Two Lululemon employees are out of a job and four suspects are in custody after the suspects repeatedly targeted a Georgia Lululemon store, allegedly stealing thousands in merchandise on multiple occasions. The employees were fired for contacting police about the thefts, in violation of Lululemon’s corporate policy.
The four men, Bayo Allen, Quintavious Gooch, Nicholas Lynch and Braylon Shivers were apprehended on April 26, two days after one of their shoplifting sprees was caught on camera and posted online, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Both Allen and Gooch have been charged with “theft by shoplifting” and “theft by receiving stolen property” and are being held on a bond worth approximately $15,000.
Shivers is facing an additional charge of marijuana possession and is being held on a $17,000 bond.
The video was posted to Facebook by Jason Ferguson, the husband of now former assistant manager Jennifer Ferguson who said she was fired for calling police on the alleged thieves.
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“This was this group’s fifth (maybe close to 10th) time robbing the store with NO ACTION TAKEN by Lululemon to curb the robberies and keep the employees safe,” Jason Ferguson wrote on Facebook.
According to Lululemon’s policy, employees are not to interfere in robberies for their own safety, instead they are to log the incident via a QR code.
Rachel Rogers, one of the employees who lost her job, recorded the robbery, saying that the band of thieves had been targeting her workplace for weeks, grabbing armfulls of merchandise and fleeing an hour before the store was closed for the night.
Fed up with the behavior, the two employees followed the thieves out of the store after one of their thefts and contacted the Gwinnett Police Department, who was successful in tracking down the thieves in their red Subaru SUV that they used for their getaway.
“Ferguson said that the police arrived to the scene quickly to gather statements and expressed concern that earlier robberies at the location had not been reported,” The Post Millennial reported.
The report assisted police in apprehending the thieves who are suspected of targeting another Lululemon store in Peachtree City.
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A Lululemon spokesman told the Daily Mail, “The safety and security of our employees and guests is always Lululemon’s top priority, and we have policies and protocols in place to uphold a safe environment,” adding that, “We take thefts and vandalism very seriously and our focus right now is supporting our educators, as well as continuing to collaborate with local partners and law enforcement.”
The two fired employees said that they had been directed to not contact authorities should there be a theft, instead were told to simply log it, despite the employee handbook telling staff to call 911 if they suspect a theft.
Jennifer Ferguson said that they were “not supposed to get in the way. You kind of clear path for whatever they’re going to do,” adding that, “And then, after it’s over, you scan a QR code. And that’s that. We’ve been told not to put it in any notes, because that might scare other people. We’re not supposed to call the police, not really supposed to talk about it.”
Both Jennifer Ferguson and Rogers said they lost their jobs due to Lululemon’s “zero tolerance policy.”
“It wasn’t very clear. They didn’t give specific reasoning besides just saying they have a ‘no-tolerance policy,” Rogers said according to The Post Millennial.