Members of shoplifting ring get probation
A convicted felon who participated in a theft ring that targeted Lowe’s pleaded guilty in an Indiana court on Dec. 6 to a single charge of corrupt business influence, according to an article in The Journal Gazette.
Russell Craeger, 41, faces two years of probation when he is sentenced next week. Authorities said he was part of a shoplifting ring that made 381 fraudulent returns to Lowe’s stores in 11 states. The individuals would make returns without receipts by switching bar codes on previously purchased items. Members of the group also made their own, lower-priced bar codes for similar, more expensive items.
The suspects would then obtain gift cards in amounts greater than what they had paid for the items. They used altered identification cards to get around Lowe’s policy limiting the number of returns during a specific time, according to court documents.
Other members of the shoplifting ring include Vanessa Jamison, 33, who pled guilty to a single charge of theft. She was given a three-year suspended prison and three years of probation. Jamison has been ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.
Katoya Lipscomb, 30, received a four-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution and serve four years on probation, She also pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence, according to court records.
James Bennett, 41, was sentenced to six years in prison, with three years suspended, and ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution after entering a guilty plea to corrupt business influence. He will spend three years on probation, according to court records.
David Height, whom authorities describe as the ringleader, was given a four-year prison sentence, which was suspended, and ordered to be served on probation. The 57-year-old had pleaded guilty to charges of corrupt business influence and theft. He was also ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution to Lowe’s.
At FBMA, incoming chairman states his goals
The incoming chairman of the Florida Building Material Association (FBMA) spelled out his top 10 goals in a recent note to his membership. Among them: a double-digit percentage gain in FBMA membership and the introduction of a fishing and skeet-shooting event.
George Fishtorn II, general manager of Kimal Lumber & Hardware, with locations in Nokomis, Englewood and Venice, will begin his term Jan. 1. Fishtorn told Home Channel News he was "extremely honored" to hold the position with FBMA, which was established in 1921.
In his note to the association, Fishtorn pointed to his top FBMA related goals:
1. Increase FBMA membership by 10%, with a stretch goal of 20%;
2. Continue regional meetings, one-per-quarter minimum with a stretch goal of six;
3. Introduce two new outings: one fishing expedition and one skeet-shooting event;
4. Travel the state with Bill Tucker, meet as many members as possible and work hard on their needs;
5. Maintain a balanced budget;
6. Establish a Web-based recommendations box, if you want to leave your contact info fine, if not that’s OK as well;
7. A well-structured line of communication with all directors, committee members and association members;
8. Find and promote member benefit programs; we have many now but we want to make sure you are all aware of them;
9. Listen more … Talk less; and
10. Be the best I can be for my family, my friends and my industry.
Fishtorn is a third-generation lumber dealer, who moved to Florida shortly after his family lumber business in Northwest Indiana closed its doors in 1994. In Florida, he was hired by Kimal and worked his way up the ranks from the window division to general manager. He credits his father, George Fishtorn, for his success in the business.
From Germany, ideas for business
For the first time, the Internationale Eisenwarenmesse in Cologne, Germany, will offer an Industrial Supply section, providing attendees with industrial and safety applications.
The new section will be one of the highlights of the March 4 to 7 event in Cologne, Germany.
Examples of the new section, according to show organizers, are powerful wet and dry vacuum cleaners usable for home and workshop use. Grinding material suppliers will present a new generation of discs made of jute, an affordable natural raw material that combines high performance with ease of use. The new material ensures great durability and an extended lifetime.
More than 2,700 exhibitors from more than 50 countries are planning to show their products, with the tradeshow divided into the product categories tools, industrial supply, fasteners and fixings, fittings and home improvement. Attendees will find the latest product innovations and will be educated about new product trends and launches.
New-generation products will include tool trolleys with optimized drawers and modified wheels and measurement instruments with laser rangefinders for more convenient operation. Other innovations include Allen key holders with a new clamping device that ensures that unused keys cannot fall out. One of the show’s highlights will be a radial tile-cutting machine for large-format tiles with foldaway base frame and integrated wheels, saving storage. A wide range of new generation cutting tools for floor coverings will be on display.
Retailers will also find new ideas for effective “Point of Sales” solutions, ranging form simple displays and modular systems to large shop-in-shop solutions, according to show organizers.