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Six Questions to Ask Before Deploying AI-Powered Video Analytics

AI-powered video analytics offer a wide range of benefits for security, including improved operational efficiency, enhanced safety protocols, and the ability to gain valuable insights into customer behavior. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, organizations can extract valuable information from vast amounts of video data and transform it into actionable business intelligence to positively impact their bottom line and increase the security of their company.

The ability to analyze video data at scale and uncover hidden patterns paves the way for smarter and more effective security solutions. However, there are multiple elements of this advanced technology to consider before rolling it out across your organization. You’ll need to examine factors such as the capabilities of your team, the ethical processes involved in using artificial intelligence, the various pieces of software and hardware needed to support video analytics, and more. Luckily, many of the problems encountered when deploying analytics can be remedied by going through six essential questions, which can help you and your organization properly prepare to use AI-based video analytics.

In this informative on demand webinar, OpenEye goes over the essential factors to consider for successfully deploying AI-powered video analytics, including:

  • Achieving key business goals through AI-powered analytics

  • Identifying the legal and ethical considerations surrounding video data collection and analysis

  • Creating the hardware and software infrastructure necessary to support analytics in your security infrastructure

  • Implementing the training and support required to effectively use AI-powered video analytics

  • Anticipating how the deployment of AI-powered analytics will evolve and improve over time

  • Exploring integration strategies to connect analytics with other business systems and processes

View the on-demand webinar


NRF PROTECT Session Roundup: Day 2 | June 5

By Amber Bradley, Owner, Calibration Group

Content ruled the day for NRF PROTECT as sessions kicked off Wednesday, June 5, with Nikolas Badminton, a world-renowned global futurist. Attendees were treated to Nikolas’ predictions of what is to come for retail and how executives should be stepping back from the day to day to understand and help identify critical trends. To hear his keynote, click here.

More than 2,200 loss prevention/asset protection executives are in Long Beach this week taking in all types of valuable sessions for all levels of the organization. For a full list of speakers and sessions: Click here.
In case you missed it, here are highlights from some key sessions:

- “Protecting our elders: Gift card fraud and scams” presented by Amy Nofziger, Director of Fraud Victim Support for AARP, and Claire Rushton, Senior Director of Global Investigations for Walmart.

Summary: Knowing that elder fraud is a $3 Billion-a-year problem was certainly disturbing, including hearing a firsthand account from a victim herself, was bone-chilling. Nofziger summarized exactly how these types of abuses occur utilizing gift cards, and provided a few ideas to help retailers curb these scams including placing a mirror on the gift card rack with the phrase, “Is someone asking you to lie to purchase these gift cards?”

Rushton described Walmart’s rather mature program to combat this type of gift card fraud explaining their own internal “Redemption” portal that catches the bad guys when checking the financial balances of these cards. Staggeringly, Walmart has more than $12 million in the bank waiting to be returned to fraud victims, of which $4 million has already been returned.

Key takeaways from the session includes:

  • Removing the opportunity for gift cards to be purchased with other gift cards

  • Making sure to share with industry partners, knowing there is no competitive nature in saving our elders

  • Use data to identify trends

  • Remediate after your criminal cases

To download the AARP takeaway, click here.

- “It’s a small world after all: Loss prevention around the globe” presented by Claire Rushton with Walmart, Ed Velaquez, Sr. Director for Enterprise Risk, Aritizia and Karen Osorio, Head of Security and Compliance for H&M Group.

Summary: This session tackled 5 questions about loss prevention and risk issues from perspectives domestically, among Canadian retailers as well as globally. Each expert provided their perspectives based on their own perspectives. Questions included themes around the landscape of theft/loss/violence varying from geography, law enforcement partnerships, the adoption of technologies/impact of legal considerations, and recommendations for expanding into other countries.

Overall, everyone agreed shoplifting and workplace violence has increased dramatically, law enforcement partnership have been valuable and increased among the most recent legislative successes. In terms of technology, facial recognition is bound by the privacy concerns within the geography and RFID is realizing a big push in Latin American countries.

Key takeaways for expanding into other countries:

  • Understand the data – know what’s going on even if it’s a google search

  • Make the relationships with local law enforcement representatives

  • Have a methodical, detailed process

  • Learn from other retailers that have tried to expand into your considered market

  • Be culturally aware. Understand how differently law enforcement works as well as how to localize your organization’s mission and goals

  • Be hands on with your talent specially so they understand the brand’s expectations

NRF PROTECT concluded the day with the induction of the new class of “Ring of Excellence” winners. Congratulations to the latest winners:

Gary Johnson
, a leader in loss prevention for more than 40 years. Johnson retired as Director of Asset Protection & Safety for Guitar Center Inc., overseeing 600 stores nationwide, and has held leadership positions with The Vitamin Shoppe, A&P Supermarkets, Barnes & Noble and Osco Drug Stores. He served two terms as Chair of the NRF Loss Prevention Advisory Council and was a founding member of the Loss Prevention Research Council.

