Morning Security Brief: Tide Boosters, Trayvon Martin's Last Call, Outlaws Roam the West, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Boosters, people who shoplift and then sell the items on the black market or online, have a new product of choice. Tide detergent has become a favorite target because there is a “ready market to sell the stuff for about half of what it sells for in stores," reports. A Wal-Mart in Minnesota said it lost $25,000 worth of Tide in a year. In Cincinnati, it’s theft has been a trend since 2010. Other things that make it a perfect item for boosting are that it’s valuable, quickly consumable, and easy to remove from store shelves by thieves who load up carts and walk out the door. Proctor and Gamble, the company that distributes Tide, says it is engaged with retailers to determine ways to reduce losses of the detergent.

►Federal prosecutors and the FBI have opened an investigation into the killing of an unarmed teenager by a neighborhood watch commander in a gated Florida community, just hours before new information emerged about the shooting. Watch commander George Zimmerman, initially called 911 to report a suspicious person. Ignoring instructions from a 911 dispatcher, he pursued the person who turned out to be 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Martin started to run when he realized he was being followed, according to 911 tapes released by the Sanford Police Department in Florida. Zimmerman caught up to him, a struggle ensued, and Martin was shot dead. Zimmerman says he did so in self-defense. In the 911 tapes someone can be heard screaming for their life before two gunshots – then silence. The Sanford Police Department declined charging Zimmerman, citing a clean criminal record and no evidence that it wasn’t self-defense. Late Monday, the Justice Department said it would be sending officials to investigate alongside state investigators. Early Tuesday morning, ABC News reported Martin was on the phone with a friend at the time the confrontation happen with Zimmerman. "He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man," Martin's friend said. "I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run."  Martin's friend said she heard the man confront Martin, then a scuffle before the phone went dead.

►Outlaws and extremists roam the Rockies, reports Reuters, who says one of the challenges of law enforcement is “telling the difference between harmless hermits and recluses - and dangerous sociopaths,” in the wide open spaces of the West. Many of these extremists belong to the Sovereigns Citizen movement or other fringe movements whose characteristics include police as preferred targets, says the Southern Poverty Law Center.

►In other news, the FBI publishes a fact sheet of the most common fraud schemes and how to avoid them. ♦ An Italian student wins an out-of-court payout after being arrested in 2009 for filming buildings in London. ♦ And when subscriber data is requested from Google by the Department of Justice, only the specific subscriber should be notified, argues the DOJ.


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