Home Depot Employees Fired For Helping Police Catch Shoplifters

If you work at Home Depot, you’re not allowed to “accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting,” according to an internal memo. 4 Home Depot employees in Midwest City, OK found out the hard way that Home Depot is serious about this policy. They were terminated because they “pursued and assisted in the apprehension of suspected shoplifters.” From KOCO:

“We saw them with the merchandise. We saw them run out of the store. I never kept my eyes off of them. 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,” he said.

The letter said Stewart and the others were fired because “he 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.”

All we know is that we are not brave enough to tackle a man with a chainsaw. —MEGHANN MARCO

Man Says Home Depot Fired Workers For Catching Thieves [KOCO]
(Photo: jclarson)

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Now the poor guy will have to steal from Home Depot to support his family.

  2. ohlali says:

    Same thing at Gap.

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Sounds like Loss Prevention & Greeter are the same position!

  4. B says:

    In other news, I’m doing all my shoplifting at Home Depot.

  5. enm4r says:

    That’s what you get for trying to stand up for the company you work for. I’ve always wondered what makes employees go to extraordinary lengths to protect company property. This guy did the right thing, and did a great job.

    But the people who come in waving guns and demanding money? I’d be the first one to open up my register and let them know they can take anything they want. I have yet to work for a company I’d be willing to sacrifice myself for. But in this case, the guy did something I’d expect every employee to do…seems not calling the police should be grounds for firing instead.

  6. Wormfather says:

    @B

    That’s all I coudl think about. Wow, who needs tools?

    Then again it makes sense, every junky documentary I’ve seen the addicts go to home depo to steal and return stuff from.

  7. cnc1019 says:

    This all depends on if he actually went outside or not. When I worked for wal-mart, everyone understood that you do not follow a suspected shoplifter outside (that is what the security/loss prevention person is for).

    The reason for this is so the company can cover their ass. You walk out of the store after signing something saying you won’t, now you, your family, and the robber can’t sue the company if you get attacked by the robber or if you do something stupid like attack the robber. It is a conservative policy that does have some merits as a Bennigan’s waitress here in the DFW area was run over and killed by some people when she followed them outside after they didn’t pay the bill.

  8. Bay State Darren says:

    His problem is that he did it a Home Despot employee. If he’d been a wal-mart associate instead, he’d have been rewarded at the stockholders meeting with a golden “No time for questions, stockholders, sorry” award. wal-mart would be his family!

  9. mikyrok says:

    @Bay State Darren: You think Home Depot gets J-Lo for their shareholders!? No way man, they are too busy paying terrible CEOs tons of money to leave.

  10. royal72 says:

    calling all thieves, calling all thieves, home depot is now open for looting.

  11. MattyMatt says:

    Not allowed to call the police? What on Earth? Who are they supposed to call, Underdog?

  12. urban_ninjya says:

    He probably shouldn’t of been fired for that alone. Probably a warning would have been more appropriate.

    Even if the guy was a shoplifter, public confrontation should be avoided. Confrontation will make other customers feel uneasy, and given the choice of a few $1000 in inventory, vs. potentially more $’s in lost sales if the customers arn’t feeling safe isn’t really worth it. The best approach is just to approach and ask ask a question such as, “Can I help you?” as they are stuffing or right after trying to hide the merchandise, then hope they have a change of heart.

    If a customer saw a shoplifter being tackled, what are the cusotmers going to feel? Like they are constantly watched and judged? Can you really shop at a place where you feel constantly judged?

  13. Chaosium says:

    @cnc1019: Yes, while I can see an employee calling the cops, I’ve heard a number of incidents where employees run after the thief or person who ran off without paying for their meal only to get beaten or run over when the frightened crook tries to escape. It’s not worth the liability.

  14. Black Bellamy says:

    I understand the policy vis a vis liability for people injured trying to chase down the shoplifter, but firing them? Are no other sanctions available? Like you know, a WARNING LETTER, or a STERN TALKING-TO?

    Reading articles like this makes me want to punch a random lawyer.

  15. Hawk07 says:

    I’m sure some lawyers that read this site could shed some light on this issue, but from talkings with them before, it has something to do with the person being able to sue the company for some BS reason. It’s along the lines of those random cases where you hear a burglar breaks into a house or company, injures himself and sues the homeowner type of things.

