Alleged Walmart Shoplifter Dies After Being Tackled

Walmart’s loss prevention tactics took a morbid turn over the weekend at an Atlanta location, when a suspected shoplifter was tackled by two security personnel and a customer, and then died for mysterious reasons.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

“It was basically a big pile-up,” [a police spokesman] said. “They had him pinned on the ground to keep him from running.”

When police arrived around 1 p.m., two bystanders were administering CPR, but they were unable to save [the suspect]. He was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to Northside Hospital.

The spokesman told the paper that “It doesn’t appear that any undue force was used on the suspect,” and that Walmart recovered the items.

“Alleged Wal-Mart shoplifter dies after scuffle with store cops” [AJC.com] (Thanks to Dorian and Frank!)

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  1. morganlh85 says:

    So THAT’S why they tell employees not to attempt to apprehend shoplifters…

    Although if you ask me, death is one of the occupational hazards of being a thief.

    • osiris73 says:

      So you’re presuming guilt then? Tackle first, due process later, huh?

      • Overheal says:

        Exactly. The law says INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE.

        Walmart does not have the Authority or the Right to forcibly detain customers purse snatchers or shoplifters or dopey airy dumbasses who forgot they put a tube of toothpaste in their pocket to answer a phone call while they were in aisle six.

        • Kitamura says:

          I dunno what it’s like in Atlanta, but where I live, if Loss Prevention is taking someone down, they have to have met specific conditions. Ie, they have to see the item be taken and they cannot loose track of the person even for a second until they exit the store. You can’t just take someone down on “suspicions” you basically have to have solid proof that the person in question has shoplifted and did not dump the merchandise before exiting the store.

          That being said, I’ve seen some messy LP arrests, especially when the thief starts throwing punches and resisting.

          • tekmill says:

            I think people are missing the point. The person that died obviously was willing to risk his life over 1.97 stick of toothpaste. Why would a person be willing to risk their life over a stick of collgate? Whenever someone willingly commits a crime they are putting their life and others at risk. I’ve worked in a store where a young mom lost custody of her children because of a shoplifting charge. I never understood people’s rationale for just taking something from a store.

          • RandomZero says:

            The problem with that: Do loss prevention people always follow The Book (or even the law) to the letter? Certain sources tell me no.

            • Kitamura says:

              I dunno, most of the articles here are employees exceeding their authority, or hired security who’s job doesn’t actually seem to be LPO but rather look imposing to deter shoplifters. Maybe walmart is different, but I know where I worked, LPOs had to be especially careful that the major criteria were filled before arresting so that they aren’t opening themselves and the store to a lawsuit.

        • JiminyChristmas says:

          Not entirely true. Depending on state laws, and I don’t know if Georgia is one of these states or not, retailers do have the right to detain people suspected of shoplifting. Likewise, they may be allowed to use a “reasonable” amount of forcible restraint.

          Now, that said, when this gets to court it would not surprise me if the security personnel who killed the man in question are found to have acted unreasonably. The “It doesn’t appear that any undue force was used on the suspect,” quote is just mind-bogglingly idiotic. It wouldn’t be that mysterious if the suspected shoplifter were found to have been asphyxiated.

        • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

          You are innocent until proven guilty, but between the alleged offense and the trial where you are proven guilty or not guilty there is generally an ARREST. In Georgia a citizen who witnesses a misdemeanor can perform that arrest.

    • phospholipid says:

      lets wait until the autopsy report. still, if he was able to run.

    • htowninsomniac says:

      Excuse me? For all I know, that could have been me at under those two guards and that customer who had probably had no reason to interfere. I don’t let security guards search my bags, I wouldn’t stop if they told me to, and I’m no thief.

      Unless the guards and the customer were defending themselves, they should be charged with battery at least, probably manslaughter, and that’s regardless of whether the deceased was a thief or not.

  2. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    this is especially creepy to read after watching the video footage GESD got over the weekend of another alleged shoplifter tackled in a different walmart.

  3. LESSTHANKIND says:

    It’s so repulsive that taking an item is considered justification for this kind of violent attack. Perspective, people. Stealing is wrong, but it shouldn’t be a crime punishable by assault and death. Arrest, yes. Death, no. “Stuff” isn’t THAT important.

