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Lowe’s Fires Employee, 68, Who was Assaulted as She Tried to Stop Shoplifters

Lowe’s Fires Employee, 68, Who was Assaulted as She Tried to Stop Shoplifters

Lowe’s said grabbing the cart violated the company’s policy. That’s why the store fired her.

Donna Hansbrough, 68, worked for Lowe’s in Rincon, GA, for 13 years.

Lowe’s fired Hansbrough because she tried to stop three from stealing over $2,000 worth of merchandise. One of them punched her in the face three times:

On June 25, Takyah Berry, Joseph Berry, and Jarmar Lawton allegedly went inside Lowes and loaded multiple items into shopping carts. Police say they would then exit the store without paying for the merchandise. The victim, Donna Hansbrough tried to stop one of the shoplifters by grabbing the shopping cart belonging to the female suspect, Takyah.

Police say that Hansbrough never made physical contact with any of the thieves, only grabbing the cart. According to the sheriff’s office, one of the individuals, Joseph Berry, then struck Hanbrough in the face three times before leaving the store. Both Joseph Berry and Takyah Berry, who are uncle and niece, are still at large.

Lowe’s said grabbing the cart violated the company’s policy. That’s why the store fired her.

Hansbrough never touched the suspects. Only the cart.


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henrybowman | July 21, 2023 at 5:11 pm

I was in Harbor Freight making a purchase last month. While waiting for the large item to be delivered to the register, the cashier pointed out to me a pair of shoplifters who had entered the store, put merch in a cart, then just wheeled it out to their car. (They appeared white, for those who like to read into things.) She complained that they had been there before, and that nothing would ever be done to apprehend the thieves.

A couple weeks later, I was in HF again and noted a new addition: a one-way turnstile installed in front of the IN door, and the OUT door accessible only through the registers. But they’ll just get more brazen about bulling their way through the register area.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to henrybowman. | July 21, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    In Harbor Freight in VA, they have had armed guards for a long time.

    countryboy1947 in reply to henrybowman. | July 22, 2023 at 1:08 pm

    Let the low lifes steal every single thing in Lowes. Then let them burn the building to the ground. Woke corporate apparatuses deserver everything that comes to them as they are too darned stupid to stand and fight for their own well being. Let them go out of business….I was getting along well long before they ever came to my town. They ought to be ashamed…..but don’t know what shame is.

What is the add-on cost to a law-abiding customer @ Lowes to maintain this policy?

    henrybowman in reply to GLB. | July 21, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    That’s a two-edged question. If the company had encouraged, or even allowed, their employees to do what this woman did, it would be on the hook for her medical bills due to her getting punched out — or potentially worse. To them, it’s all a question of risk and liability, spearheaded by soulless actuaries who don’t even work for the company.

      gonzotx in reply to henrybowman. | July 21, 2023 at 6:44 pm

      Sometimes you got to do what’s right, including the company

      I’m done with Lowe’s

      CommoChief in reply to henrybowman. | July 21, 2023 at 8:14 pm

      Risking a beat down and the physical damage that comes with it at 68 for a minimum wage or even slightly above minimum wage job seems like the opposite of prudent.

      The store would get sued into oblivion if they authorized their employees to do it. There would a cottage industry of hustlers getting a job then the rest of the ring comes in for a staged theft/fight and bogus medical bills. Like slip and fall hustlers and those a holes who intentionally create a vehicle accident.

      Lowes probably has no choice but fire her but they should pay any medical, give her a two week severance and tell her to reapply for her old job ‘wink wink’ in week.

        gonzotx in reply to CommoChief. | July 21, 2023 at 10:28 pm

        OMG, and your unfortunately not kidding

          CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | July 21, 2023 at 10:48 pm

          You don’t want the end result to be:
          Lowes pays her medical.
          Lowes gives her a two week ‘severance’
          She gets rehired in one week at her same job/salary level.
          She pockets a week’s pay as a bonus
          She gets one week off with pay

          Which of those do you disagree with?

        Mauiobserver in reply to CommoChief. | July 22, 2023 at 2:17 am

        I agree that it was a poor risk but assuming that she was not a problem employee with a history of such confrontations firing seems harsh. If I were the Lowes CEO I would step in and bring her back with perhaps a paid suspension and some training/counseling.

