Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Wal-Mart Crime report March 2015
There was a shootout involving seventeen people in an Arizona Walmart parking lot this month. Half of the people involved were police who were responding to a crime report and all of them were injured, including one who was shot, and they killed one of the suspects. This made dozens of internet news stories and must have drawn a lot of attention in the alternative press but I didn't see any coverage of it in the traditional national press. In addition to checking the world news, local New England news I checked three major national papers, the New York Times, USA Today and the Boston Globe, to see if they covered it, and none did.
They did think it was worthwhile to cover a "Spider-man escape by a shoplifter and numerous other stories that seem less dramatic. A few days after the event it became clear that the people that started the riot were Christian street performers and might have been part of an apocalyptic cult; but there was still no national news except for more local and internet stories.
There was another shooting a couple days before at a Colorado Walmart and one a couple days after at an Oklahoma Walmart, and shortly after that another officer involved shooting at a Canadian Walmart that resulted in another death; but these weren't covered by the national press either. According to Walmart Shootings there were "at least 92 shooting incidents, leaving 16 people dead and 42 injured. This is up from 2013, where there were 83 shootings, leaving 24 killed and 42 injured." They only found 53 incidents in 2012; however I suspect they improved their search methods as they went along and there are probably more that they didn't catch from that year and previous years. After watching these things for a while, it is clear that if you use search engines and don't keep on top of it many disappear and it is much harder to find them if not impossible.
None of this is in the traditional news, which sells an enormous amount of advertising time to Walmart and their suppliers, nor do politicians discuss it, although they take an enormous amount in campaign contributions from Walmart and their suppliers. Grass roots efforts with much fewer resources do a better job covering this.
Police from at least three or four different states have expressed concerns about Walmrt and the problems they have there this month; and so ahve several customers. This is on top of dozens of other police departments that have expressed similar concerns over the years but they're not reported widely either. The chief in Springfield Missouri said his concerns fell on "deaf ears" in a report early in the month; after it made the news and got a lot of attention he met with Walmart officials, behind closed doors, and said he was more "optimistic."
I don't have any way of know how much if any political pressure is put on police chiefs; but after reading enough of these stories I wouldn't be surprised if part of their "optimism" is based on that.
As the month closes they have reported that Walmart is training their employees in active shooter incidents to ahndle them better.
I find this stunning, although if they can't avoid them this may seem better than nothing. However there is much more that can be done to address the contributing causes and make it much less likely for this to happen in the first place. There is an enormous amount of research to indicate far better ways to address this problem that they have been, some of which I went into in several posts including Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit.
They found dead bodies in the parking lots or near four different Walmarts in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and Florida this month. One of them might have been decomposing for a week before they noticed.
This isn't as uncommon as most people might think. There have been lots of bodies turning up at Walmart although four in one month is more than I have seen. And there have been at least two other cases where the bodies started decomposing before anyone noticed. The most common places for the bodies to turn up is usually either in the bathrooms, the parking lots where some people stay indefinitely, or in wooded areas nearby.
They're usually poor people, ofter drug overdoses, or suicides. This time at least to of these cases involved murder, on top of the shootings already described.
Many of the things that happen there happen over and over again; and in many cases the contributing causes can be understood and addressed but the most sincere researchers aren't involved in the decision making process. There have been hundreds of bomb threats and this month one of them involved a devise they took seriously enough to blow up in a controlled explosion, although my best guess is that even this was fake. The most common real bomb is just a soda pop bomb which isn't worth the scare attributed to it although it takes people by surprise.
They also had chemical problems leading to evacuations in at least three states, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois this month. There are a long list of arrests for petty theft where hundreds of not thousands of taxpayer dollars are used to prosecute people fro stealing as little as 78 cents worth of bananas, and thanks to felony shoplifting laws, under a hundred dollars worth of shoplifting can cost people as much as ten years or more in jail.
White collar crime for much higher amounts rarely ever gets nearly as much time assuming it is prosecuted at all.
They've had at least a couple fights over parking spaces, trouble with KKK recruitment fliers, a controversy about requiring an injured toddler to be present during jury selection and another settlemt for a fraction of the damages asked for, copyright arguments over a satire and another about sneakers, and they had one of their employees work right up until she gave birth, in the store.
There is another debate about whether the local government should foot the bill for changes in the entrance to one of their Walmart stores, which is just a small sample of the subsidies that Walmart gets from taxpayers. This is on top of the subsidies for welfare and health care for many of their employees and the high cost of handling enormous amounts of crime at their store.
Wal-Mart has said they don't have video of a July 2011 Dez Bryant Tx. incident, or at least not "officially" according to the article. Walmart has one of the most sophisticated surveillance systems in the world although most people have little or no knowledge of how much they're being watched when they shop at Walmart or sleep in their parking lots.