    • soj4life says:

      The fox story has better details:

      http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/Wal-Mart-Shoplifting-Suspect-Dies-122209

      He was a heavy set, he died probably from a heart attack or he couldn’t breath because they pinned his arms behind his back. A couple years ago, a prisoner in my county’s jail jailed in a similar fashion. He was being violent in his cell, the sheriff deputies restrained by cuffing his arms behind his back; he was sitting down and then fell over and died because he couldn’t breath.

  4. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    How many people need to get hurt before Walmart realizes that this is a bad policy? I’ll bet that if this guy died from a drug overdose, the media will ignore it since they’re better than him. My guess is that during the pile-up, and internal organ was punctured. This is not okay…

    • GrantGannon says:

      Isn’t it policy not to chase after thieves? Regardless of whether or not the guy stole something, Wal-Mart is probably going to be facing a wrongful death lawsuit in the near future.

      • oloranya says:

        I get the feeling Wal-mart doesn’t exactly have the best training program for it’s employee’s.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Considering most of the Wal-Mart employees I have encountered don’t speak much English, and I can’t imagine Wal-Mart being sensitive enough to hire Spanish-speaking instructors, I also doubt that Wal-Mart employees are very well trained.

    • Anonymously says:

      Oooh, ooh, are we playing Dr. G, Medical Examiner now? I bet he had a pulmonary embolism.

  5. Scuba Steve says:

    Probably had an unknown heart condition. While sad, If they had conclusive proof of the crime, I don’t see why they can’t detain him until the cops arrive. Most states give merchants the right to legally detain a person who has been seen shoplifting and conduct a brief interrogation. Georgia I believe allows this.

  6. johnmc says:

    Oh good, they got their merchandise back.

  7. SaraFimm says:

    All large corporation owned and probably most small businesses tell their employees to not physically go after a suspected shoplifter. Truly, if the lawyers had their way, shoplifters would get away from all stores with their loot if they ran or struggled to leave the store. It’s the shoplifters who turn around and quietly surrender who get apprehended. Otherwise, the police must receive get-away-car license data, a good description/sketch or photographic evidence from surveillance footage to capture these crooks and get the charges to stick. And that’s the hardest thing to prove if there is no surveillance footage to make it an open and shut case.

    Personally, you have to fear that the shoplifter is an experienced crook and has a knife or gun with which to kill you if you physically go after him. Only if you have seasoned and experienced security personnel would I consider that they should go after the crook and even then there is still the possibility of lawsuits against the business and it’s staff.

    There is a business term for not apprehending crooks in your store. It’s called “Shrink”.

    • fantomesq says:

      No if in-house counsel had their way, thieves would be stopped properly – that is, not making a bigger mountain of legal issues than they had on their hands. Outside counsel is paid by the hour so go ahead and make a bigger mess of things and they’ll be glad to clean it up.

      What has the store won if they stop the thief from stealing a $200 item but spend $5000 defending the suit?

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      Most pros actually don’t carry weapons, because if they are caught with a gun or a knife, it immediately escalates their offense to armed robbery, even if they never brandished it.

      Having said that, there’s still no way to know if that guy running out with a booster bag full of DVDs is armed, so better to err on the side of caution. I liked the record store, but there was no way I was going to take a bullet or a knife for them.

  8. Fred E. says:

    This is Hu Jintao’s fault, all that stuff they sell at Walmart is made in China.

  9. 2 replies says:

    Spokesman said “It doesn’t appear that any undue force was used on the suspect,”

    …Well OF COURSE Walmart’s spokesman will say that. IMO, ANY force used is undue when someone is only SUSPECTED of shoplifting.

    I seriously hope the family sues the sweat-shop-shit out of Wally-World. I’m sick of being hassled by fake rent-a-cops to show my receipt. Put in an exit that must be used after going through checkout. Then all responsibility for proof of purchase will be on the cashiers/lane managers.

    • Anonymously says:

      I could watch someone shoot and kill my family and they’d still only be “suspected” of murder until found guilty in a court of law. Should the murderer have to voluntarily turn themselves in, or is force allowed then even if it’s only “suspected” murder?

