Wal-Mart doesn’t run TV ads about it — and you won’t hear it mentioned on Paul Harvey, but crime at big box stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot is a continuing public concern. On November 12th, two girls, ages 10 and 11, were approached by a man at 2 pm in the afternoon inside the Home Depot on Shields Blvd. in south Oklahoma City. The man told the girls he was a Home Depot security guard, and he informed the girls that they were under arrest for shoplifting. He then took the two girls into a Home Depot rest room and molested them. The man was described as being between 30 and 40 years old, white, wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans. What has authorities alarmed even more is that similar attacks have taken place at Wal-Mart locations in Norman and Moore, OK. On October 16th, a 10 year old girl was reported fondled at the Wal-Mart on West Main St. On the same day, a man attempted to molest a girl at the Wal-Mart in Moore. Two days later, another attempted attack was made in the Moore Wal-Mart. The previous August a third girl reported being molested at the Moore Store. All of these attacks are happening INSIDE the Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores, during the middle of the day. In each of these cases, the male attacker was posing as a security guard for the company. The attacker is not exactly hard to miss: he’s 6 feet tall and weights 300 pounds.
Wal-Mart usually shrugs off the issue of crime inside and outside of their stores. These cases are disconcerting because they have happened repeatedly, and on store property. In several communities, local police has established “substations” right inside the Wal-Mart. Perhaps the reasoning here is: the cops might as well stick around the scene of the crime. Attention shoppers: malls attract more than shoppers. And don’t expect to see Wal-Mart talking about such cases any time soon.