Two employees of the Wal-Mart on pines road were hauled off to jail around noon Monday, another given a summons to appear in court, for allegedly helping out some friends at the register. "Their internal loss prevention had been aware that this was going on, they were monitoring it, and then they called us in to actually make the arrest," says Bill Goodin with Shreveport Police. Twenty-four year old Tasha Fountain, and 34 year old Derek Alexander are charged with a felony, the other; a misdemeanor. Goodin says "As they were checking items out for friends of theirs they were not charging items, not scanning each of the items, in other words, they would check one and let two go by". Last year at this time several reports pointed to a rise in interal theft at Wal-Mart stores across the country. However Wal-Mart claimed a better than average percentage of what's called "shrink", compared to other retailers. Goodin credits loss prevention: a retailers internal watchdog, for being able to bust suspected inside jobs. "Ultimately you're going to see that businesses that have that kind of protection are going to run less risk of having internal theft," says Goodin.
And employees allegedly helping themselves to the retail giant's profits isn't just happening at Wal-Mart. "Internal theft is something that basically happens in any business, it's not just retail, many times we'll find commercial and wholesale have problems," says Goodin. These types of theft, in Shreveport alone, accounts for hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue lost according to Goodin. His Community Oriented Policing Unit tries to combat the problem with educaiton. Goodin says C.O.P. offers free seminars to businesses which instructs business owners and managers on preventing internal theft and shoplifting. Officers can be reached at (318) 673-7236.