LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Walmart is ending its controversial anti-shoplifting program following a formal opinion from state attorney general Curtis Hill.
The opinion was requested by Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington who questioned the program's legality from the beginning.
The program would have allowed anyone caught shoplifting in a Walmart to pay $400 dollars and complete an anti-theft educational course. In return, the store would not call the police.
Harrington said not getting the police involved could be seen as lawless. Hill agreed the program posed legal problems. Hill also gave this reasoning:
"The laws of Indiana grant to any retailer the unusual authority to detain and hold a private citizen.
This modest grant of authority is made to make the individual wait for police to arrive.
When one deviates from these limited goals, one is undermining the public policy basis for allowing the detention to take place."
Before this decision, Walmart had been running the program at 36 Indiana locations, including Lafayette.