BY LINDA BENTLEY | MARCH 23, 2011
Circle K policy leaves no good deed unpunished
When it comes to cops and robbers, Circle K would rather be robbed
CAVE CREEK – Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies were only able to apprehend the two Cave Creek Circle K robbers, Soldato Giganti, who has been linked to 15 other Circle K robberies, and his accomplice Stevi Clements, on March 15 because Stewart, a Circle K employee, went outside to get a description of the getaway car to give to fellow employee Kippi while she was on the phone with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Stewart was immediately terminated for his part in helping apprehend a serial Circle K robber.
Although we’ve been unable to reach Stewart, it is our understanding that he had just completed his shift when the robbery occurred and, therefore, would have been leaving to go home anyway.
On March 11, Karen, who has worked at the Circle K located at 6802 E. Cave Creek Road for seven years, was terminated for her assistance in helping MCSO catch a couple of young shoplifters who made off with four packs of cigarettes a few days earlier.
According to Karen, when she was working Tuesday night she heard a loud pop and went to check inside the cooler to see if everything was OK but said when she came back out she saw two teens go behind the counter.
She asked them what they were doing and said they managed to grab four packs of cigarettes before fleeing the store.
Karen said there was a couple outside at the red box (DVD rental machine) so she went outside and asked if they saw which way the two shoplifters went.
The couple said the two were on foot and told Karen they saw them go across the street to the Mardi Gras event at the Buffalo Chip Saloon.
Karen said she went back inside and called the sheriff’s office to make a report. That was on Tuesday.
Karen went to work on Wednesday and said she was off on Thursday.
Friday morning Karen said she received a call from the store manager, who called her in to fire her.
She said the manager told her the policy book does not allow employees to go outside at night during their shift because they are putting their life at risk.
Circle K apparently has a zero tolerance policy, even if it means employees are using common sense and looking out for the company’s best interest.
Karen said MCSO came to her house after the incident with a couple of mug shots and asked if she could identify the two shoplifters, which she said she was able to do.
Because of her assistance in the apprehension of two thieves, Karen is now unemployed.
According to Karen, management would have employees sign various notices from time to time regarding company policies, which she said everyone signed but probably never read.
She said some employees go outside to smoke cigarettes during their night shifts and that has never seemed to be an issue with management.
Karen said management also saw no problem with having an employee working alone make up bank deposits at the front counter with large sums of money.
But she was astonished to learn going outside for the express purpose of obtaining information that could assist law enforcement with apprehending robbers could get an employee canned.
Karen said she was told going outside at night puts employees’ lives at risk and would not be tolerated.
Kim Kwiatkowski from Circle K’s corporate office returned Sonoran News’ call on Tuesday morning to say “Circle K respectfully declines to comment.”