Why TikTok Roasted Walmart's 'Steak Locks'

Efforts of shopkeepers to prevent their goods being stolen are surely effective at reducing crime. As well as common techniques such as reorganizing stores, installing warning signs, and training staff, The Guardian reports that retailers will also hire security guards, reinforce glass, and keep certain products out of view.

A security feature spotted in a Walmart store has caused a rift on TikTok, however. Showcasing what may be a whole different level of crime prevention, TikTok user @oakwood19136 uploaded a video of two Walmart steaks in typical plastic packaging enshrined in a locked metal wire mesh.

The video shows the pair of Angus ribeye steaks (priced at $20.83) being held in a supermarket aisle, which the video's narrator reports is in a Walmart store. The narrator is also heard saying: "it's come to this — this is getting bad now." Although they don't explain exactly what they mean by the comment, TikTok commenters have been debating the necessity of such a tough anti-theft device.

Walmart's meat locks have been ridiculed on TikTok

TikTok viewers have not been entirely sympathetic with Walmart's theft prevention trick. One commenter poses the issue of how the lock can be removed by genuine customers, and some viewers believe people should stop shopping at Walmart because of the feature. Others have been less serious, with one wondering if the metal mesh would provide perfect grill lines, and another joking that they only eat cage-free meat. One TikTok user quips that police surveillance of the meat would be a "steak out."

Some commenters have expressed an understanding of Walmart's situation, noting the meat lock's potential effectiveness at tackling thefts and the swapping of labels with cheaper products — although several users have proposed that thieves may use wire cutters. One comment notes that strains on people's finances could be a reason for products being stolen.

Although the wisdom of TikTok can rarely be doubted, the facts about retail crime are split about whether such tough measures as those enacted by Walmart are necessary. Despite CBS New York reporting the highest shoplifting figures in 30 years, NBC News believes the data for Los Angeles shows the issue has subsided.