    I’ve read posted copies of the toys r us employee handbook that if the employee takes their eyes off a suspected shoplifter for one second, they can’t confront the person for shoplifting.

    Our wonderful legal system.

  16. jeffj-nj says:

    Looks like this weekend’s renovation project just got cheaper.

  17. Smoking Pope says:

    When I worked at Jewel foods in high school, we were told never to approach, chase, apprehend, or call the police for suspected shoplifting. They very clearly told us that the sole reasons for the policy were:

    * Let the proper personnel make the call (i.e. store gumshoes) to avoid liability issues

    * And (most importantly), nothing in the store is worth your life, so play it safe.

    As if to underscore the point, about 3 months after I started a Jewel employee tried to tackle a guy who was holding up a register, and was shot and killed.

    Although HD could have handled this better, a lot of big corporations have a similar policy, and it’s designed to eat a small loss instead of taking a big legal hit.

  18. Slytherin says:

    This is standard practice at most retail stores. The reason: the store (and company) does not want to risk getting sued by someone who is wrongly accused of theft.

  19. timmus says:

    But the people who come in waving guns and demanding money? I’d be the first one to open up my register and let them know they can take anything they want.

    Yeah, no kidding, I don’t understand what compels people to be heroes just to preserve company property. Let the videotape, loss prevention, and cops deal with it. The worse alternative is a bad work environment where employees are required to tackle shoplifters.

    Now on the other hand, let’s see what their policy is about abductions on the premises. Do you just let those people walk out the door?

  20. bbbici says:

    I worked in a cafe in a busy nightlife sector. One night a bunch of drunk girls picked up and ran off with a patio table. I chased after them and they dropped the table, but of course I quickly caught up to them. I demanded that they carry the table back to the cafe. They picked it up and carried it a few steps, but once my back was turned they took off again. I made a second chase and made no mistake this time, absolutely drilling one of the women. They were like, “you can’t punch someone for taking a table! We’re calling the cops!” So i invited them back to the cafe and i dialled the cops for them. a couple minutes later the cops arrived and hauled all 3 girls off in handcuffs to spend the night in the drunk tank. awesome!

  21. spanky says:

    There are plenty of reasons that policies like that make sense.

    As others have pointed out, it’s dangerous to the employees.

    And if the store lets untrained employees detain customers or even accuse them of shoplifting, innocent people will be unjustly accused, and even assaulted. It sounds as though it was pretty cut and dried in this case, but there are bound to be plenty of times that the employee is just plain wrong. Better leave that kind of decision to the people who are supposed to have training and skills in detecting theft. (Not that they’re the mind-reading ninjas some of them seem to think, either, but they’re at least supposed to be sorta trained.)

  22. priznat says:

    Punching drunk girls ftw!

  23. nucleotide says:

    @Slytherin: You’re absolutely right. The last thing a store wants is to be sued for libel by making a mistake. What if the guy dumps the merchandise before he leaves the store? If you apprehend him, he’ll sue.

    Stores that care about shrinkage will have a dedicated loss prevention team that usually video tapes the incident and has disguised people following the perps. These guys are well trained for this unlike an average-joe clerk.

  24. Dr. Eirik says:

    Back in the ’70′s, my mother worked briefly for a clothing store in Fullerton, CA. A co-worker of hers chased down a shoplifter and nearly got knifed for it.

    When I worked for Payless Drugs as a teenager, we were the only store within a 100 mile radius, so store security was non-existant. The store got a reputation fast for being easy pickings. When they finally got a guy to patrol around, he’d catch shoplifters left and right. Told me once that he loved the Camarillo store because he made his week quota of shoplifters in about a day.

  25. bedofnails says:

    @ohlali:

    Same thing at the GAP

    Because a 9 year old girl could own your average GAP employee.

  26. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @urban_ninjya: No, they’d probably feel that it’s a bad idea to try to steal a chainsaw.

  27. revmatty says:

    I was a manager for Wherehouse for several years. The loss prevention policy explicitly prohibited doing anything that could result in someone getting hurt. No chasing. No physically detaining. I thought it was a sensible policy as a manager, because there was no way I wanted to see one of my employees get hurt over a stupid CD. Or 50. Product is easy to replace.

  28. eDayStat says:

    My brother went through this same thing working for a local sporting goods store. He was let go after chasing a couple of teens out of the store for stealing battings gloves. Ridiculous!

