Lowe’s reinstates pummeled 68-yr-old ‘plant lady’ fired for trying to stop shoplifters

Donna Hansbrough, the beloved 68-year-old “plant lady” at Lowe’s in Rincon, Georgia, has gotten her job back after being fired for trying to stop shoplifters.

Employed for 13 years at the store, Hansbrough said that while she understood company policy about not pursuing shoplifters she “got tired of seeing things get out the door,” and on June 25 she “lost it” after spotting three shoplifters trying to make off with an assortment of merchandise valued at just over $2,100.

“They say that if you see somebody stealing something out the door, not to pursue, not to go out. I lost it,” Hansbrough told the Effingham Herald. “I grabbed the cart. I don’t actually remember going out but I did and I grabbed the cart that had the stolen items in (it).”

After grabbing the cart with the stolen items, a suspect who has since been identified by police as Takyah Berry, allegedly punched Hansbrough in the face three times leaving her with a black eye.

Adding insult to injury, Lowes terminated her for violating policy. But the company has since seen the error of its ways, according to Larry Costello, senior manager of corporate communications — funny what a little publicity will do.

“After senior management became aware of the incident and spoke to Donna Hansbrough today, we are reinstating her job and we are pleased that she has accepted the offer to return to Lowe’s,” Costello said in a statement to the Effingham Herald.

“First and foremost, there’s nothing more important than the safety of our customers and associates. Products can be replaced; people cannot,” he added. “We continue to work closely with law enforcement to investigate and prosecute those who are responsible for this theft and violent attack.”

On that note, in addition to Takyah Berry, police identified the other two suspects as Jarmar Lawton and Joseph Berry. Lawton was taken into custody and Joseph and Takyah, who are uncle and niece, remain at large.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Hansbrough to help her weather the termination and keep bills paid until she could find another job. That campaign has topped $25,000 in contributions — it’s not clear at this time whether the money will be returned to donors or what happens next.

Perhaps, fate will smile at the elderly woman twice and she will be able to keep the money. Right?


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Tom Tillison


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