TeddyJo Marie Fliam, Alpena, Michigan woman accused of stealing $1000 in items at Walmart store after failing to scan all items at self check in since April.
TeddyJo Marie Fliam, 34, was using the self-checkout at an Alpena County Walmart when loss prevention workers noticed she wasn’t scanning every item. Fliam became agitated and denied she was skipping items when confronted by a loss prevention worker and left the store, FOX2 reported.
The incident caused the store to review its surveillance footage, which showed Fliam had stolen more than $1,000 in merchandise by not scanning it from the Walmart since April.
Fliam was arrested at her Alpena home last month and booked with first-degree retail fraud.
The Alpena County Walmart’s loss prevention team has recently begun to crack down on thefts at the self-checkout, with Michigan State Police recording two similar incidents in which people were arrested after swapping barcodes while checking out items.
Walmart losing roughly $4 billion a year to ‘shrink’
Walmart began using artificial intelligence to crack down on self-checkout thefts in 2019, using cameras to make sure every item that has been bagged was scanned.
The system, known internally as Missed Scan Detection, can monitor both self- and manned checkout stations and reports potential missed scans to an attendant who can investigate.
‘Walmart is making a true investment to ensure the safety of our customers and associates,’ Walmart spokesperson LeMia Jenkins said at the time. ‘Over the last three years, the company has invested over half a billion dollars in an effort to prevent, reduce and deter crime in our stores and parking lots. We are continuously investing in people, programs and technology to keep our stores and communities safe.’
When store inventory disappears without being paid, the outcome is defined as ‘shrink.’ This can happen through theft or mistakes, with retailers astute to reducing such ‘shrink’ as much as possible. Given the average US retailer shrink rates, that puts Walmart at losing roughly $4 billion a year.
When store inventory disappears without being paid for it’s known as “shrink.” This can happen through theft or mistakes and retailers are obviously very keen to reduce it as much as possible. If Walmart experiences the average for US retailer shrink rates, then it’s losing roughly $4 billion a year.
Increased attention to underlying costs and best practices comes amid the retail bell weather vendor recording ‘unexpected’ decreased profits during its last quarterly earnings in May, with the retailer saying it had missed estimates along with cutting short its sales and profit outlook as it cited higher fuel and labor costs and double digit inflation tempering consumer spending.