The folks at Luke’s Grocery in Toronto have been dealing with shoplifters for some time.
And finally, the caught the little kleptomaniacs in the act — and on video no less.
Cindy Kim told the Metro newspaper that squirrels have snatched 48 chocolate bars from her family’s business over the last few months. There’s two prime suspects a black one and a light brown and grey one. And they always turn tail and run.
She also posted on Reddit asking for tips to stop furry thieves. Which of course has now caught social media by storm.
“Squirrel keeps stealing chocolate bars from our convenience store. It’s driving us nuts. Please help?” Kim posted.
Here’s the full letter. And, it’s amazing.
“My family owns a convenience store around Broadview Stn-ish.
We tend to leave the door open during the day because it gets stuffy and hot, with all the coolers and fridges going off. We simply can’t afford to close the door and turn on ventilation/cooling to max, with hydro bills being what they are. Having said that, we have been storeowners our whole lives, with 7+ years spent at this particular store, and never had a problem with this routine.
Until the squirrel started showing up.
For around a week or two, a squirrel (either the same one or maybe not) has been coming in when we are not looking, taking a chocolate bar, and dashing off. It’s a different bar each time – O’Henry, Mr. Big, etc. It happens about once every 2-3 days.
It is definitely a squirrel that is doing the stealing. Though we can’t see it the moment it commits the theft (because the bars are displayed below the counter, on the customer’s side), we can hear a distinct rustling. When we come around the counter to try to catch it, we can see the squirrel running off with the bar in its mouth. It’s slower than normal by that point, obviously because it has a huge and heavy chocolate bar in its mouth, but it’s still hard to catch. We tried running after it, but it’s still faster. A couple times, passerbys and customers tried chasing after it with us, but once it goes up a tree, it’s game over.
Do you have any advice/suggestion on how we might deter the squirrel?
We could try closing the door, but then the store will get stuffy, and it just costs too much to cool down the place enough all day every day. We also tried calling animal services (311), but it only seems to be concerned about lost/killed animals/pets. We also can’t use the usual tricks for deterring squirrels. We couldn’t, for instance, sprinkle hot pepper flakes all over the chocolate bars because little kids buy these things and might rub their eyes after (etc.). We also couldn’t set up a barbed wire (like in the case of small openings) because, well, it’s the big front entrance we’re talking about. Please help!
tl;dr – Squirrel keeps stealing chocolate bars from our convenience store. It’s driving us nuts. Please help?”
Finally, last fall they caught one on video and posted it to YouTube.
“STOLEN: Kinder Bueno ($2.00)
Today was a good day. We finally caught one of them on camera. They just won’t stop coming. But we’re onto them now. There’s a storm coming, buddy.”
And then, the family caught another one and posted that video online.
“STOLEN: Crunchie ($1.80)
Nearly wintertime. We keep our door closed. But every once in a while, we open it for some fresh air or delivery – and the menace strikes. It was in the mood for toffee this time…”
We’ve got to hand it to these little guys. At least they have good taste.