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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, If It Violates Company Policy

Four Home Depot employees were fired after they helped capture a shoplifter in their store. It seems that the suspected shoplifter refused to show a receipt for the items in his cart and the cashier refused to let him leave the store without it. Two of the fired employees claimed that the shoplifter then rammed his cart into the cashier. On his way out, the shoplifter dropped some of the goods and one of the employees picked it up. Two of the employees wrote down his license plate and chased him but backed off when the suspect mentioned he had a gun. Ultimately, the suspect was caught with about $1,000 worth of merchandise from Home Depot.

All four employees have been terminated. One of the employees had been with the company for ten years.

Home Depot has a national policy against employees interfering with suspected shoplifters. According to Home Depot, “Pursuing shoplifters in the store or the parking lot is extremely dangerous and risks the safety of everyone, which is why we only allow trained security personnel to do so. We’ve had instances of serious injury and even fatality in our stores. No amount of merchandise is worth risking the safety of others.” Indeed, articles about this incident refer to a cashier punched by a shoplifter who now has permanent brain damage and another Home Depot employee who was shot in the head.