Longtime employee fired from Lowes for chasing robber

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by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 6:00 PM

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. – A long time employee of the Lowe’s Home Improvement store chain was fired after she chased down a robber who was stealing tools from the store.

Karen Sizemore apparently acted on instinct and the robber was eventually arrested. Sizemore shared her story with WHAS11.

As a single mother, Karen Sizemore worked hard to support her family. For 18 years, she prided herself on being a stand up employee at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Elizabethtown, KY. “I loved the people I worked with, I loved the customers,” she explained. Sizemore had a nearly spotless record with the company. “I only got wrote up one time for not having the paint desk clean,” she said.

Then, one night in early October, around 9:30, Sizemore saw a man steal a tool kit worth several hundred dollars and run out the door. “They’re stealing from my store, that I’ve been there for 18 years,” she explained, “And it was just nothing, it was just the whole idea of another thief stealing from us.”

Sizemore ran out of the store, chasing the thief through the parking lot, a split second decision that effectively erased almost two decades of hard work. “To be perfectly honest, I don’t even remember bolting out the door,” she said, “I just knew that he was stealing from us and it was just blatantly wrong.”

After chasing the man into the parking lot, Sizemore tried to grab the tool kit out of the thief’s car, but other employees pulled her back and the man took off. They got his license plate number and turned it over to police who arrested Kyle Heim and charged him with felony robbery. A week later, Lowe’s fired Sizemore. “I’ve given that company 18 years,” Sizemore said with tears in her eyes, “I went above and beyond what any…what I feel was an honest mistake.”

A three minute meeting ended two decades of hard work. Now, Sizemore worries about making ends meet. “I’m worried about, how do I make my house payment? Insurance, I’ve lost all of that.”

Sizemore says she believes Lowe’s was looking for an excuse to get rid of her; that they wanted to hire workers they could pay less in her place. She’s now looking for other work.

We reached out to Lowe’s, the corporate office sent a statement saying, “We are focused on the safety of customers and employees and have specific guidelines in place for handling possible shoplifting incidents.”  Sizemore says those guidelines were never made clear to her.

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