Supermarket Employee Fired After Recording Robbery

Evan Poellinger | July 6, 2023
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An employee at a King Soopers store in Colorado was fired after he recorded a shoplifting incident and posted the video on TikTok.

Santino Burrola, a former military police officer, observed a trio of suspected shoplifters making off with a cartload of detergent and laundry-related products. Burrola did not attempt to physically stop the alleged shoplifters, in accordance with his store’s policy, but nonetheless sought to assist with their apprehension. Accordingly, Burrola recorded the three alleged thieves piling the purloined products into their vehicle, capturing the car’s license plate as it sped away from the scene.

Burrola posted the video of the alleged shoplifting on TikTok, hoping that displaying the suspects online might allow them to be identified more quickly. The video was viewed over 1.5 million times, leading to the arrest of at least one suspect, after Burola shared it.

However, when Burola returned to work for his next shift, he discovered that his employment had been suspended, and he was terminated a week later after sitting down with his employers and a union representative.

Burrola blamed his firing on the recording, and argued that he had not violated any of the store’s policies against physically interdicting shoplifters. King Soopers issued a statement in which they stated that they “value our hardworking associates” and “are unable to comment on personnel matters.”

If Burrola was, in fact, fired for recording the alleged shoplifting, it would not be the first time that an employee was fired for taking action to interdict a potential theft. In May, a pair of employees at a Lululemon in Georgia were fired after calling the police on a pair of suspected shoplifters and chasing them out of the store. In addition, another King Soopers in Colorado fired five employees the same month, who alleged that they had been terminated for detaining a shoplifting suspect and calling the police.