Home / Hot News / Lowe’s Fires 18-Year Employee After Her Heroics Lead to Arrest of Shoplifter (Video)
Lowe’s Fires 18-Year Employee After Her Heroics Lead to Arrest of Shoplifter (Video)

Lowe’s Fires 18-Year Employee After Her Heroics Lead to Arrest of Shoplifter (Video)

A long-time employee of a Lowe’s Hardware store in Elizabethtown, Kentucky thought she had done a good deed by observing a shoplifter walking out of the store with a Dewalt tool kit priced at nearly $600 without paying, and following him to the parking lot. She tried to get the merchandise out of the back seat of the crook’s vehicle, but he sped off – although she did get the license plate number which would eventually lead to the arrest of the shoplifter.

Karen Sizemore

Karen Sizemore

Karen Sizemore had dedicated 18 years of her life working for Lowe’s. After her heroic actions which led to the arrest of the perpetrator, Kyle Heim, her co-workers were calling her names like “Rambo” and “Wonder Woman” out of admiration.

Sizemore said the shoplifter made her so mad she decided to go after him.

“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 said.

But the higher-ups at Lowe’s saw it a different way. Halfway through her shift, she was… fired.

Sizemore said, “their explanation was I put myself and other people in danger and they fired me.”

Lowe’s explanation? According to company spokesperson Kris Ahearn:

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

Okay, point taken, but firing her? Where is the justice in that?

A tearful Sizemore said, “Eighteen years with this company, for chasing a shoplifter. This is the thanks I get?”

She says she just wants her job back, and may hire an attorney to help her do so.

Lowe’s also said that they were “investigating” the incident, so stay tuned. PLEASE share this story and contact Lowe’s corporate headquarters here.

Let them know how you feel in the comments section of that page, call their corporate office, and send them emails. This lady does not deserve to lose her job over this!

A petition by MoveOn.org is circulating on Sizemore’s behalf. Click here to sign it. MoveOn’s statement reads:

Lowe’s fired a grandmother after 18 years of dedicated employment for helping catch a shoplifter she witnessed stealing a $600 tool kit. Since corporate companies have turned their backs on their courageous employees, lets turn our backs on them and support this hero!

Please watch the local news story on this below from WLKY 32 out of Louisville.

About Progressive Populist

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I'm the founder of Progressive Populist and a passionate Liberal-Progressive who despises the Tea Party

90 comments

  1. Author Image

    I’ll say this. She doesn’t get her job back and I’ll never shop at Lowe’s again. Wasn’t this the same company that backed out of sponsoring that reality show because the Muslim family it showed were too normal? Sheesh. Everything they sell, you can find somewhere else.

    • Author Image

      I know! I not shopping there either!

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      I quit shopping at Lowes when I discovered that their lobby mone went to anti gay legislators anf the employee practice of finding ways to replace long term workers (higher pay) with new workers (lower pay). A practice that is wide spread through-out their empire, which indicates strongly that it is policy.. they are right up there with Walmart and MacDonalds as scum employers.

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      I was a Loss Prevention Manager at Lowe’s and was fired for stopping a shoplifter I was apprehending from carjacking 2 innocent bystanders stopped at a stop sign next to the store. I guess I was supposed to let a felon carjack innocent people, because I apparently broke a “rule.” Unfortunately, their “rules” don’t coincide with actual laws. They never even attempted to fight my unemployment, because they knew they were wrong. I’m a cop now, so I get to actually do that kind of stuff without Lowe’s “rules” saying I’m not allowed to protect innocent people, as well as making more money than I ever would have made at that company. The company itself isn’t bad, I actually enjoyed my job there and made them a lot of profit when it came to inventory, however; their corporate office is the biggest bunch of scum you’ll ever meet. They talk being every store level Loss Prevention personnel and think of themselves as being on top of the world. People at my store were saying they wanted to contact the news about it, but I didn’t want the attention, nor did I even care about suing them since I wasn’t planning on being there much longer anyway. This lady, on the other hand, had 18 years there, so she was actually making a career out of it. It’d be nice to see her win a nice payout from them.

