Cops Say a Lowe’s Worker in Georgia Tried to Stop Thieves From Stealing $2,000 in Goods. Then, She Got Punched in the Face and Fired.

lowes worker georgia tries to stop thieves got punched fired
Source: Rincon Police Department

Donna Hansbrough; Jamar Lawton; Joseph Berry; Takyah Berry

Aug. 4 2023, Published 12:01 p.m. ET

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An employee at a Lowe’s in Georgia allegedly got punched in the face three times while trying to stop shoplifters from stealing more than $2,000 worth of merchandise, according to authorities.

On June 25, Donna Hansbrough, 68, saw three people trying to leave the Rincon store without paying, according to local police.

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When Hansbrough grabbed the cart, the person pushing it, Takyah Berry, allegedly punched Hansbrough in her face three times, authorities said.

Hansbrough’s right eye swelled up and the surrounding skin blackened following the incident, according to officials.

Meanwhile, Berry, her uncle, Joseph Berry, and Jamar Lawton all fled the store with the unpaid goods, police said. Lawton was apprehended, but both the Berrys are still at large.

Hansbrough, who worked for Lowe’s for 13 years, was terminated by the company because she violated a company policy that prohibits employees from attempting to stop shoplifters, the Effingham Herald reported.

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“They say that if you see somebody stealing something out the door, not to pursue, not to go out. I lost it,” Hansbrough told the Herald of the company's policy. “I grabbed the cart. I don’t actually remember going out but I did. And I grabbed the cart that had the stolen items.”

Hansbrough didn’t think she would be fired over the incident, thinking “maybe" she would get "a reprimand or a suspension,” the Herald reported. She added, “I just got tired of seeing things get out the door. I just, I lost it. I basically lost all the training. Everything they tell you to do, I just . . . I just lost it.”

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At the time, Hansbrough said she was back on the job market and looking for a new place to work. Lowe's, however, recently hired her back.

"After senior management became aware of the incident and spoke to Donna Hansbrough ... we are reinstating her job and we are pleased that she has accepted the offer to return to Lowe's," company spokesman Larry Costello said, CBS News reported. "First and foremost, there's nothing more important than the safety of our customers and associates. Products can be replaced, people cannot."


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