Does Walmart Build Cases On Shoplifters? [All You Need To Know]

What does Walmart do with shoplifters? Do they build cases on them? We've compiled all the answers in this guide. Read on.

Shoplifting has been a constant problem for retailers. And recently, shoplifting has been surging across the United States, which means retailers have had to bump up their security measures and theft policy to prevent crimes and unwanted losses at their stores.

With that, you may be wondering what the policy of different retailers is when it comes to shoplifting. And since they are one of the biggest retailers in the world, with over 240 million weekly customers, you may be wondering what the Walmart shoplifting policy is.

Do they build cases on shoplifters? Do people get banned from shoplifting at Walmart? What security measures do they employ?

These are all very important questions with complex answers. And so you won’t have to scour the internet for each of these answers, we’ve compiled them all in this comprehensive guide.

So, if you’re trying to figure out what Walmart does with shoplifters, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out all about Walmart’s shoplifting policy and what actions the retailer may take against shoplifters.

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Will You Get Banned At Walmart For Shoplifting?

Walmart California

People who are caught and charged with shoplifting at Walmart will receive a lifetime ban. This bars the person from entering any Walmart store or location for the rest of their lives. On top of that, there is a very slim chance that Walmart will ever lift the ban, so shoplifters who get caught have to deal with these consequences the rest of their lives.

While it may be possible to enter different Walmart locations without anyone noticing, it may not be worth the risk. Persons banned from Walmart caught trying to enter the premises may receive a variety of criminal charges for trespassing.

What Is Walmart’s Theft Policy?

Walmart has a wide variety of different theft deterrents and anti-theft devices to catch people trying to steal from their store. If a person is caught shoplifting at Walmart, and while they don’t have a definite theft policy and the action to be taken is largely up to the manager, they may build a case against people caught shoplifting at their stores.

Does Walmart Build Cases On Shoplifters?

As of 2023, the way Walmart handles shoplifters is by building a case against them if they have stolen more than $25 worth of items in their stores. Usually, if the theft was below $25, Walmart will not file a case, but the person caught will have to pay for the item and likely receive a lifetime ban from the store.

While in most cases, they won’t file or build a case against people who stole less than $25 worth of goods, they are still well within their rights to build a case. Walmart’s theft policy is to prosecute and file charges against people caught shoplifting at their store.

There may be some cases where people got away relatively scot-free, remember that this isn’t the norm. Instead, this is the exception.

How Long Does Walmart Have To Press Charges For Shoplifting?

Man hides bottle of alcohol under his shirt

When a person is caught shoplifting at Walmart, they will be detained in the store until police arrive. If the person tries to run or escape, this can result in further charges being pressed against them.

With that said, the charges won’t be filed right away. It can take weeks or even months at times for Walmart to collect evidence to file charges. And while there is a time limit, Walmart has up to 1 year after the incident to press charges.

So, for example, even if a person wasn’t caught in the act and video footage reviewed months later shows that person shoplifting, Walmart can still press charges.

Does Walmart Have Loss Prevention?

Yes, Walmart employs loss prevention officers to keep their stores safe from shoplifting. Dealing with losses is a part of the retail game, and to stay on top, Walmart needs to make sure they incur as few losses as possible, especially losses that come from theft.

To do this, Walmart has specific loss prevention associates at their stores. These people and officers are responsible for keeping an eye on all the items and patrolling the store while taking note of any suspicious behavior from the customers.

On top of that, loss prevention officers blend in with the customers. So, you won’t see them in specific uniforms as they are designed to be inconspicuous. These officers are the people in charge of catching shoplifters, chasing after them if they run away, as well as filling shoplifting reports.

Some loss prevention associates also take on theft prevention planning responsibilities, proposing different ways the store can reduce and prevent theft in the store.

Does Walmart Keep A List Of Shoplifters?

Walmart Store 1

Yes, Walmart has a database with the names of all persons caught shoplifting in their stores. Any arrest that happens in Walmart’s stores is reported and filed with all the other reports.

That way, they can check if there are any repeating offenders and also just keep a general record of anyone that they caught stealing in their stores. On top of that, Walmart will also keep photos of arrested shoplifters, so that they have a point of reference.

Does Walmart Post Pictures Of Shoplifters?

Generally, Walmart doesn’t post pictures of people caught shoplifting. However, they will post pictures of people suspected of shoplifting at their stores to ask for help when it comes to identifying the culprit.


Shoplifting is something that Walmart takes seriously. Any person apprehended for shoplifting may have charges pressed against them from Walmart, especially if they stole more than $25 worth of goods. While some people get away with a warning when caught shoplifting, keep in mind that this is the exception and not the rule.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.