Crime Trackers: Wal-Mart employee fired after stopping shoplifte - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Wal-Mart employee fired after stopping shoplifters

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James Young stopped two shoplifters from leaving the garden center at the Wal-Mart in Sahuarita. James Young stopped two shoplifters from leaving the garden center at the Wal-Mart in Sahuarita.

SAHUARITA - A former Wal-Mart employee whose job it was to stop shoplifters, now finds himself shopping for a new job.

The incident happened three weeks ago, leading to the termination of a Wal-Mart employee after he stopped some shoplifters.

James Young stopped two shoplifters from leaving the garden center at the Wal-Mart in Sahuarita.

“I risked my life and it cost me my job,” Young said.

The surveillance video camera showed that on March 18, Young spotted two shoplifters. Viewing the video, Young explained what's going on.

“This is my suspect coming out,” said Young. “He's got a bottle of vodka wrapped up in a black sweatshirt here.”

In the video, Young approached to the young man suspected of shoplifting, and identified himself.

“As a Wal-Mart asset protection manager, I told him, I need the merchandise you got in the sweatshirt back,” he said.

The suspect denied he had anything. Young asked for the merchandise again.

“At that point, he kicks me in groin," said Young. "He starts to run, and I tackled him to the ground.”

Meanwhile, an off duty federal agent identified himself and stepped in to help.

That's when suspect no. 2 sets off the alarm.

“The off duty officer is putting suspect no. 2 in an arm lock, so he can't get away,” he said.

The surveillance video showed suspect no. 2 trying to get away, leading to a scuffle.

“At this point, I brought up suspect no. 1 to a standing position,” said Young. “I get kicked again and he runs over the plants and goes south to a strip mall.”

According to Young, that is when he noticed there was blood everywhere.

“That's me leaning against the fence right there," he said, pointing at the video. "That's when I realize all the blood was coming from me.”

Young has kidney problems and had been on dialysis.

According to Young, the suspect punctured a hole in his arm which damaged the vein during the scuffle.

One week later, Young, who had been a Wal-Mart employee since 2008, was fired.

“I found out after I got terminated that it came down to there's absolutely no hands on,” he said.

James Young said he was wrongfully terminated, and a number of his co-workers agreed.

“He's such a good person and he was trying to do his job,” said co-worker Jose Rosadillo. “This is the thanks he gets by Wal-Mart?”

Rosadillo, a four-year employee of Wal-Mart, was outraged by the incident.

“The victim has no rights, but the robber has all the rights in the world,” he said.

Days before this incident, Young stopped a shoplifting ring from stealing nearly $3,000 worth of merchandise.

He said in 2013, the store had more than a million dollars in thefts.

Last year, it was reduced to $900,000.

Sahuarita police arrested 19-year-old Brandon Lopez, and a 17-year-old male. Both charged with shoplifting the 17-year-old with assault.

Young's insurance coverage was also terminated.

Young currently doesn't know who will pay for his medical bills from the assault.

Wal-Mart officials released the following statement regarding the incident.

"We take our theft prevention methods very seriously, but we have guidelines in place to ensure the safety of both our associates and customers," said Betsy Harden of Wal-Mart's National Media Relations.

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