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In the years since, he has taken various roles that give him a diverse background in both retail and law enforcement settings.
In 1995, he left retail to work as a professional bounty hunter for 5 years, investigating cases around the world. Ben says this work gave him valuable skills, particularly with respect to investigating on a timeline and developing key relationships with law enforcement.
He became the Director of Security for a Global Logistics firm in 2000, where he worked to protect inventory from overseas manufacturers to store delivery. He conducted cargo theft, ORC and safety investigations in 13 logistics facilities nationwide.
All of these roles led to his current position at Walgreens, where he works with Jerry Biggs (Director of ORC Division), Ed Lanzetti (Asset Protection Director), and Dave Colen (Director, Corporate Investigations & Standards).
According to Ben, Walgreens enjoys a strong working relationship with the CVS Loss Prevention team, including James Lynch (Director of LP Corp. Investigations & Security), Tony Sheppard (National Manager ORC Unit), and Terrence Mullen (Southeast Investigations Director). Ben says that he and Mullen have worked on joint efforts involving many ORC investigations and successfully resolved several multi-million dollar cases.
Though his experience has given him a wide range of skills, it is the area of Organized Retail Crime investigations where Ben is truly a leader in the industry.
Ben Dugan is an Investigations Manager for the ORC Division at Walgreens, covering the Southern U.S. and Puerto Rico, but his diverse background spans the globe and makes him what he is today: a role model for the industry.
With over 25 years of retail loss prevention experience ranging from Big Box, Catalog, Pharmacy and Specialty retailers, he has successfully investigated and aided in the prosecution of several multi-million dollar ORC cases and one of the first ORC Civil RICO cases.
After serving in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps (attached to the Criminal Investigations Division) for three years, Ben started his retail career at Consumers Distributing, reporting to then Director of LP Gene Smith (now President of the Loss Prevention Foundation).
Ben said, "Gene has no idea the impact he had on my career – Gene saw potential and even assisted in getting my next position as a Regional Loss Prevention Manager with Ames Dept. Stores."
He is certified as an expert in Organized Retail Crime and Diversion and holds additional certifications as a Law Enforcement Instructor and in E-Commerce Investigative Methodologies. He was named Investigator of the Year and sits on the board of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail. Recently, he was appointed to the Legislative Team of the Florida Organized Retail Crime Alliance.
He also recently spoke on ORC/Complex Fraud Investigations at the Florida Law Enforcement Property Recovery Unit Conference in Orlando, which was attended by over 300 law enforcement members. Just last year, he was one of the featured speakers at the First International ORC Summit, and in the past, he has been a guest speaker at Law Enforcement Academies in Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and Florida.
His work in the industry continues today as he hopes to re-energize the conversation around ORC. He believes that success in investigating these cases is working as a team across multiple business channels and external entities.
“When ORC first started, companies thought that keeping case intelligence ‘close hold’ gave them a competitive edge,” Ben said. “Over time, the industry learned that by sharing information with retail partners and collaborating on cases, they could resolve cases more effectively and reduce investigative costs.”
Based on the work Ben has spent a career doing, especially with respect to ORC investigations, it’s clear the industry will continue to benefit from his leadership and commitment to fighting these crimes.
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