We all have heard the countless stories of people shoplifting from Wal-Mart stores. We have even heard about a woman who was cooking crystal meth in her purse when she was busted for shoplifting last month.
Have you ever heard of someone dying from shoplifting at Wal-Mart? It has happened more than once.
A couple hundred million people shop at Wal-Mart stores every year. Shoplifting is not a capital offense -- except sometimes at Wal-Mart. When encounters with the retailer's "Asset Protection" staff goes too far -- death can result. This according to the Huffington Post.
In August, 2005, 30-year-old Stacy Driver, of Cleveland, Ohio, a master carpenter and the father of a two-year-old son, died from a heart attack while lying face down in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Houston, Texas.
Driver was pinned down on the burning hot pavement by several Wal-Mart workers who accused him of shoplifting a package of diapers, a pair of sunglasses, a BB gun, and a package of BBs. Four Wal-Mart associates chased Driver, who was shirtless at the time, wrestled him to the ground and struggled with him on the hot pavement for 10 to 30 minutes.
Two years later, Wal-Mart paid Driver's family $750,000 in a settlement of the family's wrongful death lawsuit.
In December, 2009, a 38-year-old suspected shoplifter named Marty Bridges was fleeing a Wal-Mart store when security staff working for Wal-Mart grabbed him, and a fight broke out. By the time the Dunwoody, Georgia police arrived on the scene, Bridges was on the ground and dead.
Bridges was accused of stealing were less than $300 in value, and would have resulted in a misdemeanor charge.
Apparently he was gang-tackled by store employees who had him pinned on the ground to keep him from running. Store officials had contacted the police saying that a man had been seen stuffing his shirt with store items. Yet as he lay dying in the parking lot, no items were found on his person.
Last week, another alleged shoplifter died in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Covina, California. Jose Marcos Picazo, 41, of Azusa, California reportedly left the Wal-Mart store without paying for merchandise and was followed out into the parking lot by Wal-Mart Asset Protection employees. Picazo was accused of stealing some clothes and body wash.
This goes back to one of the 10 Commandments – thou shall not steal! Could a shoplifting class have prevented any of these days? We will never know the answer to that question.