Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Wal-Mart Crime report June 2014
By now pretty much everyone is probably aware of the shooting at a Las Vegas Wal-Mart earlier this month; however most people probably aren’t aware that the month or so prior to that shooting there has been over a dozen other shootings at Wal-Marts across the country, and that this isn’t much above average for Wal-Mart. Between May first and June eleventh there was a shooting at Wal-Mart, on average, once every three days or less; during 2013 there was a shooting, on average, once every four and a half days.
This incident did lead one news outlet to report about the recent study about how Wal-Mart leads to increased crime. Most news outlets never reported this at all and this article probably didn’t get nearly as much attention as the rest of the story and it is already forgotten by most.
There was also a shooting incident and SWAT raid about the same time as part of a police attempt to retrieve guns that were stolen from Wal-Mart earlier in the year; however this didn’t get nearly as much attention in the mass media. This was one of many guns that were stolen from a Tennessee Wal-Mart that had surprisingly lax security. Little or no attempt was made to consider whether or not Wal-Mart’s security measures are partially responsible for this incident.
At the end of the month there were two more gun related incidents including a shooting incident that was reported as a “Craigslist Shooting” by some media outlets. This might be part of a trend; Craigslist doesn’t do any advertising on the commercial media and the only time they’re ever mentioned by them is when something like this happens. Even when these incidents happen at Wal-Mart, as they often seem to they rarely refer to them as Wal-Mart shootings and as far as I know there are many more Wal-Mart shootings.
In this case it also involved attempts to sell large amounts of stolen property. Little effort is made to find out if these are related to large shoplifting sprees at places like Wal-Mart where thieves apparently find it exceptionally easy to steal large amounts of merchandise so easy they routine walk out of there with entire cartloads of merchandise.
This isn’t in doubt; they get caught all the time, eventually but often not until after they get away with it over and over again. This month they’re looking for someone that was video taped stealing six carts full; and on numerous other occasions they caught people the second or third time they went out with carts full. They say when they catch them more often it is because their security is improving; but I remember no one thought they could get away with this.
So they didn’t even try.
The crash injuring Tracy Morgan also drew more attention, for a little while how many truck accidents Wal-Mart has and some of the pressure from the corporations that contribute to them. However the reports about hundreds of other accidents killing many more people didn’t get nearly as much attention as the one that injured an actor that happened to be better known.
If they follow their past behavior they won’t address any of the root causes of this anymore than they address them for any of their other problems unless there is an enormous amount of grass roots pressure to do so.
As usual there were several bomb threats and at least one or two arson and another incident where someone arbitrarily hits another person with a bat because he was copying what he saw on TV. A large number of these incidents also result in customers being put on “lock down” where innocent people are often detained on the premises until incidents are resolved. This seems to happen at least a couple of times per month, including shooting incidents and bomb threats.
There were a couple of incidents where cars caught fire in two different parts of the country and they spread to other cars, in one case six cars caught on fire. I don’t know how Wal-Mart insurance responds to that.
If they respond well that would be newsworthy.
Sometimes I have to wonder if Wal-Mart executives are using reverse psychology or if they’re living in fantasy-land. Earlier this month an op-ed was written about Wal-Mart that was critical of them, one of many; and many people, including me, didn’t even notice. Then Wal-Mart refuted it in an incredibly incompetent manner and it went viral. Amazingly, the vast majority of comments on the page at Wal-Marts web site commended them for refuting it. Do they expect people to believe these comments are sincere?
How could they not have seen that one coming?
Their problems are even in their home office where they had an outbreak of food poisoning. But they can take comfort knowing that their undercover loss prevention officers fit in so well that some people ask them for marijuana before attempting to steal food. We now have corporations with their own private police forces, or something similar abut most people aren’t aware of it and there is some doubt about how accountable they might be, as well as the regular police which are routinely called in to do most of the work. They’re facing another law suit where they may have overreacted by tackling and handcuffing a mentally disabled woman that they falsely accused of shoplifting.
