VAUXHALL - Representatives from a Whole Foods store say they have fired the security company responsible for detaining a 70-year-old woman and banning her from any of the supermarket chain's tri-state area locations after she accidentally left without paying for some cheese.
Margaret Dooley of Maplewood bought about $60 worth of items at the Millburn-Union Whole Foods on Oct. 4, but she forgot to ring up the cheese hiding underneath her bag in the cart.
Officials say loss prevention agents brought Dooley to the back of the store where she was questioned, photographed and eventually banned.
Spokesman Michael Sinatra says the firm previously contracted at the location has been "removed and replaced." Sinatra called the incident as unfortunate in a statement.
"At Whole Foods Market, we strive to achieve the right balance between loss prevention and fostering a welcoming, friendly environment in all our stores,” says Sinatra. “We are also having discussions with the loss prevention company at this store to ensure they clearly understand our expectations when it comes to our customers.
Sinatra also says attempts to reach Dooley haven't been returned.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.