    • reality says:

      Obviously your just as big a crook as the man who died if you talk like that. Guess you parents didn’t teach you better than to take something that doesn’t belong to you. I would love to see what you opinion would be if you owned a business and some dishonest person was stealing you blind…..oh wait that would be different cause it would be you and not Wal-Mart. Grow up or move to a place that supports your attitude about life. I have a funny feeling you find that place because it’s not real. Is you education above pre-k????? Put the shoes on you feet for a while and then post a comment that has some real meaning.

  10. Fred E. says:

    If you think Walmart employees treat customers badly, see how customers treat Walmart employees:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/12/21/us/AP-US-NH-Murder-Plot.html

    NORTH HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — Denounced as ”evil” and ”despicable,” three young friends who plotted the killing of a developmentally disabled Walmart cashier who had been hitting on a co-worker drew long prison terms Monday.

  11. West Coast Secessionist says:

    Maybe I’m a bastard for saying this, but I really couldn’t give a crap less that one less scumbag is shoplifting today because he died in the process of committing his favorite crime.

    Now if it turns out he wasn’t shoplifting then I am saddened, but I think one shouldn’t be entitled to a wrongful death suit if the dead guy died because of, or in the process of committing a crime.

    But anyway shoplifters and other criminals make the world suck for every one of us, whether we depend on retail for a living or not.

    Think of this asshole the next time you cut yourself on those bastard plastic clamshells, or have to wander around Best Buy looking for an employee to sell you a product that’s sold behind glass. I guarantee you’ll feel better about his non-tragic death then.

    • htowninsomniac says:

      People who kill make the world suck too.

    • DD_838 says:

      I’m sure if that “scumbag” was your teenage son or daughter you would be singing a different tune.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Maybe there are those of us who are capable of raising teenagers with morals and decency so they wouldn’t be shoplifting in the first place. I know I wouldn’t want a thief for a child…

        • Mr_Human says:

          But you might get one, no matter how hard you tried to raise them otherwise.

        • levelone says:

          Let me tell you that sometimes, no matter what you do or how hard you try, people do not turn out the way you want them to. Sometimes parents end up with nightmare children no matter how hard they try to instill morals and values, no matter how much they love the child, no matter how well their other children turn out. You may not want a thief for a child but children don’t always do what we want. That’s the problem with raising sentient beings, they sometimes make their own decisions – and they don’t always turn out to be the best decisions. Lots of teens shoplift, then stop when they become adults because they realize what they’re doing is wrong. Some don’t. It doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, or that their parents shouldn’t love them despite them not obeying the law.

        • Hogan1 says:

          The 10% of parents that actually have some tangible form of common sense you mean? Unfortunately there’s far too many parents who don’t care what their children are doing and/or support their deviant behavior.

      • West Coast Secessionist says:

        Every jerk out there has parents. Thieves, spammers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, etc. So what? It’s a fallacious argument to suggest that because this asshole has parents who are bummed, that I, or society at large, should care.

        If I had a good-for-nothing bum as a kid, like this guy’s parents did, I’d already be sad even if he was alive and well. And if he died stealing, OD’d on heroin, crashed a car driving 120mph, or any other idiotic way to get yourself killed, I guess I would be extra bummed.

        However, I guarantee you that my kids (when I have them) won’t be criminals. It’s actually not rocket science to raise decent kids, it’s just that most people don’t care enough to actually put effort into it.

        • Shadowman615 says:

          However, I guarantee you that my kids (when I have them) won’t be criminals. It’s actually not rocket science to raise decent kids, it’s just that most people don’t care enough to actually put effort into it.

          That’s cute. Come back and share some more with us when you’re old enough to know a few things.

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Just hope that you are not mistaken for a thief by overzealous store security employees.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Pretty sure most innocent and rational people would just stop and explain why yhey may be carrying additional items, not run like the wind.

  12. baristabrawl says:

    But the person was just suspected of shoplifting. Did they actually do it?

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. We might never know the whole story.

      • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

        The spokesman told the paper that “It doesn’t appear that any undue force was used on the suspect,” and that Walmart recovered the items.

  13. ZekeSulastin says:

    So on the stories where someone gets in trouble for tackling a suspected shoplifter, you all decry the corporation for getting The Hero in trouble; when the shoplifter gets tackled, you all decry the corporation for their response.

    Make up your mind.

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Since when attacking or apprehending a shoplifting suspect is considered heroism?

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        Since this incident took place. Anyone who takes a criminal out of circulation is a hero in my book.

