CBS Web Copy
(CBS) COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Andrew Anderson, a teenage employee at a Goodwill store in Naples, Fla., was fired and then arrested Tuesday for giving away merchandise in what he viewed as a good deed, Good Will Industries confirmed in a press release obtained by CBS News' Crimesider.
"The intent I had was to help people, just like Goodwill says, we help people," Anderson told NBC-2 of his actions.
The 19-year-old said people would come in with little to nothing, no more than two or three dollars and he would reportedly cut prices in half, not thinking anything of it, reports the station.
"I wasn't actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it," Anderson told the station.
Store officials fired Anderson and reported the incident to authorities. As a result, they arrested him and charged him with grand theft.
The Goodwill said in a statement that under their policies, giving unauthorized discounts is considered theft. They said the thousands of dollars given away could have been used to fund their programs.
However, the organization acknowledged that further investigation revealed Anderson's actions were "not for personal gain, but rather for the benefit of others."
"Because this is a violation of our policy we recognize that the former employee's termination is an appropriate action, however in light of his overall intent, we are not pursuing criminal charges," the statement read.
The organization said a better course of action would have been for Anderson to have referred shoppers in need to their job training centers inside the stores.