(NewsNation) — Two Lululemon employees said they were fired for calling police after shoplifters tried to steal from the store.
The employees worked at a store in the greater Atlanta area, where masked thieves entered the store, grabbing as much merchandise as they could before running away.
A viral video showed the two employees yelling at and chasing the thieves out of the store before calling the police. The robbers had reportedly hit the location before, and are believed to be part of a larger criminal scheme that includes returning stolen merchandise to get cash.
Lululemon has defended the firing and stated the employees were not fired because they called law enforcement, but because they attempted to chase the thieves themselves.
The store has a zero-tolerance policy for employees who take such actions because it might put them at risk for harm.
Former NYPD Lieutenant Ralph Cilento told NewsNation the policy doesn’t make sense, and based on video, the employees did follow the policy because they did not attempt to physically stop the thieves.
“If you care so much about your employees, why not intervention? Why not instruction?” he said.
Cilento also pointed to previous statements where Lululemon said they do not want to be known as the store that calls the police.
“It’s unconscionable that they were fired,” Cilento said. “Firing them was not the right thing to do there.”
The thieves were later arrested and charged with felonies after bystanders reported them robbing a different store in the Atlanta suburbs.