A Target store security officer has reportedly been fired for turning over a shoplifter to police.
Dallas Northington, 29, was an assets-protection specialist at Target for nearly eight years.
This past May, at the Leesburg, Virginia, Target store, he encountered what was a typical occurrence for his position in loss prevention: a shoplifting caught on camera.
Northington claims he did what he always had in the past: He contacted the Leesburg police, made a report, and provided videos of the two incidents where the suspect was found shoplifting, notes The Washington Post.
One small detail was unknown to Northington, and that small detail would be the cause of what happened next.
The shoplifter may have been a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy.
Northington was allegedly fired from his position shortly after his report.
The alleged shoplifting deputy reportedly retired from the sheriff’s office around the same time.
According to Northington, Target officials told him he was fired for violating procedure. The company claims he did not fill out the proper paperwork before contacting the police. Target also reportedly cited him with insubordination, claiming he did not seek the proper approvals.
Northington claims he followed the same procedure as had always been done by his office and that standard practice was for him to “act as needed” in these matters.
“In my eight years, I’ve never had to call anyone to give out the video or to call police,” Northington said. “I have never seen any policy about contacting law enforcement.”
At this time, no arrest has been made against the alleged shoplifting deputy, even though Northington provided the man’s name and two color videos showing him shoplifting with his face clearly visible.
Northington says the man was recognized on video by a Leesburg police sergeant investigating the case, and store supervisor’s knew the man by name.
The investigation by the Leesburg police is ongoing, and a spokesman said they are still trying to confirm the suspect’s identity.
Legal action is being considered by Northington.
“I’m confused and don’t understand why,” Northington said. “I’ve been there for eight years, no issues. I’m just trying to provide for my family, and I just really want to get back to work.”
Target corporate spokeswoman, Molly Snyder, declined to comment on the shoplifting incident due to privacy reasons.
Snyder did make the following comment in regards to Northington’s case: “We have conducted a full investigation and don’t believe there is any merit to this individual’s claims.”
Declan Leonard, Northington’s attorney, said his client “intends to fight Target on this for as long as it takes.”
Photo Credit: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post