[the most "interesting" part of this particular drama is that the dude
stashed away almost ___$350.00___ worth of vittles in a shopping bag...but
it IS Whole Paycheck, after all...]
Grocery worker fired for stopping shoplifter
by Dave Gershman | The Ann Arbor News
Thursday December 27, 2007, 8:15 AM
BY DAVE GERSHMAN
The Ann Arbor News
"John Schultz says he lost his job at Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor after
he tried to stop a shoplifter from making a getaway. But the company says he
went too far and violated a policy that prohibits employees from physically
touching a customer - even if that person is carrying a bag of stolen goods.
Schultz says he had just punched out for a break at 7 p.m. on Sunday when he
heard a commotion at the front door of the store, 3135 Washtenaw Ave. He
said he came to the aid of the manager who yelled for help in stopping a
shoplifter. Schultz, the manager and another employee cornered the
shoplifter between two cars in the parking lot.
Schultz said he told the shoplifter he was making a citizens arrest and to
wait for the police to arrive, but the shoplifter broke away from the group
and ran across Washtenaw Avenue and toward a gas station at the corner of
Before the man could cross Huron Parkway, Schultz caught up and grabbed the
man's jacket and put his leg behind the man's legs. When the manager arrived
at the intersection, Schultz said, the manager told him to release the
shoplifter, and he complied, and the shoplifter got away.
Schultz said he was called to the store's office the next day, on Christmas
Eve, and was fired because he violated a company policy prohibiting
employees from having any physical contact with a customer.
Kate Klotz, a company spokesperson, said the policy is clear and listed in a
booklet that all employees have to acknowledge that they received before
they can start work.
"The fact that he touched him, period, is means for termination," said
Schultz said he acted as a private citizen on property that isn't owned by
Whole Foods, but Klotz said where the incident happened doesn't change the
"He is still considered an employee of Whole Foods Market regardless of
where he was and what was happening," she said.
The police report of the incident doesn't mention Schultz's
involvement. It says police responded to the call of retail fraud at7:09
p.m. and could not locate the shoplifter.
The thief was described as a thin white male, 5-foot-10, in his mid-20s,
wearing a black jacket, tan pants and carrying a backpack.
The report says store employees were suspicious when the man walked into the
store and they watched as he filled up a basket and then took it into a
bathroom. When he came out, his basket was empty, but his backpack looked
full. Then he filled up a canvas store tote bag with
groceries, and walked out the door.
The manager and the other employee told police they caught up to the
shoplifter at the corner of Washtenaw and Huron Parkway. It says one of them
grabbed the tote bag away from the shoplifter, and the suspect walked away.
The bag contained $346 worth of food and other products.
Schultz, 35, of Ypsilanti Township, had worked at the store for five years,
most recently as a fishmonger. He wants his job back.
"The fact that I worked at the store at (the time of the robbery) is
coincidental," he said. "If I had went over to the book store on my break
and they were being ripped off, I would have helped them."