That is proprietary information, like the government they have the right to spy on you but you don't ahve the right to fully understand how much they're watching.
If you buy any Easter Eggs at Walmart, you probably won't find a Dried crab in it but don't completely rule it out.
Walmart Watch provides more updates throughout the month on Twitter. They say, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."
That's not true. I could make some of this up.
But why would I?
Strange things really do happen at Wal-Mart!
And there are plenty of sources to back it up.
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 un-investigaterd 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. For regular updates about events at Walmart through the month see Walmart Watch on twitter. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in March 2015. 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.
Kings Park man charged with shoplifting at NY Walmart found by cops to be carrying knife, guns, ammunition 03/01/2015
Police seek SC Walmart shoplifting suspects 03/02/2015
Waldo man stole goods worth $663 from Fla. Wal-Mart, police say 03/02/2015
Deputies: Man found dead in Viera Fla. Wal-mart parking lot 03/02/2015
NC Walmart robbed by note 03/02/2015
Tulsa Okla. Police Search For Man Who Exposed Himself Inside Walmart 03/02/2015
Reidsville police look for suspects in NC Wal-Mart larceny 03/02/2015
Glassman says Walmart asked to relax traffic mitigations for Bel Air South Md. store 03/03/2015
Former Ky. Walmart employee accused of stealing toys from store 03/03/2015
Mom arrested, charged with using teens to help her steal from Tenn. Walmart 03/03/2015
Police: Suspects use fake money at Lexington Nebraska Walmart 03/03/2015
Massive New Berlin Wisc. Walmart prepares for grand opening after vocal opposition 03/03/2015
Three Men Rob Omaha Nebraska Walmart 03/04/2015
Suspects swipe elderly person's wallet at Conn. Walmart 03/04/2015
Gladstone Missouri Walmart evacuated over reported threat 03/04/2015
Man shot in Walmart parking lot on Indianapolis Ind. west side 03/04/2015
Two Pekin Ill. Walmart Supercenter employees face charges of felony thefts from the store 03/04/2015
Police: Trio steals Walmart items, sells them to different Okla. Walmart location 03/04/2015
Cheyenne Wyoming man's wrongful termination lawsuit against Wal-Mart moving ahead 03/05/2015
Man wanted for groping woman inside Ga. Walmart 03/05/2015
Police say La. Walmart thief got away with 32 cans of baby formula and a clothes hamper 03/05/2015
Teen arrested after shooting NC Walmart employee with BB gun 03/05/2015
11,200 workers lost jobs when Target's CEO swung the axe at Wal-Mart 03/05/2015
Police seek suspect in carjacking of 87-year-old at NM Walmart 03/05/2015
Man accused of shoving fishing reels down his pants at Winston-Salem NC Walmart 03/05/2015 A loss prevention officer reportedly tried stopping the suspect, but the suspect allegedly threatened to stab him with a knife.
Wanted suspect arrested at Walmart in Damonte Ranch Nevada 03/05/2015
Woman accused of fight at Niceville Fla. Walmart 03/05/2015
Shotgun used in killing bought at Cortland NY Walmart 03/05/2015
Lincoln woman arrested after allegedly attacking boyfriend at Me. Wal-Mart 03/06/2015
Rincon Ga. Police: Walmart shoplifter, speeder 03/06/2015
Police looking for men in Missouri Walmart robbery surveillance photos 03/06/2015
Tracy Morgan's lawsuit against Walmart on hold pending truck driver's appeal in civil suit 03/06/2015
Walmart surveillance key to Spring Lake NC murder investigation 03/06/2015
Wal-Mart denies claims in lawsuit over fatal Beavercreek Ohio shooting 03/06/2015
Walmart attempts to join green movement, save reputation 03/05/2015
20-year-old Ex-Walmart Mich. employee pleads guilty to embezzling more than $10,000 from store 03/06/2015
Berlin NJ police: Walmart shoplifting suspects may be from Williamstown area 03/06/2015
2 wanted for Walmart theft in Moundsville WV 03/06/2015
Gladstone Missouri Walmart evacuated for bomb threat 03/04/2015
Idaho Walmart cameras catch Hayden man stealing photos of women 03/05/2015
Company Recalls Bassinet-To-Cradles Sold At Walmart, Kohls, Amazon, Toys R Us 03/04/2015
Chicago Women Caught With 100+ Fake Credit Cards at New Lenox Ill. Walmart: Cops 03/06/2015
Cops: Armed man caught shoplifting ammo in Riverhead NY Walmart 03/0/2015
Police: Man Tried To Steal, Damaged $6,000 Worth Of Stuff At Pa. Walmart 03/07/2015
Orlando Fla. PD: Bomb threat forces Walmart evacuation, closure 03/07/2015
Orange County Fla. Walmart back open after suspicious device cleared 03/08/2015 This is at least the third incident in previous week, in Fla. and at least the second with a suspicious package.
