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Walmart Stores in 4 Florida Counties Account for 2 Police Calls Per Hour

May 13, 2016  | 

Law enforcement logged nearly 16,800 calls in one year to Walmarts in the Florida counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando. That’s two calls an hour, every hour, every day.

Local Walmarts, on average, generated four times as many calls as nearby Targets, the Tampa Bay Times found. Many individual supercenters attracted more calls than the much larger WestShore Plaza mall.

When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. Several local law enforcement officers also emphasized that all the hours spent at Walmart cut into how often they can patrol other neighborhoods and prevent other crimes.

“They’re a huge problem in terms of the amount of time that’s spent there,” said Tampa police Officer James Smith, who specializes in retail crime. “We are, as a department, at the mercy of what they want to do.”

Walmart stores, with heavy foot traffic and cavernous layouts, are natural targets for shoplifters, panhandlers and other opportunists.

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Bernie @ 5/14/2016 8:16 AM

It is ridiculous to blame the crimes on the victim. The problem here is that people shoplifting, etc are violating the law. I have been in quite a few Walmart stores in various parts of the country. None of them had a layout that invited crime or was more tempting than any other store. Lets try to keep the focus where it belongs: on the breakdown of the respect for law and order.

CB @ 5/14/2016 8:40 AM

Yeah, some victims are to blame. Example: STOP leaving your car unlocked at night. STOP jogging late night in a bad neighborhood. You have the criminal element, that does not care about taking responsibility for their actions. Sometimes the sheep need to modify their behavior with a Little Help from the Sheepdog. Walmart has only a few security officers working at a time, watching that large of a store is almost impossible.

kevcopAz @ 5/14/2016 9:42 AM

A combination of lots of "stuff" to steal, lots of stupid victims and many many criminals taking advantage of Wal Marts lack of security and lack of prosecution of shoplifters and thief. Yes the criminals are to blame for the most part, but frankly we citizens and Wal Mart could do a much better job at protecting our property. Im surprised some how the Cops are not being blamed. Call me paranoid.

Federali @ 5/14/2016 11:15 AM

And I thought this article was going to be about police responding to how people dress there! (Some probably actually do warrant a police response!)

Robert @ 5/14/2016 9:25 PM

Why not start a program where Officers can make OT working there? Here in Vegas ALL on strip casinos contribute to a fund to provide additional Officers to work the Strip and help deter and handle crime.

Robert @ 5/14/2016 9:27 PM

Here in Las Vegas all on strip Casinos contribute to a fund to provide funds for LEO overtime shifts. This greatly deters and provides additional Officers to handle the increase in crime from the increase in population on the strip.

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