Shoppers trash Walmart, take advantage of EBT card glitch

Walmart

Via KSLA News 12:
“Another photo from the Springhill Walmart store shows carts overflowing with food, reportedly left abandoned after balances started showing up again on customers’ EBT cards.”

In what looked like hurricane preparation time in Florida, frantic shoppers cleared the shelves of two Walmart stores in Louisiana Saturday night.

But this frenzy had nothing to do with any imminent weather threat.

Rather, two Walmart stores — one in Mansfield and the other in Springhill — allowed shoppers to purchase their wares during a Electronic Benefit Transfer card system outage, when card limits – and balances – weren’t showing up.

Hence, the free food frenzy, which came to an abrupt end around 9 p.m., when the cards started reflecting balances again, KSLA News 12 reported.

According to the station:

[Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd] explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.

Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.

“Just about everything is gone, I’ve never seen it in that condition,” said Mansfield Walmart customer Anthony Fuller.

The report described overflowing shopping carts full of perishables simply abandoned in the stores:

There was, however, a huge mess left behind. Pictures and videos obtained by KSLA News 12 show aisles packed with shoppers emptying the shelves in Springhill. Another video shows what appear to be at least dozens of overflowing carts left abandoned in the aisles at the Mansfield store, against the backdrop of emptied shelves in the meat department.

Walmart employees could still be seen putting food from the carts away as late as Sunday afternoon. “I was just thinking, I’m so glad my mom doesn’t work here [Walmart] anymore, that’s the only thing I could think about, those employees working, that would have to restock all that stuff,” said O.J Evans who took cell phone video of the overflowing shopping carts at the Mansfield Walmart.

Evans believes it was natural human reaction that led people to fill up their carts during the glitch, but Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia feel very differently. “That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it,” said Garcia.

Walmart

Via KSLA News 12:
“This image, posted on Facebook, shows empty shelves at the Springhill Walmart store after a run on meat and other food products Saturday night.”

Police departments in both cities confirmed to KSLA that they were called in for crowd control and theft prevention, but said there were no arrests or “unruly behavior.”

The station asked Walmart how much money they lost, both in purchases made with cards that didn’t show limits and perishables left out in shopping carts.

“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards [and purchases on WIC and SNAP] during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said, adding that Walmart was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”

Related: EBT card system down in 17 states, chaos ensues

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Janeen Capizola

"And though she be but little, she is fierce." And fun! This conservative-minded political junkie, mom of three, dancer and one-time NFL cheerleader holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science. [email protected] Twitter: @JaneenBPR

Comments

206 thoughts on “Shoppers trash Walmart, take advantage of EBT card glitch

  1. ksdoug says:

    I wonder how much food that shouldn’t have been put back in the freezers & cold case because it had cooled down too long?

  2. Jessi says:

    My family gets food stamps to help out because our income from my husbands VA pay is not enough we are both looking for work and have section * through the VA program to end Veteran homelessness. I resent the fact of everyone who recieves aid being called democrats or deadbeats. My family is conservative and fell on hard times due to the current economy. Now unfortunatley these people chose to be dishonest. I know how much I receive for my family each month. I budget that and keep the last reciept everytime we make a purchase. I know at least 6 people who wouldn’t have acted this way. Only ignorance sparks this behavior

  3. aquinas215 says:

    The network of knowledge found closest in time and space to the choices at hand tends to be far more useful than data processed by distant government agents detached from local circumstances.

  4. jeff bute says:

    It’s not typical democratic or republican. It’s typical, section 8 free government housing, food stamps, phone, I’m too lazy to get a job and pay for what I want. So I’ll shack up with my GF in government housing, and get More freeloading benefits, the more kids we punch out. While I drink my booze, beat my kids, sell my drugs and drive fancy cars with fancy rims, that I don’t have the money to actually buy. These were the kind of people who Knew they had 49 cents on the card and put 700 bucks worth of food in the cart, with the, I don’t care, someone else will pay for it, but for right now, I can get away with it, is why I’m doing it! Drive through section 8 government housing at midnight on a friday or saturday night. Then tell me if anything in my post is inaccurate. Yeah, it’s not politically correct, but it needed said.

    1. Aquirrah says:

      Your post is totally accurate.

  5. Aquirrah says:

    So Walmart let them continue to shop and pay out using cards that they knew were no good… police came for crowd control but no arrests were made… hmmm are these just idiots or what? This was plain and simple theft and nothing was done nor probably will be done. Congratulations, Walmart for stupid business move of the year.

  6. Vince Gomez says:

    I think these people should be permanently banned from the EBT program. Want to act like an animal, learn to hunt like one.

  7. Sheryl Anne Shuman says:

    WOW, What a bunch of lames, they will have to pay the money back from their benefits. Fraud charges hopefully will be filed on each one of these idiots

  8. Now that we know more about the EBT incidents at WalMart a few weeks ago, we now learn that these weren’t just “dozens of people”, nearly everyone of these individuals were WalMart employees.

    When the EBT system went down different employees of two WalMart stores called co-workers telling them the EBT system was down, between the two stores as many as 42 individuals, WalMart employees, came to the stores and engaged in fraud and de facto theft. While the electronic system failure opened the door of opportunity, the fraud came from WalMart’s own employees.

    At both of these stores, every single junior associate employed with WalMart is on SNAP Benefits because WalMart refuses to pay their employees a living wage, and WalMart knows that the government will subsidize WalMart’s profits by compensating their employee’s low pay with SNAP. Over one million WalMart employees qualify for and subsidize their WalMart income with SNAP benefits.

    In my view, this is a Moral Outrage on the part of WalMart, a multibillion company who could pay every employee $100 per hour with full time employment and still reap profits over a billion dollars. Not one of these employees should have been eligible for SNAP benefits, everyone of them should have been paid enough as employees to disqualify them.

  9. Now that we know more about the EBT incidents at WalMart a few weeks ago, we now learn that these weren’t just “dozens of people”, nearly everyone of these individuals were WalMart employees.

    When the EBT system went down different employees of two WalMart stores called co-workers telling them the EBT system was down, between the two stores as many as 42 individuals, WalMart employees, came to the stores and engaged in fraud and de facto theft. While the electronic system failure opened the door of opportunity, the fraud came from WalMart’s own employees.

    At both of these stores, every single junior associate employed with WalMart is on SNAP Benefits because WalMart refuses to pay their employees a living wage, and WalMart knows that the government will subsidize WalMart’s profits by compensating their employee’s low pay with SNAP. Over one million WalMart employees qualify for and subsidize their WalMart income with SNAP benefits.

    In my view, this is a Moral Outrage on the part of WalMart, a multibillion company who could pay every employee $100 per hour with full time employment and still reap profits over a billion dollars. Not one of these employees should have been eligible for SNAP benefits, everyone of them should have been paid enough as employees to disqualify them.

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