Every Saturday morning, Beth’s father walks to the neighborhood Kroger, eats some donuts, pays, and walks home. Two weekends ago, a security guard stopped Beth’s father, accused him of shoplifting, and banned him from the store.Here’s the letter Beth sent to Kroger:
Dear Kroger Executive Director—
Our family loves Kroger. We live about a mile away from the Indianapolis store on 79th Street and Fall Creek (#965), and we often walk to the store to get small items, prescriptions, and do banking at the attached 5/3 Bank. We have been loyal customers since 1997, and I worked at the store as a nonfoods and photo clerk from 1997 to 1999.
Recently, my dad has made an effort to exercise more, and so, every Saturday, he walks down to the store and eats 2 or 3 donuts at the tables next to Starbucks and then goes to the U-scan to pay for his order. He did this today (and paid for 3 donuts in cash) and tossed the receipt in the trash next to the cashier station at the U-scan. As he headed out the door, an officer (Jay Wanner, a private police officer) stopped my dad and asked him to come upstairs with him. When upstairs, the officer said that store employees reported that my dad had been stealing donuts during his weekend visits. My dad told the officer that he had paid for his 3 donuts, and asked if he could return downstairs to get the receipt from the trash, but the officer told him no. When my dad got upset, the officer told him to not return to the store and, if he did, he would be arrested.
My dad graduated from Notre Dame with high honors and has worked as a financial planner for more than 30 years. He is the most honest person I know, and would never steal anything from your store. Our family has had friendly relationships with many long-term workers in your store (especially in the pharmacy), and we would never violate that trust.
After I heard his story, I went back to the store and retrieved the donut receipt from the trash. It is for 3 donuts for $2. The receipt is dated for 1/24/09 at 10:22 a.m. and the numbers on the bottom read 965 83 31 999. If you are to look at your receipt records on Saturday morning at the U-scan, you are sure to find records for this same purchase, sometimes with an additional muffin he buys for my mom.
I, my mom, and my dad are very hurt by this incident, and now we all feel like we shouldn’t go to your store anymore. We have made phone calls to the manager and officer, and they have basically said that they didn’t want to further the conversation: that my dad stole the donuts (or ate more than he paid for) and that he was forbidden from going into the store.
If your Kroger store was one we didn’t frequent often, we may be able to just write this off as a very unfortunate misunderstanding. However, we have been very loyal customers, and feel like this incident needs further investigation.
When Beth first emailed us, it had been a week since she complained to Kroger and she’d gotten no response. A few days later, Beth emailed us to let us know that Kroger finally apologized:
Kroger did respond by calling my Mom and Dad today. The head of security apologized and asked my Dad what they could do to make him feel better about the situation (Dad said an apology from the manager and officer).