Woman faces multiple charges after leaving NY Wal-mart 03/08/2015
Police looking for Missouri Walmart thief 03/09/2015
Woman arrested for shoplifting with child at Tenn. Walmart 03/10/2015
Person wanted for stealing from Virginia Beach Va. Walmart 03/10/2015
Tip leads to arrest in Ga. Walmart groper case 03/0/2015
Scam artist is sought in theft at Lockport NY Walmart 03/10/2015
Tips to Avoid the Walmart Scam 03/10/2015
Woman arrested for 2012 theft from Walmart, deputies say 03/10/2015 Store employees estimated the group Gallo was part of had taken $10,000 from ranging from Ohio to Florida.
3 things not to buy at Walmart 03/10/2015
Dad on Wal-Mart death: Some police 'want to shoot' 03/11/2015
Henry County Ga. Walmart groper arrested 03/11/2015
Thirsty thief caught trying to steal 27 cases of beer from Fla. Wal-Mart, deputies say 03/11/2015
Man fights with Wal-Mart security guard over gun in New Hartford NY 03/11/2015
Registerd sex offender charged with child molestation at Greenfield Ind. Walmart 03/12/2015
Police charge man in Raleigh NC Wells Fargo, Walmart robberies 03/12/2015
Armed Robbery outside Nebraska Walmart thwarted overnight 03/12/2015
Kingston, Napanoch, NY residents charged in Walmart scheme 03/13/2015
Rincon Ga. Police: Woman wearing revealing clothing is banned from Walmart and separate shoplifting case 03/13/2015
Police charge man with taking indecent liberties with child at NC Walmart 03/13/2015
Police: Mom left 3 kids in car while she shopped at Tenn. Walmart 03/13/2015
Man accused of stealing baby items from Pa. Walmart arrested 03/15/2015
Police: Del. Wal-Mart Worker Stole Ammunition, Survival Gear 03/16/2015
Three face child abuse charges after woman falls on toddler in WV Wal-Mart 03/16/2015
Man exposed himself outside Napanoch NY Walmart after theft, cops say 03/16/2015
CONSUMER ALERT: New Shopping Center, Walmart Store Headed To Hephzibah Ga. 03/16/2015
Harford Md.'s traffic demands for Bel Air South store are 'unfair,' Walmart says 03/17/2015
Woman steals 13 iPads from NH Walmart, police say 03/17/2015
Elizabethton police identify Walmart theft suspect 03/17/2015
Deputies release photos of Fla. Wal-mart shoplifting suspects 03/17/2015
Fight over Cumberland County NC Walmart centers around growth 03/17/2015
Vacuum Cleaners Swiped from a Pa. Wal-Mart 03/17/2015
FBI investigates bank robbery at Farmington NM Wal-Mart on East Main Street 03/18/2015
SPD investigating shoplifting incident and fight at Sahuarita Ariz. Walmart 03/18/2015
Police warning women about purse snatcher at Tx. Walmart 03/19/2015
Forbes: Can Walmart Save The Planet? 03/19/2015
Suspected car thief trying to pass another car hits, kills woman in Colorado Walmart crosswalk 03/19/2015 Forbes indicates they can with the help of the Environmental Defense Fund; however Green, Inc. author says big environmental groups have sold out to big business.
