Walmart CEO Warns: San Angelo Shoplifters Causing Us All To Pay
The CEO of Walmart is sending out a warning about higher prices and store closings. Doug McMillon told CNBC's "Squawk Box" that shoplifting at Walmart stores and other retailers nationwide is at historic high rates.
Here in San Angelo, we're not immune to this trend. Back in October, a San Angelo police officer had to resign after being arrested at a local Walmart store.
Walmart is not the only retailer screaming about huge shoplifting rates nationwide. Target CFO Michel Fiddelke says shoplifting has jumped 50% year over year, translating to more than 400 million in losses just this fiscal year alone.
Collectively, most of the factors that have caused runaway price increases this year and the highest inflation rates in over 40 years, have been things we have little control over. Things like supply line issues lingering labor shortages after the Covid shutdowns, and the War in Ukraine have contributed to higher prices. However, this is one area where ordinary people can have an impact.
Shoplifting is a societal problem.
Pushing to make shoplifting laws stricter and pushing to give local law enforcement the resources they need to prosecute these crimes can help. Already, the shoplifting laws in Texas are strict.
According to the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, a victim of shoplifting can recover the amount stolen, punitive damages up to $1000, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees. If the shoplifter is a minor, the parents can be sued for up to $5000.
However, if the value of the property is less than $100, you can only be charged with a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $500. That seems like a slap on the wrist. Maybe even if the value is that small, offenders should face up to 30 days in jail. That way, they see that there is zero tolerance for shoplifting.
This would also give beginner shoplifters a dose of the reality of what awaits them if they continue to offend.
As the CEO of Walmart and Target have pointed out, shoplifting is not a victimless crime. All of us who are trying to make ends meet are paying the higher prices caused by this crime. It could also lead to more store closings and job losses.
If you see something, say something.