Local Walmart employee says shoplifting is one reason for new hours

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Although many people view shoplifting cases as minor, the effects on shopping outlets both big and small can be damaging -- consuming the time of employees and law enforcement.

Medina says with bigger retailers having more customers walk through their doors each day, so the odds of someone shoplifting in that store increase. (KEVN)

Anthony Kitchens is a Sales Manager at Praire Edge, a local Native American retail store located Downtown Rapid City.

Kitchens says during the winter, shoplifting occurs about once a week, and even more so during the summer.

"I mean you get some days and it's like, what's with this day today? Everybody is just... stealing," said Kitchens.

Starting in February, both Walmart stores that are currently open 24 hours a day in Rapid City will be closed from 1 am to 6 am.

One local Walmart employee told Black Hills Fox News one reason for the hour change: shoplifting. With theft costing one local Walmart store nearly $2.5 million dollars last year.

Brendyn Medina is the Community Relations Specialist for the Rapid City Police Department.

"Bigger retailers have a lot more customers come in on a daily basis so when that's the case it ups the odds of somebody who is willing to take something from that store," said Medina.

Tara Aston, Walmart Senior Manager, reached out to Black Hills Fox News and said:

"Based on a recent review of shopping patterns at our Rapid City stores, we adjusted hours and reallocated resources to better serve our customers during peak shopping hours," stated Aston.

Medina said the Rapid City Police Department investigates around 1,700 cases of theft in Rapid City each year.