DECATUR — For years, Decatur police knew Nacina Walker to be the helpful employee in Walmart's cash department who would sometimes help them investigate thefts at the store.
"She would be the one that would come in and help us and go, 'Oh, you need to punch in this number, do this,' or 'Let me find it for you,'" said Detective Gerald Wright.
You can imagine Wright's surprise when Walker herself ended up being the focus of the biggest theft case he's ever handled.
Walker, 50, was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft of property of more than $200,000. Police said between January 2013 and October 2014, Walker would create fake returns while working at Walmart, then would pocket the refunds.
In total, police believe she stole nearly $240,000.
The refunds started small, then grew, Wright explained. "$8,000 a day. I mean, $8,000 in a month is a lot of money, but in one day?"
The detective said Walker told him she did it to help pay bills. An affidavit shows Walker had worked at Walmart since 1982.
According to the asset protection manager's report documented in her arrest warrant, Walker was interviewed by his department on Oct. 15, 2014 and admitted to several thefts from the cash office. In her statement, Walker said she was on a salary cap and she needed the money for medical bills, her husband's business, and because she is caring for her elderly parents.
Walker said in her statement she was unsure when she began stealing from Walmart, but it started with small amounts, taking 50 here and there. She said once it became clear no one was noticing the smaller amounts, she began to steal more and more, eventually taking as much as $8,000 a day.
She said it was as if she couldn't stop and it "snowballed," the warrant said.
But the retail giant did catch on, fired her, and passed the case to police. A spokesman at the Walmart corporate office in Arkansas said he could not say where this case measures up as far as the most money an employee has been accused of embezzling.
The manager of the Decatur Walmart declined to comment, but employees there said they were shocked at the accusations, mentioning that Walker had worked there since she was in high school.
Walker's next-door neighbor, Leonard Prohs, was similarly astounded by what police say Walker did.
"I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for these folks to steal that kind of money," he said.
Walker was released from the Wise County jail Tuesday after posting a $30,000 bond, the sheriff's office said.
We tracked her down Wednesday at her new job, where Walker told us her attorney had advised her not to speak. Her new boss told us he's known her and her family for a long time, and he trusts her.
But if convicted, Detective Wright said Walker faces "anywhere from five to 99 [years] in prison," adding that the crime is a first-degree felony.
Bed Bath & Beyond shoppers will soon have to bid farewell to a key part of the home retail store's extremely forgiving return policy.
Beginning April 20, all returns made without a receipt will be refunded in the form of store credit or exchange at the lowest current price, in addition to a 20 percent deduction.
Those with a receipt need not worry, all exchanges and refunds will be honored for the full amount as purchased.
"Effective April 20, 2015, we are expanding nationwide a modification to our return policy for Bed Bath & Beyond, buybuy BABY and Harmon Face Values that will only affect customers whose purchase cannot be located to process a return, either because the receipt was not provided or because we could not identify the purchase through a query of our transaction records," a Bed Bath & Beyond spokesperson told ABC News.
"We have been providing advance notice of the upcoming change to our customers via signs and handouts in our stores, encouraging customers to hold onto their receipts to avoid being impacted by this change in any manner.
"Customers making returns with a gift receipt or returning items from their gift registry for which we have a record will not be affected by this change. At Bed Bath & Beyond, we pride ourselves on providing customers with a noticeably better shopping experience and modifications such as this will allow us to continue to deliver exceptional service in the future."
The store's former policy allowed customers to return items with or without a receipt for an exchange or full merchandise credit.
There's no word if any changes will be made to Bed Bath & Beyond's famed non-expiring coupons.
To ease the blow of Bed Bath's new method for returns, here's some incredible store policies that still exist today.
Costco customers may return purchased products to any Costco warehouse, with or without its original packaging. If you don't have a receipt, Costco will do their best to refund the item anyway. Electronic items must be returned within 90 days of purchase. This includes televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touchscreen tablets, MP3 players and cell phones. Items bought from Costco.com may be returned to any warehouse location.
Zappos' 365-day policy allows customers to ship return items for free, so long as they're sent back in the original packaging.
Bloomingdale's has a no time limit policy on returns. Unused gift cards may be returned where customers will be reimbursed for their full value. There are, however, special guidelines for items like furniture, mattresses, and area rugs. Bloomingdale's accepts returned items with or without receipts.
Kohl's offers a "no questions asked - hassle-free" return policy, meaning that there are no time restrictions. If customers make a purchase with a Kohl's store credit card, then no receipt is needed. Those purchases can be located up to 12 months after being bought.
