• Cease and Desist: Empty Words Without Action
    SecurityInfoWatch.com (08/04/14) Albrecht, Steve

    Steve Albrecht, an expert on the issues of workplace and school violence, says that the commonly used tactic of sending cease-and-desist letters to individuals who threaten a company or its employees is often ineffective and can be counterproductive. Albrecht says there are different kinds of “threateners,” from disgruntled former employees and vendors, to aggrieved customers or an employee’s abusive domestic partner. Their methods of making threats will often signal how dangerous they actually are: those who hide behind anonymous e-mails or phone calls are likely to be persistent but pose no serious threat to physical safety, while those who identify themselves or even make their threats in person on company property can be very dangerous. A common tactic deployed by company counsel to counter threateners is sending “strongly worded” cease-and-desist letters that threaten some form of legal action, from a temporary restraining order to seeking the threatener’s arrest, should they fail to comply. However, Albrecht says that unless the legal threats in these letters are followed through, they may end up only inciting the threatener to make more threats. For this reason, Albrecht recommends reserving cease-and-desist letters for serous cases and following up with the promised legal action if the threats do not stop.

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  • Apprehending the Internal Thief
    Security Today (08/01/14) Jensen, Ralph C.

    Shoplifting by employees is an ongoing problem, according to a report from Jack L. Hayes International. The report found that a total of 1.1 million total shoplifters and dishonest employees were caught in 2013 at the nation’s largest retailers, and that the number of dishonest employees who were caught stealing from their employers rose 6.5 percent to 78,000. “What also is of importance is these increases follow similar increases reported the previous two years,” said Mark R. Doyle, the president of Jack L. Hayes International. Some retailers are combating the problem through the use of smart devices such as cameras. Catching a shoplifter on camera is arguably one of the best ways to let loss prevention officers know the extent of the problem they are dealing with. These systems also act as deterrence mechanisms.

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  • Rising Cargo Thefts Prompt New Security Solutions
    Homeland Security Today (07/28/14) Vicinanzo, Amanda

    All-time record levels of cargo thefts in 2012 and 2013, and the rising value of the average theft in 2014, are putting increasing pressure on transportation firms that remain reluctant to adopt new security measures. Both 2012 and 2013 saw 951 cargo thefts, and while the number of thefts was down by 11 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same time in 2013, the average value per incident rose by 90 percent to $242,010. Jim Giermanski, the chairman of the container security firm Powers International, Inc., says that the value of thefts is growing because thieves are seeking to maximize their returns by increasingly focusing on high-value cargo. Giermanski adds that theft is not the only reason transportation firms should be seeking out greater security. Conveyances that are insecure enough for cargo theft to be relatively easily are also vulnerable to exploitation for smuggling contraband, possibly including weapons of mass destruction. Giermanski says carriers especially need to take a broader interest in securing the whole conveyance, not just their tractors. Companies like US Security Associates have stepped up with products and services to secure cargo against theft, including route-planning, cargo escorts, and advanced monitoring.

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  • Hospital Pharmacist Charged in Theft of 200K Pills
    Associated Press (07/08/14) Peltz, Jennifer

    Prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled charges against Anthony D’Alessandro, a former pharmacist at New York City’s Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital who is accused of stealing 193,000 narcotic painkillers over a period of more than five years. D’Alessandro allegedly took oxycodone and other painkillers on nearly 220 different occasions, including one instance in which he is believed to have signed out 1,500 pills. Prosecutors say D’Alessandro attempted to conceal his actions by making fake entries in the hospital’s electronic prescribing system. D’Alessandro was fired this spring, and investigators are still trying to determine what he did with the drugs. They speculate they ended up on the black market, though D’Alessandro claims he was taking the pills only to feed his own addiction and to treat ankle pain. He also says that the number of pills the prosecutors say he took is inaccurate and that he should not face drug trafficking charges. Prosecutors point out that D’Alessandro’s drug test on April 11 came back negative and that there was no way he could have used that many pills himself, even over a five-year period.

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