News10NBC Investigates: Shoplifting incident that led to store manager’s firing had witnesses

Couple witness shoplifting incident that led to store manager being fired

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. – Thousands of people watched our investigative report on the Big Lots store manager who says he was fired for following a shoplifter.

Pat Guider says he left the store to track the shoplifter because Guider says he threw a punch at his assistant manager.

And now there are witnesses.

A husband and wife back up Guider’s story and the wife told News10NBC the shoplifter hit her too.

“I felt something shove me,” Karen Eagan said.

Karen and Tom Eagan had just finished shopping at the Big Lots on Hudson Avenue in Irondequoit. Karen says the shoplifter dropped his elbow into her as he ran away.

“I was startled when it happened and then when I saw what was going on I guess I was just angry,” she said.

This is the incident that the former store manager says got him fired. Pat Guider believes he was fired because he violated company policy about pursuing and trying to identify shoplifters. Guider says he followed the shoplifter because he threw a punch at his assistant manager.

“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 said at his home last week. “I thought I was doing the right thing by calling asset protection and reporting it and it ends up getting me fired. Unbelievable! Unbelievable!”

In an earlier interview, Tom Eagan told me he drove around the neighborhood looking for the shoplifter.
When he didn’t find him, Eagan returned to the store parking lot and talked with Guider. Friday night, he and Karen watched the News10NBC story on his firing.

“It was like – oh my God! Isn’t that the manager? Isn’t that the guy we met?” Tom said. “And we were shocked. They fired him for doing nothing.”

Karen says Irondequoit Police asked her if she wanted to file a report but she declined.

We have emailed and called Big Lots for a week now. We asked for the company policy on shoplifting and if following a shoplifter out of a store is a fire-able offense. The company has still not responded.

Shoplifting incident that lead to store manager’s firing had witnesses

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.