Walmart bans woman who ate half a cake in store — and then refused pay full price

Try before you buy? That policy definitely has some limits.
Image: A Walmart Inc. Location Ahead Of Earnings Figures
A customer pulls a shopping cart in the parking lot of a Walmart Inc. store in Secaucus, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Walmart is scheduled to release earnings figures on May 17. Photographer: Timothy Fadek/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesTimothy Fadek/Bloomberg

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By Kerry Breen

Walmart stores in Wichita Falls, Texas, have already had to ban at least one customer this year — but this latest incident really takes the cake.

On June 25, a woman (whose name has not been released by authorities) entered a Walmart, picked up a cake in the bakery aisle, and then proceeded to eat it while walking through the store, according to the Wichita Falls Police Department.

After finishing the sweet snack, the woman then reportedly told store employees at the cash register that she would only be paying for the remaining half of the cake, alleging that she had actually found the confection in that half-consumed condition.

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Local authorities were called to the store but Walmart eventually decided not to press any charges.

“This was a simple case of someone wanting to have their cake and eat it too — without paying," Tara Aston, a senior media relations manager for Walmart, told TODAY Food. "Like any grocery store, if customers consume food or drink in our store, like half a cake, they should pay for it.”

Though no charges were filed, the unnamed woman has now been banned from that store location.

Naturally, social media has had a field day with the story.

Many just seemed horrified by the situation.

Others questioned why someone would even try to buy a cake that had clearly been tampered with in the first place ... aside from the great bargain?

But what became of the uneaten cake?

“I don’t know if she got the whole cake,” Wichita Falls Police Sergeant Harold McClure told NBC News. “I don’t know if she left with the other half of it.” She was, however, ordered to pay the full price of the cake.

The story has revived an age-old debate that has long divided the internet: Is it ever OK to eat groceries in the store before making a purchase? A TODAY poll conducted in January found that 47% of respondents thought it was "never" appropriate to snack away at the store, while 35% said it depended on the item. Only 18% approved of eating an item that they had no intention of purchasing.