Scott Hurst, 30, of Caseyville, is looking for a job after he was allowed to resign as a J. C. Penney store security officer. Hurst said he was about to get canned after violating the retailer’s policy regarding how far to chase a shoplifter.
He was chasing a 19-year-old with a bag full of fragrances when the teen ran out of St. Clair Square mall, hopped a fence and flagged down a car on the entrance ramp to Interstate 64 in Fairview Heights. He pulled open the car door and hopped on a woman passenger’s lap.
Hurst said he felt responsible after chasing the teen and didn’t want to allow the driver and passenger to become victims. He saw what was happening, violated store policy by continuing to pursue the suspect and pulled the guy from the car and restrained him until police arrived.
There is a history and a logic behind store policy limiting pursuit of shoplifters. Loss prevention officers are not the same as trained police officers, and they could easily be drawn to a remote area and harmed. Some are killed.
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“I broke the policy, I get that, but I wouldn’t change it,” Hurst said.
Hurst remains a Fairview Heights volunteer firefighter and Army National Guardsman.
Maybe there’s a new employer out there for Hurst. His resume should note his dedication to serving others, his ability to take responsibility for his actions and his determination to do what’s right, even if it costs him personally.