PALM COAST, FL (WCMH) — Four former employees of a Home Depot say they got fired for helping police track down a shoplifter.
Someone stole nearly $1,000 worth of power tools from a store in Palm Coast, Florida. According to CNN affiliate WKMG, a cashier tried to stop the man and he rammed his cart into her.
Four workers say they ran outside to get a license plate number, which is apparently against company policy.
The employees say the shoplifter dropped the stolen merchandise as he tried to open the passenger door of the car. One of the employees, George Ippocito, told WKMG he tried kicking the boxes to keep them out of the thief’s reach.
The shoplifter then reached under his seat, the employees said, and threatened to shoot. Ippocito said he and his coworkers backed up. The suspect ran off and was apprehended later by Flagship County deputies.
Home Depot officials told WKMG that employees are trained to avoid chasing shoplifters–for safety’s sake. Two Home Depot employees in North Carolina were injured in separate incidents this month after confrontations with customers.
The now-fired employees see it differently.
“All I wanted to do was go to the aid of my fellow employees and help,” Ippocito told WKMG. “One of our core values we wear right on our (uniform) is ‘Taking care of each other.’ Is it just words?”