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Home Depot Fires Men Who Stopped Thieves
Man Had Previously Gotten Commendation Letter

POSTED: 9:57 am EDT June 6, 2007

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- A former Home Depot employee said the company fired him and three other workers because they helped police catch several suspected shoplifters in May.

Survey: Agree With Firings?

Midwest City Police said the men helped officers catch suspected shoplifters as they tried to run from a store with lawn equipment.

An internal memo from Home Depot outlines that associates cannot accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting. However, one of the fired employees said the company is selective in enforcing that policy.

"The loss-prevention guy at our Shields (Boulevard) store turned around and told me all we need to do is tell the shoplifter to have a good day as they leave the store. I said that just doesn't make sense," former employee Bob Stewart said.

Stewart said what really doesn't make sense is a termination letter Home Depot gave him and three other employees after they helped police catch the shoplifters.

"We saw them with the merchandise. We saw them run out of the store. I never kept my eyes off of them," Stewart said. "Then when we asked them for a receipt, and that's when they dropped the merchandise and they kept running. One guy still had a chainsaw while he was running, and that's when the cops tackled him."

The letter said Stewart and the others were fired because they "pursued and assisted in the apprehension of suspected shoplifters."

Stewart said all he did was call police, something he's done before. Less than eight months ago, he said that he received a letter -- a commendation letter -- for helping police catch a thief trying to steal $2,500 worth of wire.
On the top of the letter, written in bold letters was "Great job, Bob."

Home Depot officials said in an e-mail to Oklahoma City TV station KOCO that they have "standard operating procedures in place for situations like this," and that "from time to time, we find inconsistent execution in our stores."

However, they added that they do not discuss personnel matters and will not comment on this specific case.

Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said he won't comment on the store policy, but said they would probably not have caught the suspects or recovered the property or the stolen car they drove if it had not been for the help of these four employees.

Clabes said he is considering giving the four men letters of appreciation for helping catch the suspects.
 

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If the local Lowes manager is smart he'll hire these guys and make a big publicity deal about it.
 

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Sharky said:
An internal memo from Home Depot outlines that associates cannot accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting. However, one of the fired employees said the company is selective in enforcing that policy.
They can't even call the police? How stupid is that?
 

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Wow. I am going to save a lot of money ($$$) in the future at Home Depot! :lol:
 

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So basically company policy is if I want to get whatever I want, I don't have to pay for it. Ok I've been wanting a complete shop full of tools for a while, looks like me and the boys need to make a one time run to Home Depot.

Basically they are saying that its ok to steal from us, "we won't call the cops". A clothing store that I worked in would only let us follow someone until they left the store, then we could not follow, or risk losing our job.

Because we live in a litigious society, companies would rather take a loss on the occasional theft, than risk a civil case. What they don't tell anyone, is that the employees pay for the loss in profits, whither directly or through lack of promotions or wages. The company will always make a profit.

Look at the min wage now, going up. Worst thing that could happen. Companies have to pay more, so they start charging more for products and services, and the people that just got raises, in reality get nothing. But the people that are in the middle class get screwed, because their pay doesn't go up, but the cost of living does.

I don't agree with alot of what Lou Dobbs says, but he is right, there will be no middle class in 15 years, just the poor, and those that rule them.
 

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I just called the Lowes in Midwest City OK and told them they should hire these guys on. The manager thought that was a great idea and is going to pursue it. :D I love it when a plan comes together!
 

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Now that is awesome, would love to see it on the national news. +100 points if the stores are across the street from each other.
 

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Sharky said:
Man I thought I had alot of time........You beat me on the free time to have fun topic. :)
What time? A two minute google search for the number and a three minute phone call...
 

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I once was shopping at a certain sporting goods store and spotted a shoplifter. The loss prevention types were chasing him, and he made it outside the door, where the loss prevention types slowed and stopped. I ran the guy down within 100 yards and took him down with alacrity. I then brought him back to the loss prevention guys, who were standing at the entrance with sheepish expressions. "Um, thanks," they said with no enthusiasm.

I left before anybody could ask my name. :wink:
 

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"The loss-prevention guy at our Shields (Boulevard) store turned around and told me all we need to do is tell the shoplifter to have a good day as they leave the store. I said that just doesn't make sense," former employee Bob Stewart said.
Don't they mean the loss-enabling guy
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Wow. I am going to save a lot of money ($$$) in the future at Home Depot! :lol:
Wasn't it on this board where we debated the merits of Wal-Mart's no prosecution for under $25 of stolen goods? I mean, duh? Why not just issue $25 gift cards to all the five-finger discounters in town?
 

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I also had my Home Depot credit card used for thousands of dollars - they filmed it with employee involved. Even with my connections in HD legal, I could not get HD to prosecute the loss (I could not because I had no loss, HD credited it).

:roll:
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
I once was shopping at a certain sporting goods store and spotted a shoplifter. The loss prevention types were chasing him, and he made it outside the door, where the loss prevention types slowed and stopped. I ran the guy down within 100 yards and took him down with alacrity. I then brought him back to the loss prevention guys, who were standing at the entrance with sheepish expressions. "Um, thanks," they said with no enthusiasm.

I left before anybody could ask my name. :wink:
"Who was that masked man?"

"Its the.....................T I E!"
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
I once was shopping at a certain sporting goods store and spotted a shoplifter. The loss prevention types were chasing him, and he made it outside the door, where the loss prevention types slowed and stopped. I ran the guy down within 100 yards and took him down with alacrity. I then brought him back to the loss prevention guys, who were standing at the entrance with sheepish expressions. "Um, thanks," they said with no enthusiasm.

I left before anybody could ask my name. :wink:
a·lac·ri·ty

NOUN:

Cheerful willingness; eagerness.
Speed or quickness; celerity.

I guess this is what you mean?
Sorry, it's the engineer in me.
8) 8)
 

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When this one makes the rounds you can bet HD will be targeted more. Of course, they'll just pass the costs along to the consumers that actually pay for their goods.

I guess they think the lost goods costs less than the legal bills defending the law suits.
 
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