There were at least two stories where their labor practices are being exposed in the Canadian media and courts, one where a judge ruled they illegally shut down a store that voted to unionize and another where a worker exposed their hostile work environment and bullying.
One thing that might deserve more attention is that this began when the worker refused to falsify temperature logs to cover up for another employee who didn’t do their job. If you consider the reports about how much pressure these managers are under to “keep their numbers up” it is easy to understand why they get caught so many times selling expired food, or when someone gets pinched by a scorpion.
Yep, pinched by a scorpion, this is Wal-Mart.
This pressure is also almost certainly part of the reason why they have periodic incidents where workers shoot each other or threaten to bomb the place; and there are plenty of disgruntled customers that are also fed up with Wal-Mart and threaten to do the same. When these incidents are reported as isolated incidents, as they usually are, they often seem as if they’re just irrational people, and in many cases they almost certainly are; but when it happens so often and some of them even make it clear that they retaliating for something then it should be clear that part of the reason for the statistically higher crime at Wal-Mart is their oppressive work environment.
There are also some lighter moments like when they retrieve a stolen computer from one thief put it to one side and another steals it and gets away; or bizarre incidents like when it takes three weeks for anyone to notice there is a dead body decomposing in the parking lot.
Decomposing bodies being found in their parking lots aren't unprecedented; this happened at least once before and there ahve been many bodies found before they began decomposing. The most common location for these bodies seems to be either the parking lots or the bathrooms; they're usually poor people or suicides.
Strange things happen at Wal-Mart!
In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, 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. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in June 2014. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.
Troy police seek ID of Ohio Walmart credit card user 06/01/2014
Chinese workers reject Walmart's offer in labor dispute 06/01/2014
Ca. Walmart armed robbery suspect caught on surveillance tape 06/01/2014
FBI arrests man at Rochester NY Walmart 03/02/2014
Ga. Walmart shoplifter steals smartphones, fishing lures 06/02/2014
City woman accused of third Walmart theft in a month 06/01/2014
Walmart workers are going on strike to speak out. Why Walmart should listen. By Robert Reich 06/02/2014
Woman charged with leaving 4-year-old alone in car at VA. Walmart parking lot 06/02/2014
Man accused of taking photos up women's skirts at Mich. Walmart has conviction for similar offense 06/02/2014
Walmart Tops Fortune 500 most influential list 06/02/2014
Gun thieves hit same Memphis Tenn. Walmart for third time this year 06/02/2014
Thou shalt not steal! Woman arrested after swiping Bible, cheese and socks from SC Walmart 06/03/2014
Forbes: Report: Walmart's Billionaire Waltons Give Almost None Of Own Cash To Foundation 06/03/2014
UPDATED: Walmart management not sure when Auburn NY store will reopen after power outage 06/03/2014
Human rights fight in B.C. as Shoppers, Walmart resist drug labels for blind 06/03/2014
Walmart protest targets chairman's Paradise Valley home 06/03/2014
Manslaughter trial underway against former Conroe Tx. police officer in Walmart shooting 06/03/2014
NYC NY City Council members rip Walmart’s charity of ‘dangerous dollars’ 06/04/2014 A key bone of contention is the Waltons’ support of New York City charter schools. Since 2004, the Walton Family Foundation has funneled $16 million into the cause, including the DREAM Charter School, Village Academies and the Success Academy founded by Eva Moskowitz.