    I think the whole thing went wrong when Home Depot poster boy Tony Stewart clipped the shoplifter with his race car.

  29. Catalyst says:

    It’s called respondeat superior, or vicarious liability. The employer is liable for the actions of the employee within the scope of employment.

    These cases then become issues of whether the employee was acting within the scope of their employment when they do things like this, and Home Depot’s policy helps them prove he acted outside it. Almost all stores have this same policy. I know someone personally who was an LP for Target who was fired for following someone outside the store.

  30. QTex says:

    @zirkus:

    You’re absolutely right. The last thing a store wants is to be sued for libel by making a mistake. What if the guy dumps the merchandise before he leaves the store? If you apprehend him, he’ll sue.

    Libel is not likely a concern for several reasons.

    First, libel requires a defamatory statement in writing or some other permanent recording. Not present here.

    Next, in case you were thinking slander instead, slander is not at issue in at situation like this, either. Slander requires a (1) spoken statement of defamation (defamatory language); and (2) that one is guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude (in an alleged larceny situation).

    Calling the police is not a defamatory statement. And even it were, a plaintiff could still not recover unless the plaintiff (i.e. person accused of larceny) suffered some kind of damages.

    My guess is that Home Depot has this policy in place to protect against a negligence action either by an injured employee, bystander, or accused shoplifter. I would assume this also precludes something seemingly as low-risk calling the police. Home Depot has likely concluded that it’s simply more economical write off theft as a cost of doing business, rather than take on the extra risk.

    My attitude on it subject is, I’m neither a shareholder nor a shoplifter. Whatever works for them.

  31. Kierst_thara says:

    If Home Depot’s policy is that employees are not to call police or interact with potential shoplifters, then why weren’t the employees in this case aware of that? And also, if employees aren’t allowed to contact outside law enforcement, or make confrontations themselves due to liability, then Home Depot should at least have some in-house loss-prevention that employees can contact and get an immediate response from, in case of suspicious activity.

    I’m not in the ‘throw myself in the path of violent criminal for the sake of some merchandise’ camp myself, but as long as I didn’t absolutely hate my employer, I’d still feel guilty and frustrated to watch shoplifters get away scott-free, just because company policy says I can’t affect the situation in any way.

    Even if the average cashier jockey isn’t trained in criminal detection, that doesn’t mean they can’t pass useful information on to someone qualified to make the call.

  32. glomm says:

    Maybe I’m just a prick, but I get incredibly pissed off at places like Wal-Mart when they ask to see a receipt at the exit. They may as well say “I think you’re a thief.” I never comply, so it isn’t too much of an inconvenience, it is just really insulting.

  33. Stiggs says:

    I’m a server at a popular restaurant chain. We don’t have a cashier and so we are required to carry our own banks. If a guest walks out on their bill we are held responsible and can be fired. If we catch someone trying to walk out on their bill, say anything to stop them and they complain that we embarrassed them we also can be fired.

  34. zolielo says:

    My neighbor is a manager at Vons/Safeway and they have a similar policy.

    From what I understand they do not care too much except when kids try to return unactivated gift cards for cash. Foolish kids, it seems, have a fit that their stolen gift cards where not activated so they cannot use them at whatever store (iTunes, Target, Buy.com, etc.).

  35. Ola says:

    @ timmus: You asked about abductions? Unfortunately, here’s something that y’all need to know. At a retail store I worked for, we went over Code Adam procedures. (Code Adam, after John Walsh’s son who was kidnapped and killed.) Basically, it helps a store outline what employees are supposed to do if someone reports their child missing: lock the doors, do systematic search, call the police, etc. However, one thing stood out to me as we went over Code Adam. Here’s the official Code Adam wording:

    “If the child is found accompanied by someone other than the parent or legal guardian, use reasonable efforts to delay the departure of the person believed to be accompanying the child, and call the police and identify the person(s) accompanying the child.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, we were informed that if we could not prevent the individual from leaving the store, we should not go after him, except to note direction of travel and license plate #, etc. I nearly blew a gasket, although not visibly! The reason, IIRC, was along the lines of “he could get violent” and some such legal-cover-ourselves stuff. EXCUSE ME?! I’d like to see the lawsuit: “No, we didn’t stop him from leaving, we were afraid he’d get violent…” to the parents of a kid who was killed after being taken away! It’s sad when people are told not to stop someone who’s apparently abducting a child. Now, property is one thing, but abduction?!