Mike Lamb
, LPC, an industry expert with more than four decades of experience in asset protection, loss prevention and safety. Lamb retired from his role as Vice President of Asset Protection & Safety with the Kroger Company in February 2024 and previously served in leadership roles with Walmart U.S. and The Home Depot. Lamb remains active in the LP/AP industry, serving as a member of the Executive Committee for the LP Foundation, senior advisor for Innovate LPRC and board member of Good2Go, as well as other key affiliations.

Walter Palmer, an industry expert in loss prevention and a leader throughout his career as a practitioner, consultant and industry partner. Palmer continues to provide strategic guidance and insights to many of the world's leading retail brands. He is one of the co-founders of LP Magazine, has served the industry across many boards and associations, and has been involved with NRF's loss prevention conference for more than 30 years.

John Velke, a practitioner who began his retail loss prevention career in 1977 at Lord & Taylor. Velke's career includes roles with Fred Meyer, Parisian, Proffitt's and McRae's stores, before retiring in 2022 from Total Wine & More. For more than 40 years he has advocated for the AP/LP industry, serving on the Illinois Attorney General's task force on computer crime, as a governor-appointed board member to Oregon's Police Academy, and a member of the NRF Loss Prevention Council.

Next up: June 6 Session Round up! Stay tuned tomorrow to get the in-depth highlights of a few sessions with key takeaways!


The U.S. Crime Surge
The Retail Impact

Theft Gets All The Attention, But What's Really Fueling Shrink?
Shoplifting (or external theft) accounts for just over a third of inventory loss.

Opinion: Shoplifting might be masking big retailers’ real flaws

Shoplifting is bad right now. But is it really as bad as some would have us believe?

Although some theft goes undetected, police-reported shoplifting is a good way of determining whether the problem is getting worse. In 2022, Winnipeg reported 4,186 shoplifting incidents involving items less than $5,000, a 36 per cent increase over 2021.

However, given that in-store shopping was way down in 2021 because of pandemic restrictions, those numbers are misleading. In fact, when you look at pre-pandemic numbers, you can see the total number of shoplifting incidents in 2022 was well below what was reported in 2018 (5,104), 2019 (7,817) and 2020 (6,624).

What about organized retail crime, the main trend that retail lobby groups claim is driving a spike in shoplifting? When pressed, the industry has had a difficult time quantifying the total amount of losses due to criminal organizations.

And this brings us to what is probably the real story behind the story: shrink. So, what drives shrink? In both Canada and the U.S., industry sources claim shoplifting (or external theft) accounts for just over a third of inventory loss. However, more than half is attributable to “process control failures” (items not scanned properly, bar code misreads) and internal employee theft.

More importantly, the annual increases in the shrink rate have remained relatively stable in both the U.S. and Canada, and are at or just below pre-pandemic levels. If there was an epidemic of shoplifting and organized retail crime as the industry claims, that annual number would be much higher.

So, why would the retail industry want to exaggerate the impact of shoplifting?

Academics and analysts that study the sector suggest that shoplifting in general, and the spectre of organized retail crime in particular, is an effective diversion from consumer concerns about unjustified price hikes and record profits. Big retail grocery chains in particular have been demonized for suspected price gouging.

'End-to-End' Fight Against Theft
Dollar General fights back against thieves with plan to remove theft-prone merchandise, self-checkout lanes

Dollar General has converted self-checkout lanes in 12K stores

Dollar General is employing new measures to crack down on rampant retail theft that it says has been the most problematic problem for the business. The company said it plans to remove items that are frequently stolen and eliminate self-checkout options from thousands of additional stores.

It's part of the company's ongoing effort to eliminate shrink, which "continues to be the most significant headwind," CEO Todd Vasos told analysts during an earnings call. Shrink is an industry term referring to lost or stolen merchandise.

"We are deploying an end-to-end approach to shrink reduction across the organization, including efforts in our supply chain, merchandising, and within our stores," Vasos said.

As part of its plan, the chief executive said the company converted approximately 3,000 additional stores away from self-checkout in May, totaling 12,000 total locations that have been converted since the beginning of the fiscal year.

Even with the latest changes, the company doesn't expect to see a material impact right away. The company's supply chain teams are also working to make sure deliveries arrive on time, and its merchants are reducing the amount of inventory it has in stock, Vasos said.

As part of its efforts within stores, Dollar General plans to get rid of "high shrink" items, ones that are most likely to be stolen.