Walmart's 'Made in USA' push exposes strains of manufacturing rebirth 06/04/2014
Forbes: Walmart Slashed Tax Bill By Giving Top Execs Big Bonuses 06/04/2014
New Mama Pit Bull Found Tied to Shopping Cart Behind Long Island NY Wal-Mart: SPCA 06/04/2014
Raleigh NC police charge man threatened Walmart clerk to make cash theft possible 06/04/2014
After Bribery Scandal, High-Level Departures at Walmart 06/04/2014
Wal-Mart strikers plan to upstage shareholder meeting 06/04/2014
Utah prison inmate enters guilty pleas in Wal-Mart bomb scare 06/04/2014
Three Rob Ill. Wal-Mart 06/04/2014
Police seek suspect in Rocky Mount NC Walmart robbery 06/04/2014
Man arrested after NY Walmart shooting 06/05/2014
Decatur Ala. Wal-Mart employees detain shoplifting suspect; 2nd suspect turns himself in 06/04/2014
Bomb threats lead to searches at NJ Walmart, Kmart 06/04/2014
Nonprofits to NY City Council: Don’t block Walmart’s funds 06/04/2014
Walmart, Sam's Club in Doral Fla. evacuated for bomb threat 06/05/2014
Wal-Mart squeezes shareholders with store swag 06/05/2014
Wal-Mart Is Family Friendly—at Least to Members of the Walton Family 06/05/2014
Tenn. POLICE: Man allegedly drove to Walmart with no front tires 06/05/2014
Boynton Beach Fla. woman allegedly attempts to steal TV from Wal-Mart 06/05/2014
Police arrest alleged serial retail thieves at West Manheim Twp. Pa. Wal-Mart 06/05/2014
Maine communities saying no to Wal-Mart abatement requests 06/06/2014
Two Yankton SD residents indicted for unpaid Walmart shopping spree 06/06/2014
Walmart Plans Family Succession As Low-Wage Worker Plea Voted Down At Meeting 06/06/2014
Pharrell Thanks Wal-Mart for ‘Making the World a Happier Place’ 06/06/2014
Man accused of robbery in Fla. Walmart parking lot 06/06/2014
Bomb threat reported at Ky. Wal-Mart 06/06/2014
Tenn. Walmart murder suspect's cell phone password needed in investigation 06/06/2014
Three suspects sought in Md. Walmart theft 06/06/2014
Suspect allegedly has fondness for Ill. Walmart 06/06/2014
Shoplifting incident at Ga. Wal-Mart turns into lengthy chase 06/09/2014
Man accused of exposing himself in front of children at Wal-Mart in Silver Spring Twp. Pa. 06/09/2014
Low-wage protests planned at Wal-Mart, McDonald's in Springfield, Worcester, and Boston Ma. 06/09/2014
Delray man arrested after Walmart carjacking, chase in Boynton Fla. 06/09/2014
Suspect Sought in Berlin Wal-Mart Theft and Assault 06/09/2014
Man Claims 'Revenge' in Theft at Harvey Mitchell Tx. Walmart 06/10/2014
VIDEO: Wanted woman captured multiple times on Va. Walmart security cameras 06/09/2014
Police: Suspect sets TV, computer monitor on fire in NM Walmart parking lot 06/09/2014
Shrimp slaves: Walmart, Costco act against forced labor 06/10/2014
Crash in Napanoch NY Walmart parking lot leads to DWI charge 06/10/2014
Conroe Tx. officer who fatally shot teen accused of shoplifting from Walmart gets probation 06/10/2014
Reward offered in Denver Co. Wal-Mart car theft 06/10/2014
Mother says RI Walmart failed to report lewd act on her daughter 06/10/2014
Couple caught on surveillance video using baby to steal electronics from Tx. Walmart 06/10/2014
Man's employment with Cincinnati Ohio Wal-Mart 'like running on a treadmill' 06/10/2014
Residents upset about new Tx. Walmart being built near elementary school 06/10/2014
Police: Woman stole from NY Wal-Mart again 06/11/2014
Shareholders revolt against Walmart, Netflix 06/11/2014
Police looking for man who exposed himself at SC Wal-Mart 06/11/2014
