Fired for Catching a Purse Snatcher

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Ann Welch with the purse that Troy Schaefer saved (photo: Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman)

Troy Schafer found out the hard way that insurance and liability issues trump Good Samaritan deeds at Randalls grocery store in Round Rock, Texas. The now former produce manager thought he was doing the right thing when he chased a purse snatcher fleeing the store and helped recover Ann Welch’s stolen goods, only to find out a few days later store management had fired him. The reason? He broke company policy.

According to Randalls spokeswoman Connie Yates, all employees are told not to pursue suspects, for fear of them getting hurt (worker’s comp) or hurting someone else (civil liability). “The policy exists for the safety of our employees, customers and others who may be seriously injured in a chase,” Yates said in a statement.
Schafer said he couldn’t help himself when the incident occurred. “In a split-second decision, when someone is screaming for help, what do you do?” he asked. “I did what I thought was right. I still feel like I did the right thing. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror the next day if I didn't help that lady.”
Welch was so appreciative of Schafer helping get her purse back that she offered him a reward. But Schafer declined. Welch also vowed to boycott Randalls unless they give Schaefer his job back.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Randalls Employee Fired for Chasing Theft Suspect (by Miguel Liscano, Austin American-Statesman)


renwick 10 years ago
The world has, indeed, gone mad. I get the security thing but let's give this guy a break. I won't shop there either. I really would prefer to hire him, wish I were a business!

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