Is the Crime Drop Simply the Result of Lack of Data Reporting?
Declining crime may be due to drop in agencies reporting data
In the first quarter of 2024, violent crimes across Maricopa County, Arizona appear to be trending down. After a bump in the data in 2021 showing 5,414 violent crimes in the first three months of that year, law enforcement agencies collectively reported 4,891 in the same time frame this year.

While the trend appears consistent and positive, the drop may be due to a decline in the number of agencies reporting their data to the Department of Public Safety.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is the largest example of one such agency. In the first quarter of 2022, the sheriff’s office reported 307 violent crimes, just behind the Glendale and Mesa police departments and well behind Phoenix. No data is reported by MCSO in 2023 or 2024.

MCSO was not the only agency to stop reporting their crime data. Scottsdale and Tolleson police departments also have yet to report to the Department of Public Safety their 2024 data. Collectively, these law enforcement agencies average about 500 violent crimes in the first three months of the year. When that average is added to the crime stats the downtrend in data disappears and violent crime would be estimated closer to the 5,400 peak from 2021

Backlash Against Chicago Official's Crime Alert Plan
"The public needs to be aware of 'skyrocketing' carjackings and armed robberies."

Chicago Democrat takes heat for warning against over-reporting crimes

Local Alderman Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth said she will no longer issue crime alerts via email or social media

A Chicago Democrat is facing criticism after saying she will no longer share crime alerts because it creates a negative "perception" of marginalized communities.

Local Alderman Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth announced Wednesday that she would no longer relay crime alerts via her social media or constituent email list because of her belief that the "over-reporting of crime leads to an inaccurate public perception about crime rates."

During an appearance on "America's Newsroom," Violence Interrupters Executive Director Tio Hardiman said Manaa-Hoppenworth's comments are not necessarily accurate and that Chicago is a "rough place." He suggested that some people may not want crime information to get out to the public at large, but that the public needs to be aware of "skyrocketing" carjackings and armed robberies.

"People need to know to watch their surroundings because you can have somebody robbing people," Hardiman said. "There might be a rash of armed robberies taking place in a certain area, so people need to know. So, I pretty much disagree with that notion not to alert people because it's going on in Chicago."

Connecticut stores see downsides of self-checkout trend
Status quo prevails in D.C. primary dominated by crime concerns

Model for Safety Culture?
The Magic Formula for Safety Culture Training
When companies roll out global corporate initiatives, they can sometimes face pushback at the local level. This could be because of a difference in programs and processes, how a facility or team operates, or a variety of other factors. But usually, it boils down to the fact that people don’t like having a culture imposed or mandated upon them.

That’s what makes Baxter’s safety culture training program so unique—and so successful. Kristen Heitman, MSc, senior manager of EHS&S training and development, shares how Baxter’s revitalized safety culture program is helping the company reach more employees and make the workplace safer.

Start When Certain (SWC) is Baxter’s safety culture movement. Initially launched as a stop work authority program, it has evolved into a safety culture training program that focuses on culture and how our safety DNA impacts our behaviors through safety critical conversations, safety gembas, recognition, hazard identification and reporting.

This message cascades down to frontline employees through monthly SWC messages and discussions on these leading indicators of safety. The training program balances knowledge transfer, practical application and engagement activities. SWC will continuously improve, with sites delivering new training sessions, programs and experiences that support safety culture growth.

The goal of the training program was to integrate key safety topics into a cohesive and effective program scalable to local needs and aligned to a global direction. We knew we had to build a program that blended technical skills and applications with the interpersonal and intrapersonal connection to safety that really drives change.

How 'Savvy Retailers' Are Winning in the Post-COVID Era
Revitalized retailers chart a new roadmap for success
Post-COVID brick and mortar shopping has returned to dominant retail centers. We are seeing a return to merchant-led retail with relevant and engaging brands now delivering a much more cohesive omnichannel experience. Sephora, Gorjana, Lululemon, and the URBN brands Anthropologie and Free People are all delivering an omnichannel experience that makes shopping more convenient.

At the same time, former online-only retailers are opening brick-and-mortar stores to support new market expansion that can only be achieved by opening physical locations--illustrated by the growth of brands like Warby Parker, Madison Reed, and Tommy John. These brands are acutely aware that 80% of consumer purchasing decisions are made in-store, although the majority of customers have been to their websites first. The customer gains the added convenience of a seamless browse to purchase experience.

Savvy retailers are combining the use of both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores, resulting in the delivery of a better, more robust experience to consumers.

The United States has historically been overbuilt with retail due to extended periods of rapid expansion. Over the past few years, however, net shrinkage of less productive GLA has helped balance the national footprint. The real winner in all of this is the consumer, which is exactly how it should be

Family Dollar Spinoff?
Dollar Tree to explore spinoff or sale of Family Dollar

The underperforming banner has been a drag on operations since its acquisition.

