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Supermarket employee fired after filming viral video of 3 men stealing laundry detergent

Amelia Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

Supermarket employee fired after filming viral video of 3 men stealing laundry detergent

Featured Image Credit: CBS / Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office

A supermarket employee has been fired after he filmed three men stealing approximately $500 worth of laundry detergent from the store and uploaded it to TikTok last month.

Santino Burrola, a former military police officer and employee of King Soopers grocery store in Colorado, immediately pulled out his phone after being alerted to a theft.

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He told CBS Colorado: "When I looked there was already a guy halfway headed out with a food cart full of laundry detergents and scent boosters and what have you.

"My first instinct, record."

He caught up to the three thieves who had hurried to load up a black Chevy Trax.

In the video, which has since been shared by the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Burrola can be heard asking the trio: “Really, bro, you got to resort to this? The economy isn’t that bad. Better gettin’ while the gettin’s good."

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To which one of the men replies: "Sorry man, nothing personal."

As the three attempt to flee the parking lot, the getaway driver was a little too quick off the mark with one of the men struggling to get inside the car before it pulled away.

The delay allowed Burrola to yank off a sheet of foil covering the license plate. He later called the police.

The three men were filmed loading their car with the stolen laundry detergent. Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
The three men were filmed loading their car with the stolen laundry detergent. Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
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“I posted it on TikTok, hoping that somebody would recognize them,” Burrola said about the video, which has been viewed 1.5 million times since being uploaded on 16 June.

But instead of a heroes welcome, when he returned for his next shift, Burrola found out he'd been suspended and was fired a week later.

However, he said he didn’t break rules and was merely trying to help.

“I would never let any criminal conduct slide, especially when it’s happening right in front of me," Burrola told 9News.

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“Did I feel that I overstepped boundaries? Not really because I didn’t physically touch them or alter their shoplifting in any way, I just revealed the license plate to help the community to be aware, the police be aware and to help better catch them.”

The Arapahoe Sherriff’s Office said in a statement: “Investigators have already identified and arrested the driver, Jorge Pantoja, 32, the man in the green shirt.

“Pantoja is currently in custody at the Adams County Detention Facility on unrelated felony charges. He has also been charged with Theft/Shoplifting, a Class 2 Misdemeanor.”

Police are still searching for the other two thieves and have appealed to the public for help in identifying them.

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The supermarket employee was fired after filming the video. Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
The supermarket employee was fired after filming the video. Credit: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office

In a statement to CBS Colorado, King Soopers said: “We are disappointed by the increased level of crime across retail establishments and the impact these incidents have on our associates and customers. We remain committed to working in partnership with local law enforcement to address this issue, as safety remains a top priority.

"We have security measures in place to help prevent crime and de-escalate such confrontations to minimize the risk to our associates. While we are unable to comment on personnel matters, we value our hardworking associates and their safe return home.”

Burrola’s family have since created a GoFundMe to recover his lost wages after he received no severance pay and 'fell behind' on bills, which has exceeded its $10,000 target.

UNILAD has contacted King Soopers for comment.

If you think you can identify the other two men in the video, contact the Investigations Tipline at 720-874-8477 or email [email protected].

Topics: News, US News, Crime

Amelia Jones
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