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Shane Harms/ Ballard News-Tribune
Entry to Ballard Safeway where Samira Othman worked for 12 years. She was fired last May for laying her hands on an shoplifter after she feared for her safety. According Othman, Safeway operates with a “no chase” policy for shoplifters.

Woman works at Ballard Safeway for 12 years, fired for trying to stop vandal, shoplifter

After 12 years of working for Safeway, Samira Othman, 48, never thought she would be fired for trying to prevent a shoplifter and vandal from taking liberties while on her watch, but that’s just what happened last May.

Othman told the Ballard News-Tribune that she has been a merchandise stocker at the store for years. She moved here from Jerusalem back in 2001 and got a job at a Capital Hill Safeway, but after a year she moved back to Jerusalem to care for her mother. She later returned in 2004 and asked her previous manager for a reference in order to get hired at the Ballard Safeway (1423 NW Market St.). She said she was hired immediately and stocked the shelves for over a decade.

“I’m very hard working, and I worked like a dog for them for years,” said Othman.

But she was known for doing much more than stocking the shelves; she also busted shoplifters. For years Othman said she saved the store thousands of dollars by catching thieves and retrieving store products. She said she was rewarded for her efforts with gift cards from the corporate office.

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