A man boasted in a TikTok about his ability to steal from Walmart’s self-checkout without getting caught. He claims the key to shoplifting from the retailer is to simply carry yourself with confidence.
Viewers applauded him for stealing from the mega-corporation, which has come under fire for more aggressive security measures like AI surveillance and locking up everything from common household items to steak.
But the practice could carry consequences as retailers like Walmart and Target continue to implement more anti-theft technology.
While this remains unconfirmed, people have long warned that retail and grocery chains now wait for serial shoplifters to rack up enough value in stolen goods that they can get them on the hook for a felony charge. A misdemeanor would usually just carry a fine or a short stint in county jail, the Marshall Project reported. But, a felony could lead to time in a state prison and losing the right to vote.
Each state has a different threshold for how much a person has to steal before it’s considered a felony. New Jersey and Virginia have the lowest at $200, and Texas and Wisconsin have the highest at $2,500 or more.
In the TikTok, comedian Ryan Kimble (@hrkcomedy) said he steals something every time he goes to Walmart.
“I work there now, and I don’t get paid, so I steal something,” he says.
On a recent occasion, Kimble said he needed two pairs of jeans, and no employee helped him, so it took 45 minutes to find two that fit. When he was finally ready to check out, he had to go through self-checkout.
Kimble explains that while he bought a hat, which he wore on his head, and two pairs of pants, he only paid for the hat and one pair of pants. Normally, Kimble says, he strides out of the store with confidence after stealing as never gets bothered by employees or security. Instead, he goes out of his way to greet them as he leaves.
This time, the receipt checker asked him for his receipt to confirm he actually paid for his items. Kimble started to get nervous, sure this was the time he’d get caught, but he walked back to his checkout station, grabbed the receipt, and confidently gave it to the worker who’d been hawking him the whole time.
She looked at the receipt for the one pair of pants and one hat as Kimble had two differently colored pants draped over his arm.
“She looks at it, and she goes, ‘Hat and jeans. You’re all set,'” Kimble recalls.
“I guess the point is, if you’re gonna be a fucking fraud, just be confident and most people won’t call you on it,” Kimble says.
The video has more than 360,000 views and over 1,000 comments as of Tuesday morning.
It’s important to note that Kimble is a white man, and people of other races, especially Black people, are often more highly surveilled and criminalized when shopping.
Most commenters shared their own experience shopping at the retailer and applauded Kimble for stealing so boldly.
“Have u ever not scanned something and it notifies the person and they come over and literally plays a live video of you not scanning,” a commenter shared.
“I am really proud of you and I don’t even know you,” another wrote.
“Dude i walk out with whole carts EVERY SINGLE TIME FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS,” a further person claimed.
The Daily Dot reached out to Kimble via TikTok message and to Walmart via email.