The store manager at Family Dollar on Wayne Avenue is a friend of mine. We’ve lived on the same street for 29 years, and when she was a teen, I had her working for me doing minor office work. This morning, Family Dollar fired her over the altercation at her store on Saturday.
Here’s the story from the Dayton Daily news:
DAYTON —A woman told police she was desperate to support her crack cocaine habit when she tried to walk out of Family Dollar with a cartload of items.
Sparkle Colquitt, 33, is being held on suspicion of felony robbery after her arrest Saturday, according to the Dayton police report.
Family Dollar employees told police the woman walked in and started going down the aisles and loading up a shopping cart.
The alleged shoplifter then pushed the cart toward the entrance. An employee moved to block the door and asked the suspect what she was doing, to which she replied, “Making it easier on myself,” according to the report.
Police said the suspect started to pull hair and fight with the employees, who were able to subdue her and hold her down for police.
She was trying to walk out of the store with more than $255 worth of items, according to the report.
Police said while she was questioned in the back of a cruiser, Colquitt admitted she was addicted to crack cocaine and planned to sell the items she was about to steal to get money to buy more of the drug.
Colquitt, who has a history of arrests in Montgomery County dating back to 2000, is scheduled to appear for an arraignment on Monday.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Family Dollar and their mistreatment of employees: Boycott Family Dollar. Makes Walmart look good on employee compensation. Since then, the store installed real video cameras. However, the security guard they provided after the in-store gun discharge only lasted a few weeks- apparently, this store doesn’t “make enough” to provide real security for its employees.
On Saturday, the manager was in the back with two other employees, putting away inventory from their weekly truck delivery when they heard a ruckus up front. When they got to the checkout, she immediately grabbed her cell phone and called 911- one of the other employees went to help the cashier who was having her hair yanked by the crack addict. That employee grabbed the crackhead and threw her to the floor- and detained her. While waiting for the police to come (the video shows it took almost 10 minutes to respond to an assault in progress) they let the crack addict back up- and she grabbed the manager’s hair- and started pulling her through the gap between the security device and the wall. More fighting broke out.
Nothing ended up stolen, and the addict is in custody. The assistant manager was fired Monday, and the manager today. This is not an April Fool’s joke.
Family Dollar has a horrible record of labor relations. Salaried managers often end up working 70+ hours a week to make a “budget” that purposely doesn’t include enough hours to properly staff a store. Shrinkage of inventory is counted against margins and managers are held accountable, despite the store not providing tools to combat shrinkage like security guards, or double doors with the ability to lock a thief in.
If anyone is looking for a hard-working, honest, employee with retail experience, please contact me and I will put you in touch with a very special woman who has 2 kids and a disabled baby daddy at home to support. I’d love for her to work for Costco or Aldi/Trader Joe’s- but with the hours she has at Family Dollar she never has time to apply.
I’ve contacted an attorney to represent her in this case. There is no reason that crack addicts should cause anyone to lose their job.