September 27, 2021
A Facebook post shared by the Winter Haven Police Department in Florida regarding a man who fled a local Walmart store taking diapers and baby wipes has received serious backlash from the netizens.
A whole new debate has ensued following a somewhat controversial social media post which the Winter Haven Police Department shared on Facebook. It included a picture of a man pushing a shopping cart, alongside his two young kids at Walmart.
The police department's original post was shared without obscuring the man's face but his kids' faces were hidden. It contained security camera footage of the man, who tried buying diapers and baby wipes at self-checkout with his credit card.
THE STEALING INCIDENT
However, his card was declined and he was unable to pay. He fled from the store but returned without his kids to buy the items with a different card, and faced the same problem. The caption of the Facebook post shared by the police department read:
"So when your card is declined and you try another one with the same result, that is NOT license to just walk out with the items anyway."
Eventually, the man left the store, taking the baby wipes and diapers along and paying nothing. The police shared the post on social media in an attempt to shed light on the man's crime, seeking the general public's help in identifying him so he could be charged for shoplifting.
Much to their astonishment, the Facebook post garnered a completely different response from the netizens, who rallied in support of a desperate father stealing items of necessity for his children, rather than anything expensive like television or alcohol.
Walmart has signed a waiver of prosecution, which means the man will not be taken into custody.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the store theft occurred on September 15 at the Walmart store located at 7450 Cypress Gardens Boulevard.
So far, the Facebook post has received around 2,000 likes and more than 4,000 comments, and the Winter Haven Police have even limited the audience who can comment on the post. Many people continue to rally in support of the desperate father. One user commented:
"He tried repeatedly to pay, he didn’t have the money but had kids who needed diapers."
Several people were disappointed by the police department's behavior and criticized them for shaming a desperate father who wished to provide for his kids. Some even volunteered to pay for the diapers and wipes on the man's behalf.
POLICE DEPARTMENT'S REVISED POST
According to the Winter Haven Police, Walmart does not tolerate crimes like store theft, in the light of which the responsible person can get arrested. However, Walmart has signed a waiver of prosecution, which means the man will not be taken into custody.
Following Walmart's prosecution waiver, the police department shared a new Facebook post. They also added that they have contacted the man, shared numerous helpful resources with him, and offered assistance, which he declined.
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