Since 2004, the NRF Loss Prevention Awards Program has honored and acknowledged law enforcement officers, loss prevention professionals, law enforcement agencies and retail companies who have impacted their community, the industry and deserve nationwide recognition.
Recipients are announced for three awards at NRF PROTECT Loss Prevention Conference each year.
Read the press release to learn more about the 2018 honorees.
Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Award (LERPA)
The LERPA award acknowledges law enforcement professionals or agencies who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the retail industry in combating fraud and other types of losses.
NYPD Lt. Tarik Sheppard received the award for his efforts to create the New York Metro Organized Retail Crime Alliance in 2014 while head of the Grand Larceny Analytical unit. The unit works to identify pattern crimes and pattern crime offenders, and Sheppard recognized the extent of organized crime in retail thefts while working there.
U.S. Postal Inspector Jamie Portell and Barrington (Illinois) Police Department Detective Lori Allsteadt received the award in 2016 for their work in tracking and apprehending a multi-state identity theft ring responsible for more than $1.5 million in losses from 2013-2015. The crime ring repeatedly visited mobile phone stores to fraudulently add lines of service to recently created accounts. One of the crime ring leaders was arrested, indicted and has cooperated with law enforcement on identifying a larger fraud ring.
Loss Prevention Case of the Year Award
This award is the premier recognition program for Loss Prevention professionals, recognizing LP investigators whose work has made a significant impact on their company, the community, and industry.
The 2017 recipient was FBI Special Agent Kevin Kohler, who uncovered a multi-state crime ring that placed fraudulent bar codes on high-value products, intentionally lowering prices and inflicting losses exceeding $200,000. Kohler played an integral role in the investigation by securing crucial evidence, and in a matter of two months was able to arrest the head of the group. Going beyond the retail fraud that initiated the case, the investigation also led to charges of child pornography and sexual exploitation of minors, resulting in the rescue of several children from a predator. The ringleader was sentenced to 70 years in prison without parole.
2016's recipient was Barnes and Noble Senior Corporate Investigator Glenn Justus for his work in uncovering a family of shoplifters who traveled the country while stealing more than $7 million in merchandise from numerous retailers. Justus played an integral role in the investigation by securing crucial evidence implicating the family in an elaborate theft conspiracy that spanned a decade. With that assistance, the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s office and the U.S. Secret Service were able to charge members of the family with multiple federal charges of interstate transportation of stolen goods, conspiracy and wire fraud resulting in guilty pleas in November 2015. The investigation involved numerous retail LP teams, vendor community resources and law enforcement officials.
Ring of Excellence Award
The Ring of Excellence Award is a recognition program for loss prevention professionals whose achievements and outstanding leadership have shaped the industry. The award recognizes pioneers in the loss prevention community whose honor, integrity and character serve as an example for the LP industry. Inductees to the Ring of Excellence can be honored in person or posthumously.
Last year’s recipient was Gene Smith, founder of the Loss Prevention Foundation and former president of Downing & Downing, a human resources firm specializing in LP staff development, in recognition of his more than 40 years of experience and his work to develop the industry’s Loss Prevention Qualified and Loss Prevention Certified designations. Read the announcement to learn more.
2016's recipient was Joseph LaRocca, founder of the Los Angeles-based RetaiLPartners LP consulting firm, in recognition of his more than 20 years of experience in retail loss prevention, work on emerging technologies and efforts to fight organized retail crime. LaRocca is a former vice president for loss prevention at NRF who has continued to serve as a nationally recognized LP spokesman and intermediary between retailers and law enforcement entities across the country. LaRocca has testified before Congress and a number of state legislatures on identity theft and organized retail crime, and has worked with groups including the American Legislative Exchange Council and the National Council of State Legislatures.
LP Volunteers in Action
LP Volunteers in Action program acknowledged LP professionals making significant and measurable contributions to charitable organizations, including fundraising, outreach, volunteering and activities that have made a positive impact in communities. This award was discontinued in 2015.
At NRF PROTECT 2015, NRF recognized loss prevention teams from 7-Eleven, Delhaize Group, Macy's and Old Navy for their contributions to the community and commitment to service. Watch the video to learn about the last recipients of this award.