WICHITA, Kansas (NBC NEWS) – 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.
“My stomach started turning instantly,” said Ravenstein. “I was like ‘Are you serious?’ I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to save them money and this is what happens to me.”
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 had security wire still wrapped around it. Ravenstein says the man refused to show a receipt.
“I just grabbed a hold of it and wasn’t letting go,” said Ravenstein. “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.
At first, Ravenstein says managers at Walmart praised her for stopping the shoplifter.
“They said ‘good job’,” said Ravenstein. “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,” said Ravenstein. “I just hope they catch the guy.”
Ravenstein is a single mother to a 4-year-old boy.
She says she doesn’t get child support. She hopes she’ll be eligible for unemployment benefits and plans to apply on Monday.