Surrounded by roll-back prices, yellow smiley faces and a host of shoppers deemed meme-worthy by the internet, criminals who stash guns, steal socks, and brawl in the parking lot seem to have found their favorite place to congregate.
Basically, it’s the Florida of stores. Consumers have even commented that they’d rather shop the higher prices at Target than get a deal at the super store. And a new study has revealed something alarming that just might scare away the rest of Walmart’s trusty customers.
In fact, the “always low prices” go hand in hand with higher crime rates, according to a study in the British Journal of Criminology, headed by author Scott Wolfe, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of South Carolina:
“The crime decline was stunted in counties where Walmart expanded in the 1990s. If the corporation built a new store, there were 17 additional property crimes and 2 additional violent crimes for every 10,000 persons in a county.”
You can read more about the study here, but in the meantime, check out just a handful of the bizarre and sometimes deadly crimes occurring on Walmart grounds.
Kill At Will Argument:
On Sunday, February 16, Kyle Wayne Quadlin (pictured above), 25, and Kriston Charles Belinte Chee, 36, got into an argument turned physical altercation at a Phoenix, Arizona Walmart. Telling police he was losing the fight and feared for his life, Quadlin pulled out a firearm and shot Belinte Chee to death. He fled the scene, but a family member called authorities later with his whereabouts. Police, however, did not book Quadlin, citing the Stand Your Ground self-defense law. They are still investigating, however.
Parking Lot Shooter:
In June 2013, a 23-year-old man shot four people at a Greenville, North Carolina Walmart parking lot. His motive? Race. According to the indictments, Faust wanted to only shoot white people. Police, however, didn’t specify why he chose only white targets. A grand jury indicted Faust on 14 charges, including four counts of attempted murder. He was carrying more than 100 rounds of ammunition when he started shooting his victims. Three of the four people wounded in the shooting suffered permanent and debilitating injuries.
Baby For Sale:
Two parents approached two women in a Walmart parking lot in 2010 and offered to sell their 9-month-old baby for $25. Yep, that happened. Initially the women thought the father, who made the offer, was joking. Eventually they contacted the police in Salinas, California and the parents were found at an apartment a short time later…high on meth.
Giving new meaning to a drive-by shooting, double amputee Daniel Pirtle shot a Walmart employee in the stomach after the man told him to put a leash on his service dog in March 2013. Pirtle then attempted to flee the Anchorage, Alaska store in a motorized Walmart shopping cart, but police met him at the door and arrested him. The 33-year-old victim underwent surgery and survived his wounds. Pirtle, 45, was charged with assault and misconduct involving a weapon.
The Girl Scout Bandits:
A man in Texas stole a cash box containing nearly $200 from two Girl Scouts selling cookies in a Walmart parking lot. It all started when a man pretended to be interested in the sweets the girls were selling. He grabbed the cash box, leaving the girls stunned, but one of the scouts pursued the man to his car. The March 2012 incident left one of the girls injured after she held on to the getaway car to stop it from leaving the scene.
The Gun Waver:
If you don’t honor this lady’s coupon, you might end up with a bullet in you. Hell-bent on saving a buck, Mary Frances Alday of Crawfordville, Fla., pulled out her handgun and started waving it in the middle of a Walmart when an employee denied her dollar-off coupon – but not before she called the employee a bitch and struck her with a shopping cart. The March 2013 incident left Alday with four counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of battery, one count of battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest with violence.
Naked Sock Thief:
In February 2012, a 6-foot-4, 300 pound man walked into a Pennsylvania Walmart and stole a pair of socks. Naked. Verdon Lamont Taylor was arrested after police say he stripped off his clothes in the parking lot of the store and went inside. Authorities had to use a stun gun to subdue him after he refused to comply with officers’ orders.
We’ll spare you all the details, but in August 2012, Alabama police arrested a man who was exposing himself to women in the Walmart parking lot. Christopher Brown was arrested and charged with indecent exposure. But he isn’t the only one. Another man driving around the parking lot with his penis exposed told police he comes to Walmart when he gets aroused. Which is enough to make us stay away.
But not this couple. Aroused like their masturbating counterpart in the last crime, Julian R. Call, 22, and Tina F. Gianakon, 35, were arrested at a Walmart in Kansas after stealing K-Y Jelly from the store and engaging in sexual activity in front of fellow shoppers, reports HutchNews.com. Both were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and theft.
PHOTO CREDIT: Screengrab, Police Department