Walmart employee fired after stopping shoplifter

Published: May. 24, 2010 at 10:30 PM EDT|Updated: May. 25, 2010 at 1:52 AM EDT
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Wichita, KS - (NBC) - A Kansas Walmart worker hailed as a hero for stopping a shoplifter was fired Saturday.

Walmart refuses to comment, but Heather Ravenstein says she was told she was being let go because of her actions in the shoplifting episode.

Ravenstein saw a suspect with a computer in his shopping cart roll out the front door of the Walmart on Friday night.

She was suspicious because the computer still had security wire wrapped around it and says the man refused to show a receipt.

"I just grabbed a hold of it and wasn't letting go," Ravenstein said. "I wasn't going to let him get away with a $600 computer."

Wichita Police say the suspect started to punch and kick Ravenstein before jumping into a waiting car and speeding away.

Ravenstein has a small bruise on her shoulder but was otherwise uninjured.  She says managers at Walmart praised her for stopping the shoplifter at first.

"They said 'good job'," Ravenstein said. "The store manager came and talked to me and said 'Good job. You need to be more careful next time. We appreciate you trying to protect our assets.' I was like 'Yeah, I'm not going to do it again.'"

Everything changed Saturday when Ravenstein showed up for her shift.  She says after her lunch break she was sent to a back room and told she was fired.

"I don't think it's fair," Ravenstein said. "I just hope they catch the guy."

Ravenstein is a single mother to a 4-year-old boy and says she doesn't get child support.  She hopes she will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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