Since I am taking 6 classes this semester my life has been sightly hectic. I am finding all of my time is eaten up by homework. So I thought that hey, I may as well throw up a couple of papers that I have written for my English class. They were both A+ papers (that’s just how I roll) and maybe you will find them sad, interesting, amusing or shocking. So…. for your consideration here’s the first:
At the mere suggestion of stepping foot inside a Walmart, my gorge rises. I shudder convulsively at the thought. The idea truly does fill me with that much revulsion. Where shall I begin? Let me see… I can think of a few reasons why I am so sick at the thought of going to a Walmart. Walmart attracts a clientele unique in their own right; they are not the type of crowd I choose to rub elbows with – they are prone to shoplifting and on occasion tend toward committing more violent crimes. Crimes of moral turpitude, both big and small, are being committed on a regular basis at your friendly, local, neighborhood Walmart.
It must be the appeal of the low prices, the cheesy smiley faces and the warehouse style, “one-stop gets it all,” mentality that is drawing in the crowd that Walmart typically attracts. I mean, at what other store can one buy a rifle, beer, a TV, groceries and diapers simultaneously? Did I forget to mention that this can all happen at three o’clock in the morning no less? It is no great wonder that Walmart is attracting the meth addicts, the life-long food stamp collectors, the criminals who feel like stealing a few things in the middle of the night or even in the middle of the day if the mood so strikes them. This is the clientele Walmart caters to. A prime example of the type of person I would not want to shop alongside, would be Mickey Owings. Per KRQE’s website, a car in the Walmart parking lot had been identified as stolen. So it was under police surveillance. Mickey was shopping with a woman in the Walmart and evidently was the perpetrator of said vehicle theft. Upon exiting the store, Mickey got into the vehicle and proceeded to ram into the police vehicles, in an attempt to get away (Maestas). In another article from KRQE, there is mention of a separate incident whereby a man fired shots at an Auto-Zone Manager, then fled into the nearest Walmart – gun in hand (“Police Arrest Gunman”). Truly, I don’t have any desire to be in a Walmart when these types of incidents occur. Funny how I just don’t hear of these things happening at a Macy’s, or even an Albertson’s! Once those low-lifes have been drawn in like flies to honey, conditions are prime for thefts to occur.
Excuse me while I just take this TV…
A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison in a shoplifting case that ended in the death of a Walmart employee. Although William Alan Kennedy was never charged with causing the death of Bruce Florence, a Tarrant County jury found the Fort Worth man guilty of aggravated robbery for knocking Florence, 56, down while trying to run out of the Westworth Village Walmart with a stolen TV worth $348 on June 11, 2010. (Boyd)
When is a new television worth the life of another human being? Shoplifting is a real problem at the local Walmart stores. It is eating up huge amounts of tax payer dollars and police resources just in calls for service alone. I got to witness first-hand the amount of time it takes just to deal with a shoplifter at a Walmart. I was on a police ride-along back in the fall of 2009. I was riding with Officer Joshua Brown on the swing shift in the Northeast Heights. His zone included the Walmart on Carlisle. We received a call from the Asset Protection Department at that Walmart store, to please come and pick up a shoplifter that they had caught stealing about $200 worth of merchandise. Because the shoplifter was a woman, once we arrived at the store, Officer Brown had to call for a female officer to come and perform the body search before he would be able to place the shoplifter into his cruiser. Meanwhile, he began the report procedure of taking information from the Asset Protection gentlemen, watching the videos showing the shoplifter stealing the merchandise, interviewing her, etc. When a female officer became available and arrived, she was able to quickly perform the search and then Officer Brown loaded the shoplifter into his cruiser. Then we had to take her to the sub-station where she was placed in a holding room. Then he had to book all of the evidence in, type up the official reports and make sure that all of the necessary paperwork was in order. After all of these steps were done, she was once again loaded into his cruiser, and we then drove her downtown to the prisoner transport center. She was booked in there and that process took about twenty minutes. When all was said and done, the entire ordeal took approximately 3 hours of Officer Brown’s time. That is a lot of time that would have been better spent patrolling the streets for violent offenders, drug dealers and the like. Instead, countless hours of valuable police officers’ time are consumed on a daily basis, just in dealing with shoplifters at Walmarts around the city. Even worse yet, are the really nasty offenses occurring at Walmart stores, that are sucking up all kinds of police resources.