          CommoChief in reply to Mauiobserver. | July 22, 2023 at 7:45 am

          Which is the end result of what I proposed, more/less.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Mauiobserver. | July 22, 2023 at 9:18 am

          Unfortunately, policies that prescribe Zero Tolerance Termination for interfering with shoplifters are fairly common in retail, especially large retailers, these days. I remember a video of a Home Depot employee following someone out and grabbing one of those nice cordless tool sets from the back of a shoplifters truck and never interacted with the shoplifter and Home Depot fired that employee.

          Just more proof that “Zero Tolerance” is the same as Zero Intelligence.

      LeftWingLock in reply to henrybowman. | July 22, 2023 at 7:10 am

      Yours is a logical answer. But none of us have any idea whether it is true or whether it is false

      countryboy1947 in reply to henrybowman. | July 22, 2023 at 3:31 pm

      My wife works for a nationwide corporate auto parts operation. That outfit, like Loews and many others treat their employees like chattel. They hate them as they are forced to pay them pauper’s wages to work for them. If corporate decided to close a store those employees would be out on the street in 30 minutes. They see those employees as a liability and the least important cog in the retail chain. They are expendable at the drop of hat. Each delivery car has a camera focused on the driver at all times. I could not work for them for any price. I would give that camera the middle digit wave every once in a while so you see I would not last long there. This kind of operation has created globalism where American citizens, both employees and customers, get to always ride at the back of the bus. I hope I live to see globalism blow up worse than Mt St Helens did.

        Mauiobserver in reply to countryboy1947. | July 22, 2023 at 6:03 pm

        Yep. I have a friend that worked for Home Depot on the mainland. He told me that basically the local and regional mgmt are pretty competent and have common .

        However, in his experience the corporate types like HR and risk management are typical woke tyrants.

        I would bet that the zero tolerance policy only applies to certain employees and excludes those of the correct political and intersectionality membership.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to GLB. | July 21, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    The big cost is that such policies attract thugs and thieves to the store, which makes it a threatening environment to decent, civilized people.

      A threatening environment becomes a problem to “decent civilized people”. My wife did a weekly shopping at the largest supermarket around today. As she was leaving, she heard sirens and saw 3 police cars at a side door. Who knows what it was. But, if the thugs are not put in jail, eventually it will be in everyone’s face everywhere.

        gonzotx in reply to jb4. | July 21, 2023 at 10:29 pm

        Sam’s by me,
        Just had a jewelry crash amd run

        They got away

        Of course

        CommoChief in reply to jb4. | July 21, 2023 at 10:58 pm

        Not everywhere. Just within those jurisdictions where the voters have allowed insane policies to be enacted that don’t put criminals in prison and keep them there.

    paracelsus in reply to GLB. | July 21, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    the average shopper just doesn’t have the sense to understand that this cost is just passed on to them by the company – a very well-hidden tax, as it were.
    at one time they used to hang horse thieves, didn’t they?

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | July 21, 2023 at 5:52 pm

They could have reprimanded her. They didn’t have to fire her.

I guess that employees are only allowed to play grab ass with each other in the break room.

The company is on the hook for the employee’s medical bills or a settlement payout if she is injured or killed while at work, regardless of the details of why such injury or death occurred… however their liability is through their Workers Compensation Insurance program and will not directly impact the company or its profits.

However, it’s bad policy to be seen encouraging or even condoning employees to die over the few hundreds of dollars an individual thief might steal.

    gospace in reply to Hodge. | July 21, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Agree. It would be much better policy to allow the employees to be armed and let the shoplifters die if they refuse to halt and wait for the police. All criminals should consider sudden death as a job risk,

It’s bad policy to fire elderly employees that are doing their job

    JRaeL in reply to gonzotx. | July 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    But it’s not her job. It is even worse policy to put the safety of employees and legit shoppers over merchandise. Lowes and other stores have decided the inventory loss is not worth expanding anti-theft measures such as armed guards or more restrictive entry or facial recordings. At some point more stores will require a membership to shop there.

      gonzotx in reply to JRaeL. | July 21, 2023 at 10:33 pm

      It’s all our Jobs

      As a nurse, my main job was to take care of the sick, but as society got more out of control, and visitors, patients felt they could beat us up if we didn’t get that narcotic fast enough or their food sucked…

      Was I to not help another nurse, Dr, wait for security for, hmm
      Maybe 10-20 minutes Or NEVER!


