The security week that was: 08/01/08

Making Organized Retail Crime a serious offense

In talking with a loss prevention consultant recently, I was reminded of how hard it is to get a case made and prosecuted these days -- even if it is a case of organized retail crime (a.k.a., organized shoplifting rings). Retail crimes that cross states just aren't as appealing to federal investigators, my consultant friend told me, as counter-intelligence or drug cases might be.

But at the same time, retailers (large or small) are a cornerstone of our nation's economic fortitude because they employ millions and have a way of encouraging our nation's entrepreneurs (product inventors or designers, up-and-coming sales persons, small store owners, etc.). And no matter how much we focus on point-of-sale integration with digital video, if the criminals are directly bypassing our sales counters, then we've missed that opportunity to shrink the shrink.

It's encouraging therefore that the National Retail Federation was able to work with two Congressional legislators to get a bill into the House that would make organized retail crime a federal offense. It's time this form of organized theft be escalated to a serious issue. Shoplifting is a very serious business once it's organized, and as many good investigators know, organized theft rings have a way of becoming tied in with even more insidious groups.

What's most important about this bill is that it covers loopholes in organized retail crime for which the RICO statutes wouldn't have been applicable. Here's what our expert blogger and friend Curt Baillie of Security Consulting Strategies had to say about the RICO loophole: "Theft is covered under RICO, but possession of stolen property is not covered under RICO. In order to charge under the RICO statutes you need to actually catch the thieves in possession of the stolen goods and in the act of stealing the goods."

Related reading: News of the proposed legislation | SIW Forums thread on the legislation | Curtis Baillie's Security2LP blog

Surfing the tile
Sharing LP tips and tactics

While we're on the topic of loss prevention, I should mention that loss prevention employees in our forums were sharing the basic tips that every newbie needs to learn. Have you trained your staff on some of the basic skilled undercover loss prevention tactics (cell-phone style ear buds, hats, finding good viewing angles, identifying prime theft locations and more)? Check out the thread, join the forums, and add your tips for loss prevention employees.

Britain gets serious about licensed security
SIA gets authority to enforce

In the U.S., we may know SIA as the association representing the interests of security products vendors, but in England SIA means Security Industry Authority, and the organization deals with the issue of guard services licensing. The organization had the authority to license firms, but now it finally receives the power to prosecute unlicensed firms. The arm and hand from behind SIA's back has been officially untied.

Securing the U.S. Olympic team
At the frontline with Larry Buendorf

In one week, on Aug. 8, the Olympics kick off in Beijing. Ahead of the opening ceremonies, and often behind the scenes, is the work of the security team. In a SecurityInfoWatch "At the Frontline" interview, U.S. Olympic Committee CSO Larry Buendorf, a former Secret Service agent, talks about securing our Olympic athletes.

ADI's outdoor perimeter protection week
Intrusion systems and remote location security training at distributor

The staff of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) joined ADI at branches around Chicago and Charlotte to attend the ADI Outdoor Perimeter Protection Week. The week saw ADI branches host training on products related to this market area, and vendors such as ProTech, DeWalt and others participated in the program. Natalia Kosk, assistant editor for SD&I, filed a report at about this week of ADI events.

Really big newsmakers
President/CEO changes at Mace, Panasonic, Dedicated Micros

It was a big couple of weeks of news for presidents at video surveillance technologies firms. First, Frank DeFina retired from Panasonic System Solutions Company and was replaced by J.M. Allain, who comes over from Duos Technologies. Then, Mace Security announced a new CEO who promises to focus on returning the company to profitability: Dennis Raefield. Yes, this is the same Dennis Raefield you probably knew from Pinkerton Systems Integration, Ademco and Honeywell and most recently, Reach Systems. Finally, Dr. Alan Calegari is stepping down from the president and CEO position at Dedicated Micros, and will be the non-executive chairman. Mark Provinsal, the current V.P. of strategic marketing, is stepping up to lead Dedicated Micros' executive team in the position of executive vice president.

That's the big news for this week; as always, thanks for reading Here's a look at the most read stories of the week: