Alert Target Employee Foils Kidnapping

Meanwhile, Walmart fires a worker who tried to stop beer theft
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2014 6:26 PM CST

Two crazy tales from annals of US retail:

  • Hero at Target: Police in California's Bay Area say Target employee Roxanna Ramirez saved a kidnapped girl by being alert. Ramirez explains to ABC 7 that she grew suspicious of a fidgety man in her Pittsburg store—her job is to watch for shoplifters—who then went out to the parking lot and stayed for hours, acting like a "weirdo." At one point, she saw him grab his steering wheel and shake it. She took down his license plate number, just in case, then phoned it in to police later that night when she heard of an Amber Alert for a missing 7-year-old girl. (Descriptions of the suspect and car in the alert rang bells.) Sure enough, police soon tracked down and arrested 43-year-old suspect David Douglas. They found the girl, too, and she's fine. "What she did was what truly broke the case," an Antioch police official tells the Contra Costa Times.

  • Walmart fires beer guy: A much lighter story, but no happy ending. Last week, a Walmart manager in Titusville, Florida, suspected two men of stealing beer, so he went out to the parking lot to get their license plate as they were leaving. Mike Dawson then jumped into the back of their pickup because he says it was the only way to avoid getting hit. Then came a high-speed ride over 15 miles, during which Dawson signaled to another driver that he was in trouble. That driver pulled a gun and forced Dawson's driver to slow down, allowing Dawson to escape, reports NBC Miami. Police later arrested the pickup's driver, who now faces kidnapping charges in addition to robbery charges. Walmart, however, has since fired Dawson, reports WESH. He should have just taken the plate number and left it at that, says the chain.
It's not the first time a Walmart employee has been fired for trying to help. (More uplifting news stories.)

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