        JRaeL in reply to gonzotx. | July 21, 2023 at 11:36 pm

        First of all, thanks for being a nurse. That takes true dedication and empathy. But it should not be a clerk’s job to risk serious injury or even death for a piece of merchandise that is being made everyday and easily replaced. Even store security guards likely have a limit to how they are permitted to engage with thieves. The store employee has more worth than the most expensive piece of equipment.

        This is not at all like coming to the aid of another employee or patient or bystander who is being physically assaulted by a lunatic (for want of better word).

        One reason I am against store employees taking the risk of dealing with shoplifter and the like is because in this day and age the chances are they could be dealing with a unhinged drug addict like you faced in the hospital.

        In a hospital that probably had better security than a big box store and staff trained to deal with mental health crisis.

        People matter more than stock.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to gonzotx. | July 22, 2023 at 9:33 am

        Nurses and other Healthcare Personnel being beat up in while on duty became such a problem in my state that the law was changed from a misdemeanor assault charge to a Felony Assault charge, so basically now hitting a Healthcare worker while they are “On the Job” is the same as assaulting a on duty police officer.

        Of course when that happened the leftist morons in charge of medicine these days fought against the change in the law and then made it clear once it passes that anyone actually filing charges is discouraged. It has gotten better over the years with ER’s having security. The hospital I work for has its own Police Department and they always have officers stationed in the ER just in case.

You can be sure the policy is set by underwriters who do not view the merchandise they insure worth not only the employee’s life but a lawsuit by parties involved or (if the worst happens) surviving relatives. This policy is likely fully explained to new hires. She acted in good faith but not wisely.

Bottom line, The goal at the end of the shift is, Go home to your family. Let the security of police go after the thieves.

    paracelsus in reply to JRaeL. | July 21, 2023 at 7:16 pm

    and this is the exact same mindset that permits the politicians in Washington, DC to take whatever they want whenever they want: they know they’ll rarely, if ever, be held responsible.
    John/Jane Doe will just vote for the same criminal and go home to his/her family.

    Gamereg in reply to JRaeL. | July 22, 2023 at 12:54 am

    And how’s leaving it up to the police been working out? What if stores had new employees sign a waiver saying they are not REQUIRED to stop shoplifters, but if they do, they agree not to hold the company liable?

    I understand the rationale of “people are more important than things”, but given how shoplifting damages the economy in the long-term, and the difficulty large-city law enforcement seems to have in actually stopping them, then I think some prudent use of the “citizen’s arrest” is in order.

      JRaeL in reply to Gamereg. | July 22, 2023 at 2:49 am

      “What if stores had new employees sign a waiver saying they are not REQUIRED to stop shoplifters, but if they do, they agree not to hold the company liable?”
      What about the employee being personally liable should a bystander or even the shoplifter gets injured? I get it makes no sense that the shoplifter would have grounds for personal injury claims but you can bet some lawyer would take the case.

      I’ve stated before that if corporate honchos decided loss of merchandise (and I’ll add loss of customers) was detrimental enough to their bottom line they would take measures to prevent loss that did not involve forcing store employees to confront thieves.

      Police do what they can. I know they can’t be Johnny on the Spot. Which is why I have no problem with armed security.

        Gamereg in reply to JRaeL. | July 22, 2023 at 3:49 pm

        I agree that employees shouldn’t be forced to stop shoplifters, I just think that if they choose, of their accord, to assume the legal and personal risks involved the store shouldn’t stop them. As the legal system stands now I agree that the risks for playing hero are great (And wouldn’t armed security have the same legal risks?), but as a proponent of castle doctrine and stand your ground, I would like to see tort reform minimize those risks.

