‘Youth’ was a thief

An Overwaitea staff member responds to a letter from last week (Aug.23).

Dear editor,

I would like to respond to the letter written by Taku Toffinen (Grocery Gangsters, published Aug. 23).

As a longtime employee and witness to the actions you wrote about, I would like to apologize if you and your daughter were offended by what you witnessed.

I would, however, like to clear up some misconceptions that you have about what you witnessed. The “youth,” as you put it, was in fact a man in his mid-20s; he also was not hungry, he had placed several expensive razor blade cartridges and a shaver into his pants with the express purpose of stealing them.

It was not until he attempted to flee that he was grabbed and removed from the store. Shoplifting is a daily problem, not just in our stores but in most retail outlets in town. The high costs that result in many complaints to myself and others are directly related to the loss from shoplifting. This isn’t the only factor but one of many.

If he was in fact hungry, that is why we have a food bank and a Salvation Army in this town ā€” organizations we make considerable donations to, I might add.

To call all of us thugs and gangsters is not only unfair, but insulting to those of us who strive to make the shopping experience of our customers as pleasant as possible. It is my understanding that you have not contacted the store manager to get an explanation about what happened. Why not?

Russ Smith

Overwaitea Foods

Port Hardy