Dollar Tree Inc. could sell or spin off its struggling Family Dollar segment as part of a formal review of strategic alternatives, the company announced Wednesday.

“The unique needs of each banner at this time – transformation at Family Dollar and growth acceleration at Dollar Tree – lead us to the decision to conduct a thorough review of strategic alternatives for the Family Dollar business,” Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said in a statement. “Our goal is to position both the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners to progress further and faster, and to determine whether the exclusive attention of a dedicated team will benefit both, while creating value for Dollar Tree shareholders and other stakeholders.”

The company hasn’t set a deadline to complete the strategic review, and a sale or spinoff isn’t certain.

Walmart launching annual bonus program for hourly workers

HanesBrands in $1.2 billion deal to sell Champion

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CONTROLTEK Unveils Enhanced Exit Solution with Real-Time SMS Alerting at NRF Protect

Bridgewater, N.J. (Jun 3, 2024)
- CONTROLTEK, a global leader in tamper-evident packaging, retail asset protection, and RFID inventory and asset tracking solutions, officially unveiled its Enhanced Exit RFID solution at NRF Protect in Long Beach, CA, June 4-6, 2024.

Enhanced Exit is a powerful tool for retailers to detect and prevent theft in real-time while providing critical insights into store operations.

"Retailers today face unprecedented challenges in protecting their assets from both internal and external theft," said Tom Meehan, CFI, President at CONTROLTEK. "Enhanced Exit takes retailers' loss prevention strategy to the next level with the integration of RFID technology to understand at an item level what is leaving the store and alerting them in real-time when it does, so they can take action."

"Enhanced Exit's integration with existing systems and its ability to provide real-time data have been game-changers for our retail partners," added David Brothers, Senior Director of Global Sales at CONTROLTEK. "The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive by retailers who have implemented this solution. What we're hearing is that its reliability and effectiveness have aided in identifying theft events in real-time, speeding up their investigations."

By leveraging RFID technology, Enhanced Exit offers real-time monitoring of store exits, high-theft areas, and unauthorized zones, empowering retailers to take proactive measures against theft. The solution arms retailers with:

  • Real-Time Notifications: Enhanced Exit provides immediate alerts by email or SMS message when items leave the store or move outside designated zones or into unauthorized areas such as employee break areas, restrooms, fitting rooms, or back-of-house exits.

  • Dynamic Alerting Capabilities: The system’s dynamic alerting capabilities allow retailers to determine notifications based on their determined parameters such as high-theft items or when multiple items exit simultaneously.

  • Seamless Integration: This solution seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructure, including point-of-sale and video monitoring systems, to distinguish between purchased and stolen items, streamlining investigations and enhancing overall security.

Read full press release here






Top Cyber Threats Facing Retail
Retail & Hospitality ISAC Report reveals top cyber threats facing retail and hospitality

Threat actors are increasingly adopting advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to intensify and strengthen their attacks.

Cybercriminals continue to target the retail, hospitality, and travel sectors with increasingly sophisticated attacks, according to a new report from the Retail & Hospitality Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RH-ISAC). Committed to helping its members stay one step ahead, the organization released its annual industry trend report, shedding light on the most pressing cybersecurity challenges facing these industries.

The report, which analyzes RH-ISAC member data alongside findings from the 2024 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report, reveals that credential theft, ransomware, and phishing continue to be the highest threats plaguing these industries, with threat actors increasingly adopting advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to intensify and strengthen their attacks.

"Our latest industry report underscores the ever-evolving challenges facing retail and hospitality organizations when it comes to cybersecurity," said Suzie Squier, president of RH-ISAC. "By sharing intelligence and collaborating as a community, our members are better positioned to defend against these persistent threats."

The report highlights several key trends:

91% of industries saw ransomware as one of the top three most prevalent threats
50% of social engineering attempts involved pretexting to pressure victims into divulging sensitive information
83% of breaches originated from external factors, with 95% financially motivated
Vulnerability exploitation, especially in third-party suppliers, increased drastically compared to the previous year

The full report, including detailed metrics for specific retail and hospitality subsectors, is available here. Learn more about RH-ISAC memberships at

Stealing Data from the New Windows Recall Feature
Allowing threat actors to automate scraping everything you’ve ever looked at within seconds

TotalRecall shows how easily data collected by Windows Recall can be stolen
Ethical hacker Alexander Hagenah has created TotalRecall, a tool that demonstrates how malicious individuals could abuse Windows’ newly announced Recall feature to steal sensitive information.

On May 20, Microsoft announced a new line of Windows 11-powered PCs called Copilot+. Among its previewed features was Recall, which was immediately viewed with suspicion by security professionals and privacy-minded users.

Copilot+ Recall takes snapshots of the computer’s screen ever few seconds (some things can be excluded), encrypts and stores the snapshots locally, uses optical character recognition (OCR) to extract relevant information that users may search for later, and and stores this data locally in an SQLite database, in plain text.

