Yesterday, our sister paper in Denver reported an incident in which two Sprint outlet store employees were fired for chasing down a shoplifter from the Apple store in Denver's Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
Mike McGee and Paul Shoemaker were on their break on April 16 when they heard a security guard yell, "Somebody stop that guy!"
The Sprint employees saw a kid running with something wrapped in a black fleece, "like a football." They chased the guy into Macy's department store and out through doors leading to a parking garage. There, Shoemaker tackled the kid and McGee held him down until Denver police and mall security guards could take over. The alleged shoplifter had about $500 worth of stolen Apple merchandise, Westword's Michael Roberts reports.
Word soon got around about the pair's actions, and they were treated like
minor celebrities by fellow mall workers. For instance, Shoemaker says, "The
lady at the Apple Store was so thankful. And she told me, 'We've been sending
you business over the last week,' because a drive that Sprint supports works
really well with their iPad. They were telling people to come over and get it
But the pair's corporate employers frowned upon their vigilante heroism.
Last Thursday, McGee and Shoemaker say they received e-mails from Sprint asking them to describe the incident. They were told that Sprint has a policy against confronting potential thieves. In separate meetings the following day, each was fired.
Now jobless, McGee and Shoemaker are considering their legal options and have started a Facebook page highlighting their plight. The Facebook page has 1,096 "friends" at last count.
Sprint declined to comment on the story. Word to Sprint outlet store employees everywhere: When you see a crime in action -- especially if it's a crime against Sprint's competition -- whistle and look the other way.