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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:10 PM

Walmart pressing felony charges against employee who ate ‘multiple’ Oreo cookies

More folders for our "Neo-Dickensonian Evil files"

Walmart is moving forward with felony charges against an employee of an Indiana store who admitted to eating “multiple” Oreo cookies because she said that she couldn’t afford to pay for them with her salary.

A Portage Police Department report obtained by The Smoking Gun on Thursday said that Penny Winters had been arrested after a Walmart investigation determined she was guilty of theft.

According to the report, Walmart Asset Protection Manager Kenneth Moreno told police that the company had reviewed surveillance video after an open bag of Oreo cookies was found in the store.

...

Winters’ son explained to WBBM that his mother could not afford to pay for the items because she only made a wage of $11.40 an hour after working for Walmart for eight years.

Winters is charged with one count of felony theft and could be sentenced to jail if found guilty.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/21/walmart-pressing-felony-charges-against-employee-who-ate-multiple-oreo-cookies/

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Reply Walmart pressing felony charges against employee who ate ‘multiple’ Oreo cookies (Original post)
phantom power Feb 2013 OP
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #1
Eleanors38 Feb 2013 #20
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #22
Tsiyu Feb 2013 #28
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #32
Tsiyu Feb 2013 #34
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #41
Ed Suspicious Feb 2013 #86
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #100
antigone382 Feb 2013 #138
Tsiyu Feb 2013 #167
antigone382 Feb 2013 #171
Tsiyu Feb 2013 #177
dlwickham Feb 2013 #201
treestar Feb 2013 #220
R. Daneel Olivaw Feb 2013 #105
Fantastic Anarchist Feb 2013 #35
Jersey Devil Feb 2013 #40
Arcanetrance Feb 2013 #45
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Arcanetrance Feb 2013 #51
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Arcanetrance Feb 2013 #60
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treestar Feb 2013 #221
leftynyc Feb 2013 #70
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leftynyc Feb 2013 #113
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Tsiyu Feb 2013 #174
nebenaube Feb 2013 #213
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #152
840high Feb 2013 #62
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Ed Suspicious Feb 2013 #92
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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:12 PM

1. Les Misérables...

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:37 PM

20. Sums it up. Yet another reason I don't shop there.

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:41 PM

22. Stealing cookies doesn't exactly make her Jean Valjean

Sure, felony theft is tremendous overkill, but what would you expect an employer to do if an employee is caught shoplifting? Send her a food basket?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:50 PM

28. considering WartMart ripped her off first

with the SUCK wages - in effect stealing her labor with substandard wages - and no one will go after THEM, they should let it go.

Cookie stealing is now a felony in the US, but destroying the economy as Wall Street Bankers did is perfectly AOK. Is this a great country or what?






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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:53 PM

32. horse poopoo

There is no justification for stealing.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:58 PM

34. Horse shit - we're grownups here, darling

Hunger and poverty are far better excuses than pure greed.

But PURE GREED gets a pass, I realize. God forbid a poor person step out of line. Only the rich fucking CEO who makes $16,000+ an hour gets excused for ripping off the workers by stealing wages from their meager existence.

America sucks, just like WartMall.




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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:14 PM

41. Oh sure, Oreos, the food of life

What if she stole lobster tails? Would your opinion change?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #41)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:56 PM

86. A few oreo cookies will sustain a person alot longer than a head of lettuce considering there is far

more glucose (food of life) contained in an oreo, and this is far more useful as fuel for our bodies than cellulose which would be the main ingredient in lettuce. I doesn't surprise me at all that a hungry person would go for the sweets. It's what we're built to do.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #86)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:13 PM

100. So if I am broke and hungry I can go to the bakery and suck the jelly out of all the jelly donuts

in your version of society?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #100)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:12 PM

138. If the bakery systematically destroyed your local economy...

...and then, as one of the only employers in town, paid you wages so low that *the company itself* encouraged you to apply for government benefits to survive, and let's not forget, denied you promotion opportunities *because you were a woman* (for which there is a mountain of evidence, that would have resulted in a massive lawsuit against Wal-Mart had the Supreme Court decided there were just too many--that's right, too many--plaintiffs for such a suit to go on)...then I think that from a moral standpoint you could eat all the jelly you wanted.

Theft of food is a classic weapon of the weak, in line with the theories of anthropologist and political scientist James C. Scott. Where theft of labor is legitimized and formalized in an economic system, as Wal-Mart's racket most certainly is, such individual acts of subversion are ethically legitimate.

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Response to antigone382 (Reply #138)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:59 PM

167. Have I told you lately that I love you?

Your post is a great answer.

So many people are so very worried about the very, very rich. The same ones damn the poor to hell.

Hunger is a crime; abject greed is a sacrament.









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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #167)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:09 PM

171. Thanks, though I think my explanation is better in post #142.

Did you get my PM way back a million years ago? I have been thinking of you but haven't had the logistical capacity to call.

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Response to antigone382 (Reply #171)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:18 PM

177. 'see post 87'



Excellent post 142.

Did read your PM...will PM back in a bit


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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #100)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:28 PM

201. LOL

no but you can get a spoon and a jar of Smuckers and go at it

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #100)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:48 AM

220. She works there

I worked in a candy store once. The owner had a very wise policy. You could eat anything you wanted. Spared them worrying about "theft" of chocolates. And when you knew you could eat it, you somehow didn't eat that much of it.

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Response to Tsiyu (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:21 PM

105. “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” Some smart dude in India said that.

+Bazillion.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:58 PM

35. None?

Then why are there no bankers in jail???

As to crimes, there are definitely nuances, such as the degree of the crime.

Steeling cookies?

Steeling trillions?

Do you see that one of the above is worse than the other? Sure, they're both crimes, but there are exigent circumstances with each.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #35)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:13 PM

40. The fact that others commit crimes and get away with them

is never justification for someone else to commit a crime. You sound like someone who would fight a speeding ticket with a defense that others speed so why not me

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:21 PM

45. When one doesn't get paid well enough to pay bills and eat one must do what they must to survive

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:23 PM

48. Sorry, but cookies are not dietary requirements for anyone

Again, Jean Valjean stole bread for his starving family. This person stole cookies. If you can't see the difference there is no sense discussing it with you.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:26 PM

51. Cookies are easy to steal compared to many other items of better nutritional value

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #51)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:31 PM

57. You're making a lot of assumptions with no facts to base them on

First of all, you assume she was starving even though she has a job. True, her wages were crappy, but does that mean she did not have enough money for food? For all we know she is a 240 pound person with a sweet tooth, or, perhaps she is 80 pounds and malnourished, but none of us here really know.

You are letting your dislike of Walmart's wage policies get in the way of common sense. People cannot be permitted to steal from their employers.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #57)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:36 PM

60. Corporations should not be allowed to steal from the country

That being said I'm not sure about cost of living in Indiana but I know in NYC and even in jersey where I'm guessing you are from 11 and change an hour isn't enough to support a person with even one kid and bills

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #60)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:41 PM

64. Are you justifying theft based on hourly wages?

If someone steals to feed their family (which is a big assumption for you to make without knowing the facts) then that fact certainly should be considered by a judge in sentencing the person, but it does not justify the commission of a theft. OK, they were a few Oreos, but based on the same logic suppose she needed tires for her car and worked at Firestone for the same wages? Should she be allowed to steal tires for her car?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #64)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:48 PM

73. Equating food and tires is a bit of a stretch don't you think

Personally I have no sympathy for any of the large corporate giants who've managed to destroy our country and economy without punishment. No I'm not in favor of theft but it bothers me the idea of something as lowly and unimportant as a bag of oreos is a felony when walmart and other corporations have committed financial crimes of such grander scales without punishment. So yes maybe I do let that interfere with logic

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #73)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:53 PM

80. Not really a stretch at all

unless you are going to say that a car is not a necessity for a family today.

