Employees at Louisiana Sporting Goods Store Fired for Chasing Thief Who Stole Pistol

In an unexpected turn of events, three employees at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Metairie, Louisiana have been terminated from their positions after attempting to apprehend a thief who stole a pistol from the store on December 16. The thief, who posed as a customer, made off with the firearm after being shown the weapon.

Michelle Sutton, a team lead at the store, revealed that she and two of her colleagues sprang into action upon learning of the theft. Despite their efforts, the thief managed to elude them. Sutton expressed her motivation for pursuing the suspect, stating, “I knew I needed some form of way to help the police.”

However, the employees’ courageous act led to their termination just four days before Christmas. According to the store’s policy, employees are strictly prohibited from chasing or physically detaining a fleeing suspect. Only loss prevention associates or managers are authorized to approach and detain a suspect who has exited the store in a non-threatening manner.

Sutton disclosed, “There’s no clarification on getting [the suspect’s] location for police. I know my store director had said that they want you to be able to get the make and model of a vehicle, you know, maybe a direction in which way the vehicle went.” She emphasized the need for clear policies and extra training, particularly for stores that sell firearms.

The incident has sparked a debate about the store’s policy, with some criticizing the lack of clarity and training for such unexpected situations. Sutton echoed this sentiment, asserting that stores selling firearms, especially concealable pistols, need to be better equipped to handle unforeseen events.

In response to the termination, a spokesperson for the company stated, “We do not comment on specific personnel matters. We can confirm the individuals involved are no longer employed by Academy Sports + Outdoors.”

The incident has garnered attention both locally and nationally, with many expressing solidarity with the terminated employees. The debate regarding the appropriate response to criminal activity in retail environments is likely to continue, as concerns about safety and loss prevention policies are brought to the forefront.

As the story continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether the termination of the employees will prompt Academy Sports + Outdoors to review and potentially revise its policies to better prepare employees for handling similar situations in the future.

The unfolding events at Academy Sports + Outdoors in Metairie have shed light on the complexities surrounding the response to theft and the need for clear and effective policies in retail environments. The termination of the employees has sparked a larger conversation about safety and loss prevention, igniting a debate about the appropriate course of action in such situations. As the story continues to develop, all eyes are on the company’s response and any potential changes to its policies in light of this incident.


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