With the ever-crumbling economy and more and more self-checkouts popping up, it honestly is no wonder why more and more people find themselves wondering, how does Walmart track shoplifting?
Maybe you are interested in getting a job at Wal-Mart, perhaps you have been wrongfully accused of stealing something, or maybe you feel as if you are being unfairly judged by employees when shopping.
Whatever the situation is, everyone has rights, and these rights should never be violated. To get started, you must break down the company’s core policies to begin to understand when products are shoplifted from Walmart.
How Does Walmart Track Shoplifting in 2023?
With any retail store, loss prevention is always important. This is one area where online retailers have an advantage, although there is still the potential for major losses. That being said, with retailers as large as Walmart, loss prevention and shoplifting can become major issues.
In fact, shoplifting is becoming so rampant that the company is nearly losing $3 billion yearly due to lost or misplaced inventory.
Even for a retailer as large and profitable as Walmart, $3 billion is a tremendous yearly loss. Therefore, the company has instituted its very own loss prevention teams, policies, and procedures.
To understand better understand shoplifting from Walmart, and what happens when you get caught shoplifting at Walmart, you need to understand the company’s loss prevention policies.
Many consumers don’t know it, but Walmart has an entire team solely dedicated to loss prevention. This select group of employees is known as the Loss Prevention Department.
This doesn’t necessarily include the employees at the front of the store or the ones monitoring customers at the self-checkouts, although part of their job role is to watch out for shoplifting.
Walmart’s current policy is to appoint loss prevention personnel in its stores. These individuals could be former police officers or security guards and are usually specially trained to monitor and watch out for shoplifting.
Sometimes, depending on the store’s specific policies, these individuals can include store managers, assistant managers, and other specially trained and qualified individuals.
These individuals are the only ones officially appointed by the store to watch, follow, and apprehend possible shoplifters.
Although Walmart does specifically appoint personnel to monitor and watch for shoplifters, any employee can report a shoplifting crime.
Regular associated and attendants within Walmart are not recommended or encouraged by management to stop and search customers. They are only recommended to inform someone with the proper authority to act.
Some key policies of Walmart’s Shoplifting Prevention teams are:
They should never act until they can prove a shopper has shoplifted.
The Loss Prevention teams, or employees cannot legally do anything until the suspected shoplifter has left the store with the goods.
Any Walmart employee, even the Loss Prevention employees, should always have another employee with them when confronting shoplifters. The theory behind this is that the assisting employee can act as a witness.
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Walmart employees are not a bit shy about getting the local police involved in disputes. You can probably recall a time when you’ve seen a cop while visiting the store. In fact, the police are encouraged to patrol Walmart and nearby areas.
That said, when Walmart employees suspect, a theft might lead to a misdemeanor or felony they are quick to get the local authorities involved.
Walmart can and will even send the police to your home. Just because you think you’ve got away with theft, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have.
As was previously stated, you cannot be officially charged as a shoplifter unless you leave the store with the products.
This means if Walmart employees suspect you are shoplifting, they must let you get outside with the goods in hand. This is the only way they can prosecute you.
So, more than likely, you will either be stopped in the parking lot, or the cops might show up at your residence.
Many people don’t know it, but Walmart has the right to restrict customers from shopping in its stores. While this is not a practice, they commonly use or bring to the attention of the public, they retain the legal right. You’re probably more than familiar with the no shirts, no shoes, no entrance signs. Well,
Walmart can do virtually the same thing by issuing a customer what’s called a Notification of Restriction from Property. This is usually a written statement that prevents customers from stepping on Walmart property.
When you are issued one of these statements it gives the store the legal right to bring charges against you for violating the policy.
When Walmart issues one of the statements, they usually notify the local authorities. They’ll report why they issued the statement along with the shopper’s information. Doing so gets everything on record and gives Walmart much more to worry about when it comes to repeat offenses.
Walmart will need a good reason to issue one of these policies against shoppers. You will likely need to be caught and convicted of some kind of previous unlawful offense before Walmart can issue these violations to you.
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How Shoplifting Charges Work
No one wants to ever experience being detained by Walmart security under suspicion of shoplifting. Unfortunately, that will be the first step if you are suspected of shoplifting.
That said, this will likely take place in the parking lot unless you are caught by the electronic scanner at the door. One cannot be legally prosecuted for shoplifting until they’ve successfully got outside with the stolen goods.
Oftentimes, security will try to pressure you into signing a statement admitting your guilt. They’ll likely threaten to call the police if you refuse to sign. Whether you are innocent or guilty, you have rights.
When you are approached in such situations, you need to understand that the approaching individuals are operating with little authority. There honestly isn’t much they can do other than verbally accuse you of shoplifting.
They do not possess the right or authority to keep you confined in a small space or room without allowing you to leave. They do, however, retain the right to prevent you from leaving the premises and maintaining surveillance while you are on the grounds. Yes, they can prevent you from leaving the property while the cops arrive.
In order for them to legally do any of this though, they must be able to prove that you have committed an offense. If they are just going on suspicion things get even murkier.
FAQs on Shoplifting From Walmart
Does Walmart Keep Track Of Shoplifters?
Yes, Walmart does keep track of the goods that it loses to shoplifters each year. And you’d be totally shocked at the amount of money the company loses to shoplifting. It has recently been reported by company officials that Walmart loses nearly $3 billion each year due to shoplifting.
How Does Walmart Know If You Steal?
With a retail company as large and profitable as Walmart, it is not hard to understand that the company has shoplifting policies in place. Shoplifting has become so rampant within the company that they employ a variety of methods to monitor and track shoplifting.
If you plan on stealing something from Walmart, it’s honestly a game of chance. You can remove the security tags and almost guarantee that the alarms won’t register when you exit the store, but there is no guarantee that an employee won’t spot you in the store.
Does Walmart Track Theft?
Walmart is constantly losing major profits to shoplifters. They are losing so much money that they’ve begun tracking their losses and coming up with new ways to prevent future losses. The company currently employs a variety of unique methods to track and monitor shoplifters.
From security camera monitoring to employee monitoring, Walmart uses a variety of counter shoplifting techniques to limit its potential yearly losses.
Does Walmart Build Cases Against Shoplifters?
Shoplifting is a crime and any theft over $300 can be considered a felony. Walmart loses so much money yearly due to shoplifting, you best guarantee they are going to prosecute individuals caught in the act.
Although thefts above only $300 are considered a felony, Walmart can and will prosecute you for unlawfully taking a pack of gum. Walmart usually tries to build cases against anyone caught stealing $25 or more.
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I am Alexi Brains, and I am the head writer, editor, and co-founder of FoodItems.org