E Howard Hunt | July 21, 2023 at 6:53 pm

I hear those thieves had earlier been at Home de Pot.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair | July 21, 2023 at 6:53 pm

This is ridiculous. I shop a lot at Lowes … no more. I can’t stand companies that do stuff like this. When Lowes gives license to thieves to come take what they want they not only put their employees at risk but they put the customers at risk, too. THey are making Lowes attractions for scumbags who are dangers to society.

Companies that have policies like these don’t deserve to exist. I will take all of my business elsewhere and hope that the rest of Lowes’ paying customers do the same. Lowes should have no one coming to their stores but their allies, the thieves and thugs.

    Exactly. The stores have to continue to raise prices to pay for the theft so the result is to reward thieves and punish honest customers.

    I have a choice of grocery stores to shop at on Maui and the one right across from the beach park I surf at is super convenient.

    For a while the homeless drug users plagued the place stealing at will. I avoided the place except for a few quick purchases.

    About a year ago they put a security guy at the front door. They are young local guys of larger than average size. They greet you when you come in making for a nice customer service touch. More importantly the druggees:/thieves have gone somewhere else.

    If you tolerate theft then you are bound to get more. Sooner or later those Corporate guys that tolerate this are going find their customers or employees victims of worse crimes like car jacking, armed robbery,, assault, rape or murder.

    At that point they will likely face massive lawsuits for their failure to address safety and security at their stores.

    The number crunchers seem to have convinced management this is the optimal policy. Perhaps that is true in the very short term (though I’m skeptical).

    In the long term it incentivizes theft and encourages a cultural shift that does not respect property rights.

    I am confident that this policy of not defending your property, and penalizing people who do, will be disastrous for the culture over the long term. Norms about respecting private property rights will shift. Some people on the margin who otherwise are inclined to follow the rules will see that lawbreakers are not held accountable. Some will decide they are suckers for following the rules. Behaviors of some will change.

    I lived in NYC during the Rudy era. Being proactive on even minor property crime works. Harsh sentences for violators works. Keeping hard core thugs in cages improves the quality of life for rule followers. It makes the city safer and more pleasant to live in. Yet even as Rudy was getting phenomenal results, as always Left wing trash were doing all they could to turn public opinion against him.

      JRaeL in reply to Groty. | July 22, 2023 at 10:53 am

      “I am confident that this policy of not defending your property, and penalizing people who do, will be disastrous for the culture over the long term”
      I am all in favor of people defending their personal property. But this is about a corporation’s decision to not defend impersonal merchandise and the limits put on their employees should they do the same. In my opinion blanket firing for any interactions is unnecessary though I understand the reasoning behind it.

      Stores have had such policies for a long time even before thieves got so blatant. The main reason for that is not just store policy but the legal toleration of such crimes in mostly Democratic run cities.

      I honestly believe that many of the people in charge there have an outright contempt for the whole concept of ownership. Since the ability to buy goods exposes that modern dread, inequity somehow a remedy must be found. That remedy is to view shoplifting or grab and go theft as an anti-poverty measure getting needed goods to a marginal population. That’s BS of course and private property rights are an essential bulwark against tyranny.

      Big Box stores who decide to open or maintain a presence in such cities have decided to do a deal with the devil. More of them are rejecting that deal. Will the cities wise up and grasp it is a major quality of life issue? I doubt it. Instead they will come up with ways to penalize stores who decide to exit.

      Meanwhile stores could take a look at how they controlled the shopping population during COVID hysteria and see how some of those measures (NOT MASKS) could work to increase security.

Where does it stop? When does it stop? Sheeple in big cities just laugh and say these corporations have insurance for theft so just sit and watch. So when does it stop? Smaller businesses and Mom and Pop stores in bigger cities are having to close because of this absolute Horseshit. Corporate businesses in bigger cities are having to close because of this absolute Horseshit. Insurance companies are not in business out of the goodness of their hearts. Where is the line?

I am looking right at the lawyers who have allowed this to happen.

Where do “We The People” draw the line?

Takyah Berry, Joseph Berry, and Jarmar Lawton. – more Catholics, Mormons and Episcopalians trying to save themselves from starvation.

    alaskabob in reply to Vladtheimp. | July 21, 2023 at 9:40 pm

    I guess someone doesn’t like the reality of ghetto trash… whatever their shade. Even in the Old South, everyone knew that the bottom of the ladder was po white trash.

