The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Community News Network

November 20, 2013

Why are shoplifters flocking to this one Wal-Mart?

The Denver Post had an interesting story this week about a Denver-area Wal-Mart that appears to be the city's the most shoplifter-friendly store. Sadie Gurman's entertaining lede gives the reader a sense of how bad things have gotten:

In one week alone at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Stapleton, two men walked off with a paintball gun, another tried to steal a futon and a pair of pillows, and a fourth told a Denver police officer he had no receipt for the 97 items in his shopping cart because "Aw . . . Um. . . . Because I didn't pay for any of this."

That last guy gets credit for honesty, though I wish he would have tried harder to come up with an excuse — something like "I won them in a raffle." Anyway, the Wal-Mart in question reported 283 shoplifting incidents over the past year, 179 more than the second-most-shoplifted-from merchant, a downtown Rite-Aid. Denver police even parked unmanned squad cars in the Wal-Mart lot, in hopes of deterring thieves. The tactic failed miserably: "At the end of the day we pick up the car, and it's been spit on and kicked, and you can only cry wolf so often," a morose-sounding cop told Gurman.

How did this particular Wal-Mart become a shoplifter's delight? It's not necessarily because the store is in a crime-ridden neighborhood — the Post reports that the Home Depot down the street has reported one-tenth as many shoplifting incidents over the same time period. The Post notes Wal-Mart's "recent abandonment of zero-tolerance shoplifting policies, and the removal of door greeters who would look out for thieves" as possible reasons why theft is on the rise. But Wal-Mart abandoned its zero-tolerance shoplifting policies back in 2006, which hardly counts as recent — and, anyway, these broad corporate policy changes wouldn't explain why crime is spiking at this one particular store.

Text Only
Community News Network
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

What are your plans for the weekend?

Enjoying the outdoors
Staying in out of the heat
Traveling
Other
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.