Wal*Mart to Prosecute 16-Year-Old Shoplifters
Amid reports that rising shoplifting is beginning to cut into its profits, Wal*Mart has announced that it will lower the minimum age at which it will press charges against accused shoplifters from 18 to 16, the AP reported.
The change applies only to first-time shoplifters accused of stealing items worth $25 or more, and is a “recommendation” from the company to its stores.
In June, a retail consultant estimated that Wal*Mart had lost as much as $3 billion this year from shoplifting, employee theft, and other fraud. In 2006, the world’s largest retail chain changed its policy in order to no longer seek prosecutions of first-time shoplifters accused of stealing less than $25, while also choosing not to pursue charges for customers younger than 18 or older than 65. The minimum age has now been lowered to 16.