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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sikeston factory Outlet Stores honor store manager as theri first 'Hero'

Sunday, October 1, 2006

(Photo)
Debbie Allen displays the certificates she was presented.
SIKESTON - After the Sikeston Factory Outlet Stores declared her their first "Hero," Debbie Allen wasn't so sure about the title but she was glad she was able to help someone in need.

Allen was honored by SFOS for her role in helping locate a missing adult.

Recently Miner Police issued an alert about a missing disabled adult. As part of their effort to locate the individual, officers contacted the adjacent shopping area providing a description of the missing individual.

Laurie Romas, mall manager, said the stores work closely with police and First Responders whenever there is a need. In an effort to assist the police copied the information and delivered it to each store's staff. Her last stop around the semi-circle of stores was MJ's Jewelry and Leathers where Allen is manager.

As Romas began to describe the missing man, Allen recalled she finished the description, explaining she had just seen him while out picking up her lunch.

Allen attributes the incident simply to "training and God" explaining as she was heading back to work she turned a different way than her typical route without really thinking about it. "I noticed a gentleman walking and something just seemed wrong," she said.

Allen, who is trained as a First Responder, as is her husband, Randy, and her son, Jason, took note of the man's clothing and the direction he was heading. When she heard about the alert, she made the connection and the police were notified. The man was found safe not far from where she had spotted him.

Allen's husband beamed as his wife tells the story. "We've trained her," he said, then added, "She's my life."

And now, she is also a hero, with the plaques to prove it.

"She is our first Outlet hero, at least that we know about," said Romas with pride. To acknowledge Allen's effort, the SFOS presented her with a plaque and a gift certificate donated by Ruby Tuesday as well as hosting a reception in her honor.

"I didn't expect anything," said Allen, a resident of Miner and manager of MJ's for the past seven and half years. "I think anyone would have done what I did."