Free-for-all groceries as Forest Hill Loblaws left open Easter Sunday

Some Forest Hill consumers may like to thank the local Loblaws for its philanthropy on Easter Sunday: leaving the store open for free shopping.

Except it wasn’t intended as charity.

The store at 396 St. Clair Avenue West, east of Bathurst Street, was left unlocked in error.

And when an untold number of customers found it open with lights on and almost deserted aisles, they went about their shopping.] They didn’t have to pay for their groceries at checkout, as no cashiers or any other employees were present.

Police received the call at 10:41 a.m. on April 12  for “unsecured premises,” said police media relations officer Const. Edward Parks.

They arrived to find the door open and no staff inside. They secured the premises.

Police had no other information about why the building was left open or about any charges that could arise, Parks said. They could not confirm anything was stolen.

Inside store like ‘Zombieland’

One person reported on Twitter she was taking her morning walk on Sunday when she noticed people walking out of Loblaws with groceries and thought it must be open. Inside she found light and music on, and a handful of people shopping. So she joined them. But when she found the checkouts were closed, she put the food back.

She described the scene in the store as like being “in Zombieland.”

In emails to enquiring news publications, a Loblaws spokesperson confirmed the occurrence on Easter Sunday morning when the St. Clair store was supposed to be closed for business.

Some witnesses on social media said people were not stealing items from the store as they left notes a out what they had taken, so they could pay for them later.