Look, I certainly have sympathy for those who truly cannot afford to eat. But you cannot allow people to steal based on their economic status. If she turns out to really be so poor that her family cannot afford food then the prosecutor and/or judge can suspend any fine or penalty, but they cannot simply allow people to steal and get away with it completely.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #80)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:58 PM

90. But that's my problem we are letting certain groups of people steal without penalty.

I know it's the law that's dictating the penalty in this case. I think that's truly what's making me sick the law is very heavy handed and on the lowest classes while ignoring the rich. It's the reason I dropped out of law school and pursued my passion for food

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #80)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:51 AM

221. Theft of food by the poor

Is of course going to happen without a social safety net. Unless this woman is crazy, this is a symptom of a problem with that.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:44 PM

70. Do you seriously think

a felony charge is warranted over cookies?

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #70)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:49 PM

76. No, of course not, but I already said that

According to other posters here all thefts in Indiana start out with felony charges and the petty thefts are routinely reduced to misdemeanors later. Sounds like a very strange way to run a criminal justice system but if that is true then Walmart had nothing to do with it being a felony charge. It simply reported the theft to police. Walmart would not decide what the charge should be - that is the duty of the police and prosecutors.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #76)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:52 PM

79. And I think it's fucked they even called the police

Should have remained an internal matter. So glad I've never frequented that sewer.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #79)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:55 PM

85. No employer anywhere no matter how much they pay in wages would turn the other way

Shoplifting by employees is the biggest factor of loss of merchandise in the retail business. Doing nothing would be a signal to every other employee that it was OK to steal.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #85)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:27 PM

113. I never said to do nothing

She should have been fired...that's punishment enough for freeking cookies.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #113)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:31 PM

117. Criminal prosecution is almost universal for employers who catch employees stealing

It is the strongest message they can send to deter employees from stealing. I have seen it over and over again here in NJ from every retailer. Employees steal - they get charged criminally. Period. I'm sure it is no different in Indiana. Whether she stole from Walmart or or Costco or Nieman Marcus as an employee she would have been charged.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #117)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:13 PM

174. nearly every restaurant/food service place

I've worked - except the dining service run at the Episcopalians' private theocracy in Sewanee - let the workers take home excess food. Even that dining service allowed the workers to eat whatever they liked while working: "Don't muzzle the ox that threshes the grain" and all that.

Letting a staff member have a few cookies on the job should be allowed, considering most WartMall employees qualify for food stamps based on wages. Hungry people don't do the best work, but I guess there's always another sucker who will work for their shit wages. so they gotta be hardline assholes about a goddamned bag of fucking cookies.

We must ALWAYS make an example of the least of these, while WartMall continues to steal from every one of its hourly employees, and while WartMall screws us all with all sorts of tax breaks and subsidies.

Fuck WartMall. And fuck anyone who supports this action.



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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #85)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:17 AM

213. this is food you nitwit...

 

bags tear, produce rots, blah, blah, spoilage fuck walmart, they could write this off in a heartbeat... not their biggest tax crime.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:41 PM

152. So if she stole bread instead of cookies, you'd be OK with it.

 

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:38 PM

62. Oreos are not

a life saving food. Stealing is stealing.

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Response to 840high (Reply #62)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:40 PM

63. Stealing isn't right but as our country has proven stealing isn't stealing

Steal a package of cookies from walmart get punished steal billions a of dollars walk free so no obviously stealing isn't stealing

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Response to 840high (Reply #62)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:00 PM

92. ummm. Yes they are. And not all stealing is stealing.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #92)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:19 PM

181. nope - now

chocolate is. If you owned a store and an employee was helping herself to your products I;m sure you wouldn't like it.

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Response to 840high (Reply #181)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:23 PM

182. I wouldn't like it but I can safely assure you I wouldn't ruin their life over it.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #182)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:58 PM

186. Neither would I. Felony

charge not necessary.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:53 PM

82. Where did I provide a justification?

You seem to be constructing a straw man.

I'm trying to illustrate that the system is corrupt when someone who steals billions/trillions go on to live their lives because they are in a position of power, while someone who steals a few dollars is charged with a felony. While I'm not absolving her of her actions, I can and do sympathize with her plight. No justification is required to illustrate the discrepancies with our justice system.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #40)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:52 PM

155. You're comparing eating cookies to endangering the lives of others

It's amazing how fast any veneer of ethical thought falls away when someone wants to make a "rule of law" argument.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:07 PM

39. <sigh>

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #39)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:16 PM

42. Disparate wages now justify theft?

Under what moral code?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #42)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:42 PM

67. The moral code that says if you work hard and do your job well

you deserve a decent living. Having a whole underclass of people in which that isn't happening is a much greater crime than stealing a few Oreos. You don't even realize that your attitude and belief system is contributing to the whole, hey, the system can fuck me over but I'm not even allowed to do anything to hit it back thing that's been going on in America for far too long. It's bullshit. As far as I'm concerned, if we were to go and loot Wal Mart stores in mass, we'd be well within our rights to do so. That's called revolution, and I'm all in favor of it.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #67)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:06 PM

97. What you are advocating is a system of vigilantism and chaos

In a civilized society people cannot be permitted to steal from one another based on their perception of what is fair or unfair. But Jeezus, looting?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #97)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:55 PM

164. I'm not necessarily advocating it

Last edited Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:34 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm just saying morally, I think we'd be within our rights to do it. The wealthy are destroying this planet and screwing us all over. Why are we not allowed to rebel? Because you say so? Not good enough. Sorry.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:21 PM

46. Unless, of course, one is starving.

In that case, all bets are off. Granted, Oreos aren't quite the same as the loaf of bread that Jean Valjean stole, but seriously ... a FELONY???

Walmart can blow me.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #46)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:25 PM

50. But was it Walmart who insisted on the felony charge?

I bet not. Other posts here say that in Indiana all thefts are felonies until later downgraded. So in all likelihood, imo, Walmart simply reported the theft to police who then decided what charge it should be.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #50)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:29 PM

53. A., Walmart didn't have to make this a police matter.

B., Indiana SUCKS.

If it weren't for Illinois truck drivers and Ohio hookers, there'd be no Hoosiers.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:32 PM

58. What alternative did Walmart have then?

If they did nothing that would be a sign to other employees that they tolerated shoplifting by their employees. Of course they had to do something.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:43 PM

68. Are you serious???

They could have treated it as an internal matter and disciplined the employee, and still sent the mesage to other employees that inventory shrinkage would not be tolerated. Call the freakin' POLICE? A little overkill, don't you think?

Oh wait, no you don't. Think, that is.

There are plenty of other ways they could have handled it.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #68)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:01 PM

94. They chose to send a message to other employees that I agree with

The message is not to steal or you will be prosecuted, no exceptions. If you realised just how much shoplifting is done by store employees you would see why they do it. $37 BILLION was stolen by employees in 2010. I bet they were all "starving" (sarcasm).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/shoplifting-economy_n_885555.html

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #94)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:03 PM

96. Then you belong in pre-revolution France.

Not here on DU.

Bake

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Response to Bake (Reply #96)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:07 PM

98. I would wager that every person ever caught stealing food said they were hungry

and, except in rare cases, their stories are complete bullshit.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #98)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:47 PM

123. In the story it said she had been stealing snack foods for years

This isn't someone who can't afford to eat, this is someone who wants a snack in the middle of her night shift. Everythign else is just justification.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Reply #123)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:58 AM

223. Walmart should just have a policy about it

My mother worked for a retail store, higher end, and the employees got a discount on the store's stuff. Pretty good move because it means the employee is a walking ad for the place. The employee gets motivated for the store.

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Response to treestar (Reply #223)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:50 AM

229. No where does it say that WalMart doesn't give discounts

They might not, but they probably do - every retail store I've worked at did.
It says the employee has been habitually shoplifting for years. I hate WalMart, and have only shopped there when it was 1 in the morning and I needed fuses to restore power to my house, but WalMart aren't the criminals in this situation.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Reply #229)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:53 AM

231. I would actually be surprised if they do

But yeah, maybe they do. But does it extend to lowest level employees? Some still get government benefits.

Walmart also had hired illegal aliens. So it doesn't have a reputation as a great employer.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #94)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:25 PM

110. The message isn't working. Better wages and benefits work MUCH better at reducing shrinkage.

Costco is a prime example of how to attract and keep productive employees who don't steal from you. And Costco is more profitable to boot. I posted a link below, but here it is again:

http://hbr.org/2006/12/the-high-cost-of-low-wages/ar/1

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Response to PA Democrat (Reply #110)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:28 PM

114. I agree, except that employees DO steal from Costco

So should they be punished more than employees who steal from Walmart?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #114)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:43 PM

120. I've never made any such assertion. I simply stated that if reducing shrinkage is the goal

better wages is a better tool than criminal prosecution. Furthermore, by attempting to reduce shrinkage through the use of the criminal justice system, Wal-Mart is once again pushing the costs of their crappy treatment of employees onto the taxpayers.

