After stabbing, a Macy's employee says store policy puts security staffers at risk

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- An employee with Macy's said the company's policy on taking down shoplifters needs to be reviewed and changed.

This comes after a shoplifter stabbed an employee Sunday outside its Streets at Southpoint store in Durham.

The employee -- who wanted to remain anonymous -- works for the company's Asset Protection Team. The worker told ABC11 that the company is putting their lives at risk.

"On different occasions, I've had people pull up their shirt, show a gun. I've had people show pepper spray; they've had needles. On many occasions I've received threats," the employee said. "I get very nervous, my anxiety goes through the roof. I get afraid of what's going to happen next."

This employee said the department store encourages confrontation with suspected shoplifters, but only arms its security team with handcuffs, and training videos on how to use two types of positions that could subdue a possible thief.

On Monday, Durham Police charged NaToyia Barbee with assault with a deadly weapon.

On Sunday, authorities said a Macy's asset protection employee spotted Barbee and another woman shoplifting. After confronting the women, police say the employee was stabbed.

Barbee is still on the run.

"That's always in the back of my mind that, that can happen to me," the employee said.

ABC11 asked the employee why continue to work at Macy's if they feel like their life is in danger?

"They instill in you is that you can grow within their company. You can be that next supervisor. You can be that manager," The employee responded.

Macy's said safety is the top priority and added: "We do not share details about our security procedures as these are proprietary and designed to protect our people and assets."

In a further statement to ABC11, Macy's said: "We are committed to ensuring that all our customers and colleagues are treated with respect and dignity and aim to provide a safe and secure shopping environment. Our asset protection professionals are licensed, where required under applicable state laws, and trained. This includes pre-employment training, on-the-job training, and regular in-service training in every location. We also coordinate closely with Mall security, local and national law enforcement agencies, in assessing risk and response. Additionally, we have in place clear protocol and procedures with respect to the apprehension of shoplifting suspects."

The employee said they hope Macy's will take their concerns seriously.

"I'm speaking out today not to speak down on Macy's but to speak up for people in positions who I know should be treated way better and handled way better and protected by our company," the worker said.

The injured employee's condition is improving.

Barbee is also wanted for previous theft and assault charges.

Call Crimestoppers at (919) 683-1200 if you have information that could help track her down.
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