Steal from Walmart and land in a Walmart jail? No quite, but the retail giant is testing a new way to deal with shoplifters.

In this day and age of cameras watching your every move, people still try to steal. Not a week goes by that you don't hear about someone arrested for attempting to steal from Walmart in Rockford. In fact, if you follow the Rockford Scanner Facebook blog, it's almost a daily occurrence.

Walmart has announced that they are taking the law into their on hands, sort of. They are initiating an anti-shoplifting program referred to as 'restorative justice." Instead of calling police, Walmart is testing a program in 1500 of it's retail outlets that would unleash Walmart justice, if you will, for would be shoplifters.

If you are caught stealing at the retailer, the Motley Fool reports that under the restorative justice initiative, you will given the option of to participate in a program, where, if you are determined to be first-time offender, you will be offered the option to take an anti-shoplifting course, rather than being hauled down to the police precinct and arrested and prosecuted.  Yes, you will have to pay for the class!

If you have ever taken that day long drivers class for speeding in Illinois, it's similar to that. The amount of the fee has not been disclosed.

The program is in it's infancy and has not been launched in Rockford yet, but it has in test locations through the country.  Walmart spokesperson Ragan Dickens says:

The effort is in its early days, but the results have been good so far. The company has seen a 35% reduction in calls to law enforcement nationwide since restorative justice programs were first implemented

The good news it ties up less time for law enforcement who have more important things to do, and for Walmart, it saves them money. For those who take the course, the rate of repeat shoplifting has decreased.

The program could be expanded nationwide to include Rockford Area stores in the near future.

I wonder if everyone in the Walmart "do not shoplift" class has to wear a smiley t-shirt?


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