Bad - Wal Mart magnet for criminals

Bad - Wal Mart magnet for criminals

This is a discussion on Bad - Wal Mart magnet for criminals within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Here is the link to the article. Are “Big Box” retailers knowingly putting employees and customers at risk for violent crime? J. R. Roberts, ...

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Thread: Bad - Wal Mart magnet for criminals

  1. #1
    Member Array treksouth's Avatar
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    Bad - Wal Mart magnet for criminals

    Here is the link to the article.

    Are “Big Box” retailers knowingly putting employees and customers at risk for
    violent crime?
    J. R. Roberts, Security Strategies
    Death row at a federal penitentiary is an appropriately grim place under any circumstances. It
    seemed particularly so on a cold February morning as I trudged through the snow on my way to keep
    an appointment with a killer.
    I am always struck by the absence of color at prisons. The real world washed away to reveal a muted
    institutional neutral. In fact, the only bright and cheery object was the row upon row of towering
    razor wire. Even on this overcast morning, its giant teeth glittered.
    I had reviewed the file of course, spending hours going through the details concerning the abduction
    of the wife and mother from the Wal-Mart parking lot in broad daylight and of her subsequent rape
    and murder. I had read the investigative files, the court transcripts. I had been struck by the arrest
    photo of the killer. He sneered into the camera, defiant and empty. A portrait of malevolence.
    How terrible, I thought, that the last images an innocent woman would have on this earth would be
    of this monster.
    It was perhaps a mercy of sorts that the body had never been recovered. While it denied a sense of
    closure, I have seen far too often the terrible pain and deep scars left on families and loved ones
    exposed to autopsy photos and endless clinical details of a wrongful death.
    I didn’t recognize him at first. He sat in a wheelchair (from a self inflicted wound carefully designed
    not to cause too much damage) his blond hair once cropped in a military brush cut had grown out
    and was styled in a grotesque page boy style. His watery blue eyes glowed with self pity.
    The appeals filed on his behalf were typical. He had a bad childhood, he came from difficult
    circumstances, he abused alcohol and drugs, and he wasn’t responsible. A young legal intern that
    had worked on one of the obligatory appeals wrote of the convicted killer:
    “He sickened me. I mean, here I was trying to keep this guy from being executed, and I found
    him disgusting. He was a drama queen and a manipulator who thought he was smarter than
    everyone. He wasn’t.”
    I wasn’t surprised when the first thing out of his mouth in my interview with him was an offer to
    “lead us to the body.” The terrain where he confessed to leaving the corpse of the woman he killed
    had been searched and re-searched by teams of trained professionals. Corpse sniffing dogs and crews
    on the ground, helicopters from the air, and dive teams in the surrounding water.
    The search lasted months.
    Almost three years had passed since an innocent woman was senselessly murdered and the creature
    who was responsible sat in front of me thinking he would get a field trip.
    I explained I wasn’t there for that.
    I wasn’t a lawyer, a cop, a psychologist, or a reporter.
    I didn’t care about his life story, his angst, or his “new found Christianity”.
    I wanted something more specific.
    I wanted to know why this predator chose Wal-Mart as his hunting ground.
    I was soon to discover that it wasn’t by chance or accident, but by design.
    He spoke at length, softly and mostly avoiding my eyes.
    Over a short period of time he had become a prolific “opportunistic offender” i.e. like most criminals
    he sought targets that offered a quick and easy take with little risk to him.
    “I’d been breaking into cars and stuff since I was about twelve. You just go there (Wal-Mart)
    and if you park, you can just watch people pull up. Like some people, they will put stuff in the
    trunk. And if you sit there and watch the people, you know which ones put stuff in their trunk or
    got stuff in their cars.”
    Over a period of a decade, he had frequented Wal-Mart parking lots, stealing purses and packages,
    developing cons and scams to get cash for “returns” on stolen items, negotiating bad checks and
    more. His luck ran out in a Wal-Mart parking lot one afternoon when his wife, tired of being
    physically and emotionally battered and terrified at the rant he was on in their car, called the police
    from inside the store and reported him. The police arrested him and found a gun he had been
    brandishing together with stolen items and forged checks.
    In jail, it didn’t take long for him to find a like minded creep. A fellow thief who was easily
    manipulated and willingly led. He got word that the police intended to file additional charges against
    him, and two days later, together with his newfound partner, the two of them escaped custody. In the
