders sift through a never-ending supply of alerts and identify those that pose a possible threat (instead of false positives). Reinforcement learning underpins the benefit of AI to the cybersecurity ecosystem and is closest to how humans learn through experience and trial and error.

Unlike supervised learning,
reinforcement learning focuses on how agents can learn from their own actions and feedback in an environment. The idea is that reinforcement learning will maximize its capabilities over time by using rewards and punishments to calculate positive and negative behavior. Enough information is collected to make the best decision in the future.

How reinforcement learning can help

AI capabilities help mitigate the threat posed by large social engineering, phishing, and spam campaigns by understanding and recognizing the kill chain of such attacks before they succeed. This is important given the security resource constraints most organizations experience, regardless of their size and budget.

More sophisticated dynamic attacks are a bigger challenge and, depending on the threat actor, may only be used a limited number of times before the attackers adjust or alter a part of the attack sequence. Here is where
reinforcement learning can study the attack cycles and identify applicable patterns from previous attacks that have both failed and succeeded. The more exposed to sophisticated attacks and their varied iterations, the better-positioned reinforcement learning is positioned to identify them in real-time.

Granted, there will be a learning curve at the onset, especially if attackers frequently change how they pull off their attacks.
But some part of the attack chain will remain, becoming a pertinent data point to drive the process.

Be Careful When Downloading Apps!
Apps secretly turning devices into proxy network nodes removed from Google Play
Your smartphone might be part of a proxy network, and you might not even know it:
all it takes is for you to download apps whose developers have included the functionality and didn’t mention it.

If that doesn’t sound so bad, you should know that being part of a residential proxy network means that
your device might be that “last mile” of a threat actor’s traffic before they access a victim’s environment.

Downloading mobile apps is something that most of us do regularly, but
only security-savvy users know that that simple action carries many risks.

17,000+ Microsoft Exchange servers in Germany vulnerable to attack, BSI warns
12% of the 45,000 or so Microsoft Exchange servers in Germany that can be accessed from the Internet without restrictions “are so outdated that security updates are no longer offered for them,” the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has warned today.

Also, around
25 percent of all those internet-facing servers run Exchange 2016 and 2019, but are not up-to-date with security patches.

Urgent action is needed:

How threat intelligence data maximizes business operations

UN Adopts Resolution for 'Secure, Trustworthy' AI



RCC Retail Secure 2024 Recap: Shaping the Future of Safety

Retail Council of Canada’s Retail Secure Conference which took place on March 21, 2024 attracted over 300 North American loss prevention experts, emphasized the evolving challenges in retail security.

Key takeaways included the
critical need for adapting to increased retail theft and violence, focusing on omnichannel strategies, supply chain risks, and advanced technology. Celebrating excellence, the conference also the inaugural winners of the Retail Secure Legend Awards.

Sessions underscored
collaboration across police, legal, and retail sectors, emphasizing holistic strategies and the importance of training and agility in creating safer retail environments. RCC would like to thank their incredible sponsors who made the day possible.

See the photo gallery from the event.

Rise of the techie cargo thieves
How digitally savvy theft has invaded trucking
One day last spring, Peel police Det. Mark Haywood executed a search warrant on a property west of Toronto and found a semi-trailer loaded with snowmobiles. Part of a sweeping joint investigation called
Project Big Rig, the operation resulted in the arrest of 15 suspects and recovery of 28 trailers stocked with $7 million worth of items ranging from chicken to televisions to Sleeman beer.

Cargo theft definitely is on the rise,” Haywood said in an interview.

The spike in freight crime comes in lockstep with a ramp-up of
more sophisticated, digitally savvy tactics that revolve around identity theft and drain the economy of millions of dollars, as the higher cost of living drives demand for pilfered products.

The number of cargo thefts — when goods are stolen during transportation —
rose 59 per cent in Canada and the United States last year, according to data analytics firm Verisk’s CargoNet. The 2,852 incidents followed a 15 per cent jump in 2022 and a 20 per cent increase in 2021.

Experts say
more old-fashioned methods of theft such as cutting fences at freight yards and hot-wiring semis at truck stops remain popular. But even those acts are often informed by information gleaned from online load boards — sites that connect shippers and carriers — or phishing scams and other hacking methods.

“The way it used to be was that they would just randomly steal whatever they could get their hands on,” said Haywood.