        • AJ_Syrinx says:

          A shoplifter is a criminal, now? Definitely not in the eyes of the law.

          • edebaby says:

            Yes, a shoplifter is a criminal in the eyes of the law. What are you thinking?

          • cluberti says:

            Considering there’s punishment for it in penal codes the country over, yeah, shoplifting is a crime. In Georgia, where the alleged shoplifting occurred, it’s a felony if the value of the merchandise taken is over $300.00, it’s your 4th shoplifting offense, or if you’ve taken the equivalent of $300 from 3 or more locations in the same county within 7 days. The sentences can be up to 10 years in jail for a felony shoplifting conviction as well in Georgia.

  14. parrotuya says:

    Have they not learned yet? Wal-Mart is pure evil. When your bad and you die, you go to super Wal-Mart where you are hopelessly lost with only a Bing-reduced Windows Vista laptop to find your way out. This is forever and ever. Hopeless…

  15. ianmac47 says:

    Maybe a lawsuit with a big pay day will finally put an end to this absurdity.

  16. Blinkman987 says:

    Doesn’t shoplifting hurt consumers with higher prices, inaccurate inventory, more prohibitive security measures (think plastic cases around video games), and making items unavailable for purchase?

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Yes, but what is your point, Sir?

      • ChunkyBarf says:

        I think he is hinting that Fort Knox has a pretty good track record when it comes to maintaining its inventory. I don’t think that Wal-Mart should hire a kung-fu consultant (kunsultant?) by any means, but if they (or any retailer) puts on a strong front, it ultimately deters people from even thinking about committing theft.
        I used to work retail (not at Wal-Mart), but our loss prevention system pretty much did not exist. I know for a fact that some people would literally score thousands of dollars in a single day and not even look back when the little security beepers would go off as they walked out the door.
        There really needs to be a happy medium.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      yes, but i would imagine a wrongful death lawsuit payout to the suspected shoplifter’s loved ones is also likely to cost a little something

    • Avrus says:

      Statistics have shown time and time again that a large portion of shoplifting occurs from employees. Not customers.

      Regardless, I fail to see how receipt checkers at the door catch shoplifters unless they’re patting everyone down.

  17. My Head Hurts says:

    “and that Walmart recovered the items.”

    good to know, I was becoming worried he had taken them to the grave.

    • Difdi says:

      Note that nowhere does it say he had stolen the items, only that the Walmart employees suspected that he had, and that they recovered them. I wonder if anyone checked his pockets for a receipt before recovering the items?

  18. AngryK9 says:

    Whom do you think will be filing the lawsuit in this case? Against whom do you think that suit will be? Do you think they’ll win the suit? etcetera…

  19. jamar0303 says:

    Oh, come on, AGAIN? Wasn’t the first time supposed to be an isolated incident in another country due to differing cultures or some such?

  20. 339point4 says:

    Maybe the powers-that-be at Walmart realized they were missing out on a ton of free advertising since no one died in their stores on Black Friday and decided to do something about that while there were still a few shopping days left before Christmas.

  21. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    I say to hell with shoplifters, YOU DO KNOW YOU ARE PAYING FOR THERE ITEMS!!!????

    And if you get tackled because you are one of those jerks refusing to show your receipt, to hell with you too.

    Its simple policy, its not a strip search. Any kind of un warrented search I would NOT approve. In fact, is search is necessary, cops should be called.

    Do I feel bad for this guy? Hell no, let him rot.

    • hungryhomer says:

      Well, I sure hope no one ever lets you in any kind of managerial position. If so, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more “shoplifter’s testicles electrocuted at Wal-Mart” stories.

    • DH405 says:

      Okay, troll. I’ll bite.

      For one, this person was simply suspected of shoplifting. Without confirmation, they have no right to lay hands on him, much less tackle him to the ground in any sort of even remotely life-threatening manner.

      For two, no store has the right to stop me to check my receipt unless I have given it to them. There are some stores I’ve signed that right away for, and that’s okay. I entered into that agreement willingly. Also, yes they are in fact unwarranted searches. As in they have no warrant. They sell cheap crap for a living, they’re not law enforcement personnel.

      • Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

        TROLL? WTF, you are the troll.

        We have had ppl in my town who where KNOWN to commit a crime that sat uncharged for months. Its these hoodlums that are the reason for receipt checkers, needless crimes, etc.

