After spending for years, Turner stopped paying rent and his wife began doing the paperwork for free in Former candidates are especially likely to escape scrutiny since they do not have political opponents to challenge their spending. The FEC almost never catches questionable spending itself.
The Times reviewed 10 Walmarts and close-by Targets. In every case, Walmart had more calls. Times analysis In most cases, the Walmart stores were larger than the Targets. The Times accounted for the size difference by calculating the number of calls for every 10, square feet of store space.
Even then, the Walmarts averaged more than three times the calls, producing about 30 per 10, square feet compared with only about nine at Target. Reporters also considered that Walmart stores are often open overnight, while Targets close at 11 p.
But the Times analysis found that most police calls came during the afternoon and evening hours when both Walmart and Target are open. Only about 11 percent came during the overnight hours.
Unlike Walmart, Target seems to have more uniformed employees strolling the aisles, which helps cut down on problems, said Flickinger, a retail consultant who has worked with many national chains. Walmart would not talk about whether it is still enforcing that policy today.
Wyatt Jefferies, a Walmart spokesman, spoke more openly about a diversion program the company adopted in select places about three years ago. Instead of calling police, the store gives first-time shoplifters the option of paying restitution and completing online courses.
Eight Tampa Bay stores are enrolled, he said, and the retailer is assessing whether it will expand the program here and elsewhere. Walmart attracts more foot traffic than other retailers. More customers, Jefferies said, means more potential for crime, which results in more calls to police.
The store was loud and frenetic, the fluorescent lights extra bright. He saw racks overflowing with clothes, a shelf crammed with printer cartridges, boxes scattered in the middle of an aisle.
He peered up at the ceiling-mounted video cameras. Jennings saw fewer than a dozen uniformed employees walking inside the ,square-foot building. Nowhere did he see uniformed security.
Stores are like neighborhoods, he said. If they look tidy, research shows, they signal that the residents are paying attention. Walmarts can feel messy and disheveled.
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