  36. Trai_Dep says:

    98% of child abductions are from family members, and around 70% of those are the other spouse. Unlike bad TV news, it’s not the bogeyman that’s swiping kids to eat or whatever. So, yeah, I can see the “delay but don’t go Rambo” in this case, since odds are incredibly good that it’s the other parent.

  37. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Well Jewel Foods is the only one that has it right…sort of. “Nothing in the store is worth your safety.” Hey if someone walks in and starts demanding money wielding a gun, I’d practically give him/her the keys to the store because nothing, including a job, is worth my safety.

  38. PDQ says:

    ya know what? This is so much bullshit. When have you EVER been able to find a Home Depot employee on the floor? Store management is barricaded in their offices and the skeleton crew on the floor (those that aren’t in the employee break room hiding from the customer) are riding around on a forklift trying to intimidate customers.

    The very idea that a Home Depot employee would a) be on the floor b) not be running away from you c) give a shit is absolutely ludicrous.

    I think this is one of those Urban Legend stories.

  39. chemman says:

    @trai_dep:
    “98% of child abductions are from family members, and around 70% of those are the other spouse. Unlike bad TV news, it’s not the bogeyman that’s swiping kids to eat or whatever. So, yeah, I can see the “delay but don’t go Rambo” in this case, since odds are incredibly good that it’s the other parent.”

    trai-I wouldn’t give a damn about odds. Do you know that 75% of all statistics are made up on the spot? (I know my 75% was). But my point is, if I see a child being abducted I’ll go after the abductor 100% of the time and worry about the reason why after, because even if it is really only 2% of the time that it is a bogeyman, I wouldn’t take a chance on a child’s life that this time wasn’t one of those 2%.

  40. jeramiah461 says:

    people need to read the entire article before posting a comment. it never said he was trying to be a hero. and he in fact received a commendation letter for calling the police in a previous incident. he was in the right to call the police again, and a company cant go back on itself like that and fire someone after giving the guy a pat on the back for the same incident.

  41. zibby says:

    @jeffj-nj: I’ve got a pickup, give me your whereabouts.

  42. Cap'n Jack says:

    Wow, looks like I have some shoplifting to do at Home Depot!

  43. zibby says:

    Screw the pickup, if you live in the NYC area let’s split a big Penske and back that baby up to the docks…

  44. DeeJayQueue says:

    thing is, even if there’s no legal grounds for it, if you call someone a thief, they’ll sue you. Even if they have no chance of winning a suit, Home Depot will have to send a lawyer and go to court, or offer to settle out of court, and that costs big bucks, probably way more than the chainsaw that the guy could have been stealing.

    Then there’s the whole “chasing the criminal” thing. First off, if they dump the merch in the store, they aren’t shoplifting anymore and you can’t go after them any more than you could go after anyone else in there. If they did steal from you, once they’re out of the building they’re on public property and anything you do to them could be construed as assault, and since you’re on the clock and under the umbrella of being a Home Depot employee, guess who gets sued for assaulting someone? You AND Home Depot. Again, not something they want to do, and not worth the $100 in junk they stole.

    This is why those electronic gates in stores are completely useless. By the time they go off, you’re out the door. If you really did steal anything you’re not going to come back to let them find it, you’re gone. The only people who DO stop and come back are the people who are now inconvenienced and pissed off about it because you forgot to swipe a little white tab over a giant magnet. Nevermind that those giant magnets have a tendency to wipe out VHS tapes or just about anything sensitive to magnetic interference.

    Basically, you can call the police AFTER the thieves leave the store, the police will go over the surveillance video/photos, take copies, file reports, etc. If the criminals are still around, they might go looking for them. People aren’t stealing until they leave the premises without paying for things, at which point you can’t go after them anyway, so don’t bother.

  45. zibby says:

    Yeesh. So does anyone ever get pinched for shoplifting anymore or is that a thing of the past?

  46. Brazell says:

    Does anybody have the contact details for Home Depot corporate? I tried to send an e-mail through their website, but the script (typically) was broken and the whole letter was lost. This kind of stuff bugs me — somebody does the right thing and they’re penalized by their employer for doing so.

