Group pushing to improve security at Walmart locations

Posted at 8:34 PM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 08:46:00-05

A national campaign is launching with the goal of putting the pressure on Walmart to improve security at all of its stores.

The labor group behind Making Change At Walmart is rolling out television ads in Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Dallas, Texas. The commercial for Tulsa starts with the line “"Where are our police? At Walmart, and they're not shopping."

The video goes on to list the company’s profits and stats from a lengthy Bloomberg report, which blames the company's budget cuts for creating an environment that has fewer eyes in the store, at the doors and in the parking lots making it more attractive to criminals.

While Arizona isn’t sighted in the report or on the short list for the campaign ads, the trends suggested hold true for the Valley. 

In the last year and half, 10 major incidents at various Walmart stores have made headlines; and that’s not including petty thefts or armed robberies that happened inside the store.

The most recent crimes include a woman who was stalked by thieves inside a Peoria store and ultimately had her car stolen. There was also a carjacking at a Phoenix location. Both incidents took place within the last 10 days.

The most notable crime on store property happened in April when two Chandler police officers were shot in an ambush style attack while responding to a trespassing call. The suspect died but both officers survived.

Walmart responded to the Bloomberg report saying safety is a serious issue and it's working to fix it by moving employees closer to the exits and self-check lines to prevent thefts in some stores. Other locations have hired private security for the parking lots.

There have been a handful of recent incidents in the valley where Walmart surveillance video has helped police identify suspects after crimes were committed off property.