The crime rate is up in Suffolk, and it can all be traced back to Walmart shoplifters.
“Don’t go to Walmart and shoplift,” said Suffolk Police Major Dean Smith.
In 2012, there were 1,976 larcenies in Suffolk, and 214 of those happened in one of the two Walmarts.
Compared to the year before, it’s a big spike. There were just 23 shoplifting cases at the Walmarts.
But, police say, it’s not because of increased crime. They’re crediting the arrests to more security at the stores.
“The chances of getting caught are far greater now, and with the chances being far greater, that’s why you’re seeing these increased numbers. You’re seeing that they’re being effective at what they’re doing,” Major Smith said.
NewsChannel 3 talked to a Walmart spokesperson who says they’re taking action to stop all the thefts by hiring staff who are trained to catch a shoplifter.
“They’re adding more eyes, paying attention to loss prevention. Their security isn’t an armed person or a guy in uniform. It’s people working in plain clothes looking for people shoplifting and when they find them, they catch them and they call us,” Major Smith added.
Walmart’s goal is to stop people like Yolanda Chapman, who police say stole two air conditioning units from the Walmart on Main Street last year.
“That should have a corresponding fact in the coming years, where people who recognize that “wow, I better not go there because I’m going to get arrested there. I need to go somewhere else.” Major Smith said.