Four College Students Arrested In Alleged Shoplifting Ring

SCOTT COUNTY, Ky.- Four Georgetown College students face charges after they allegedly participated in a shoplifting ring that tried to steal more than $500 in merchandise from a store.

Police reports show officers responded to a call about 4:50 p.m. Monday from Kohl’s when a security officer allegedly saw four women choose merchandise and take the items into the same fitting room. The security officer said the women removed inventory-control tags from the items, and hid the items in a backpack that one of the women carried. Store employees found the tags in the fitting room but no clothing left there, the reports said.

The security guard stopped the women in the parking lot, searched the backpack and found several unpurchased items, the report said. The guard escorted the women back into the store.

The total value of the stolen items was $577, one report said.

Mariah Mackenzie Bolasina, Ariana J. Garner, London R. Polk and Shelby Briannon Webster, all 19 and all of Georgetown, were charged with theft by unlawful taking-shoplifting more than $500 but less than $10,000 and engaging in organized crime.

Georgetown College Associate Vice President for College Relations Jim Allison confirmed the four are students.

Officials say the women had been previously identified as suspects in shoplifting that occurred Nov. 30, but no charge had been filed regarding those allegations.

All four were lodged without bond in the detention center.

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Sam’s employee seen on camera swiping $60,000 deposit

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Just a few days after Black Friday, police said a woman employed at Sam’s Club in Colonial Heights snatched a bag of money from the safe.

Store accountants noticed the missing deposit money, and launched an investigation into the missing $60,000.

“As they began their investigation and they realized one of their deposit bags was missing, they began to go through some surveillance tape from inside the store,” said Capt. William Anspach, with Colonial Heights Police.

Store cameras revealed that an employee removed the money from the safe and took it to the family restroom before an armored vehicle picked up the deposit.

Police said 30-year-old Erika Sue Apodaca then met up inside the store with 36-year-old Brian Steven Lindenfeld Jr.

“Ms. Apodaca removed the bag from the safe, took it into one of the family restrooms inside the store and failed to return it back to the area where the Armored Car Delivery Service would pick up the bag,” Anspach said.

“There was an exchange between the two and the male party and female party later met outside, outside in the parking lot,” Anspach said.

Both Apodaca and Lindenfeld were arrested Monday, without incident.

Apodaca is charged with felony embezzlement and conspiracy. Lindenfeld is charged with two felony counts of grand larceny and felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The money has not been recovered.

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Pair arrested for credit card fraud after alert security notices suspicious

Pleasant Grove CA Dec 5 2017  Pleasant Grove police arrested a man and a woman after they reportedly attempted to pick up six orders from essential oils company doTerra totaling more than $13,142 from Nov. 24 to Friday.

The orders were reportedly made using credit card information that was hacked from a Nashville company named Z Health, according to police reports.

On Friday, a doTerra security employee called Pleasant Grove police to report that two people were at the Pleasant Grove company to pick up product that was suspected of being purchased with a stolen credit card number. The order was placed online and the pair didn’t have the credit card in their possession.

The employee reported the pair was in a white Ford pickup with a California license plate. After the pickup left the doTerra property, officers executed a traffic stop on it near 1300 West and 100 South. The vehicle reportedly changed lanes without signaling and had a recently expired registration.

During the traffic stop, the man reportedly said his license was suspended and he couldn’t provide any form of identification. He reportedly provided a name of Jose Martinez and an age that didn’t match his stated date of birth. The man said three times he was 25 years old and born in 1986, reports state. He later said he was born in 1991.

The woman, identified as Jessica Contreras, 30, of Rifle, Colorado, said the man’s name was Martinez and he was her boyfriend of two years.

The man was later identified as Armando Mendoza, 31, of Downey, California, reports state.

The doTerra security employee told police that the man had repeatedly picked up packages from the company, beginning with a $160.13 order on Nov. 24. On subsequent days, the man returned to pick up four additional packages averaging $3,245, purportedly on behalf of purchasers in Colorado and North Carolina, reports state. Police contacted a credit card investigator, who reported that the cardholders had reported the fraudulent activity and canceled their cards.

