A 73-year-old woman who went viral after thwarting a shopping lifter at a Campbell River Walmart has been featured in an episode of Customer Wars on A&E.
A now-viral video posted to Facebook late January, shows a masked man attempting to flee the big box store with a cart full of unbagged goods.
Walmart shoppers in #CampbellRiver are helping rollback theft after stopping an alleged shoplifter in his tracks over the weekend. Warning: This video contains language not suitable for all audiences. Credit: Darrell Johansen/Facebook @victoriabuzzes pic.twitter.com/eVISFZq2Ba
— Ethan Morneau (@EthanMorneau) January 31, 2022
That very clip was featured in episode one of Customer Wars on A&E titled “Everything Must Go!”.
The video shows 73-year-old Elaine Gallaway show her jumping into action stopping the criminal in action.
“Are you going to pay for that?” asked Darrell Johansen, the voice beyond the footage.
The so-called thief replied, “Yeah,” before grabbing his bicycle and heading for the door.
But that’s when an unnamed woman used her cart to block him from exiting, taking matters into her own hands and ripping off his ski mask for the camera.
“Get out,” she said. “Get out! Get out!”
The man is then seen grabbing his backpack and making a run for it, leaving the cart and the stolen contents behind.
“You jack up the price for everybody else,” the woman added. “It’s about time they got caught.”
“Whoever that lady is that ripped his mask off, I’ll take you as my partner in crime-fighting anytime,” Johansen wrote to Facebook.
It seems social media users agree, with a flood of Facebook comments praising the woman for her heroic actions.
@aetv A brave 73-year-old woman thwarts a shoplifter in this #CustomerWars sneak peek. Catch all-new episodes every Tuesday at 10/9c. #customer #justiceserved #shoplifter #drama ♬ original sound – A&E Television Network
According to Johansen, “there’s nothing preventing private citizens from jumping in.” Still, he thinks it’s “probably not recommended, given the unfortunate incident that happened at our Walmart here a few months ago.”
He’s referring to the December 7th, 2021 stabbing, which saw one of the store’s security guards impaled multiple times.
The guard was trying to prevent his disguised attacker, previously banned from the store, from stealing various electronics.
In a statement to Victoria Buzz at the time of the incident, Cst. Maury Tyre with the Campbell River RCMP finds the local Walmart is a “high call volume locale.”
Tyre says police understand the level of frustration locals may be experiencing “when they see people so blatantly taking advantage of businesses in town.”
But he discourages people from getting involved, highlighting the safety and liability risks that could transpire.
“We’d like to commend the brave intentions this individual showed in stopping the would-be thief but cannot recommend it as a regular course of action,” Tyre said.