Someone is filching food at Carlsons'

Staff writer

Roger Normand was aghast when he saw two cookies were missing from its plastic container at Carlsons’ Grocery store.

“I just wanted some chocolate chip cookies,” the Pilsen resident said. “I can’t believe someone would stoop so low to open up a package of cookies, eat two of them and then put the package back on the shelf to be sold. Someone must be awfully hungry to go and do that.”

Normand was just one of the customers at Carlsons’ who were surprised to see that food was missing out of the ready-to-eat containers on the Marion grocery store shelves. Co-owner Greg Carlson said the disappearances started two or three weeks ago. He said he finally decided late last week to put up a sign warning people not to take food without paying.

Carlson said he is not afraid to prosecute the criminals when he catches them.

“I’ll wring their necks,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said he encourages his customers to bring any open containers they find to the customer service desk. So far, he said the criminals’ actions have been limited to cookies and wraps. But the owners encourage people to look at their items carefully before purchasing, just to make sure the full item is there.

Liz Calhoun said she was shocked when she saw Carlsons’ sign on the shelf by the wraps, explaining the situation.

“It’s just not something you expect in Marion,” she said. “I’ll have to be extra careful whenever I go shopping. It’s kind of a scary thing. In the past, you could leave your doors unlocked and your neighbors would watch your back. Now, you have to be on your guard all the time.”

Others, like Ron Simpson, said they never purchase items in that area of the store, so it doesn’t bother them.

“I only come here to get my milk, eggs and cheese,” he said. “If someone wants to steal something, it’s on their head, not mine. I hope they catch the bastards real quick. It’s not good to have those kinds of people on the street anyway.”

But everyone interviewed agreed on one thing: the criminals need to be caught and prosecuted. Greg Carlson assured that he won’t hesitate to prosecute the offenders if they get caught — and he said he is making efforts to ensure that they are. He explained that he told all of his store workers to keep an eye out for trouble, and to report any suspicious behavior immediately.

“We can’t have people stealing,” he said. “It’s not right.”

 

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