HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Hillsborough Home Depot employee woke up in the hospital Saturday morning — on his 83rd birthday — after police said a thief they called “a menace to society” injured him in a shoplifting getaway earlier this week.
During the theft, Gary Rasor was shoved to the concrete floor by the suspect Tuesday at the Home Depot on Hampton Pointe, police said.
Rasor has several broken bones after the shoplifter pushed him on his way out the door at the garden center.
In surveillance video, the man is fleeing the store when Rasor steps in to help.
Gary’s wife, Yovone, says her husband recognized the shoplifter.
“He knows the guy is a thief. He’s been there, he’s seen him in the store before,” she said. “And what he told me was that sometimes the guy will buy one or two items so he has a receipt, and then he’ll add more stuff to his cart and flash the receipt.”
When asked how Gary feels about the situation, Yovone said, “I was very surprised. He was keeping everything in. And then when he finally saw the video yesterday, he got quite emotional.”
She hopes whoever did this is caught.
“I hope his conscience bothers him,” Yovone said. “I doubt it, but I hope it does. I hope he gets caught. And I hope he gets prosecuted. Only so he doesn’t ever do this to someone else.”
Yovone says she doesn’t know when Gary is getting out of the hospital, and he has a long road to recovery ahead of him.
The suspect, who police called “a menace to society” in a news release, left the store in a white, four-door, Hyundai Sonata with a North Carolina temporary tag that was “obscured from witnesses.”
In their online announcement with surveillance video, the Hillsborough Police Department made their call to action clear:
“We need YOUR help in identifying this guy before somebody else gets hurt.”
In part, a statement from Home Depot said the following:
Safety of our associates and customers is our number one concern. Like everyone, we’re shocked and outraged by this incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with Gary for a full recovery.
Organized retail crime (ORC) is a growing problem for retailers, and The Home Depot is fighting it on all fronts. We invest in security and technology to harden the target, work on legislation at the local and federal levels, and partner with Attorneys General to combat ORC. For more information about ORC, I’ll refer you to this study from the Buy Safe America Coalition.Home Depot
For Gary’s birthday, his family has something special planned for Sunday.
“We’re going to get some balloons and a birthday cake, you know, and bring all the cards that his kids sent. And we’ll just have a little bit of a celebration to bring up his spirits and stuff,” Yovone said.
Police said anyone with information about the theft or the identity of the suspect in the video is asked to contact Investigator Jones at 919-296-9562 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.