        I really don’t care what you think of me, these stores have HUNDREDS of cameras for a reason, and its ppl like this, that they do.

        • AnthonyC says:

          You’re definition of “known” is not the same as the law’s definition of “known.” Either that, or the officials in your town are incompetent/corrupt or otherwise decided not to go after the perpetrators of whatever crimes you’re referring to.

          Or, they’re quietly looking for (and at) evidence, building a solid case.

      • wild homes loves you but chooses darkness! says:

        To be fair, you’re assuming an awful lot. In my experience, (properly trained) loss prevention personnel will only resort to physical restraint when the suspect attempts to fight them off and flee. The moment the suspect attempts to do this, he’s committed assault, and the loss prevention personnel are free to restrain him that he cannot leave or cause injury to himself or others. It’s not uncommon that they’d choose to pin him to the ground, immobilising his arms and legs so he cannot fight or lash out (though I admit there are an awful lot of missing details in this story at the moment)…

        Now, if they sat on his chest or something? Obviously that’s really dumb, and dangerous, but there’s nothing released so far that suggests anything like that happened.

        Oh, and to the person you responded to in the first place: you seem to be pretty immature. It’s unfair to bash any group of people over the actions or characteristics of one person. This is a sad situation, is all.

    • varro says:

      I’m not paying for anyone’s shoplifting at Wal-Mart. You know why? To quote Stallone from Cobra, “I don’t shop [there].”

  22. Crutnacker says:

    Hmmm… my least favorite retailer meets my least favorite type of person, a thief.

    I think what we’re witnessing is the beginning of the end for Wal-Mart. Yes, they’re huge, but the signs of their becoming the next Sears/K-Mart are there.

    1) Stores are becoming haphazard filthy messes.
    2) Once legendary inventory management is slipping.
    3) Employees suck
    4) Prices are creeping upward, beyond their competitors
    5) Expansion is eating into their own store profits.

    And now they are killing people. I wouldn’t be shocked it 10 years from now we’ll be seeing articles and stories about what happened to the once invincible friend of China. It is amazing how Wal-Mart went from a proud American retailer that touted American products and was beloved by employees in the early 80′s to this giant bucket of fail today. We shop there because many of us don’t have much choice. They’re the DMV of retailers. Long lines, unfriendly people, and you better have two forms of ID if you want to leave without getting arrested.

    My favorite part: “Two bystanders were administering CPR”

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Bentley Little wrote a horror novel called “The Store.” Imagine a supernaturally-charged Walmart cult. I predict that’s next.

      It was a great read btw. :)

  23. pantheonoutcast says:

    Good. Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding. A man walks into a store, grabs several items, he is witnessed by dozens of people including security cameras, he attempts to flee the store, gets into an altercation with a customer, and you people want to call him a “suspect”? Please. People who run full speed out of a store carrying merchandise they haven’t paid for are criminals, and as such, they deserve any misfortunes that befall them, including, but not limited to, death. You know would have made this an even better story? If he ran out of the store, broke free from his pursuers, and just when he thought he was home free, he was hit broadside by a truck delivering Zhu Zhu Hamsters…

    • Crutnacker says:

      That made me laugh.

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      Yes! Times like this I so miss the little heart feature. You’re awesome.

      Screw all this “WAH WAH. Poor wittle shoplifter, they should be nice to him.” When you purposely commit crimes, you risk all kinds of things. If you wanted people to be nice to you then maybe you shouldn’t start out by stealing from them.

      • Lollerface says:

        This story isn’t about the shoplifter’s rights. When someone commits a crime they are forfeiting some rights. The point is Walmart’s assumption of rights they do not have such as tackling people. The security at Walmart has no more authority out on the street than anyone else. They are not law enforcement officers.

    • varro says:

      Remind me to give you a Nelson “HA-ha” laugh if you get hit by a car jaywalking.

  24. zombie_batch says:

    They have insurance against shoplifting. How is this sort of behavior justified, ever?

    • AJ_Syrinx says:

      Precisely. When you factor in all legal costs plus negative publicity, is it really worth confronting shoplifting suspects?

      Actually, now that I think about it, Wal-Mart is probably NOT affected by negative publicity. People (including myself) will still shop there.

