Beau Lachance with CLEAR President Curt Crum

Michael Mauldin

This year, the 6th annual Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail conference was held at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards on October 12th through October 15th. The Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail was formed in November 2008 by a group of Law Enforcement and Retail Loss Prevention professionals that saw the need for the formation of a partnership. The goal is to encourage mutual cooperation between all law enforcement agencies and retail corporations throughout the United States toward the goal of detection, prevention, and investigation of property crimes and the apprehension of the perpetrators.

Thanks to all the attendees for making this the biggest and best conference yet with nearly 200 attendees, split almost 50/50 between Law Enforcement and Loss Prevention.

As always, the conference began with awards for Retail Loss Prevention Investigator of the year and also the Law Enforcement Investigator of the year. These awards are given based on submissions from the industry, then the CLEAR Board of Directors chooses the recipients. This year, the Loss Prevention Investigator of the year was Beau Lachance from Home Depot. Beau is an Asset Protection Specialist for Home Depot in Southern Idaho. Beau was instrumental in detecting and apprehending multiple traveling organized retail crime groups in the state of Idaho. From January to August 2015, Beau alerted law enforcement to five separate traveling credit card fraud groups consisting of 12 individuals. These groups were responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulent purchases and close to 600 counterfeit credit cards were recovered. The Law Enforcement winner was Mike Mauldin of the Special Crimes Bureau in Major Offenders Division and the Organized Crime Division/Identity Theft Section of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Texas. Mike was chosen from a field of 5 other submissions because of his extensive work with Investigators from Kroger and T-Mobile, as well as other retailers to resolve numerous ID theft, bad check, forgery and fraud cases. Congratulations to both of the winners!

There were 16 different presentations over the 2 ½ days. As always, there was a great range of topics that would appeal to both retail Loss Prevention and Law enforcement. Tuesday’s conference started off with a presentation on mobile surveillance by Det. Edgar Whyte from LPAPD, statements and case study by Dave Zulawski and how to build an ORC by Vance Gilbert, then a presentation on Civil Unrest Preparation and Retail Business Recovery by Col. Melissa Hyatt of the Baltimore PD, Jon Grander of Caleres Shoe Co., Dave Cohen from Walgreens and Millie Kresevich from Luxottica Retail. We wrapped up with legislative updates by Millie Kresevich from Luxottica Retail.

Wednesday’s presentations started off with Gus Downing giving an overview of the national ORC problem and Gene Smith presenting on the Loss Prevention Foundation. We rolled into presentations on gift card fraud by Chris Guerra and then a Rental Car security group with Jake Annable from Enterprise and Dennis Letts from Avis. The final presentation of the day was by Scott Guginsky from the Jewelers Security Alliance. We wrapped up the day with a reception where we rented the Sports Legends Museum at Camden yards.

The final day had a presentation by Mark Youngblood Michael Keller and Matt Callahan from the US Secret Service, a gift card fraud presentation by Scott Sanford from Barnes and Noble and a presentation on Jewelry store robberies by Mark Neapolitan from Signet Jewelers.

A great big thanks to all of our vendor partners who help make it all possible. As always, one of the biggest benefits was the networking among peers, and between LP and Law Enforcement. Next year, we’ll be back in Reno, NV from October 24th through the 27th. We hope to see everyone there!!!!!