EBT card holders stormed Walmart stores in Mansfield and Springhill, LA on Sunday after the stores began allowing purchases even though the EBT cards showed no limits due to a nationwide glitch.
Panic set in when the EBT machines went down early Sunday all over the country. The panic turned into a stampede when word filtered out to the hood that the Walmart stores were allowing purchases anyway.
Some shoppers took advantage of the corporate goodwill. One woman rang up a bill of $700.00 but she only had .49 on her card.
A dispatcher for Mansfield 911 said police were called for crowd control as mainly African American EBT card holders cleared the shelves of food.
A Mansfield Walmart employee said the store was forced to close at 9 p.m. because there was no food left on the shelves.
Kayla Whaling, a spokesperson for Walmart, told KSLA News 12 that the company was “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”
KSLA reports there were no arrests.
From KSLA News 12:
The chaos that followed ultimately required intervention from local police, and left behind numerous carts filled to overflowing, apparently abandoned when the glitch-spurred shopping frenzy ended.
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, “It was worse than any black Friday” that he’s ever seen.
Lynd explained the cards weren’t showing limits and they called corporate Walmart, whose spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. From 7 to 9 p.m., people were loading up their carts, but when the cards began showing limits again around 9, one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. She was held by police until corporate Walmart said they wouldn’t press charges if she left the food.
Lynd says at 9 p.m., when the cards came back online and it was announced over the loud speaker, people just left their carts full of food in the aisles and left.
“Just about everything is gone, I’ve never seen it in that condition,” said Mansfield Walmart customer Anthony Fuller.
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