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Does Walmart Build Cases on Shoplifters? (2023 Guide)

does walmart build cases on shoplifters

Did someone you know get caught with their hand in the cookie jar? 

Quite a few people have stolen an item or two from stores and supermarkets at least once in their lives. Many do this as teenagers and quickly drop the habit when the novelty wears off. However, some people are unlucky and may get caught red-handed by a security guard. Most companies are very tough on shoplifters, while others are more lenient on first-time offenders. 

So, let’s take a closer look and find out… ‘does Walmart build cases on shoplifters?’

Building Cases

Walmart builds cases on all thieves who steal more than $25 worth of products. Footage from store surveillance cameras is used to search for repeat offenders. Employees are charged with watching footage each day to flag instances of theft from the store.

All transaction records at checkouts are also carefully checked and stored. This helps the company to work out the name and even the contact details of different thieves. The items that the person actually purchased will be compared against the items they have recorded handling and pocketing. 

Read more: Does Walmart Remove Watch Links?

Pressing charges

If you are caught stealing items valued at less than $25, you will be encouraged to return them. The best tactic is to apologize quickly and return the items. However, charges are likely to be pressed against repeat offenders and those who try to steal valuable items. 

The penalty

Stealing items valued at between $1,000 and 2,000 is categorized as a class 6 felony. The unlucky perpetrator of this crime could face between one and five years in jail for doing this. Alternatively, they could pay a fine of $2,500 and spend up to a year in jail.

 Stealing items valued at more than $2,000 is categorized as a class 5 felony. The penalty for this is a jail sentence of up to ten years. 

The theft database

The first time someone is observed stealing from a store, a database is opened on them. Even if charges are not pressed, this database remains open in the company’s records. Any further incidents of theft will be added to this database, along with photo or video evidence if possible. This helps Walmart build its case against repeat offenders and decide what action to take. 

Walmart Loss Prevention Associates 

Walmart Loss Prevention Associates 

They say that prevention is better than cure, and this certainly applies to theft. Loss Prevention Associates are employed by each store to help prevent theft and catch people in the act. 

These security experts are specially trained to profile and recognize repeat offenders. Loss Prevention Associates patrol the stores they are employed at and take note of suspicious behavior.

Not in plain sight…

These employees wear normal street clothes and are experts at blending in with other customers. If they observe theft, they will apprehend the thief as soon as they leave the store. Other duties include creating theft prevention strategies and writing reports on incidents of theft. 

If you’re interested in finding out more, take a look at our informative article on How Does Walmart Trach Shoplifting?

Does Walmart Build Cases On Shoplifters? – Preventative Measures

Does Walmart Build Cases On Shoplifters? - Preventative Measures

In addition to employing Loss Prevention Associates, Walmart uses several other preventative measures. This includes installing image recognition cameras at self-checkout areas. These cameras are programmed to focus on the products and flag ones that have not been paid for. 

Locking valuable items in display cabinets is one of the most effective preventative measures. Using product security tags also helps to reduce theft to a certain extent. Other security measures include AI-powered image recognition at checkouts and storewide surveillance cameras. 

Life-Time Store Bans!

People who are charged with theft from one of the company’s stores receive a lifetime ban. This ban applies to all of the company’s stores within the United States. People who try to enter a store after being banned can be charged with criminal trespass. 

Getting Charges Dropped

Walmart takes theft very seriously, and it is almost impossible to get the charges dropped. Cases are usually only built against individuals if there is enough proof to support them. As a result, the chances of being wrongly accused are incredibly low. 

If someone you know has been wrongly accused, it is best to hire a defense lawyer and follow their recommendations. 

The Most Commonly Stolen Items

Even though security measures are tight in Walmart stores, theft happens regularly. There are certain items that thieves are drawn to because they are small and/or easy to conceal. Here are some of the products that tend to be stolen from stores most often. 



Most cosmetics are small and can have a fairly high value. Lipsticks, eye shadows, and other cosmetic products are fairly easy to slip into bags and pockets. They are commonly stolen by both male and female teenagers who want to experiment with a new look. 

Packed meats

While this may seem like an odd item to steal, theft of packed meats is fairly common. People have been taking packed meats from the company’s stores without paying for them for over two decades. However, stealing this from the freezer section is sure to make the thief quite chilly. 


It is fairly easy to slip on a pair of sunglasses and walk out of the store without paying for them. This item is often stolen by teenagers as a dare. However, people who get caught are sure to receive a nasty surprise. 

Razor blades

These fairly inexpensive items have been very popular among thieves in the past. This is largely because they were easy to slip off the sleeves and into a sleeve or pocket. To prevent this, razor blades are usually kept in locked display cabinets these days. 

Over-the-counter medications

Many people don’t have access to the medications they need, which is one reason they are commonly stolen. Some medications have a relatively high retail value. People who desperately need them may be reluctant to question where they came from. 

Other commonly stolen items include:

  • Jeans
  • Jewelry
  • Sporting goods
  • Cigarettes
  • Alcohol
  • Portable electronics
  • Video games
  • Blu-rays and DVDs
  • Baby formula
  • Alcohol
  • Cell phone accessorie

Read more: Does Dollar General Sell Condoms?

Shopping Services Offered By Walmart

The superstore is known for the endless services offered! So, before you head out, why not find out Does Walmart Sell Dry Ice or Does Walmart Sell Alcohol if you’ve got a special occasion coming up, as well as Does Walmart have a Coinstar if you’re getting rid of loose change, or even Does Walmart Pierce Ears in 2023.

Shopping at A new Walmart and feeling a bit lost? No problem, let’s help you find out Where Are Condoms In Walmart because safety is important, or perhaps you’re making botanicals and need to know Where Is Vegetable Glycerin At Walmart, or even Where To Find Certo In Walmart for your jam-making business!

Walmart takes its services even further to include finance! So, if you work long hours, check out What Time Does Walmart Stop Cashing Checks, as well as Does Walmart Cash Personal Checks, and in case you’ve received one, Does Walmart Cash Handwritten Checks?

Does Walmart Build Cases on Shoplifters? – Final Thoughts

Walmart reportedly loses around $3 billion every year to shoplifting. While swiping a block of cheese or a magazine may not seem like a big deal, it mounts up over time. Other major retailers across the United States are also faced with the same problem.

As a result, the company has a tough system in place for preventing theft and catching shoplifters. Walmart is just one of the retailers in the United States that have been pushing for stronger penalties. If you know someone who has light fingers, it is a good idea to pass on this information to them.

So, enjoy your shopping at Walmart with payment, please!

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About Robert A. Casey

Robert works with his girlfriend at a busy LA actors agency, where he secures roles for a number of B-list and a few A-list celebrities. His knowledge and connections within the film and TV industry are very impressive, and he loves sharing his experiences with all our readers on the site.

He lives in Studio City with his girlfriend Rachael, and his cat, Gerald.  

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