As the late, great Walmart founder Sam Walton once said: “If we work together we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone … we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.”
Numerous local residents took Sam up on his offer to lower their cost of living by allegedly stealing batteries, bras, socks, undergarments, styling gel, clothing, cosmetics, tools, DVDs, video games and in one instance, human hair, from
Here is a rundown on the most memorable Walmart crimes that occurred in 2012, which we so enjoyed hearing about during the weekly story hour at the Evergreen Park Police Department.
Going Back for Seconds
Some people just don’t understand the concept of “winning.” A 40-year-old Chicago man who had already scored several hundred dollars worth of five-finger discounts went back for seconds, according to an Evergreen Park police report from Feb. 17. After allegedly walking out with 12 items the man came back and helped himself to 11 more items of merchandise. Security managed to grab him the second time. According to police, the stolen merchandise totaled $471.60. The man was charged with two felonies.
‘Because You Only Have One Chance to Make An Impression’
Another Chicago resident was charged with a felony on Dec. 27 after police said he took four bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo and put them into the waistband of his pants. The 53-year-old man also took eight packages of Duracell batteries reports said. (What is it about batteries?) The merchandise was valued at $107.64. He was charged with a felony because he had a previous retail theft conviction on Sept. 1, 2010. The report did not indicate whether the accused had thicker and fuller hair.
Apparently there weren’t any shopping carts available when a Chicago man and woman visited Walmart on May 25. Security guards spotted the couple allegedly hiding merchandise inside a large bag of dog food that they had opened inside the store. Security found 30 items hidden in the dog food bag including batteries, Play Station games, deodorant, tools, toothbrushes, tank tops, a pair of shorts and skirts, reports said. The couple did pay for the dog food, however. Total value of the stolen items was $337.08.
Two men caught videotaping inside the entrance of Walmart became combative when they were asked to leave the store last Jan. 16, reports said. Police said a 21-year-old man stripped off his shirt and challenged the security guard to a fight. When police came to arrest him, he reportedly started swinging at officers as his 19-year-old collaborator filmed the incident. The alleged videographer ran briefly inside Sam’s Club next door but police found the 19-year-old and arrested him, reports said. Both men were charged on multiple counts of battery and criminal trespassing.
‘I Thought I Paid Already’
Memo to self: if you’re going to use the old “I thought I paid already” excuse, make sure you don’t have any prior convictions for retail theft. A 50-year-old Chicago woman claimed she forgot to pay for the cart full of merchandise after loading up her Walmart debit card at the customer service desk on Sept. 25, reports said. Police said the woman walked past the cash registers without paying for items in the cart. When she was taken back to the security office, she allegedly said, “she thought she paid for the merchandise at the desk.” She was charged with felony retail theft because of previous arrests and convictions, according to reports.
Case of the Human Hair
Did you know that Walmart sells human hair? Neither did we apparently, until a report of a 19-year-old Rockford woman being nabbed after a shoplifting spree on Aug. 16. The woman would not turn items over to the security guards when stopped outside the store. Police found $196.47 worth of merchandise on the woman's person, including socks, shoes, soda, women’s undergarments, handbags, slippers, styling gel, deodorant, mouthwash and human hair, according to reports. Police said that the woman’s shoes and socks were also stolen. She was charged with retail theft.
'This is Where I Came In'
Sometimes the discounts are so good at Walmart, it’s easy to become distracted and forget about the people you came with. A 47-year-old Elgin woman was so intent on choosing the right grill and brand of charcoal that she forget about the four mentally challenged adults under her charge that she left locked inside a hot van on a 100-degree day, police said. Evergreen Park police found four men ranging in age from 40 to 60 after a concerned citizen called 911 for a well-being check. The men were "severely sweating and unable to communicate with the responding officer,” police said. Surveillance video showed the Elgin woman pulling into the store parking lot at 3:42 p.m. June 28, and returning to the van at 4:19 p.m. Police said that temperatures inside the van exceeded 111 degrees. The men lived at a Blue Island residential facility. She was charged with felony criminal neglect of a disabled person. Her case is still making its way through the court system.
Renita Young, Bridgette Outten and Dan Lambert contributed to this report.
Are You a Fan of True Crime? Like our Crime-N-Shame Facebook page to stay on top of the big stories and the weird ones.