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70-Year-Old Texas Veteran Fired From Home Depot: ‘I Need to Work. I Needed That Job’

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After attempting to stop some shoplifters at the Pearland Home Depot where he worked, a 70-year-old Texas veteran says he is now out of a job. According to the store’s policy, which Jim Tinney did say he remembers from training, workers are asked not to confront shoplifters. Since what he was doing seemed right to him, and was done more out of reflex, it never occurred to him that he would be fired afterward.

70-Year-Old Texas Veteran Fired from Home Depot: ‘I Need to Work. I Needed That Job’

Photo: Flickr/Scott Lewis

Tinney said he’s done fairly well in life by trying to always do the right thing. In an interview with Fox News, he said, “In the Army, they train you to do things like that.” But, after seeing three men who appeared nervous as they were carrying thousands of dollars’ worth of tool sets to the checkout, and then making a break for it, he threw the paint roller extension he has been carrying and ran to try and stop at least one of them. “One of them hollered ‘let’s go,’ and they all grabbed their kits and started heading out,” he said.

70-Year-Old Texas Veteran Fired from Home Depot: ‘I Need to Work. I Needed That Job’

Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart

Without remembering that it was store policy not to address the situation, Tinney said, “I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet.” All three of the shoplifters got away, however, and Tinney said he thought the matter was over. Then, two weeks later, he was fired by Home Depot for having gone against store policy. When asked whether he ever imagined his actions would result in this drastic measure, he said, “No. I did not at all.”

70-Year-Old Texas Veteran Fired from Home Depot: ‘I Need to Work. I Needed That Job’

Photo: Flickr/Chris Potter

Following Tinney’s firing, a spokesman for Home Depot identified in a statement, “We have a strict policy that only our trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters. We’ve had deaths and serious injury over the years, and no amount of merchandise is more important than the safety of our associates and customers.” Tinney felt that there were always other options that could have been engaged as opposed to dismissing him. “I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me. But terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” he said. Now having trouble finding a new job, he sadly said, “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers, helping figuring out what they wanted to do.”

References:

Fox News

The Dallas Morning News