    Thanks

  47. Trai_Dep says:

    @chemman: and I’m sure that it gives you a warm, gushy feeling inside. Nonetheless, the whole “child stealing epidemic” is false. Take out family members, estranged spouses tosling over visitation rights or kids running away for about a week (usually staying at a pal’s, and usually for good reason), the myth disappears. Sort of like plane crashes – they happen so rarely that every one is front page news.

    I remember growing up and I and my friends ran around ALL OVER the place. Didn’t look at every stranger as some Peter Lorre character. Did fine. So did they.

    SO sad that kids and their adults are brainwashed into cowering in fear in their apartments, playing freaken video games and getting diabetic/fat since everyone – people like you especially – thump their chest and poison their minds that the world is a terrible, threatening place to hide from.

    That’s all. Get educated. Don’t believe the hype. Do it for the kids. :D

  48. nucleotide says:

    @justbrag: Ya, but getting sued for false imprisonment WILL be a risk.

  49. ndjustin says:

    I worked through college as loss prevention at a major department store.

    Shoplifting cases have a chance of not holding up if:
    A. Someone did not watch them almost the entire time they were in the store, and long before they picked up the merchandise.
    B. The customer has to be out the door or past all points of payment.
    C. Loss Prevention has to identify themselves in some way, and get them back in the store.

    If anything goes wrong during those three steps, an employee could get seriously hurt, a customer could get seriously hurt, or the employee could be wrong. All three of those cases result in major loses for the company, far more than anyone could carry out in a week.

    It’s best to have a trained loss prevention staff, who understand that you can’t stop everything and everyone or you affect the bottom line.

    I’m even sure the police are not thrilled to be getting the phone calls from untrained staff, who will be weak witnesses during trial.

    A good employee would either contact loss prevention or just keep nagging the suspected shoplifter while they are in the store, so they don’t feel safe about stealing.

  50. IC18 says:

    No good deed goes unpunished, or in this case unfired.

  51. mbrutsch says:

    “Shoplifting” is a crime only if Home Depot *says* it’s a crime, since they are the “victim” here. Otherwise, it’s just a really good discount. If they want their employees to allow people to walk out with stuff, that’s their prerogative. You get paid to do what your employer says to do. If you want to be Mr. Junior Crimebuster, join the police.

    Now, if they got fired for stopping a rape, or refusing to dump old insecticide in the creek out back, well, that’s different. Those are real crimes. They’d still get fired, but at least they’d be in the right.

  52. chemman says:

    @trai_dep:

    trai-I also grew up in a time where I ran where ever I wanted and talked to plenty of strangers and I too am fine. I never mentioned anything about cowering in fear nor did I say anything about the world being a terrible, threatening place. I simply stated if I “saw” a child being abducted I would do whatever I could to stop it and worry about why the child was being abducted later. Please point out where in my response I am thumping my chest about these evils in society?
    I do believe in the case of shoplifting there is absolutely no reason to go “Rambo” over some product, but your point was that most abductions are by parents so we shouldn’t be concerned or get involved. So take you own advice, get educated and re-read my post. I said “if I see a child being abducted I’ll go after the abductor 100% of the time”, I was simply stating when it comes to a more serious crime of child abduction, if I see it in progress I will try and stop it because in the era I grew up in people cared about each other and tried to help someone out who was in trouble.
    Also, please educate me. Can you give me sources for your 98% abduction claim? And I guess from your response those other 2% (if your numbers are true)aren’t worth trying to stop because it is all hype, huh?

  53. pearlandopal says:

    I used to work at a Food Lion in college, and we’d sit in the office and watch people shoplift on the security cameras. Couldn’t do anything about it. I worked there for a year, and there was a woman who came in every single day of every single week – holidays included – and stole a pack of cigarettes every single time. We knew it, she knew it, store manager didn’t care.

  54. QTex says:

    @zirkus:
    @zirkus:

    @justbrag: Ya, but getting sued for false imprisonment WILL be a risk.

    Well, at that point, a doctrine known as the “Shopkeeper’s Privilege” comes into play. It’s an affirmative defense that will prevent a false imprisonment claim from succeeding. The shopkeeper must (1) have a reasonable belief as to a theft occurred/is occurring, (2) must detain the person(s) suspected in a reasonable manner, and (3) only for so for a reasonable amount of time to make an investigation.

