Gross: Federal Way resident fed up over repeated Walmart crimes

Jun 5, 2023, 5:35 PM | Updated: 5:57 pm

Federal Way Walmart...

Walmart employees outside a Federal Way store. (AP Photo/file)

(AP Photo/file)

Public safety has always been a hot-button issue, but it has further escalated into a crisis as light-on-crime policies have emboldened criminals to now go after easier targets.

Multiple police responses have been needed at the two Walmart locations in Federal Way. One incident was reported as an aggravated assault with a knife that occurred at the store on the 1900 block of S 314th Street on May 20.

Another report of a stolen vehicle came from the parking lot of the Walmart location on the 3400 block of 16th Avenue S. In total, five reported violent incidents occurred on the two Walmart properties in May.

Grocery store parking lots have been the source of multiple incidents in the south Sound, and one Federal Way resident, Priscilla Parker, is asking for safety for herself and fellow grocery store shoppers in the region.

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“Enough is enough. Walmart owns that property, and in my feeling, they owe it to their customers to keep their customers safe while they’re shopping,” Parker told The Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH.

Parker has made numerous attempts to reach out to Walmart corporate and her local store to try to ramp up safety measures. She is hoping to garner more support for safety in the community.

Parker has caused quite a stir on the NextDoor app. She has chronicled both incidents and correspondence made with Walmart Corporate. Most of what she has received back from the company is what she calls corporate fluff.

“Your satisfaction is our top priority! Thanks for bringing the issue of safety concerns to our attention. We’re sorry for any inconvenience,” read one of the responses.

But Parker volunteered an idea for a solution to Jason Rantz.

“Hire security guards that are allowed to physically interact with criminals that are doing criminal activity on their property,” Parker said. “If I knew that security guards standing there would intercede if he saw me being attacked in his parking lot, I would feel much safer.”

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She pointed out that in talking with “low-cost” security guards at various locations, she deduced that they are not allowed to intervene. Often these guards can be equated to “loss prevention officers,” but this issue runs much deeper than just shoplifting.

A report from Gitnux states Walmart loses $3 billion every year due to shoplifting. From the consumer perspective, that number is largely irrelevant. Shoppers’ primary concern is safety, not a pair of jeans getting lifted.

“My feeling is Walmart should protect their customers,” Parker said.

That should be the bottom line. Customers need to feel safe, or else businesses will continue to feel ill effects.

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Gross: Federal Way resident fed up over repeated Walmart crimes