The Huffington Post | By Sara Gates
After AutoZone employee Devin McClean stopped a serial thief from robbing the local auto parts store in York County, Virginia, some hailed him as a hero, but not the head honchoes at AutoZone. They saw McClean’s actions as a reason for termination.
It’s not the fact that McClean thwarted the would-be-robber, but how he did it.
When the “fake beard bandit,” a repeat offender who has struck more than 30 stores in the area, recently entered the store with a gun in hand, McClean took it upon himself to stop the robbery. McClean darted out the door grabbed his gun, reentered the store and confronted the bandit. He was fired two days later.
Shortly after the incident, a Facebook group called “Boycott Autozone in support of Devin Mclean” popped up, asking community members to call AutoZone in support of McClean. Another campaign against AutoZone that calls for the company to publicly apologize, change its policy and reinstate McClean was also posted on a boycott site.
An Autozone representative told a local news channel that the company has a zero tolerance policy for employees bringing weapons into their stores.
This isn’t the first time an employee has been fired for intervening in a robbery. In 2011, four Walmart employees were terminated after they disarmed and subdued a gun-toting assailant. Walmart policy directs employees to “disengage” and “withdraw” when a weapon is drawn.