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Carroll County Sheriff's Office cars are parked outside the Walmart in Eldersburg Friday morning, Aug. 9, 2019.
Carroll County Sheriff's Office cars are parked outside the Walmart in Eldersburg Friday morning, Aug. 9, 2019. (Dylan Slagle)

Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees accused Walmart last week of having “poor” security policies. Data from local law enforcement agencies shows police spend a considerable amount of time responding to Walmart stores, especially for theft.

In recent weeks, Walmart has made national headlines after a mass shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas. And the company has caught public attention locally when DeWees railed against its corporate security policy after an armed robbery at the Eldersburg store Aug. 9.

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DeWees claimed that “poor” security at the Eldersburg Walmart can be found at other locations, including those in Westminster, Mount Airy and Hampstead. Data provided by Westminster Police Department, Mount Airy Police Department, Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack shows police spend a notable amount of time responding to Walmarts and patrolling the areas around them.

Here are some other key takeaways from the crime data, obtained by the Times, relating to area Walmarts.

Thefts on rise at Hampstead Walmart

Data shows the Hampstead Walmart has experienced more thefts in the first eight months of 2019 than it did in all of 2018.

Maryland State Police logged 139 calls for service at the Walmart at 2320 Hanover Pike in 2018, according to station commander Lt. Rebecca Bosley. Those calls included: 44 thefts, 22 vehicle collisions, 15 premise alarms, seven patrol checks, seven disorderly subjects, four sick or injured people, two domestic disputes, and one assault, according to Bosley.

Fifty-five of the 139 calls required further police investigation, Bosley said.

So far this year, state police have responded to Walmart 81 times, 49 of which required further investigation, according to Bosley. Some of those calls included: 48 thefts, 10 vehicle collisions, four suspicious vehicles/people, two premise alarms, and two patrol checks.

Westminster Walmart thefts nearly double

Thefts at the Walmart in Westminster have nearly doubled from one year to the next, according to data from Westminster Police.

Twenty-nine thefts occurred at the 280 Woodward Road store between Jan. 1 and Aug. 13, 2018, whereas 56 occurred in the same period in 2019, according to Deputy Chief Maj. Pete D’Antuono. The total of calls increased from 335 to 417, data shows.

In the tables, “No report” refers to incidents where police responded but it was not necessary to write a report, D’Antuono said.

WALMART CALLS FOR SERVICE 2018 - 8/13 YTD  
280 Woodward Rd. Westminster, MD  
8/13/2018  
CALL TYPE:TOTAL REPORT:TOTAL NO REPORT:
   
THEFT29 
NIA (motor vehicle accident - no report)13 
ACCIDENT PI (motor vehicle accident with personal injury)1 
FOUND PROPERTY5 
MV VIOLATION (motor vehicle)3 
EP (emergency petition)0 
SUSPICIOUS024
DESTRUCTION3 
DISORDERLY4 
FRAUD 1 
B&E (breaking and entering)0 
DOA (dead on arrival)0 
HIT & RUN0 
DUI0 
ANIMAL COMPLAINT110
CHECK WELFARE112
Assault10
Child Abuse11
PROP CHECK/FOOT/FOLLOW UP 208
AOA (assist other agency) 3
ASSIST SICK/INJ 0
VEHICLE STOP13
PARKING COMPLAINT 1
INTOXICATED SUBJ 0
TRESPASSING 1
CIVIL 3
DOMESTIC 0
JUVENILE 1
DISABLED VEHICLE 1
POLICE INFO 1
GENERAL TRAFFIC 0
Loitering  2
TOTALS: 33564271
WALMART CALLS FOR SERVICE 2019 - YTD  
280 Woodward Rd. Westminster, MD  
8/13/2019  
CALL TYPE:TOTAL REPORT:TOTAL NO REPORT:
   
THEFT56 
NIA (motor vehicle accident - no report)25 
ACCIDENT PI (motor vehicle accident with personal injury)1 
FOUND PROPERTY4 
MV VIOLATION (motor vehicle)1 
EP (emergency petition)1 
SUSPICIOUS216
DESTRUCTION1 
DISORDERLY15
FRAUD 1 
B&E (breaking and entering)1 
DOA (dead on arrival)1 
HIT & RUN4 
DUI1 
ANIMAL COMPLAINT 10
CHECK WELFARE 9
PROP CHECK/FOOT/FOLLOW UP 251
AOA (assist other agency) 9
ASSIST SICK/INJ 1
VEHICLE STOP 5
PARKING COMPLAINT 1
INTOXICATED SUBJ 1
TRESPASSING 1
CIVIL 1
DOMESTIC 1
JUVENILE 1
DISABLED VEHICLE 2
POLICE INFO 1
GENERAL TRAFFIC 2
   
TOTALS: 417100317

Well-being checks, theft top crimes at Mount Airy Walmart

In Mount Airy, police have responded to 303 “events" so far this year at the 209 E. Ridgeville Blvd. location, according to data provided by Chief Doug Reitz. Over all of 2018, Mount Airy Police Department responded to 603 events, 429 “officer generated events” and 173 calls for service, and performed 181 patrol checks and 248 foot patrols, according to Reitz.

High on Mount Airy’s list of crimes at Walmart is “check welfare," or checking on the well-being of individuals. Well-being checks stand at 20 for 2019, data shows.

Thefts total 18 for 2019, and though Reitz did not have the theft numbers readily available for 2018, he wrote in an email that Walmart was without asset protection/loss prevention for several months, and since the store hired a new staff member, calls are starting to pick up again, according to Reitz.

Next highest on the list is “suspicious vehicle subject” at 15, according to the data.

Eldersburg store experiences theft, robberies

At the Eldersburg store, at 6400 Ridge Road, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office has responded to 233 calls between Jan. 1 and Aug. 12, 2019, according to Jonathan Light, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

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Criminal activity included one armed robbery last week, one robbery/purse snatch, two overdoses, three second-degree assaults and 20 thefts, according to Light.

Light was not able to provide data for 2018.

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