A 63-year-old Walmart employee in Indiana has felony charges against her after she was caught eating Oreos which she lifted from store shelves.
Walmart management had Penny Winters arrested after launching an internal theft investigation which was prompted from the discovery of an empty Oreo’s wrapper. The company also discovered surveillance footage which caught “Ms. Winters [selecting] the package of cookies, [opening] it, and [consuming] multiple cookies during her work shift.”
When Winters was confronted by an “asset protection manager” she came clean about the theft, and also added that she took other snacks during her seven-month term at the Walmart store, often once or twice a week. She previously worked for an Arizona Walmart for almost seven years.
According to The SmokingGun, when police initially questioned her about the cookies, she claimed that an open package was near a register and assumed that management provided them as a treat to employees.
She said later that she knew taking the snacks without paying for them was illegal and told Walmart management that it “would never happen again.” The company acknowledged her statement and promptly fired her.
So why steal junk food? ABC News reported that Winters told police she simply couldn’t afford the items. Winters was a full-time maintenance worker for the store making $11.40 an hour.
Ashley Hardie, Walmart media relations spokeswoman, said, “We have high standards on how we conduct business in our stores and high expectations for all our associates. This includes acting with honesty, integrity and following company policies and guidelines … Unfortunately, Ms. Winters failed to meet those expectations. As a result of her violation of company policy she is no longer with the company.”
The Walmart employee was arrested with felony charges on Monday. Winters posted bond on Tuesday and was released from the Porter County jail.
— Keith Collins (@KeithFCollins) February 22, 2013
So has Walmart done the right thing? Does Winters deserve to be charged with a felony?