74-Year-Old Accused Walmart Shoplifter Fights To Clear Name

No one wants to spend their golden years fending off unwarranted shoplifting charges, but that’s the situation in which a 74-year-old Missouri man finds himself. Following up on Walmart complaints, authorities accused the man of nearly 20 robberies at stores throughout the midwest. He’s maintained his innocence and finally seems to be making some headway.

Months after the man was arrested in July, the Kansas City Star reports, two counties in which he’s been charged have let him off the hook.

Video surveillance snippets submitted as evidence apparently don’t match the man, and the overall case against him seems to be weak, causing district attorneys to drop charges.

“I just don’t think Mr. Stevens is the man in the pictures,” the Allen County, Mo. attorney said. “This case wasn’t adding up.”

Second county drops charges against man in Walmart thefts [The Kansas City Star]
(Thanks, C!)

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  1. Thassodar says:

    I really want someone to blame the OP in this case simply because I see no way for someone to do it.

    “It’s the OPs fault for looking like a shifty-eyed 74 year old shoplifter.”

    • Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

      It could be his fault for shopping at Walmart in the first place…I’ve seen worse attempts at OP-blaming.

      If he’d only stayed home and bought his groceries online, none of this would have happened!!!1! Except he’d be on here with a story about how one of his orders never arrived and he never saw a refund. Then he’d be told how that’s what he deserves for sitting on his lazy butt shopping online while driving brick-and-mortar stores out of business.

    • Bob Lu says:

      If yo actually read the post, he doesn’t even look like the shoplifter caught in the tape.

    • Michael Bauser says:

      How about… “It’s the OP’s fault for not showing receipts that proved he didn’t steal that stuff! I don’t know why people don’t want to show their receipts!”

    • nonsane says:

      It’s easy to blame OP. Here’s how i’d do it:

      So because he’s in the news now he’s innocent? He must have done something to raise attention to get arrested. He likely has a criminal record which is why the police would blame him and should probably be in jail anyways. Also for shopping at walmart.

      How’s that? (I make my own OP Blames at home)

  2. bender123 says:

    After working at a grocery store, in loss prevention, in high school, I can say that my experience showed elderly people frequently shoplifted…almost, if not more, than teens.

    We tended not to prosecute them, though as they usually claimed forgetfulness/absentmindedness. Seems reasonable, but if I had a dollar for every tube of Preparation H shoved into a pocket, then i could’ve retired before college.

    • MuffinSangria says:

      Was that uncle Leo?

      “I’m an old man. I’m confused! I thought I paid for it. What’s my name? Will you take me”

      • bender123 says:

        Very accurate…my favorite was an old guy that set up grocery bags in his cart, “shopped” by placing his items in the bags and attempting to walk out.

        He said he thought he paid for it and thats why everything was bagged for him…The store manager let the guy walk despite having a tape of him setting up the bags, filling them and avoiding the check stands in the front to leave through the entry doors located in the produce department.

      • A.Mercer says:

        Swarm! Swarm! Swarm!

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      That is probably the #1 stolen product in the US… it was a few years ago, i’m fairly sure it still is.

  3. c!tizen says:

    If you can’t steal when you get old then what’s the point of getting old?

  4. Michaela says:

    Why does it matter that the person is 74-years-old? To even mention the age seems like a pathetic attempt at an appeal to emotion fallacy…

    • YOXIM says:

      Why even mention he’s a human being? Seems like an attempt to extort emotional sympathy from other fellow humans. Why couldn’t they say sabertooth tiger instead? It would certainly make the story go from “meh, mundane” to “holy shitballs that’s fucking awesome I don’t know how to react my mind is blown what the fuck is this shit”.

    • brianisthegreatest says:

      What if they were 4?

    • JennQPublic says:

      I’m not sure it’s meant to garner sympathy. It sounds like mistaken identity, but the real criminal is not a young thug, it’s another older man.

      You just can’t trust old people.

    • ryder02191 says:

      Typical Phil Villarreal Reporting®.

  5. danmac says:

    Good…now that that’s settled, Walmart can reimburse the man for all his legal fees and the authorities for all the government resources they’ve wasted pursuing this. Wait…what’s that, you say? Now that legal prosecution has run its course, they’ll probably just send him a Civil Fine letter instead? How wonderful of them!

    • Salesmonkey says:

      What’s a civil fine letter?

      • danmac says:

        The company decides that you shoplifted and sends you a letter demanding payment for goods stolen plus a punitive fine…if you don’t pay, they send you to collections and/or sue you in civil court.

        • Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

          My cousin got one of these once. It absolutely blew our minds, because she didn’t have a car and never shopped at that store. It wasn’t like it was Target or somewhere common to shop and maybe they suspected her of taking something and followed her out to her car. Even if she’d really done it and borrowed her mother’s car to get there, the letter would have come in my aunt’s name.

          My aunt cleared it up by having her boss (an attorney) give them a call. The store dropped the issue after he asked to see the security footage, but to this day we can’t figure it out.

  6. Xene says:

    Was he accused of stealing batteries?

  7. GearheadGeek says:

    Wait, it is robbery, or shoplifting? Robbery involves taking from someone directly or when they can see you doing it, rather than by stealth.

  8. veritybrown says:

    Obviously someone with brains needs to get to the bottom of WHY this man was even a suspect in the first place. You don’t have multiple stores in different cities accusing the same man of theft without some reason for it. It sounds as if it’s highly unlikely that he is actually the culprit, but this mess didn’t just appear out of thin air. And sorry, I’m not buying some vast Walmart conspiracy to imprison old men.

    • aloria says:

      It’s not uncommon for store managers to call around to see if other stores have been experiencing similar thefts or to warn them, especially if there’s a specific behavior or pattern to the thefts. When my mom managed a Blockbuster video, someone figured out a trick to get the DVDs for sale out of their alarmed cases, so she’d call other stores to tell them to be on the watch.

      • Shivv says:

        Which still doesn’t explain how the guy became a suspect in the first place. Unless he actually shoplifted at one of the stores and landed on their radar

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Thanks, Thassodar was waiting for a “blame the OP.” He didn’t think it was possible. There’s no such thing as an innocent guy getting railroaded in your mind. Authority never screws up, huh?

  9. shthar says:

    Oh you and your stories grandpa; I didn’t shoplift, I have a girlfriend, the nurses at the home are stealing from me…

  10. nocturnaljames says:

    Do yourself a favor and don’t shop at Walmart, or any other place like Best Buy that suspects everyone of stealing even though you just went through the checkout.

  11. Clyde Barrow says:

    I thought in Torts law that the accuser had to prove that he/she did it and that only the accused had to prove otherwise with one small bit of evidence. Or is this backwards.