There will ALWAYS be theft, but there will be much less if you don't cheat employees out of decent wages and overtime.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #94)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:56 PM

165. Paying for the bag of cookies and being fired would send the message just as clearly.

Involving law enforcement over a minor theft is, well, petty. Now if the person was caught stealing high ticket items with a felony value, then I'd be inclined to agree with Walmart.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #165)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:52 AM

230. She admitted it was an ongoing issue

She's been stealing for years. This isn't just a bag of cookies.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Reply #230)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:26 AM

235. Still, have her pay for the crap and fire her.

Using the cookies as a value, $4/week x 28 weeks (~seven months) in the IN store is still only about $100.




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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #235)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:44 AM

239. How about $10/week for 8 years?

She worked for the company for 8 years and admitted she had been stealing for years. Assuming 5 days a week and $2 for a pack of cookies. And if she's stealing cookies on a regular basis, what's to say she isn't stealing sodas, and maybe cigarettes?

She's a thief. Everything else is justification.
But Walmart is evil so she must be a martyr.

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Response to sweetloukillbot (Reply #239)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:00 PM

240. Not in IN.

She's only been at the IN store for seven months. And she didn't admit to stealing an item a day, 5 days a week. She admitted to one or two items per week, items as low cost as gum.

Yeah, she's a thief. A petty one and either supremely arrogant or mentally incompetent because it sounds like they only had evidence of her stealing the Oreos before she "confessed" to the manager.

Make her pay for what she stole and fire her.

FWIW, I'd say the same thing if her "evil employer" were Costco or Target.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:44 PM

69. They could have just fired her

I've worked in places where that's happened to employees caught taking things. Even that would have been fucked up, but a lot better than turning this into a police matter.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:21 PM

104. If Wal-Mart were REALLY serious about curbing employee theft,

they would pay their employees a living wage. Costco compared to Sam's Club (owned by WalMart) is more profitable, has significantly less shrinkage (employee theft) and a much lower rate of employee turnover. Moral of the story, a happy employee is a productive one.

I don't condone theft, but the irony of an employer who has stolen MILLIONS from its employees in unpaid overtime and then pressing charges against a cookie thief is rich beyond all measures.

Link to back up my assertions about employee theft comparisons and profitability of Costco verses Sam's Club:

http://hbr.org/2006/12/the-high-cost-of-low-wages/ar/1

Costco’s practices are clearly more expensive, but they have an offsetting cost-containment effect: Turnover is unusually low, at 17% overall and just 6% after one year’s employment. In contrast, turnover at Wal-Mart is 44% a year, close to the industry average. In skilled and semi-skilled jobs, the fully loaded cost of replacing a worker who leaves (excluding lost productivity) is typically 1.5 to 2.5 times the worker’s annual salary. To be conservative, let’s assume that the total cost of replacing an hourly employee at Costco or Sam’s Club is only 60% of his or her annual salary. If a Costco employee quits, the cost of replacing him or her is therefore $21,216. If a Sam’s Club employee leaves, the cost is $12,617. At first glance, it may seem that the low-wage approach at Sam’s Club would result in lower turnover costs. But if its turnover rate is the same as Wal-Mart’s, Sam’s Club loses more than twice as many people as Costco does: 44% versus 17%. By this calculation, the total annual cost to Costco of employee churn is $244 million, whereas the total annual cost to Sam’s Club is $612 million. That’s $5,274 per Sam’s Club employee, versus $3,628 per Costco employee.

In return for its generous wages and benefits, Costco gets one of the most loyal and productive workforces in all of retailing, and, probably not coincidentally, the lowest shrinkage (employee theft) figures in the industry. While Sam’s Club and Costco generated $37 billion and $43 billion, respectively, in U.S. sales last year, Costco did it with 38% fewer employees—admittedly, in part by selling to higher-income shoppers and offering more high-end goods. As a result, Costco generated $21,805 in U.S. operating profit per hourly employee, compared with $11,615 at Sam’s Club. Costco’s stable, productive workforce more than offsets its higher costs.

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Response to PA Democrat (Reply #104)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:24 PM

107. In retailing I would bet Costco is the exception and not the rule

but I also would bet that their employees steal from them as well. So should we prosecute employees who steal from Costco but not those who steal from Walmart?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #107)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:36 PM

118. Costco's business model has a proven track record. It's not a fluke. Read the article.

My point is that society as a whole benefits from employers who pay employees a living wage. We all pay the costs of these cases clogging up our court systems. We all pay the cost of food stamps and other programs for the poor for people who are working full time and still can't support their families. A single mother working full time at minimum wage falls below the poverty level.

I never said anything about turning a blind eye to theft.

If you want loyal employees who don't steal from you, you are smarter to pay them a living wage, not to cheat them out of overtime, and treat them with dignity.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #58)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:57 PM

157. How about make her pay for the box of cookies?

This is a ridiculous response.

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Response to Bake (Reply #53)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:54 PM

205. As a former resident of Indiana, I find your statement...

...freaking hilarious. Bookmarking for later plagiarism.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #205)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:35 PM

243. Not original with me!

Feel free to use as you will!



Bake

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:38 PM

61. Pure, unadulterated BULLSHIT

It's that kind of attitude that has allowed the rich to get away with fucking over the rest of us. It's the whole, hey, the rich can exploit us and fuck us over, but if we even do just a tiny bit of the same because we're poor and hungry, we're criminals and there's no excuse for it.

Thanks for carrying water for Wal Mart and its theft and exploitation of just about everybody.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #61)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:45 PM

72. I once prosecuted a guy who shoplifted a flounder he hid in his undershorts

He made the same excuse - he was hungry and had no money. He stole the fish from the Grand Union (now out of business). So should I have looked up what kind of wages Grand Union was paying and whether they paid their fair share of corporate taxes or whether their CEO was overpaid before prosecuting him?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:57 PM

88. Well smell you, Nancy Drew

I hope you don't hurt yourself falling off that titanium high horse of yours some day.

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Response to hatrack (Reply #88)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:11 PM

99. Sorry if I think that it is not OK to steal from your boss

no matter how rotten, cheap or crooked he might be. Taking someone else's property is theft and has been since before the time of Hamurrabi. It doesn't require a high horse to want to live in a society that does not allow theft.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #99)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:29 PM

116. Well, have fun at the stoning.

Have a nice life.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #99)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:24 PM

141. I used to steal to eat as a kid.

Myself, my sister and two of our friends. We were not educated about nutrition. We stole what we could, what was portable, and tasted good. Hohos, candy bars and Snowballs. I don't feel guilty. Can't afford it. Sides, I know the universe is ok with what I had to do. For anyone to say she should not have to steal as she makes x bucks an hour, when she supports a kid, is ignoring the obvious. I don't know if she has a drinking problem, a gambling problem, etc..., but I think we can all agree that she should be given other options that attempt to support her and improve her situation, give her other options besides risking her job for a handful of oreos. Personally, I feel like going to Walmart and opening a bag of oreos and just leaving them on the shelf in protest.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #99)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:27 PM

142. But our system DEPENDS on taking others' property.

The law and order civilization you seem to put your faith in is entirely dependent on extracting resources--including labor--from the relatively less powerful, with as little regard for the consequences as possible. While you might condemn theft that goes in the other direction, the fact is that at this point "legitimate" means of systems change are not working--in fact they are in a sense unconscionable because the world is being destroyed as we peacefully lobby, rally, and maybe once in a while get ourselves arrested in some innocuous form of civil disobedience.

Look at what is happening with the Keystone Pipeline. Its construction and use will almost certainly have horrifying consequences for the planet; yet the likelihood is that it will be approved--in fact that part which does not require State Department approval is already half constructed. This is our lives and the lives of billions of other people we are talking about, but the best we can do is throw a little party on the National Mall while the President is far away playing golf. At some point you must ask yourself the question: if the laws we have are not stopping, but instead actually contributing to our exploitation and the destruction of the planet, what allegiance do we owe them?

