A veteran from Pearland, Texas, aged 70 was recently fired from his job at Home Depot after he tried to confront shoplifters that have stolen thousands of dollars worth of goods and were running away.
Jim Tinney said for the KTRK-TV that he saw three men carrying expensive tool sets up to the checkout area. It seemed to him that they were acting very nervously.
“One of them shouted ‘let’s go,’ and they all grabbed their sets up and started heading out,” Tinney recalled.
Following his instinct, Tinney said that he threw the paint roller extension he was holding at the time, after what he hit one of the shoplifters in the foot. No one was injured and the men fled the scene.
Tinney said that he did that instinctively as he was trained in the army for such a reactions.
Not taking account his intentions, two weeks after this incident the store where he worked fired him, citing a policy of the company that strongly prohibits confronting shoplifters. He stated that he knew about the policy, but that his reaction was a pure instinct, and observed the punishment as way too harsh.
Tinney said that he expected to be punished but that firing him was a bit too much, adding that it is very hard for him to find a new job.
Tinney said that he is 70 years old and that he needs the job. He also stated that he enjoyed working with the customers.
Director of the Home Depot said the policy is in place to keep their employees safe.
Their policy states that only the trained security personnel can confront and engage shoplifters. That they were witnesses to many cases where employees were injured and that they did not want to take any safety risks.