The Slatest

Meth Labs in Walmart: Not That Unusual

Walmart: It is what you make of it.

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Late last week police discovered a meth lab inside an Indiana Walmart. Which is not actually that unusual at all. In fact, Walmart-related meth lab busts have been a semiregular occurrence for quite some time now. Here’s a quick rundown of Walmart meth lab news since 2011:

In 2011 two people were arrested on separate occasions trying to cook meth in the same Tulsa, Oklahoma, Walmart. Fox 23 reported that a man was caught there in October “with a backpack containing what police called an active meth lab.” Two months later, per Fox 23, police intervened to stop a woman who was trying to cook meth in the store because she couldn’t afford to buy the ingredients and take them home. She was in the store for six hours before getting arrested.

That particular incident didn’t result in any major injury or property damage, but other Walmart meth incidents have been more dramatic. In August of 2011, Nashville City Paper reported that two men were sentenced for trying to cook meth in the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of an Antioch, Tennessee, Walmart. The meth ingredients in the bed of the pickup truck exploded, drawing police attention to the crime scene.

The Antioch Walmart isn’t the only one with a parking lot made for meth cooking. In September 2013, police had to close off part of the parking lot of a Burton, Michigan, Walmart after finding a van there with an active meth lab in it. reported that police arrested three suspects. And the (Danville, Kentucky) Advocate-Messenger reported in 2012 that police “deactivated” two meth labs in a Jeep in the parking lot of the Danville Walmart. There doesn’t appear to have been an explosion that time, so that’s good.

Later that year a St. Louis Walmart had to be evacuated for nearly three hours, because, as Fox 2 reported, a shoplifter was caught with a portable “shake and bake” meth lab in her purse that was cooking the drug. Since meth-cooking is a high-risk enterprise that can often result in fires or explosions—particularly when undertaken by the kind of genius who tries to cook meth in a Walmart—the whole store had to be cleared out and the fire department had to come in to deal with the chemicals.

No story on meth at Walmart would be complete without a Texas incident. So here’s one: In Bedford in 2013, police arrested a woman storing a plastic bag of meth in her cleavage. (The full story is here at the Dallas Morning News). They apprehended her after “being tipped off about a planned drug deal at a Wal-Mart in Bedford.”