Attention Home Depot Employees: They really will fire you if you attempt to stop a crime in progress. That’s what happened to 24-year-old Dustin Chester. He worked at a Home Depot in Murfreesboro, Tennessee until he caught and restrained a thief who he caught prying open a soda machine with a crowbar. Now he’s unemployed.
From the Tennessean:
“When he ran, I ran after him,” he said. Chester caught the thief and restrained him in the parking lot until police arrived.
Chester was shocked to find out that for managers and most employees, catching and detaining thieves is against company policy.
“The district manager told me that we are supposed to let thieves walk away; it blew my mind,” said Chester, a one-time employee of the year.
Chester said there was no loss prevention officer on duty during the Aug. 20 incident and that in his seven years, he’d never heard of the company’s policy.
But even if he had known how the company wanted him to act, it wouldn’t have made a difference.
“He had a crowbar, and what if he had come inside and gone after customers or the employees working at the registers?” Chester asked. “I’d rather have him coming at me than going after any of the customers.”
Home Depot’s spokesperson responded that “Safety was the primary focus of our company,” when asked why Chester was fired.
Poor guy. The Murfreesboro police spokesman Kyle Evans told the Tennessean that citizens should concentrate on identifying criminals rather than tackling them in parking lots.
“Property isn’t worth getting hurt over — merchandise can be replaced and people can’t,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Home Depot has fired workers for trying to stop a crime. If you work there, you really should just let people steal. Stopping them will cost you your job.