Jimin Chen is accusing Home Depot (HD) of shaking down its customers after the company said he stole two pairs of work gloves and sent him two letters asking for money.
Business Week reports that the home appliances store demanded $350 in the first letter to Chen and $625 in the second one, but Chen says that he is innocent. The gloves are $3.99 a pair and he spent almost $1,500 in Home Depot that day.
Chen says that the company stopped him at the door, accused him of stealing the gloves and took him to a room where he was questioned. Rattled over the accusations, Chen said that he suffered an asthma attack and was handcuffed. He says that Home Depot employees in the room made him sign a document saying that he will stay away from the store for 90 days and he gave them his contact information.
Chen has filed a class-action lawsuit in California Superior Court that claims Home Depot is trying to steal from its customers by using false threats for criminal prosecution. A spokesman for the company said that the case has yet to be reviewed but the actions that the company makes to assure customers aren’t stealing from them are lawful.