►Ninety-six percent of retailers were affected by organized retail crime in 2011, according to the latest results of the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey. The NRF says the increase shows that efforts by police and retailers to stop shoplifting are working. "What this tells us is that as retailers and law enforcement become more aware of and more proactive in pursuing organized retail crime gangs, criminals have become more desperate and brazen in their efforts, stopping at nothing to get their hands on large quantities of merchandise,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention, Rich Mellor. Cargo theft also continues to grow at an alarming rate. Fifty-two percent of companies say they have been a victim of cargo theft in the last 12 months. This number is up from 50 percent last year.
►Police in Charlotte, North Carolina, are expanding their electronic monitoring program to cover an array of crimes and suspects. Police hail the $35,000-a-month program as a success in alerting of criminal activity, solving crimes, and rehabbing juveniles. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are monitoring 400 suspects at any given time.
►TSA says it has fired five employees and suspended 38 others for violating security procedures at Southwest Florida International Airport. TSA spokesman David Castelveter said 300 to 400 randomly selected people and their bags should have been given a secondary screening after passing through the initial security checkpoint but were not. The incidents were reported by TSA employees, leading to an internal investigation.
►In other news, Nigerian authorities have recovered the black box from the plane crash that killed everyone on board this weekend. ♦ SOCOM asks to expand, but is denied by “powerful House and Senate officials as well as the State Department, and ultimately the deputy cabinet-level aides,” the New York Times reports. And a week after governments around the world expelled Syrian diplomats, Syria begins expelling Western diplomats.