ATLANTA — A 12-year-old girl has been banned from a North Fulton County Walmart because of a dork.
Channel 2 consumer researcher Justin Gray learned that the store called the police because she ate the candy before paying for it.
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Now her father is warning other parents.
“It was a Dum Dum… the kind that Walmart usually give out greetings to kids who come into the store,” said Jamie Hurley, the girl’s father.
He said it was the kind of lollipop that led to his daughter getting a criminal offense warning. Milton police gave it to her on March 3.
“I must never enter Walmart’s land or property,” Hurley said when reading the warning.
The father said his daughter opened a bag of suction cups, took one out and ate without paying while she was alone in the store while he picked up her younger sister.
Hurley said when he got back, he offered to pay for the candy. But a police report Channel 2 Action news obtained says, “Walmart refused the money and also refused to report the theft.”
“And they ended up giving her a felony charge and telling her if she ever came back, she would actually be arrested,” Hurley said.
He said this was the first time his daughter ever got into trouble.
“We clearly went over what was wrong with stealing,” Hurley said.
But he thinks the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.
“I just thought it was completely unfair for them to deal with this, with a 12-year-old kid eating a piece of candy,” Hurley said.
He said he emailed Walmart and received a response saying, “I have forwarded this to the appropriate management team for the Alpharetta, GA store for assistance.”
Hearing nothing, he returned to the store.
“And I actually went in yesterday to talk, and they just refused. They said it’s an ongoing investigation,” Hurley said.
Channel 2 Action news contacted Walmart. A spokesperson sent us this statement:
“Mr. Hurley was allowed into our store after verbally abusing employees and disrupting business. Mr. Hurley signed the notice. It was not intended to enter Mr. Hurley’s daughter, and we will work with the police to rectify the matter.”
But that doesn’t match the quote. The girl’s name and signature are on the ticket.
Hurley has this advice for other parents: “Watch your kids at Walmart.”
Channel 2 Action news inquired with the Milton Police Department if the officer had any discretion in this situation.
They told us that at the request of a private company or homeowner, the department must issue a warning for criminal violations.
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