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PEARLAND, Texas (AP) — A 70-year-old Army veteran has been fired from a Houston-area Home Depot after trying to stop suspected shoplifters from taking thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.

KTRK-TV in Houston reports that Jim Tinney says he was fired last month from the store in Pearland.

Tinney says he was trained to not confront shoplifters and knows he violated company policy, but that his military training just kicked in when he noticed three men attempting to steal tools. He threw a paint roller extension pole toward the suspects’ feet. The men escaped.

The Home Depot said in a statement that only trained company security personnel can pursue and engage shoplifters, citing the safety of customers and associates.

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A Pearland Police Department spokesman says he has no information on the shoplifting case.

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Information from: KTRK-TV, http://abclocal.go.com