Detectives looking for suspects in Ariz. Wal-Mart theft 06/11/2014
Deputies issue arrest warrant in Fla. Walmart, movie theater purse snatching cases 06/12/2014
Shoplifter arrested for NH Walmart theft 06/12/2014
Reports: Ware Ma. police charge man who allegedly exposed himself to young girls at Walmart store on Palmer Road 06/12/2014
Duo accused of stealing 18 TVs from Fla. Walmart identified 06/12/2014
Ithaca NY Wal-Mart emptied by bomb scare 06/12/2014
Small fire singes footwear area at Wal-Mart 06/12/2014
Small fire singes footwear area at Wyoming Wal-Mart 06/12/2014
Police: Man approaches boy, 9, in Pa. Walmart bathroom 06/12/2014
Deputies: 8-year-old caught with Fla. Walmart shoplifters 06/12/2014
Deputies: Orlando men used cloned credit cards at Fla. Walmart 06/12/2014
Woman accused of shoplifting, dragging children through SC Walmart 06/13/2014
Man claiming to be doctor kisses woman on mouth at Fla. Walmart, cops say 06/13/2014
Tulsa Ok. Police search for armed robbery suspect at 31st, Garnett Walmart Neighborhood Market 06/13/2014
Crews respond to car/ammo fire at Walmart in Lebanon County Pa. 06/14/2014
PD: Man arrested for indecent exposure in Ok. Walmart 06/15/2014
Fire causes $150 damage, closes NC Walmart for a few hours 06/16/2014
Man who shoplifted from Pa. Wal-Mart busted after picking up accomplice from prison, police say 06/16/2014
Police: Woman leaves children in car to shoplift in Ky. Walmart 06/16/2014
Payson woman arrested for stealing from Utah Walmart 06/16/2014
Gas leak at Avon Conn. Walmart 06/16/2014
Police blotter: Man jailed for burglary; arrests at Montana Wal-Mart; theft at TV station 06/16/2014
Mid-South woman fights attacker with umbrella in Tenn. Walmart parking lot 06/16/2014
Las Vegas police change account of couple's fatal shooting in Walmart 06/11/2014
Wal-Mart China to raise food safety spending to $48 million 06/17/2014
Mother-daughter duo accused in Vt. Walmart theft 06/17/2014
Police: Walmart employee helps rescue Tx. kidnapping victim in Ark. 06/17/2014
Suspect or hero? Dog taken from hot car at Center Township Pa. Walmart 06/17/2014
Woman dressed as Walmart worker tries to rob employee with gun in Poinciana Fla. 06/17/2014
4 suspected of credit card fraud at Walmart in Huber Ohio 06/17/2014
Police searching for woman, accomplice, who tried to steal TVs from Silver Spring Twp. Pa. Wal-Mart 06/17/2014
Nashville man accused of stealing from 3 Tenn. Wal-Marts in a day 06/17/2014
Thieves make off with $4K in cell phones from NC Walmart 06/17/2014
Conway man arrested after police said he tried to stab SC Wal-Mart employee during shoplifting 06/18/2014
Person wanted for using counterfeit checks at Walmart in Virginia Beach 06/18/2014
Citizens speak out on big box stores, Walmart 06/18/2014
Man arrested for Miss. Walmart shoplifting 06/17/2014
Eight Largest Cities Without Walmart 06/18/2014
Wake Forest NC Police seek woman for questioning in Walmart incident 06/18/2014
Wife says husband was suicidal when he rammed truck into vehicles in Tx. Wal-Mart parking lot 06/18/2014
Man accused of using cloning credit cards at Missouri Wal-Marts 06/18/2014
Kraft recalling Velveeta cheese from Walmart stores 06/19/2014
Police allege Saginaw man used knife in theft attempt at Mich. Walmart 06/19/2014
Woman wanted for theft at NC Walmart 06/19/2014
Ark. Walmart Shoplifter Head-Butts Employee, Gets Away With Loot 06/20/2014
Homeless man arrested after fight over best panhandling spot near Ill. Walmart 06/20/2014
