Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede
Shoppers swarm stores after a computer hiccup gives benefit cards unlimited purchasing power.
Wal-Mart (WMT) stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., saw a stampede and a shelf-clearing rush Saturday after a computer glitch for food stamp recipients led to benefit cards allowing unlimited purchases.
"Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Wal-Mart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Wal-Mart was so packed, 'it was worse than any black Friday' that he's ever seen.
Lynd explained the cards weren't showing limits and they called corporate Wal-Mart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Wal-Mart said they wouldn't press charges if she left the food.
Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left."
No arrests were made.
"Just about everything is gone. I've never seen it in that condition," Mansfield Wal-Mart customer Anthony Fuller told KSLA.
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