TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) A confrontation with a would-be thief cost a Temple Target worker his job, but the retailer says the man violated company policy.
Travis Belter had worked at the Target Store on General Bruce Drive in Temple for three years, but he lost his job after he confronted a man he’d seen in the store before, taking items from the shelf and then trying to exchange the merchandise for cash at the return counter.
“A guy had come in that I had recognized before that grabbed stuff off the shelf and tries to return it. I asked him what he was doing I just couldn’t let someone walk out the store with about $600 worth of merchandise. He just looked at me, handed me the cart and left,” Belter said.
He was suspended in the middle of his shift after he reported the encounter to the store’s managers on Aug 6, and then he was fired.
“Then two days later I got a phone call telling me to come in they said they had to let me go for negligent behavior.”
The company released a statement that in which it said, “This team member was terminated because he disregarded Target’s training and procedures and jeopardized his safety, as well as the safety of our team and guests. We communicated our expectations directly with him before taking any actions.”
Target says employees are trained on how to handle such situations, but Belter says he wasn't.
“I never really knew when the protocol was, all I know (was) I can’t put my hands on people.”
“For them to terminate my position, my job, for trying to help, for trying to do the right thing. You can’t make me understand that.”
The company says Belter had previous issues with management, but declined to elaborate, he says those claims are not true.
“I loved my job, I loved working for Target,” he said.