Now, you might say that this bears little relation to the stealing of a pack of cookies for one's own consumption, and to an extent that might be true. At the same time, I can honestly say that I think the most moral thing we might be able to do with regard to Wal-Mart is to get ourselves employed there for the deliberate purpose of stealing back that which they have stolen from us and the rest of the planet. At this point our very survival depends on destroying the profitability of business models such as Wal-Mart's by any means available to us. Whether that was the intention of this individual woman I don't know; but in a context where it is arguably necessary for the survival of the planet and the restoration of global economic and ecological justice, I cannot condemn her actions. I wish more would take the risk.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:58 PM

166. Oh, so you're a prosecutor?

Well guess what? Fuck you.

And yeah, you should have looked up what kind of wages he was being paid. All you did in that prosecution was aid in the exploitation of the masses and feed the prison industrial complex. So, screw you for that. You are most certainly not a friend of the working man or the poor.

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #166)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:32 AM

218. +1 nt

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #166)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:56 AM

222. +10,000 n/t

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #166)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:19 AM

234. A-fucking-men! What a piece of shit! n/t

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:56 PM

206. You're a prosecutor? Everything is now clear. Thank you.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:03 AM

209. How much taxpayer money did you spend for that $10 fish?

I'm sure there are many expenses outside of the salary you draw--you'd know more about that, of course. Do you really think you did something beneficial when you prosecuted the fish thief?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:04 AM

225. If you're the prosecutor, there's not much you can do

Though I'd love to live in your town, if there is time to go after someone for a thing like that, worse things must not be happening.

The question here is how Wal-mart could have handled it - as an internal matter, having a policy about employees eating the merchandise. Some stores have discounts or a policy you can eat stuff like cookies.

Around here there is a convenience store called Wawa. I met an employee of it and they loved the place. They treated the employees that well. A wiser business move, as it creates good will for the business.

Walmart, on the other hand, has a terrible reputation as it is, a story like this confirms it. Plenty of people boycott it already.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:32 AM

238. Kewl story bro!

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Response to Downtown Hound (Reply #61)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:54 PM

192. +1000

Christ, some people can be so heartless!

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:53 PM

83. actually, there are many.

 

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #32)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:59 PM

126. Thank you, Javert. nt

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:51 PM

29. It's not clear whether they were the store's oreo's or another employee's

It just said "an open bag of oreos was found".

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:56 PM

33. Not press fucking felony charges!

And pay them a fucking decent wage.

Those are just two things I can think of off-hand.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:19 PM

44. agreed it shouldn't be a felony charge

but as someone else posted, all thefts in Indiana are felonies, though almost all are later downgraded to misdemeanors. So the decision to charge her with a felony probably wasn't Walmart's decision but rather the way the criminal justice system works in Indiana.

Whether her wages were adequate or not has nothing to do with it.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:48 PM

74. Walmart didn't have to get the police involved

at all. Could have kept it an internal manner and fired her. I feel sorry for you that you cannot see that and are defending this.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:50 PM

77. Then there is something wrong with the laws of the state.

And yes, her wages have everything to do with it. It's part of the overall system. Poverty and crime go hand-in-hand.

The system itself is corrupt.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:05 PM

133. Walmart doesn't need a PR dept. with you on the job.

Personally, I'd ask to be paid first but that's just me.

Most of us don't see the world in your stark black and white and realize there are innumerable graytones in between. But by all means carry on.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:01 PM

37. Perhaps the employer would look at what it pays its employees and if


it is considered a living wage. Perhaps the employer would do a little soul searching...

NO! Of course Walmart won't do that. It's a fekking evil place.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net

Walmart, one of the richest corporations in the world, refuses to pay its employees a livable wage or provide any form of decent healthcare, increasing reliance on government assistance, and the need for a social safety net.

At over $446 billion per year, Walmart is the third highest revenue grossing corporation in the world. Walmart earns over $15 billion per year in pure profit and pays its executives handsomely. In 2011, Walmart CEO Mike Duke – already a millionaire a dozen times over – received an $18.1 million compensation package. The Walton family controlling over 48 percent of the corporation through stock ownership does even better. Together, members of the Walton family are worth in excess of $102 billion – which makes them one of the richest families in the world.


So instead of making the Walmart workplace a CEO paradise (aka hell for everybody else) perhaps if they paid their employees decently they would have this problem?




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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #37)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:22 PM

47. Sure, Walmart pays crappy wages, but there are others who pay even less

Does this mean that if someone works for a company paying minimum wage only that those employees are justified in stealing from their employers? Can employees who work at Wendys steal hamburgers with immunity?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:42 PM

65. That's actually a good point. here's my counterpoint.


Walmart pays crappy wages, but there are others who pay even less.


The problem is that, as I wrote and linked to, Walmart has a lot of employees on welfare.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net

Wal-Mart's poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps.


I'm only posting this again not to aggravate but so that it is easier for context.

$2.66 billion has to be paid out for employees who work for WM. Since WM doesn't pay a living wage this could be considered stealing from you and I. Do to their choice of paying their employees less we have to pick up the tab. Understandably, not all of these folks are full time, my guess only, but since they do need a job that pays couldn't WM offer a little more?

So while I agree that stealing is bad for the company stealing from the Federal Government (you, me) is just as bad if not worse.

Wages have been on the decline in the USA since what, 1973-74? The corporations have done everything that their money can buy to turn the world and this country into their cathouse.

Well they've got it, and now we have to pay for it?

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #65)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:02 PM

95. And you pay for those stolen oreo cookies as well....

Retailers pass on the cost of shoplifting to their paying customers.

Meanwhile, WalMart is freaking out because same store traffic is way down. They are blaming the expiration of the 2% Payroll Tax Holiday.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #95)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:16 PM

101. I've now posted the same article twice on lousy wages at WM,

how many of their employees are on welfare, how the US taxpayer has to fund WM's stinginess and yet
neither time has this been addressed.

I could care less that WM is freaking out. They have created the mess that they are in by destroying communities, and now that the people in these communities have to cut back?

WM could blame whatever it likes while some will rush to its defense, but that still does not justify why they pay their employees so little that they have to resort to additional welfare or the theft of a few cookies.

Perhaps if their business model didn't rely on selling cheap imported Chinese plastic crap while crushing every competitor around them first they might have a consumer base that could spend a little more at their stores?

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #101)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:21 PM

106. Interesting how Walmart is always singled out among employers

as though they were the only ones paying substandard wages. This lady was making a little over $11 per hour, not adequate certainly for a family but over minimum wage nevertheless. But do other retailers pay a lot more? I would be willing to bet that most of them pay similar wages to Walmart to their employees and that in the retail business the wages paid at Walmart are average.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #106)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:27 PM

112. The OP was about WM. Do you have an issue with that or just theft in general?


It is interesting that some feel the need to deflect from WM. For what intended purpose?


If you wanted to create a chart showing Corporation paying shit wages then employees of each corporation on welfare I would love to see it, but until then WM is king and poster boy in my book for unbridled greed and freakish devotion to destruction of the American worker.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #106)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:38 PM

148. You're correct...the pay is about the same.

Costco is a major exception, as they pay quite well. Amazon is another cheapskate. This thread is really weird.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #106)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:04 PM

170. Because Wal-Mart routinely STEALS from their employees by forcing them to work unpaid overtime

by shifting hours into the next pay period to avoid paying overtime. They locked night shift employees in the stores to prevent theft which resulted in at least one employee being unable to get medical care after his foot was crushed in a work accident.

Their overall track record with respect to treatment of their employees is deplorable.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/24/walmart-agrees-to-pay-wor_n_153287.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/02/walmart-overtime-labor-department-settlement_n_1470543.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/07/29/1113871/-Walmart-abuses-aren-t-just-a-problem-for-workers-They-re-a-problem-for-the-rule-of-law#

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-01-18/news/0401180046_1_wal-mart-overnight-workers-locked

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #106)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:13 AM

226. because walmart has more employess than any other?

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #101)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:28 PM

115. This is not news to most DUers...

There have been many articles posted on this issue, and the reports of what it cost the taxpayer to provide food stamps and Medicaid for WalMart employees.

