LBP: Lakewood Walmart Demands Constant Attention; Theft, Assault Rampant

LAKEWOOD – A local law enforcement official said that WalMart can be kind of a “pain” in terms of the resources used to handle emergency calls at the retail giant. 
Chief John Bentley told WNYNewsNow that WalMart is a “double-edged sword” due to the positive and negatives that the store brings.
“We all have to remember that WalMart in both Lakewood and Fredonia is a considerable source of sales tax revenue to the County and to the area,” Bentley said. “They provide a lot of jobs, and they are an importance resource to our area to a certain degree.”
“The thing that most people don’t realize is that they do take up a lot of our time in terms of service. They do produce a lot of activity around the clock.”
Bentley said a lot of people go to WalMart to support their illicit activities.
“A lot commit crimes, commit larcenies to support their drug habit,” Bentley said. “Whether anybody in Chautauqua County wants to admit it or not, we have a large amount of people who are addicted to heroin, meth, and whatever.”
The Chief said that, if the budget would allow it, he would constantly have a full-time officer stationed near the WalMart and Chautauqua Mall area.
“I could have a full-time guy, at least half a day, or two-thirds of a day, as an extra guy just working from Southwestern Drive to Mall Blvd. on both sides of the road,” Bentley said. “We have, in the Walmart, we have everything from shoplifting to assaults.”
“WalMart is a tough nut; I don’t know exactly what you could do about it (the crime). It attracts a clientele that knows it’s very easy to try and steal there, even though their prevention is very active and they do a good job.”
Bentley said that he didn’t have exact numbers available during the interview, but he estimated that his officers are called directly to WalMart on multiple occasions every day.
“I would imagine we go to WalMart, on average, two-to-three times a day, at least,” Bentley said. “That doesn’t include times we are stopping people in the parking lot.”
Bentley referred WNYNewsNow to speak to a store manager to discuss the specifics of how much various stolen merchandise is worth.

7 Comments

  1. Can off duty police officers take a second job and operate as security at the store ?

  2. As Walmart and Sams Club are one and the same. Why do they not have one or two clerks posted at the door checking merchandise against the receipts like they had Sams. You couldn’t get out of the store before checking your receipt. As they would do it with everyone it would be non discriminatory.

  3. It’s a shame but the LBP is correct. I personally seen two male subjects with a cart full of clothes and two big flat screen TV SHOW, told a worker that they had just walked out of the store. She shrugged her shoulders and kept walking. Finally I seen a stock clerk and told him. He went running out and came back in pulling the cart full of merchandise. What the general public doesn’t know is that these thrives are given shopping lists by wealthy people who want a cheap deal. I’m talking about some rich businessmen. How do I know this? My daughter who is now one of those dead addicts used to get her shopping lists from various business men.

  4. The huge drug problem and criminal activity in our area should not have to be Walmart’s burden. All costs to Walmart that are associated with loss prevention, loss of inventory, and security are passed on to their customers. It also takes a big chunk out of the bottom line. Low performing stores are closed down. Walmart is a big tax payer in our area and is entitled to police services like any other retail business. The problem is not Walmart’s. We need to elect officials who will roll up the red carpet and turn up the heat on drug and criminal activity in our area. Take perpetrators out of their comfort zone. Send them packing, not build them housing and put them on free programs. We need to take our community back.

  5. The huge drug problem and criminal activity in our area should not have to be Walmart’s burden. All costs to Walmart that are associated with loss prevention, loss of inventory, and security are passed on to their customers. It also takes a big chunk out of the bottom line. Low performing stores are closed down. Walmart is a big tax payer in our area and is entitled to police services like any other retail business. The problem is not Walmart’s. We need to elect officials who will roll up the red carpet and turn up the heat on drug and criminal activity in our area. Take perpetrators out of their comfort zone. Send them packing, not build them housing and put them on free programs. We need to take our community back.

  6. They stopped that after one of the Greeters had their ass whooped on hard for checking someones receipt.

  7. I work at Walmart and I see things but as an associate that is not part of the security team we are prevented from doing sercurity jobs and yes I agree with Chief Bently we do take up a lot of LPD time I feel we should have sercurity gaurds patrpling the store and parking lot.

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