Lawsuit: Shoplifters Accuse Walmart, Bloomingdale’s Of Extortion

by Stephen Garner

Call it revenge of the shoplifters: Some of the country’s biggest retailers, from Walmart to Bloomingdale’s to Abercrombie & Fitch, are being accused of extorting shoppers caught swiping merchandise. The bizarre twist is spelled out in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Jose that begins when a mother shopping for a birthday barbecue with her kids was stopped while leaving the self-checkout at Walmart. The retailer’s loss-prevention officers took her aside and accused her of not paying for hot dog buns and a water bottle. They gave her a choice: Cop to shoplifting and agree to pay $500 for an online class aimed at setting her on the straight and narrow — or else they’d call the police. The Utah company that provides the class, Corrective Education Company, called it a win for everyone. The accused shoplifter avoided an arrest, jail and criminal record while learning crime doesn’t pay. The retailer got justice. The cops stay focused on more pressing needs. Read more at The Virginian-Pilot.