Grocery Worker Fired for Recording Shoplifters Stealing a Haul of Laundry Soap

Davizro Photography /
Davizro Photography /

A grocery store clerk has been fired from his job at a King Soopers for recording thieves stealing laundry detergent on his phone. Santino Burrola saw the group of thieves running out the door with a cart loaded with laundry detergent that they hadn’t paid for.

He followed them into the parking lot and recorded their faces and license plate number as they were loading the stolen goods in their car. He turned the footage over to the police and posted it online—and for his good deed, King Soopers fired him a week later.

Burrola is a former military police officer, so his first instinct was to simply start recording the thieves for the good of his community and his employer. “I posted it on TikTok, hoping that somebody would recognize them,” Burrola said in an impromptu press conference.

The next day after that happened, Burrola was suspended from work for a week. He went into a meeting with his union representative the next week.

“Me and the union rep sat down with them, and they recommended termination,” says Burrola. “I would never let any criminal conduct slide, especially when it’s happening right in front of me.”

Burrola says he did not violate King Soopers’ policies in any way. He didn’t touch the thieves; he didn’t try to punch them or detain them. All he did was record them and taunt them on a video, and then post the video online to help the police and the community try to catch them.

Burrola can be heard on the video asking the thieves, “Really, bro, you got to resort to this? The economy isn’t that bad.”

The question you might be asking yourself at this point is—why laundry detergent? These guys loaded up a shopping cart with more than $500 of detergent. The answer is crack.

Laundry detergent is actually a hot commodity in crack houses. A $20 bottle of Tide detergent is worth 25 cents on the dollar in a crack house. Laundry soaps and materials don’t spoil, and they have a long shelf life, and everyone needs detergent.

A haul of $500 of detergent like these guys stole is worth $125 in crack. The crack dealers can then sell the bottles of Tide on the black market for $10 to $15 apiece, making a nice profit in the process. Fresh steaks are worth 50 cents on the dollar in a crack house.

If there is one bright spot of good news in this story, it’s that the cops actually did bust the driver of the car. The thieves had placed a piece of tinfoil over their license plate during the theft, but Burrola was able to rip it off and take a shot of the number.

From the license plate and Burrola’s video, they were able to arrest 32-year-old Jorge Pantoja. He’s being held on unrelated outstanding felony charges and has also been charged with shoplifting for the theft of the laundry detergent.

Welcome to America in 2023, where you get punished for performing good deeds like Santino Burrola.

Here’s the video that Burrola recorded of the theft in broad daylight. Do you think he did anything worthy of being fired?