A WALMART shopper has been falsely accused of stealing groceries after her self-service checkout reportedly froze.
It comes as legal experts have given several tips to customers on how to avoid getting caught by the machines.
Lesleigh Nurse was arrested in Alabama in November 2016 on charges of stealing 11 items, including Christmas lights, bread and cereal.
She was using one of the self-checkout machines at the Semmes store and needed the help of a worker when the barcode scanner froze.
Walmart bosses reportedly threatened to press charges if she didn’t pay back $200 — more than the amount she was falsely accused of stealing.
The nurse thought the case would be resolved, as she told WKRG at the time: “It was an accident, it wasn’t on purpose.”
She received letters from Florida attorneys who threatened to file a civil lawsuit if she didn’t pay back the amount, AL.com reported.
The nurse won $2.1 million in damages after filing a lawsuit accusing Walmart of using obscure state laws to collect millions of dollars from people who allegedly stole items.
She reached a settlement in which all charges were dropped.
A Walmart spokesman told AL.com at the time that the company “remains in good faith that our employees acted properly.”
They added: “We want our customers to have a safe and pleasant shopping experience in our stores.
“We take steps to prevent, identify and appropriately deal with theft, a problem affecting all retailers that costs the entire US economy tens of billions of dollars each year.”
Walmart stores have dozens of surveillance cameras that can help bosses monitor shoppers’ movements.
There is also a large screen capturing shoppers at the self-checkouts.
And one worker has shown off his handheld device, which workers can use to stop self-checkouts if they have a suspicion.
The device reportedly allows staff to see the groceries that shoppers are browsing.
If Walmart employees suspect you’re stealing merchandise from one of their self-checkout machines, they have the option to remotely pause your machine from their handheld device.
To a buyer, it looks like the machine is struggling with a general malfunction or bug.
Once your self-checkout machine has been stopped remotely, you have no choice but to ask a Walmart employee for help.
From there, the agent goes through all the things you’ve scanned so far to make sure nothing is stolen.
Between January 2021 and March 2022, more than 60 customers were arrested at a Walmart supermarket in Tucson, Arizona after accidentally forgetting to scan some items.
Meanwhile, attorney Carrie Jernigan warns of the risks of using a grocery store’s self-service checkout.
The situation applies not only to Walmart, but to every major department store.
She claimed that stores will try to snare old customers when they check lost inventory, even months after the item has left the premises.
Jernigan urged customers not to use the self-checkout for large grocery orders.
And she advised buyers not to use cash and to keep their receipts as additional proof of purchase.
Jernigan said there are three groups of people at risk of getting into trouble at self-checkout.
She said: “The first group of people to be charged with self-checkout shoplifting are people who go into stores with the intention of stealing.
“The second group of people who take up this charge, I will call accidental theft. These are the people I really think just forgot to scan an item.
“The last group of people are attacked after leaving the store. They get in trouble when the store starts looking for lost inventory.”
And attorney Sandra Barger warned some shoppers were given a ticket after accidentally failing to scan an item.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5984207/walmart-shopper-wrongly-accused-stealing-self-checkout/ I’ve been falsely accused of stealing from the Walmart self-checkout – what you need to know to avoid getting caught too