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I was arrested after Walmart accused me of stealing from self-checkout – but I’d shown my receipt & had even left store

A WALMART customer sued the retailer after being detained by cops despite passing a receipt check.

Brandie Howard from Saginaw, Michigan, visited the Walmart Supercenter in Saginaw Township in November 2022.

ABC 12

Brandie Howard has filed a six-count civil lawsuit against Walmart after being falsely accused of theft[/caption]

Reuters

The hairdresser claimed that she was racially profiled by employees at the supercenter (stock image)[/caption]

The hairdresser was on a mission to find a bin large enough to carry her head mannequins so she could transport them easily to classes.

“I have mannequin heads that are pretty big. I put them in three suitcases that you fit in,” she told ABC news affiliate WJRT in February, soon after she filed the suit.

However, when Howard tried to leave the store with her three suitcases staff believed she had been shoplifting.

“I heard someone say, what is she doing with that,” the hairstylist recalled.

After finding a bin large enough for her mannequin heads, Howard said a store manager helped check her out.

In addition to the bin, she also purchased some hair supplies and food for her students.

“She looked at the receipt, looked inside my bags as well as inside of the bin,” the shopper claimed.

However, upon exit, Howard says she was approached by five workers who said, “that they needed to check my materials to make sure I had not stolen anything from the store.”

After telling the employees to talk to the manager she had dealt with, Howard left after realizing the employees were calling the cops.

She was quickly pulled over by a police officer who was responding to the 911 call but the situation did not end there.


“I was thinking that this was going to be easy, that it was just going to be a misunderstanding, and I was going to be able to go teach,” Howard told the news outlet.

“I had to go teach in thirty minutes.”

Feeling unfairly treated, the fed-up hairdresser refused to give the officer her ID or get out of the vehicle, according to WJRT.

She was eventually removed from the vehicle and cops investigated the items in her possession regarding the allegations of theft.

When the officer returned to the store to talk to some of the employees who reported Howard, they claimed there were items in the bag that she had not paid for.

This has been slammed as “malicious” by Howard’s lawyer Victor Mastromarco from the Mastromarco Law Firm.

When speaking to the news outlet, he accused the employees of “making up false statements” adding that “the police were able to show she had purchased everything.”

Despite verifying that Howard had paid for everything, she was arrested by police for an outstanding warrant for unpaid income taxes of around $400.

She was also charged with obstructing a police officer, which was later dropped.

The police were able to show she had purchased everything.


Victor MastromarcoHoward’s Attorney

The hairdresser was held in jail for several hours before being released.

In response to the ordeal, Howard filed a six-count civil lawsuit against Walmart.

Some of her claims include racial discrimination, arguing that she had been profiled at the store and defamation.

“I feel insulted. It does not speak of my character and who I am,” she said.

Howard’s lawyer has hit out at the employees who stopped his client saying that they should have checked with the manager and avoided the whole scenario.

“How easy would it have been to go to the manager and say, ‘Hey, did you search this person?’ Did you check the receipt? Yes, ok, goodbye, thank you for shopping at Walmart,” he said.

Court documents show that Howard filed the case in January 2024 and her legal team has demanded a trial by jury.

According to the court docket, the case is ongoing.

The U.S. Sun has reached out to the attorneys of both Walmart and Howard for comment and has not yet heard back.

ABC 12

According to the court docket, the case is ongoing[/caption]

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