    However, the shopkeeper’s privilege will still not negate any potential liability to bystanders, employees, or the accused shoplifter should an injury occur in a chase or outbreak of violence.

    Again, I think the policy was created based on economical reasoning. I would guess someone or a group of people in HD’s executive management team likely concluded the potential liability outweighs any possible recovery or deterrent to strictly enforcing an anti-shoplifting policy.

  55. nucleotide says:

    @justbrag: Dude, my point was that an average store clerk isn’t trained to make that judgment. This story mentioned that a clerk cannot even call the police for shoplifting. If not false imprisonment, what “potential liability” is HD trying to avoid in that case?

  56. QTex says:

    @zirkus: Sorry, I guess I came off sounding like an ass. Didn’t mean to hit you with a “you’re wrong” twice–just wanted clarify that I don’t think HD is as concerned with the two intentional torts you mentioned as they are with negligence liability. I don’t work for and don’t advise HD, so maybe intentional torts are a concern of the policy makers.

    The possible negligence problems are limited only by your imagination. First one that comes to mind: HD tells its employees it’s ok to call the police when they see someone shoplifting. We know there’s no liability there, and we know the shoplifter can be reasonably detained. However, Cashier X thinks that “calling the police” means it’s also ok (under company policy) to detain Shoplifter T until the police arrive. So X chases T out of the store, and knocks over Shopper G, who falls and breaks her hip.

    Add in factors like what the police might do, the actions of Good Samaritans, new employees, etc. and you can just imagine the dollar figures flashing before a policy-maker’s eyes.

    When advising business managers about liability policy, I’ve noticed that sometimes the managers overreact when they are confronted with areas of concern. They think in terms of profits. I think in terms of liability. Somewhere, in between, our worlds meet.

    [Again, pure speculation, here] HD figures it is cheaper to give up that chainsaw then pay to train (and re-train and re-train and re-train) employees on proper loss-prevention procedure. Even for something as simple as “call the police.” On top of that, there’s the risk of someone getting hurt. So a manager decided it’s cheaper to give up the chainsaw. That is the corporate management’s decision to make–they’re the ones who are hired to take care of profits.

    Yes, this attitude goes too far sometimes. Of course I don’t think this poor guy should have been fired simply for calling the police. But HD may be concerned that calling the police could escalate into a bigger problem–like negligence.

  57. bobhandy says:

    Home Depot action of firing employees stopping a crime, I just can’t believe! Until I read some of the postings here! Now I have a better understanding of our public thinking. Let someone else do it (the cops) Guess what? They can not do it alone even in a police state.
    You all have lost your courage to do the right thing. This is one of many reasons crime does pay.
    I have so much to say on this but feel I would get carried away! So let me say this, I wrote a letter to Home Depot advising the CEO I would be selling my stock and stopping my company from making about $10,000.00 in monthly purchases unless there policy changes to be more reasonable not only out of concern for liability reason but what is right. Good Luck!

  58. palaste says:

    @timmus: “Yeah, no kidding, I don’t understand what compels people to be heroes just to preserve company property. Let the videotape, loss prevention, and cops deal with it. The worse alternative is a bad work environment where employees are required to tackle shoplifters.”

    How are you supposed to let the cops deal with it if you’re not allowed to call the cops?

  59. ahempton says:

    The Gap has the same policy. One of my friends who was a Gap manager was fired for trying to stop a shoplifter. As a former Gap manager myself, it’s so frustrating when you see people blatantly shoplifting and there’s nothing you can do about it, besides smile and ask if they need help finding their size.

    We’d have people return arm loads of items, without the receipt, and all different sizes… and then exchange those returned items for the items they wanted, in their right size.

    Not only is it shoplifting, but it also wrecks havoc with the store’s inventory, meaning that sizes people want to buy, that the computer would think we had, weren’t there.

  60. beachgal26 says:

    I have recently discovered that Victoria Secrets also has the same policy and will not allow their employees to question or detain a shoplifter.

    While I find this practice totally ridiculous, I have to wonder what message these chains are sending to the public. It’s as though they are saying that it’s OK to shop there whether or not you intend to “pay” for your items or not.

  61. gibsonic says:

    Home Depot’s new motto:


    “Shoplifting? You can do it. We can help.”