      • Author Image

        I was a Loss Prevention Manager at Lowe’s and was fired for stopping a shoplifter I was apprehending from carjacking 2 innocent bystanders stopped at a stop sign next to the store. I guess I was supposed to let a felon carjack innocent people, because I apparently broke a “rule.” Unfortunately, their “rules” don’t coincide with actual laws. They never even attempted to fight my unemployment, because they knew they were wrong. I’m a cop now, so I get to actually do that kind of stuff without Lowe’s “rules” saying I’m not allowed to protect innocent people, as well as making more money than I ever would have made at that company. The company itself isn’t bad, I actually enjoyed my job there and made them a lot of profit when it came to inventory, however; their corporate office is the biggest bunch of scum you’ll ever meet. They talk bad about every store level Loss Prevention personnel and think of themselves as being on top of the world. People at my store were saying they wanted to contact the news about it, but I didn’t want the attention, nor did I even care about suing them since I wasn’t planning on being there much longer anyway. This lady, on the other hand, had 18 years there, so she was actually making a career out of it. It’d be nice to see her win a nice payout from them, however; she wasn’t LP in the first place and really had no place in confronting the shoplifter. Only LP is permitted to do that.

      • Author Image

        She deserved to be counseled at worst. I believe she was terminated b
        Because of her age and length of employment. does she have another 18 years to work, vacation, medical etc? I

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      If this person had 18 years the shoplifting deal was just a means to an end, Lowe’s was trolling for a way to get rid of her , this was right out of the
      large corporation playbook.

  2. Author Image

    If you do not hire this courageous woman again, my husband and I will never shop Lowe’s again. We have a lot of business connections who we are going to notify of this story.

  3. Author Image

    As much as it sucks, and it seems that she was doing a good deed or a good job, Lowe’s is corrects in this. It is company policy not to confront a shoplifter besides giving good customer service (meaning letting them know you are watching them without accusing), more importantly do not follow them out of the store (though if she’d have just followed at a distance and got the license plate, while still not supposed to, I doubt she’d have gotten fired, but no she attempted to get to get the merchandise out of the back seat.) So Lowe’s statement that she put herself and others in danger is true. He could have hurt her, stabbed her, kidnapped her, shot her, or started shooting others, you just don’t know. If she’d have gotten hurt, Lowe’s would have been liable for her and would have to pay workman’s comp plus whatever lawsuit she or who else got hurt. The cost to them would be greater than the 600 dollar loss. It is better to lose the 600 dollar drill, than have to pay thousands of dollars in penalties and workman’s comp. She should have reported the shoplifter to security, security would have gotten the license plate from the cameras in the parking lot (if she told them right away they could have zoomed in). If I did what she did, Target would fire me too. We are specifically told not to do what she did. Sucks for her, but she didn’t follow the correct procedure. It is a firing offense, it is in the employee handbook. There isn’t much they could do about it. She won’t win in court. Most states can fire you for any reason not protected under law, regardless, and this isn’t that kind of case. I wish her luck in finding a new job.

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      I agree with Micheal The price of the drill was nothing compared to the Pandora’s box of troubles she could have opened.

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      Lowe’s wouldn’t have been liable if he had started stabbing her or shooting everyone in the store. There is nothing negligent about the woman’s actions, and really, Lowe’s wouldn’t have been responsible for any of the illegal actions of a third-party.

      • Author Image

        wrong, Lowes would be liable if she got hurt during the course of employment

        • Author Image

          In Kentucky, as in Virginia, a work injury is considered compensable when it ARISES out of AND in the COURSE of employment. In other words, it may have happened while she was at work, but it did not arise out of her employment. She was acting outside the scope of her employment at Lowe’s. Therefore, if she would have been assaulted by the thief, her injuries would be deemed non-work related. Most people think that just because you get hurt at work, you are automatically entitled to work comp benefits which is far from the truth.

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            And just how much money would they have to spend defending the case? Lawyers cost money. In a company it’s all about mitigating damages. Cheaper to let her go than to take the risks of her actions.

          • Author Image

            You are wrong. Worker’s comp covers employees from the time they leave their house for work until they return home from work. In Virginia, a co-worker of mine was in a car accident on her way to work, and she was covered under worker’s comp (although she did have to fight for it with an attorney). Employers count on employees not knowing their rights under the law, and people like you who spread misinformation are not doing people any favors.

