Veteran, 70, fired from Houston Home Depot after trying to stop shoplifters

HOUSTON, TX (WCMH) — A 70-year-old veteran is out of a job after following his instincts and trying to do the right thing.

Jim Tinney was fired from his job after he tried to stop shoplifters from taking off with thousands of dollars’ worth of tool kits. It turns out, that was against company policy.

Tinney happened to see the three men carrying the tools towards the checkout line, but they seemed nervous.

“One of them hollered, ‘Let’s go,’ and they all grabbed their kits and started heading out,” Tinney told KTRK.

To stop them, Tinney followed his instincts tossed the paint roller extension he was holding.

“I just automatically went like this and threw the stick at their feet,” he said.

Unfortunately, the men still got away, and Tinney was fired a couple weeks later.

Tinney said that the store training says not to confront shoplifters, but that his reaction was just a reflex.

“In the army, they train you to do things like that,” he said. “I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong.”

A spokesperson for Home Depot issued the following statement about Tinney’s firing:

“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.”

The veteran who has been around the world serving his country said he’s having trouble finding another job.

“I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job,” he said. “I enjoyed working with customers, helping figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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