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Target On Defensive For Firing Security Officer Who Reported Shoplifting

Leesburg police released a statement Monday addressing the case of a shoplifter who may have been a Fairfax Sheriff's Office deputy and a Target security officer who was allegedly fired for reporting the incident.

LEESBURG, Va. —Target officials are under fire again — this time for firing a security guard after he reported a man believed to be a sheriff's deputy for shoplifting. 

Dallas Northington, 29, worked as a security officer for a Target store in Leesburg for nearly eight years before he was abruptly fired after reporting shoplifting by a man who may have been a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy.

Northington filed a routine report with Leesburg police May 27 after the man was allegedly captured twice on video while shoplifting, The Washington Post reports. Days after the report was filed, the suspect retired from the Fairfax County sheriff’s office and Northington was fired.

Update: Shoplifting Charges in Controversial Target Case

Target officials allegedly told Northington he violated procedure by failing to fill out proper paperwork before contacting the police, though Northington said he had followed the same procedure for years.

Leesburg police issued a statement Monday saying the decision to fire Northington was “strictly a corporate decision made by Target with no discussion or knowledge by our agency.”

Target faced widespread criticism on social media following the report. Among the many posts on Twitter:

  • Top Five Records @ebmorton@Target very sad you have to fire Dallas Northington because a police officer arrested. Way to fire man with a family for doing his job. 
  • Sting @maijinsting: I hope this Dallas Northington story gets major coverage, because @Target deserves all the backlash and criticism that would come their way. 
  • Jon C. Ham @rivlax@Target I will never shop at Target again after reading of the monumental injustice to Dallas Northington in your Leesville, VA, store. -

Though Northington said store supervisors recognized the suspect through two color videos "in which his face was clearly visible," the suspect has not been charged with a crime and Leesburg investigators said they were still trying to confirm the suspect’s identity, according to the Post.

Monday morning, Leesburg police said the individual involved in the theft was identified as a Fairfax Sheriff’s Office deputy as early as Friday, May 30. 

Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said in an email the company conducted an extensive investigation and did not believe there is any merit to Northington’s claims. However, Target indicated to police that the company intends to move forward with criminal charges associated with the theft.

Cheryl Payne July 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM
I don't shop there anyway. But if I did it would be cash only.
John Richards July 21, 2014 at 05:13 PM
The only store that sucks more than Target is Walmart.
beach lover July 22, 2014 at 01:39 AM
I was a vendor in NJ. I would have to go into Target to service equipment. The DM had their office in the Ocean, NJ store. The DM & management treat people like scum. I will never shop at Target for as long as I live..
oak creek resident July 22, 2014 at 08:39 PM
oak creek resident July 22, 2014 at 08:24 PM Obviously, Target's mentality is not what you steal, to be reported and prosecuted with clear evidence, but who it is that is doing the stealing. They would rather cozy up to the sheriff's department and unjustly fire a great employee, then do the right thing and prosecute this thief! They have made monumental mistakes over the past year. First, the compromise on millions of charge cards, then the stupidity of saying they don't want conceal carry in their stores (within days there were two separate robberies in Target parking lots) and now a excellent employee who should be commended for doing his job, has gotten fired! Target makes me sick! They also don't like bell ringers at Christmas and are anti-veteran. In my opinion, there is not one good reason to shop at this disgusting chain of stores. I hope another store that values decency and honesty, hires this security guar

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