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        Lowe’s might not have been liable if he had started stabbing her or shooting everyone in the store, but that’s not what happened here and is irrelevant. Lowe’s is liable for their employee’s actions, and the moment she decided to follow the shoplifter out of the store she was in violation of Lowe’s employee procedures and endangering herself and others.

        That being said, I do agree that firing Ms. Sizemore was extreme and I hope she gets a second chance.

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        yes they would have been she was on the clock

    • Author Image

      While I agree in principal, I feel that firing her was over the top. This woman gave 18 years of her life in service to Lowe’s, and this should have been taken into consideration.

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        Oh you don’t get it. It’s the 18 years that got her fired. She most likely was at the upper end of her pay scale, now she can be replaced by someone much less expensive. I know, I was fired at over 19 years. That’s the game they are playing now. The only way you can win, is not to play.

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      I agree that it is a problem that she violated company policy, but I think a reprimand would have been sufficient. And perhaps a memo to all employees reminding them WHY the policy exists.

      Firing her was extreme.

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        I totally agree….I think firing Extreme and a Reprimand would have been proper.
        I do understand why they have such a policy but still…There is just to much of this kind of theft etc. going on and someone, somewhere, sometime, has to stand up and Not Take it Anymore.
        I wonder if she ever actually was trained properly in this matter or even given the handbook and really understood it was a firing offense?
        How often do they have all employees meetings where they cover such policies?

        • Author Image

          The policy is DON’T GO AFTER THE THIEF. What part of that is not understood? Take down the tag of the car, call the cops, let them handle it. While perhaps firing is extreme but what she did was extreme (seriously, getting in the car?!?). If she was “so mad” perhaps she needs to learn new ways of getting her anger under control.

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      Hey Michael, it’s not called workman’s comp…… The 70′s called, they want their term back.

    • Author Image

      Your post is correct. I work for a major retailer and we also have the same policy. She is not an asset protection associate so she violated the policy. Not only did she violate the policy she went as far as to enter the person’s car to try and retrieve the item. After her hiring she was well aware of the policy on the dos and don’ts when it comes to shoplifters.

    • Author Image

      Michael is correct. She opened the company up to so much liability – not to mention the potential danger to customers and other staff – by ignoring company policy. (You would think that she would have known better after 18 years.)
      It would have been potentially less dangerous and costly for her to have walked over into the kitchen department and taken a dump in one of the stainless steel sinks. (And if she’d been fired for THAT, she wouldn’t likely have anyone here crying “unfair!”)

    • Author Image

      The so called policy that Lowe’s keeps referring to does not exist. I have read both the employee handbook and the human resources managers hand book and that policy is not in either.

      In addition, two other employees also were chasing this shoplifter but since neither of them had 18 years with the company they were not fired.

  4. Author Image

    Is there a web site where we can sign a petition that will be delivered to Lowes demanding that they give her her job back?

  5. Author Image

    Sadly, I have to agree with Michael. I think Kentucky is a “Right to work” state, which means she would have no union steward to help her.
    However, depending on her work record of the past 18 years, a good lawyer can get her her job back with back pay, though it usually takes a long time. As union rep for 14 years, I was able to get people their jobs back when things similar to this happened, and I could make a case with this one just on what I’ve read, but it all depends on her past record.
    Good luck Karen!

  6. Author Image

    I agree that the employee didn’t follow policy and I agree that she should be punished — but at the same time her punishment was very harsh. Since she is an 18-year employee there must be something good about her (what is Lowe’s employee turn-around rate?). She wasn’t hurt – - even though she did violate policy and I agree that she should be punished (a documented counseling or a suspension?) but terminating a loyal, hardworking, dedicated employee for being a loyal, hardworking, dedicated employee is over the line – - and unless she comes back – those screwdrivers I bought last weekend are my last purchase from them.

  7. Author Image

    Total B.S.!!!! I’m going to shop elsewhere from now on!!!

  8. Author Image

    So how is it that you fire her during her shift & then “conduct an investigation”. Shows your bad judgement & poor leadership skills. Or just a reason to fire an old lady that makes the frontline look bad.

    Lowe’s BLOWS!

  9. Author Image

    My fellow Americans….
    When in the course of human events it becomes necessary
    to band together then by God’s grace so let it be:
    I stand with Karen Sizemoore in her appeal for mercy!

