One “badass” grandmother was hailed a “hero” after singlehandedly stopping a male shoplifter from getting away with a cart full of merchandise. The brave granny said she was so angry at the man that she stopped him and gave him an epic smackdown, which was all caught on video.
When Elaine Gallaway decided to go shopping at Walmart, she had no way of knowing that it would all end with her being hailed a local hero. But that’s exactly what happened when the grandmother was confronted with the dilemma of either allowing a criminal to get away or stopping him herself.
In the video, the man is first seen wearing a balaclava and attempting to wheel a shopping cart full of products out of the store’s exit. However, he is first confronted by Darrell Johansen, who recorded the incident as it unfolded.
Johansen can be heard asking the man, “You gonna pay for that?” But the man ignores Johansen and continues to try and leave the store with the items. However, the alleged shoplifter doesn’t get far. He is soon approached by Gallaway, who blocks his exit with her own cart. Gallaway told reporters she first spotted the man shoving “roasts of beef in a backpack”. After paying for her items, she decided to confront the alleged shoplifter.
“Then he ran into me and I said to him, ‘You coward, show your face to the camera,'” Gallaway said. The grandmother then told the man, “I’m fed up with this bull****! Get out! You just jack up the price for everybody else.” At one point in the video, she even rips the man’s balaclava off. After being confronted, the alleged shoplifter can be seen attempting to pull the cart out of the store. However, Gallaway isn’t about to let him go.
“I’m four foot eleven, seventy-three years old, and one hundred and twenty-five pounds,” Gallaway said. “When he pushed me that was a boiling point. I think my gut instinct was, you’re not going to get away with this. I was a bank teller for seventeen years, and I have been held up at gunpoint. And I know the police have said if they get a clear view of the suspect then they know who they are looking for.”
Security expert Sean Smith told reporters that Walmart is a common target for shoplifters, but added that Gallaway “did what everyone else wanted to do” and her actions have made her very popular. In fact, all across social media, people have fallen in love with Gallaway, with many branding her a “hero.”
“My new hero,” posted one admirer. “As a retail manager I totally understand this. And why didn’t some else help? No shortage of people…”
Another social media user wrote, “This lady is my new hero. Consumers pay higher prices to offset thefts from a small number of people. How can we let them hold everyone else hostage?”
One Walmart shopper told reporters, “It’s kind of surprising to see that in a town like this, but I was pretty impressed with that lady. She took charge there. They should definitely hire her on as security.”
Gallaway explained that she was buying dishwashing soap at Walmart when she spotted the shoplifter coolly making his way around the store while filling his shopping cart with items. “He was shoving roasts of beef in a backpack,” Gallaway said. She then found a Walmart employee and told them about the man’s suspicious behavior.
The staffer assured her that security would stop him if he attempted to leave without paying. “So I went about my business, paid for my groceries, and as I was walking out the door he was trying to run out with a full grocery cart of items,” said Gallaway of the moments leading up to the confrontation.
The shoplifter eventually is seen bailing on a bike, leaving the cart behind, and fleeing with his backpack, reportedly full of roast beef. Gallaway added that she would stop a shoplifter again if she had to do it, but she doesn’t recommend it, acknowledging that the man could have been armed. She said that in this situation, the shoplifter had one hand on the shopping cart and the other on his bicycle, making it difficult for him to quickly access any weapons.
Gallaway told Global News that she is looking forward to the news story falling into obscurity so she can go back to her normal, quiet life. This courageous lady proves there are still good people out there willing to do the right thing.