The Lowe’s home improvement chain has fired a 18-year employee for going after a shoplifter.
Grandmother Karen Sizemore, a clerk in the Elizabethtown, Ky., store, spotted a man trying to steal a $600 toolkit and followed him out into the parking lot.
Said Sizemore about the shoplifting incident: “It was just the adrenaline rush. I’m not taking it any more. You just get to the point where you’re so tired of people stealing from you.”
She reached into the back seat of the suspect’s car to try to retain the toolkit, but the man drove off. Sizemore made a note of his license plate, however.
“We did get his license plate number, that’s how we caught him. He’s in jail,” Sizemore said.
Lowe’s employees nicknamed her Rambo and Wonder Woman for her actions last week in trying to stop a theft from the store. All the good feelings apparently ended on Tuesday, however, when Lowe’s abruptly fired her mid-shift for violating company policy.
In a statement, Lowe’s explained that “Our policies are in place for the safety of our workers. We have very specific guidelines when it comes to handling potential shoplifters, to ensure the well-being of not only our team but our customers.”
Sizemore expressed shock at being fired. “Their explanation was I put myself and other people in danger and they fired me. Eighteen years with this company, for chasing a shoplifter. This is the thanks I get?”
She may retain a lawyer to see about getting her job back. In the meantime, the Lowe’s corporate office indicated that it will look into the incident further.
According to the Toohotmama’s blog, “Karen Sizemore should be getting a plaque, not the sack!”
Lowe’s is the second-largest hardware chain in the US and around the world. The Home Depot is first.
[thumbnail image credit: Rolf Obermaier]