WTVM 8/1/14 Editorial: Wal-Mart’s slow reaction to shoplifters

WTVM 8/1/14 Editorial: Wal-Mart’s slow reaction to shoplifters

(WTVM) - The recent brazen shoplifting of multiple big screen TVs at a Phenix City and a Columbus Wal-Mart certainly got the attention of several customers, but store employees didn't appear to break a sweat to stop the criminals. It's a curious situation.

This surveillance video we showed on News Leader 9 is amazing: two thieves wheeling carts of televisions right out the front door of the Phoenix City Wal-Mart, while the security sensors alerted the entire store.

Customers told employees what was happening, but the apparent lack of urgency on the part of employees to get involved, even to call police right away, seems baffling.

Sure, it may be scary to confront the shoplifters, and sometimes retailers have a policy to let store security apprehend shoplifters outside.

Maybe the company thinks the surveillance video is a slam dunk for the police to use later to solve the crime. Unfortunately, that's just not true. Surveillance video is certainly helpful, but after the shoplifters speed away, their chances of getting caught decrease dramatically.

Shoplifting thefts cost US businesses upwards of $20 billion a year and those costs eventually get passed to all of us.

Money magazine says the average family pays $500 a year in extra costs associated with shoplifting.

So, even if stores decide it costs too much to prosecute smaller dollar thefts, they shouldn't be slow to act on the rip-off of big ticket items that mean big losses and higher prices for their honest and loyal customers.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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Columbus, GA 31906

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