A Fresno cashier who was tired of watching people steal took matters into her own hands by chasing after a .
But she ended up getting fired.
Jessie Sotto, formerly an employee at the Dollar General store in the area west of Highway 99, told TMZ that she’s upset about losing her job because she thought she was a good cashier and had her former employer’s best interests at heart.
The cashier’s quest to catch the alleged thief was caught on video and ended up going viral, with footage showing Sotto using a vehicle to collide into a man on a bicycle.
“Like I’m sick and tired of people getting away with crime,” Sotto said in her interview with TMZ. “Why are honest people that work so hard — like me, a hard working mom — not manipulating the system (and) working hard.
“And you’ve got this person just stealing stuff.”
Sotto said she’d seen the man steal in the Dollar General store before and warned him to stop stealing and not come back.
But when he showed up again last month and took more items without paying, Sotto said she’d seen enough.
“My thought process was to go after him, tell him to stop, get the stuff back,” Sotto said. “I felt like I had the right to go after him.”
So Sotto got into her vehicle and chased after the man, who was riding a bike.
A residential doorbell camera captured on video of what happened next: Sotto’s vehicle colliding with the man and his bike to the sound of screeching brakes, and stolen items flying in several directions, some splattering onto the driveway.
Among the items that appeared to come out of a laundry basket being held by the man toward the front of the bike were: milk, cereal, shampoo, chips, a few bottles of Gatorade and soda, and a small bouquet flowers (the incident happened three days before Mother’s Day).
The man falls forward from the crash but manages to use his hands to brace himself.
“I saw it happening live from my work,” said the Fresno resident whose doorbell camera captured the incident, and asked to remain anonymous. “I was just in total shock watching it all play out.
“She cut him off and he went flying forward. Honestly, I thought it was hilarious at first. That’s why I posted it. How often do you see an employee chase after a person who stole stuff? She went above and beyond. And I knew she was an employee because she was still wearing her smock.
“But,” the Fresno resident added, “I later started realizing how severe this situation could’ve been and someone could’ve really gotten hurt.”
Sotto said she drove alongside the man for a bit prior to what the video shows, and twice asked him to return the items and stop stealing.
“He said ‘Stop messing with my life. You don’t know me. No, I’m not going to give the stuff back,’” Sotto recalled the alleged thief saying.
From Sotto’s perspective, she did not crash into the man with the vehicle but instead abruptly stopped her car in the bike’s pathway.
“I stomped on my brakes and I was in no movement whatsoever in my car when I pulled in front of him,” Sotto said “I guess he couldn’t see that I had stopped because he had a basket full in front of the handles.
“Then he just ran right into my car.”
Following the collision, the man and Sotto curse and yell at each other.
Their encounter never gets physical with any punches or pushes.
But when Sotto tosses the man’s bike to the side with one hand, the man responds by aggressively throwing an item into her car, which had a window open.
It also becomes clear in the video that the front wheel of the man’s bike becomes severely bent from the crash.
“It ain’t that f****** seriously,” the man says to Sotto. “Who cares! Everybody steals all the f****** time.
“You going to jail for that.”
All the while during their heated exchange, the man and Sotto each pick various items.
“And I’m pressing charges,” the man says.