Oct. 14, 2013 10:27am
Shelves at Walmart stores in Louisiana were cleared in a shopping frenzy over the weekend after a glitch in the Electronic Benefits Transfer system allowed government food stamp recipients to make purchases without spending limits.
For two hours Saturday night, customers rang up overflowing cartloads of food at stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., after cashiers allowed them to use their EBT cards anyway despite not showing limits, KSLA-TV reported
“It was worse than any Black Friday,” Springhill police Chief Will Lynd told KSLA.
Government food assistance recipients poured into Walmart stores in Louisiana after a system glitch allowed them to make purchases without spending limits. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
Police were called in to help manage the chaos, but no arrests were made and no one was unruly, Lynd said. Mansfield police confirmed officers were called in for crowd control but no arrests were made there
After the system came back online, customers abandoned their carts and left the store, leaving a huge mess behind.
“It was like a tornado had came through,” O.J Evans, who took cell phone video of the aftermath at the Mansfield Walmart, told KSLA.
The glitch occurred when the EBT system went down in several states during a routine backup test, KSLA reported. The system came back up Saturday night, but was apparently not working properly everywhere.
A Walmart customer captured the aftermath following a glitch in the EBT system. (Image source: KSLA-TV)
A Walmart spokeswoman told KSLA the company was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”
“We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling told the station.
Walmart shoppers Stan and Judy Garcia said purchases made without appropriate funds was the same thing as stealing.
“That’s plain theft, that’s stealing that’s all I got to say about it,” Stan Garcia said.
Whaling declined to specify whether Walmart would take the financial hit on food purchased without card limits or on the perishable food left behind.
A spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services said they were aware of the situation and investigating any potential fraud.
Anyone expecting to rush to the nearest store to stock up as a disaster unfolds should pay attention to this article. There’s no last minute trip to the grocery plan. It’s not safe and you wont find much anyway.
Take a look at what’s happening in Venezuela right now with food shortages:
Just a few weeks ago young woman in Venezuela kicked her own 18 year-old pregnant sister in the belly, killing her baby, after arguing over a 1kg. pack of flour.
Just a few days before that, a man was killed in Venezuela for trying to jump queue in a line of people waiting to buy food. People naturally behave the way the article above explains. The majority of people will steal if they think they can get away with it. We’ve gotten to the point where most don’t consider it a morally reprehensible thing to do anymore.
People will steal when they feel they can get away with it, and in a similar way they will have no remorse in killing when they even just start to feel hungry. Instinct kicks in, and combined with the almost complete lack of moral standards we have in society these days, that same mass that ravages a Walmart at the first opportunity will crack your skull after skipping just one meal. We have seen such a thing happen after disasters in different countries, and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela is a good example of what to expect from most western nations when things heat up just a bit.
People, we all know the essentials. Food and water first, fuel and gear after that as well as some emergency cash at hand. You have to understand the importance of having these stocked up and stored before the actual crisis or disaster takes place. Knowledge sure is important, but no amount of knowledge will materialize in front of you the supplies you failed to stock up ahead of time.