Over time, Walmart has complained of experiencing huge losses due to debt. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they have many technological and physical means at their store to catch thieves. And surveillance cameras are one of the means used to catch thieves in Walmart.
No one wishes to work hard but lose what brings in money. However, that is what happens when people steal from Walmart. So, the organization had to put things in place across all their stores to curb the theft rate.
So far, we can say that they have been effective as the theft rate has significantly reduced. However, we also know that it cannot be completely eradicated.
Jump To A Section
- 1 How People Are Caught Stealing At Walmart
- 2 Consequences Of Stealing From Walmart
- 3 Below Is A Table Showing The Fines People Pay When Caught Stealing Across Walmart Stores In Different States.
- 4 How Long Does It Take For Walmart To Press Charges?
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
How People Are Caught Stealing At Walmart
We earlier mentioned that Walmart has some systems to catch people stealing in their stores.
Some of these systems are:
1. Surveillance Cameras: The surveillance cameras in Walmart stores are used to monitor the activities going on within the stores. However, it is important to note that these cameras do not record sound. However, they pick up various movements and other activities. Therefore, making it easy for them to catch people stealing. The cameras usually serve as evidence when presenting the case to the police and law enforcement agencies. Often, people try to sneak things into their clothing when shopping at Walmart. However, expert eyes usually operate these cameras, and they are sure to pick up on such activities. The surveillance cameras are one of the ways Walmart catches thieves in their stores.
2. Scanners: There are also technological scanners at Walmart stores, situated at the cashiers’ point and checkout area. These scanners check for items not paid for, which one might have snuck into their bags. For example, a person might add an extra item to their shopping cart without the cashier knowing. However, such a person cannot get away with it as the scanners are sure to pick out such items. We see that the scanner has caught many people, so the theft rate has reduced across Walmart stores as people do not want to be embarrassed when they are caught stealing.
3. Loss Prevention Associates: Did you know that you can be employed as a loss prevention associate at Walmart? Here, you get to follow people around as they shop, ensuring they are not trying to steal anything. However, you must be discreet as a loss prevention associate as you do not want people to know that you are following them around. After all, it would be creepy for someone to sense that they are being followed while shopping. In addition, a loss prevention associate must also be alert and pay attention to details. The idea here is to ensure that they do not falsely accuse anyone. For example, if a loss prevention associate accuses anyone of theft and nothing is found on the person, the LPA is at risk of losing their job.
Consequences Of Stealing From Walmart
If anyone is caught stealing from Walmart, some of the consequences include:
1. Caution: There is always a first time for everything. So, if a person is caught stealing at Walmart for the first time, there might be no dire consequences. Instead, they will caution the person and retrieve the items from them. However, this situation is not peculiar to all Walmart stores as it depends on the manager and the worth of the stolen item. But, there is a general caution rule for all children below 16 years caught stealing at Walmart. Typically, they will get the items back from these children and caution them. Then, the store will call their parents to escort them back home. The only time police will be brought into the situation is when the parents are not reachable. Then, the police will escort the child back home. It is best to note that children can get away with only caution as they are still minors, and the store might believe that they are not fully aware of the weight of their actions. So, it would not make sense to put them in jail or make them pay a fine.
2. Pay Fines: Another situation that happens when people are caught stealing in Walmart is that they are made to pay fines. The idea here is that they are getting a mild punishment since the store isn’t sending them to jail. Of course, everyone would agree that stealing is a criminal offense. So, we can say that a person is lucky if they only have to pay fines when they are caught stealing. We cannot give an exact figure of how much a person will pay when caught stealing in Walmart. However, we can say that it depends on the store and its location. For example, a person caught stealing at a Walmart store in Alabama will not pay the same fine as someone caught stealing at a Walmart store in Texas. Walmart believes that when a person is made to pay fines when caught stealing, it will deter them from committing such an action again. We cannot say that this method is always effective as some people will still indulge in the action again, hoping not to get caught. However, we see that it has helped reduce the theft rate in Walmart stores. Hopefully, there might soon be a lasting solution.
Below Is A Table Showing The Fines People Pay When Caught Stealing Across Walmart Stores In Different States.
|Washington||$5000 – $10,000|
3. Banned From The Store: Imagine never accessing a Walmart store again in your life. Of course, this will come as disappointing news to many people as Walmart is one of the best places to shop in the United States. However, you can get banned from Walmart if you are caught stealing from a Walmart store. We earlier mentioned that the punishment and consequences people face when caught stealing at Walmart stores differ, especially as it could be according to the discretion of the store manager. Therefore, one cannot say that it is a one-size-fits-all kind of punishment. This punishment or consequence can be classified as a dire punishment as they are revoking your access to any Walmart store. Now, the person will need to send someone to help them if they want to get anything from Walmart. We feel it is a fair punishment as it restricts such a person from having further thoughts of stealing from Walmart. After all, out of sight should be out of mind. So, since the person no longer has access to Walmart stores, there would be no chance to steal anymore. Walmart has been confident that this strategy helps reduce theft rates as people do not want to be banned from Walmart stores.
4. Jail Term: It isn’t inappropriate to say that this is the most severe punishment or consequence one can face from stealing from Walmart. In this case, the culprit is handed over to the police, and the law enforcement agencies determine the jail term or duration of the person. After all, is there any severer punishment than serving jail term? Of course, we know that many people would not want to have records of a jail term. However, it will happen if they are caught stealing at Walmart. And, it doesn’t matter the value of the stolen item. If the store branch decides to hand you over to the police, you will serve a jail term, denying your records. For example, a person stole a chocolate bar from Walmart and has been handed over to the police. The law enforcement agencies decide that the people will serve a 6 months jail term. After serving the punishment, the person will have such records on their file, making it hard for anyone to trust them. We even see that it affects their chances of getting jobs and more. So, imagine going through all of these because of a chocolate bar. It is why we frown against stealing, as it can put you in deep trouble.
How Long Does It Take For Walmart To Press Charges?
There is no specific rule or duration to how long it should take for Walmart to press charges. For example, if a person is caught stealing at Walmart, they can press charges immediately or wait a bit.
Under the law, Walmart can stay up to two years before pressing charges. Thus, it should not be surprising if they decide to press charges a year after the person committed the crime. We see that the culprit might be thinking they’ve gotten away with their action, and then Walmart will strike.
Therefore, it is always best not to steal anything from Walmart or anywhere.
Some of the frequently asked questions are:
Does Walmart Track Stealing?
Yes, Walmart tracks stealing through surveillance cameras, scanners, and loss prevention associates.
How Strict Is Walmart On Theft?
Walmart is strict on theft, especially to adults. Thus, it is best not to steal from Walmart stores.
Does Walmart Watch Their Cameras?
Yes, experts are available to watch the surveillance cameras in all Walmart stores.
Stealing in Walmart is a punishable act that comes with dire consequences. And Walmart also has various systems available to help them catch people stealing.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.