Wal Mart crime

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Tom

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If that's a true story, it's scary. I respect the folks who like to overnight at WalMart, but this story merely adds to my resolve to avoid them. Whenever my other half says "let's pull into WM over there", I reply "we don't know the town and don't know the area". Saving $30 and the small amount of time it takes to pull into a campground isn't worth losing your life over.
 

Jackliz

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Tom said:
If that's a true story, it's scary. I respect the folks who like to overnight at WalMart, but this story merely adds to my resolve to avoid them. Whenever my other half says "let's pull into WM over there", I reply "we don't know the town and don't know the area". Saving $30 and the small amount of time it takes to pull into a campground isn't worth losing your life over.

Amen. I am with you re: Walmart. We have only stopped there one time long enough to have some lunch.

Terrible story.

Liz
 

Shayne

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Sad story.  I myself have stayed in 1 WM in all the years of RVing and that was this past March when we went back home. It was in the town we used to live in and I called the ASSt Mgr, cause I know him, and asked if it was OK.  He said absolutely, you know the rules 1 night out of the way and make sure there is no mess.  I said thank you and told the clerk inside thanks and did some shopping and went to the RV.  That  was after 9PM a I was gone before 7 Am. No slides out and didn't use the Jacks for 1 night, no generator, no Awning. didn't bother to unhook.
 

Wendy

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That was a pretty skimpy story. Makes you wonder what details were left out. I've never felt in danger at any Wal-Mart when we've stayed there and they all have security cameras and security personnel on 24/7 so the local police should be able to piece together what happened. Same thing could certainly happen at any campground, rest stop, Flying J, etc.

I do agree though that you should ask if it's ok before staying at any Wal-Mart.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Jackliz said:
Amen. I am with you re: Walmart. We have only stopped there one time long enough to have some lunch.

Terrible story.

Liz

I've mentioned that if I ever overnight at Wall Mart it will be just one night..  In fact, so far, the only times I've pulled off into a wall mart lot were

1: Had to pull off somewhere for a few minutes, never exited the MH, never killed the engine (I'll let you figure out why I pulled off)

2: Droped towed and headed to an office a few miles away to buy some gifts

3: Lunch at an eatery on the edge of the lot.
 

Phil

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Tom said:
If that's a true story, it's scary. I respect the folks who like to overnight at WalMart, but this story merely adds to my resolve to avoid them.

Tom,

Here are a couple of links on the story.  The police have not yet told the news people which of the four people in the RV did the actual shooting.  We are supposed to get a news release from the police Thursday morning.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=383341

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=383341&comments=true

Phil
 

motojavaphil

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Rio Rancho, New Mexico
A very tragic event for all involved.  I have weapons at my disposal in the event of someone breaking in.  Many RVers are older folks who would be at the mercy of a young man such as the one pictured.  Do Walmarts have a high crime rate?  I really dont know but it cant be any worse than a rest area or truck stop.  Sometimes if pressed for time I will stay in a truck stop or rest area but have never ever had a problem.  Would I defend myself and family if someone was breaking in, yes and with any force necessary.  The RV population tends to be older and therefore seen as easy prey to bad guys.  Self defense is justified tho unfortunate if needed. 
 

Ray D

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The only "facts" in this story, as presented, is that someone died from a gunshot, at an RV, in a WalMart parking lot. The gun may have been a shotgun. The someone who was shot had a Misdemeanor criminal record. The RV owner and whoever was with him/her are still in town, cooperating with the police.  The rest of the story is unreported.

Certain comments in the story jump out at me, but I don't know anything, from what is reported, as to those issues. One comment, for example, that rings in loud is that there was no immediate arrest. Conclusions, based upon those news sound bites, are bound to be faulty.

That this happened in a WalMart parking lot is irrelevant to the conclusion. It could have happened, anywhere. Ordinary personal safety rules apply. I don't think I'd answer the door, if someone knocked on it at that time of night, but "maybe" he represented himself as a WalMart employee. Maybe one of the residents was a child, and the child opened the door. Maybe - - - . The problem with my comment is "maybe." I don't know who or why they answered the door.

Typical of news reporting, says very little and nothing of substance, while using a lot of words.

It's all speculation. Wait for the police report and the follow up from the Prosecutor. It is certainly a tragedy, but we don't know what kind of tragedy. There are degrees of losers, in this event, with no winners.


Ray D
 

Tom

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Thanks for the links Phil. Sounds like the facts are not all out yet. While we're waiting, I'll continue to stay at campgrounds rather than overnight at WM.

Only once has someone knocked on the door of our RV in the middle of the night. We were boondocking and it was the cops who came knocking, but that was scary enough for me.
 

Tom

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Didn't miss that point Chet. We don't carry weapons so, had it been us in the RV, we might have been the ones who lost their lives.

I would hope most folks interpet this as "don't mess with the RVs in a WALMART parkling lot".

That would be nice, but I fear the publicity might just bring more attention to"easy pickings" in the eyes of the bad guys.
 

hildyj

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I have stopped many times for overnights at walmart - and I have to admit I have always felt quite safe.  There are always other RVs around and I do travel with my dogs (dobermans) so I have built in security  :) But also it is the norm to see security patrolling at night.  Because i travel with my dogs it is really helpful that i can open the sliders when i stop at a walmart, which i cant do at truck stops.  I love stopping at the walmarts as invariably i can do some last minute shopping.  Most walmarts have nice big grassy areas which are perfect for exing the dogs. 
 