    four week, multi-state crime spree that followed, there was a constant thread in all of their activities:
    Not only did they find a safe haven and targets of opportunity in perpetrating crime at Wal-Mart
    stores across the country, Wal-Mart even served as a safe refuge for them to spend the night,
    sleeping undisturbed in their car in the store parking lot.
    “Like if I was driving and I was falling asleep, we would pull over. It was sort of like I knew
    that was a place that we could make money breaking into cars.”
    “In fact, you slept the night and the next morning broke into a truck parked right next to you?”
    “So, Wal-Mart is a 24 hour opportunity?”
    “Yeah. We didn’t want to go nowhere where there was security.”
    Over a period of days and weeks, fueled by alcohol and methamphetamine, and emboldened with
    their successes, the two predators collided with their victim on a bright afternoon in the parking lot
    of a Wal-Mart. Concerned that their car was known to the FBI and police searching for them since
    their escape, they sought to steal a fast and reliable car. It would not have surprised them to learn
    that 17 cars had been stolen out of this lot in previous months. It wouldn’t have concerned them that
    the violent abduction of the victim was caught on grainy surveillance footage.
    Just as there was no form of security present or patrolling the lot at these stores, neither was anyone
    ever assigned to watch the cameras or review the footage. By the time anyone was able to determine
    that a wife and mother had been seized in broad daylight and driven to her death, days had passed.
    After raping and murdering the woman, they continued an erratic cross-country run.
    Several days later a 15-year-old girl was confronted by a man holding a gun as she entered her car.
    What he hadn’t counted on was the girl’s mother, a few feet behind him. His target interrupted, the
    assailant fled on foot while the quick thinking mother was able to call police who gave chase and
    ultimately apprehend one of the two fugitives.
    And where did this take place? A Wal-Mart parking lot.
    For me, this sad story was in the words of the immortal Yogi Berra, “Déjà vu all over again.” Just
    the year before I had been consulted on another case involving the abduction and brutal rape of a
    young college girl from the parking lot of a Wal-Mart. Again, no security was present and no one
    patrolled the parking lot. The young woman displayed enormous courage in fighting back against
    her attacker, screaming and struggling as she was seized from the Wal-Mart. She survived the attack
    managing to flee bleeding and naked to a nearby home. Her assailant is still at large. The Wal-Mart
    parking lot where the attack took place had been the scene of two violent homicides only a short
    time before.
    So is the fact that Wal-Mart parking lots offer a disproportionate opportunity for criminals come as a
    surprise to Wal-Mart?
    “Three years ago management conducted a survey that looked at crime statistics for a one
    year period on Wal-Mart properties. The survey showed that 80% of crimes at Wal-Mart were
    occurring in the parking lot.
    To combat this outdoor crime a team of loss prevention members tested a new parking lot
    security program in 1994 at several Florida stores. The results have been outstanding. During
    the four months of operating the patrol vehicles at that store (in Tampa Florida which
    experienced 226 stolen cars from the parking lot previously) the reported incidents dropped to
    zero. The patrol program costs Wal-Mart $45,000.00 dollars per year per store”
    Loss Prevention Racks Up Success by Dave Gorman, then vice-president of loss prevention
    Wal-Mart Bentonville, Arkansas
    Yet the overwhelming majority of these facilities open 24 hours a day, accommodating up to 2,000
    parking spaces on an average, who’s shopping demographic are a majority of female customers still
    do not provide security to their patrons where they know they are vulnerable.
    “A quick review of reported cases reveals that Wal-Mart parking lots are a virtual magnet for
    -Justice Starcher, West Virginia Supreme Court Doe v. Wal-Mart, Inc. 210 W. Va. 664, 558 S.E.
    2d 663 (2001)
    After 30 years in the security industry, dealing with the aftermath of over a hundred and fifty
    homicides and other brutal crimes, I am often asked if I have difficulty sleeping, if the horrors and
    vivid details of these heinous and brutal crimes haunt my dreams. Of course they do.
    I wouldn’t give a damn for someone who could become numb to this senseless carnage. Indifferent
    to the lives torn apart by vicious crimes, many of which might have been prevented. My question is
    how does someone sleep who makes a conscious decision to put innocent lives at stake day in and
    day out?
    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
    -Edmund Burke 18th century Irish Statesman
    The corporate masters at Wal-Mart have made a decision when it comes to the basic and reasonable
    safety and security of their employees and patrons. The decision is to do nothing. Their choice of
    putting profit over life is, in the words of Hannah Arendt, the very banality of evil.
    additional link: Wal-Mart Crime Report - Is your local Wal-Mart Safe?

