Friday, September 6, 2013

Wal-Mart Crime report August 2013

In 2006 a statistical study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) was done to find out if there was more crime at Wal-Mart compared to other stores and if crime increased when Wal-Marts came to town. The study indicated that there was; however Wal-Mart disputes this, as they have all other studies critical of Wal-Mart. Feel free to revue them both and judge for yourself. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings has begun compiling a list of the shooting incidents that have occurred at Wal-Mart with fewer resources than many other large institutions but they have found that there are a large number of them and that on average there was more than one shooting each week in 2012 and the number will almost certainly be higher in 2013. they began compiling them late in 2012 and almost certainly didn't get them all.

It doesn't take much searching to find that they also have an enormous number of bomb threats, purse snatching, muggings, shoplifting incidents and many other crimes. The bomb threats leading to evacuations almost certainly average more than one per week on average as well. According to the 2006 study the average Wal-Mart has over 250 police calls per year, or at least they did in 2004, which was the year the study was based on. After that Wal-Mart has periodically changed their policies, often with little input from the public or effort to inform them. This may have led to a reduction of reporting of some incidents at some times or other efforts to improve their images, but it almost certainly hasn't led to changes that have reduced the crimes their.

I reviewed this previously in Wal-Mart high crime rate continues uninvestigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch. Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business; most if not all of these studies indicate that they have a negative impact on communities and some of them may also provide evidence that they indirectly contribute to higher crime. this includes the reduction in quality employment available and higher poverty rates which also contribute to crime.

Yet the political and media establishment do little or nothing to acknowledge and repair the problems being caused by Wal-Mart; and low income people are being prosecuted to the full extent of the law while those involved in white collar crimes that do much more damage are not being held accountable at all. I have no doubt that these white collar crimes also contributes to more traditional crime. The following is a sample of the incidents that have occurred at Wal-Mart. It isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 study; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart. According to the 2006 study there were significantly more problems at Wal-Mart than there are at Target, their closest competitor; and other studies cited by Stacy Mitchell have indicated that Big-Box stores, in general have more crime than small business; so it is almost certainly even worse if compared to small businesses.

The 2006 study includes a lot of statements from police or other officials or articles, to back up their conclusions, including the following: "In Orlando, the local police blotter indicates that the crime rate in a 5-square-mile area of MetroWest jumped more than 70 percent in the first year after Wal-Mart's arrival in August 2001. Traffic accidents rose 31 percent, property crimes 110 percent, robberies 231 percent and car thefts 56 percent, according to the Orlando Police Department. [Orlando Sentinel, January 27, 2003]"

Policies made in the corporate office are having a major impact on society and they aren't being subject to scrutiny from the public nor is the public even aware of it when they take place. This compilation of incidents may not completely address cause and effect without additional information but it can help to shed some light on it, at least until more comprehensive studies can be done to add to the work done by the other ones cited. It may also show some degree of bias on the part of the media which is reporting these stories. clearly this is only a minor fraction of the incidents that make it into the news, if they had over 250 per store annually there would probably be more than 75,000 incidents per month nationwide.

There might also be some indication about whether or not Wal-Mart provides as much protection for their customers as they do for their own merchandise. As indicated previously their stop loss officers have been trained to reduce shoplifting and they have often been overzealous, although they generally blame that on the employees not policy. I haven't seen many if any incidents where Wal-Mart security was as ambitious when it comes to protecting people from purse snatchers or assault; in fact there has been at least one example where a victims of assault in their store is suing them for lack of protection.

This shouldn't be too surprising since their primary goal is to maximize profit. However a bigger problem might be that "elected officials" and the media outlets also seem to adopt the same objectives. If they can't be expected to adopt policies that protect people from crime democratic systems are supposed to provide checks and balences with the help of independent media outlets, as it stands the media collects their revenue through ads, including a lot from Wal-Mart and they have a major incentive that has been growing to look the other way and "elected officials" seem to be more accountable to their campaign contributors and the media that controls what information they present to the public about "elected officials" than they are to the public. This is why at least until there is major political and media reform the majority now have to fend for themselves to the best of their ability.

A close look at media reports clearly indicates that the vast majority of these incidents are only reported locally but in many cases when it comes to something like their claim to promote a "Buy America" campaign it is reported much more widely across the country. They also do a lot of stories that are thinly divided advertisements about how Wal-Mart is offering discounts for this or "Fatburgers" are free at Wal-Mart.

