• Police: Casselberry Walmart a target for criminals


    CASSELBERRY, Fla. - A Casselberry Walmart has become a favorite target for criminals.
    In the past 30 days, 37 arrests have been made at the store and since January, they’ve made 202 arrests, authorities say.
    But police hope a new plan they cannot yet unveil will make the store on State Road 436 safer.
    Although most of the crimes are petty theft, some have turned out to be dangerous for officers.
    Last week, two Casselberry officers were captured on surveillance video trying to stop the driver of a truck after he allegedly shoplifted, but the man took off with the officer still hanging onto his window.
    Earlier this year, a man dressed as a woman stole 18 flat-screen TVs from the store.
    “That's ridiculous and crazy,” said shopper Ashley Williams. “I don't know.  It doesn't make me feel that safe.”
    The store now has a zero-tolerance policy. Instead of being given a court date, anyone caught shoplifting will go to jail.
    That's what happened Wednesday after investigators said a man took off in his truck with a computer.
    “It's our job and we handle it as it occurs,” said Cpl. Kristine Pamatian with Casselberry Police Department. “Of course, we'd like to cut back on the criminal activity that's going on here and we're currently working on a plan to try to do that.”
    Walmart could hire officers to do off-duty details at the store. Instead, police respond on an almost daily basis.
    “If I was working here, I would be pissed if I had to deal with shoplifters,” said shopper Sharon Lannaman. “It'd be nice and safe if they had some kind of protection in there, especially if someone real dangerous came in.”
    A Walmart spokesman told Channel 9 that the unusual number of arrests prove that their efforts to thwart crime are working.

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