Walmart Worker Fired and Then Charged Criminally For Eating Oreos

pennywintersThis is Penny Winters, a 63-year-old worker who has been criminally charged with stealing from Walmart. The object of her felonious fancy? A bag of Oreos. That’s right, she was caught by Walmart security on camera eating some cookies and then fired and arrested.

250px-Oreo-Two-CookiesWalmart launched the investigation after an empty cookie wrapper was discovered in the store. They then watched hours of security film and saw Winters eat the cookies while working on the maintenance crew. The entire crime is recounted with chilling details in the report: “Ms. Winters select the package of cookies, open it, and proceed to consume multiple cookies during her work shift.” The store also told officers that it was not one oreo but “multiple cookies.” The store says that when confronted by one of its “asset protection managers” (which I think used to be called store security), she confused to her heinous offense. She told the investigator that she “simply did not have the monies to legitimately purchase the food items.” She makes roughly $11 an hour.

She has now been arrested for felony theft. Her charging sheet also show receipt and possession of stolen goods, which may be other edible objects.

I am not sure what the cut off is for a felony in Indiana but most states require something a bit more than $5. I would truly love to know the officers and prosecutor who charge this as a felony. Indeed, I am surprised it was charged at all as a crime. She was fired. That seems a strict enough response. I suppose in Indiana they feel that they cut her some stack by not charging every cookie as a separate count of theft (or multiply each count by two if she one of those odd people who separate the Oreo and eat the icing separately).

Source: Smoking Gun

44 thoughts on “Walmart Worker Fired and Then Charged Criminally For Eating Oreos

  1. Standard fare. Banksters rob the country of trillions and get rewarded with huge bonuses and congressional hugs. Grab a $4 bag of cookies and get treated as if you are a danger to society. It’s simply, and disturbingly, a two-tiered justice system where the more money you have, the more laws you can break without punishment.

  2. I read years ago that insurance companies were fighting with retailers over employee wages. The insurance companies had evidence that low paid workers steal more from the store, theft the insurance companies were expected to pay for. I don’t remember the numbers but a relatively small increase in wages produced a very significant drop in employee theft.

    I suppose wit todays video technology they can get the same results without rewarding employees with anything like a livable wage.

  3. I hope she liked the cookes. This is an example of prosecutorial over reach. I cannot imagine that Indiana law allows a 5 dollar theft to be a felony. I am guessing that Wal Mart was pushing for these charges to make a point to other future offenders. Stupid and sad.

  4. What is Wal Mart going to do? They are making an example out of the woman. They have 1.4 million employes all over the country. if just 10% of them took something worth $5 once or twice a month it would add up to significant money lost.

    1,400,000*(0.05)*($10)*(2)*(12) = $16,800,000 per year.

    Granted their profit is 15 billion so that is only 0.102% but employee theft is a problem for retailers of all sizes. And that woman looks like she doesnt need to be eating Oreos. I would have sympathy for her if she took an orange an apple and a banana.

  5. Bron, are you saying because she isn’t attractive it’s okay for Walmart to try to ruin her life because of cookies? You are an ass.

  6. Not all Walmarts sell fresh food.

    Prosecutorial overreach? Yes. What was the value of the resources Walmart expended to identify the crime, including reviewing ‘hours of video’?

    I know of a Walmart employee who threatened to frame people for shoplifting and proceeded to intimidate his targets inside the store. Walmart management did nothing when informed.

  7. Why the noive of Walls Mart, acting like they should have the right to be upset because they employed a thief.

    Good for them. I see people wandering thru grocery stores, grazing on anything and everything edible…as though they it was stuff they actually paid for, or intend to regurgitate and pay for at the checkout line.

    Thievery is a problem everywhere, and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

  8. A tale of our new aristocracy, reminiscent of Les Miserables with oreos substituting for a loaf of bread. Of ourse the woman was charged since she was stealing from the local Castle. Like Castle’s of yore Walmart owns the surrounding area and its political minions do their bidding. Were she in a Saudi Walmart her hand would be chopped off. As for employee theft a company gets what it pays for. They really don’t expect anything like company loyalty with the wages they pay, so they get around it with draconian personnel policies. This is the new normal.

  9. They are blaming bad sales infFeb on the payrolltaxes and slowness of rebates They never look inward toward incidents like this and the boycotts arund the country.

  10. Carol:

    No, I am not saying that. I am saying she doesnt need those empty calories from an oreo cookie(s).

    I would not have her arrested but I would let her go for stealing.