    There is the reality that getting beat up or killed by the trash will never be addressed. How about the … um… gentleman in NYC that pushed a woman onto the subway tracks. He walked even though she died. It’s not worth it unless you are guaranteed 100% street justice… not likely.

Subotai Bahadur | July 21, 2023 at 8:33 pm

This is the formerly United States, post-rule of law and the Constitution. There is no Social Contract in our culture anymore. The goal of both government and corporate worlds is to condition the mass of people to respond to oppression and theft with submission.

Subotai Bahadur

    Fishman in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | July 22, 2023 at 7:09 am

    Again Subotal nailed it. Our debate amongst each other here arises from the total loss of our social contract. The Dems have eroded it to this point. Certainly an effective law enforcement and actual prosecution of criminals would make our arguments against each others point moot. Now we are left with how much an individual should react to a crime, especially as an employee, when we know the cops and the legal system have been neutralized.

      Fishman in reply to Fishman. | July 22, 2023 at 7:28 am

      This is actually the controversy with the new Jason Aldean song. Try that in a small town. There is still a Social Contract in small towns, and it drive the left furious.

Mauiobserver | July 21, 2023 at 8:36 pm

Question for the attorneys on the site.

What if Red States passed a Good Samaritan law to shield stores, their employees and customers from lawsuits or prosecution (blue city/county DA) if they injured or killed a criminal in a GOOD FAITH attempt to stop a large theft or serious crime in progress?

Would that be feasible?

danvillemom | July 21, 2023 at 9:36 pm

A relative was put on administrative leave for questioning a shoplifter at his checkout line at the grocery store. He decided to change jobs since the store puts up with that crap.

UnCivilServant | July 21, 2023 at 10:28 pm

I’m running out of hardware stores.

Home Depot ok?

That was my plan

I spent 15,000 at Lowe’s this year got their MVP program
Carpet, refrigerator, yard equipment, plants

My daughters kitchen remodel with new refrigerator, wall oven

I wrote Lowe’s a sternly written letter, like the ones I get from all my representatives, but I do plan on keeping my word

I’m done with Lowe’s

    CommoChief in reply to gonzotx. | July 21, 2023 at 11:19 pm

    As I understand it Home depot doesn’t allow employees to make apprehensions. They had several employees severely injured, some shot, in confrontations shoplifters. One employee, age 83, tried to stop shoplifters exiting and was shoved to the floor striking his head and died from his injuries. I believe this was earlier this year.

    They use video surveillance and in store ‘loss prevention’ folks to monitor and then call the cops. They also have facial recognition tech in some locations to scan for ‘known’ shoplifters as they enter. When I lived in El Paso the home depot I used had off duty cops in uniform as paid security outside the doors.

For the lawyers in the group, does “then struck Hanbrough in the face three times” constitute a reason for for a citizen to administer high speed lead therapy at the assailant?

    JRaeL in reply to Fishman. | July 22, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Not a lawyer but I think the general rules regarding self defense or the defense of another with deadly force would apply, IMHO it certainly would have been her right and if Lowes had fired her for doing so I would be condemning them for doing so.

texansamurai | July 22, 2023 at 1:28 pm

the saudis do some things right–they deal with thieves summarily and properly–these retailers are endangering their customers by allowing theft / shoplifting with impunity, perpetrated by common thugs–that this woman tried to intervene speaks to her moral character and her outrage–she recognizes criminal behaviour–that other customers stood by and watched some thug pummel an older woman speaks to their cowardice

LibraryGryffon | July 22, 2023 at 5:44 pm

It seems that Lowe’s is perfectly happy for these thieves to harm their employees, just not physically while they are on the clock since Lowe’s doesn’t want to have to pay out anything. That the employees will be harmed when the branch has to close due to it losing money hand over fist doesn’t occur to them. Or if it does, they don’t care because they still won’t have to pay out any money.

So lets see…..a few of the home boys get together to go to Lowes to help themselves to whatever they want….the left reminds them daily that they are perpetual victims, so they are entitled to free chit if they want it. Old lady cracker gets in their way and they give her a beat down. Gee, there’s something you don’t see everyday. Oh wait…..