You should care that WalMart is freaking out. It is indicative of just how bad things are for those at the lower end of the income spectrum. Furthermore, one of the articles I read about this went on to say we could be witnessing the end of the big box store chains, which would be good for young entrepreneurs.

Perhaps if Americans weren't so in love with 'stuff' we wouldn't have this problem either. I have driven past WalMart parking lots that contained more than one Lexus, Infinity, Mercedes, BMW and Cadillac Escalades.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #115)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:28 PM

143. It is indicative of just how bad things are for those at the lower end of the income spectrum.


More accurately it is indicative of how the Walton family and shareholders are freaking out.

Good.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #143)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:40 PM

150. I see my post went right over your head...sorry

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #150)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:52 PM

156. No. I just brought you back to reality.


On edit: But if you insist on brushing aside Walmart as a wage slaver then I cannot do much about that.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #156)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:59 PM

168. Whose reality?

WalMart is far from being the only wage slaver. Here in FL, most retail workers make around $9.00 an hour. Amazon starts warehouse employees at minimum wage, and uses contract employees to keep those wages low. You're bent out of shape because no one is acting as if you've offered up explosive new information...but you see, you haven't said anything that hasn't been said a million times before.
You are so determined to to get a pat on the back you ignored the fact that it would be great news if WalMart began closing the stores that have spread across the nation like a fungus. Lack of traffic will lead to that.

http://projects.flowingdata.com/walmart/

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #168)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:32 PM

183. "WalMart is far from being the only wage slaver."


Strange that you suggest that when I didn't. What are you hoping to accomplish by further deflecting away from the OP being about Walmart and my posts that some of it's employees are on government to the tune of $2.66 billion per year?

I applaud you for pointing out that other companies are d-bags as well as WM, but it doesn't change the truth about WM.

As for pats on the back. I haven't asked for them or need them. I simply pointed out the truth, and IMHO the answers to my posts have been great at trying to move the dialog away from WM.

If other stores pick up where or when WM limps away then I will aplaud that and hope that they can at least pay their staff a living wage.


I hope we can agree on that at least.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #183)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:53 PM

184. *I've now posted the same article twice on lousy wages at WM,

how many of their employees are on welfare, how the US taxpayer has to fund WM's stinginess and yet
neither time has this been addressed.*
Your earlier post.

*and IMHO the answers to my posts have been great at trying to move the dialog away from WM. *
this post

I am not deflecting. I simply stated that WalMart is beginning to reap the whirlwind of their own greed. That was the point that was too subtle for you to grasp earlier.

I have never been a WalMart customer, have no intention of becoming one. My son recently purchased a 60" flat screen tv at Best Buy...before it was delivered, he checked prices at Costco (they didn't have what he wanted) and WalMart where it was $100. more




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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #184)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:48 PM

191. I applaud your family's buying decisions.


I am not looking to pick fights were none are necessary. If WM reaps the whirlwind then may they do it in such a way that does not cause this country any more pain.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #191)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:27 PM

195. Exactly,

It was a very interesting article because it was 'hopeful' with the demise of WalMart and other big box chains the writer saw opportunities for young entrepreneurs to open new businesses to fill the void. The entire premise of the article was that WalMart has ruined America.
Did you look at the link I sent you? The green dots are Sam's Club.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:42 PM

66. How about firing her

which would be bad enough since it's their greed that caused the situation. Having her arrested on a felony is overkill but exactly what I would expect from such a soulless company. Have never stepped foot in one of their stores and never will.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:16 PM

102. I would expect them to feel guilty about paying sub-standard wages.

Oh wait, Walmart is an artificial entity, from behind which real human beings without any ethics, hide.

This makes them look like the petty assholes they are. I'm glad they are facing the second quarter of having to prepare investors for lower sales than anticipated. Fuckers.

Stealing food. How terribly sad.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:25 PM

108. Justified!

 

No, they should execute the mom, the kids, the grandparents, while the Rush Limbaughs of the world jerk off to it.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:01 PM

128. Maybe losing her job

should be punishment enough

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:20 PM

140. If they are paying them shit wages, they should expect petty theft as a consequence

of their own actions. Firing the employee is and should be sufficient justice. Their only legal obligation from there is whatever criminal reporting requirements exist in their area if there are any at all. Anything over and above that is pretty mean spirited on their part and they should be called out for it.

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:01 PM

159. Not charge her with a felony. That's just stupid.

Do you have any post-its in your house that came from the office? Off to jail with you!

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:31 AM

237. Fire her?

nt.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:12 PM

2. Jaysus Key-rist. They commit fraud, conspiracy and cover-ups in my community

and the $11.40 an hour wage earner is the one that gets charged with a felony.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:13 PM

3. ~$3 is now felony theft?

What the hell is wrong with this country?

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Response to Hayabusa (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:29 PM

12. All theft under $100K is a Class D felony in Indiana

A lot of states are like that.

http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar43/ch4.html

Theft; receiving stolen property
Sec. 2. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use, commits theft, a Class D felony.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:34 PM

17. Thanks for the law Recursion

did not know that. A little harsh in this case, though...

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Response to Hayabusa (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:36 PM

19. All it means is that the fine can be greater than a given amount, or the jail term can be a year

I'm not sure about Indiana, but in a lot of states Class D felons don't lose their right to vote, etc., because these are generally the "technical" felonies.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:39 PM

21. Thanks - sounds very impractical for the state to maintain

Making something a felony in NJ would require Grand Jury action. How in the world can Indiana afford to waste the time of county or state prosecutors and other court personnel with petty thefts like shoplifting?

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Response to Jersey Devil (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:41 PM

23. Class D's don't require a grand jury

http://www.defenselawyerindiana.com/levels.html

Theft is up there with dealing marijuana: 6 months to 2 years (apparently the felony cutoff in Indiana is 6 months in prison), and in both cases seems to be regularly pled down to a Class A Misdemeanor.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:51 PM

30. Still doesn't make sense

Why not charge people who commit petty thefts with misdemeanor offenses then instead of overcharging and then downgrading? Seems like a total waste of money by the state in having these procedures, but then again, maybe the volume of crime in Indiana makes it possible? Doing that in a state like NJ would be a nightmare. I am a former prosecutor and can't imagine having to review a case for stealing a few cookies.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:24 PM

49. Indiana ... Teabag Central. That explains it.

I wouldn't set foot in Indiana (and I just live across the Ohio River in Kentucky) if my life depended on it.

Way to go, Hoosiers! Woohoo! FELONY OREO THEFT!! Great job!

Bake

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:57 PM

185. There needs to be a food, shelter and clothing exemption.

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Response to Hayabusa (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:30 PM

13. private prisons are the reason - in order to get a private prison to take over your state's prison

the state has to guarantee a 90% occupancy

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:32 PM

16. these guaranteed occupancy clauses are a disaster...

I truly can't believe people signed onto them.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:36 PM

18. i just heard of a story about a child in kindergarden being arrested for throwing a tantrum

in school. that's why the push to get police in the school system - the kids can be very closely watched and when they are tardy off to prison. debtors prison will be coming back cause those beds need to be filled

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Response to phantom power (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:01 AM

224. Gotta pay for those naming rights somehow.

Right, Mr Prosecutor?

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Response to Hayabusa (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:17 PM

242. She admitted to stealing every week for four years.

she still shouldn't be arrested but I suspect that is where the felony charge came from.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:15 PM

4. There is a special place for the likes of Wal Mart

and it has something to do with Dante in my opinion.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:59 PM

193. They make me sick. I agree.

They belong in the 7th circle of hell.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:16 PM

5. That's harsh. There should be a penalty for stealing merchandise, but jail time

and felony charge for a first offense (assuming it is) is not reasonable.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:16 PM

6. How in the hell can this be a felony charge? eom

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:19 PM

7. You'd think it would be way under the necessary value for felony theft.

But maybe Indiana has harsh theft laws? Mostly, I think you'd have to be an asshole to charge her at all, and actually attempting to pin a felony on her is fucking pathological.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:31 PM

15. In many states all theft is a felony

Indiana is one of those.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:49 PM

27. Most Americans don't realize

that property rights trump human rights here.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:45 PM

71. "Property is theft!" ~ Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #71)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:50 PM

78. Perhaps....

What sets the US constitution apart from every other ever written is the focus on and protection of property.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #78)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:56 PM

87. True, I don't disagree.

But, I was pointing out a quote by P.J. Proudhon from his "What is Property?" wherein he tries to explain between property as it belongs to Labor, and personal property. A capitalist owning the means of production, and the fruits of Labor is theft. Someone owning a hammer or a plow is not theft.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #87)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:59 PM

91. And I was pointing out that in our constitution

that capitalist has most of the rights. (I am familiar with Proudhon )

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #91)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:01 PM

93. Yes, and it's quite tragic.

Perhaps a Paris Commune or Lyon Commune is in order?

