Skip to comments.Store worker fired for grabbing shoplifter
Posted on 12/29/2007 6:08:47 AM PST by madprof98
Ann Arbor, Mich. - A grocery store worker says he lost his job after he tried to stop a shoplifter from making a getaway.
But the company says he went too far and violated a policy that prohibits employees from physically touching a customer - even if that person is carrying a bag of stolen goods.
John Schultz, 35, of Ypsilanti Township, had worked at the Whole Foods Market store for five years, most recently as a fishmonger. He wants his job back.
"The fact that I worked at the store at [the time of the robbery] is coincidental," he said. "If I had went over to the bookstore on my break and they were being ripped off, I would have helped them."
Schultz says he had just punched out for a break at 7 p.m. on Sunday when he heard a commotion at the front door of the store. He said he came to the aid of the manager who yelled for help in stopping a shoplifter. Schultz, the manager and another employee cornered the shoplifter between two cars in the parking lot.
Schultz said he told the shoplifter he was making a citizen's arrest and to wait for the police to arrive, but the shoplifter broke away from the group and ran across the street toward a gas station.
Before the man could cross, Schultz caught up and grabbed the man's jacket and put his leg behind the man's legs. When the manager arrived at the intersection, Schultz said, the manager told him to release the shoplifter, and he complied.
Schultz said he was called to the store's office the next day, on Christmas Eve, and was fired because he violated a company policy prohibiting employees from having any physical contact with a customer.
Kate Klotz, a company spokeswoman, said the policy is clear and listed in a booklet that all employees have to acknowledge that they received before they can start work.
"The fact that he touched him, period, is means for termination," said Klotz.
I bet he was wearing a multicolored knit cap and had a goatee.
I would wonder what the proof is that the thief was a customer? Did he have a store receipt?
The shoplifter was NOT a customer. He clearly violated the ‘custom’ of the economic exchange of value for value. He was a thief.
The thief or the fishmonger? (At Whole Foods, probably both.)
Meanwhile, the real customers pay for this stupidity in the form of higher prices. Why would anyone shop there?
Now Now, we can’t be hurting shoplifters’ feelings. It’s all Bush’s fault that they’re poor and have to steal. If only the government gave them a safety net...
I was nearly killed in August by an employee trying to stop a shoplifter. I was walking PAST the store, when the shoplifter ran out. He plowed into me and threw me several feet, then the employee trying to stop him ran over me and I was tossed into a busy intersection. First time that I can recall that there were NO cars in that intersection! Thank you, Lord, or I’d have been killed. As it is, I spent some serious time recovering. I understand this policy and applaud it. DO NOT CHASE SHOPLIFTERS!
As much as I think this worker should not have lost his job, I still can’t help but wonder why someone would put his life on the line for such a job.
Precisely, hope he gets a better job and stops by for a visit to his former employer.
I know what I'd tell u'm.
First, a thief is not a "customer". Second, the employee is with his legal rights to apprehend said thief. Third, this policy will have the expected effect - many employees will remember this incident and will ignore acts of theft. Why bother doing anything about it when the store policy grants higher status to the thief than to the employee?
The companany can't have it both ways.
It cannot have company management "yelling for help in stopping a shoplifter" and then firing the employee who responds to that request because the employee did not make the mental leap that the company would still consider a shoplifter a "customer".
Good reason for a no chase policy for police too.
Reform the legal system and make it so people in acts of crime can't sue and this too would go away.
Ah, Mr. Klotz, you will eat those words. Better learn a little about the political/PR side of your job. Firing an employee on Christmas Eve for being a good Samaritan, well....good luck with that.
Ya can't make this stuff up.
Wow, a story like this is enough to make an honest person consider shoplifting...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.