While they don't actually have a return policy, Nordstrom handles each situation case by case, according to their website. Depending on the method of purchase, customers are not required to show a receipt for the returned purchase.
Nordstrom Rack stores have a bit of a stricter policy. All returns are required within 90 days of purchase, must be accompanied by a receipt, and still have the original price tag.
Someone returned a hula hoop because "it didn't work." -.-
She said nobody she gave it to could figure it out... to me that sounds like operator error, but what do I know?
I told my coworker about it, and the lady in front of us lost her shit. Laughed so hard I thought she was gonna fall out of her wheelchair.
How's everyone else doing today?
My mother used to fly into a rage-- like something out of Mommie Dearest-- if she wasn't able to return an item, or wasn't given what she considered a fair price for a return.
Once when I was in grade school, she tried to return a dart board my brother had received from a relative for Christmas (they gave him the exact same one the year before--but that's another story).
It was at least April at this point, so of course the item had been discounted down to nothing. I swear she opened her mouth and made a sound like a tornado siren until she got her way.
I'm sure there were actual words, but even as a kid I was so embarrassed that all I heard was WAAAH WAAH WAH WAAAAAAH!
--Red Star Of Doom
Oh boy do I got one for you. This just made me laugh. How could I not? People are crazy.
So yesterday I am running the register (my regular routine stance at work) and a crusty approaches as they tend to do when they want something from me.
Name for her? Let's just called her Old Bag. Not because she was old, mind you. You shall see why.
She is carrying one of our bags with printer ink shaped boxes in them. Hooray more ink recycles!
Nope! Dead wrong.
She wanted to return ink because she had bought the wrong ones. No problem, I deal with that sort of thing all the time.
Me: "Do you have a receipt? No? Oh ok how long ago was...."
My mind trailed off as I notice something very very off about the boxes. They don't look anything like our HP ink boxes. They were white and blue not black and green/blue.
She's going on about how she needs a different ink and I inspect the boxes carefully. The barcode is in our system so they were from our chain but I took a good look at the expiration date. The 'use by' date was marked for 2009!
I'm pretty sure those won't be sold....ever.
Me: "Ma'am are you sure you got these from this store? I've never seen an HP box that looks like this here."
Look Old Bag, just because they are in our bag doesn't mean they came from here. They could be from our former Max competitor. Those barcodes work for us now.
Me: "Let me call up and manager and see if we could do something for you."
At this point I'm trying to ignore her stupidity and continue to be sweet as a Violet Crumble (sickly sweet honeycomb and chocolate aussie treat. Try it if you really like sweet stuff.)
Her: "Oh I would rather talk to a manager than a lower class employee."
....WOOOOOW..... Old Bag you have just drawn the line. I know exactly what you are after.
Her: "Lower class employees just fight with me."
Well of course they do! After all you are a clearly some sort of bitch. But I will remain my professional sweet and adorable act.
Me: "We only follow policy ma'am"
Her: "Yeah I still want a manager"
Okay, fine, you asked for it bitch.
Who should come but my copy slave supervisor, we'll call him Gaming T. He's quick and really good with crusties. I'm holding up the ink for him with that expiry date in plain view for him to examine himself while miss Old Bag changes her tone to pleading.
Her: "I just want to exchange this, that's all I want to do. It was in your bag so I know it's from you. I only want to exchange."
Gaming T picks up the box himself and looks it over carefully. He states our return policy, crystal clear, and points out the expiration date himself, saying that the ink is well over six years old, we can't sell it.
Her: "Well then, I'll just go to corporate like I always do."
As soon as she left I started laughing.
Gaming T turns to me, "They'll probably bend to her, too, sadly."
Honestly corporate can kiss my ass, I could care less what they do as long as I don't see her stupid Old Bag face again. Maybe she'll come back returning a soup pot because it was in our bag.
After working at this store for nine months, I am happy to say I was well trained for this terrible returner thanks to sites like these. Anyone in service must read any and all sites like these. Helps teach you what to expect out of the worst.
While I can say this is far from the worst, I have watched my fellow slaves at my store deal with, such as being cursed at and NATs trying to run with a laptop just as they were being rung out, this being my true first crusty bitch in person. (I had someone calling for Verizon and yelling at me cause I couldn't answer her questions during my second month, even those we say, "Thank you for calling store name"... don't people listen?)
I am looking forward to the sweet satisfaction of shutting down more angry crusties in the future!
May your returns be receipted!
--Stand-In Copy Slave