In theory, only the user may access it when logged into the computer. In practice, though, info-stealing malware and hackers can access it, and so can other users on the same device.

Security researcher Kevin Beaumont tested the feature and proved that the exfiltration of Recall databases can be automated.

Recall enables threat actors to automate scraping everything you’ve ever looked at within seconds,” he said.

AI's Impact on Zero Trust Strategies
How AI-powered attacks are accelerating the shift to zero trust strategies
In this Help Net Security interview, Jenn Markey, Advisor to The Entrust Cybersecurity Institute, discusses the increasing adoption of enterprise-wide zero trust strategies in response to evolving cyber threats.

Markey discusses the impact of emerging threats like AI-generated deepfakes and synthetic identity fraud, as well as the challenges Western organizations face in implementing zero-trust frameworks.

Two-thirds of organizations featured in the 2024 State of Zero Trust & Encryption study cited cyber-risk concerns as the main drivers for implementing a zero-trust strategy. How do threats like AI-generated deepfakes and synthetic identity fraud influence this trend?

While our threat landscape continues to intensify in general, AI-generated deepfakes and synthetic identity fraud are adding fuel to the fire. AI-powered attacks simultaneously increase the scale of personalized attacks and reduce the skill level required. Less sophisticated or easy fraud used to account for ~80% of attacks. However, in the last 6 months alone easy fraud has declined to just over 60% of the total with that trend expected to continue.

There is a striking disparity in zero trust adoption rates, with U.S. organizations lagging. This raises the question, why do you think Western entities struggle more with implementing zero-trust frameworks?

I think the intensifying threat landscape, with nation-state attackers particularly focused on Western targets, has forced many cyber teams in these countries to be hyper-reactive, often at the expense of longer-term and more strategic pursuits like zero trust implementation.

20 free cybersecurity tools you might have missed

Cybersecurity jobs available right now: June 5, 2024








In Case You Missed It

Improving Cannabis Security While Reducing Burden on Businesses
Thoughts to Improve Security Regulations Across the Nation

Sapphire works with clients all over the country to ensure that their security standards apply best practices and meet compliance requirements. However, several business owners in the cannabis industry alert us to burdensome requirements from regulators.

In this article, we examine common security regulations which may be construed as "burdensome". Then we explain the ramifications of each. Finally, we offer solutions which may be aligned with best practices as well as with regulators' interests.

Excessive Video Retention

In the camera-heavy cannabis industry, we see hundreds of terabytes of storage required to meet regulations.

Most retail and warehouse businesses store video for between 7-30 days. 90 days is common for cannabis businesses (California, Massachusetts, Maryland). Canada still requires one year of retention, while West Virginia and Pennsylvania previously did (now both at 180 days). More retention can double the materials costs for video systems, to say nothing of increased maintenance costs. States like Illinois or Mississippi require off-site cloud storage. Yes, this feature removes reliance on an on-site NVR and makes remote access easier; however, again the price tag jumps dramatically, and onsite bandwidth requirements become a non-negligible calculation.

AdvertisementOur suggestion is to cap video retention at 45 days, which is sufficient for most investigations. As cloud storage technology develops, it may become more affordable, but for now, it annihilates security budgets for several years forward without clear ROI. Perhaps an emphasis on motion-activated recording instead of continuous recording would increase ROI for cloud storage.

Secondary Alarm Systems

Requiring two alarm systems with two separate monitoring companies creates an installation expense AND a recurring (monthly) expense. Redundancy can be achieved within one alarm system, or better yet, one can spend that money on proactive video monitoring or better door hardware. UL 681-standard alarm systems are much tougher to beat than those with minimum capabilities. Generators and battery backups can solve the power-outage problem. Overnight private security patrol/response teams are ideal too, when available.

Fencing Materials

A solution of 6-foot fencing with screening and possibly barbed/razor wire will enhance barrier security. Emphasis on CPTED generally produces strong ROI. Either of these will hopefully assuage those who want above-standard fencing.

NYPD's 'Enforcement Offensive' Continues
Video of NYPD Cannabis Raid and Arrest Raises Questions About Adams’ New Enforcement Offensive
As a new mayoral task force conducts sweeps of hundreds of shops suspected of selling illegal weed, a video of a raid on a Staten Island store obtained by THE CITY captures how enlisting police to conduct regulatory inspections can lead to criminal charges, igniting concerns about potential due process violations.

The 90-second clip taken from a store surveillance camera on May 18 shows seven uniformed law enforcement officers, most of them in NYPD gear, cursing, jumping over the store counter and charging at a shopkeeper after he asked them for a court order before opening the door to the back of the store.

