The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 June 2007

Hardware wants to be free, or something

If you're planning to swipe stuff from the Home Depot, you might consider visiting the Midwest City store, which recently fired four staffers for catching thieves:

A former Home Depot employee said the company fired he [sic] and three other workers because they helped police catch several suspected shoplifters in May. Midwest City police said the men helped officers catch suspected shoplifters as they tried to run from a store with lawn equipment.

An internal memo from Home Depot outlines that associates cannot accuse, detain, chase or call the police on any customer for shoplifting. However, one of the fired employees said the company is selective in enforcing that policy.

One has to assume that this is due to fear of litigation: the company presumably doesn't want to be sued by someone falsely accused. (Or, for that matter, by someone who isn't falsely accused but figures he can impress twelve people who couldn't figure out how to get out of jury duty.) The price of that fear: thieves having free