    Therefore I give my:
    CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE
    before my Lord Jesus Christ
    and
    fellow man…
    to abstain from any interaction from and with
    the LOWES corp. until such time she is reinstated to her former
    position.
    By my hand this October 11, 2013
    Shepard
    (5 year camera operator: monitoring both internal and external
    security and safety situations…still at the controls
    [reprimanded Year 1 because of contact w/ customer; and
    warning sometime in last 2years] The team I’m on made
    a total 2012 recovery of $20,000 for ‘THE COMPANY’
    not to mention the apprehension of numerous
    ‘failure to appear’ and many other outstanding warrants types.)
    I stand with you ‘Karen Sizemoore’
    What say you ‘LOWES’?

    ovr-n-out
    Shepard ‘r’

  10. Author Image

    Lowe’s behavior is disgusting. HIRE THIS WOMAN BACK! Until you do, we will take our business elsewhere. I hear Menard’s is nice.

  11. Author Image

    Firing this woman after 18 years of loyal service is wrong, firing her for looking out for the companies best interests is unacceptable! This woman was simply doing what all of us want to do with these stupid thieves! She should have been commended, not terminated! Shame on you Lowe’s!

  12. Author Image

    Sorry, but Lowes is entirely correct. Sucks she lost her job, but that’s why Lowes has those policies in place. For her safety and others.

    • Author Image

      Bill,
      Can you show me where this policy is?? I have read both the employee handbook for Lowe’s and the Human Resource Managers handbook and this so called policy is not listed in either one. Just thought you had access to something that I didn’t.

  13. Author Image

    I hope another company sees the value of this loyal employee and hires her, pays her more and treats her better.

  14. Author Image

    I have been in retail for 35 years and although this is a shame all retail stores have a policy not to follow anyone outside for safety reasons. What if she had been killed….Big law suit against Lowe’s….
    I have been in her position but you can never put yourself in danger for anything…even $600 worth of inventory.

  15. Author Image

    I’m done with Lowes until this person is back on the job.

  16. Author Image

    So, the high-paid higher-ups would rather the store be shoplifted so they can just pass on the costs to the consumers in higher prices! Screw them! I’ll shop somewhere else from now on. If they’re worried about costs they can cut their pay for not doing anything productive (sort of like Congress).

  17. Author Image

    I’m married to a Lowe’s employee. They’re very strict about all of their safety policies and they expect everyone to follow those rules. When one person violates a safety policy they’re putting everyone in that store in jeopardy. This goes for the use of heavy equipment that reaches merchandise for customers and it goes for confronting shoplifters. I’ve done my own time in retail and it’s a big no-no to confront a shoplifter because you simply don’t know the type of person you’re confronting. They don’t need a weapon to do some serious damage to you. They can leave and come back. What do you do? You call security or you call the police. If you can get a license plate, then you turn it in. You give as many details as you can. But employees are not trained to confront shoplifters.

    Yes it sucks that she lost her job over this, but I think management was correct in doing it. Who’s to say she won’t do it again or inspire her coworkers to do something similar? They had to make an example of her so that other employees don’t make the same huge mistake that she made, and end up with a worse consequence than she ended up with. She’s lucky that she only lost her job.

  18. Author Image

    Michael is correct. Having been employed there for 18 years, she knew company policy… and there is a reason companies have that policy. What turned out to be a positive ending in this instance, could have been horrific in another. Companies can’t pick and choose their liability, and who they will and won’t hold accountable, based on how everything turned out.

  19. Author Image

    Glad menards opened in my town. I won’t be going to lowes anymore…
    in my opinion, the proper way to have handled this would be to have retrained the employee in how to handle shoplifters and the company policies. Given that she worked there for 18 years, she may not have been up-to-date on the policies. I’m betting she hadn’t been thru a training session in quite a while.

  20. Author Image

    I do understand that she broke policy, but I don’t think she should have lost her job. Suspended without pay for a few weeks would have been an eye opener. I think that the fact she has been with then for 18 years should hold some value. I would think they could work something else out…

  21. Author Image

    I worked as a vendor at Lowe’s for a couple of month’s, ’til I couldn’t stand it any longer. The managers were all total jerks. When in the break room, no one spoke more than a few words, ‘cuz what you said would find its way to the top. Employees would get fired for swearing, so they’d call each other names of store managers, to get the desired effect.

