“I just felt that what I had done wasn’t wrong and shouldn’t have gotten me fired,” he wrote.
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Shedyak had been at the store for four years and was employee of the month earlier this year, WCAX reports. He is also a part-time volunteer firefighter.
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He says he had just arrived at work when another employee reported the theft to him. He ran away, spotted the suspect and pursued him.
“He had the purse in his hand,” Shedyak told WCAX.
He says he managed to pin down the suspect and retrieve the purse, but the man broke free and escaped while on the phone with police.
Shedyak says he was happy to return the handbag to its owner.
“She was trying to offer me money,” he said. Shedyak turned the woman down and said he just wanted to do the right thing.
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“It’s not like I’m going to do this to be a hero,” he says.
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Adrian Moore, 29, was later arrested for theft in connection with the incident, police said.
Hannaford suspended Shedyak while he investigated the incident, then called and fired him, according to his message.
“The result resulted in my dismissal due to safety concerns when I was on time at the company,” he wrote.
Shedyak told WCAX he was frustrated with the result, as things might have turned out differently if he hadn’t been on the clock.
“Why should it make a difference that, hey, I’m pointed out now – he’s in trouble.” If I wasn’t signed up – oh you did a good job, ”he said.
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Hannaford management declined to comment on “personnel issues” when asked about the case.
Local lawyer Pietro Lynn said Shedyak was likely fired due to legal liability issues.
“It’s not at all uncommon for employers to discourage employees from getting their hands on customers,” he told WXAX.
He stressed that such a meeting could have resulted in injury and a costly lawsuit.
“There are so many cases in Vermont where employers are held accountable for the wrongdoing of their employees,” he said.
Shedyak says he has found a new job since the incident.
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