Instead, the man was cuffed – before any unlicensed cannabis products were found – and taken to a local precinct where he was charged with obstruction of justice, records show.

The surveillance video was shared with THE CITY on the condition that the identity of the shopkeeper be protected. The arrest and criminal charge was confirmed by police records.

The shopkeeper’s lawyer, Steve Zissou, told THE CITY that the video shows both due process violations and personal civil rights violations.

“Asking for a court order is not an obstruction of justice,” Zissou said, adding that the shopkeeper was asserting his constitutional rights. “This is restarting the war on drugs under the guise of a civil process.”

GOP Congressional Committee Removes D.C. Marijuana Sales Ban And Adds Cannabis Banking Protections In Key Spending Bill
A GOP House committee has unveiled a large-scale spending bill that omits a longstanding rider blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing recreational marijuana sales and separately adds new protections for banks that work with state-legal cannabis businesses.

The notable cannabis-related changes from past sessions come under the panel’s new leadership. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and the lead sponsor of standalone bipartisan marijuana banking legislation, is charing the subcommittee.

The District of Columbia has been barred from using its local tax dollars to implement a commercial cannabis market for years under a rider from Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). Lawmakers have attempted to remove the prohibition several times without success. But now the provision has been excluded from the base bill, a move that would require Harris or other supports to proactively seek to add it back in via an amendment.

DeSantis moving toward vetoing bill that would regulate sale of cannabis products

3rd try at approving recreational marijuana in South Dakota makes the ballot





Fake Reviews Flooding the Internet
Can You Trust Online Reviews? Apparently Not Much

Consumer advocate says there’s more deception in the world of online reviews than people realize. She recommends getting tips from friends and family instead.

We use them all the time — Yelp, Tripadvisor, the BBB — websites that post reviews by customers, clients and patients of all sorts of companies and health care providers. But can we trust these reviews? Are the websites that post them taking steps to assure they are legit?

“No and no,” says Kay Dean of San Jose, Calif., a former criminal investigator in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. Dean’s bad experience with a health care provider with glowing reviews led her on a journey into the expansive realm of fake online reviews. “I no longer put an ounce of trust in any online review site,” she says.

She is the founder of Fake Review Watch, which she says is on the side of consumers and honest businesses and attempts to show the issues that major review platforms have with fake reviews.

It is extremely difficult for the average consumer to discern which reviews are fake,” Dean notes, “as they can be very detailed and convincing, some written by the business itself. I’ve seen many contractor reviews with photos of work lifted off of a real estate listing in another state and thousands of Yelp reviews with content simply plagiarized from Tripadvisor written by other people, sometimes years earlier. Determining whether (a review is) real or fake often requires analyzing sets of reviewers and businesses together to see if suspicious patterns emerge indicating deception.”

Dean points out that even the Better Business Bureau website “has become polluted with review fraud, hosting plenty of fake BBB reviews. I’ve found that a robust black market exists for them, including several marketers in Facebook groups offering to sell BBB reviews. I reached out to one guy from Pakistan. He offered to sell them for $3 each!”

Cracking Down on Illegal Products on Temu
Temu faces stricter rules as EU also clamps down on ecomm
It’s not just the US which is starting to scrutinise the ecommerce industry. Last week the EU designated Temu as a Very Large Online Platform (VLOP) – which means it will face more stringent rules.

While it does not directly impact Temu’s logistics, stricter compliance rules could impact demand: some cheaper items, perhaps because they are counterfeit or potentially illegal listings, must be scrutinised and banned from the platform.

Temu has some 75m monthly users in the EU, which under the Digital Services Act means it must comply with different rules within four months of its notification as a VLOP.

Under the rules, it must “diligently analyse the specific systemic risks with regard to the dissemination of illegal content and products”, as well as addressing risks such as the listing and sale of counterfeit goods and unsafe products.

Consumer groups have complained that Temu is not protecting consumers by failing to provide sufficient traceability of its traders. Consumer organisation BEUC also claimed it had “manipulative practices”. It alleged last month that: “Temu breaches the EU’s new online content law, the Digital Services Act, on all of the above points and must now be investigated by authorities.”

Amazon Drone Delivery Plans Move a Small Step Forward

Amazon closing Stockton warehouse, offering transfers to 390 jobs










Clark County, WA: 12 arrested in Clark County retail theft mission
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office conducted a retail theft operation that resulted in 12 arrests including two prolific retail theft subjects. The retail theft operation was conducted on June 1 in Hazel Dell. Ten people were arrested for theft, one for trespassing, and one for a felony warrant related to organized retail theft. In addition to the cases created during the operation, police apprehended multiple prolific organized retail theft subjects with several pending cases

Medford, OR: Seven suspects arrested after retail theft enforcement operation
Seven people were arrested for retail theft during a Medford Police operation at the Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx inside the Medford Center. According to a Facebook post from the Medford Police Department, MPD partnered with loss prevention employees at local retailers and agents from the Oregon Department of Justice. This operation happened from 12 to 8 p.m. and targeted retail theft -- resulting in seven people being arrested. "MPD is seeing an increase in confrontations between loss prevention employees and suspects," the post said. "The suspects have often times armed themselves with weapons such as pepper spray, knives and firearms in the event they are confronted by loss prevention. This problem has resulted in loss prevention not confront suspects due to fear of being injured."

