Thursday, July 13, 2006

Shocker: Police chief green lights Walmart shoplifting

Exactly how ignoring crimes will "help" a community escapes me at the moment. Maybe I need to drink a few more beers before I see the light. Better yet, maybe I need to go shoplift $24.99 worth of something from Walmart -- after all, they're essentially saying you get one free pass.

New York Times
But now, in a rare display of limited permissiveness, Wal-Mart is letting thieves off the hook — at least in cases involving $25 or less.

According to internal documents, the company, the nation’s largest retailer and leading destination for shoplifting, will no longer prosecute first-time thieves unless they are between 18 and 65 and steal merchandise worth at least $25, putting the chain in line with the policies of many other retailers...

“I had one guy tied up at Wal-Mart every day,” said Don Zofchak, chief of police in South Strabane Township, Pa., which has 9,000 residents and 16 officers. He said the higher threshold for prosecution “would help every community to deal with this.

3 comments:

MikeT said...

Damn. I missed my golden opportunity to get some free loot. If only I'd known about this five years ago! I guess I'll just have to wait another 42 years.

Francis W. Porretto said...

I would guess that the real motivation is money. It costs Wal-Mart something to prosecute a shoplifter, and perhaps they've decided to probe the boundary at which their costs from prosecution are balanced by their losses from pilferage.

It might not be right in any standard sense, but it would make more sense in that light.

MikeT said...

Speaking of losing money, I like to use my credit card for even the smallest purchases when I'm left with no choice but to shop there. It reduces their average CC purchase cost which increases the amount that they have to pay to their processor.