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X+Z=An increase in crime!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At the NRF's LP conference this past June, a lot of people were talking about a USA Today article that reported shoplifting incidents rise as the economy drops.

It's kind of a no brainer. When times get tough, the tough go shoplift.

It does sound a bit ridiculous, I know. And now here's this article:
Crime against businesses a by-product of weak economy

Here's a synopsis. (I'm not a paid subscriber so I can't get the whole thing.)

Businesses are bracing for more crimes committed by both external and internal perpetrators in a rough economy.
The worry is that poor market conditions will result in more burglaries, and company layoffs could increase cases of embezzlement, theft and workplace violence by disgruntled workers.
“A lot of our clients are ramping up security,” said Scott Stern, CEO of security firm Global Services Inc. “They want to protect their assets. They want to make sure their people are safe.”

This is what I call a desperate space filler. I can hear the writer now: 'Hey, I need a story and I bet a good one would be how crime is increasing as the economy slows down.' Wow. That's genuis.

I liken it to those stories that always come out around the holidays that are titled something like: Better watch out, shoplifters coming to town

What I would like to know is how these businesses are increasing security? Where are they finding the funding in this age of budgets cuts? How do we know they are specifically ramping up security because of the fear that crime will rise as the economy slows? As a security professional, shouldn't you always want to protect your assets and make sure people are safe?

I know — I shouldn't be so judgmental. Before you know it I'll have a bunch of swear-filled comments from the loyal readers of the Phoenix Business Journal. Hey, I bet the rest of the story fills in all the blanks, but I'll never know.

Moments I'm glad I don't work for the mainstream press

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This could also be titled "crime of the week" because it is so crazy but it also makes me very happy that I do not work for a local newspaper.
This paper must have been hurting for content because it uses 621 words to tell a story that could have been summed up in a 50-word brief.

You've heard the advice: Never run with scissors.
Here's some more advice: Don't run in flip-flops — especially when the cops are after you.
And especially when the flip-flops help police find you.
This is the story of a vacationing shoplifting suspect, his young companion and the flip-flops on their feet that, according to a report, actually helped police track down a barefoot man who tried to hide in a clothing store Tuesday afternoon.

She used the phrase "This is the story"? Are you kidding me?

Tommy Lee Patterson, 41, his wife and daughter, and Donald Gravley, 47, and his wife, and three teenage friends traveling with the two families were vacationing in the area from northern Georgia, police said.
About noon, as they were getting ready to head home, the vacationers decided to stop at the Wal-Mart on west Granada Boulevard and do a little shoplifting, police said.
Selecting everything from $33 worth of beef jerky to a variety of NASCAR T-shirts, beer and toilet paper, Patterson and Gravley and four teens strolled through the massive store filling their shopping cart, police said.

Ok, who would grab a VARIETY of NASCAR t-shirts and doesn't think the LP guys are watching them?

The group was being watched by a security officer who followed as they left the store with the brimming shopping cart. (Duh)

When asked whether they had a receipt for the $288.98 worth of goods, Patterson, Gravley and the teens scattered.
According to the report, though, Patterson decided to grab one of the teen girls who was with the group, and forced her to run with him as he eluded police.
This is where the shoes come in — both Patterson and the 14-year-old girl he grabbed wore flip-flops, Hayes said,
The chase was on.
Two Wal-Mart customers joined the pursuit when they found out Patterson had tried to steal from the store, police said.
The two good Samaritans, as police called them, were cousins Angel and Brian Graham of Ormond Beach.
The Grahams' footwear? Flip-flops.

Wow. That's like four people wearing flip-flops in the middle of summer. That's frickin' amazing.

Patterson and his young friend ran across Granada Boulevard — flip-flops still on their feet — and to the Lowe's home improvement store, the Graham cousins in tow, the report states.
At some point, Patterson and his young friend, and the Graham cousins, "ran out of their flip-flops."
When the flip-flops flew, the shoes landed in a pattern that left a trail of sorts.
"The officer who was chasing them apparently spotted a pair of flip-flops on the ground, then as he kept going, he spotted another pair of flip-flops," Hayes said. "You could say the shoes are what led the officers to the suspects."

Hey, that was the simplest investigation ever. Good job by the cops — superbad job by this reporter. This is such a non-story. And again, 621 words. To compare, the stories in Security Director News usually run about 500 words.

Patterson remained at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $4,500 bail Wednesday night. Gravley, meanwhile, was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Georgia. He remained at the jail without bail.
As for the flip-flops, it's not clear what happened to them.

This may be the worst story I have ever read. And it was on the paper's front page.

Policing casinos

Tuesday, March 11, 2008
OK, so this article bugs me. I don't know if it can even be called a story.

The Times Tribune is reporting that the state police are asking for $17.5 million to provide 24/7 staffing at Pennsylvania's seven casinos (there is already a fund that exists with $17.1 million available, which comes from the casinos. Does that mean he only needs $400,000 more?) Col. Jeffery Miller said he wants enough funding to assign 14 troopers to each casino (two stationed at each location.) State trooper presence is needed, officials said, to foil efforts by organized crews to rig slot machines and table games.

That's all fine and dandy — they want to protect the casino games, but the thing is Pennsylvania doesn't currently allow table games in its casinos.

Also, where does these casinos' security and surveillance departments fit into this? Or do they not have such staffing? Did the newspaper think to ask?

Looks like one of the casinos, Mount Airy Resort, might need more than two state troopers to fight fraud.

Pretty colors

Monday, December 3, 2007

The snow is in full swing here in Maine and I'm not sure when it is going to let up. So I've had plenty of time to search the wires this morning.

I think the Chicago Tribune is a pretty good newspaper but this article makes me think they are struggling to find strong online content. The headline of the article is what frightens me most: "Good security as simple as a colored badge." Well, sure badges are an important part of any access control program, but isn't that is only one part of a layered approach to security?

Just a thought.

Also, love the reporter's thought that these temp badges are "like a pregnancy test but without the anxiety."