MILLINGTON, TN (WMC) - Two managers at Walmart in Millington, Tennessee were arrested Saturday on the job and fired after investigators say they were caught stealing thousands of dollars from cash registers.
Store manager Shalanza Hawkins, 39, and assistant manager Dianne Thomas, 42, are charged with theft of property over $500. Both are currently out of jail on bond.
A Walmart asset protection manager conducted an internal investigation. She says she watched Hawkins, for nearly two months, pretend to return merchandise at registers around the store and pocket more than $10,000 in cash.
"They had to definitely be bold to do it and think that they were going to be slick and not get caught," said Walmart customer Mary Parker.
The asset protection manager said she confronted Hawkins who admitted to the thefts and named Thomas as her accomplice.
The world's largest retailer, Walmart, has asset protection managers in all 10,800 of its stores in 27 countries. As part of the job description, an asset manager is responsible for upholding Walmart's promise to save the customer money.
WMC Action News 5's Jerica Phillips spoke to a Walmart spokeswoman by phone who said theft prevention is a top concern at their corporate headquarters in Arkansas.
"It is an ongoing investigation, so I would refer you to police,"'said Walmart media relations representative Erin Hofmann. "Walmart strives to provide a safe environment for our customers and our associates, and that's our number one priority."
A frequent Walmart customer, Tiffany Saigeon, said it's disgraceful when a company cannot trust its managers.
"It's just a crying shame," said Saigeon. "That's who we look up to keep a business in order and to keep it professional, and when you can't rely on that it all just topples over."