Big box stores account for lots of calls to police

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Crime reports filed during the first month of 2017 show big box stores accounting for dozens of crime calls to Valley police agencies.

But five Wal-Mart stores appear to stand out, as far as the number of calls.

CBS 5 Investigates examined the online crime maps available through Phoenix Police, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa and Chandler. The maps show the number of calls for police service over a specified period of time.

According to those maps, during January, the Wal-Mart  location at Glendale and 59th Avenue in Glendale produced 26 calls to police. The nearby Lowe’s home improvement store produced two calls.

The Wal-Mart location at Bethany and 35th Avenue in Phoenix accounted for 16 calls, although the map does not indicate whether those calls were isolated to Wal-Mart, or the nearby Harbor Freight Tools.

The Wal-Mart on Bethany and 15th Avenue in Phoenix accounted for 19 calls to police. The nearby Target accounted for 14 calls.

The Wal-Mart on Elliot and Priest in Tempe accounted for 18 calls to police, while the Costco across the street accounted for two calls during the same time period.

And the Wal-Mart on McDowell and 75th Avenue in Phoenix accounted for 16 calls, while the nearby Target accounted for six calls.

Wal-Mart has been under pressure nation. It issued this statement:wide to reduce the number of crime calls its stores generate.

“No retailer is immune to the challenge of crime. We recognize the importance of this issue at the highest levels of the company, and we are investing in people and technology to support our stores. We’re encouraged by a 35 percent reduction in calls to law enforcement agencies nationwide, on average, since we began implementing Restorative Justice and other crime deterrence programs. We’ll continue our outreach to law enforcement across the country as part of our ongoing commitment to meet our customers’ and associates’ expectations of a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.”

Phoenix Police released the following statement when asked whether the stores drain resources:

“Walmart has been, and continues, to be a strong community partner and law enforcement supporter.  The Phoenix Police Department recognizes the efforts of Walmart employees and leadership to minimize thefts and related criminal activity in and near their stores.  In reality, it is the criminals who choose to victimize retailers, consumers, and the community at large, who are responsible for the number of calls for service generated at any specific location. “

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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