CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- We see Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police responding to crime scenes all the time, but some addresses see officers more frequently than others.
Of the top 15 places CMPD responded to over the past year, Walmart took five of those slots.
Most of the addresses on the list are places with lots of people in and out like the EpiCentre and a mental health facility.
Others surprise you like SouthPark Mall. But because Walmart is drawing so much police attention, the big box retailer is making some major changes to keep you and your family safe.
On social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, there are dozens of videos that show fights and crime happening in the store.
Police say they spend hundreds of hours responding to calls for service.
NBC Charlotte crunched the numbers: With 897 hours of police time in one year, the Walmart at 1830 Galleria Boulevard is number 4 on the list.
The Walmart stores on Wilkinson Boulevard, North Tryon Street, Albemarle Road and South Tryon Street make up the rest of the list.
“You've got these guys that will come in like locusts and wipe out an entire display of whether it's medicines, or child care products or electronics,” said CMPD captain Nathan King.
Shoppers tell NBC Charlotte they are aware of the crime that happens at Walmart stores so they are on alert.
“I'm just aware, I just make sure I educate myself about what's going on and I bring myself to awareness to what's going on and I don't play no games,” said shopper Demetri Adams.
Police are working to keep up with crime at Walmart stores but these big box stores seem to be magnets from this type of activity.
In addition to fights in the stores across Charlotte, CMPD reports aggravated assaults with weapons and dozens of shoplifting cases.
Walmart issued the following statement:
“In the coming weeks and months, we will continue our increased outreach to law enforcement across the country, as part of our ongoing commitment to meet our customers’ and associates’ expectations of a safe and enjoyable shopping experience. The importance of this issue is recognized at the highest levels of the company and we are investing in people and technology to support our stores.”
Walmart says some of the safety measures already in place in its stores in Charlotte include additional staff members at entrance-exit doors, a new return program to detect attempts at return fraud and more security cameras throughout the stores.
On the list from police, the number one spot goes to CMC-Main, but police say that’s not because crime is happening at the hospital. Officers spend a lot of time at the hospital interviewing crime victims.
Meanwhile, police say putting the brakes on the crime trend requires getting to the heart of the issue, which is keeping children from choosing crime in the first place.
“A lot of these kids are coming from broken homes, a lot are coming from bad situations where there's drug addiction or some kind of personal obvious and if we can get to the core of the problem and not just the symptoms of theft, we can keep them from going down the track and being a repeat problem,” said Captain King.
TOTAL TIME SPENT ON CITIZEN-INITIATED SERVICE CALLS (HOURS)*
REPORTING AREA NAME
1000 BLYTHE BV
4400 SHARON RD
Southpark Commercial Area
210 E TRADE ST
1830 GALLERIA BV
6801 NORTHLAKE MALL DR
3240 WILKINSON BV
Wal-Mart Shop Cntr
7735 N TRYON ST
University Pointe Shopping Area
200 HAWTHORNE LN
9101 ALBEMARLE RD
1415 TOM HUNTER RD
Reagan Drive Area
8800 N TRYON ST
8180 S TRYON ST
Whitehall Commons Shop Cntr
601 W TRADE ST
Third Ward Area
3850 E INDEPENDENCE BV
501 BILLINGSLEY RD
DSS Mental Health