A 70-year-old Home Depot employee was fired after attempting to stop shoplifters from making off with tools from a Pearland store.
Jim Tinney was working at the Houston-area Home Deport last month when he saw three men trying to steal tool sets, reports Houston ABC affiliate KTRK. In an attempt to stop the shoplifters, Tinney threw a paint roller extender toward one of their legs.
The shoplifters escaped and were not hurt in the incident, according to the TV station.
Two weeks after the incident, Tinney was fired for violating the company’s policy not to confront shoplifters, according to KTRK.
Although he admitted that he was aware of the company’s policy, Tinney said his Army training kicked in when he saw the trio attempting to flee the store.
“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.”
While Tinney understands clearly that he violated the company’s policy, he believes that being terminated from Home Deport was excessive, according to KTRK.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” Tinney told the TV station. “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.”
Home Depot has not indicated any plans to reinstate Tinney, instead releasing a statement explain why the policy is in place, KTRK reports.
“What I can tell you now is that we have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters,” wrote Stephen Holmes, director of corporate communications at The Home Depot. “We’ve had deaths and serious injury over the years, and no amount of merchandise is more important than the safety of our associates and customers.”
The Pearland Police Department had no information on the shoplifting case, according to CBS News.