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #93)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:19 PM

103. In order, yes...

likely, no. Americans have bought into this mythical history...we're taught it from birth almost, certainly from kindergarten. What percentage of the population, do you think, has ever read Howard Zinn?

Earlier this week there was a thread discussing Iraq and the lying that led up to the invasion. There are people on DU who proudly claim they knew it was a lie and participated in demonstrations against it. How many demonstrations and for how long? When I said the Iraq protests didn't last long enough, someone replied that the election of 2004 closed the chapter and no one wanted a repeat of 1972. The first anti-war demonstration during the Vietnam era took place in Oct. 1962. 4 Protestors were killed in May of 1970 and still 300,000 protestors showed up in DC in 1971. There were 2 elections between 1962 and 1971...the protests kept growing.

A few weeks ago there were people on DU claiming that Oliver Stone's documentary "The Untold History of the United States" is conspiracy theory! When the supposedly best, brightest and most informed can't differentiate between CT and historical fact you have to accept that the right wing propaganda has been too thoroughly absorbed, by too many people, for there to be any real hope for change.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #103)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:51 PM

124. Antonio Gramsci has written about this phenomon.

Which has grown invasive and pervasive in American culture. I have family in France, and let me tell ya, no one protests like the French! In France, the government fears the people, here people fear the government.

I have read some of the threads that you've mentioned. I've also read the Drone Assassination apologia. Is there hope? I don't know. We're somewhere between Orwell's "1984" and Huxley's "Brave New World." The propaganda is so subtle, and so sophisticated that most people (those who haven't read Zinn) are not aware that they are not free. They are also so comforted by luxuries and other such diversions, that they acquiesce to what the government will do in our name, and to the new realities (the so called New Normal). It's frustrating. We, generally, have become so servile to authority, that we really have trouble thinking for ourselves (collectively and individually).

The American Dream is that of subservience and obedience - and it has been that way since the founding of this nation.

It's great to have this conversation with you.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #124)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:09 PM

135. Well the French Constitution

has always been better than ours.

In France, the government fears the people, here people fear the government.

That is so true, but don't tell the crazy gun nuts that, they think they are not afraid.

The Greeks do a fair job of protesting as do the Brits. Raise tuition and the kids took to the streets burning and looting. Here a bit of tear gas in the face and its all over. Sometimes I think it is due to the deification of Martin Luther King, Jr and Gandhi. Peaceful civil disobedience. But people forget that Gandhi was protesting an occupation by a foreign nation and King was protesting a government and society that saw Africans Americans as second class citizens. Peaceful protests were the only option available to them.

I'm enjoying it as well Fantastic Anarchist.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #135)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:38 PM

147. As with both Gandhi and King ...

... they also had alternative forces that were making life miserable for the authorities. Their peaceful protests did not act as the lone agent for the improvement of their societies. It was complimentary and supplementary to other, let's just say, not quite peaceful forces that proved to provide the change they agitated for. They were the face of the resistance, but they were certainly not all encompassing of the movement as a whole.

As with the Greeks, they have a very healthy anarchist current making life miserable. They have had set backs, but they are not quitters!

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #147)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:02 PM

160. While they may have had

other forces assisting them, they have been deified for their peaceful process. I lived through the King era. I think most of the alternatives were more noise than heat, and I think the government used them in an attempt to discredit the civil rights movement. The riots of the era were pretty much confined to areas of minority concentration...what we used to call ghettos.

Although back in 1987, when I first moved to FL, I was told a story about one of my neighbors. Seems he had owned a lumber yard and was a well known abusive racist. One night the lumber yard caught fire, and members of the surrounding AA community used their guns to keep the fire department from putting out the blaze. The yard was totally destroyed. I must admit, I thought at the time and still do, it was a wonderful story. No one was injured.

The Greeks go after government buildings and banks, you have to love them.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #160)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:25 PM

161. Ha! Sometimes shit happens!

In the late 80s, I ran with a group of diverse hooligans; skinheads (non-racist SHARP Skins), mods, punks, etc. We would run around downtown attacking (I'm pro-peace but I am not a pacifist) Hammer Skins and WAR Skins and other garden-variety "boneheads" (a derogatory term used by skinhead subculture against racist skins). Would smash their property, get in fights and otherwise just make life miserable for them. This was in Dallas, and they were the minority. I do remember one time, out in the 'burbs' where they had identified a girl I hung out with, and they surrounded her house, were on the roof - everywhere. That was a pretty scary time, until my friends showed up. I'm talking huge scary looking SHARP skins. The boneheads suddenly didn't want any trouble. That and another time when my friend got stabbed in front of me, were pretty scary incidents.

It was interesting sometimes, because a few of the boneheads weren't even that committed to their racism. Whenever they weren't with their groups, sometimes they would actually hang out with us and have beers and listen to music. Some were converted. Some, well, some were just lost causes. Kind of like American History X types.

Ahhh, the memories.


As with the Greeks, when in Greece, do what the Greeks do!

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #161)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:39 PM

162. But be careful when they are bearing gifts!

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #162)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:47 PM

163. LOL ...

That's why I don't wear Trojans.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #163)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:00 PM

169. Ooops...

more information than I need.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #161)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:31 AM

215. OMG I remember hanging with the sharps.

weird days...

I think when in America do what the greeks do before you live what the greeks live through.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #215)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:20 AM

216. Weird, but fun days! :D

And yes, we need to get our asses in gear.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #135)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:25 AM

214. mlk and gandhi

were also backed up by people willing to fight.the black panthers existed when mlk was doing his pacifism and when gandhi was stifling the fight for india's Independence from Britain with pacifism,there were revolutionaries fighting the real revolution. pacifism is useless in the face of an enemy who has no shame at what it does to the people.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #214)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:21 AM

217. Yep, said the same thing upthread.

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Response to undergroundpanther (Reply #214)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:25 AM

228. Agreed....

I think both have been deified, set up as the ultimate revolutionaries if you will, in order to keep people pacified or pacific....Think about how our media treat Gandhi and MLK....

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Response to Recursion (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:03 PM

38. A bounced check, even if unintentional, is a felony in some states.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:07 PM

199. In the article it says she admitted to stealing from Walmart for years

I still think it's ridiculous but they said she admitted to eating store merchandise at the current store and at the one she worked at for 7 years. Why she admitted to that is beyond me.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:23 PM

8. felony theft

surely it will be thrown out...

Walmart Worst Company Ever

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:25 PM

9. And...

People wonder why Wally is despised. Some of their people just don't think things thru.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:27 PM

10. What kind of laws do they have in that state? Unless she stole something more

valuable than a bag of cookies that is a misdemeanor and not a felony. It qualifies for a citation and fine, not a jail sentence.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:28 PM

11. This is corporate terrorism at it's finest.

The Walton family steals billions upon billions and uses that to pay lobbyists and buy politicians who work for their benefit while screwing over their workforce. And now they have the balls to charge a woman eating a snack she couldn't afford on her measily salary with felony theft? Where do we get the pitchforks and torches again??

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:31 PM

14. When I was a young man

after college trying to living in NYC and out of a job, I made the dumb mistake of shoplifting from a Walgreen's. My one and only time, and I got caught, of course. They pressed felony charges against me, and I went before a judge. He saw that I was broke, struggling, and had taken essentials like toilet paper and a tooth brush. I was fined $100.00, he reduced it to a misdemeanor, and he assigned someone to help me get a job which I did working as a nursing aid in a retirement home. My life turned around after that thanks in part to a man with understanding and empathy.

