Wal-Mart annouced they will no longer prosecute first-time shoplifters who steal merchandise worth less than $25, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing company documents which were leaked as The New York Times reported.
Wal-Mart said the change would allow it to focus on theft by professional shoplifters and its own employees, who together steal the bulk of merchandise from the chain every year, rather than the teenager who occasionally takes a candy bar from the checkout counter, according to the report.
The report said it may also serve to placate small-town police departments across the country who have protested what the company has called its zero-tolerance policy on shoplifting. Employees summoned officers whether a customer stole a $5 toy or a $5,000 television set – anything over $3, the company said.
At some of the chain’s giant 24-hour stores, the police make up to six arrests a day prompting a handful of departments to hire an additional officer just to deal with the extra workload, the Times added.