A local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles reports that a woman was shopping in an area Walmart this week when she was assaulted and almost robbed. She fought the attacker off, but Walmart employees urged her not to call the police about the incident.
Linda Andrade, of San Bernardino, said she was in a grocery aisle in the Highland Walmart when she felt someone touch her neck. Then she felt the yank from someone trying to steal her necklace.
“All of a sudden I was jerked back,” she said. “I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Your mind is going a million miles.”
Her necklace chain broke but the would-be thief did not have a grip on it, he lunged at her again, trying to get it, and she went into a defensive posture, then lunged back. He turned and walked quickly away.
Security video of the store shows the incident plainly. A young, black male approached the elderly white lady and tried to steal her chain.
But Andrade says she screamed for help, and no one came. She talked to management and asked them to call the police, perhaps fearing leaving the store to go home. She says the manager told her it would be a waste of time to call the police, and that it would take them far too long to get there and several hours to handle her complaint.
She said one employee asked why she was worried about it, she still had her necklace.
But police say the Walmart folks were wrong and that they should have called them.
Walmart corporate seems to agree. They issued a statement and apology to Andrade, saying:
“We are committed to providing our customers with a safe shopping environment. While we can’t always prevent crime from happening, we can definitely do a better job of how we respond in a situation like this,” Walmart Spokeswoman Dianna Gee said. “We have reached out to Ms. Andrade to apologize for how this was handled. We have also reiterated our policies and procedures to those involved. We will work with local law enforcement to provide any information we have such as surveillance video to help identify the suspect responsible.”
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