I hope that this woman gets as understanding and compassionate a judge as I got. This is truly saddening and disgusting.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:43 PM

24. What a crazy psychotic arch-thief! How much anarchy has this woman caused?!

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:43 PM

25. She makes 1 and a half times the minimum wage at a small town Wal-Mart

That seems odd to me.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:47 PM

26. Yes, because LORD KNOWS a company that makes $240 billion a YEAR . . .

. . . a company run by Republican Ovarian Lottery Winners . . . JUST HAS to make an example of the $11.40/hr. wage slave who nicks some fucking Oreos. You galley slaves better just mark and learn and go back to work for LESS.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:51 PM

31. felony?

what makes that a felony?

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Response to barbtries (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:55 PM

84. My thought as well ... felony is huge charge

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Response to barbtries (Reply #31)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:41 PM

179. An attorney would have told her to say nothing. But, while she may have thought that she was

 

going to confess and save her job:
"When confronted, Winters allegedly explained that she had been eating food from the Portage store and her previous job at an Arizona Walmart for years ..."

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:59 PM

36. I don't shop at WalMart for a variety of reasons....

and this story certainly does nothing to improve my opinion of that chain. But, if some teenager had wandered into the store, picked up a bag of Oreo cookies and begun munching, what do you think the response would have been? What do you think it should be? Should everyone be given one free bag of cookies?

Just asking.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #36)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:30 PM

202. The circumstances make a difference.

I still wouldn't propose charging a teenager with a felony for stealing some cookies, but if this women really couldn't afford to eat I think society needs to be understanding of that. I know they can't simply let her go, but they could charge her with a misdemeanor. Honestly, I think Wal-Mart handled it wrongly anyway. They should have simply fired her.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #202)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:37 PM

203. I agree it was handled poorly.

According to many posters....any and all theft is a class of felony in that state. Property trumps humanity once again.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #203)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:59 PM

207. That seems a bit extreme.

So if I walked into a Dollar Store and stole a pack of gum worth 99 cents I'd be charged with a felony? That really makes no sense. Felonies should have price floors.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #207)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:00 AM

208. Agreed. I don't this this federalist system is working very well these days.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #208)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:03 AM

210. I've long felt a national government is a better fit.

France does just fine without a Federalist system and honestly I feel like State's right have been used to justify more bad things than good things.

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #210)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:19 AM

227. Good Morning...

I agree absolutely...I can't think of a single good thing that can be attributed to State's rights.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:18 PM

43. I thought felony thefts had a dollar floor?

How many cookies did this woman eat? How much does she weigh? Or is there no floor in Indiana?

Okay, I see a helpful DU'r has posted the answer - a Class D felony in Indiana has no floor.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:27 PM

52. Someone should set up a donation site for this woman...

Where anyone who may choose may donate the cost of one package of Oreo's to this woman to help finance a lawyer for this woman.

This woman is stealing because she cannot afford to EAT.

I am ashamed of what we've become.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #52)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:00 PM

127. $11/hour not enough?

My city recently voted to raise its min wage to $10/hr. Obama proposed a $9/hr mw in the SOTU. as much as i hate wal mart business practices I am not sure I am completely buying her son's explanation she couldn't afford to eat.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #127)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:52 PM

154. $11 per hour, after some years on the job?

I was making $10 per hour ... in 1980 ...

The low wage apologists have done more damage than they realize ...

Wages are EVERYTHING, to the worker, to their families, to their community, and to the health of the economy ...

BOOST WAGES, and watch the economy hum like a machine ...

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Response to Trajan (Reply #154)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:06 AM

233. And I was in management at a big box store 10 years ago and was making less than 10 an hour

I was also able to live on that wage (with a roommate, mind you).
She may not be working full time though, I know WalMart pulls that crap.
But to me it sounds like she's a habitual shoplifter who is making excuses and playing on the public's general hatred of WalMart.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:29 PM

54. This falls under the silly category.

Oreos are junk food. I could see her stealing something with more nutritional value.

Then again it shows how whacked out Indiana is if such a theft is a felony.

Seems the proper thing would be dismissal and her paycheck garnisheed for the value of the stolen property.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:30 PM

55. Felony? FELONY???

Really? Jeez.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:31 PM

56. henry ford paid his employees enough so they could afford to buy his CARS.

and henry ford no saint, either.

how evil do you need to be to pay workers so little they can't even afford food?

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Response to unblock (Reply #56)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:33 PM

59. k&r

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:48 PM

75. Boycott Walmart, until they drop the charges!!!

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #75)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:25 PM

109. I've been boycotting malwart for 20+ years

i should go buy something, turn around and return it, so i can start over for this.
they drive me nuts!

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:53 PM

81. doesnt walmart have better cookies than oreo's?

i would go after those marshmallow thingies......

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 01:57 PM

89. Good thing it wasn't Otis Spunkmeyer

...that would be a capital offense

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:26 PM

111. She should have been fired

And given the chance to make restitution.

A felony charge over stolen Oreos is nuts.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #111)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:38 PM

119. She shouldn't even have been fired - how about just a warning?

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #119)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:45 PM

122. Or just let her take them. I don't like Walmart at all.

I think stores I don't like should have a policy that they allow people to steal their stuff.

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Response to Robb (Reply #122)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:15 PM

175. Yeah, that seems to be the gist of the thread here

I would hate to live in a world that some here would (un)organize.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #119)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:02 PM

129. I weighed at a wal mart community market the month before opening.

If I recall correctly, associates who steal items get automatically terminated.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #111)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:17 PM

176. She should have been fired

I had to fire people when I was a retail manager, even when I felt sympathy for them, but employee theft is something that really can't be tolerated, out of fairness for all employees. She knew theft was automatic termination.

I do hope the charges are dropped, and someone reading about this can help her.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #111)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:05 PM

180. That's what happened to a family friend who ripped off a Wal-mart for about 10 grand...

It was the mid-90s, and I'm thinking store oversight was a LOT looser then...She was stealing electronics, cash and other high-dollar stuff from the return/exchange desk...

She got probation for promising to return the stuff or pay the cash equivalent (in fact, I think she may have actually KEPT her job with a docked paycheck to work off the losses)...Either way, she never saw a day in jail...

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:43 PM

121. The High Cost of Poverty Wages

 

and the race to the bottom continues...unabated...

The Law is the law
(Les Miserables)

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:57 PM

125. How can a package of Oreos be more than a misdemeanor?

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:04 PM

130. Strangle the Walton family with their own entrails.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:04 PM

131. That Indiana Law they charged her under has got to be unconstitutional.

Putting a person in jail for stealing a few cookies is cruel and unusual punishment.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:05 PM

132. I wonder if they call a Walmart Asset Protection Manager a WAPman, and if not why not? n/t

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:07 PM

134. I totally agree with Jersey Devil.

I HATE Walmart! They, and businesses like them are the scum the earth. That being said, this woman wasn't an indentured servant. If she wasn't making enough at Walmart, she could have quit and found another place to work. She's a thief. My momma taught me as a child not to steal. Im sure it's due to her "bad upbringing".
Regardless of the charges, I'm sure she won't spend a day in jail. You can kill somebody these days and be out in two years.

I'll bet she doesn't eat the cream out of the middle first... probably just quickly stuffs the whole cookie in her mouth and chomps it up.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:10 PM

136. Some apparent facts about the case that haven't appeared in the discussion...

...yet. Some information is in the article, some in the video associated with the article.

Disclaimer: I have no desire to change anybody's opinion of Walmart. The opinions so far expressed are very consistent with mine. I have three inviolable goals in life: 1.To never own a suit, 2.To never enter a Walmart, and 3. To never eat at McDonalds again (yeah, I screwed up in my youth).


As many people have pointed out on this thread, the truly tragic aspect is that too many people don't earn living wages, and this employee is just such a person. Ms. Winters has worked at Walmart for 15 years (7 in AZ, 8 in IN) as a 'maintenance' worker.

When confronted, Winters allegedly explained that she had been eating food from the Portage store and her previous job at an Arizona Walmart for years because she could not afford to pay. Winters provided Walmart with a “voluntary statement form spelling out her transgressions.”

So, she 'allegedly confessed' to being a 'repeat' offender, apparently without getting legal counsel (possibly because she was embarrassed by getting caught). No indication that she was not read her Miranda rights... Evidently her transgressions were all similar - chips, cookies, jerky - while she was working nights as a janitor.


