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Big-box busts

Police say the number of calls to Glenmont Walmart is actually pretty low considering store size and traffic

The Wall-Mart in Glenmont on Route 9W.

The Wall-Mart in Glenmont on Route 9W. Photo by Spotlight Staff.

— David Antonio Diaz of Auburn Hills, Mich., was arrested after he allegedly attempted to force his female victim to commit a sexual act inside of his car, while he was working at the store selling newspaper subscriptions. He was identified and arrested through surveillance footage.

Heffernan said he could not speak to the amount of arrests of non-Bethlehem residents versus Bethlehem residents because he would need to go back and research each arrest.

The Glenmont Walmart cut back its hours at the beginning of 2008, and according to a previous Spotlight investigation the number of arrests being made was halved following the change.

“I think part of the reason may have been internal theft, but that’s just my speculation,” said Heffernan. “There is probably less supervision during those hours. They may have felt closing down overnight would minimize theft.”

Gee said she could not confirm that crime was the ultimate reason for the change in hours.

“As I mentioned, there are always a variety of factors taken into consideration on how we best operate stores,” she said. “In evaluating the ways we do business, we always look for ways to drive efficiency so we can keep our costs down and pass along the savings to our customers.”

Heffernan said he is unsure how much each call response from police officers ends up costing taxpayers. It depends on many factors, such as how much time the call takes, how many officers are sent and if any officers have to go to court because of an arrest.

According to the most recent available tax roll information, the assessed value of the Glenmont Walmart is $12.6 million and the company paid about $84,000 in town property taxes last year. Of that, $6,675 went to the town’s general fund that houses the police department’s $7.5 million budget.

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