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2014-03-23
Los Angeles, CA. Wal-Mart "Drops Ball" In Assault Against Elderly Shopper

After a flurry of national media stories, Wal-Mart has issued a public apology to a 68 year old shopper who was the victim of an attempted theft while shopping March 13th in a Wal-Mart on Highland Avenue, Los Angeles.

The attempted robbery was caught on the store's videotape. The assault was not unusual for Wal-Mart---but it was the store's response that made the incident a bit of national news.

The elder, Linda Andrade, of San Bernardino, said a man approached from behind her and pulled off her gold chain. "All of a sudden I was jerked back," she told KCAL CBS News. "I couldn't figure out what was going on." The necklace fell to the ground, where the assailant left it, running out of the store. "I never dreamt anyone would come up behind me like that and try to pull my necklace off," Andrade told CBS News.

CBS News says that the failed theft was just the first victimization that Andrade felt that day. The second was how Wal-Mart management treated the incident after it happened.

Andrade said she screamed out for assistance, but no one at Wal-Mart responded. The retailer told her not to contact the police. "She says, well, if you want me to call the police you'll have to wait here for two to three hours," Andrade says Wal-Mart told her.

So Andrade went home, called the San Bernadino police, who later told CBS that, in their opinion, Wal-Mart had "dropped the ball" by not reporting the incident to police.

Wal-Mart apparently agreed, releasing a statement after the fact offering its apologies to the shopper, and admitting it could have done a better job:

"We are committed to providing our customers with a safe shopping environment. While we can't always prevent crime from happening, we can definitely do a better job of how we respond in a situation like this. We have reached out to Ms. Andrade to apologize for how this was handled. We have also reiterated our policies and procedures to those involved. We will work with local law enforcement to provide any information we have such as surveillance video to help identify the suspect responsible."

Memo to local activists: these kinds of crimes do not happen at Nordstrom's. Wal-Mart not only attracts shoppers--it attracts criminals as well. A simple Google search by "Wal-Mart crime" will demonstrate that criminal incidents are an everyday occurrence at Wal-Mart. Criminals, after all, want to 'live better' too. If a proposed Wal-Mart is coming to your town, contact your city or town clerk and ask for a copy of the police and fire "incident reports" from Wal-Mart's address in surrounding communities that already have a Wal-Mart. You may be charged a small fee for these public documents. But what you will find is that Wal-Mart often has the highest number of police and fire reports (false alarms) in your community. Your local police or fire department should be able to calculate the cost per incident of responding to these reports. Most police reports involve two officers, and even a routine fender-bender can take more than a hour to handle. Many of the incidents are more serious, involving assault and battery, car theft, even murder, etc. The police and court costs to a local community should be measured against any potential property or sales tax revenue projected by Wal-Mart.

What you can do: Memo to local activists: these kinds of crimes rarely happen at Nordstrom's. Wal-Mart is a magnet for crime. Wal-Mart not only attracts shoppers--it attracts criminals as well.

A simple Google search by "Wal-Mart crime" will demonstrate that criminal incidents are an everyday occurrence at Wal-Mart. Criminals, after all, want to 'live better' too.

If a proposed Wal-Mart is coming to your town, contact the city or town clerk in surrounding communities and ask for a copy of the police and fire "incident reports" from Wal-Mart's street address. You may be charged a small fee for these public documents. But what you will find is that Wal-Mart often has the highest number of police and fire reports (false alarms) in your community.

Your local police or fire department should be able to calculate the cost per incident of responding to these reports. Most police reports involve two officers, and even a routine fender-bender can take more than a hour to handle. Many of the incidents are more serious, involving assault and battery, car theft, kidnapping and murder.

The police and court costs to a local community should be measured against any potential property or sales tax revenue projected by Wal-Mart.










 
 
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