  11. Mike Spindell:

    Dont blame Wal Mart, blame the people who spend money there. There are many options open to people and then Wal Mart comes to town and people throw the local mom and pops under the bus for at most a 15 to 20% savings and maybe even less on some items.

    I dont know why you are blaming Wal Mart for greedy locals willing to switch allegiances because they save 50 bucks a month on groceries. And a couple of hundred bucks a year for big ticket items.

    I try to shop at the local places when I can but around here there arent many. The local hardware shops are all gone, there are no mom and pop grocery stores or pharmacies. Everything is big box stores. Even the restaurants are chains.

  12. I read in the news that many people are doing what Mike Spindell suggests. Their bottom line is tanking. I had rather get a colonoscopy than go to Wal-Mart.

    Bleed the lower income classes dry, then wonder why they don’t shop. Karma can bite.

    I do see the upscale retailers are still doing just fine. After all, the top 2% still has money to spend. Wonder where they got it?

    http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/21785834/article-Taking-a-toll-%E2%80%94-Wal-Mart-profits-down-as-lower–middle-classes-struggle?instance=lead_story_left_column

  13. The charging sheet says she stole multiple food items over a 7 month period. I guess that supposedly added up to a felony. The more peculiar thing to me is that she was arrested on this, rather than simply given a summons to appear at arraignment.

  14. OS,
    I agree about boycotting Walmart. I think I have been there once in approximately 10 years. I will go out of my way to shop elsewhere. They are a stain on society.

  15. While I was composing my comment, Mr. Loisville posted his, which hits the main point: it was not one theft, but an admission of multiple thefts.

    What level of theft (in round $) do people think is too small for prosecutors to pursue charges?

  16. Raff, OS shame talking that way, woe for the members of the Walton family your talking about taking food from their poor billionaire mouths.

  17. “Dont blame Wal Mart, blame the people who spend money there.”

    Bron,

    I don’t spend money there and have’t for years. However, I have always lived in an area that had a varied number of shopping options. Many people do not have that ability.

    “There are many options open to people and then Wal Mart comes to town and people throw the local mom and pops under the bus for at most a 15 to 20% savings and maybe even less on some items.”

    Actually, because I love to shop and love to comparison shop, I’ve been to Walmart’s to check out how low their prices are. I would say it is closer to 5% and some items are pricier than my local high end supermarket. The difference with my supermarket in Florida, Publix, is that it is employee owned and the service and attitude of its employees is wonderfully helpful. I would bet that is not the case in Walmart.

    “I dont know why you are blaming Wal Mart for greedy locals willing to switch allegiances because they save 50 bucks a month on groceries.”

    Bron you say this like someone who has no idea of what it is too not have the money available to meet the costs of necessary expenses. While I am lucky now in that my retirement income allows me to live modestly, I can remember the days when I had started my family and my children were young. Though both my wife and I were fully employed, in fact I worked two jobs (Civil Servant and Psychotherapist in the evenings). Yet I can remember my children getting Strep on some occasions and the antibiotic cost $75. That meant I had to choose which bill went upaid that month. I’ll never forget living like that and from it fully understanding what it is like to live on a poor salary.
    For someone making $15,000 a year, like Wal-Mart employees $50 a month is not a pittance.

    Finally, study after study has shown that Wal-Mart destroys local business and taxes local funding by ot offering benefits to their employees. Wal-Mart is a most disgusting example of a predatory corporation.

  18. Mike Spindell:

    “Bron you say this like someone who has no idea of what it is too not have the money available to meet the costs of necessary expenses. While I am lucky now in that my retirement income allows me to live modestly, I can remember the days when I had started my family and my children were young. Though both my wife and I were fully employed, in fact I worked two jobs (Civil Servant and Psychotherapist in the evenings). Yet I can remember my children getting Strep on some occasions and the antibiotic cost $75. That meant I had to choose which bill went upaid that month. I’ll never forget living like that and from it fully understanding what it is like to live on a poor salary.
    For someone making $15,000 a year, like Wal-Mart employees $50 a month is not a pittance.”

    So then Wal Mart is a good thing for people who dont make much money? I am really confused now. Up above you think Wal Mart is evil incarnate and now you are saying just saving $50 bucks a month is a good thing. I am pretty sure Wal Mart can save a family of 4 more than $50 bucks per month on consumables. So that is a good thing right?

    My other question is why do people think a part-time job at Wal-Mart is going to support a family of 4?