    One Saturday, I found some returned, used riding mowers blocking my work area. They had been sent out to a mower shop for repairs, now here they sat in my work area with dead batteries and flat tires. I asked the store manager if he wanted me to shove them outside to get them out of the way. He said fix them, then put them out front to sell at the original price. I told him Huffy’s contract forbid me to make repairs on used power outdoor equipment. He blew his cork and said if I didn’t have anything else to do, I could go home. No problem.

    As I was shutting down my workplace computer. I notice the big man was on his cell as usual. He was over near the the electric material lifts sitting near their charging stations. All hooked up in a safety harness and latched onto the roll cage of one doodlebug, yet he unhooked the freshly charged battery and made ready the doodle bug next to the one he was tethered to. Still blabbing on his store cell, he took off full bore. Well, the cable of the safety tether soon snatched him off hard and slammed him to the concrete floor! I grabbed my sign-out sheet, walked over to the manager as he was still lying on the floor gasping for breath, and laid the paper on his chest and said, “Since you’re the ‘Manager-On-Deck’, would you be so kind to sign my work-log.” Then I just left him there with his wind knocked out. Another employee witnessed the whole incident and stood their in disbelief. I told him he’d better go tend to his boss, he told me he was on break.

    The following Tuesday was my next work day. As I tried to make it to my work area, I saw that it was crammed full of all sorts of merchandise and mowers. I grabbed a doodle bug and plowed it into the mess, shoving it ’til I made a hole big enough to get to my tools and my phone. I called my boss and told him what had happened and quit my job.

    It wasn’t long afterward and he was terminated along with a couple other lesser managers.

  22. Author Image

    If she’s an 18year employee then she knew what Lowes policy is ! It would be one thing to follow him out to write down the plate number, but to stick your hand into the car was just plain stupid ! I’ve worked in retail my whole life and know how frustrating shoplifters can be but the policy was in place for HER safety !

  23. Author Image

    Too bad we don’t value courage, loyalty, and workers who go beyond the call of duty in our society anymore. No wonder the economy is a disaster. The criminals have one, that’s for sure! I’m disgusted with Lowe’s. They should have counseled the employee regarding their policies for the future, but to punish her for showing the courage that very few of us possess…wow…that’s what’s wrong with this society. We’ve become a bunch or wussies. They’ll probably hire the criminal once he’s done his time. I’ve never shopped at Lowe’s and never will!

  24. Author Image

    To the senior management of Lowe’s: ” Hire the lady back, its easy to go shopping elsewhere.”

  25. Author Image

    If the guy she caught was a nigger, you bet she’d have gotten a medal.

  26. Author Image

    To echo some of the previous commenters, this is indeed unfortunate but if she worked for Lowe’s for 18 years then she was well aware of Lowe’s loss prevention policies. This is SOP for all major retailers and it is talked about often. I worked for Best Buy when an employee at one of our South Carolina stores detained a shoplifter by sitting on them. The customer had a heart attack and died. Aside from the senseless loss of life it cost the company millions. All over a stolen CD.

    I’ve had to fire employees for violating similar loss prevention policies. Good employees. It’s always sad and I’m sure the managers in this case felt terrible, but termination in these instances considered automatic. You do not, under any circumstances, use force to detain a suspected shoplifter and you do not pursue a suspected shoplifter once they’ve left the building. I hope she finds other employment soon.

  27. Author Image

    It is blatantly unfair of Lowe’s to fire 18-year employee, Karen sizemore, for attempting to stop a shoplifter that I will switch to Menard’s or Home Depot instead of long-time favorite Lowe’s until or unless I learn that Ms Sizemore has been re-instated.

  28. Author Image

    Chain stores have lose prevention staff and insurance to cover the loss. Corporate america does not give two craps about employee loyalty, courage or going above and beyond. This is not the 1950′s.
    If she was shot in the face while recovering the tool, would it have been worth the it?
    We would like to think that your employer has your back. but the horrible truth of it is they dont.
    If they could get away with paying you less or nothing at all they would. Get over this fake outrage

    • Author Image

      I put in 7+ years at Lowe’s. Gradually the despicable manager kept cutting staffing more and more to the point where working and providing appropriate customer service became virtually impossible. As for shoplifting a customer came in with an ancient, rusty SEARS CRAFTSMAN lawn mower and the return desk handed her $300 for it approved by the insane management. Worse yet another customer stole merchandise, walked back around to the return desk to turn it into cash, the return employee scanned her driver’s license which would not permit returns without a receipt so she then went back into the store, stole another customer’s license, came back and even though the return desk employee knew she had done this, gave her the cash with manager approval. DON’T SHOP AT LOWE’S UNLESS YOU ARE A SHOPLIFTER!