“Now, if they have inside information on something, they'll actually go into a yard and
go through half a dozen trailers until they find the product that they were told is there, and then they'll steal that particular one.”

New 'Automated Receiving Solution' Rolled Out by Walmart Canada
Walmart brings automation to Canadian supply chain

Walmart Canada is piloting an automated receiving solution.

The Canadian subsidiary of Walmart is introducing material handling robotics and automation technologies into its distribution network, kicking things off by piloting
an automated receiving solution at its regional distribution center (RDC) in Calgary, Alberta.

Walmart first announced its next-gen fulfillment center model in 2022. The centers feature an automated, high-density storage system that, among other benefits, allow the retail giant to double the number of customer orders it can fulfill in a day.

Walmart is also implementing robotic automation in its Canadian distribution network, with goals including making the process of getting products from trailers into the facility 90% faster than doing it manually in an effort to boost productivity, reduce strain on associates, increases shipping accuracy, and enhance data and analytics.

Walmart Canada
will roll out the automated receiving solution across its distribution network following the pilot, with other technologies to follow. As part of this investment, the company is accelerating the adoption of new technologies.

Retail Sales Stronger Than Expected
Canadian Retail Sales Promising For Some & Ominous For Others In January
January kicked off with stronger growth than December for Canadian retail sales, growing 2.9% YOY for All Stores. Discretionary spending grew to a similar degree, increasing 2.7% YOY for All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies. The year-to-date sales grew in 2023 over 2022 to 2.1% and 0.4% respectively.

Food and Beverage Stores experienced growth around the rate of inflation (3.4%), with sales increasing only 2.8% YOY. There was, however, some noticeable polarity within the category, specifically:

Convenience Stores fell -1.3% YOY in January. There are numerous factors mentioned including convenience stores tied to slowing gas sales and lower-income consumers continuing to be strained.

Specialty Food Stores grew an impressive 6.6% YOY. This could be a result of the continued frustration of consumers with Canadian grocery giants.

Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores continue to struggle in January, with sales decreasing -2.0% YOY. Many people cut back on drinking in the new year.

30% Surge in Canadian Business Insolvencies
Canadian Businesses Grapple with Soaring Insolvencies as CEBA Loan Repayments Take Toll: Equifax Reports

A new report by Equifax Canada indicates insolvencies are rising in the country amid mounting financial stress on Canadian businesses.

“These factors are contributing to a growing trend of business failures. The
sharp rise in insolvencies, representing a 30.3 per cent surge since 2019, underscores the financial pressures faced by businesses. There is a need to manage debt and adapt to changing market conditions through strategic financial planning and proactive measures.”

Canada Goose cuts corporate workforce by 17%, shakes up executive roles
As part of a DTC focus, the brand said about a year ago that it would double its footprint within five years, but some analysts anticipate that slowing.

How Canada’s Retail Sector Can Better Serve Families with Children

Report Highlights Contrasting Strategies Among Canadian Grocers to Tackle Inflation and Shifting Shopper Preferences

Jewelry Store Hit By Barrage of Gunfire
Update: Surrey jewelry store 'targeted' in shooting, RCMP say
Surveillance captured the moment when
a barrage of gunfire erupted as a jewelry store was shot at in Surrey. Just before 3 a.m. Monday, the video, posted to social media, shows a vehicle slowly pulling up in front of the store and then shots can be heard. At least 13 bullets hit the business. “At the time there was nobody at the business and no injuries reported,” said Surrey RCMP Sgt. Tammy Lobb. The incident involving ACC Jewelers was targeted, according to police. Sgt. Lobb said the gunfire isn’t believed connected to a multi-province extortion plot targeting South Asian business owners. Those crimes have included everything from an arson in Edmonton to shootings in Ontario.

$500K Cargo Theft
Shipping container full of e-bikes stolen in Delta
A shipping container containing 150 Biktrix e-bikes worth
$500,000 was stolen from a warehouse on Annacis Island on March 19, the Delta Police Department says. Police say CCTV shows that a semi-tractor entered the warehouse — which was not secured — around 1 a.m., and backed up under the container. Two suspects — a man and a woman — got out and connected the trailer to the truck and then drove away “within minutes.” The theft was reported to police 12 hours later. According to a post on Biktrix Electric Bikes’ Facebook page, the stolen bikes were the Juggernaut FS St model. On March 22, Township of Langley Bylaw officers responded to a complaint of an illegally parked semi-trailer. They determined it was the trailer stolen from the Delta warehouse.

