Shopping spree erupts at Walmarts when food stamp glitch removes - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Shopping spree erupts at Walmarts when food stamp glitch removes spending limits

Posted: Updated:
Dozens of full carts were left when the cap was put back on the food stamp cards. (Source: CBS) Dozens of full carts were left when the cap was put back on the food stamp cards. (Source: CBS)
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Amber Alert canceled after toddler girl found; parents arrested

    Amber Alert went out after sibling was found dead

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:00 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:00:27 GMT
    Photo from WJTVPhoto from WJTV
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
    An Amber Alert has been canceled after 2-year old Maliah Harris was found safe in Georgia. Her 7-month-old sibling, Alyssa, was found dead and Maliah disappeared from a Mississippi home which prompted authorities to issue the alert. The girls parents, Donald Boyd Harris,34, and Allison Studdard, 31, are now in custody.
  • Baby found alive in trash can, SC woman charged

    Baby found alive in trash can, SC woman charged

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-04-22 11:35:31 GMT
    A Greenville woman is accused of attempted murder and willful neglect after police say she dumped her newborn son in a trash can moments after giving birth. The child is alive and stable at an area hospital. Reports show 28 year old Sharon Ferguson gave birth inside a vacant home on Chaney Street in the Nicholtown community. They say after, she wrapped the boy in a plastic bag and a blanket and placed him in the trash can near the back of the house. Police say she then walked to a Laurens Ro...
    A Greenville woman is accused of attempted murder and willful neglect after police say she dumped her newborn son in a trash can moments after giving birth. The child is alive and stable at an area hospital. Reports show 28 year old Sharon Ferguson gave birth inside a vacant home on Chaney Street in the Nicholtown community. They say after, she wrapped the boy in a plastic bag and a blanket and placed him in the trash can near the back of the house. Police say she then walked to a Laurens Ro...
  • Couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:56:58 GMT
    The couple in 1941 while they were dating -- 3 years before their marriage. (AP photo)The couple in 1941 while they were dating -- 3 years before their marriage. (AP photo)
    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.
    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.
SPRINGHILL, La. -

Hundreds of people swarmed Walmart stores in a wild buying spree in Louisana this weekend when the food stamp spending limit disappeared during a glitch.

 The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.  

Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as hundreds of shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

"When we walked through the door, it looked like a tornado had came through!" said shopper   O.J. Evans who went to buy a t-shirt, and saw dozens of full abandoned carts.

Evans believes it was natural human reaction that led people to fill up their carts during the glitch.

But couple Stan and Judy Garcia, who shop at the store, feel very differently.

"That's plain theft, that's stealing that's all I got to say about it," Stan Garcia said.

 Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch. 

Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

"We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families," Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, "fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage."

When the glitch was gone -- the spending limits were back and shoppers just walked out of the stores.

 Amateur video taken on shoppers' cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

 Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.

 Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply "human reaction" to stock-up when given the opportunity.

Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to "plain theft. That's stealing, that's all I got to say about it."

Powered by WorldNow

101 McDonald Court
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

Telephone: 843.293.1301
Fax: 843.293.1760
Email: news@wbtw.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company