  29. Author Image

    Homo-Depot is much fairer to employees and the community! :)

  30. Author Image

    IF I WERE YOU, KAREN SIZEMOORE, I WOULD HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU OUT IN GETTING PAID OF SEVERANCE PAY FOR 18 YRS. OF SERVICE……. I WOULD NEVER NEVER COME BACK TO WORK FOR A COMPANY AGAIN WHO COULD FIRE A STAFF MEMBER WHO IS JUST DOING RIGHT FOR THEIR COMPANY!!!!!!!! THIS IS JUST INSANE!!!!! COME TO THINK OF THAT…….! WOULD STILL WANNA WORK FOR THEM???……. THINK A HUNDRED TIMES OR MORE!!!!

  31. Author Image

    I was fired by a company after never getting anything but four years of glowing reviews. It was a college situation where we had summers off and my superior knew I needed a knee replacement, but every time I broached the subject, I was ignored. The last couple weeks of school are difficult with extensive hard work, end of year clean up, a plumbing disaster, etc. I used a cane for about a week, the first time at work in my four years there, and that was given as the reason I was fired. My job was not a physical labor job and what they did was completely illegal. I spent $490 on the best labor lawyer in town and was told that unless the Corporation had 14 employees I could not take it to the EEOC. I could go to the State of Indiana but the chances of winning were small and any chance of financial compensation was minuscule. Boy, do I regret spending that money on a fool’s errand. This system is rigged for the big guys, my advice is unless she can get a lawyer to represent her for winning this case, I would not sue. She’s fighting a behemoth! They could have reprimanded her, they didn’t need to fire her over one offense, especially when she was their advocate.

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      How do you know it was just “one offense”? How do you know she hadn’t already been warned about breaking company rules? And when she knowingly broke the company rules, placing herself in danger, she was no longer an “advocate” for the company.

  32. Author Image

    She violated company policy and directly disobeyed an employee mandate for which she could be fired. Lowe’s is responsible for anything that employee does while she is on the clock.

    She didn’t follow the procedures she was told to follow, as an employee. She let her emotions and judgmental attitude get the best of her. She acted like it was HER toolkit and it wasn’t – it was Lowe’s.

    She should have notified security and let them handle it – that’s THEIR JOB. What she did was not part of her job description.

    Moreover, these days, one never knows what could have happened. The man could have had a gun or a knife. One or both of them could have gotten hurt. Say she got the toolkit and he pulled a gun on her, they struggle and HE gets shot. Unfair as it may seem, the man could have sued both her and Lowe’s! The fact that he was a shoplifter would not have taken precedence over his right to sue for damages, hospital fees, etc.

    And I have to say, that even though she’s been working there for 18 years, she seems ready to snap. Any employer has to have a legitimate concern when an employee “snaps” – next time, it might be another shoplifter or even a co-worker and she might “snap”, grab a pruner and kill someone. At this point, she’s a liability. She can’t be allowed on the floor or to deal with customers.

    Sorry, but that’s how I see it. We cannot become a “vigilante” society. If she has that much anger and is taking it that personally, then she should seek counseling and find a job where she doesn’t have any dealings with the public…which is probably in everybody’s best interest.

    If the community supports her, perhaps someone in the community will come forward and offer her a job. But I think most employers are going to have second thoughts.

    • Author Image

      You have some validity to your argument but this is terrible policy for our society. It is saying to the public “We are too afraid of law suits so go help yourself to anything in the store for free.” We can not have a civilized society based on fear of law suits. We must do what is right.

      • Author Image

        If Lowes felt it was better to stop the shoplifter and save the merchandise then they would hire armed guards to check receipts of everyone leaving the store. Also, Lowes is responsible for her safety, not just avoiding lawsuits. If the shoplifter had killed the woman, no amount of money is going to make up for her not making it home from work ever again.

