Wal-Mart to Thieves: "Don't Test" New Shoplifting Policy

JULY 14, 2006 - Posted at 7:57 a.m. CDT

BENTONVILLE, AR - Although Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated is changing its policy on shoplifting, the retail giant is telling shoppers not to test it.

A union-backed group critical of Wal-Mart has unveiled a company policy that bypasses Sam Walton's zero-tolerance stance against shoplifting.  Thieves will now be prosecuted if they steal merchandise worth more than $25.

Wal-Mart spokesman John Simley says the company is focusing on organized theft rings and high-dollar losses.  Simley says it's not efficient for the store to prosecute petty shoplifters.

However, Simley said that Wal-Mart stores are "hard targets for theft" and he urged customers not to test the new policy.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)