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TSA experienced one of the busiest Thanksgiving weeks ever

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) experienced one of the busiest Thanksgiving travel weeks in its 16-year history. Sunday was the busiest day of the holiday week with more than 2.6 million passengers and crew members passing through TSA screening. It was the fifth busiest day since the agency was established immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

Half of the busiest days on record in the past 16 years occurred in the past few months.

Even though the volume of individuals screened was remarkably high, nationwide 98.1 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes in a checkpoint line and 99.2 percent of passengers who were in a TSA Pre✓® lane waited less than 10 minutes in a security checkpoint line.

“Enhanced security screening measures and the use of TSA canine teams were in place during the busy Thanksgiving travel period to ensure security of air travel,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “I am very proud of our Transportation Security Officers for their work and attention to detail during a very hectic time, ensuring safe travel for all passengers,” he added.

From Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 26, TSA screened 21,613,767 passengers and crew at airport checkpoints nationwide. More than 13.6 million checked bags were screened during the same time period. Typically, an average travel day would see TSA screen in the neighborhood of 2.1 million passengers and crew, but in the busiest days of the Thanksgiving travel week, TSA screened as many as a half million more passengers per day than usual.

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Port Manatee enhances security while facilitating record commerce

While Port Manatee’s record-setting cargo volumes have been stealing the headlines, Manatee County’s seaport has quietly been enhancing its around-the-clock security to facilitate the swift, efficient flow of increasing genuine commerce and avert movement of unauthorized people and goods.

During the past year, Port Manatee’s highly trained security staff has bolstered its role, assuming functions that previously had been the responsibility of terminal operators. By doing so, redundancies have been eliminated, allowing the highest levels of security to be provided at the lowest cost as growing amounts of diverse cargos cross port docks.

To ensure safety and protection at all times, nearly three-dozen security officers – representing the seaport’s largest department – work in collaboration with a full spectrum of local, state and federal enforcement agencies, from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to U.S. Customs & Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Manatee County residents should rest easy knowing that port security is on duty 24/7 every day of the year, including holidays and when natural disasters strike. For example, when Hurricane Irma struck in September, port security remained in place, ensuring that critical landside operations – such as the movement of fuel-carrying trucks – could proceed even as waterside activity was under federal suspension.

September also brought news that Port Manatee had been awarded a $946,950 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant that will allow a doubling from two to four outbound lanes at the main gate, greatly expanding capabilities for meeting federal screening requirements for rapidly rising numbers of fuel trucks and other commercial vehicles leaving port property.

The grant also will help the port enhance its contingent of screening equipment, upgrade its main gate intercom system and update credential readers.

Credentialing remains a critical component of securing Port Manatee’s 1,100-plus-acre property, as the port continues to meet post-9/11 mandates for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials, or TWICs. Indeed, Port Manatee was one of the first U.S. ports to fully implement electronic verification requirements of the TWIC program, including biometric reading.

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The cybersecurity skills shortage acts as a root cause for security events

“ESG recently published a new research report titled, The Life and Times of Cybersecurity Professionals, with its research partner, the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA).

The research looks closely at the ramifications of the cybersecurity skills shortage — beyond the obvious conclusion that there are more cybersecurity jobs than people with the right skills and background to fill these jobs.

As part of this research project, ESG and ISSA wanted to understand whether the cybersecurity skills shortage is a contributing factor to the constant wave of security events experienced by large and small organizations.

To that end, 343 cybersecurity professionals (and mostly ISSA members) were asked if their organizations had experienced a security incident over the past two years (i.e. system compromise, malware incident, DDoS attack, targeted attack, data breach, etc.). More than half (53 percent) admitted that their organization had experienced at least one security incident since 2015. It is also noteworthy that 34 percent responded with “don’t know/prefer not to say,” so the percentage of organizations experiencing a security incident is likely much higher.

4 factors contributing to cybersecurity incidents

Those survey respondents confessing to a security incident were then asked to identify the factors that contributed to these events. The data reveals that:

-31 percent say a lack of training for non-technical employees. This indicates that employees are probably opening rogue attachments, clicking on malicious links, and falling for social engineering scams, leading to system compromises and data breaches. Clearly, firms are not dedicating the people or financial resources necessary to provide ample cybersecurity training and are suffering the consequences.

