Walmart Manager Says He Was Fired After Stopping Alleged Shoplifter

For several years now, Consumerist has reported on variety of stories where a former Walmart employee says they were fired either stopping a shoplifter or defending themselves in an altercation with customers. The latest such incident involves the manager of an Alabama Walmart who claims he was dismissed after stopping an alleged repeat offender from shoplifting again.

AL.com reports that the former manager was blindsided when he was fired a month after he chased and confronted a shoplifter attempting to steal nearly $1,000 worth of merchandise.

The man says the incident occurred during the night shift, when he heard an alarm signaling that an emergency door was open.

When the manager reached the door, he saw a man he described as an habitual shoplifter leaving with a cart full of merchandise.

“When I caught up to the individual he turned and grabbed me, struck me in the face and dragged me to the ground,” the manager says. “I got loose and was holding him down when security personnel from an apartment complex across the street came to help until police arrived.”

The man says instead of being commended for his action, he was fired 27 days later for “gross misconduct” for not looking out for his own welfare and not complying with Walmart’s security measures.

A Walmart spokesperson told AL.com that he couldn’t speak specifically about the man’s firing.

“It is a tough situation anytime we have an associate that does something that unfortunately puts himself in danger,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t think there is any amount of stolen merchandise that is worth anyone’s life. Associates are trained to follow certain security measures.”

While the manager admits that he was trained not to pursue a shoplifter more than 10 feet from the store, he and other managers have routinely broken that rule in the past.

“I am expected to keep the shoplifting at a minimum,” he said.

Additionally, he says the amount of shoplifting is reflected in associate pay. If shoplifting is up, then associates don’t get bonuses.

The suspected shoplifter arrested after the altercation is also accused of stealing $3,500 in merchandise from the store over the previous nine days.

Alabama Wal-Mart manager gets punched in face by shoplifter, loses his job [AL.com]