Springhill, Mansfield WalMarts Looted Saturday Night

From KSLA-TV12, Shreveport

Walmart shelves in Springhill, Mansfield, cleared in EBT glitch
By Carolyn Roy

Shelves in Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, LA were reportedly cleared Saturday night, when the stores allowed purchases on EBT cards even though they were not showing limits.

The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended. Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen. Lynd explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food. Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.

“Just about everything is gone, I’ve never seen it in that condition,” said Mansfield Walmart customer Anthony Fuller.

Walmart employees could still be seen putting food from the carts away as late as Sunday afternoon. “I was just thinking, I’m so glad my mom doesn’t work here [Walmart] anymore, that’s the only thing I could think about, those employees working, that would have to restock all that stuff,” said O.J Evans who took cell phone video of the overflowing shopping carts at the Mansfield Walmart.

Evans believes it was natural human reaction that led people to fill up their carts during the glitch, but Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia feel very differently. “That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it,” said Garcia.

Lynd says contrary to rumors, nobody was unruly or arrested and they were mainly there to help prevent shoplifting and theft.

A dispatcher for Mansfield police also confirms officers were called in for crowd control at the Mansfield Walmart. She said the shelves were cleared out, forcing Walmart to stop selling food at 9 p.m. There were no arrests. There was, however, a huge mess left behind. Pictures and videos obtained by KSLA News 12 show aisles packed with shoppers emptying the shelves in Springhill. Another video shows what appear to be at least dozens of overflowing carts left abandoned in the aisles at the Mansfield store, against the backdrop of emptied shelves in the meat department.

It all happened at the end of a day in which the EBT system went down in several states, including Louisiana. Xerox, a vendor for the EBT system, experienced a power outage while conducting a routine backup test in one of the company’s locations. While the system was back up Saturday night, it appears that it was not functioning entirely properly in some areas.

Kayla Whaling, a spokesperson for Walmart, tells KSLA News 12 that the company was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.” “We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families.”

Asked whether Walmart would be taking the loss on any food purchased on the cards that did not show limits, or on the perishable food left behind in carts, Whaling would only say that “we monitored transactions during the outage.”

A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says they take all allegations of potential fraud seriously, they are aware of the reports and they will be investigating.

8 Responses to “Springhill, Mansfield WalMarts Looted Saturday Night”

  1. Oldman Says:

    Stealing no other word for it.The ones that done that should have cards pulled and not be able to apply for them again.Sorry that’s the way I feel .

  2. Neighbor Says:

    I think this is just a preview of “things to come”. Since everything we do in this modern world revolves around computers, just imagine a bunch of people trying to get food from a store and not be able to use a credit card to make that purchase.

  3. The Welfare State: The FSA Strikes at Two Walmarts in Louisiana | The Patriot Perspective Says:

    […] Springhill, Mansfield WalMarts Looted Saturday Night […]

  4. Freeddie boy Says:

    Abuse..abuse…abuse…..
    Folks, we must find someway of taking our country back. I am willing to help anyone that really needs help and cannot help themselves, but we should jail anyone who acts like this. They knew they were guilty of stealing…..

    problem is, a lot of folks spend more time figuring out how to beat the system than looking for a job. The elected ones let them get by with it.

    Walmart should not take the hit on this.

    Lets take the country back……

  5. Walmart shelves in Springhill, Mansfield, cleared in EBT glitch | Prepper Podcast Radio Network Says:

    […] Springhill, Mansfield WalMarts Looted Saturday Night […]

  6. TXL Says:

    I hope that they apply the charges to their account so they can wait a while to get a positive balance back.

  7. CitizensAll Says:

    WalMart should have followed the rules, if there are any, about what to do when a customer’s card does not work properly, rather than just let them haul off the entire store. Anyone knows these cards don’t allow that kind of huge purchase.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    According to the news report I heard this morning (so take as you wish) the EBT system has emergency procedures for instances like this that limit every card to a certain amount while the system is down. Wal-mart made the decision to disregard these procedures therefore the state is saying they will have to eat the loss on the over charges. The man being interviewed assured the reporter that no tax payer dollars would be used to cover the loss. I am reluctant to believe this but hopefully that is the way it will work out.

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