Should Walmart Pursue Shoplifting Charges Over $2 Bracelets?

Two teens in New Mexico are now reporting to juvenile probation after they were snagged allegedly attempting to swipe $2 worth of bracelets from a local Walmart. Does this mean that the retail giant has changed its policy of not pursuing charges against minors for thefts under $25?

In 2006, WakeUpWalmart.com and The New York Times reported that Walmart employees had been told that “the guidelines for prosecution of shoplifters have changed: the retail value of the merchandise recovered must exceed $25, and the suspected shoplifter must be at or between the ages of 18 and 65.”

But on Sept. 10, when store staffers say they saw the teens, ages 15 and 17, open a pack of bracelets and put the pilfered items in their pockets, they contacted the police.

According to a local news report, the apprehension of these two girls occupied at least an hour of police time before the girls were ultimately released into their families’ custody.

What do you think of the policy of not prosecuting shoplifters for petty thefts? Would a return to its former zero-tolerance policy do more to curb this kind of bad behavior?

Teens allegedly shoplifted $2 worth of bracelets from Walmart [Las Cruces Sun-News]