Becoming a viral sensation has paid off for the Supercheap Auto worker who accelerated to fame when he stood up against an attempted thief trying to smuggle out goods in a pram.
The worker, in his early 40s, became an overnight hero when video footage of him stopping the screaming woman from shoplifting at a Gold Coast store hit social media.
While praise for the employee rolled in, with many suggesting that he should be given a raise, Supercheap Auto crashed his career by suspending him while investigating the incident.
Outrage flooded in from lead-footed fans who said they were going to boycott the retailer, while some employers were quick to spot a chance to pick up a star employee.
Among the flood of job offers was Autobarn, in nearby Burleigh Heads.
Owner Michael Farrar told Yahoo News Australia that he interviewed the worker right away, and is pleased to announce that he’s since accepted the new role and will start on Tuesday.
“You can measure people’s performance but you can’t measure their loyalty,” Mr Farrar said, impressed at the viral video.
“He just indicated that he was a very loyal person and that is the sort of people that we want.”
For Mr Farrar, who’s owned the franchise for the last two years, theft is a huge issue.
He said he’s lost around $15,000 over that time.
“Everything that we have ever had taken, we’ve never got anything back, and we’ve never really had a great deal of support there — even for ones that we have kind of caught,” Mr Farrar said.
“We’ve seen the whole thing go down and have given police the footage and number plates and still never got any of that back.”
“So the only way we can manage it is to make sure we are on top of it in store.”
Loyal employee fends off shoplifter
The former Supercheap Auto worker earned his fame when he tried to stop a woman from making off with several items concealed in a pram.
In the video, the pair can be seen wrestling with the pram, which is draped with a blanket.
While the woman yells out “let my baby go”, the staff member can be heard saying “you haven’t even got a baby in there” before a box falls out onto the ground.
Queensland Police said they are investigating the theft of two disc-rotors from the Molendinar auto-parts store on April 24, and confirmed the woman fled the scene after the altercation.
Protecting team members in the line of duty
While there was public uproar in response to the worker being stood down, Supercheap Auto said it is company policy not to confront or physically interact with customers.
In a statement provided to Yahoo News Australia, which confirmed that the worker has since quit, the retailer said it has completed a comprehensive review into the incident.
“Following the review, we have reminded all team members about the importance of the company’s policies and standards on interacting with customers, which are designed to protect our team members and customers,” a spokesperson said.
“We have extensive video surveillance in our stores and suspected cases of shoplifting are referred to the police with footage of the alleged offenders.”
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