Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede

Shoppers swarm stores after a computer hiccup gives benefit cards unlimited purchasing power.

By InvestorPlace Oct 14, 2013 11:41AM

File photo of empty shelves in a New Jersey Wal-Mart (© Najlah Feanny/Corbis)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.


Police were called as entire shelves were being cleared out, until the glitch was fixed and low-income residents using the cards were no longer allowed to make purchases.


From news station KSLA:

"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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Tags: WMT
4322Comments
Oct 14, 2013 12:14PM
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Still, those people knew they had limits and what they did amounts to nothing more than theft, and food stamp fraud and they should be prosecuted.
Oct 14, 2013 12:12PM
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They can still back track and find out who stole from the system.  PROSECUTE!!!  They already take advantage of the system and now this.  Take their cards away and let 'em have road kill.
Oct 14, 2013 12:14PM
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No matter how you cut it, it was theft and those who took advantage should be prosecuted!

Oct 14, 2013 12:14PM
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There you go. A fine display of people abusing the system. Probably got a tweet on their iphones that the system was broken. Classless losers.
Oct 14, 2013 12:15PM
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I hope theres a way of tracking it so they can put $0 limits on the cards till all is paid back to the system. The people doing this are probably the ones who are scamming the system anyway. On another note, how stupid do you have to be to be a Walmart spokesperson??? Let them use the cards anyway???????  They shouldn't have made an announcement but rather waited till each tried to check out and those with more than their limit should have been charged with attempted fraud and attempted theft.
Oct 14, 2013 12:16PM
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So...will those amounts show up on their cards after everything has been fixed.  And then will they lose benefits until the theft has been recuperated?  I sure hope so...because that is exactly what it is THEFT.
Oct 14, 2013 12:17PM
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Gotta love how lowlife dirtbags (not necessarily people on EBT but the ones who KNOW they did not have enough funds available on their cards) totally exploit a glitch...a carriage full of $700 worth of shopping and only a $.49 balance on the card, and when the announcement is made that the balances are available again and they just leave their carriages...that is total b.s. LOWLIFE DIRTBAGS. They should be forced to have anything over their available balance at the time deducted from future credits to their accounts until they are paid back.
Oct 14, 2013 12:16PM
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Prosecute every one of them and kick them  off welfare for the rest of their miserable lives.!
Oct 14, 2013 12:12PM
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Greedy Greedy Greedy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oct 14, 2013 12:15PM
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Embarrassing...a bunch of dishonest folks..but I guess , sadly , what are we to expect...our nation has basically taught this kind of behavior over time...we reap what we sow =(
Oct 14, 2013 11:54AM
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Wow! Unlimited debit cards! Sounds like our democratic leaders...
Oct 14, 2013 12:15PM
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I assume the Government knows which cards/owners of the cards did this and need to make an adjustment in the coming weeks/months...
Oct 14, 2013 12:18PM
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They should all be arrested for theft.  This is an example of what is wrong with our society that people would do this.  They can track all of these cards back to the people and take the balance away from them.
Oct 14, 2013 12:17PM
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This is absolutly disgusting and everyone who used one of those cards and "stole" stuff should go to jail and forever have their EBT benifits cancelled for life. 
Oct 14, 2013 12:17PM
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Here are people that we working folks are paying for to help and look how they take advantage.
Oct 14, 2013 12:16PM
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Now lets see if they make them pay it back.  Yeah right.

Oct 14, 2013 12:11PM
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That's why they should not raise the debt limit.
Oct 14, 2013 12:17PM
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Don't they know that the unlawful purchases will catch up with them? Nothings free. When they end up getting less then half of their benefits for the next two years, I hope they're ready.
Oct 14, 2013 12:15PM
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So what about the people who checked out between 7-9?  And isn't it totally irresponsible for Walmart to say " they called corporate Wal-Mart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway."

Oct 14, 2013 12:15PM
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how did everyone shopping find out about the glich?
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