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Walmart Employee Foils Shoplifter And Loses Job

Posted by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:05 AM
  • 103 Replies

Wal-Mart employee foils a shoplifter — and loses her job

WICHITA — Heather Ravenstein tried to save Wal-Mart some money Friday by foiling a shoplifter’s plan to steal a $600 computer, but it cost her her job.

“I’m a single mom, and I don’t know what I’m going to do,” says Ravenstein, who is 30.

She’s worked at the West Kellogg Wal-Mart for almost two years, most recently as a customer service manager.

Friday night around 10:20, she was standing near some registers when she saw a man with a computer coming up the main walkway of the store.

“Action Alley is what they call it,” she says.

“He was walking rather fast, so it caught my eye.”

Ravenstein says the man kept walking and set off an alarm. She went after him.

“Let me see your receipt, and then I’ll take this off for you,” she told the man, referring to a sensor on the computer.

Ravenstein says the man refused and kicked her.

“And then he punched me in my shoulder, and then he finally gave up and just let go of the computer.”

Ravenstein walked back into the store and sat on the floor.

“I was shaking pretty bad,” she says.

Assistant store managers immediately checked on her.

“They all came out and made sure I was OK,” Ravenstein says. “They thanked me.”

The next day, about two hours before her shift was over, Ravenstein says an assistant manager asked to speak with her. He then told her it’s against Wal-Mart policy for anyone but a manager or someone in asset protection to try to stop a customer from stealing.

“He said there’s really no gray area,” Ravenstein says. “It just goes straight to termination.”

She was told to turn in her badges and keys.

“I was in shock at first,” Ravenstein says. “I didn’t think anything like this would happen.”

Nor did she know about the policy, Ravenstein says.

“I’ve never heard of it.”

She says she’s stopped people for forging payroll checks on more than one occasion.

“They never once said, ‘You’re not supposed to be doing that.’ ”

When asked about the situation, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Anna Taylor e-mailed this response:

“While we appreciate her intentions, Ms. Ravenstein’s actions put her safety — and perhaps the safety of our customers — in jeopardy and, in the process, violated company policy as it pertains to how we treat people in our stores. As an unfortunate result of these circumstances, Ms. Ravenstein is no longer employed by our company.”

Ravenstein filed for unemployment Monday.

“The main thing is I’m worried about my son,” Ravenstein says of 4-year-old TJ.

She says she’d like to go to school to work in the medical field, perhaps as a nurse.

She wants “a career, not just a job.”

For now, though, Ravenstein says she simply needs to make money, and it’s not likely to be in retail.

“After this experience, no. Probably not.”



Thoughts??
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
krayzbabylove
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:07 AM

I would be getting an attorney.

nessy1980
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

 Walmart is crappy and this doesnt surprise me. When I was working as a cashier if you were 5 dollars over or 5 dollars under you would be trouble.

mobilemom0608
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

wow, that's ridiculous! What a bunch of Assholes!

MOMby19
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

it's the same way at Lowe's. only the Loss Prevention Manager can stop a suspected shop lifter. it's automatic termination there, too.

alishabear0808
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

 Just my opinion, but that is f*cking bull sh*t

sharisse
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:08 AM

It is kind of in the policy.. that walmart employees sign.. they are allowed to ask to see a receipt, but arent allowed to "go after" someone

butterflymomss
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:09 AM
That is complete bs! I knew walmart was ran by assholes but this is just sad. My heart goes to her and her son!
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Alison_C
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:10 AM

I'm not in the least surprised.

BlessedFamily8
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:10 AM

I wonder if stories like this give shoplifters any ideas?

Kaelansmom
by on May. 26, 2010 at 2:11 AM

 Wal Mart sucks anyway... I was a CSM for them, and we had a door greeter get knocked over by a shoplifter...he rammed the buggy into her hip... all she asked for was his receipt... and I had to be the one to give her a warning for stopping him.. I hated my job so much that day, even complained to the store manager about it....

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