Fortunately it isn't all bad news; As I write this there are so many protests that even the commercial media feels the need to report them; although they aren't covering them nearly as well as they could or should. and a review of the attempts to open new store clearly indicates that in many cases they are unable to do so anymore, or at least not without much more opposition. Clearly the majority of the reasonably well informed public is opposed to continuing to allow they to expand while the political establishment remains on Wal-Mart's side when they think they can get away with it. This should be a clear indicator that our "elected officials" aren't paying attention to the will of the pe4ople unless their is an enormous uproar.

To minimize redundancy I declined to highlight many if any gun related incidents; however tehy can be found highlighted at Wal-Mart Shootings, where they are updated more often than I intend to.

Oswego deputies: Four conspired to steal lawn furniture and food from Walmart 08/13/2013

Suspect wanted in connection with vehicle break-in at Wake Forest Walmart 08/13/2013

Woman accused of driving baby to Walmart while impaired 08/13/2013

Police: Duo distracted Walmart cashier, stole money from register 08/13/2013

Two men arrested in cross state retail scam after hitting Rice Lake Wal-Mart 08/13/2013

Police: Cavity search reveals meth on Walmart shoplifting suspect 08/14/2013

Police seek identity of man accused of accosting woman at Wood Village Walmart 08/14/2013

Couple accused of stealing hard drives from Palm Coast Walmart 08/14/2013

Thousands of Dollars Worth of Electronics Stolen from Walmart 08/14/2013

Pelham's Walmart reopens after suspicious suitcase in parking lot (updated) 08/15/2013

PELHAM, Alabama -- Pelham's Walmart on Highway 31 reopened this afternoon after a suspicious suitcase was found in the parking lot earlier today.

Police treated the suitcase as a suspicious package, which resulted in limiting access to the store temporarily. Officers prevented traffic in an area of the store's parking lot during the investigation.

Visitors to the store during the time encountered Walmart employees outside the building with an entrance closed.

Pelham Police Capt. Larry Palmer in an interview today said the call came in sometime after 11 a.m. and lasted an hour. The Hoover bomb squad responded to the situation after someone called in the suspicious package. Complete article

Washington man sues Walmart over rattlesnake bite 08/15/2013

Police: Couple busted at Walmart gas station minutes after stealing car from Walmart parking lot 08/15/2013

Would-be kidnapper grabs 18-year-old woman walking home from Walmart 08/16/2013

Bomb threat forces evacuation of Chandler Walmart 08/16/2013 XX

Police: Man arrested minutes after snatching woman's purse in Walmart parking lot 08/16/2013 XX

Walmart suicide victim identity released 08/16/2013

Mystery spray causes evacuation, sickness at Walmart in west Harris County 08/19/2013

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas –- A Walmart west of Houston was evacuated late Sunday after two men sprayed a substance that made some people ill, deputies said.

It happened at the store near Highway 6 and Westpark Drive around 8:45 p.m., according to deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Dozens of employees and about 100 to 150 customers had to be evacuated. Some of them started to experience trouble breathing and suffered burning in their eyes and throat, deputies said.

“When I was in there, I was checking out, and I saw people choking,” said customer Ken Baptista. “I heard somebody was mixing chemicals in there and throwing it in the air.” Complete article

Suspected Walmart shooter had concealed carry permit, Neenah police say 08/19/2013

3 suspects wanted in connection with stealing from Chatham Walmart 08/19/2013

8 on Your Side: Valley Woman's Walmart Account Hacked 08/19/2013

Louisville man charged with carjacking couple's car at Clarksville Walmart 08/19/2013

A southern Louisville man was arrested early Sunday following a carjacking in the parking lot of the Walmart in Clarksville, where a couple told police a knife-wielding robber allowed them to remove their baby from the car before he drove away.

Scotty O. Ford, 21, who lives on Rod N Reel Road near McNeely Lake, is being held at the Clark County Jail on charges of robbery, carjacking, criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, according to jail records.

Police Chief Mark Palmer said a couple who had been shopping at Walmart on Veterans Parkway told police about 3 a.m. Sunday that a robber put a knife to their throats and demanded their Chevrolet in the parking lot.

The woman said she was able to remove their baby and her purse before the robber took the vehicle, Palmer said. Complete article

Purse snatcher leaves high price for Walmart shoppers 08/19/2013

At least three Walmart shoppers fell victim to a purse snatcher at the McComb store on Friday, city police said.

