Manager fired by Big Lots after 20 years of service after following shoplifter who assaulted one of his employees
· Jun 10, 2024 ·

UPDATE: Here is a GodFundMe for this man and his family.

What happens at Big Lots when you pursue a shoplifter who has assaulted one of your employees and then report the shoplifting assaulter to the police?

You get fired, that's what happens. At least in New York.

Yes, Pat Guider lets shoplifters exit his store all the time. It's the store's policy; they simply document the shoplifting and move on. But this time was different. Guider witnessed a shoplifter take a swing at one of his employees, so he called the police and followed the shoplifter at a distance once he left the store.

And apparently this was too much for Big Lots, because they fired him for it.

Pat Guider, a manager at a Big Lots store in New York, was terminated after over 20 years of service for pursuing a shoplifter who assaulted an employee and then informing the police about the incident.

On May 10, Guider witnessed a shoplifter swing a punch at his assistant manager while attempting to leave the store. Concerned for the safety of his team, Guider followed the assailant at a distance through the parking lot while providing updates to 911. Two weeks after the incident, Guider was summoned to his district manager's office and informed of his termination. He expressed frustration over the decision, maintaining that he acted correctly in response to a violent situation.

Although Big Lots has not commented specifically on Guider's case, the company has a policy displayed in-store prohibiting employees from leaving the premises to pursue or detain customers. However, Guider defended his actions, emphasizing that he did not endanger the store or any customers who were present at the time.

All my retail people out there know the drill. You just don't follow shoplifters. It's the policy. But when someone assaults one of your employees, you should have every right to go after them and get the police involved.

I mean, it's your employee, you gotta protect your people!

But not at Big Lots, apparently.

He did do the right, just thing. And now he's no longer employed by Big Lots.

As you can see from the video, this isn't the first time Big Lots has gone on to fire shoplifter chasers. Last year in California, a Big Lots manager was fired after following a shoplifter outside in order to retrieve his cart.

Not kidding.

Two Big Lots managers followed him out - but not to try and detain him or even confront him.

They just wanted to get their shopping cart back after he was finished with it. A week later, they were both out of jobs.

Lily Oxford was the manager of the Big Lots furniture section.

‘For Christmas, we had just got 40 brand new carts,' she said. ‘It's March, we're down to five carts. So, we are instructed, no carts are to leave that store whatsoever. No matter … customers are not allowed to take it. Nobody's allowed to take them outside, so we follow them outside, we get the carts. So that was my goal to go outside. I didn't think it was going to get anything back from them.'

Oxford and the other manager took out their phones, and, from a distance of several feet, started recording the scene. That spooked the thief, who climbed out of the car and ran away.

Boy, I guess Big Lots takes protecting shoplifters pretty seriously! I'll have to stop by sometime if I'm ever in a bind.

Back to Pat Guider. Has anyone set up a GoFundMe for this guy?

Somebody should set up a GoFundMe for this guy.

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