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Employees Fired for Catching Shoplifter

Sometimes you just try to do what you believe is the right thing.


A shoplifter from a Home Depot in Palm Coast, Florida was suspected of stealing by some emplyees. Jeffrey Miller, 59; Jazmin Kelly, 27; Joe Spector, 29; and GeorgeIppolito, 58 all played various roles in making certain suspected shoplifter Brandon Charles Edward Mullins Lowe was caught by police.

home-depotLowe admitted he stole almost $1,000 worth of tools from the store reported the Daytona News Journal.

According to the police report, Kelly would not let Lowe to leave the store unless he showed his receipt.

Although each has their own version of what happened next, Miller and Ippolito say that Lowe tried to ram Kelly with his shopping cart.

Ippolito says Lowe dropped the alleged goods when Miller went outside to get Lowe’s license plate and so he went out to pick them up.

Lowe was picked up by police at a local Chick-fil-A and he was charged and remains charged by police with grand theft.

The four employees had acted instinctively as others might have done under the same circumstances.

Home Depot, not impressed, fired all of them.

“Pursuing shoplifters is extremely dangerous, which is why we only allow trained security personnel to do so. Over the years, we’ve had serious injury and even fatalities in our stores,” said director of communications, Stephen Holmes.

There are two different perspectives here. One is that the employees acted with heart, the other is from the employer.

From the company’s point of view they had a cashier punched in the head, and another employee shot in the head.

“We are very firm about this policy no amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” says Holmes.

Employees know the policy but it is difficult when the situation gets so personal.

“We don’t make the decision to terminate anyone lightly. We thoroughly investigate and carefully consider the circumstances in each case” said Holmes.

What seems right is not always the right thing to do.

I wonder if there will be leeway for employees who behaved with good intentions? We will see.

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