Inflation: Walmart Locks Up $20 Ribeye Steaks To Prevent Theft

Inflation: Walmart Locks Up $20 Ribeye Steaks To Prevent Theft


Image: @oakwood19136/tiktok

Walmart has started locking up $20 packs of ribeye steaks behind metal cages as some retail and law enforcement lobbyists cite eye-popping figures for rising retail theft rates across the U.S.

A 12-second video that went viral on TikTok showed a $20.83 pack of ribeye steaks chained up with wire and an electronic security lock to prevent theft. The video, posted by Michael Fromhold, garnered more than 4 million views in four days.

“You gotta be kidding me,” Fromhold said in the video as he held up the protected meat. “Walmart now has the steak locked up. Holy s**t it’s come to this. This is getting bad.”

The Walmart store in question is located in Florida, according to Fox Business. A day earlier, a shoplifter was allegedly caught on camera walking out of a Trader Joe’s with almost 10 packs of meat in his arms.

It’s doubtful the retail theft problem is anywhere near as large as lobbyists say, Seattle Times reported. National crime statistics from the FBI show shoplifting decreasing steadily every year from 2015 through 2020, the most recent data available.

What has gone up is the visibility of open theft from stores thanks to security cameras and smartphones, which mean that few crimes go unrecorded, and videos of people walking out the door with absconded items go viral.

There has been an increase in retail theft with smash and grabs at high-end U.S. stores during the pandemic in 2021. Police say it is because they lack resources and are demoralized by efforts to defund them. Some say it’s due in part to the decriminalization of low-level crimes.

It is unclear whether cages are being used to lock up meat at all Walmart stores or if the company is implementing the security measures at stores located in high-crime areas.

People shared their surprise at Walmart’s new safeguards with one person describing the world we live in as “sad.”

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“Sorry to say, it will only get worse as inflation continues to rise and food shortages start to impact us,” a TikToker said.

Another person raised more questions related to checking out with locked-up meat. “How are we supposed to get that thing off?” they asked. “They only have two employees in the whole store, and we have to check out ourselves.”

Someone else suggested that the cages were installed to stop people from changing the prices tags, not to curb theft.

Self-identified former employees of Walmart shared their experiences with robbery.

It’s not the first time that Walmart has locked up products. It received backlash for locking up “multicultural” personal care items behind glass cases, according to USA Today.

In 2018, a Black California woman sued Walmart after she found personal care products locked away on three separate occasions and had to be escorted to the cash register. The lawsuit was later dropped.