Walmart CEO warns of price hikes or store shutdowns if ‘historically high’ thefts continue and prosecutors’ stay lax

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is warning Americans that if “historically high” thefts don’t stop and aren’t prosecuted that some stores will have to close and prices will jump, putting the blame directly on woke district attorneys and their lenient policies.

(Video Credit: CNBC)

McMillon made the alarming statements on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday during an interview. He noted that theft has become an overriding issue for the retail chain that has always been known for its low prices.

He went on to slam district attorneys’ lenient policies that need to be “corrected.”

“If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher and our stores will close,” he bluntly told co-host Rebecca Quick.

The CEO did not specify which locations may be shuttered over record-high levels of shoplifting but it’s a good bet that many of the stores are located in leftist cities where thieves are allowed to get away with their crimes. McMillon’s announcement comes after Walmarts in Los Angeles were forced to lock up most of their inventory to prevent further thefts.

In November, Walmart’s biggest competitor Target also reported that shoplifting at its outlets had jumped over 50 percent year to year, resulting in over $400 million in losses in 2022 alone.

Walmart executives have allegedly done their very best to hide just how severe the shoplifting issue is within their stores. Capital Counselor previously estimated that the retail chain had losses of approximately $3 billion a year due to theft.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” McMillon admitted during the interview.

The embattled CEO claims that Walmart has implemented new safety measures at its locations. He also said that local law enforcement is a big part of the solution to the escalating problem.

“I think local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is part of that equation, and that’s normally how we approach it,” he remarked. “It’s store managers working with local law enforcement, and we’ve got great relationships there for the most part.”

McMillon stated that the problem occurs “really city by city, location by location,” going out of his way to not name locations.

Reporters at the Los Angeles Times recently conducted a survey that showed all of the Walmarts they went to in the city have partitioned off a portion of their pharmacies where expensive health and beauty products are sold. If someone wants to purchase those items, they have to enter an enclosed area and pay a cashier before they continue shopping in the rest of the store.

Even worse, men’s underwear is being locked up and if you want to purchase the item, you have to wait for an employee to open a plexiglass case to retrieve it.

The City of Angels has seen robberies skyrocket 10.7 percent over the last year, according to Los Angeles Police Department statistics. Burglaries are up nearly 13 percent and car thefts are up 8.1 percent. Personal thefts have jumped almost 14 percent and overall crime in Los Angeles has increased by 7.4 percent.

Woke District Attorney George Gascon is being blamed for the jump in crime. He focuses more on intervention and rehabilitation than punishing crime. Gascon calls “tough on crime” policies racist.

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

He has limited the use of sentencing enhancements that add more time to a criminal’s time in prison. Gascon has also banned prosecutors from charging juveniles as adults, no matter how heinous the crime.

Lax bail reform laws in Democrat-controlled cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco have resulted in virtually no penalty for the thieves who carry out the crimes. It is a form of catch and release where criminals are let go to re-offend, sometimes on the very same day they were originally arrested.

Walmarts across the nation are being hit by thieves. In just the last three weeks, the thefts have been escalating even more.

On November 22, a group of over 20 shoplifters was caught on surveillance footage entering a Walmart in Memphis, Tennessee. They took off with their arms full of expensive merchandise. Twenty-two shoplifters entered the store after chucking a tire iron through a window, according to police.

(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)

A few days later in Jackson, Mississippi, a man sent three kids into Walmart to steal for him. James Jackson then led police on a chase through the city before he was caught and arrested on November 29 at 7.30 pm, according to WLBT. He was charged with three counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors, child endangerment, DUI, traffic offenses, felony fleeing, resisting arrest, and shoplifting.

Other brazen thefts occurred in New York and Florida.

A number of retail chains have closed up shop over “slash and grab” robberies including Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS.

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