Shoppers at Wal-Mart stores across America are loading carts with merchandise – maybe a flat-screen TV, a few DVDs and a six pack of beer – and strolling out without paying. Employees also are helping themselves to goods they haven't paid for.
The world's largest retailer is saying little about these kinds of thefts, but it's recent public disclosures that it is experiencing an increase in so-called shrinkage at its U.S. stores suggests that inventory losses due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud could be worsening.
The hit is likely to rise to more than $3 billion this year...* * * * * * * *
Citizens are asked to report any suspicious observed weight gain:
If you're a fan of Hershey's chocolates beware - there could be a bad batch contaminated with salmonella sitting on some store shelves without your knowledge. It all stems from a bizarre crime that Toronto Police alleged was committed by two men accused of carting off the tainted confections and re-selling them. It supposedly started last fall, when Hershey's originally recalled the candies after discovering the apparent contamination at its Smiths Falls plant.
They hired Turtle Island Recycling Depot on Cherry St. to get rid of them and several pallets of the goodies were destined for a truck on their way to a disposal. But cops allege the two men, one of whom was a Turtle Island employee, intercepted some of the treats and they may have been sold to retailers.
"I think this is a crime of opportunity," said Det. Sgt. John Babiar. "People have seen this chocolate that appears to be destined for destruction, but they were unaware of their risk."
"We estimate that there were approximately 40,000 bars." But only a few of those may have actually reached stores.
Hershey's has now been forced to recall the products in question as the hunt for the potentially dangerous candy continues.
"I suspect that they would have been resold at a very discounted rate to either individuals or diverted for their own personal use," Babiar adds.* * * * * * * *
Cobourg police, masters of the bleedin' obvious:
The search for the missing beer from the Cobourg Corona heist leads to the streets of the Greater Toronto Area and the territory of organized crime.
Peel Regional and Cobourg police forces are now jointly investigating the theft, one of the largest in Cobourg history, but not as much as originally thought.
Both forces confirm the theft bears all the calling cards of organized crime.
Three tractor-trailers filled with cases of Corona were stolen Saturday afternoon from a Veronica Street parking lot, Cobourg Police said.
The lot, off Division Street south of Highway 401, is unguarded and often contains parked tractor-trailers, Const. Terry Stanley said.
Each trailer contained 1,300 24-bottle cases of the imported beer, Const. Stanley said.
All three rigs were discovered in an industrial area in Peel Region but the beer was gone, police said.
At about $40 per case the theft is worth around $156,000, police said.
The Beer Store sells a 24-bottle case of Corona for $44.35 which drives up the estimated value to around $172,965.
Whoever stole the trucks would have had [the] buyers lined up beforehand, police said.