    In the Dakotas they are paying $15/hour at McDonalds and 6 figures for truck drivers. Maybe some low wage people ought to pack a pick-up and head for greener pastures, just like the Oakies did in the 30’s. Come to think of it we had a liberal democrat for president then too. I wonder if there is a connection to the poor economy? Nah, what am I thinking.

  19. I am on a fixed income. I do not like using Walmart but when I find the prices on certain items will save me money, and some significant money, like a computer, I find I have no choice but to spend my money there.

  20. Bron,

    Say anything you want about Walmart… But leave my Oreos alone…. I go through 2 to 3 packages a week…

  21. “Walmart launched the investigation after an empty cookie wrapper was discovered in the store.”

    So maintenance crew member Winters was caught when she failed to clean-up the crime scene.

  22. I looked up the statute for Indiana. It seems that all thefts are Class D felonies or greater. seems harsh to me.

    http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title35/ar43/ch4.html

    IC 35-43-4-2
    ——————————————————————————–
    Theft; receiving stolen property
    Sec. 2. (a) A person who knowingly or intentionally exerts unauthorized control over property of another person, with intent to deprive the other person of any part of its value or use, commits theft, a Class D felony. However, the offense is a Class C felony if:
    (1) the fair market value of the property is at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); or
    (2) the property that is the subject of the theft is a valuable metal (as defined in IC 25-37.5-1-1) and:
    (A) relates to transportation safety;
    (B) relates to public safety; or
    (C) is taken from a:
    (i) hospital or other health care facility;
    (ii) telecommunications provider;
    (iii) public utility (as defined in IC 32-24-1-5.9(a)); or
    (iv) key facility;
    and the absence of the property creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to a person

  23. Well, Wal Mart has to make a profit. After all, the crap they sell in their store doesn’t make itself, it takes small children making 50 cents an hour in a dangerous factory to do so. These idiots spent hours going over film to find someone eating a cookie package. How pathetic. How pathetic of the DA to charge the woman with a felony. Wasn’t she punished enough by working for Wal Mart?

  24. I don’t condone what this woman was accused of doing but Wal Mart’s reputation is so badly tainted, it is certainly not going to win any support in this case.

    I look at stories of how Wal Mart treats it’s employees. One was so reprehensible, it made me angry just thinking about it. At one time Wal Mart was taking out life insurance policies on its employees, with Wal Mart as the beneficiary. So if the employee died, wal mart made money tax free. Talk about having no insurable interest. It was purely profit driven and not in the benefit of its employees. It was so infamous that several state legislatures banned the practice.

    But the greed and need for profit despite the needs of others did not stop there. A few years ago, Wal Mart heavily lobbied the feds to change the maximum time allowable to drive commercial vehicles (semi’s) to 14 hours a day. 14 hours! How can anyone be expected to drive 14 hours between a sleep break day in and out and not expect to have accidents. Especially driving a 80,000 GVWR truck. What does this say for their regard for the public or the truck drivers? Luckily the feds did not buy in to their pleadings.

    So when it comes to wal mart continuing to get bad press, I don’t have sympathy; only schadenfreude.

  25. Wasn’t Walmart recently exposed for paying bribes down in Ol’Mexico? They pay their employees so poorly that many qualify for food stamps. Then there is the lack of health care benfits for employyes which is of course then provided by state medicade programs. Now Walmart will be consuming court, prosecution and public defense services all on the tax payer’s dime just to turn this woman into a felon. Do you think that Walmart recognizes that convicted felons are disenfranchised from voting?

    All in all, seems like a bad deal for the tax payers and a frfee ride for Walmart.

  26. Bron:

    I know what you are saying about Key Person insurance that many companies have with their senior management. walmart in the mid 1990’s actually insured about 300,000 employees including those who were working in low level positions. These walmart employes on the lower strata of the company as individuals would not affect with any significance the operation of the company at a high level, hence they had no insurable interest in the life of a cashier or stocker. The IRS later cracked down on them for this practice but I don’t remember to what degree that was.

  27. When I was working as a shelver for a vendor I was barred when an ass. mgr. saw an open bag of chips. She wanted to see my receipt. Never mind that it was a bag that was unsealed at the factory and came out of the carton open. The other mgrs. told me that she was a real ass. mgr.

  28. I eat there for free all the time while I’m shopping sometimes I just go in for a free lunch and a coconut water although I do try to make healthy choices you know I am watching my figure HAHA:P how you like those apples or oreos…kashi bars lol

  29. That poor old lady just wanted a few oreos while she was working it was probably one of the few joys she had in her life. I am so glad I have never worked for Walmart it sounds like the pits of hell:S

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