KTRK-TV in Houston reports that Jim Tinney, a 70-year old Army veteran, was fired from his job at Home Depot after doing what he believed was the right thing: stopping suspected shoplifters from robbing his employer.
Tinney was convinced that three men were trying to steal thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. When the three suspects nervously took their shopping cart and quickly ran out of the store, Tinney tried to stop them. Thinking on his feet and desiring to stop the suspected shoplifters without causing physical harm, he tossed a paint roller extension at one of the suspect’s feet in order to stop them — nobody was hurt and the three men got away.
“In the Army, they train you to do things like that,” said Tinney.
Given his background in the Army, Tinney was trained to respond to threats. He thought the incident was over. But then, two weeks later, Home Depot fired him over it. Although he understands that he violated company policy, Tinney doesn’t believe that termination was necessary.
“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminated me? That’s pretty strong,” he told KTRK-TV.
Tinney also said that he needs his job. “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.”
According to Fox News, Stephen Holmes, a spokesman from Home Depot, responded that it is company policy for only “trained security personnel to pursue and engage shoplifters.” This trained Army veteran, the statement implied, wasn’t among the properly trained security personnel able to pursue shoplifters.
Tinney was a man trained to serve. First he served his country, and then he used his training in the Army to do what he thought was necessary to serve his employer.