No thefts reported after Kingston grocery store accidentally left open Family Day

Click to play video: 'Kingston Food Basics store left unlocked on Family Day' Kingston Food Basics store left unlocked on Family Day
Shoppers walked into the Food Basics store on Barrack St. in Kingston on Family Day, to find no staff. Someone forgot to lock the doors – Feb 28, 2019

A Kingston grocery was left open on Family Day of this year, and despite the store being completely unsupervised, customers not only didn’t steal anything, but made the extra effort to pay for their groceries.

Const. Ash Gutheinz with the Kingston police said they received a call around 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, saying the doors of the Food Basics on Barrack Street were open, but staff were nowhere to be found.

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“We found no damage inside and [there] didn’t appear to be any destruction of any kind,” Gutheinz told Global News.

According to Food Basics management, the store’s front doors were never locked the night before on Feb. 17, when the business was supposed to close at 9 p.m.

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Gutheinz said police left it up to store management to report any thefts, but several days later, none have been reported.

“Throughout the afternoon we had about 10 or 12 customers enter the store, and [they] realized it was closed,” said Mark Woudwyk, district manager of Food Basics. “Most of them left — a couple did their shopping and left money for us.”

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In one case, a Woudwyk said a female customer picked up all of her groceries, and returned the next day to pay in full.

“The lady had walked several blocks. She was an elderly lady, a regular customers of ours,” Woudwyk said. “She had a little shopping list, completed her shopping, wrote out what she took from us and came back the next day and paid us.”

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Food Basics staff did say one customer took two packs of cherry tomatoes and left $5 on the counter.

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Rachel Friars, a customer of the Barrack Street Food Basics for the last six months, says she was originally surprised by the news, but can understand why people chose not to steal from the store.

“Most of us are regulars at this grocery store. We know the cashiers, we know the people who work here,” Friars said. “So it’s not necessarily something that we’d do — just leave without paying.”

According to a spokesperson for Food Basics, this isn’t a usual event for the grocery store chain, but they’re pleasantly surprised by the turn of events.

“[It] speaks volumes about just how great the community and our Food Basics customers truly are,” said Katie Oestriech, spokesperson for Metro, Food Basics’ umbrella company.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the customers who visited us on Family Day for their respectful patronage at our store.”

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