Jim Tinney’s years in the Army taught him the importance of speaking up when necessary. The 70-year-old did just that when he noticed three shoplifters trying to make off with thousands of dollars of merchandise from the Home Depot where he worked in Pearland, Texas.

KTRK reports that Tinney lost his job after throwing a paint roller extension at their feet in an attempt to stop them, even though the robbers weren’t injured.

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Company spokesman Stephen Holmes referred to a strict company policy “that only [their] trained security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters.”

Even Tinney admitted that the training was straightforward. Still, he argues that the company should have handed down a gentler punishment

“I think they could have written me up, reprimanded me, but terminate me? That’s pretty strong,” he said in an interview. “I’m 70 years old. I need to work. I needed that job. I enjoyed working with customers figuring out what they wanted to do. It’s fun.”

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