  33. Author Image

    When I was 17 years old and working as a supervisor for a major retailer, security stopped a woman who was shoplifting. When she asked to use the bathroom, I was the only female above clerk in the store so they asked me to watch her in the bathroom. They send in a 17 year old girl with no instructions at all. They took a gun off of her when she got to the police station. I wonder what would have happened had she pulled the gun on me? Would the security agents in the store get fired for setting me up?

  34. Author Image

    While I can see that perhaps a reprimand might be in order, firing serves to show that Lowe’s does not value its employees. She could have ignored the entire situation, but went to the aid of her employer. Shameful treatment!

  35. Author Image

    I worked in retail for many years. Even when you are well aware of company procedures, there are times when you are tired and sick of watching customers rip the company off and feel compelled to act.
    Retail is very hard work and many employees come and go once they realize how the tough the job really is. This Lady has been with Lowes for years and obviously cares about the company. For every employee like her you will find 20 that are there to do as little work as possible and could care less about the Lowes. Sounds like security personnel & possibly management feel embarrassed that a woman stepped up and did the job for them.
    Lowes, please stand up and do the right thing. Remind her of company policy and reinstate her job. Actually, I think the best thing for her to do is head to the closest Home Depot and apply. Maybe they will see the value in finding a employee who cares.

  36. Author Image

    In the past, I have spent thousands at Lowes, now I know that I can just steal from them without worrying about any employees doing anything. Besides, any company that would fire an employee over doing the right thing doesn’t deserve any more of my money!

  37. Author Image

    I just closed my Lowes account. Will take my money to home depot.

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    I do feel for this woman loosing her job, but as a retail manager for years, shoplifters and shoplifting gangs are extremely dangerous and often armed and rarely alone. This situation could have ended in her death, or a desperate criminal shooting up innocent bystanders. I have been involved first had in retail security and catching professional shoplifters. The rules are in place to protect employees and customers shopping at time of incident from harm. She did the correct thing getting the car plates, but should have never confronted and try to get the stuff out of the car. It’s the job of the police that have the man power to evaluate the suspect. There are also some legal issues prosecuting shoplifters that are approached in this manner and are hard to convict. I myself appreciate Lowe’s for standing by their employee and customer safety policy’s.

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    You people are attacking Lowe’s without all the knowledge of their policy. Day one I was told, no, not told, it was drilled into my head, about shoplifter. policy dictates that you can follow a shoplifter in store however you are to report it to a manager immediately. If they leave the store you cannot follow them, the rules are very clear if you do you can be terminated and will be terminated. As for the guy who said that Lowes fire people when they start earning to much, you are very very wrong about that, at my store there are 3 people not managers just CSR’s that have been there 15 years, Lowes has salary caps in place and also has very very good benefits for their employee’s. So before you all spout off shouting “I’ll never shop at Lowes again” you should all know that, that woman was told DO NOT FOLLOW A SHOPLIFTER OUT OF THE STORE. She is at fault not Lowes.

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    Ms. Sizemore tries to prevent a theft and Lowe’s fires her for it??? This is ridiculous! A) Her actions led to the arrest of the thief, b) Lowes got their property back and first and foremost c) Ms. Sizemore has proven that she is an employee who has the ability to think for herself. She is not just a little “working bee” that shuts off her brain as soon as she enters her place of work! I guess Lowes doesn’t put much value in empowering their employees. What they want is most likely employees that work hard, for as few money as possible and employees that don’t use their heads for thinking. This is really disgusting and I for one will not shop at Lowes again. I hope this incident goes viral and costs Lowes a whole lot of business!! Sure, this lady acted against “corporate policy” but according to her conscience with the good of her employer in mind. This is a great example that “no good deed goes unpunished!”

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    If you support Ms. Sizemore, please sign our petition. Thank you so much for you support!
    http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/lowes-fires-grandma-for

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      Thanks! We added a link to the petition to the article. Please share this article with MoveOn.org and other places so as many people as possible can see it!

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    Home Depot gets my business from now on.

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    My son worked for Lowes. He was a manager for them in numerous stores. One of his biggest complaints was ‘Lowes will do nothing if you shoplift and steal from them. You must stand by and idly watch. It is one of the stupidest rules and costs them millions a year in stolen merchandise. This is one of the reasons their stores are struggling. Now that the crooks know Lowes policy is to allow theft… they will only increase their criminal activity. They will let people shoplift without consequences, and those who have moral integrity must stand by and watch.

