Walmart's Watchful Eye
Eunice, Sharena and Dixie are the names she uses while at work. Her days are always busy, but the holidays bring extra work.
“I've been at Walmart for three years but in this position for two years,” Alice Miller said.
After working in the Health and Beauty department for a year, Miller became an Asset Protection Associate.
“I had no formal training, just walked around with other APs. They would give tips on what to look for and do,” Miller said.
In her current position, Miller is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for both employees and shoppers. She also ensures that all assets of the store are being properly handled.
She said, “I watch electronics and makeup; they're the most stolen items.”
Miller looks out especially for people who sneak merchandise into totes and trash cans within their shopping carts, as well as “big, flat purses and people looking around for associates and cameras.”
When on the job she said most of what she catches has to do with instinct. “There's a lot of feeling and intuition that's hard to explain,” Miller said.
While working as an Asset Protection Associate, Miller has collected a number of what she calls “humorous” experiences.
She said, “Like the girl that ran from us and was later found by the cops climbing a mesquite tree. They brought her back all cut up.”
Another time Miller said there was a woman with five children stealing over $500 worth of merchandise.
She said, “The woman went to jail and I sat and colored with the children for 3 hours while waiting for CPS.”
Another memorable one for Miller was the story that made it to the news a few weeks ago—a 23 year-old man who stole $175 worth of Lego products.
She said “meth face” is something else she looks for. “They usually steal,” she said. But that’s not always an indicator.
“I've learned that some thieves are very unassuming and you can't go by how they look or what they have," Miller said, letting some of the 'usual suspects' off the hook. With a final nod to instinct she concluded: "That's where the feeling and intuition comes in."