The other part of the story is that Walmart has been and continues to be aggressively concerned about 'inventory shrinkage' - ie. shoplifting, by customers and employees. The company claims to be losing ~$3 billion per year. The widespread use of surveillance video is part of this campaign to reduce the loss. There are lots of articles on this topic - here's a random example: Shoplifting Is On The Rise At Wal-Mart


Industry wide, shoplifting rates have been in decline as retailers have implemented more security systems such as closed circuit TV and other anti-theft devices that are encoded into products. Even so, over the last few years, apparently, shoplifting is on the rise at Wal-Mart. So much so, that Wal-Mart has actually disclosed publicly that it is seeing an increase in shrinkage. No, not the kind George from Seinfeld experienced after swimming in cold water. Shrinkage is the industry term for inventory losses. Securities regulations require companies to alert shareholders to significant corporate developments that could affect the value of their holdings. Has inventory shrinkage become that bad at Wal-Mart?

<snip>

Many believe employee theft is on the rise. Several months back, Wal-Mart announced that they were changing the way employees were scheduled to accommodate peak shopping times. The concept also uses more part-time employees. While this sounds good for shoppers, it was not that good for employees. Rather than working a normal 8 hour shift, an employee may work only 4 hours to cover peak times on one day and/or maybe more hours on a Saturday to cover the busy weekend.

The end result that is being speculated is that employees are getting the shaft and are more prone to feel entitled to a free item or two when they leave the store for the day. If you were a full-time person who depending on what little pay you received and now it has been cut, you might feel entitled to pick up a few items. I am in no way condoning this, I am merely pointing out what may be happening.

The second reason is that has employees have become more discontent, they are more apt to NOT pursue other shoplifters. The general thought is that since the company does not care enough to treat me well, the heck with trying to stop that person who is stealing that item. Seriously, ask yourself, how many times have you seen someone walking out the door and the shoplifting detection system has gone off? I do not know about you, but I see it all the time. People just keep on walking and no one from Wal-Mart seems to care or check to see if a theft has just occurred.

The third reason is likely due to Wal-Mart cutting back on security. It has been widely reported that Wal-Mart has cut back on security when it went to the revised scheduling systems. With less people watching the front or back of the store, apparently, it must be easier to steal from Wal-Mart. The latest estimates put the Wal-Mart Inventory shrinkage at $3 billion a year. Yes, that is $3 billion with a B. When compared to the billions in sales Wal-Mart makes, the percentage is small, and again, is below industry norms. Still, $3 billion is a HUGE number. The question to ask, is it cheaper to hire staff to prevent shoplifting or is it cheaper to allow a certain percentage to occur as long as it remains at an acceptable level. That would be quite a study to undertake.

The final reason I believe shoplifting is on the rise is a decision Wal-Mart made to NOT prosecute smaller shoplifting claims. You may have seen the signs that say "we prosecute all shoplifters". This has often been used as a deterrent to say that no matter how small, we will prosecute all shoplifting offenses. Well, I guess that is no longer the case.

Around June of 2006, several media sources reported that Wal-mart had implemented a new shoplifting policy which in effect said that they would no longer prosecute anyone caught taking merchandise under $25. Previously, the policy was to prosecute anybody who took at $3 in goods. No doubt Wal-Mart would have liked to keep this new policy quite, but much like anything the big behemoth retailer does, sooner or later, it gets leaked.


Anyway, Ms. Winters' story is sad, but it does provide some cautionary details for anyone considering putting their hand in the cookie jar inappropriately.

The story also, of course, reinforces that fundamental principle of American business and justice:

Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you king.




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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:12 PM

137. just take it out of her pay

maybe send her to financial counseling classes so she better manages her money
arrest is a little much, felony is ridiculous

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:19 PM

139. The gist of many of the arguments made in this thread seems to be that.........

 

"Theft or shoplifting is okay if the employer or store happens to be a big, greedy company."


Or:


"It's okay for A to steal from B if B is an even worse crook."


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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #139)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:32 PM

144. Eating a cookie is not "theft."

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #144)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:34 PM

145. If you don't pay for them, it is. n/t.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #145)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:37 PM

146. I wouldn't convict her of theft for eating a cookie, ever. It's absurd and abusive.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #145)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:58 PM

158. So make her pay for the box of cookies. Don't bring her up on felony charges.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #158)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:00 PM

187. Exactly. Call it "destruction of property," perhaps, but not theft.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #187)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:17 PM

190. I wonder how many of those here in this thread saying, "Yes, it's stealing! Punish it severely!"

have post-its or pens at home that came from the office. Or use company cars to run an errand now and then. Or expense stuff that isn't strictly business. I bet a lot.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #190)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:26 AM

236. How surprising. DU's own gang of right-wing authoritarians here to defend this week's Javert.

I didn't think authoritarianism was compatible with liberal or progressive values.

I still don't.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #144)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:09 PM

172. Yes, all employees should be able to open packages at will

on store shelves and eat a cookie, or donut or chips, etc. Do you see why this is a problem?

The reaction is overkill, but, yes, the employee should be fired.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #139)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:39 PM

149. For me, it's that the punishment should fit the crime. IMO, this is total overkill.

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #149)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:40 PM

151. I totally agree that it is excessive punishment.

 

But the argument that some seem to be making, such as "It's okay to steal because the company is a big corporation that is greedy and doesn't care for people" does not hold water.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #151)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:42 PM

153. I don't give a shit about that. I just feel for this woman. Walmart can go fuck itself.

 

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:10 PM

173. Please sir-- more soup.


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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:30 PM

178. I agree with Walmart. If we don't keep order in this country...

...the next thing you know, people will be stealing lives by sending other people to countries that have Weapons of Mass Destruction or
even stealing money from the populace by Imposing laws that are rigged toward the poor like 35.00 for a bounced 2.00 check.

We can't be to careful.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #178)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:48 PM

198. Reading your post, one could begin to imagine a terrible dystopia in which

a small minority perpetrates a con on the rest of the populace which costs people large chunks of their retirement money and their homes, while the small minority makes billions.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:05 PM

188. That store is close to here. In fact, my son worked there for about a year.

Everybody I've heard talk about this says they plan to go to Walmart and give them the $3 for the stupid cookies.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:07 PM

189. There needs to be a food and water exemption to any felony theft charge.


The only way I'd accept a felony verdict in such cases would be if it it could be proven that the defendant intended to profit from the sale of such items. Also, the dollar amount involved needs to be substantial, like over $200 or so.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:08 PM

194. Fuck WalMart. I have never shopped there and I never will.

I so hate that place. I am so sorry for that employee and I know there are plenty of people who will make up for my lack of shopping there, but I really wish we could put that company out of business and let other more humanitarian, competitive companies rise up in their place.

Have I said how much I have hated them today? Poor woman. I hope she gets some justice.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:38 PM

196. Walmart law should be a separate section taught in law school

Along with contract law, torts, etc., Walmart cases should have their own law classes since they are so plentiful and generally quite bizarre and over-reaching.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:40 PM

197. interesting that they bothered to review surveillance video over an open bag of cookies. I worked

at one those big stores decades ago. we would never have bothered. People were also poking holes in packages.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:20 PM

200. Fuck Walmart

Those cookies are much less than what they owe her and the rest of their employees.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:45 PM

204. Doesn't a District Attorney decide what the charges are?

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:07 AM

211. Walmart's business model -- underpaid workers on food stamps -- is a form of freeriding, i.e. theft

It may be legal, but it's theft of public services on a grand scale. It ought to be a felony. The company's top management and stockholders (the Walton Family) should have at least 50% of their assets seized for their pattern and practice violations.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:13 AM

212. Felony charges are beyond overkill

If she did shoplift, ticket her and make her appear in court to explain why. Arresting her is just wrong.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:45 AM

219. How can it be a felony?

Wow, that state has strict laws. Positively Victorian/Dickensian.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:56 AM

232. Great. Not only do we subsidize their workers with food stamps ...now we get to pay to have them...

in prison too.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 12:16 PM

241. Indiana Walmart Employee Admits To Stealing A Pack Of Oreos A Week For Four Years

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