Violent and/or predatory crimes are not something that anyone would wish to become a victim of. Unfortunately, there is a high rate of incidence of these types of crimes being committed in, or on the premises of Walmart stores in our state. Here are a couple of nightmarish incidents (that the mere thought of would awaken any mother in a cold sweat, in the middle of the night), which have sadly occurred in Walmart stores in NM. This is according to KOAT.com:
A 9-year-old girl was assaulted at a Walmart in northeast Albuquerque while at the store with her mother…. Shields said his daughter is still in shock despite the incident occurring 48 hours ago. He said that she went off with her younger brother to look at toys, and that’s when a man described as carrying a motorcycle helmet approached her. ‘When she’d look at a toy he’d come behind her, grab the toy and rub on her and pull her to him. He did it for a minute. When she freaked out, he exposed himself to her,’ said Shields. (“9-Year-Old-Girl”)
About three weeks ago the following incident was reported on by The Rio Grande Sun’s website:
A Chimayó man was arrested Sunday evening for allegedly inappropriately touching three young girls at the Española Wal-Mart….The complaint about Cole was initially entered into Española 911 Center dispatch logs as a report of criminal sexual contact with a minor….The mother of the 10-year-old and 6-year-old victims said she hopes the incident can spread awareness…..The mother of the 11-year-old victim said her daughter was traumatized by the experience and may seek counseling. (Mattei)
There was an incident that KASA.com reported on that occurred at the Carlisle store here in Albuquerque on July 31st, 2011, whereby a woman had a man with a gun attempt to steal her purse from her in the parking lot (“Gunman Robs Woman”). Another incident which I think is just shameful, involved a man stealing from a team of youngsters doing a fundraiser outside a local Walmart trying to raise funds for their football league. That was reported on by KOAT.com. I could go on, but I think I have painted a clear enough picture already. The bottom line is that Walmart stores are not a safe and friendly environment to go shopping in.
Sure crime happens all over the place, all of the time. Other stores have their fair share of shoplifting, creeps, criminals, etc. It’s a choice that I have made personally to not shop at any of those stores for the most part. It truly does appear though, that Walmart in particular is a magnet for crime. One could imagine that perhaps one of Walmart’s main competitors (Target) may suffer a similar amount of crime. As a matter of fact, Det. K**** at APD pulled statistics for me; the Walmart on Carlisle had exactly 955 calls for police service from 27 Sept., 2010 – 27 Sept., 2011. The Target on Montgomery had 102 calls during the exact same date range. The statistics say it all. If I know that my odds of getting mugged are going to increase exponentially if I take a stroll down Central, say around 1:00am on a Saturday vs. taking a stroll in the open space of the foothills at 10:00am on a Sunday – shouldn’t I just opt not to stroll down Central? So with the same concept in mind, I just don’t shop at Walmart.
Maybe if Walmart were to start spending some of their vast billions of dollars on an armed security force (so they stop leeching off our police departments), change their store hours to no longer be open 24 hours, stop catering to the welfare/criminal crowd… nah, never mind. I still wouldn’t shop there, even if they were to change all of those things. In the words of the late Sam Walton, “Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.” Am I the only one who gets the irony of that statement?
Boyd, Deanna. “Fort Worth Man Sentenced to Life in Walmart Shoplifting Case.” Star-telegram.com. Star-Telegram, 15 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.
“Gunman Robs Woman in Store Parking Lot: Crime Stoppers Crime of the Week.” Kasa.com. LIN Television Corporation, 22 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.
K*****, R*** A. “Re: Calls for Service to Police.” Message to M*** D. C********. 27 Sept. 2011. E-mail.
Maestas, Tim. “Suspect Shot in Undercover Bust Dies.” Krqe.com. LIN Television Corporation, 30 Mar. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.
“Man Accused of Stealing Football Team’s Donations.” Koat.com. Hearst Television Inc., 7 Sept. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.
Mattei, Lou. ”Man Arrested for Touching Girls: Parents Report Man for Inappropriate Contact with Girls Ages 6 to 11 at Wal-Mart; Child Porn Investigation Pending.” Riograndesun.com. The Rio Grande Sun, 8 Sept. 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.
“9-Year-Old-Girl Assaulted While in Walmart: Girl Assaulted at Walmart in Northeast Albuquerque.” Koat.com. Hearst Television Inc., 22 Jan. 2010. Web. 25 Sept. 2011.
“Police Arrest Gunman at NM Walmart.” Krqe.com. LIN Television Corporation, 28 Aug. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2011.