Toronto Robbery Spree
Man, 26, accused of four armed robberies in Toronto
A 26-year-old man faces numerous charges in connection with
a series of armed robberies in the city. Toronto Police say officers responded to four robberies at businesses in the areas of Dundas St. E. and Broadview Ave., Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. West., and St. Clair Ave. W. and Jane St between Oct. 16, 2023, and Jan. 8, 2024. It’s alleged in each incident that a masked man entered a retail store, approached the checkout counter posing as a customer, then pulled out a handgun and demanded cash before fleeing with money and cannabis.

Suspect arrested, accused of stealing mainly meat in Winnipeg grocery robberies

Store robbed at Sherway Gardens in Toronto

Lethbridge police seek public assistance IDing suspect in Canadian Tire store robbery

View Canadian Connections Archives







Could Baltimore Bridge Collapse Impact Amazon Operations?
Amazon Assessing Damage of Baltimore Bridge Collapse
After a cargo vessel plowed into a column and destroyed portions of Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge, online retail giant
Amazon is examining the company's operational challenges, as traffic faces severe disruptions.

Early Tuesday, a
cargo ship named Dali traveling to Sri Lanka struck the bridge, forcing parts of the span to crumble into the Patapsco River. Images show the bridge foundation shattered into several pieces, with sections jutting out above the river. Authorities say there were eight construction workers on the bridge and that they had accounted for two, while still searching for the other six.

More than 30,000 vehicles are estimated to cross the bridge daily, with traffic volume at more than 11 million a year, according to local authorities.

Its closure will disrupt movement, and Amazon, the e-commerce titan that also delivers goods to consumers, said it was working to determine the impact that the bridge collapse will have on its operations in the area.

"Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the bridge collapse and the first responders assisting in the rescue and recovery efforts," Richard Rocha, Amazon spokesperson, told Newsweek in a statement. "
We're assessing the immediate and future impacts to our employees and delivery partners, as well as the surrounding community and will make any adjustments to our operations that are needed. We also stand ready to support the community in any way we can."

The president pointed out that the Francis Scott Key Bridge is
a crucial economic connector in the region.

"The bridge is also critical to—
for travel, not just for Baltimore but for the Northeast Corridor," Biden said. "It's one of the most important elements for the economy in the Northeast and the quality of life."

Amazon Continues to Boost Same-Day Delivery
Amazon Expands Same-Day Pharmacy Delivery to New York, Los Angeles

Online shopping giant seeks to make prescription delivery as convenient as its traditional shipments

adding New York and Los Angeles to the cities where it offers same-day pharmacy delivery, in the company’s latest effort to expand its reach in health and medicine.

The tech giant says same-day delivery of prescriptions for common conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure is available in two of the most populous U.S. metros, with
plans to offer the service in more than a dozen cities by the end of the year. Amazon also offers same-day pharmacy delivery in Indianapolis, Miami, Phoenix, Seattle and Austin, Texas.

expansion is the next step in Amazon’s ambitions to make prescription delivery as quick and convenient as its retail orders. Customers have been slow to move to online services from traditional prescription pickup at in-store pharmacies, and the company faces competition and other barriers as it seeks to build out its healthcare goals. Amazon has added to its same-day delivery options and sees quick delivery of prescriptions as a way to increase patient interest, according to executives.

Amazon hopes anti-obesity drug demand will boost pharmacy business

Casio UK Enhances Online Shopping with AI and Personalization Techniques







Oakwood, GA: Metro Atlanta couple accused of multiple thefts at AT&T stores across Georgia, Tennessee
A multi-jurisdictional investigation is underway that is tied to a couple who police allege are part of an organized crime group that travels the country committing various types of thefts and fraud. Police executed a search warrant at the accused couple’s home in Gwinnett County on Monday. A man was arrested during the operation, but Oakwood Police said they’d still been unable to apprehend his accomplice, Maria Antonescu. Police said this is all tied to a series of thefts at AT&T stores across the state and in Tennessee that have been carried out in the past several months. On March 15, Oakwood Police officers were dispatched to an attempted theft at the AT&T store on Mundy Mill Road. Once on scene, officers spoke with employees who said they recognized the couple from an internal AT&T BOLO -- identifying them as suspects in a series of thefts at stores across the state.

