Woman, 68, fired by Lowe’s for trying to stop thieves who gave her a black eye

Beloved “plant lady” is blackened and belittled after learning what Lowe’s does to employees who try to stop shoplifters.

(Video: WJCL)

On June 25, 68-year-old Donna Hansbrough saw a theft in progress at the Lowe’s in Rincon, Georgia where she had been employed for 13 years. Now, as police continue to search for two of the suspects from that day, she’s speaking out about getting fired from her job after she “got tired of seeing things get out the door.”

Speaking with the Effingham Herald, the now former Lowe’s employee detailed how she had spotted three individuals trying to make off with an assortment of merchandise valued at just over $2,100.

Though she was aware of the company policy against getting involved, she explained, “They say that if you see somebody stealing something out the door, not to pursue, not to go out. I lost it.”

“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),” Hansbrough recalled.

As a result, the suspect who was pushing the cart, identified as Takyah Berry by the Rincon Police Department, was said to have “struck Donna in the face three times causing Donna’s right eye to swell and blacken.”

While Berry’s uncle, Joseph Berry, and their alleged accomplice Jarmar Lawton remained at large, Hansbrough faced judgment by her employer and was relieved of duty for violating company policy.

“I didn’t expect to get terminated,” she told the Herald. “Maybe a reprimand or a suspension.”

“I just got tired of seeing things get out the door. I just … I lost it. I basically lost all the training. Everything they tell you to do, I just … I just lost it,” Hansbrough reiterated.

Regular customers of the Rincon Lowe’s spoke to WJCL about the termination of the long-time garden center employee who they affectionately referred to as the “plant lady.”

“I love Donna. She’s the only one I go to the flower shop — me and my wife,” detailed one man while another said, “We’ve been friends forever and she’s been a super sweet lady.”

Hansbrough’s experience is one that has been shared by a number of good samaritans who’ve grown tired of seeing their places of work get violated by criminals. In June, it was reported that one elderly Coloradan who’d been fired in 2020 from a Circle K after working there for 18 years was retaliating against the termination with a lawsuit.

“I want to prove that it was wrong for them to fire me for what happened,” explained 75-year-old Mary Ann Moreno.

Meanwhile, two employees at a Lululemon store in Georgia were also met with termination after they filmed shoplifters and demanded they leave the store, ultimately following them out into public. CEO Calvin McDonald defended the company’s decision by stating in part, “…we put the safety of our team, of our guests, front and center. It’s only merchandise.”

Lowe’s appeared to take a similar stance, releasing a statement that read, “The safety of our customers and associates is our primary concern. Lowe’s has a clear policy as to how our associates are to respond during a theft or suspected theft situation…”

Though her future plans were unclear, Hansbrough told the Herald, “I can’t sit at home. I’m not that type of person,” and said if the case against the alleged shoplifters were to go to trial and they “need me, I will be there.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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