News

Annual Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit Training Conference 2016

The Zellman Group, LLC will be attending the Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit’s Annual Training Conference from November 8th through 10th in Orlando, Florida.

This year’s topics for the Property Crimes Conference include Pawnshop and Secondhand Dealer Investigations, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Credit Fraud Investigations, Financial Crimes, and Property Crimes Investigations. This conference is a mixture of seminars and trainings focused on educating investigators through guest instructors such as judges, state legislators, executives, and property investigation and recovery experts.

The Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit is a nonprofit formed in 1987 by a group of property recovery detectives. It was the first property recovery groups formed in the United States. The goals of FLEPRU are to recruit members from all levels of law enforcement in Florida to increase cooperation, raise the recovery percentage of stolen property, enact legislation to assure harsh criminal punishment, improve FCIC computer based tracking systems to track stolen property, and to educate new investigators as well as seasoned veterans. FLEPRU membership is not only open to all law enforcement but also non-law enforcement investigators.

The Zellman Group is a leader in retail and food service investigations. In the case of a potential dishonest or stealing employee, The Zellman Group can provide in person or telephonic interviews to assure the truth is discovered. All Zellman investigators are fully trained and CFI certified. The Zellman Group is a loss prevention services and consulting  company working in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries.

To learn more about FLEPRU go to: http://www.flepru.org/

What You Need to Know About Maryland Senate Bill 508

 

On October 1, 2016 Maryland Senate Bill 508 will go into effect. Under this new law a retailer will not be able to pursue statutory civil penalties in the state of Maryland. A retailer can only demand the following remedies from a shoplifter: (a) the stolen merchandise (b) if it cannot be recovered, or it is recovered in damaged condition, or “otherwise has lost all or part of its value”, the merchant can demand an amount equal to the merchandise sales price plus (c) pay the merchant for any other “actual damages.”  Store security, lost time, or wages associated with the apprehension or prosecution of the shoplifter can no longer be considered as demand.

Maryland Demand Letter: The demand letter must be prepared by a lawyer admitted to practice law in the state of Maryland.  This letter must then be either hand delivered personally to the responsible person, or mailed to that person’s last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested.

  • If payment in full is not received on or before the date specified in the initial demand letter, a second and final letter shall be sent to the responsible person.

  • If the second letter is returned unclaimed to the merchant or if the full payment is not received on or before the day specified in the second demand letter, the merchant may file a civil action to recover damages, along with court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

Maryland Reporting: On or before January 15th of each year, a merchant that sought damages during the preceding calendar year must submit a letter to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation that includes the following information for the preceding calendar year:

  • The number of alleged shoplifting or employee theft incidents.

  • The number of demand letters sent and the amount of money received in response to the letters sent.

  • The number of criminal prosecutions sought after by the merchant and the final dispositions of those prosecutions.

  • The number of civil suits filed under this subtitle by the merchant and the final disposition of those suits.

If you have any questions, please respond to this email and we will follow up within the next business day. To review the complete Senate Bill 508 visit the state’s website at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov.

Loss Prevention Research Council IMPACT Conference 2016 3D LP

The Zellman Group, LLC is excited to be a part of the Loss Prevention Research Council’s 2016 IMPACT Conference this year in Gainesville, Florida.

This conference is a two-day program for retail and service provider members of the LPRC. The LPRC is a leader in real world research and analysis in the loss prevention and crime industry. Since its founding in 2001, by 10 leading retailers and Dr. Read Hayes, the LPRC has conducted 120 real world loss prevention research projects. This purpose of this conference is to help participants better employ and understand how to use research tools, in order to reduce loss, while increasing sales.

IMPACT 2016 consists of many different activities such as presentations, panel discussions, and Learning Labs. These Learning Labs take a unique approach to educational conferences by focusing on interactivity, variety, and brevity. All attendees have the option to choose three labs during the course of the conference. These labs will be 25 minutes long each and will consist of attendees working in small interactive groups. Some lab topics include Balancing LP and Customer Service Through Increased Communication and Awareness, Increasing Awareness of Events and Customer Perceptions in Parking Lots, and Gathering and Using Information from the Surrounding Neighborhood and Cyber Space.

The Zellman Group recently announced its service provider partnership with the LPRC this July.