Wal-Mart to pay comedian's family $10M in Tracy Morgan limo crash 03/20/2015
Suspect arrested in connection with Tx. Walmart purse-snatching robberies 03/20/2015
Police investigating apparent pepper spray incident at Gurnee Ill. Walmart 03/20/2015
SEC to allow shareholder vote on Wal-Mart independent chairman 03/21/2015
29 iPads stolen from Greenfield Ind. Walmart 03/21/2015
Walmart in Maryland Evacuated After Phone Call About "Bomb Making" Materials 03/21/2015
Woman robbed in Republic Missouri Walmart parking lot; police search for suspects 03/21/2015
Swansboro NC residents question private meetings about Walmart lawsuit 03/21/2015
Police: Women traveled to Gainesville Fla. to steal from Wal-Mart 03/22/2015
Troopers seek 2 in Del. Wal-Mart robbery attempt 03/22/2015
Increased Police Presence Keeps Fla. Walmart Parking Lot Quiet 03/22/2015
Thief breaks into north Nashville Tenn. Walmart register, takes $500 03/22/2015
Wal-Mart fights bid to curb gun sales 03/23/2015
Kingsport Tenn. Police Department officers search for Walmart shoplifter 03/23/2015
Homeless man booked on suspicion of sexually abusing Utah Walmart employee 03/23/2015
Suspects passed off counterfeit bills at midstate Pa. Wal-Mart, police say 03/23/2015
Beating suspect explains why he attacked homosexual man at Mississippi Walmart 03/23/2015
Woman arrested after a series of bizarre confrontations at Fla. Walmart 03/24/2015
NY Walmart cashier accused of stealing cash 03/24/2015
NY Police Monitor: Man accused of scamming Wal-Mart 03/24/2015
PPB: Oregon Walmart shoplifter flees in motorized wheelchair 03/24/2015
Forbes: Why Teamsters Present Walmart With A New Challenge 03/25/2015
Warning issued to anyone who has used ATMs at Wal-Marts in Carlisle and Shippensburg Township Pa. 03/25/2015
maine sets hearing for Wal-Mart tax appeal 03/25/2015
Dead body found inside car at Brier Creek NC Walmart 03/26/2015
Ontario Police arrest trespasser at Walmart 03/26/2015
BPD: Man suspected of multiple thefts from Tenn. Walmart, Target in custody 03/26/2015
Walmart threatening small businesses in North Central Florida 03/26/2015
Couple 'huff' canned air, pass out in Mich. Walmart lot with 3-year-old in car, police say 03/27/2015
Deputies identify body found near Wal-Mart in Four Corners, Lake County Fla.; died of gun shot wounds 03/30/2015
East Montgomery Alabama Walmart plan frustrates residents 03/27/2015
Hampton man allegedly stole cologne, phone case from NJ Walmart 03/27/2015
Ill. Walmart bomb threat unfounded 03/27/2015
Conn. Walmart shoplifters caught on camera 03/26/2015
Security video captures Tx. Walmart arsonist 03/26/2015
Thomasville Ga. Walmart employee assaulted 03/26/2015
Fake Walmart receipt puts 3 in jail for attempted theft in Hanford Ca. 03/23/2015
DVD theft at Walmart sparks police chase through East Lampeter and Manheim Townships Pa. 03/26/2015
2 sought in attempted robbery at Delaware Walmart 03/22/2015
Woman says she was attacked, hit with eggs in Alabama Walmart parking lot 03/26/2015
Vetr Inc. Downgrades Wal-Mart Stores to Sell (WMT) 03/28/2015
Vehicle hits pedestrians outside Saskatoon Canada Walmart 03/27/2015
Man wanted for Colorado Walmart computer theft 03/2/2015
Myrtle Beach SC police find stolen cars and fugitives in Wal-Mart parking lot twice in same week 03/28/2015
Jury awards woman $510,000 for injury outside Ind. Wal-Mart store 03/28/2015
Documents: Man faces 10 years after stealing from Springfield Missouri Walmart 03/28/2015
San Leandro Ca. Walmart Evacuated After Fire Breaks Out At McDonald’s Inside Store 03/28/2015
Man who allegedly injured Tx. Walmart employee arrested 03/29/2015
Walmart in Buckeye Ariz. evacuated after bomb threat 03/29/2015
Walmart Investigating After Breast Cancer Survivor Claims She Was Humiliated by Employees in Louisiana 03/30/2015
Man threatens to blow up or bomb Oklahoma Walmart; three people arrested 03/30/2015
Lihue Hawaii Walmart evacuated after outburst by disgruntled customer 03/31/2015
Woman arrested for using stun gun on Ca. Walmart customers 03/31/2015
Teens snatch woman's keys in Fla. Walmart, take off in victim's car 03/31/2015
Men assault, rob woman in Colorado Walmart parking lot 03/31/2015
Walmart CEO to Arkansas governor: veto ‘religious freedom’ legislation 03/31/2015
EPD needs help finding man who stole TVs from Okla. Walmart 03/31/2015
Man attempts to use stolen debit card out of Flint for nearly $1,100 purchase at Mich. Walmart 03/31/2015
Small fire closes Douglas Ariz. Walmart store for two hours 03/31/2015
Suspect caught in Montana in custody after ND Walmart kidnapping 03/30/2015
Wal-Mart Fights Back Against Converse Over Copyright Infringement 03/31/2015
Pair accused of shoplifting from Conn. Walmart 03/31/2015
Is Walmart selling unsustainable products from 'sustainability leaders'? 03/31/2015
Call Prompts Evacuation Of Payson Ariz. Walmart 03/31/2015
Man Charged With Stealing Underwear from Va. Walmart 03/31/2015
Getting charged with crimes at Walmart in Morganton NC seems to be an upward trend 03/31/2015
Why not pursue real Swansboro NC Wal-Mart story? 03/27/2015
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