Lakewood, CO: Thieves steal tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise from Lakewood shop
Lakewood police are looking for the culprits who broke into a local barber and sneaker shop, stealing tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise. For owner Joey Romero at Crisp Barber Shop on 6th Avenue, taking care of the community means more than haircuts that give customers confidence. “This is our fantasy factory where we could create a communal place,” Romero said. “We’re community guys. We take care of our community. That’s why we do it.” About a year ago, Romero said, he opened up the other side of his shop to another community member with a dream of selling sneakers and unique apparel. “Almost a year today, then we get broken into,” Romero said. “It’s a part that we always think about in business, you know, that this could happen. But do we really expect it to? Not really.” Pictures capture what Romero saw at his storefront after waking up to the news about a break-in between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Tuesday. “They left a trail of merchandise out the door, front windows broken, police officers all around and it was heartbreaking, you know — that feeling in your gut,” Romero said, adding they lost an estimated $60,000 to $70,000 worth of merchandise

San Jose, CA: 5 Suspects Linked To Retail Theft Ring In San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Five suspects face criminal charges charges after investigators allege they worked together to steal from several stores across two counties. According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office, the crew targeted Nike, Marshalls, TJ Paxx, Napa Auto Parts and PGA Superstores in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Investigators served a search warrant at an address on Snow Drive in San Jose, where investigators said they recovered items valued at more than $18,000. The sheriff's office said several members were charged with organized retail theft, and investigators believe more members could still be operating.

Austin, TX: Lance Armstrong continues search for Burglary suspect after bike shop break-ins totaling over $100,000

Warwick, RI: Around 30 handguns swiped in gun store break-in

Rochester, NY: Man accused of stealing $13K worth of merchandise from Macedon Walmart

Roseville, CA: 'It’s 100% disheartening': $2,000 worth of health supplements stolen from Roseville store

Brentwood, CA: Female suspects at large after Ulta theft worth $2K in Brentwood

The Villages, FL: 400-pound suspect nabbed in theft of $1,000 in items at Walmart

Tulsa, OK: Tulsa Police investigating Burglary at High End Sneaker store






Shootings & Deaths

Montgomery, AL: 3 killed in shooting at Montgomery grocery store
Three people were killed Tuesday night at a small grocery store in Montgomery, an outburst of violence that comes after a string of robberies targeting Latino-owned businesses in Alabama’s capital city. The shooting at Tienda Los Hermanos, a grocery store on the south side of the city, occurred hours after the city’s mayor urged city council members to support a $6 million proposal for a community intervention program to address crime in Montgomery. “People working their jobs in their community, trying to make it day-to-day, week-to-week should not be preyed upon. And that’s what we had last night,” Mayor Steven Reed said during a Wednesday news conference. Reed said the city will use every available resource to find who committed the crime and those who have been “targeting Latino, Hispanic businesses all across this community.” Police Maj. Saba Coleman said officers responded to a report of gunfire shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. Two people were dead at the scene. A third man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Port St Lucie, FL: Update: Urgent search underway for man who killed a store employee from Port St. Lucie
There is an urgent search in Central Florida for the person who investigators say shot and killed a store clerk from Port St. Lucie during an armed robbery. The victim was identified as 51-year-old Raied Shihadeh. Police say he was shot and killed last Thursday at a convenience store in Leesburg. Technology and support from the community helped police identify the man detectives say is the killer, 25-year-old Alex Lopez. Surveillance video shows Lopez walking into the store and then firing a gun at Shihadeh. Lopez is facing murder and armed robbery charges.

Alameda County, CA: Suspect in 2022 Robbery, Murder of Armored Car Guard in San Leandro arrested
A man suspected of being the driver during a robbery and murder of an armored car security guard in San Leandro nearly two years ago has been arrested, police said Tuesday. On Sept. 7, 2022, the GardaWorld security guard was leaving the Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center at about 11:42 a.m., carrying a bag with an undisclosed amount of cash, when he was shot in the back of the head, according to police. The suspect grabbed the bag and fled in a waiting getaway car, police said, and the hospital was placed on lockdown immediately after the shooting. The guard, 60-year-old John Mendez who had been with the company nearly 40 years, succumbed to his injuries a day later. The suspect in the shooting, 28-year-old Akbar Bey of Oakland, was arrested in October 2022, but the suspected driver of the getaway car-- Artemio Torres, 28-- was believed to have fled the state. On Memorial Day, an officer with the California Highway Patrol Ventura office made a traffic stop on a vehicle in the city of Oxnard. The driver, later identified as Torres, allegedly gave the CHP officer false information about his identity.

