Thefts at Walmart: When the truth comes out

Shoplifting is a common problem that causes businesses to lose a lot of money. In recent years, thousands of thefts’ cases have been recorded in the Walmart retail chain, which led to multi-billion losses.

This situation forces the management to review the security system. Although that the material losses in the total mass are insignificant (about 1% -2%) of all the company's revenues, this trend is not good, and in the future may lead to a deterioration in this context.

«Big brother is watching you»?

Most retail outlets are provided with security system not worse than covering enterprises: metal detectors, many surveillance cameras and employees of security companies who made it through specialized training.

The analysis of the received videos is also surprising: the processing and checking for suspicious activity was entrusted not to a person, but to artificial intelligence. It allows people to calculate the products that a person didn’t ring up at the checkout and tried to take out of the store (by the way, this may occur unintentionally because of the forgetfulness of the buyer).

Computer technologies

Self-service counters which appeared not so long, not only simplify shopping but also lead to customers’ misuse. The fact is that in the absence of a cashier, it’s easier to commit an illegal action. But security officers have thought through such actions, and they currently use innovative technologies developed by the Irish IT organization Everseen.

The program's features are not limited to high-precision image processing with recognition of the smallest details. Visual Al platform allows the staff not only to monitor purchases but also to identify illegal actions by the store employees as stealing and thefts during the inventory accuracy process. It’s possible to trace the path of the goods from a warehouse to the buyer's kitchen table and the history of its transfer from hand to hand.

Cameras with similar programs are near the cash registers for convenience. Whatever it was, the cameras record only unpaid goods in the carts: customers’ faces don’t get into the database. 

The system makes an alarm, and the security officer finds out about the theft. This is convenient since it’s difficult to keep track of thousands of customers at the same time. The security system provides several critical notifications for store staff communication, which are based on codes for the highest awareness rate.

There are color symbols and digital ones. Code 300 (Department 51) refers to incidents that security personnel is responsible for. Usually such a message means stealing from Walmart.

Caught shoplifting? Course of action by the security service

If you get caught stealing at Walmart, then you're in trouble. A store security typically takes decisive actions that can lead to problems with the law and all the circumstances that follow from this. For shoplifting, the court may impose an arrest of a year or more in prison, but it all depends on the circumstances.

If the theft was committed by a minor (under 16 years old), then there is a chance. Most often, Walmart security service doesn’t tolerate indulgences to offenders, unlike other outlets, where warnings can be put forward.

Stealing from Walmart: The Consequences

Many people are interested in the question of how to defend their rights, especially if the theft occurred by accident or due mental disorder (kleptomania). CCTV cameras show all the actions of the customer, but the store has the right not to provide any data to a potential offender. Therefore, to analyze the situation, employees call the police, to whom they transmit all the materials.

And to get a permission to access the information provided, the defendant needs an official representative (a lawyer). And even in this case, there is no guarantee that the solution will be satisfactory. It’s also advisable to familiarize yourself with the terms of video recordings content: this will help in the investigation process.

In which case does Walmart call the police?

In order for Walmart employees to call law enforcement agencies, a matter must comply with a certain term: an alarm system. It’s triggered when leaving the store through metal detectors. After that, the security service scans the cameras and makes an appropriate decision.

If you are sure that you didn’t commit theft, ask for calling the police and keep calmness (external and internal). The police should interview not only the buyer but also the store staff. You shouldn’t sign documents if you are not sure of their correctness or don’t have complete information, even if the visitor is rushed. In such cases, it’s better to seek the help of a lawyer.

Interestingly, Walmart can call the police even outside the store, on its territory. If a person rummages in a trash can or tries to steal food in the loading dock, there can also be unpleasant consequences.


If stealing from Walmart occurred for the first time and the buyer was under 16 years old, then most likely the employees will contact the parents (sometimes call the police) of the teenager and ask the visitor to return the goods. But if the buyer is over 16 years old, then there is a risk that an unpleasant incident may remain in the biography, and this negatively affects the future life. The lenient punishment is a ban on service at the company's stores, the worst is imprisonment (usually for regular offenses). In other cases, you can get off with a suspended sentence or penalties.

If the stealing is committed over three times, then it is incriminated not a delinquency, but as a criminal act.

Long-term penalty

Some people are wondering if it’s possible to avoid punishment in case a stealing wasn’t noticed immediately. Short answer: Yes. For two years, the freedom of the shoplifter is under threat, but the standard term for bringing charges is 2 months.


Not to become a victim of circumstances, it’s important to know the order of service in Walmart supermarkets, the rules of paying for goods and screening checks at the exit of the salesroom. If the buyer is not guilty, he shouldn’t run away: it’s better to remain calm and hire a lawyer, and sign nothing, say nothing, or take other actions in the absence of a defender. The buyer may require a state lawyer.

Shoplifters will have to be upset: the security system is being improved, and thefts are becoming harder to commit.

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