Local Family Dollar employee confronts alleged shoplifter - WNEM TV 5

Caught on Video

Local Family Dollar employee confronts alleged shoplifter

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

A local Family Dollar manager lost his job after trying to stop alleged shoplifters.

The manager said he called the police to take care of the matter, but they never showed up. So he took matters into his own hands.

"Why didn't the police come? I said I don't know why the police didn't come. They were notified and they were called," said Gavyn Edlinger, former manager at Family Dollar.

A video of the incident went viral with over a million views. It shows him confronting suspected shoplifters in Saginaw. Edlinger said he called 911 first.

"911 said to get the license plate number," he said.

He took matters into his own hands. He confronted the women, who he said tried to get away with a five finger discount.

"Then we got a call from 911 asking if we had the situation handled or if we still needed help," Edlinger said,

A representative from the Saginaw Police Department said in most cases of shoplifting the retailer should come to the police department, fill out a police report, and pass it along to the prosecutor for possible charges. However, in cases of shoplifting that become violent between retailer and perpetrator, a police officer will be sent out to the scene as soon as possible.

"There were no charges. There was nothing," Edlinger said.

Neither 911, nor the police can find any records that Edlinger called them. They said until they can review the phone call, if there is one, they won't comment. 

A YouTube video shows Edlinger confronting alleged shoplifters.

The customers allegedly stole a can of Febreze and the employee confronted them with a can of Febreze in his hand.

The video shows Edlinger spraying Febreze inside the car.

"They weren't really buying anything so eventually, I asked them to leave the store as they were acting very suspiciously," Edlinger said.

Edlinger said the women left with a bag of stolen merchandise. He called 911 and said the dispatcher instructed him to go outside and get the license plate number. That's when things got heated.

The confrontation goes on for nearly two minutes. The pair is seen yelling obscenities back and forth. The situation finally reaches a climax when Gavyn takes a can of Febreze and sprays the woman in the face. A can he said the woman stole.

The incident was recorded by a bystander and uploaded on YouTube. The incident took place at 3220 Sheridan Ave. 

Family Dollar media relations manager Bryn Winburn would not comment on the incident.

"The safety and security of our customers and team members is our first priority. We take situations very seriously," Winburn said.

YouTube video courtesy of Don Blessed Ready.

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