68-yr-old Lowe’s Employee Fired for Trying to Stop Shoplifters, Outraged Customers Force Company to Retreat


by Joseph MacKinnon

A 68-year-old Lowe’s employee fired for bravely trying to stop shoplifters from absconding with over $2,000 of stolen merchandise has been given her job back at the Rincon, Georgia, store where she has worked for 13 years.

This corporate about-face appears to have been the result of backlash online over the store’s decision to kick a battered victim to the curb over a supposed company policy violation – and also massive support from her own co-workers for her years of dedication.

Three suspects entered the home improvement store on June 25, loaded at least one shopping cart with loot, then took off without paying.

Police indicated the alleged shoplifting trio comprised Takyah Berry, Joseph Berry (Takyah’s uncle), and Jarmar Lawton.

According to the Rincon Police Department, Hansbrough attempted to stop one of the suspects by grabbing hold of the shopping cart.

The 68-year-old later told the Effingham Herald, “I just got tired of seeing things get out the door. I just … I lost it.”

Outside the store, Hansbrough reportedly asked to see a receipt. When the suspects failed to produce one, she grabbed the cart.

Police stressed that Hansbrough “did not at any time make contact with any person.”

Takyah Berry, one of the suspects, was allegedly the shoplifter helming the cart full of stolen goods.

Berry allegedly hit Hansbrough three times in the face, giving the victim a swollen black eye, said police.

Surveillance video of the incident appears to show Hansbrough take the beating but maintaining control of the cart, which she subsequently wheeled back into the store, despite her injuries.

A black-eyed Hansbrough was later informed she had been let go.

“I didn’t expect to get terminated,” said Hansbrough. “Maybe a reprimand or a suspension.”

Hansbrough told WJCL-TV, “It’s the first time I’ve ever been hit, first time I’ve ever had a black eye, first time I’ve ever been fired in my life. I’ve had lots of jobs, but never fired.”


Following her painful exit, Hansbrough indicated she would have to go job hunting because idling at home was not an option.

The Effingham Herald reported that Lowe’s issued a statement Monday, noting, “After senior management became aware of the incident and spoke to Donna Hansbrough today, we are reinstating her job and we are pleased that she has accepted the offer to return to Lowe’s.”

Larry Costello, senior manager of corporate communications at Lowe’s, added, “First and foremost, there’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers and associates. Products can be replaced; people cannot. We continue to work closely with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for this theft and violent attack.”

Police indicated that Joseph Berry was apprehended in Jacksonville, Florida, on July 22, and is now in custody. Lawton had been previously captured. Takyah Berry, meanwhile, remains at large. She is suspected of having committed a similar theft at a Walmart in Chatham County.


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