      • madanthony says:

        Is this negative publicity? If you were thinking of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart, this would probably make you think twice about it. Which is one of the reasons that Wal-Mart probably doesn’t want to get a rep for being too soft on shoplifters – it would lead to more people shoplifting.

        Of course, there is some point between letting people get away with anything and killing them (assuming that the guy’s death was caused by their actions).

    • ChunkyBarf says:

      Well, I think you partially answered your own question. Why is insurance necessary? If they cut down on losses, they cut down on premiums.
      On a tangential note, the reason why there are safety posters, first-aid kits, and even sexual harassment training is to cut down on potential lawsuit exposure and to cut down on insurance costs (even saving $1 per store per month can add up long-term).

    • Elcheecho says:

      i doubt a company like Walmart has insurance against something like shoplifting. It’d be cheaper just to suck up whatever losses come your way. May against mass looting during natural disasters but this regular stuff they know is going to happen? Who would insure that? Who would buy that insurance?

    • trujunglist says:

      how is it justified to steal a tube of toothpaste?

      it’s not. he died because he wanted toothpaste and didn’t want to pay for it. he couldn’t run away because he was fat. he got tackled because he tried to resist.

      in other words, criminal dies being a criminal. boohoo what will we do without criminals? probably one less neighbor of mine getting every single thing they own stolen on Xmas day. how about that? I have no sympathy for this guy.

  25. Rhyss says:

    Not knowing the loss prevention folks training regimine, I would generally say this is very bad practice. I work at an in-patient psychiatric hospital and we receive very specific training and yearly recertifications on how to restrain assaultive and self-injurious clients. This is because it is so easy for both staff and clients to be injured during these interactions. “Carry-downs” represent the highest incidents of injuries for both staff and clients. I can’t imagine if employees who aren’t trained are performing such interventions, especially with prone restraining which are at the highest risk for suffocation and heart issues.

  26. Tomas says:

    Tell ya what… I’m a partially disabled 63 year old guy licensed to carry a concealed firearm since the seventies – and I do. I also do not shoplift.

    Because of my disabilities I am more fragile than I may appear to be, and a serious tussle could be life threatening to me.

    If some Loss Prevention “professionals” at some store assaulted me, I would defend myself.

    Please understand what I just said: I would defend myself from unwarranted assault, and if it was serious enough I would apply direct, potentially lethal force to their center of mass.

    The only question is would I use my 9mm or my .32 cal backup? Depends on which one I could get to most easily, I suppose.

    • reality says:

      Thoma, Thanks for all the years of service you provided as a police officer at whatever agency you worked for but…….your old. As you said an unwarranted restraint. Contrary to uneducated peoples belief’s walmart security personal become only as violent as the people that try and resist them. As you know being a former cop you have the right to defend yourself against attacks from resistive suspects. That’s all they do is defend themselves and restrain these people. Lets look at the totality of the circumstances before we act like we didn’t finish 1st grade. As you know the law looks at the reasonableness of what happened it doesn’t use attitude or anger to afflict DUE PROCESS. PTI 101. Besides you honest and would put yourself in that position now would you!

  27. Yume Ryuu says:

    I like that at the end they had to add ‘And walmart recovered the items.’

  28. edebaby says:

    After reading these comments, it really seems like the Shoplifter’s Union has invaded this comment board. Either that, or your hatred of WalMart is clouding your perspective.

    • radio1 says:

      It’s not about that. It’s about appropriate response from store personnel.

      If Wal-Mart has a policy to restrain people from leaving the store if caught shoplifting– fine. But they better make sure, that only trained personnel can do that AND that they are trained by the local PD in safely restraining ‘alleged shoplifters’.

      If Wal-Mart does not have this policy, then it becomes the personal responsibility of all involved including the store manager to answer for this death. If you want to put it crassly (as some of you ‘he-got-what-he-deserved-people’ do), they guy paid the ultimate price for his crime. And Wal-Mart got it stuff back– so even steven according to you yahoos (not you *edebaby*). But what about the people who caused the death? Was their justification so righteous that they get off scott-free?

  29. radio1 says:

    The guy was shoplifting. Ok.
    But does someone deserve to die for that? Even if it is unintended?

    What about the tacklers? Involuntary manslaughter? Or nothing, because the person who died was committing a crime…?