Learn more about the Loss Prevention Research Council: http://lpresearch.org/

FsTec 2016

 

This September, The Zellman Group, LLC will be attending the Annual FsTec Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The FsTec Conference focuses on engaging service providers, small and large businesses, and executives in new technology in the food service sector. This year’s agenda is a mix of different workshops, breakout sessions, and boot camps focusing on changing the way we think about tech inside and outside of the food service community.

With over 50 speakers, this year’s FsTec Conference has something for everyone. Speakers this year vary from Paul Brown, CEO of Arby’s to 43rd President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. Topics include security and loss prevention, utilizing mobile and video, and monetizing content across all platforms.

FsTec is sponsoring donations to the Carre Foundation and Your Grateful Nation. The Carre Foundation is a special foundation that focuses on leadership through charitable giving. All FsTec attendees are given the opportunity to donate to the less fortunate while building stronger relationships. Your Grateful Nation is an organization that’s purpose is to provide support and guidance for veterans as they enter back into everyday civilian life.

The Zellman Group will be in attendance to discuss and demonstrate the benefits of our Food Service Analytics Managed Services. Through this service we are able to analyze a business’s data through a restaurants POS system and detect and report theft and fraud.

You can find us at FsTec in booth 112 that we are sharing with Agilence.

 

Learn more about FsTec here .

Loss Prevention Magazine/Loss Prevention Foundation Annual Meeting

This September, The Zellman Group will be attending the Annual Loss Prevention Magazine/Loss Prevention Foundation Meeting in Fort Myers, Florida. This meeting is honoring the magazine’s 15th anniversary and the LP Foundation’s 10th anniversary.

The venue is being shared with the Foundation’s board of directors as well at the Retail Industry Leaders Associations (RILA) Asset Protection Leaders Council membership. Invitees include the magazine’s Vendor Advisory Board, as well as retail sponsors, members of the foundation, and other special guests. This meeting gives key members of the LP community an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and impact LP Magazine and the LP Foundation have made in the field.

There will be many exciting speakers at the event this year. Two main speakers include Mike Eruzione and Chief of the Boston Police Department William G. Gross. Mike Eruzione was the captain of the US national hockey team that defeated the Soviet Union in 1980 in the Winter Olympics. He is a popular motivational speaker.

The second keynote speaker is the Chief of the Boston Police Department William G. Gross. Gross is the first African American Chief in the history of the Boston Police Department. Gross will be speaking on the success of Community Policing and through his own personal experience how it strengthens departments, neighborhoods, and local businesses.

This event is to honor and celebrate the great accomplishments LP Magazine and the LP Foundation has done for the loss prevention community.

 

Learn more about The Loss Prevention Magazine: http://www.losspreventionmedia.com/

Learn more about The Loss Prevention Foundation: http://www.losspreventionfoundation.org/

 

 

The Zellman Group joins The Loss Prevention Research Council

Written by Chelsea Barry, July 19th, 2016.

The Zellman Group, LLC is proud and excited to announce joining The Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC) as a solutions partner member.

As a solutions partner member, The Zellman Group has the opportunity to collaborate and participate with the LPRC to continue to help retailers increase sales while decreasing shrinkage.

“We’ve just added another key LPRC member,” says Dr. Read Hayes, Director of The Loss Prevention Retail Council. “The LPRC and our 40 retail chain members welcome The Zellman Group to the fold; especially since their ORC expertise- and creativity in several other important LP/AP areas are a nice compliment to several of our very active working groups.”

Throughout their almost twenty years of business, The Zellman Group has always emphasized the importance of contributing to and improving the LP community. “We are excited to be a contributing member to the Loss Prevention Research Council. I find that the LPRC vision is in line with Zellman’s as we both are looking to identify Loss Prevention solutions for the Loss Prevention industry.” Zellman CEO, Stuart Levine states. “The LPRC work groups and action teams are in line with the services provided by Zellman. As the leading provider of data analytics or ORC recovery we are excited to participate in these groups.”