Man Who Tried To Rob Walmart Commits Suicide, Broken Arrow Ok. Police Say 06/20/2014
Cashier, 19, charged in Ind. Wal-Mart theft 06/21/2014
Woman captured in Georgia who posed as Walmart employee, in Florida, during attempted armed robbery 06/21/2014
Woman pinned underneath car at Ohio Walmart 06/21/2014
Bentonville Walmart Employees Overcoming Bacterial Outbreak 06/23/2014
Police: NY Wal-Mart larcenies lead to Oneida County meth bust 06/21/2014
Lewiston man charged with trying to rob Auburn Me. Walmart 06/22/2014
Two Charged with Theft Scheme at WV Walmart 06/23/2014
South Jackson Tenn. Wal-Mart theft suspects arrested after police chase 06/23/2014
Driver in Ohio Walmart parking lot accident cited 06/23/2014
Man Charged With Kidnapping Teen From Tenn. Walmart Parking Lot 06/23/2014
Disabled Oregon Walmart customer says worker tried to keep him from using motorized cart 06/23/2014
Report: Teen, friend ran through SC Walmart in only Speedo after losing bet 06/24/2014
Bear spotted outside Jefferson Co. Missouri Wal-Mart 06/24/2014
Hillary Clinton to Host "Hard Choices" Book Signing at Little Rock Ark. Walmart 06/25/2014
Men used cloned credit cards at Fla. Walmart, deputies say 06/25/2014
Deadly Accident Near Dayton Tenn. Walmart 06/25/2014
Deputies: Drunk driver crashes into Walmart in South Pasadena Fla. 06/25/2014
Man charged after stealing laptop from ND Walmart 06/26/2014
KPD searching for woman who reportedly took two laptops from Tenn. Walmart 06/26/2014
Cornelius Ohio Wal-Mart evacuated because of natural gas smell 06/26/2014
Women in a motorized cart accused of stealing NY Walmart clerk’s wallet 06/26/2014
Walmart worker swindled store, Pinellas Park Fla. police say 06/26/2014
Tulsa Ok. Police Make Second Arrest In Fatal Walmart Shooting 06/26/2014
Walmart truck hits fire hydrant in West Linn Oregon 06/26/2014
Chief and bystander capture alligator near La. Wal-Mart 06/26/2014
Newport News: Police searching for suspects in attempted theft at Virginia Walmart 06/27/2014
Camby Ind. Walmart reminds parents not to leave kids in car 06/27/2014
12-year-old Florida Boy Drives School Bus to Panama City Fla. Wal-Mart 06/27/2014
Police: Ohio Walmart thief runs, is found near OSP post 06/27/2014
Man who exposed self to child at Walmart arrested, Orlando Fla. police say 06/27/2014
Jackon Co. Man Charged with Fla. Walmart Theft 06/28/2014
Shooting victim’s Utah Wal-Mart stop prompts investigation 06/29/2014
Man accused of gun, meth possession at Walmart in Colorado Springs 06/29/2014
Police: Bomb threat at Walmart in North Kingstown RI was hoax 06/30/2014
CEO: Wal-Mart Taught Me How To Be A Leader, Manager 06/30/2014
Man arrested for stealing soda and toilet paper from Utah Walmart 06/30/2014
Police: Surveillance shows woman assaulting child inside Pa. Walmart 06/30/2014
Customers evacuate Dickinson Walmart after sprinkler malfunctions 06/30/2014
Man accused of exposing himself at Milford Del. Wal-Mart 06/30/2014
Trial ordered for 67-year-old Saginaw Mich. man accused of using knife in theft attempt at Walmart 06/30/2014
Lower Nazareth Walmart shoplifting suspect arrested in P'burg Pa. 06/30/2014
Twitter commenters respond to Walmart ad for watermelon during BET Awards 06/30/2014
Police: Woman banned from Ga. Walmart found with drugs 06/30/2014
This Simple Chart Shows Why Wal-Mart Is in Trouble 06/30/2014 Same-store sales at the retail giant have dropped in 14 out of the last 21 quarters.