Army Veteran, 70, Fired for Confronting Shoplifters

Jim Tinney violated store policy at Home Depot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2017 12:00 PM CDT
Army Veteran, 70, Fired for Confronting Shoplifters
File photo of a Home Depot, this one in Massachusetts.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

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. Jim Tinney says he was fired last month from the store in Pearland. Tinney acknowledges he was trained to not confront shoplifters and knows he violated company policy, but he says his military training just kicked in when he noticed three men attempting to steal tools, per the AP. Tinney threw a paint roller extension pole toward the suspects' feet, but 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 and noting that the store has experienced "stabbings," an associate who was bitten, and another one who ended up with "serious brain damage," per KTRK. "I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That's pretty strong," Tinney tells the station. "I need to work. I needed that job." A Pearland Police Department spokesman says he has no information on the shoplifting case. (More shoplifting stories.)

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