A California woman who was the victim of a would-be robbery in a San Bernardino Wal-Mart says that the store’s staff tried to discourage her from calling the police.
Linda Andrade, 68, was shopping in a local Wal-Mart wearing the gold chain that her husband had given her thirty years before when a man came up behind her and tried to pull off the necklace, CBS LA reports.
The surveillance footage shows what happened: the man tried to grab the chain off Andrade’s neck and the necklace fell to the ground. Andrade confronted the man, who approached her and then ran away. Then Andrade screamed for help.
Andrade said no one came to her assistance. When she did speak to store management, the manager told her she shouldn’t bother calling law enforcement.
“She says, well if you want me to call the police you’ll have to wait here for two to three hours,” Andrade said.
“They just made me feel unimportant, like… you got your chain back so what are you complaining about,” she added to KTLA.
According to San Bernardino Police Lt. Richard Lawhead, Wal-Mart management shouldn’t have thought twice about dialing 911.
“The fact that we didn’t get the call on something like this when it’s a grand theft person involving a senior, you know a senior is a protected class in our society and we should have gotten the number one response on this,” Lawhead said.
Wal-Mart issued a statement in response to the allegations saying they will do a “better job” responding to crimes in their stores.
“While we can’t always prevent crime from happening, we can definitely do a better job of how we respond in a situation like this,” said Dianna Gee Senior Manager for Wal-Mart national media relations. “In light of what happened in this case, we have reiterated our expectations to those involved.”