Home Depot fires employee for apprehending thief

Yes, you read that correctly. Home Depot fired (former) employee Dustin Chester, who worked at a store in Murfreesboro, TN, after he apprehended a thief.

Last week, Dustin saw a man with a crowbar by a soda machine in front of the Home Depot store. He says the thief started running, and Dustin took off after him. He caught him and restrained him until the police came.

Unfortunately, Dustin was a department manager, and Home Depot’s policy prohibits managers and most employees from going after thieves. He was informed afterward by the district manager that he was supposed to let thieves go. Only loss prevention employees are allowed to go after thieves for safety reasons, says the company.

Since Dustin didn’t follow the company’s policy, he was fired. He says that he was just looking out for the other employees. He was worried about what the man might do with the crowbar and he didn’t want the customers or other employees to be in danger.

2 thoughts on “Home Depot fires employee for apprehending thief”

  1. Employee safety is part of the rationale behind “do not apprehend” policies, but not the whole story.

    Equally important from a company’s point of view is the legal liability that arises from an apprehension that does not follow proper legal process. A wrongful arrest is a legal hassle for the company, and it escalates into a major issue if a judge deems “excessive force” to have been used.

  2. And this is what we are reduced to; citizens who want to do the right thing but are completely bound, gagged, chained with fear that action will cause THEM EVERYTHING because of LEGAL ISSUES. What say we now, the word of law leads to inaction? What are we becoming?

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