    This is ridiculous. Seriously, it’d be cheaper for Wal-Mart to just let the people go and take a several hundred dollar loss (or whatever those items were worth); than to have some kind of lawsuit filed because someone died.

    So, this is the second year in a row that someone has died at Wal-Mart during an XMas holiday.

  30. mandys08 says:

    holy crap i was at this walmart during my lunch break too bad i was back in the office before 1 i missed all the action. its odd the exit i go out only has a disabled person to welcome/check receipts.

  31. Shoneybowl says:

    I wonder if he was stealing food or something like DVD’s.

    Either way stealing is wrong, but it’s not up to them to detain or punish. It’s sad to hear of all these Walmart episodes. I’m glad I don’t have any of them near where I live.

  32. Dr Violent says:

    For my Canuck brethern, (and this is NOT legal advice, this is food for thought.)

    Remember, just because someone has ironed-on the word “security” onto their black windbreaker, it does not give them any more special powers that if it said “snufalufagus”.

    If a security guard or other personnel asks you to stop and wait for police, you do not have to comply. If they prevent you from leaving, by any means, that is False Imprisonment.

    If they make any kind of unwanted physical conact with you, even a touch on your shoulder, that is Assault.

    There is legal precedent for all of this.
    Don’t get angry, stay calm, and Retain Council if you get in this type of situation. Regardless of the validity of the store’s claims, you could still litigate.

    The idea is that you are Innocent until proven guilty.

  33. Android8675 says:

    Merry Christmas Everyone! FUCK WALMART!

  34. reality says:

    Hey all you do gooders, I love to see how you like to always jumps the gun and bach large companies or authority when something like this happens. If they man wouldn’t have been a thief and been honest he would have never put himself in that position to DIE. That’s HIS FAULT not Wal-Mart. We all know why people like you post negative comments about large companies with BIG MONEY. Your greedy. All these security people tried to do was HOLD this man down until police got there. Look up positional asphyxia. This is not Wal-Marts fault.Guess retailers are suppose just let criminals rob them blind so they can raise prices even more and case a deeper recession. Grow the hell up for christ sake.

  35. Squeezer says:

    why the hell did a customer get involved?

  36. savdavid says:

    So, you are saying MorganIh85 that if they THINK you are a thief you may risk death at Wal-Mart? They have made the mistake before. For example, when they went after the gay couple who had NOT shoplifted.

  37. akalish says:
  38. mdovell says:

    Having worked retail for a bit in a box store let me summarize security.

    1) Most retailers have cameras in enough locations to get people on tape. Even in parking lots. These recording these days are hard drive based and can o back for months

    2) Technically security could try to do a citizens arrest but since the laws vary so much state to state this isn’t really possible. In some states it means detention is possible but not actually handcuffing etc…so unless you can convince someone to stop it’s pointless

    3) You don’t know if these people are armed. My old Loss prevention manager (district level) caught a women stealing a box of rags. Him and three others in effect sat on her to detain her…they all felt kinda wet and warm afterward…yup…she had a knife and managed to stab all of them! So now you have thousands of dollars in medical bills, bad press for knocking down a women and it was all over a $20 box of rags?

    There’s no reason to go after people especially outside of the store. Inside you can somewhat get in their face and give tons of attention but if someone just grabs stuff and goes don’t even bother.

    Lingering behind much of this is the fact that no retailer allows for any employee to be armed as it would open up a can of worms the size of the moon. As those that want to steal know this it means people will be more apt to steal…that and the fact that Walmart won’t prosecute if it’s in small amounts.

    So if they can’t hurt you, can’t detain you and won’t charge you the theft rate will go up and up.

  39. ebaymarcaro@netzero.com says:

    By my count this is the third incident for Walmart in the US alone in the past decade. Once last year in Florida and then back in 2005 in Ohio.

  40. trujunglist says:

    fuck this criminal. If you’re going to pull off high risk criminal acts, you should be prepared to die over it, especially if you’re some fat fuck that might die if you run 5 steps. i’m a little less pissed than normal at this guy because it’s walmart and not some private individual that he was attempting to steal from, but c’mon man, if you didn’t think there was any risk at all in stealing, including death, then uhhhh… don’t steal next time. oh wait, too late, so sad. i’m crying my eyes out for him right now boohoo! won’t someone think of the stupid fat criminals? don’t they DESERVE that toothpaste instead of dying?