Colorado Springs, CO: One arrested after search at Citadel Mall store
One person has been arrested following the execution of a search warrant at Legends N Heroes inside the Citadel Mall on Tuesday, March 26. According to the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD), its agency worked with the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) to conduct multiple search warrants as part of an Organized Retail Crime investigation. During the searches, military surplus items were found and the Army Criminal Investigations Division was contacted to respond. Multiple other items were seized during the warrants and CSPD said the investigation is ongoing. Detectives arrested 43-year-old Jon Anthony Martinez on Tax Evasion charges brought by the DOR. Additional arrests are expected, CSPD said.

Nashville, TN: Woman hits officer with vehicle after stealing from Old Navy store
Officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department arrested a highly combative woman after she was pulled over for speeding in Goodlettsville while under the influence of marijuana with two children in the car. According to the arrest affidavits, 21-year-old Myria Buchanan was pulled over on Monday for driving 50 mph on Alta Loma Road in Goodlettsville where the speed limit is 30 mph. Once the officers began speaking with Buchanan, she told them she did not have a valid driver’s license and had warrants. The officers reported a strong smell of marijuana coming from Buchanan, according to the affidavit. Additionally, two children, ages 2 and 5 years old, were in the backseat during the traffic stop, the affidavit states. After a records check,
the officers confirmed Buchanan had 21 warrants for her arrests in Metro Nashville, which included multiple shoplifting and assault charges. One of which occurred on March 19, when she sped away after stealing items from an Old Navy store on Charlotte Pike and struck an officer who was giving chase on foot. During the traffic stop, officers searched the car and found a magnetic theft device commonly used to remove security tags from clothing. Also in the car were hundreds of items from different stores with tags and hangers still on them. Buchanan was extremely combative during her arrest and booking, according to the affidavit. She kicked the patrol car doors and windows and even reached through the sliding window in an attempt to grab the officer’s shotgun from the gun rack, the officers reported. During booking, Buchanan bit one of the officers on the elbow, breaking the skin, and attempted to grab one of the officer’s pistols from his belt, the affidavit states. Buchanan was booked on 26 charges, including numerous thefts of merchandise, evading arrests, resisting arrest, one driving under the influence with a child, and multiple counts of failure to appear.

Napa, CA: $23,000 Lululemon theft in Napa involved 3 juveniles

Lake Havasu, AZ: Yucca man sentenced to probation in $2500 felony theft at Walmart






Shootings & Deaths

Cordele, GA: Two dead after a shooting outside a Gas Station
Two people are dead after a shooting in the parking lot of a gas station on Saturday night, according to a release from the Cordele Police Department. It happened outside the Quick Mart located in the 500 block of West 16th Avenue. 49-year-old Ben Foreman and 27-year-old Christopher King were found shot and lying in front of the store when officers arrived. They were both later pronounced dead at the scene.

Pompano Beach, FL: Surveillance shows moments gunshots were fired in deadly Pompano Beach C-Store shooting
Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies have released the identities of the victims of a fatal shooting on Monday in Pompano Beach which killed a 16-year-old teen and injured three others. On Tuesday, BSO deputies revealed the identity of the 16-year-old killed as John Zetrene from North Lauderdale. The three other victims injured in the shooting were also identified as Emmanuel Francois, 31 of Lauderhill, Petenson Nicolas, 30, of Pompano Beach, and Elijah Gustav, 21, also from Pompano Beach. A large law enforcement presence responded to the 1800 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where NBC6 observed a pool of blood, clothes and a shoe outside of the store. Deputies found the teen suffering from a gunshot wound, Broward Sheriff's officials said. Paramedics transported him to Broward Health North, where he was later pronounced dead. According to a press release, deputies learned that the three injured victims were taken to a local hospital via a private vehicle and are expected to survive.

Seattle, WA: Update: Arrest made in deadly C-Store shooting
Seattle Police have arrested a man in connection with a deadly shooting in North Seattle that happened in mid-March. According to Seattle Police officials, a suspect is in custody for a Mar. 13 homicide that happened outside a convenience store at Aurora Avenue North and North 105th Street. Police responded to reports of gunfire there in the early hours and discovered a 39-year-old man with gunshot wounds. He died from his injuries and his death was investigated as a homicide.