The Loss Prevention Research Council is a leader in real world research and analysis in the loss prevention and crime industry. Since its founding in 2001, by 10 leading retailers and Dr. Read Hayes, the LPRC has conducted 120 real world loss prevention research projects. These research projects are conducted through evidence-based studies with field experiments to provide retailers and solution providers with ROI data, statistical models for reducing shortages, supply chain and violent crime R&D, and an immense understanding for employee dishonesty and shoplifter dynamics.

The Zellman Group is a loss prevention services company that focuses primarily in retail, food service, and hospitality. At Zellman, we provide our clients with a third party perspective, while preventing loss, maintaining consistency, and maximizing profitability. Based in Greenvale, New York, The Zellman Group executives have an intimate knowledge of loss prevention, audit, civil recovery, analytics, and consulting.

 

Learn more about the Loss Prevention Research Council here.

National Retail Federation (NRF) 2016 Recap

Written by Chelsea Barry July 14, 2016

June 14-15 The Zellman team took the trip down to Philadelphia for the National Retail Federation’s Annual Loss Prevention Conference.

This year The Zellman Group, LLC decided to take a different approach to NRF with a ‘walk in the park’ themed booth. Equipped with lawn furniture, foliage, and full on grassy turf, The Zellman booth was the place to kick back, relax and learn about loss prevention. Another new addition to this year’s NRF booth was Wallie, our portable interface. Not only could one learn about Zellman’s many services through Wallie, but also charge one’s cell phone and take selfies with Wallie’s fun photo booth feature.

This year The Zellman group was a Platinum sponsor of NRF, sponsoring Tuesday’s Welcome Reception and First Timer’s Reception, the Grand Finale and Reception, Exhibitor Big !deas, Thursday’s Food Sector Appreciation Breakfast, and ORC/Investigators’ Network and Law Enforcement Breakfast Meeting.

Not only was Zellman a major sponsor of NRF, but also a speaker at the expo. CEO, Stuart Levine spoke with Fort Lee Police Captain Patrick Kissane and John Shanks, Law Enforcement Relationship Manager on the importance of ORC investigations. Their session, ‘ORC Beyond the Investigation’ focused on further developing law enforcement relationships with LP, understanding asset forfeiture, and how Zellman can maximize ORC recovery.

VP of Operations, Lauren Bridgeo and Director of ORC Recovery, Bill Ramos also spoke in LPNN’s Live Digital Conference at NRF called, ‘From LP Executive to Service Provider; Why is this important to the retail community,’ focusing on the transition from retail to service provider and the benefits of the relationship between the two.

All and all it was an exciting and memorable NRF for everyone at The Zellman Group. We look forward to next year’s expo and seeing everyone again.

Learn more about the National Retail Federation at: https://nrf.com/

The Zellman Group and the International Association of Chiefs of Police focus on ORC Recovery

This October, The Zellman Group, LLC is sponsoring the 123rd International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference and Exposition in San Diego, California.

The IACP Annual Conference and Exposition is the largest gathering of police officers in the United States. Currently the IACP has over 20,000 members, made up exclusively of police officers who have held executive roles in police agencies. The IACP is dedicated to advancing the law enforcement profession through advocacy, outreach, education, and programs.

The Zellman Group has a long history of working closely with police, especially through their work in Organized Retail Crime (ORC) Recovery. At the conference, CEO Stuart Levine, and Director of ORC Recovery Bill Ramos, are discussing the growing problem that is ORC and the importance of police involvement in ORC/ORT. “The relationship with Federal and local Law Enforcement leadership is instrumental in bringing ORC/ORT cases forward for prosecution and eventual recovery.  Our sponsorship with the International Association of Chiefs of Police ensures this continued networking to support the retail industry,” Levine states.

In a study conducted by the National Retail Federation in 2015, 97% of surveyed retailers were victims of Organized Retail Crime. Out of every $1 billion in annual sales $453,940 was lost from ORC. Out of those retailers surveyed, 78.8% support the need for federal ORC legislation. In states with ORC legislation, approximately half of retailers surveyed note that ORC laws are having a positive impact from increased support from law enforcement.

 

Learn more about The International Association of Chiefs of Police at: http: www.iacp.org/

 

Part II. The Future of ORC Management

What it Takes to Be Made Whole

By Garett Sievold, Contributing Writer

Imagine you’re a retailer with a major theft problem of a product at one of your stores (probably not hard to do). You start to poke around and discover the product is not only disappearing from one store, but it’s going missing across an entire region. You analyze theft data from store locations and by times of day. You study incident reports and other relevant information. Before long, your investigation points to a troubling realization—an organized ring of thieves is hitting your stores and your dollar losses are mounting. What now?

