A Lowe’s employee has been fired from a Georgia store for intervening in a shoplifting incident that left him with a black eye.
Donna Hansbrough, 68, tried to stop a group of shoplifters from taking more than $2,000 worth of merchandise from her store in Rincon, Georgia, last month.
The thieves refused to go quietly and punched him repeatedly in the face, leaving him blacked out.
Despite his valiant efforts to stand up to criminals, Hansbrough’s was fired by Lowe’s after 13 years for violating company policy that states employees who witness shoplifting should not intervene and instead call the authorities.
‘The guy decided he was going to be let go, so he punched me and grabbed my glasses because I was still holding onto the cart,’ Hansbrough, who worked for Lowe’s for over thirteen years, recalled to WTOC.
Donna Hansbrough, 68, tried to stop a group of shoplifters and was left with a scarred face and no job.
‘They say if you see someone out the door stealing something, don’t chase, don’t go out’ but ‘I was just tired of seeing them go out the door,’ Hansbrough said.
‘He keeps punching me,’ she said tearfully.
The suspects have been named by authorities as Takia Berry, her uncle Joseph Berry and another, Jarmar Lawton. Police say both Berrys are on the run.
‘They say if you see someone stealing something outside the door, don’t chase, don’t go out,’ Hansbrough told the Effingham Herald.
‘I was tired of seeing stuff out the door. I basically lost all training. Whatever they tell you to do, I just … I lost,’ she explained.
“I didn’t expect to be fired, maybe reprimanded or suspended,” Hansbrough said. ‘I’m going to look for a new job. I can’t stay at home. I am not that kind of person.’
If the shoplifters are brought to justice, Hansbrough says he will help the authorities with whatever they need: ‘If they need me, I’ll be there.’
Detective Vance of the Rincon Police Department said the employee experienced ‘two traumatic events at the same time, a violent attack and the loss of his job, his happiness, his peace, all at the same time.’
Joseph Berry (pictured) along with his niece have been named as suspects by Rincon police
Rincon police believe Takia Berry (left) and Jarmar Lawton (right) were also involved in the incident.
Lowes did not immediately respond to Newstimesuk.com’s request for comment.
It’s the latest in a string of lawsuits across the United States in which employees have lost their jobs for intervening in shoplifting incidents.
In June, an employee at a King Supers grocery store in Colorado was fired for filming shoplifters stealing $500 worth of laundry detergent and unloading it into their cars.
Santino Burrola sprang into action when a group of thieves targeted the store in Arapahoe County, Colorado on June 18, filming a now-viral video of the crime.
He chased the group out of the store and filmed them unloading countless cartons into their cars, even peeling off license plate covers to help track them.
But his actions allegedly violated the store’s policy on dealing with shoplifters, and Burola was fired on the spot after a meeting with his union representative.
The shopkeepers’ video of the retail worker quickly gained traction after it was posted on social media and was even shared by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office as they continue to investigate the crime.
Burola said that when he saw the thieves carrying mounds of laundry detergent, his ‘first instinct was to record.’
Santino Burolla slams King Supers for firing him for video of shoplifting, says: ‘All I did was record criminals and expose them’
While following the men out of the store, Burola was heard mocking the thieves and questioning their daring robbery.
‘Really brother? You have to resort to it?’ He said in the video. ‘The economy isn’t that bad.’
The thugs then tried to get away from Burola as he continued to record nearby, forcing him to tear off a tin foil cover to reveal their license plate.
But while the store took offense to his valiant effort, Burola said parent-company Kroger felt he violated its policy against interfering with theft.
Lululemon has also been criticized for firing employees who confronted masked thieves at their Peachtree Corners store in Atlanta.
Two Lululemon employees were fired for ‘violating employee policy’ after brazen thieves stole an armful of expensive yoga gear and they tried to stop them.
Shocking footage shows the masked robbers running to their exit car before taking merchandise from store front displays.
Jennifer Ferguson and Rachel Rogers, who were working at the front, claim they were fired for ‘violating the employee handbook policy’ of trying to stop and not interfering with the robbery.
Shocking footage shows masked robbers taking merchandise from the front display of a Lululemon store in Atlanta, before making their way to an exit car.
Jennifer Ferguson (pictured) and Rachel Rogers were let go at Lululemon for trying to stop the thief and ‘violating the employee handbook policy’ of not interfering with the robbery.
Stores across the United States are experiencing a sharp rise in crime, and some major retailers have been forced to close stores due to millions of dollars in losses due to rampant shoplifting.
In 2021, shoplifting will cost retailers $100 billion.
Stores in San Francisco, New York and many other metropolitan areas have been hit by shoplifting.
This left retailers with many items behind lock and key to try and stop unscrupulous thieves from looting merchandise and walking out of stores.
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