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NRF releases 9th Annual Organized Retail Crime survey

BY Mike Troy

WASHINGTON — Organized retail crime may have decreased very slightly last year, according to a new National Retail Federation study, but it remains a massive problem and the nation’s largest cities are especially prone to organized activities.

NRF’s ninth annual Organized Retail Crime Survey found that 93.5% of retailers said they had been a victimized by organized retail crime during the past year, down slightly from 96% the prior year. For the past three years, more than 90% of the retailers surveyed said they were victims of ORC. Eight-in-10 of those surveyed believe that ORC activity in general in the United States has increased over the past three years.

"We are extremely concerned by the organized patterns that are taking place in the retail industry right now as these crime gangs continue to find ways to maneuver the system," said NRF vp of loss prevention Rich Mellor. "Though retailers continue to make great strides in their fight against organized retail crime, savvy, unconscionable criminals are selling stolen merchandise for a profit that doesn’t belong to them."

According to the study, which included participation from 77 loss prevention executives representing all retail channels, the 10 cities or regions with the worst organized retail crime are, in alphabetical order:

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Northern New Jersey
  • San Francisco/Oakland

The list basically mirrors the nation’s 10 largest urban areas which is not surprising considering high concentrations of people and convenient store locations equal increased opportunity for thieves and more outlets for stolen goods.

In other findings, the survey noted troubling developments on the store merchandise credit and gift card front. Nearly 80% of those surveyed said they had experienced a situation where thieves returned stolen merchandise without a receipt for the sole purpose of receiving store credit via a gift card to sell for cash to secondary markets that include kiosks, pawn shops and check cashing stores.

"This is an important crime to keep an eye on, as this could easily turn from being an organized tactic to one that amateurs could adopt," Mellor said. "In conversations with retailers and law enforcement, we’ve learned that there are already defrauding processes being put in place, but retailers continue to lose millions of dollars to this enterprise scheme."

One of the most distressing trends in organized crime activity, according to NRF, is the propensity for thieves to resort to violence to avoid being apprehended, putting store personnel, law enforcement and customers at risk. According to the survey, retailers said on average two-in-10 (18.3%) apprehensions lead to some level of violence, up from 15.2% last year and 13% the prior year.

Individuals connected to "gateway crimes," or crimes that are known to lead to bigger crimes, such as the use of or sale of drugs and weapons, are often found to be associated with organized crime gangs. According to the survey, retailers say on average 44.8% of those apprehended for ORC are involved in gateway crimes.

Retailers and law enforcement officials are working more closely together than ever before to derail ORC activity, according to the retail trade group, but winning the battle will require change at the federal level.

For example, the survey showed that nearly half of those surveyed believe law enforcement understands the complexity and severity of ORC, up from 40% last year and the highest percent reported in the five years since NRF began asking the question. And, nearly 60% said they believe top management at their organizations understands the severity of ORC, also an all-time high.

However, increased awareness by law enforcement and senior management and close working relationships with industry peers only go so far because ORC crosses multiple jurisdictions. NRF contends ORC must be addressed through federal legislation by amending the Federal Criminal Code to more effectively deal with the organized and serious nature of the issue and implement appropriate sentencing guidelines for those convicted.


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E.LAWRENCE says:
Jun-07-2013 01:30 am

Retail crime these days are controlled since I.T and tech professionals build and developed a so called e discovery services to track and record all the data did by the crooks.

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Study: Aspirin may be effective for reducing cancer deaths

BY Michael Johnsen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Recent data suggests that aspirin may be effective for reducing cancer deaths in addition to preventing heart attacks, raising the question whether the combined health benefits outweigh the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding and stroke for middle-aged men, researchers announced Wednesday.

While aspirin has been shown to be effective in preventing heart attacks in men, it also increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and possibly stroke, even at low doses. As such, national guidelines suggest that aspirin be used for prevention only in men at higher risk for cardiovascular events, so that the benefits of aspirin are greater than its adverse effects.

A research team, including University of North Carolina scientists, reported that including the positive effects of aspirin on cancer mortality influences the threshold for prescribing aspirin for primary prevention in men. The benefit of aspirin for cancer mortality prevention would help offset the risks, and thus lower the age and increase the number of men for whom aspirin is recommended.

Their results were published in the June issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

“We found that including a risk reduction for cancer deaths had a substantial impact on the overall benefits of aspirin, especially for early middle-aged men from 45 to 55 years of age," noted Michael Pignone, lead author and professor of medicine and chief of the division of general internal medicine. "Based on this effect, several million men who were not previously good candidates for aspirin prevention would now become eligible."

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, of which Pignone is a recently appointed member, recommends aspirin for primary prevention in men “when the potential benefit of a reduction in myocardial infarctions outweighs the potential harm of an increase in gastrointestinal hemorrhage.” This recommendation was issued in 2009, before the potential benefits for cancer reduction were recognized, researchers noted. 

 

 

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Study: Fish oil supplements may protect heart in stressful situations

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUGHTON, Mich. — Fish oil supplements may protect the heart in stressful situations, according to a study published in the May edition of the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative, and Comparative Physiology

Jason Carter, a researcher at Michigan Technological University, conducted the study with 67 healthy volunteer test participants in their 20s. Over a 2-month period, they were either given 9 g of fish oil pills or 9 g of olive oil as a placebo. The test subjects were screened for heart rate, blood pressure and other related metrics. At the end of the test period, both groups took a mental arithmetic test that involved adding and subtracting numbers in their head. Their stress response was measured at that time.

“Those in the fish oil group showed blunted heart rate reactivity while they were stressed compared to those who took olive oil," Carter said. "Similarly, the total [muscle sympathetic nerve activity] reactivity to mental stress was also blunted in the fish oil group.” 

There was not much difference between the two groups at rest, however.

 

 

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