PEARLAND, Texas (WCBD/AP) – A 70-year-old Army veteran has been fired from a Houston-area Home Depot after trying to stop suspected shoplifters from taking thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.
KTRK-TV in Houston reports that Jim Tinney says he was fired last month from the store in Pearland.
Tinney says he was trained to not confront shoplifters and knows he violated company policy, but that his military training just kicked in when he noticed three men attempting to steal tools. “One of them hollered lets go. And they all grabbed their kits and started heading out,” Tinney said. He threw a paint roller extension pole toward the suspects’ feet. The men escaped.
The Home Depot said in a statement that only trained company security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters, citing the safety of customers and associates.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me. But terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” Tinney added.
He now says he’s having trouble getting 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.”
A Pearland Police Department spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment Monday.