Rockford, IL: Update: Video shows Rockford Walmart stabbing suspect surrender to security after murder
Video taken by a Walmart shopper shows the moment Timothy Carter, 28, wielding the knife he allegedly used to murder 18-year-old employee Jason Jenkins, surrenders to security officers. According to Rockford Police, officers were called to the Walmart, at 3849 Northridge Drive, around 6:05 p.m. on Sunday for a reported stabbing. According to the criminal complaint, witnesses heard Jenkins screaming for help after Carter allegedly took a knife from a store shelf, walked up behind him, and stabbed the teen in the lower back. Witnesses told police he uttered a racial slur after stabbing Jenkins in the unprovoked attack. Jenkins was taken to a local hospital where he underwent surgery but died at 7:48 p.m, according to the Winnebago County Coroner. Carter remained on the scene and was taken into custody.

Cleveland, OH: Suspect hospitalized after being shot by Police at Warrensville Center Walmart
South Euclid police confirmed a suspect was hospitalized Tuesday after he was shot by police at the Warrensville Center Walmart. South Euclid police said the man was shot shortly before 3 p.m. after officers attempted to stop him from shoplifting from Walmart. 16-year-old Lance Christian was in Walmart when the suspect was shoplifting. “I saw a guy putting like a lot of stuff in his cart and he’s going past checkout like he stole it,” Christian said. The 43-year-old suspect then tried to hit the officer with their car, leading the officer to fire at least three rounds. Christian said the suspect also hit several other cars while trying to get away from police. “When I was walking through the parking lot, I thought he was gonna hit me but good thing I got out the way, he didn’t,” Christian recalled. “Then the cops tried to stop him, he told him to get on the ground, he said no he was getting like physical with him so then they shot him and then they cuffed him stuff like that. It was a lot to handle, I didn’t expect to see that.” The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations said no officers were injured

Salt Lake City, UT: Utah man shot by Payson Police shoplifted sushi before officer confrontation
A man who prosecutors say shoplifted sushi from a Payson grocery store before he was shot by police when he threatened them with a knife has been charged with trying to kill the officers. Octavio Salas, 20, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; and interfering with police and retail theft, Class B misdemeanors, court records show. Before the police shooting, a man wearing a black ski mask shoplifted a tray of sushi on March 16 from the Payson Market at 586 N. Main Street, according to a probable cause statement. Police officers found the man nearby “and stopped to talk with” him, but the man — later identified as Salas — “began retreating.” Police said Salas “had a silver metal tool in his right hand and an approximately 5-inch blade knife in his right hand,” and that he told the officers, “Shoot me.” Officers ordered Salas to drop the knife, but Salas refused, charging documents state. Police used a stun gun on him three times without effect before Salas “began advancing” on one of the officers, coming “within feet of this officer while swinging the knife.” Another officer then opened fire on Salas twice, hitting him once in the shoulder.

Suspects fire shots at Prospect Heights storefront

Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Centerville, IA: Iowa man charged with robbing a C-Store and slashing a Police Officer with a box knife
A Centerville man is behind bars after allegedly robbing an Appanoose County convenience store and stabbing a police officer with a box knife. Police say they responded to a report of a robbery at Joe's Quick Shop on South Main Street just before 6:30 p.m. Monday. When police arrived, 56-year-old Kelly Joe Shiltz allegedly approached an officer with a box knife, disregarding multiple commands to put it down. Despite tasing Shiltz, the officer was struck with the box knife, resulting in injuries to both wrists. Civilians were able to wrestle Shiltz to the ground before he was detained.

Chicago police link group of suspects to 14 armed robberies in 2 days



AT&T – Oakwood, GA - Robbery
C-Store – Centerville, IA – Armed Robbery / Officer stabbed
C-Store – Wichita Falls, TX – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Ferndale, CA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – Old Bridge, NJ – Armed Robbery
CVS – Adams County, PA – Armed Robbery
Clothing - Nashville, TN - Robbery
Clothing - Napa, CA – Robbery
Dollar – Albany, GA – Armed Robbery
Jewelry – Pleasanton, CA – Armed Robbery
Jewelry – Norfolk, VA – Armed Robbery
Jewelry – Fresno, CA – Robbery
Jewelry – Bloomington, MN – Robbery
Jewelry – Ft Worth, TX – Robbery
Jewelry – Fort Smith, AR – Robbery
Restaurant – Rochester, NY – Armed Robbery / Subway
Vape – Colorado Springs, CO – Burglary
Walmart – Cleveland, OH – Robbery
Walmart - Lake Havasu, AZ - Robbery                                                                                 

Daily Totals:
• 18 robberies
• 1 burglary
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click map to enlarge






None to report.

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