• Walmart's crime problem keeps police busy

    By: Erica Bryant

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new Bloomberg Businessweek report said crime at Walmart is draining law enforcement resources across the country.

    Anchor Erica Bryant reached out to Charlotte police and found out calls for service at the retail giant in Mecklenburg County consumes hours every day and law enforcement wants to end this trend.

    The 11 Walmart stores in Mecklenburg County had more than 1,500 calls for service since January, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department statistics.

    That came out to an average of 196 officer hours per month or 6 1/2 hours a day.

    Channel 9 covered a homicide in the parking lot at the South Tryon location last week.

    “There is a volume that we're concerned with, but we're always working with Walmart to get that at a minimum,” Capt. Chris Dozier said.

    Dozier said most calls are for larceny and shoplifting, and the 24-hour store in his division partners with officers to manage the load and to testify when cases go to court.

    "They do a lot as far as technology, store practices and in-house with loss prevention to keep us from having to come out there to respond to calls for service,” Dozier said.

    Since Jan. 1, there has been a total service time of 1,567 hrs spent at a total of 11 different WalMarts, CMPD said. On average (county-wide), our officers are spending 196 hrs per month at WalMarts.

    Walmart statement: “In the coming weeks and months, we will continue our increased outreach to law enforcement across the country, as part of our ongoing commitment to meet our customers’ and associates’ expectations of a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. The importance of this issue is recognized at the highest levels of the company and we are investing in people and technology to support our stores.”

    Some examples of current programs:

    • More at the Door Program to bolster door presence and check receipts if appropriate
    • Customer hosts dedicated to self-check-out areas
    • Restorative Justice program which reduces police calls to stores
    • Increased technologies used at point of sale and on sales floor to prevent crimes
    • Overall emphasis on improving store experience includes more associates on the sales floor

    There are also eight Target stores in the county.

    Since Jan. 1, CMPD officers have spent a total of 708 hours at Target stores in Mecklenburg County. On average, our officers are spending 89 hours per month at Target stores. 

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