Man fired for stopping purse thief has new job, GoFundMe site, others’ admiration

By Guy Page

A young Essex Junction man and volunteer firefighter fired from his grocery store job for stopping a purse thief now has a new job, a GoFundMe site established by an admirer, the ongoing respect of friends and community, and the attention of local, national and international press.

Amir Shedyak, 20, wasn’t looking for any of those things when he arrived at work at Hannaford’s in the Lang Farm shopping center one day in August and was told by a fellow employee a woman’s purse had just been stolen. The young shift leader sprinted after the thief, stopped him, held him down, took back the purse, and waited for police to arrive.

His efforts led to the arrest of Adrian Moore, 29, of Essex on larceny charges, according to WCAX. Tragically, Moore died September 4 in South Burlington after crashing a stolen car, South Burlington police said. The accident scene showed evidence of an opioid addiction.

Amir Shedyak, as a volunteer fireman in 2018.

The Gofundme account was established by Kelly Kaye after she read a Sept. 19 articleabout Amir in the New York Post. “Asking for us to raise some money for this young man so that he can be rewarded for his bravery and for saving an old woman from more stress and potential ruin, identity theft or worse,” Kaye says. To date it has raised $120.

Shedyak will be the guest on the WVMT radio talk show Morning Drive with Kurt & Marcus 8 am Friday morning, according to Shedyak’s Facebook page. The story also has gone national and indeed international, through publication in the Sun, a United Kingdom sister Murdoch publication of the New York Post.

Local friends and complete strangers alike have offered praise and encouragement on Shedyak’s public Facebook page.

“This is so much bigger than company policy. It is right vs. wrong in our own backyard. Everyone should contact Hannaford’s & let their feelings known. We need more Amirs.” – Joe Carnacchia, Essex Junction

“Thank you for your service to your community and for taking action to love your neighbors, Amir Shedyak. You are a true hero and acting with integrity in a way that most of us only post about to further our political agenda-and usually rather hypocritical to our professed beliefs. You are the employee, neighbor, and friend I aspire to be.” – Derek Cook

“This young man is a hero, problem today is we fire people who try to help others with no agenda.” – Michelle Thibault, Essex business owner

“You should have received a raise and promotion. Please don’t change you’re a great person. Your former employer will be hearing from me and all of my friends. God Bless you.” – New Yorker Derek Timoney

Attention to Shedyak’s predicament began after he posted the following letter on social media. It was then reposted by friends and brought to the attention of local media.

“I got fired from Hannafords after working there for four years.

“I started out as a bagger and worked my way up to the post of a shift leader. Throughout the years working at Hannafords, I was trained in many departments such as the kitchen, deli and Hannaford to go. I was March employee of the month for coming to work on time, covering shifts when needed, and going above and beyond to help customers in any way possible.

“I had just arrived into work as usual, I clocked in and went on with my day. I was flagged down by an associate and asked what was wrong, he said an elderly lady’s purse had been stolen. I quickly sprung into action and ran outside.There were many people outside due to witnessing the act of crime. I asked which way the thief went and chased after him.

“I was able to subdue him and get the purse back to the elderly lady. She was beyond grateful! A few days later I went back to work like usual, except this time I got called into my managers office. I was told that I would be suspended due to an ongoing investigation of the incident. A week later I received a phone call that the investigation was done and I could come into work for the results. The outcome resulted in me getting fired due to safety issues while on company time. I have no hard feelings towards my coworkers/ managers or the establishment.

“I just feel that what I had done was not wrong and should not have resulted in me being fired.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

9 thoughts on “Man fired for stopping purse thief has new job, GoFundMe site, others’ admiration

  1. This made the news all the way down in the Carolina’s. If I could drop Hannaford’s as a customer I surely would.

  2. Understand the guy got fired because the employer was afraid of getting sued. Sued by a purse snatcher? For what???? Am I missing something????? What kind of society has this country arrived at???? Sad, sad, sad!!!!

  3. The article states ‘Tragically, Moore died Sept 4th after crashing a stolen car’.

    I’m not seeing the tragedy here.

  4. This is not the only thing that Hannaford’s gets wrong!!

    They have lost track of customers first at the upper levels of this chain. Lots of changes since it was Martin’s. We quit going there over a year ago.

    Our shopping area is not in Essex.

  5. Let me see if I have this right. A Hannaford’s employee stops a guy who just stole a shoppers purse, holds him for the police and then to show their appreciation the supermarket fires this hero. To make matters worse the thief dies in a car crash with a vehicle he stole two days later. It seems to me that this young hero who got fired should be running Hannaford’s instead of the geniuses up at the top now. If this employee is not somehow compensated in the next week or two with a public apology and some type of reward I will take my $250.00 a week that I spend in Hannaford’s to ranother food chain and encourage everyone I know to do the same.

  6. WTF is wrong with Hannafords managment? Amir does a good thing and gets punished for it, what the hell is wrong with this picture? If more people would follow his lead this world would be a much better place.

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