-22 percent say the cybersecurity team is not large enough for the size of their organization. Boom, direct hit. In an earlier blog post, I revealed some data about the implications of the cybersecurity skills shortage, including an increasing workload on staffers and a myopic focus on emergency response at the expense of planning and strategy. The data also exposes that the skills shortage leads directly to more security incidents, which lead to business disruption, negative publicity and data breaches.

-20 percent say business and executive management tend to treat cybersecurity as a low priority. The lack of suitable business oversight on cybersecurity was a consistent theme throughout the ESG/ISSA research. It remains true that business executives are overlooking their fiduciary (and moral) cybersecurity responsibilities. Based upon this data, we can anticipate some massive GDPR fines in the second half of 2018.

-18 percent say the existing cybersecurity team can’t keep up with the workload. Another direct hit — the workload is too big, and the staff is too small.

Breach detection, proactive threat hunting, and incident response tend to be people-intensive processes dependent upon advanced skills, so it’s logical to assume the cybersecurity skills shortage would have a profound impact here. The ESG/ISSA research proves there is a strong correlation here, so it’s safe to say that organizations with lots of open cybersecurity requisitions can expect a lot of malicious activity on the network.”

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TSA adds automated screening lanes to Midway Airport

Chicago (WSL)–With a record 50 million people expected to travel over the week of Thanksgiving, the Transportation Security Administration unveiled new technology Thursday to get people through lines faster at Midway Airport.

TSA officials said travelers will make it through security about 50 percent faster than in the past.

The first thing travelers will notice? Larger bins. A laptop, toiletries, a pair of shoes and a jacket will all fit in one bin, instead of the usual two or three. Everything will get scanned at once, and after the bins go through and travelers retrieve their belongings, an automated system kicks the bins back to the front of the line.

Travelers will also notice a change if their bag is singled out for additional screening.

“If there’s an item that we want to take another look at in the bag, a possible threat item, the system automatically kicks that bag with a diverter arm off to the side. It goes onto a separate belt system and waits there for one of our officers to screen that bag,” said TSA’s Kevin McCarthy.

In the past, bags would stand in a queue, waiting for an officer to arrive and holding up passengers.

The new system is being launched on only two of Midway’s 17 security lanes, with the possibility for more in the future.

This new system already exists at O’Hare International Airport, where travelers may have noticed two of these automated lanes in the United Terminal and another three in the American Terminal. They were installed a year ago and TSA said they are making a difference when it comes to cutting down passenger wait time for security screenings.

TSA personnel will be on-hand during this transition to help travelers navigate the new equipment.

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Bridgeport school security union gives back to help district

“School security officers in the city aren’t exactly giving students the shirt off their backs — just the cost of them.

James V. Meszoros, a security guard and president of NAGE Local R1-200, told the city school board Monday they are giving back $200 of a $424 uniform allowance to help the financially strapped school district.

The gesture will amount to $16,600 that Meszoros said he hopes the district will put toward the athletics program.

His announcement brought a round of applause in the room when the announcement was made.

“I know it goes back into the general fund but I was a coach at Bassick High School for 13 years,” Meszoros said.

Meszoros said he is hopeful Marlene Siegel, the district’s chief financial officer, can work the numbers so they can benefit athletics.

Last year, Meszoros said, the idea was raised by Police Lt. Paul Grech. After Meszoros became union president, he presented the idea to his members who liked it because it was something different.

Security guards make an average of just shy of $38,000 annually. The union contract calls for guards to get an allowance to cover four shirts and four pairs of pants every October. This year only, he said guards will get two and two.

Schools Superintendent Aresta Johnson said she was ecstatic to hear of NAGE’s give back when the union president told her of it.
“It truly exemplifies all of us pulling together and rowing in the same direction for the betterment of our students,” Johnson said. “I️ sincerely thank each member of NAGE.”

The district is working to close a multi-million dollar gap between what officials say they need to run the system of 21,000 and the near flat operating funding it got from the state and city in the current fiscal year.”

