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APD: Anderson Walmart has become a "fishing hole" for criminals

Officer checking suspicious vehicle

Over the past few years, the Walmart Shopping Center parking lot in Anderson has become a fishing hole for local police to catch criminals.

Just recently, the Anderson Police Department arrested two wanted felons in the Walmart Shopping Center parking lot. In addition to this, a large number of stolen vehicles are found dumped in parking spaces.

The Anderson Walmart is right off of Interstate-5. Police said it is easy to get to and easy to get back on the interstate, which continues to play a huge factor in crime in that parking lot.

"It is a big spot for crime. It ranges from theft to stolen vehicles to drug transactions and things of that matter. People breaking into cars, you name it. It happens here."

Officer Spurgeon, with the Anderson Police Department, said the Walmart Shopping Center parking lot does draw in criminal activity, but he said it's not Walmart's fault.

"Criminals feel like they can hide and ditch cars. They can walk about the parking lot and go unnoticed."

Officer Spurgeon said the police department is aware of this and so is Walmart. Together, they are proactive about the issue.

"We just know that there's usually going to be someone up to no good here so we're close with Walmart loss prevention. We work with them every day and try to eliminate the crime and keep a safe parking lot for shoppers."

After speaking with shoppers, they said the key is being proactive themselves.

"I feel safe but I'm also proactive. I pay attention. I look around and see who's around and I keep an eye on the people that are just lingering around," said one shopper.

"It's nice if people are paying attention to what's going on around them. Especially people with kids cause you can't always have your eyes on them. But I'm not really worried, I have a CCW," another shopper said as she shops with her three children regularly.

Overall, people in Anderson seem to feel safe. There may be an influx of crime in Walmart parking lots nationwide, but shoppers said at least they're getting caught at the one in Anderson.

"I really don't even think about it. If I need to come I come, late or early. I've been here at all times of the day and never had an issue."

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