Identifying the bad guys is perhaps the easiest part of the process for loss prevention departments and retailers—successful civil recovery is typically more elusive. In one recent study citing liability, administrative burden, and the potential for bad publicity, several retailers admitted they don’t bother with recovery. Even some involved in civil recovery said they perceive limitations. “It’s not worth it,” said one retailer flatly (Retail Loss Prevention in Perspective, Gill, PCRI, 2016).But you’ve got a million-dollar case on your hands and you want your money back. You’ve got to do something.

Less experienced loss prevention departments may not know where to start, others are just learning to deal with organized retail crime (ORC), and others handle cases in any number of unique ways. But since recovery tends not to be a core competency, all retailers face significant obstacles to success.

It’s common for even the most competent loss prevention departments to lack skill in navigating the intricacies of the judicial system, and to lack confidence in knowing to which agency they should direct their case. They may be unsure who to engage to undertake related work, and they often lack the time and manpower to follow up on judgments. And while a retailer’s legal department may be masterful at negotiating leases, it is often not as comfortable working criminal cases, and may lack an understanding of the range of powerful legal tools that can be used to pursue civil recovery.

Success factors

Whether you will be successful in recouping losses in your million-dollar ORC case depends on a complex series of interrelated activities. One of the first is to assess whether your investigation is sufficiently complete to pitch the case to an agency, according to William Ramos, director of ORC recovery, a new service from The Zellman Group, a leader in civil recovery and loss prevention investigations. “We look to see if they have any missing information, fill in the blanks, and work with clients to put a complete case together,” he said.

A critical aspect of information gathering in this initial stage is to obtain details on the assets of persons of interest—before arrests are made. As a vetted authorized user of Thomson Reuter’s CLEAR, an invaluable yet costly intelligence tool, Ramos says they’re able to identify co-conspirators and get a clear picture of what recovery might be possible. This benefits a retailer in future restitution negotiations because it demonstrates upfront that the retailer is fully aware of the money that is available to be recouped—and that it intends to go after it. “It puts the retailer in a better position when they take the case to law enforcement and beyond,” said Ramos.

Also paramount to successful recovery is a retailer’s ability to navigate the complex legal environment that surrounds ORC cases. The ORC recovery service assists with documentation for presentation to law enforcement, prosecutors, and courts, and helps guide retailers to select the most effective path forward, such as whether to pursue the case on a local, state, or federal level, or whether to pursue civil litigation. The program also frees loss prevention departments to get back to conducting investigations rather than having to track cases and enforce court orders.

One essential document for successful civil recovery is a victim impact statement, according to Stuart Levine, President and CEO of The Zellman Group. “It’s a tool to make sure the retailer’s interests are represented as the case moves forward, so that judges are aware that they need to make the retail victim whole again,” he said. “We identify at the outset that the real victim in the case is our client and that we want our money back.”

An overlooked piece of a recovery effort—but perhaps one of the most important of all—are relationships. Although law enforcement and judicial system connections aren’t typically an important part of ordinary civil recovery cases, they are vital in cases of organized retail theft, according to Levine. Just about every case will come up against a brick wall—or several of them—and having experienced people that can break them down is vital, adds Lauren Bridgeo, vice president of operations at The Zellman Group. ORC recovery has a big hitter on its team in the form of John Shanks, Zellman’s manager of law enforcement relations. With 30 years of experience in civilian and military law enforcement, Shanks has forged relationships with a variety of stakeholders that prove priceless in ORC recovery cases.

As the above discussion suggests, successful civil recovery requires overcoming obstacles and jumping through hoops. However, there are some encouraging signs for retailers. The 27th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International, of large retailers showed that they recovered 7.5 percent more from shoplifters in 2014 than the year before. And that retailers now have for the first time a service to help them manage ORC cases—ORC recovery—suggests that the retail industry no longer needs to cede the proceeds from seizures to law enforcement agencies and provides retail victims a much-needed voice in the recovery process.