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Army veteran TSA agent runs exploding battery away from passengers at Orlando Airport

“The Transportation Safety Administration released surveillance video showing an agent moving a smoking bag containing an exploding lithium-ion battery away from passengers during a panic at Orlando International Airport Friday.

The TSA agent, a 20-year Army veteran, said he believed the bag to be an improvised explosive device. He placed it between a concrete column and a concrete planter to mitigate any harm that might come with a full explosion.

The TSA commended the agent, saying he ran the bag away even as panicked passengers “knocked over the queuing stanchions and dropped roller bags, creating loud banging sounds which were perceived as gunshots, further spreading panic throughout the airport.”

Numerous people at OIA reported there was a panic caused by those loud noises, initially thought to be gunshots.

“Our TSA Team’s performance was outstanding. I’m very proud of our team and how they responded to both the incident and the recovery process of rescreening passengers,” said Jerry Henderson, TSA Federal Security Director.
“Our people responded as they are trained to do, and to lead passengers to safety.”

The Orlando Police Department said on Twitter that no shots had been fired and it was “a loud sound that startled people.”

The department later said on Twitter that the noise was caused by a lithium-ion battery that exploded inside a camera.

The bag the camera was in started to smolder, but no one was injured, the OPD tweet said.

The incident was first reported just after 5 p.m., airport officials said in a statement.

“As a result of the incident, a ground stop was issued and a number of flights were held while passengers were allowed back into the building and security checkpoints reactivated,” the statement said.

The incident did not pose any danger to people at the airport, the department’s Twitter post said.

Regardless, photos given to Channel 9 showed a normally busy terminal that was completely empty.

Because everyone who evacuated the terminal had to go through security screening again, travelers were experiencing inordinately long lines.

“It’s crazy. Nobody knows anything,” traveler McKenzie Golden said.
She had just gone through the security checkpoint and was preparing to get onto a flight home to Michigan when the chaos hit.

“I heard people screaming and then everybody hit the ground and people were basically running over each other, trampling each other,” Golden said.
Numerous flights were delayed due to the incident.

Hours after the battery explosion, massive crowds were still working their way through security to get to their flights.”

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Hanover Mall reaches security agreement with town for police detail

“The Hanover police officers that work at The Hanover Mall may be referred to as Unit B, but that doesn’t mean they are doing anything but A-1 work.

The mall has been contracting with the town for the services of the police officers since the 1970s when Zayre Department Store first opened. The town then contracts with the police department with their collective bargaining agreements.

“At that point you had a small town that was suddenly dealing with a large shopping center,” said Hanover Mall General Manager Ed Callahan. “The town didn’t have the resources police-wise to handle that, so the town worked out a deal with the original owner, which was Campenelli-Tedeschi, for them to hire a police presence at the mall. Over the years, it was a combination of
Hanover Police and private public safety.”

There have been deals made every two-to-three years and the current one will begin on Jan. 1, 2018. According to the agreement signed in October, the town will receive a payment of $9,532 each month.

The contract will be automatically extended for an additional 12 months unless one side provides a written statement two months before the year is up wishing to not extend for an additional year.

According to former town manager Troy Clarkson, in addition to the monetary value, having this contract in place ensures that calls for service at the mall do not take away from other important responses, as the officer on duty can handle most issues on site without requiring a cruiser to be taken away from patrol in other areas.

This program, Clarkson said, has received national recognition and is yet another example of the strong and enduring partnership between the town and our partners at PREP.

There is a cruiser specifically for the position and the officers aren’t set out on calls other than extreme emergencies.

“We meet with Chief Walter Sweeney and Lt. Greg Nihan sometimes once a month or every other month and we sit down the program and review any incidences that have happened,” said Callahan. “We review what we want the officers to be doing in terms of community policing. We encourage the officers to be visible, interact with store managers and personnel and get to know people. With the cruiser they are able to do that same function with the peripheral around Dick’s Sporting Goods, Office Max, Trader Joe’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.”

When both the public safety officers and the Hanover police officers are fully staffed, typically one patrols the outside of the mall and the other on the inside of the mall. The goal is for them to work “in harmony” with two-way radios.”

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