Around 11 a.m., Barbara Burris reported that a black male stole her purse while she was shopping inside the store, Detective Josh Brown said.

The thief reportedly snatched the purse, then left it in the clothing area. Brown said Burris found it shortly thereafter and noticed her wallet had been taken.

Gloster resident Donna Wilkinson told police that around 2 p.m. someone stole her purse when she left it in her shopping cart and briefly looked away. Complete article

Mom leaves baby with man she just met on Facebook, then goes shopping at Boynton Beach Walmart, cops say 08/19/2013

Three Fayetteville women accused of stealing from Walmart, assaulting employees 08/20/2013

Police seek suspects in Walmart armed robbery 08/20/2013

Port St. Lucie Walmart shopper takes five-finger discount on power tools in parked pickup truck 08/20/2013

Man Sues Walmart, Claiming Security Failed To Stop Attack 08/21/2013

Man Sues Walmart, Claiming Security Failed To Stop Attack 08/21/2013

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – A north suburban man is suing a local Walmart store, claiming he was the victim of a beating while he was shopping, and store security did nothing to stop the attack.

The suit alleges Jeremiah Rogers and his girlfriend – both African Americans – were at the Walmart in Waukegan in January, when two unidentified men–one who was white or Hispanic and the other black–began harassing them.

David Lowery Jr., founder and CEO of the Living & Driving While Black Foundation, said security guards escorted the men out, but at least one of them came back and accosted the couple again, using a racial slur.

Rogers was hit in the face with a wine bottle, then one of the men pulled out a gun, “and started to chase him around the store,” Lowery said.

“Meanwhile, Walmart security and management ran into their office, and locked the door, and left them out in the store, running, trying to save their lives,” he added. Complete article

Police: Man stole two TVs from Walmart in Silver Spring Township 08/21/2013

Police seek Walmart shoplifters who took almost $1,600 in clothing 08/21/2013

Police seek purse snatcher, getaway car hitting 67-year-old Walmart shopper 08/21/2013

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police are looking for a getaway driver responsible for striking a 67-year-old Walmart shopper. The hit came moments after the driver's passenger snatched the victim's purse from her car seat.

The crime went down around 2 p.m. on a Thursday as the victim loaded groceries into her vehicle. A white 4-door BMW was caught on surveillance video in the Cordova Walmart parking lot.

A carload of customers admitted they sometimes take their safety for granted.

"It's kind of scary. It could happen to us," said customer Deanna Williams. Complete article

Police: Man used stolen credit card at Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Man accused of Walmart thefts in Wake, Chatham counties, two sought 08/22/2013

Police arrest three in connection with Walmart theft 08/22/2013

Couple wanted for stealing electronics from Franklin Walmart 08/22/2013

Police seek man who stole from Walmart register 08/22/2013

Police: Over $1K worth of Rogaine, Crest White Strips stolen from Walmart 08/22/2013

Man accused of trying to steal woman's purse, dragging her through Walmart parking lot 08/22/2013

A man accused of attempting to steal a woman's purse and then dragging her through a parking lot and beating her, was is Cabell County court on Thursday afternoon.

Ronell Ross, 43, is charged with unlawful wounding and robbery. Authorities said Ross was trying to steal a woman's purse on Tuesday, Aug. 20. When she wouldn't let go, Ross is accused of dragging her through the Walmart parking lot on Route 60 in Huntington and began to hit her.

The woman had to be taken to the hospital according to police. Ross said on Thursday that he doesn't remember anything about the incident. "I'm very sorry for what happened. I don't know why it happened and I don't know how it happened," said Ross. Complete article

Dickinson man with nephew cited for shoplifting at Walmart 08/23/2013

Police: Wal-Mart shoplifter apprehended after foot chase 08/23/2013

Another Purse Snatching at Wal-Mart Caught on Camera 08/24/2013

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – It’s become an all too common and frustrating trend for both shoppers and police.

On Thursday, security cameras at the Wal-Mart along U.S. 60 in Huntington captured thieves stealing a woman’s purse.

Mary Beth Martin was loading items in her car about 3 p.m. when a black Chevy Cavalier slowly passed her, made a U-turn, and a passenger in the backseat opened the door and stole Martin’s purse out of her cart.

