It is, apparently, not difficult to steal from Walmart. The store's cameras have a reputation for being duds, their attempt to use fancy face recognition technology to detect repeat shoplifters failed, and there are countless threads on shoplifting forums devoted to the art of stealing from there, with easy-to-follow tips like "get in and get out as quickly as possible" and to keep a lookout for any loss prevention employees on your trail.
But that's so boring, you know? What's the point of pulling off a heist if you can't have a little fun?
Take note, then, of the man in Fairfax, Virginia, who stole straight from the Walmart cash register by pretending to be a store employee.
Based on security footage from the store, it seems this man entered the premises wearing a Walmart employee vest, approached one of the cashiers, and told him he needed to be see in the office. Once the cashier left, the man took over for him, proceeding to check out a customer before calmly unloading the money in the register's box and walking away with it.
This simple plan was so successful that not only did the man leave the store undetected, cash in hand, but police didn't release details about what happened until yesterday, over three weeks after the incident, which occurred on the afternoon of December 15.
According to employees who have worked in Walmart's loss prevention department, the stores hire employees to patrol the aisles in street clothes looking for shoplifters, which is less conspicuous and more reliable than security camera footage. But even with those investments in loss prevention, theft is a big problem for the company: Last year, Walmart's head of US operations Greg Foran named theft an "urgent" issue at the stores, representing roughly $3 billion lost every year.
The Fairfax County police believe this guy has stolen from other Walmart stores, in Maryland and nearby Farmville, Virginia, but they don't know much else about him. What we do know, of course, is that he's destined to become a Walmart shoplifting legend.
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