Tom

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hildyj said:
I have stopped many times for overnights at walmart - and I have to admit I have always felt quite safe.

A lot of RVers, including close friends of ours, feel the same way and I respect that. Hopefully bad publicity doesn't cause WM to change their 'RVs welcome' policy.
 

Jim Dick

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We have stayed at several WalMarts and never felt threatened. However we do it in a motor home. I would not feel as safe in a trailer. The good thing with a motor home is you can start the coach and drive away without having to get out of the rig. I always make sure the step is in. The toad is locked without the key in the ignition. I'd rather risk a little damage to tires by not having the wheel unlocked than leaving a key where someone could break in and drive away easily. If someone was to knock on the door it would not be opened until we could determine who it was. A call to 911 might easily be made if the person appeared to be threatening.

I think the bottom line is one must always be aware of their surroundings and not stay in any area that looks like it might bring trouble.
 

Tom

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Jim,

Good point about being able to drive away. FWIW the Chevy Suburban, Tahoe and Envoy don't have mechanical steering locks, so the key never needs to be in and no tire damage. I learned that from Terry and haven't used they key since.
 

Ray D

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We have three large Wal Mart stores in town. If they were a personal safety problem, I would be aware of that, and I am not. I am aware of some shoplifting and a few domestic quarrels. Actually, very few of those if the size of the stores and their parking lots is taken into account.

I have never overnighted at a Wal Mart, but not for reason of personal safety. It just hasn?t been needed, in my travels, so far. I would not hesitate, if a Wal Mart was convenient and I needed a nap. I would use ordinary precautions, the same as anywhere else.

The type of crime that occurs in any given place should be an issue. In our most extraordinary case, we overnighted at a Flying J, north of Salt Lake City, three years ago. We were tired, when we got there, and it was late. (6:00 PM give or take.) Filled up, ask permission to park, and was directed to the truck parking area which was huge. Decided to eat out, and get to bed.

On the way from the truck stop caf?, back to the RV, my wife called my attention to a pickup truck, in the parking lot. We observed a ?commercial transaction,? there. Given where we do our volunteer work, it was terribly obvious. Neither of them made any attempt to conceal what they were doing.

Decided to watch, for a few minutes and make up our minds about our safety. That business was fairly steady for the next half hour, as twilight began to descend. We saw both armed and unarmed security. A Police patrol unit cruised through, slowly, but didn?t stop. (Business paused as the cop drove through.) We elected to stay and watch, a little longer.

Less than half an hour later, a small car with four women inside pulled into the lot, right in front of our vehicle, and parked. A truck driver walked over and started a conversation. Made a friend, immediately. She returned in about half an hour, to an empty car, and wasn?t there, long. They made a lot of friends, that evening, and were still there, making friends, when we went to bed. Just before we went to bed, the Police made another drive thru.

I elected that we were safe, and we went to bed, in the midst of a crime wave. Woke up in the morning and drove on, quite refreshed.

Don?t get me wrong. There was a very serious, immediate threat, to your safety and mine, in that parking lot, that night. There were twenty or thirty truckers who drove out, in the wee hours of the morning, still under the residual influence of their personal favorite narcotic. They went directly to the Interstate, and some of them headed your way. Later in the morning, each of them passed you, or a friend of yours, and all you knew was that a big rig had overtaken you.

Down the road, we are slowed to a crawl as we pass a wreck. A semi is overturned and a passenger car has been squashed. There are State Police units, and Paramedics, a lot of them! Wonder what happened? Minutes later, traffic clears up, again, and we continue on our way.

We get ?lucky? every day, and often we don?t know it when it happens!

Ray D
 

motojavaphil

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I think this was a random thing that could have happened anywhere.  Cedar City is not crime central and as I recall it is a College Town.  During my visits there I have visited that Walmart, not as a camper but as a customer, and never felt threatened.  It is a neat town which I would not have minded moving to if I were looking for a new home.  RVer's for the most part do not cruise the streets looking for trouble nor do they affliate with gang activity and haul their families around while doing this.  If you are staying anywhere, even a campground, and you get a knock on the door after dark, I would not open it.  I'd speak thru the door and if there is a problem, such as I have to move, I'd acknowlege it without opening the door.  Perhaps installing a peephole, or getting the manufacturers to do it is not a bad idea.  If at a Walmart and the person identifies themselves as an employee ask them for the managers phone number and call that person to verify.  It is obvious one should not open the door.  Robbery is all too common nowadays...Phil 
 

woodartist

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http://www.thespectrum.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060727/NEWS01/60727001/1002

Yes, Cedar City is a nice town and we stayed overnight at that Wal Mart a month ago. However the Southern Utah growth from the Californians is rapidly increasing. Not sure how long it will remain a nice small town, witness St. George. Yes, it could have happened anywhere, but it didn't. When we stayed at the Wal Mart in Santa Fe for a few days ( real experience) I got to know the security guard there. Mentioned we were heading to Albuquerque and he advised not staying at any of the Wal Marts there. We didn't. However, most of the Wal Marts we have stayed at...all over the West, except Ca., didn't seem to pose any threats. We will still stay at them, although I decided to clean the shot gun today and put in some fresh buckshot ;) One item that jumped out in the news report today was the issue of Wal Mart's liability. ::) Saw that coming for years and wonder if that will have any effect on their Dry Camping policy. Just a matter of time I suppose. Seems if permission is granted to park, then there are liability issues...not necessarily in this incident.......
 
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