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    While it is a shame she lost her job she should have known better than to chase the shoplifter. If she worked at Lowe’s for 18 years she would have been well aware of policy regarding shoplifting and safety/security. Almost all big box and chain stores are very specific in how they deal with shoplifting. More often than not they ell employees NOT to approach and absolutely NOT to follow suspected shoplifters out of the store. Doing so is irresponsible. Policy is policy, even if it is stupid.

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    Larry L.
    The crooks and scum bags know the “Lowes Rules ” and that is why they steal like they do. Cudos to the employee that has morals and may she find a better job where people still care…..

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    I work for Home Depot and I can tell you were sick to death of the thief’s that come into our stores too. I would love to do what she did to protect the associates interest. The More they let these scum bags steal from us. The easier it gets and the more brave they get. They are endangering all of our safety’s by not stepping up and taking these p.o.s. out of commission. If they are not will to do something about it then that’s when us the employees and hardworking associate whom have had enough will. If you want to protect the employees than you better start stepping up and taking charge of the situation. Or your going to find more of us doing just that. She should not be fired but commended and we should all be standing beside her. With that I mean all hard working retail employees everywhere. Lowe’s should be ashamed of not doing there job and leaving it to the associates to step up and do the right thing. Because though of us who are honest and hard working are sick of these drug addict thief’s taking our hard earned money. Lowe’s and Home Depot both promote a family atmosphere but do nothing to really take care of there family’s. Your policy of, just let them leave is outdated and irresponsible. The world is getting more and more dangerous and we need you to help. Get loss prevention back in the stores. If there is no deterrent for these people it will escalate to something much much worse. Your not in the trenches we are. Help your employes be proud of working for your companies because I guaranty you if you do nothing to stop this your going to see more and more employees stealing themselves. As well as more customer putting us in danger. Please get your heads out of your butts. People are turning badder and badder everyday. We need to show them good can prevail.

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    I attempted to file a complaint as mentioned in the article, and found out to file a complaint through the agency pointed to by the prompt I would be charged $25. I totally object to the way the woman was treated, but not $25 worth.

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    They do this for a reason. You cannot allow each individual employee to decide on their own how to handle shoplifters or any other routine problem the store may encounter. A set of rules and policies are put into place to protect the company from lawsuits. It is not the employee who gets sued, it is the store. If Lowe’s failed to fire her for not adhering to company policy , then they have condoned her actions, set a precedent for future employees to act in any manner they chose and left themselves wide open for a lawsuit. It is hard for rational thinking, level headed people to understand why such policies are needed but I witnessed first hand what some over zealous employees will do in apprehending a shoplifter. An assistant manager at a store I worked at locked a shoplifter in the store at closing time while he waited for the police to arrive. He made petty excuses about needing to wait on the timer so that he could shut off the alarms and then unlock the door and let her out. She became aware of what was happening and said she had to use the rest room. He knew she was trying to get rid of the products she had on her body , so he followed her into the rest room. OMG! I was in shock! I would have sued that store for so many things if I were her. Yes, she was guilty as could be of shoplifting but he broke about a hundred laws trying to apprehend her. He was definitely guilty of kidnapping her by locking her into that store and refusing to let her leave.He was also guilty of watching her through the cracks in the bathroom stalls in the women’s rest room where he had no right to be. She could have sued the store for huge amounts of money and won, but lucky for them, she was so messed up she wasn’t thinking clearly enough to do that. I certainly would have sued and I’d probably still be suing. Two wrongs do not make a right.

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    On one side, you have an 18 year employee who is a grandmother and an upstanding member of the community. A pillar. A fine example of dedication. Lowe’s would be committing a grievous error to let someone go over such a small indiscretion.

    On the other side, has anyone asked if this was the only issue this employee has ever had? Just because a person has been employed at the same place for 18 years does not mean she was not already on her way out.

    Think about what could have happened: she could have been shot in the process, and her mistake would have cost her life.

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    Same thing happen to me with Tommy Hilfiger. Your suppose to just let them walk away. The police want a license plate number. If you have a bad inventory your in trouble too, if you help someone to hard your in trouble too. No win. Hope she gets unemployment, they will probably fight this too just like Tommy did. Still fighting.

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