Va. Target Security Guard Fired for Turning in Shoplifter? 

Dallas Northington, 29, claims he was fired for pointing out a shoplifter who may have been a law-enforcement official.

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Customers walking outside a Target store in Springfield, Va., Aug. 14, 2003. 

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It was a matter of routine ... at least that’s what 29-year-old Dallas Northington, a former Target security guard, thought.

The young father, who worked at a Leesburg, Va., Target, allegedly caught the same man on surveillance shoplifting on two separate occasions. So he called in the local police, filed a report and gave them the videos, according to the Washington Post.

Case closed.

Except it wasn’t. Reports indicate that the man could have been a Fairfax County, Va., sheriff’s deputy, at least according to Northington’s manager, the former security guard told the Post. Days after police were called, the deputy retired and Northington was fired, the Post reported.

According to Target, Northington told the Post, he violated company procedure because he did not file appropriate paperwork before going to the police and, in so doing, acted in an insubordinate manner. However, Northington, who is married and has a third child on the way, says he had never heard of such a policy.

 “I’m confused and don’t understand why,” he told the Post. “I’ve been there for eight years, no issues. I’m just trying to provide for my family, and I just really want to get back to work.”

“In my eight years, I’ve never had to call anyone to give out the video or to call police,” he added. “I have never seen any policy about contacting law enforcement.”

Northington further said that typically in the past, once he had acted as he had in this case, the police would file charges against the shoplifters within a few days. This case, however, is still out, with a Leesburg, Va., police representative telling the Post that the authorities were still confirming the identity of the offender.

However, the Post notes, when the incidents happened, Northington’s supervisor said that he was not “comfortable” facing the alleged thief because he thought he was “some sort of law enforcement,” Northington claimed.

“We have conducted a full investigation and don’t believe there is any merit to this individual’s claims,” Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told the Post regarding Northington’s account.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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