DeKalb County, GA: 2 critical after wings restaurant employees say customers got into shootout over $1
A DeKalb County wings restaurant is closed Wednesday morning after employees say two regular customers got into a shootout. Channel 2′s Christian Jennings spoke with the employees at Atlanta’s Best Wings off Covington Highway, where police have blocked off the parking lot. The employees told Jennings that two men came into the store and got into an argument over a comment made about a $1 bill dropping on the ground. They said one man went outside, then came back in and demanded back a $5 tip he had just given the employee. The two men continued arguing and shot at each other, according to witnesses. DeKalb police said the two men are in critical condition. The employees said at least 10 shots were fired in total. Other customers were inside but no one else was hurt.

Spartanburg, SC: Employee at Chipotle shot while emptying garbage, police say
An employee at a Spartanburg, South Carolina, restaurant was shot while emptying garbage outside the restaurant Monday night, according to Spartanburg police. Officers said they were called about 10:40 p.m. to the Chipotle on the west side of Spartanburg. The employee who called the police told officers he and another employee were at the back of the business to empty the garbage when they were approached by two unidentified men. The men started shooting, and one of the employees was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital. Police called the injury non-life-threatening. They said the shooting was not part of a robbery


Robberies, Incidents & Thefts

Rockford, IL: Man arrested and released after threatening to shoot Walmart Security guards
A Freeport man was arrested after threating to shoot to two Walmart security guards Tuesday evening, according to a criminal complaint filed in Winnebago County. According to the factual summary, an aspect of the criminal complaint, at approximately 5:00 p.m. Walmart Security told Abdulameer Abdulameer to leave the property but he refused to do so and instead threaten to shoot the security guards while grabbing at his waist band. The complaint says Abdulameer was previously banned from the Walmart located at 7219 Walton St. Abdulameer left the store but came back in his car making threats toward the guards again. According to the criminal complaint Abdulameer exposed what the guards perceived to be a handgun in Abdulameer waistband. An officer with the Rockford Police Department located Abdulameer's car near the intersection of Buckely Drive and East State Street. The complaint says the Abdulameer pointed at the officer. The officer eventually conducted a traffic stop and arrested Abdulameer around 5:11 p.m. According to the court documents, no weapons were found on Abdulameer or in his car. Police say his mother and her son were inside the car during the incident. Abdulameer's mother told police she was with her son during the incident and that he did threaten to shoot the guards. Abdulameer is facing two counts of aggravated assualt, one count of aggravated assault volunteer with a weapon, one count of criminal trespass and one count of disorderly conduct.

Aiken County, SC: Man arrested in Armed Robbery attempt at Aiken County McDonald’s
An Atlanta man has been accused of an armed robbery attempt at a McDonald’s in Aiken on Friday, according to authorities. Aiken County deputies say at 8:16 a.m., they responded to McDonald’s located at 102 West Frontage Road after a call from a witness about a man with a gun. According to dispatch, the suspect had a rifle and had pointed it at a worker behind the counter. Pedestrians told deputies the suspect had left and started walking towards I-20.

Waynesboro, GA: Through the roof: WPD swiftly arrests coin store burglar



C-Store – Norton, MA – Armed Robbery
C-Store – San Antonio, TX – Robbery
C-Store – Falls Church, VA – Robbery
Clothing – Nashville, TN – Armed Robbery
Collectables – Waynesboro, GA – Burglary
Collectables – Lakewood, CO – Burglary
Grocery – Macon, GA – Armed Robbery
Guns - Warwick, RI - Burglary
Jewelry – San Francisco, CA – Burglary
Jewelry – Auburn, WA - Robbery
Jewelry – Murray, UT – Robbery
Liquor – Chicago, IL – Burglary
Pharmacy - Cordes Lakes, AZ – Burglary
Restaurant – Carbondale, IL – Robbery
Restaurant – Burlington, NC – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Wenatchee, WA – Armed Robbery
Restaurant - Aiken County, SC – Armed Robbery
Restaurant – Alexandria, KY – Burglary
Shoes – Tulsa, OK – Burglary
Walgreens – Providence, RI – Armed Robbery
Walgreens – Omaha, NE – Robbery
Walmart – Rochester, NY – Robbery
Walmart - The Villages, FL - Robbery                                                                                                                                     

Daily Totals:
• 15 robberies
• 8 burglaries
• 0 shootings
• 0 killed


Click map to enlarge






None to report.

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