Canadian shoppers leave cash, IOU notes for food at unlocked grocery store

A grocery store manager and police in Canada were left surprised but grateful after shoppers left cash and IOU's for food when the store was accidentally opened without any staff inside.

The Food Basics grocery store in Kingston, Ontario was left unlocked when it was supposed to be closed for the Family Day holiday on Feb. 18. When shoppers entered and realized there were no staff at the checkout, they left cash and notes for the workers upon their return to inform them they had taken supplies.

Police Constable Ash Gutheinz told CTV News that he was proud of the residents of Kingston for being so conscientious.

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“It’s rare anywhere. We’re pretty impressed with our citizens that they would be so honorable, honest, so as to leave a bunch of money for the groceries that they were taking,” he said.

One elderly woman even left a handwritten note intended for the store's manager, letting him know she simply needed flour and eggs to make a cake. The store said they were working to provide her with a gift card for her baking necessities.

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The store's district manager Mark Woudwyk said he was relieved he did not have to report any goods as stolen during the mishap.

“My first thought was ‘Oh no,’” he said, in response to hearing that police had been called to the store after it was reported there were shoppers inside, but no staff.

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Residents are hailing the incident as representative of the country's national reputation as rule-followers.

"That's Canada for you," one shopper remarked. "Wouldn't happen anywhere else, would it?"