An elderly Home Depot employee in North Carolina has died after he attempted to prevent a suspected serial shoplifter from taking items from the store. In October, 82-year-old employee Gary Rasor was working in the garden section at the Hillsborough Home Depot when he saw a thief who had come in before.
The suspect shoved Rasor, which resulted in head injuries and numerous hospital trips — the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide due to the intentional act.
The attacker was a man dressed in a face mask and hoodie, and Rasor knew him to be a regular shoplifter in the store. Rasor’s wife told police that he knew the man as a thief and had been seen purchasing one or two items, so he had a receipt and would sneakily add more items to his cart on the way out the door. When the suspect came in that day, he attempted to walk out of the store with around $800 worth of pressure washers in his cart.
An elderly Home Depot employee who was shoved to the ground by a man allegedly fleeing the store with stolen merchandise has died weeks after the assault, police say. Authorities are still searching for a suspect. https://t.co/ZRhtqAYGe4
— ABC News (@ABC) December 4, 2022
To prevent another theft, the elderly employee stuck his arms out in hopes of slowing the man down. But the suspect violently shoved Rasor to the ground, and a potted plant struck his head. The robber exited the store without even looking back to see the damage he had done. Store surveillance captured the encounter.
After his heroic attempts resulted in a severe fall, Rasor sustained several fractures and suffered a mild heart attack. As the weeks followed, he was in and out of the hospital, but he managed to celebrate his birthday, and he turned 83 at home. The day before Thanksgiving, he was readmitted to the hospital and transferred to hospice. Rasor passed away on December 1.
Police reports stated that the elderly man passed away “due to complications from the injuries received.” As a result, the local medical examiner ruled his death a homicide. He was a beloved father, grandfather and devoted Home Depot employee.
Police describe the suspect as a Black male, 6 feet tall, with a white Hyundai Sonata. Witnesses or those with any information should contact Hillsborough Investigator Andrew Jones. Rasor’s family is devastated. His son called it “mind-boggling” that someone would kill over a couple of pressure washers. The family wishes to honor his death in finding the suspect.