A 70-year-old Army veteran has been fired from a Home Depot after attempting to stop shoplifters from stealing thousands of dollars worth of merchandise from the store.
Jim Tinney said he was fired from the Home Depot in Pearland, Texas, Fox News reported.
Tinney said he knew he was trained by the Home Depot not to confront shoplifters, but his military instincts kicked in.
Tinney said he saw three men carrying tool sets worth thousands of dollars to the checkout counter before one of them yelled, “let’s go” and ran out.
Immediately, Tinney threw a paint roller extension pole at the suspects’ feet and ran to stop one of them.
“I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet,” Tinney said.
The three men managed to get away.
Two weeks later, Tinney was fired.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me. But terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” Tinney told Fox News.
Home Depot released a statement following Tinney’s firing.
“We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters,” a Home Depot spokesman said. “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.”
Tinney said he is now having trouble finding a new job.
“I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers, helping figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun,” Tinney said.