ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque Walmart is making customers check their bags if they want to shop there.
Walk into the Walmart on San Mateo near Zuni and there are signs posted saying backpacks and large bags are not allowed.
“I don’t believe it’s right,” said Edward Aragon.
“At first, I thought it was crazy,” said Michelle Montano.
The new rule only exists at the San Mateo location. In the last month, police have responded to 30 shoplifting calls there, according to Albuquerque Police Department’s crime mapping website.
“This store gets stolen from a lot you know,” said one customer.
“I think they are probably getting ripped off a lot,” said Montano.
A corporate spokesperson wouldn’t get into those details with KRQE, but said a large transient population in the area was a factor in the business decision.
Some shoppers said it’s a form of discrmination.
“Most people have backpacks doesn’t mean everybody is shoplifting, but that’s what they are getting at,” said Aragon. “You got a big bag, you must be shoplifting.”
When a person walks into the Walmart on San Mateo with a backpack, an employee immediately funnels them into a line, puts their bag in a locker then gives them a ticket, so they can get their bag when they’re done shopping.
“I think it’s a good idea for this Walmart,” said Montano.
“They should change it. I don’t think it’s policy. They made it up in one day,” said Aragon.
Corporate said big purses are allowed in the store.
In March, Walmart cut the hours at that store and at two others in Albuquerque because of overnight safety concerns. They were open 24-7, they now close at midnight or earlier.