Longtime Big Lots manager in New York fired after reporting assault on employee by shoplifter to police

"I think I did the right, just thing," Manager Pat Guider insisted.


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.

"I thought I was doing the right thing," Guider told News 10 NBC. "And it ends up getting me fired."

“I let people who shoplift leave the store every day. Every day. We just put it in the system like they ask us to do. This was an assault. This wasn’t shoplifting. This was an assault,” Guider expressed.

Guider is not the first Big Lots manager to be dismissed over a shoplifting incident. A similar case occurred in California, where a manager was fired for intervening in a shoplifting 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.

"I think I did the right, just thing," Guider insisted.

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