Grocery Store Worker Claims He Was Fired for Nabbing Alleged Purse Thief

fired grocery store clerk
Instagram/Amir Shedyak

A man was reportedly fired from his job after he stopped an alleged purse snatcher in Essex, Vermont, in August.

Twenty-year-old volunteer firefighter Amir Shedyak worked at the Hannaford grocery store for four years and was named employee of the month in March, according to WCAX.

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It's the thrill with a will that keeps me going

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After clocking in one day last month, a coworker flagged Shedyak down and said an elderly woman just had her purse stolen, so he jumped into action and ran outside the store.

“There were many people outside due to witnessing the act of crime. I asked which way the thief went and chased after him, I was able to subdue him and get the purse back to the elderly lady. She was beyond grateful!” he wrote in a Facebook post that has gone viral.

The suspect got away as Shedyak called the police but he was later apprehended, according to WCAX.

“Police later confirmed that Adrian Moore, 29, of Essex was charged with larceny,” the report said.

In the Facebook post, Shedyak claimed Hannaford’s manager’s told him he was fired due to safety issues:

A few days later I went back to work like usual, except this time I got called into my managers office. I was told that I would be suspended due to an ongoing investigation of the incident. A week later I received a phone call that the investigation was done and I could come into work for the results. The outcome resulted in me getting fired due to safety issues while on company time. I have no hard feelings towards my coworkers/managers or the establishment. I just feel that what I had done was not wrong and should not have resulted in me being fired.

Paperwork from Shedyak indicated the August incident was not the first time he intervened in alleged thefts.

“It’s not like I was going to do this to be some hero. I was like, ‘Hey, an old lady’s purse just got stolen, I want to do something about it,'” he commented.

However, Pietro Lynn, a local attorney not involved in the case told WCAX it was “not uncommon at all for employers to discourage employees from laying hands on customers.”

Lynn said it made sense for a company not to want their workers interfering because injuries and liability issues can be costly.

“There are many cases in Vermont where employers are held responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees,” he stated, adding that it was best to simply call the police.

Despite the risk, Shedyak, who found another job after being let go, still wondered why being clocked in altered the situation.

“Why should it make a difference that, hey, I’m clocked in now — he’s in trouble. If I wasn’t clocked in — oh, you did a good job,” he noted.

In a statement to WCAX, Hannaford said, “We do not comment on personnel matters.”


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