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TMCNet:  Lawsuit: SPD tip led to firing of Lowe's worker [Statesville Record & Landmark, N.C.]

[September 23, 2011]

Lawsuit: SPD tip led to firing of Lowe's worker [Statesville Record & Landmark, N.C.]

(Statesville Record & Landmark (NC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 23--Lee Bombria, a former Massachusetts police officer and a sworn law enforcement officer in North Carolina, acted when he noticed something suspicious at Home Depot while he was eating lunch at the nearby Chick-fil-A in March.


Bombria, then a loss prevention manager at Lowe's, called Statesville Police and notified them of the suspicious activity. His actions, said SPD Chief Tom Anderson, helped nabbed four people in vehicles filled with stolen property.

Bombria, in a lawsuit filed this week, said that phone call to police resulted in his termination from his job at Lowe's.

His attorney, Kirk Angel of The Angel Law Firm in Harrisburg, filed the suit Monday in Iredell County Superior Court, alleging wrongful termination.

Angel said that on March 3, while Bombria was eating his lunch, he noticed something suspicious in the parking lot of the Home Depot. He contacted the SPD.

Officer Tony Baity was dispatched to the call, and while en route, was advised that the four suspicious people had left the Home Depot in two separate vehicles -- a van and a pickup truck.

Anderson said Bombria provided information about the whereabouts of the vehicles, and Baity was able to locate both near Cracker Barrel.

When police began investigating, they found the four people -- all from South Carolina -- used a credit card to purchase nearly $1,000 worth of merchandise from Lowe's, Anderson said. The card was initially approved, but within minutes, the card was flagged as stolen.

Inside the van, Anderson said, police found a variety of merchandise, including a zero-turn Troybilt lawn mower, a 50-inch Samsung television, a carpet cleaner, brass door knobs and hinges and a number of credit and identification cards.

Anderson said one of the stolen credit cards was used to purchase the mower at the Lowe's in Mooresville.

Anderson said Bombria's actions led to the recovery of stolen property and the arrest of the four people.

Two days after this incident, Angel said, Lowe's fired Bombria for violating its policy prohibiting employees from contacting law enforcement.

Angel said this violates the public policy of the state and is injurious to the public good.

Lawsuits filed in North Carolina do not specify a dollar amount of damages sought, only that the damages are in excess of $10,000.

Lowe's did not return phone calls seeking comments on the lawsuit.

___ (c)2011 the Statesville Record & Landmark (Statesville, N.C.) Visit the Statesville Record & Landmark (Statesville, N.C.) at www.statesville.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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