"She seemed so excited to do it,” Martin said. “When she got in the car, she yelled 'Go baby go!'" Complete article

Security guard shot at Ohio Walmart parking lot 08/23/2013

Man accused of stealing from Walmart 08/24/2013

Man shot in robbery attempt at Oregon Walmart 08/24/2013

Theft and drug charges lodged against woman arrested at Walmart 08/25/2013

Police: Women stole $1,200 in Walmart merchandise 08/26/2013

Teen Mugs Woman In Walmart Parking Lot 08/26/2013

A woman is unharmed after a teenager reportedly mugged her in a Walmart parking lot.

The incident happened late Sunday night at the Walmart on 8th Street in Colorado Springs.

Police say the teen suspect came up behind the woman and shoved her into her vehicle, then took her phone and debit card from her jacket pockets. Complete article

Police: Man tried to swipe beer from Wal-Mart three days in a row 08/25/2013

Police: Man tried to swipe beer from Wal-Mart three days in a row 08/25/2013

A Belmont man is in jail after police say he tried to steal beer three times in three days.

According to arrest warrants, Wayne Royal Deese Jr. hit the same store each time in search of Icehouse beer.

Arrest warrant affidavits indicate that Deese went to Wal-Mart in Belmont on Wednesday and walked out with a 24-ounce Icehouse beer.

Deese went back the next day and swiped a 12-pack of the same brand of beer, warrants state. Complete article

Authorities Investigating Threat at St. Clairsville WalMart 08/24/2013

Cops: Man took photo up woman's skirt at Walmart 08/20/2013

Man Wanted for Stealing TV from Fenton Walmart 08/25/2013

Employees bound in Altadena Walmart takeover robbery 08/24/2013

Walmart Employee Charged with Stealing from Register 08/25/2013

Shoplifting Suspects Busted Leaving Walmart 08/27/2013

'Suspicious items' in car at Springfield Walmart prompt evacuation of store; Arson and Bomb Squad at scene 08/27/2013

Man says he was robbed, kidnapped from Bradenton Walmart 08/27/2013

Transient accused of robbing Bangor Walmart, resisting arrest 08/27/2013

Laurel County Police Search For Gang That Is Shoplifting From Dollar General, Walmarts 08/27/2013

Man arrested at Wal-Mart for failing to produce weapons permit 08/28/2013

Second woman charged after baby left in shopping cart at Walmart 08/28/2013

Woman arrested at Walmart urinates in cruiser 08/28/2013

Man wanted in connection to armed robbery in Suffolk Walmart 08/28/2013

Couple wanted for allegedly stealing $30K worth of electronics from several Walmarts 08/29/2013

Wayne Co. man accused of stealing from Walmart, hitting officer in face 08/29/2013

A Wayne County man has been accused of shoplifting at a Walmart in Gates, leading police of a chase and hitting a Gates police officer in the face.

Adalberto Alers Jr., 25, of Palmyra, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony, and resisting arrest and petit larceny, both misdemeanors, said Gates Police Officer Lance Duffy.

Alers allegedly loaded packages of Red Bull and soda into a shopping cart at the Walmart Supercenter, 2150 Chili Ave., and fled the store with about $100 in beverages without paying about 2:50 a.m. Wednesday, Duffy said.

Store security attempted to stop Alers as he left and called Gates police, Duffy said. Alers allegedly loaded the beverages into a car that then headed east on Chili Avenue. Responding officers saw the car leave and followed. Complete article

Homewood Walmart evacuated after bomb threat 08/29/2013

OKC police give all-clear at scene of suspicious package 08/30/2013

Salt Lake City Walmart guard wounded in struggle with shoplifter 08/30/2013

Man Shot By Officer Outside Bartlett Walmart 08/30/2013

Decatur man suspected of shoplifting at Walmart arrested on theft, drug charges 08/30/2013

Woman grilled in Wal-Mart thefts 08/30/2013

Robert Reich: Wal-Mart is a jobs creator, but not the right kind 08/30/2013

Wal-Mart Prepares New India Venture 08/30/2013

Wal-Mart wage bill in D.C. heads for mayor’s desk 08/29/2013

$35K grant from Walmart will help to shelter families 08/29/2013

Wal-Mart ready to loan $50 million to Bangladesh factories 08/29/2013

Wal-Mart to brief shareholders on Bangladesh 08/29/2013

Why The Holiday Season Could Be A Flop For Big Chains From Wal-Mart to Macy's 08/29/2013

