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Home Depot At It Again, This Time Firing A 70-Year-Old Employee For Trying To Stop Shoplifters

NY Post- A 70-year-old veteran lost his Home Depot job in Texas after confronting three shoplifters trying to steal thousands of dollars’ worth of tools from the store.

Jim Tinney said he acted instinctually when he threw a paint roller extension at the feet of one of the three suspects in an effort to stop them from making off with tool sets last month at the Pearland store, KTRK reports.

“In the Army, they train you to do things like that,” Tinney told the station. “I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet.”

The suspects dodged the obstacle and got away.

About two weeks later, Tinney, who thought the incident was behind him, learned that his altruistic actions would cost him his job. Tinney admitted to the station that company representatives were clear during training sessions not to confront suspected shoplifters.

Tinney said he understood the policy, but still thinks the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” he told the ABC affiliate. “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.”

Stephen Holmes, a Home Depot spokesman, said the policy is in place to protect employees and customers alike.

Holmes referenced previous incidents during which employees were bitten, stabbed and suffered serious brain damage following encounters with suspected shoplifters.

“In fact, in just the past 24 hours we’ve had two shoplifters pull guns at two different stores at both ends of the country,” Holmes’ statement continued. “So you can see, it’s a very serious safety risk to everyone, even when it doesn’t appear to be.”

Home Depot: where acting like security spells the end of job security. The higher-ups at America’s largest retailer of the shit you need to build homemade bombs and/or make bodies disappear have a clear message for their employees: don’t be a hero. Last week, we had a story about a Home Depot employee who was fired for stopping a kidnapping. This week, we’ve got 70-year-old Army vet and all-American hero Jim Tinney trying to thwart some shoplifters. His weapon of choice was a paint roller extension:

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Not the most menacing weapon but you gotta work with what’s available (literally, anything else in the store would have been better). Turns out the robbers got away with a $2000-worth of tools, and Jim Tinney was fired for his vigilantism.

Look, I can understand Home Depot’s position. You don’t get to the top of the home goods ladder by allowing your employees to chainsaw suspected robbers. But here’s what I don’t understand:

Holmes referenced previous incidents during which employees were bitten, stabbed and suffered serious brain damage following encounters with suspected shoplifters.

“In fact, in just the past 24 hours we’ve had two shoplifters pull guns at two different stores at both ends of the country,”

Are Home Depot stores the wild west? Is there some kind of insane black market for inflatable pools? If people are bringing guns into Home Depots everyday, you might want to update your security policy. Add a metal detector at the front of the store; Lord knows you probably sell them.

In the meantime, reinstate Jim Tinney. He’s the hero Home Depot deserves, but not the one it needs right now.*

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*To this day, this quote puts my brain in a pretzel, and probably does not apply here. But you get it.