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      Today Normal Record 11/9/2015
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    CBS12 Chico

    Longtime CVS employee fired after stopping suspected shoplifter

    Longtime CVS employee fired after stopping suspected shoplifter

    When Vikki Patterson took to Facebook to vent after losing her job last week, members of the community quickly responded with messages of love and support.

    Patterson has worked at the CVS Pharmacy on Placer Street in Redding for 17 years, since it was Long's Drugs.

    Last week, she was fired when trying to defend an employee and herself from a suspected shoplifter trying to make off with $600 dollars worth of merchandise.

    “She was running towards my cashier, and she hit my cashier first,” Patterson said. “Before I even got there, there was her hitting my cashier and then me trying to stop it and we all piled outside.”

    She says her keys became tangled in the other woman's hair which angered the woman and caused her to hit Patterson.

    “These shoplifters are getting worse,” Patterson said. “They're getting more blatant. They are everywhere. They're stealing anything. They're stealing from the dollar store. The dollar store? You know, they're stealing from everybody. And corporations need to beef up to be prepared for this.”

    In an official statement, senior director of communications for CVS Mike DeAngelis wrote,

    “The safety of our customers and employees are always our highest priority in the event of a shoplifting incident or robbery.

    We do not comment on specific security policies because we do not

    Want to undermine them, however the actions of Ms. Patterson endangered everyone who was present during the incident at our Redding store, including customers, her co-worker and herself.”  

    But Patterson says she did nothing wrong and corporations need to do more to keep their employees safe.

    “By not scheduling enough people, by not having security, that's putting us in danger,” she said. “That's putting their customers in danger. They say they only care about the welfare of their customers and their employees, well then give them some security.”

    Patterson says she loved her job, and being fired has been devastating because she is the sole provider for her and her husband, a transplant recipient which she cares for.

    Her daughter set up a Change.org petition to reinstate her mother's job which has already garnered nearly1,500 signatures.

    And a YouCaring fundraising page has raised more than $300 and has been shared 660 times.

    “It reached a lot of people,” Patterson said. “They think that only one person's voice isn't going to matter, but now it's like a choir, it's beautiful, I love it. I love it. I hope they keep on saying that they're not happy with how things are working.

    Patterson doesn't know what's next for her, but says she hopes to find a job where she can take care of people and with good benefits for her husband.

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