Walmart protest group continues work on plan of action 08/28/2013

Why Wal-Mart Will Never Pay Like Costco 08/27/2013

Nebraskan sues Wal-Mart over plastic bag's failure 08/28/2013

Inside Wal-Mart's Shareholders Conference 08/28/2013

Tigard claims it can stay mum on Walmart plans 08/27/2013

Wal-Mart Expands Benefits to Domestic Partners 08/27/2013

Logan Ratai, 6, Eats Walmart Donut Containing Sharp Metal Objects And Goes To Hospital 08/27/2013

Logan Ratai, a six-year-old boy, was hospitalized in Fort Riley, Kan., on Sunday after eating a donut from a nearby Walmart that reportedly contained sharp metal objects, according to local TV station WIBW. Here are some pictures of what Logan's mom Kelly allegedly found in her son's donuts:

"There were pieces of black metal, some of them looked like rings, like washers off of a little screw, some of them were black metal fragments, like real sharp pieces," Ms. Ratai told WIBW.

Walmart spokesperson Kayla Wahling told The Huffington Post it's "unlikely that this could have happened," and said the retailer is looking into the incident.

"We work with our suppliers to help ensure all of our baked goods meet our expectations," she said. She added that the store inspected other donuts after pulling them off the shelves and did not find traces of metal.

Surprisingly, this isn't the first sketchy donut incident at Walmart. In April, a shopper took to Reddit after discovering that the store had allegedly been changing the "best buy" date on a box of stale donuts. After reviewing video surveillance footage, Walmart determined that employees at that store had been "mislabeling" donuts, Wahling explained. "We've been able to do some retraining of our associates at that location. I'm not aware of any other issues since then," she said. Complete article

Supporters Want Mayor Gray to Sign 'Walmart' Living Wage Bill 08/27/2013

Target Reveals It Has The Same Problem As Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Wal-Mart Is Getting Desperate 08/24/2013

Walmart Supplier Warehouse Workers Fired For Taking 5-Minute Break, They Say 08/22/2013

Fired Walmart Workers Arrested at Rally Announcing Labor Day Deadline 08/22/2013

Oriental residents rally to fight proposed Walmart Express 08/25/2013

Say what? Wal-Mart sued in Texas for unlicensed sale of hearing aids 08/23/2013

Walmart, MotoMart turned down for liquor licenses 08/22/2013

Walmart Protesters Arrested in Northwest D.C. 08/22/2013

WSJ: Wal-Mart Adding 90 Stores in Africa 08/22/2013

Wal-Mart pushes 'made in America' at summit 08/22/2013

Ellisville turns down permit extension for Walmart project 08/21/2013

D.C. draws Wal-Mart into Democrats’ political battle over wages 08/21/2013

Holyoke mayoral candidate Jim Santiago backs Walmart plan to start getting city its own 'Boston Road' retail trail 08/21/2013

LePage heads to Florida for manufacturing summit sponsored by Wal-Mart 08/21/2013

Target Will Beat Wal-Mart; J.C. Penney May File for Bankruptcy: Burt Flickinger 08/21/2013

Wal-Mart wants to be a good neighbor in Northbrook 08/21/2013

Former Fairway official warns that Wal-Mart customers will drive down property values 08/20/2013

Walmart foes try higher court to fight new market 08/21/2013

Ellisville City Council to Vote on Wal-Mart Permit 08/21/2013

Plan to build a Walmart in Remington moves forward 08/20/2013

The architect of Walmart’s D.C. defense: Obama’s chief economist 08/19/2013

Hawthorne mulls development options in Walmart controversy's wake - 08/19/2013

Zoning tiff over Walmart in Midtown Miami gets personal, emails show 08/18/2013

Sherwood Councilor Matt Langer survives recall attempt after Walmart backlash 08/16/2013

Wal-Mart workers in Weyburn, Sask., vote to dump union 08/16/2013 Chain's only remaining union in Canada never achieved collective bargaining deal

Former Oregon Walmart pharmacist accuses company of firing him for his disability 08/15/2013

Which 30% Of Walmart Employees Do You Think Should Get Fired? 08/15/2013

Wal-Mart shares fall; slashes outlook 08/15/2013 Retail giant Wal-Mart's same-store sales slipped 0.3%, widely missing analyst estimates of a 1% gain.

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