    This is pretty bad stuff, and why I carry at walmart.

  2. #2
    Member Array HeadHunter's Avatar
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    Whenever I go to a shopping center, I park with my driver side door next to a cart corral with the front of my car pointed out.

    My theory is that:
    * more activity around cart corrals than any other single point in the parking lots,
    * harder to set up an ambush at a cart corral,
    * backing out is more accident prone than pulling out,
    * makes it easier for me to find the car.

  3. #3
    Member Array chickdiver's Avatar
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    Yet another reason not to shop at Wal Mart.
    A girl can never have too much jewelry or too much weaponry.

    - Princess Meredith NicEssus

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  5. #4
    Lead Moderator
    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Sounds like Walmart is being bashed ( not that they don't deserve it), truth is any busy area BG's are likely to seek for a target rich environment.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

    Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeadHunter View Post

    Whenever I go to a shopping center, I park with my driver side door next to a cart corral with the front of my car pointed out.

    My theory is that:
    * more activity around cart corrals than any other single point in the parking lots,
    * harder to set up an ambush at a cart corral,
    * backing out is more accident prone than pulling out,
    * makes it easier for me to find the car.
    I just wanna find my truck when my wife is ready to leave......
    Very rare is there a day I'm unarmed and I can't remember a trip to Wal-Mart not armed.

    Here locally it's also the mall and movies as well as Wal-Mart that are targeted.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array MilitaryPower's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Another reason to walk to your car with your hand in your pocket, gripping your gun.
    Gun control can be blamed in part for allowing 9/11 to happen.
    "Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum" (Latin)- "If you want peace, prepare for war".

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    Any place where large numbers of people gather and bring their money and cars will always be a favorite hunting spot for criminals. That during the workday, a large percentage of these victims in waiting are women and the elderly just sweetens the deal for the BGs.

    Your local police already know that bad things happen in these parking lots. Are they doing enough to prevent this?

    WalMart could add their own parking lot security, but it would not cost just $45,000/year. 3 shifts/day, 364 days a year of properly trained and equiped security and the additional liability insurance required would cost a major bundle. That cost would mean higher prices. The huge number of potential victims are at WalMart because they can't or prefer not to spend more for the stuff they need. Heck, just raising the prices would reduce the crime in the parking lots - many of us would start shopping someplace else, and the BGs would just change their place of business.

    WalMart, unlike many malls and other stores, has no company policy preventing concealed carry. Maybe the ghost of old Sam is trying to tell us to grow up and take some responsibility for our own safety.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    After something like this you think Walmart would have a large sign saying " CCWers Welcome" What would the crime stats look like then?

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    You mean there really is a benefit to hiring an unarmed security service after all? Maybe they're not all "mall ninjas" and "cop wannabies".......

    .....ya know?

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    When I'm at Wal Mart-----------I am security. Beware of the cart cowboys--they get alot of time looking into vehicles in the parking lot.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array rdoggsilva's Avatar
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    That is why I have a CFP, it is my responsibility to protect myself and family. Watch people coming out from stores, not only Wal Mart. They are not noticing what is going on around them. When going into and mainly out of stores I watch what is going on, most of us that carry do. When if not armed people should not be so complacent.
    John Steinbeck: Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Natureboypkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickdiver View Post
    Yet another reason not to shop at Wal Mart.
    I hate Walmart as well. The only time I go there is if I have no other choice.
    Mixed Martial Arts Record= 2-0.......Kyokushin Karate Record=5-0

    USMC.....helping enemies of America die for their countries since 1775

  14. #13
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    The thing that bothers me about the article is that the author condemns WalMart for not "protecting" its patrons.


    What ever happened to people taking responsibility for themselves and their own lives?

    That doesn't mean there should be indifference, but WalMart (or any other store, for that matter) shouldn't be guilt-tripped into spending millions on security just because the people of this country want to be coddled and babied and protected like a bunch of infants.

    It's unfortunate what has been happening all over this country. The crimes, the abductions, the murders, the thefts and rapes and the criminals are getting nothing but more and more bold in their crimes. In days past you would have assumed you were safe in a place like WalMart because you were in such a public place. Now, you are less safe because public places provide lots of faces to hide in and criminals know that no one will lift a finger.... more importantly, their VICTIM will likely not even lift a finger.

    This shouldn't be a wake up call for WalMart it should be a wake up call for America to get off their butts and start defending themselves and stop waiting for someone else to do it for them.

    No one.. absolutely NO ONE is going to care more about your safety and be more ready to protect you than YOU YOURSELF!

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Only "Rich"people shop at Walmart,you can shop at the safer goodwill stores like me and that way everybody knows you're broke.LOL,Actually I usually shop at Walmart and in Texas they have Security which is some unarmed guy driving around watching the parking lot but crimes still happen,I am armed with my head on a 360 swivel when leaving and I'm not obvious about it just subtle side movements and lots of peripheral so you can see anybody around you and you can tell who a goblin might be
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Sounds like Walmart is being bashed ( not that they don't deserve it), truth is any busy area BG's are likely to seek for a target rich environment.
    Yup. Wal-Mart is one of the busiest targets, to be sure. Though, frankly, if I were a criminal type to believe that taking down scores one shopper at a time were worthwhile, then I'd think hanging outside of Sak's would pay a bit better. But, what do I know.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: Why the Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).

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