A 70-year-old Army veteran has been fired from Home Depot for trying to stop shoplifters from walking out of the store with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
Jim Tinney, the veteran who said he was fired in June, told a local news outlet that he spotted three men attempting to run out of the store with tools worth thousands of dollars, KTRK reports.
While Tinney knew store policy prohibited him from stopping shoplifters, he said his military training kicked in, prompting him to throw a paint roller extension at one of the shoplifters.
“In the Army, they train you to do things like that,” Tinney said. “I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet.”
The shoplifters got away. Tinney thought the matter was over, but two weeks after the incident took place, he was fired from the Home Depot.
Spokesman for Home Depot Stephen Holmes said the reason the policy of leaving shoplifters alone exists to preserve safety.
Tinney acknowledges he violated policy, but believes the punishment is far too severe.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” Tinney said.
Since then, Tinney has found it difficult to find more work.
“I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.”
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