Recently, a Walmart employee was arrested for theft, accused of stealing two television sets from the retailer. Allegedly, the man allowed an accomplice to leave the Florida store with the valuable merchandise and then helped him load it into a vehicle.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, police say a Walmart greeter played a pivotal role in helping steal two TVs from a Zephyrhills Walmart store.
The alleged theft occurred on Apr. 16 when the thieves drove to the store and parked at the end of a parking lot. The duo entered the store and then separated once inside. One of the men, Frederick Leon Gallimore, clocked in and began his shift as a greeter, the other went to the electronics department of the store.
Police charge Gallimore left his post at the store's door as the other, still unidentified man, walked out with two LCD screen TVs, a value of about $475. Shortly afterward, police say Gallimore followed the other man, helped him load the TVs into a van and then went back to work.
Gallimore is, by far, not the first to be accused of an "inside job" at a Walmart store, nor the first of this nature. This past fall other Walmart employees were allegedly involved with a different TV theft in Canandaigua, N.Y. Two of the five accused worked for the retailer, which purportedly tried to pilfer $7,000 worth of merchandise, including flat-screen TVs.
A few days ago, a Walmart employee from an upstate New York store was accused of stealing merchandise from her employer. In Feb. 2012, another was accused of creating duplicate receipts of customer purchases and keeping the originals. She then allegedly picked up those same items in order to return them to the store in exchange for cash; that employee was charged with retail theft.
Other Walmart thefts that pointed to employees have included cash thefts from registers, and one employee was arrested in connection with a staggering $100,000 theft; these are only a handful of incidents.
"Inside" thefts are a problematic issue for retailers. While external theft exceeds the internal larceny, the value of the goods stolen by employees tends to be significantly higher. According to The Global Retail Theft Barometer 2010 [pdf], "employees steal an average of $1,944 —virtually 10 times higher," than the average shoplifter. The report indicated 28 percent of total thieves apprehended in North America were employees. This number dipped somewhat in 2011, $1,697 per employee incident compared about $200 per incident from the average shoplifter.
According to a Fox Business report, "Shoplifting, employee or supplier fraud and organized retail crime cost the U.S. retail industry $119 billion in 2011."
In 2011, retailer theft cost U.S. consumers $446 per family.
Gallimore, 34, has been fired from his job at Walmart and is being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $2,000 bail.